Sunday, December 31, 2017

Farewell 2017

I made it...just barely, but I made it. This is the final night of 2017 and my first post this year. I've experienced some health issues much of the year and have had little energy for blogging or crafting. I'm doing much better now and am very grateful to be feeling better and regaining my energy.

I am optimistic about 2018.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Diamond in the Rough

My last post was about how difficult 2015 was. The challenges continued into 2016. As tough as the circumstances have been, I have to be thankful for the personal growth this season of difficulty has stimulated. Isn't that always how life works? Out of pain and pressure beautiful things emerge. High temperatures and pressure deep under the earth's surface result in the formation of diamonds. That is what we are--diamonds in the rough.  When first mined, diamonds are not the brilliantly faceted gems that we see in jewelry stores--they are rough rocks that need to be cut and polished to realize their full potential. That is what life is for us--through the joys and challenges we face each day the master jeweler is cutting and polishing us to bring out our best qualities. He sees the potential in the rough stone. With each cut he is shaping us into the person that He created us to be.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 Reflection

From beginning to end this has been a tough year. It was my turn I suppose. For the most part I've lived a charmed life--that is the wrong descriptor, I've been blessed, so blessed, and should never take that for granted.

This time of hardship has driven me to my knees. Prayer is the only response. Whether or not prayer changes the situation may be debatable; however, there is no question that prayer changes me.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bible Journaling

I'm not sure how I found it, but back in May I discovered the Influence Network by way of Shanna Noel's blog post on her Journaling Bible. It just so happened that she was teaching an online class that night to share her process, so of course I signed up immediately. This has become such a valuable part of my devotional life. God is so good! He has used the earthly things that I delight in--doodling, social media, etc. to draw me closer so that I delight in Him.

Shanna Noel created a Facebook group for like-minded people to gather and share and be inspired by the journaling Boble process.

It does not matter what we are Bible journaling looks like. When our pages are created as an act of worship God is pleased with the resut. God is teaching all of us so much through this process. I am in awe that He is so mindful and willing to speak to us through markers and paper.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I love my life!

Seriously, I love my life. Have I mentioned that lately? This past week I hosted the annual meeting of the Student Explorations in Mathematics Editorial Panel. Wednesday afternoon we had the good fortune to take a field trip to the Library of Congress. I think it may be the most beautiful building in D.C. Just look at the beautiful colors and patterns in this selfie. We enjoyed a behind the scenes tour and unfortunately, I am unable to share pictures with you because we were in areas where cameras are not allowed,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Can't miss a bargain.

A nearby A.C. Moore store has converted from a retail store to an outlet store. As a result they are liquidating their entire stock and everything in the store is at least 40% off. Cha-ching for me! This past weekend I loaded up on supplies then spent the rest of my time playing in my art journal. I also prepped at least a dozen layouts and am looking forward to building the pages. Ahhhhh, a creative weekend plus shopping at a discount. Life is good!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Lovin'

The older I get the more I miss those long, lazy summers of my youth when time was in abundance. I have so many interests that I want to pursue and projects that need completion, but there are not enough hours in the day outside of a 9-5 work week. Some of my interest are beginning to converge--I've spent a lot of recreational time playing in my art journal lately--this is an opportunity to combine Zentangle  and lettering. Time to get the camera out and share some of the spreads that I'm pleased with. I've also begun Bible Journaling which has combined my need for a creative outlet and spiritual study. I haven't done any more with the Influence Network other than the Bible Journaling class. There is a newly released course on blogging that may be my next step with the Influence Network.

That's my quick update for now.

Summer officially begins Saturday. I hope you are finding time to do all of the things that you love.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This week I discovered  The Influence Network an amazing, uplifting community of creatively minded women supporting each other to make their online lives meaningful. I was so impressed by the concept and mission that I joined as a Lifetime member--I must be honest that I do not completely know what that exactly means for me, at this point I just wanted to support this group that is supporting others. From just browsing the site and looking through the magazine it seems that most community members are much younger (and more energetic) than I am....that's okay, hopefully their energy will rub off on me and maybe some of my experience will be useful to someone else.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekly Challenge #136

Congratulations to Laura Harms! This week her cumulative blog views crossed the 1,000,000 milestone. I am not surprised, I know that visiting her blog is on my personal "Must DO" list each week. I do not always post a response to the weekly challenge, but I always stop by the see what creative idea she has posted to inspire the Zentangle community. In fact, there are many weeks that I drop by multiple times to see what other Tanglers are doing with the challenge.

This week Laura posted Weekly Challenge #136  asked us to add color to the typically black and white Zentangle designs. I love color and have enjoyed this challenge. I played with it all week from a variety of perspectives. First, I did some of the traditional black on white ZIA then filled the patterns with color. Next, I used colored pens and made each pattern a different color. Finally, I used some watercolor paint in spray bottles to splash color on the white tiles then tangled on top of the color. As I sit here surrounded by the various ZIA that I created this week I think I am most pleased with the watercolor background pieces so those are the ones that I have selected to share with you.

As always, your feedback is welcome. I learn so much from you and appreciate your comments.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Well, well, well...

I really do enjoy being part of the Zentangle community. Everyone generously shares their art and support. Earlier this week I posted one of my first pieces in response to The Diva's challenge #135. You can see that effort here.  I just wasn't happy with how it turned out and asked other tanglers  for advice.  Fellow Zentanglers shared thoughtful feedback. All week I've taken the posted advice and continued to play with the new tangle "Well." My favorite aspect of the Diva's weekly challenge is seeing the unique ways that each tangler approaches the task. For example, check out this post from A Little Lime. She had the idea to randomize placement of the dots as well as use a freehand approach to the pattern. You can see her steps here. This is my ZIA using the random dot technique. I did not use a string, I also let my work bleed off the edges of the tile.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

String Theory

Yes, this response to Challenge #129 should have been posted in July. I traveled three times that month, so July is mostly a blur in my memory. Last night I realized that I never shared my tile. I had a lot of fun with this one. I'm learning to let go of the feeling that I have to fill the entire square---this one is almost full, so I obviously need to continue to work toward that goal.

While I'm playing catch-up. Here are three pieces that I did in August.

Tanglers, I need your advice

This week I've accepted Challenge # 135 from the Diva and that is to use the new official tangle "Well" that Rick and Maria announced in their September 3, 2013 newsletter. I really like the tangle, but I am just not getting the results that I want and I am hoping that other tanglers out there will kindly give me some advice.

After practicing the strokes for a long time last night I ended up with this tile. As you can see I do okay on the first few steps of "Well", but when it comes to the final step of closing the loops, or making the petals, things just fall apart for me (see top left corner). Can anyone see where I am getting off track?

I do like the look of the 'half-baked version of "Well," but would still like to be able to follow the steps to complete the pattern.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Birds on a Wire

The first Monday of every month is the UMT challenge. (UMT = Use My Tangle). This week's challenge is to use a new tangle developed by Mary Kissel, CZT. The pattern, Birds on a Wire, is deceptively simple.

I spent Monday just practicing the strokes trying to get comfortable with the pattern. Tuesday I started incorporating the pattern into tiles using a variety of strings. Nothing was coming together for me. I need to come up with a system for pairing the various tangles, some work very well side-by-side; other, not so much. I never really came up with a combination that was pleasing to my eye. I know that there aren't supposed to be any mistakes with Zentangle, but I have to tell you that what I ended up with was just a hot mess. :-)

One bit of success I did have was with a little shading and color. For some reason, this challenge just cried out for color. Having learned my lesson from last week I stuck to colored pencils--I think colored pencils allow for a lighter hand so the color complements the patterns.

The best part of the weekly challenge is seeing the many different interpretations posted by everyone else that plays along. Several of the other tanglers saw swans in their ZIA. I saw flamingos.

September 10, 2013 UPDATE

I never was satisfied with my results using this tangle. Here is one of my efforts.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Challenge 120 Redeux

Here is another attempt at responding to the the Diva's Weekly Challenge #120. It could probably use some shading. See the previous post for my reflection on why I am reluctant to shade. I did add a bit of color to the center piece--now that I look at the scan I realize that the dark blue ink is barely detectable.

What I have learned about Zentangle I've had to teach myself. I would LOVE to take a class with a CZT. Unfortunately, none of the CZT's in this area have responded to my e-mails. If anyone is willing to help, I would appreciate it if someone would print out this piece and show me what you can do with it using some shading. 

Shading and Color

Last night I had another bit of insight about myself. I realized why I am so hesitant to add shading and color to my ZIA--such embellishments usually ruin the piece. Case in point, this is the enhanced version of my response to Challenge#120 that I posted Wednesday. I didn't like the way it was turning out, so I just stopped. I think it would have been better had I used colored pencils instead of a new set of Pilot markers. Put it down to another lesson learned.