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Showing posts from October, 2015

Betweed Flower Stepout

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A couple of weeks ago, I was working on my Diva Challenge when I came up with what I've been calling a Betweed Flower.
The funny thing is, I was *thinking* Betweed when I first drew it, but now that I finally looked up the official Betweed Step-out, I realize it doesn't really look much like it! The foundational stroke is convex vs. concave, and it starts from the narrow rather than the wide end of the space.
Moreover, a recent Square One (Facebook) challenge introduced me to the official tangle "Cyme," which, I think you'll agree, also bears a striking resemblance.  It's not identical: Cyme's petals lack a center line, are drawn without guides of any sort, and seem to most commonly appear in sets of 5. But the overall effect is very similar.
I'm still going ahead and posting my steps, because I find "Between Flower" Much easier to draw than the all freehand Cyme. I just won't claim this as an "original" tangle!
Here is the st…

Diva Challenge: Autumn Inspiration

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This week's challenge is to tangle something inspired by autumn. I love the warm tones of this season as well as the iconic shape of maple leaves, so I knew where I was headed right away.
I did not have a chance to participate in another recent challenge where we were to spray, stencil, or stain our "string" in an unexpected way, but I must have had it on the brain because I was inspired to do more than simply trace my maple leaf. Instead I pulled out my kids' Crayola watercolor palate and painted my 4 inch bar coaster in shades of orange. I then placed my maple leaf over the coaster as a mask and painted darker colors over that. I did front and back of two coasters using different colors.
The results of my background painting are definitely "experimental:" I have spent remarkably little time messing about with paints and have little feel for how they're going to act on different surfaces or in combo. So I'm learning, but the final product is hardl…

Quick n' Dirty Paint Cups, plus a Bonus Tip

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One of the things my husband brought to our marriage is an insistence on good orange juice. I'd grown up on frozen concentrate and had no idea what I was missing. 8 years and 3 kids later, we go through a Lot of Tropicana Pure Premium. When they went to the new carafe style a year or so ago I started saving a lot of lids because they can't go in the recycle bin. Recently I discovered a perfect re-use opportunity: paint water reservoirs! With the wide base, they're virtually spill-proof as long as you fill only the central portion. (Needless to say, your kids will fill them all the way up to the top. They still won't tip, but they can slop, so you might want to keep charge of that task yourself!) They also hold just as much water as you need for the average toddler watercolor session - or even an adult ZIA watercoloring session.

And now for the bonus tip! I picked up a handful of aluminum cookie sheets at the Dollar Tree and we use them for Tons of projects. They'r…

A Day in the Life: Sunday 10/18

I did my very first Day In The Life post just a couple of weeks ago, and I had a lot of fun with it. I'm going to go ahead and do a much shorter one for today before I forget about the project. Again, I didn't plan this and I think I have one or two photos to stick in. We'll see what happens! 

I still have this wild notion that weekends mean sleeping in, despite 6 years of parenthood to disabuse me of this notion. Still, today was unusual in that Lucy and James took themselves downstairs around 7:45 instead of hanging around our bed begging to be fed. Of course, they begged from down There, so I dragged myself up around 8 and poured cereal for those that needed it. 

At some point during the meal James got a wild hare to made popsicles in our mold using straight yogurt. I nearly vetoed the project, but he promised to clean everything up (he didn't!) and I decided it wasn't a hill to die on. They filled three of the four molds and put them in the freezer. Hold that tho…

Diva Challenge: Munchin

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I'd never tried Munchin before this week's challenge, so I decided to follow along with the video and see what happened. My dots and lines formed themselves into this S-like pattern, and I felt like it needed something organic to balance all those sharp, straight lines. Turning the "S" on its side made me think that perhaps the curve might hold some water, so I went for one of my favorite "mac-n-cheese" tangles, Hairy.
To call it "Mac n' cheese," however, does not mean that I can always draw it flawlessly without much thought. In fact, I find myself returning to the step-out repeatedly when I'm trying to get started. But once I get the first few curves down it always starts to flow and I really get into it. A perfect example of "zentangle" for me. :)

Anyway, this is what I had after shading.

I had some time left, and I realized that it really needed color. I'd drawn on a flimsy 3x5 card which I knew would not hold up to water…

A Day In The Life: October 8, 2015

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I came across a young mother's "day in the life" blog entry a couple of days ago, and as I was tucking the kids in (figuratively, of course, since James decided to sleep on the floor as usual and the girls were both too squirrely) it suddenly occurred to me that I ought to do something like that every once in a while. Maybe a couple of times a year? And no fair planning in advance so you do all the cool stuff on that day either - it has to be at least semi-random, with no (OK, minimal) whitewashing. :)
Let's see how it goes.


Lucy unusually sleeps in past 7 am. OK, technically she was up at 6 and 7, but I convinced her to back to sleep both times (in my bed, the last time!) and she stayed asleep while the rest of us got up at our regular 7:45 time. Anyway, James serves himself Honeynut Cheerios for breakfast and I put a coule of waffles in the toaster for Grace before making David's sandwich and pouring a bowl of pumpkin seed and flax granola (a Costco splurge) fo…

Diva Challenge #238: Tri-Bee, and our Tangled Shelf

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(Note: Last time I posted for a challenge - the "unexpected object" one -  no-one could see my photos. I have fixed this if you want to see!)

I was excited for this week's challenge for several reasons. The first of which is that Tri-Bee is the sort of pattern I am intrinsically drawn to, so I was eager to try it.
Here are my two tiles, both drawn on 3x5 cards in brown micron and shaded with on of the kids' colored pencils.

OK, they're a little busy. :) I didn't bother with a string, and I rarely know when to stop, so I just went with it!  Other tangles include stipple, sand swirl and diva dance. I guess I was going for something of a sea-shore feel for the second one. It was also here that I realized that Tri-Bee reminded me quite a bit of ALAURA, 'though I found Tri-Bee much easier to draw. If you zoom in you can see I did some of the hollow leaf thing that I really like in ALAURA. 
PS: I think one of the reasons I immediately liked Tri-Bee is because t…

Quick n' Dirty Kitchen Towel Hanger

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Another quick "life hack" for you here. If you're tired of picking your kitchen towels up off the floor after they slide off the oven door handle, you don't need to call your mom to ask her to crochet you up half a dozen of these towel toppers.  (Please note, I am not suggesting that you do not need to call your mom for other reasons. You probably do. Go ahead and make her day!)
Instead, raid your drawer - or your daughter's drawer - for an elastic headband. Didn't find one? I got a pack of 6 at the Dollar Tree. They look like this:
Thankfully, they come in lots of colors aside from bright yellow!
Loop it around your oven handle. You'll be making a shape like this, with the oven handle going through the center of the top loop.

Now, insert your towel into the bottom loop. Voila: your towel is stuck like glue to your oven handle and it's not going anywhere! (Note: I tied a knot in the bottom loop to make it a little smaller, Your mileage may vary.) 
T…