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Diva Challenge 107Quandary

Diva Challenge 107

Quandary: a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do; dilemma. From

A fitting word and tangle to describe the past week for me.  No matter which way I turned, I was confronted with another quandary as I tried to meet a big deadline.  By Friday, my shoulders felt as though they were touching my ears from the stress.  Time to tangle and see if I could relax a little.

I haven’t done the Diva Challenge in a while, so I thought it would be nice to work on the latest from Laura Harms.  Quandary again!  This time it was in the form of the new tangle, Quandary, from Zentangle.  As I tackled Quandary in my Tangle-A-Day calendar, I quickly understood how it came to be named.  It reminded me of another tangle, Tripoli, which has always been a struggle for me.  With Quandary, your eye bounces back and forth with the need to create the triangles and the flowers that emerge as you build the triangles.  I got lost several times with less than stellar results.  For me, it seems the secret is in the scale.  I do much better with the larger scale.  I tell my students all the time to play with scale when learning a tangle that they seem to struggle to master but sometimes forget to do this myself.  With my new awareness, it may be time to try Tripoli and Assunta, but much larger in scale.

I also took some time to “finish” a few things.  When teaching, as I did last weekend, I often start a tile or demo a tangle on one and move on.  What’s left is a pile of really random tiles, some with only a tangle and no strings, others resembling most of the tiles I do in a basic class since I keep the string and tangles fairly simple.  These are a challenge to complete and I’ll tackle a few from time to time just to see what I can do with them.  While working on my Diva Challenge, I realized a previous page in my calendar had never been shaded so I thought it might be interesting to share the before and after on my blog.  Shading really is a personal preference and there are tangles that I never shade, and others that change dramatically with a little bit of pencil strategically applied.  To really learn more about shading, take a look at Made in the Shade by Cris Letourneau.  Cris earned her CZT along with me in 2011.  This book is a deep dive into the world of shading specific to Zentangle and is well worth the investment.  You can see more of Cris’ work here.

Give Quandary a try and I hope you enjoy the fruits of my various dilemmas.

Example of same page from Tangle A Day calendar - unshaded and shaded

Example of same page from Tangle A Day calendar – unshaded and shaded

My finished tile from Feb. 17 class at LSU

My finished tile from
Feb. 17 class at LSU

Demo of Cadent from class with Mi2 added

Demo of Cadent from class with Mi2 added

Student Class Mosaic from Feb 17 class at LSUBasic Zentangle

Student Class Mosaic from Feb 17 class at LSU
Basic Zentangle


ZIA Baby Name gift

Ten fingers, Ten toes
She’s laughter and teardrops
So small and brand new
And amazingly angelic
She’s sent to bless you
She’s one special Baby
The best of life’s treasure
And will grant and bless you
Many hours of great pleasure.
Author Unknown

Today is a special celebration for us as our first grandchild, Maggie, passes a milestone and becomes a teenager.  She has had a challenging couple of years, surviving what should have been a fatal head injury just a few days after her eleventh birthday two years ago.  If you are unfamiliar, the story is here.  There has been a lot of healing for all of us this year, but especially for Maggie.  I began speaking on behalf of victim families for a local program called Sudden Impact sponsored by Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and the LA State Police.  Maggie agreed to an interview for the Children’s Hospital magazine as part of a much smaller article on the Sudden Impact program and is featured in the Spring 2012 edition of Wee Believe Magazine.  She was then invited to dance at a Children’s Hospital Fundraiser where she met one of our local legends, Coach Les Miles of the LSU Fighting Tigers football team.  The two hit it off when she challenged him to a “split off” and she recently met up with him at the season opener radio program.  The next thing we knew, she was invited to practice with the LSU Golden Girls (her goal is to make that elite team in college) and the Tiger Band before the Washington game – all this on the weekend of her 13th birthday.  They surprised her with a birthday card, signed poster, and a special Golden Girl shirt they had made for her.  The Girls then took her over to the Pep Rally at the P-Mac where Mike the Tiger bowed and gave her a kiss on the hand.  Her day wasn’t over yet, they surprised her with an invitation to march down the Indian Mound on campus in the pre-game parade to the stadium with them.  Can I just say, this little girl was over the moon happy as she shared every second with me late last night.  Once again, she was touched by angels – this time wearing purple and gold.  I can’t thank Coach Miles, the LSU Golden Girls, the Tiger Band, the LSU Cheerleaders, and Mike enough for giving Maggie the gift of new and happy memories for a time of year that can be challenging.  They truly do Love Purple, LIVE Gold!

The ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) I have posted today is for another special little girl, the baby of a friend of our youngest daughter and his wife.  She got a tough start, but has proven to be a strong little fighter from the beginning and a blessing for her parents and family.  I have held back on posting as I wanted her parents to be the first to see it.  The piece was framed and delivered to the proud parents today.  I love doing these as few decisions get more thought or are more meaningful than choosing the perfect name for a new baby.  Best wishes to little Jensen and her very lucky parents.

Cleanliness is next to impossible.  ~Author Unknown

Most of the people of Louisiana have begun the process of putting homes, businesses and lives back together.  Hurricane Isaac really seemed to take his own sweet time passing through, creating torrential rains, flash floods and general misery as he inched across the state.  I say misery because there are still homes without electricity and that’s not pleasant with 100% humidity.  Many have generators for just such an eventuality (one of those lessons we learn) but the price of fuel these days make it expensive to keep the fridge, freezer and a fan or two operating.

Road closures, cancelled flights and flash floods caused me some aggravation as I was scheduled to attend a CZT Retreat in Dallas this Labor Day weekend.  After more than three hours on the road to travel a grand total of ten miles (with more than sixty left) I admitted defeat and began the long process of trying to go back home.  Flash floods had closed several roads on the way back home along with the only open route to the airport.  I was looking forward to meeting so many of the CZT’s in other certification classes and feeding off the collective creativity of these talented ladies.  They did some amazing stuff.  Here’s hoping there is another retreat in the near future – maybe after hurricane season?  On the positive side, I did get to enjoy watching my LSU Tigers win their first game of the season.  Coach Miles had invited my granddaughter to attend his radio show and I got to share her excitement on Thursday night.  The two seem to have developed a mutual admiration society after he heard her story and saw her dance at a fundraiser for the OLOL Children’s Hospital.

We were quite lucky with no real damage and only intermittent loss of electricity thanks to the fact that our power lines are underground.  My house was a total mess from all the extra people and I am still trying to figure out how my floors got so filthy.  I spent all day Sunday putting things in order and cleaning floors so I could relax on Labor Day and enjoy some tangle time.  I have been following a new blog, The Bright Owl.  Erin has been posting some really nice challenges using Zendalas though I haven’t taken up the challenge till this week.  She even shares the templates – how nice is that?  I took some time today to play with her latest challenge template.  I had a couple of ideas, so why not do two?  One was completed on a regular tile (with very subtle watercolor background) and the other on a Zendala tile.  If you are looking for some inspiration, scoot on over to The Bright Owl and take a look at some of the amazing work there.

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