It’s A String Thing 246!

Hi everyone! Welcome to The Tireless Tangler! It’s been a slow week with no Diva Challenge, but Adele Bruno at Tickledtotangle.blogspot.com, gave me a wonderful gift with this week’s challenge! CZT, Helen Williams, was a strong influence when I first started drawing. Her organic style really speaks to me and I am a big fan of Helen’s Tangles! This week’s challenge was to try out Helen’s new video “String Grid.”

Here are 2 of my many, many tiles. I’m addicted! I challenge you all to give it a try!

A quick note for everyone. I’ve got a tough anniversary coming up in a few weeks. I’ve already noticed that I am struggling to concentrate and dwelling on things a bit too much. I want to promise I will be able to force my way through this tough time without a break, but I can’t. If for some reason I am unable to post for a while, I will let you know. I can promise I’ll be back. Hang in there with me! Thanks for understanding!

About Me!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my website, thetirelesstangler.com! My name is Cyndee Pelley and I am the voice of this site. It is my hope that you will find this site useful and informative, but also meaningful! There are a lot of Zentangle sites around and most of them are amazing places. One of the things that makes this site special, I believe, is the artist focus posts. These written pieces about the life of the artist, mixed with the beauty of their art are often inspirational to me. I feel by sharing these things together we peek into the souls of these wonderful people. This leaves me feeling deeply privileged!  The lives they touch and their personal philosophy can make you think twice about your pain or how tough life is for you, yourself! I know I’ve been personally humbled to know the people with whom I’ve spoken. Art has become my passion and I’m excited and driven to share something special!I have written, to date, 12 focus articles. The first on an amazing artist from the Zentangle®️ Mosaic App, Sarah Fowler, in the United Kingdom, but I also have written of artists from Spain, Canada, South Africa and Taiwan to name a few! I’ve realized this is something important I’m meant to do. I hope you will agree! A special thanks to each of the artists who’ve given their time and shared their art! 

I also haven’t arrived here without a lot of encouragement from the wonderful Zentangle®️ Mosaic App community. CZT, Ellie Miller, Sarah Fowler, CZT, Terri Delaune, CZT, Jody Genovese, CZT, Laura Story, and so many more have all had a hand in giving me the courage to take this step! My life has literally been transformed by the caring support and encouragement of these people! I’m truly blessed! 

So, about me!😊 I’m 56 years old and I’m a single mom of an 8-year-old boy. I’m an artist (you have no idea how hard it is to say that but it’s getting easier!), and a blogger. I’m also completely disabled with a degenerative spinal disease that has left me with nerve damage on my left side. This makes walking straight and not falling down a nice surprise every day! 😚 2 years ago, I lived in my room and didn’t leave the house. I was seriously depressed and hopeless. I felt without purpose and that I was a burden on others. I knew I needed help because I was in a dark emotional place. I signed up for a counselor and I’ve seen her ever since. My beautiful German Rottweiler, Simba, keeps me smiling! He never lets me sit too long without a break and is always encouraging me with his love and attention. He may never work as a public access service dog but he definitely qualifies as one as he can help me stand and walk straight. No words about me are complete without him in my life. 

Here’s my best friend and companion, Simba!

 Image of service dog, Simba Image of service dog simba outside

My first sketchpad was dedicated to my counselor because it was she who put me on this journey. We have tangled together a couple of times because I feel it’s so important she be aware of the positive effect of Zentangle for others like me she may come across in her practice!

Skip the adult coloring phase and go to drawing my own pictures (although I learned a LOT about colored pencils and blending.) I was drawing a dragon for the grandkids and wanted a pattern to put on her wing. You may notice she is unfinished because here I found Zentangle!

Color dragon by Cyndee Pelley

Fast forward through Pinterest and to TanglePatterns.com and there I found the Zentangle®️ Method! How that moment fundamentally changed me. I began drawing patterns about 18 to 20 hours a day. This is how my blog was named. Drawing became my sole focus. It was like a dam burst and suddenly I was free! My art wasn’t very mature (still isn’t) but it’s improving! Here’s the first thing I uploaded to Mosaic.

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This is called a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art). Meaning it’s a mix of patterns and ideas based on the Zentangle Method but not conforming to the structure and rules of it. Like adding color.

My next pivotal moment was reading Dr. and CZT, Ellie Miller’s blog post (tanglesxm.com) about the Zentangle Primer, vol. 1 and why it was the best Zentangle purchase she had made. I finally spent some precious cash and there, I truly began to understand the Zentangle®️ Method. It is a method and not just for drawing. My most important attitude shift happened with this beautiful book, whose dustcover had to be removed because I was using it constantly. 

My first Zentangle Primer lesson. wp-1489265276348.jpg

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My second try! After this, my addiction to Zentangle and art were permanent! After, buying Eni Oken’s books and joining Eni Oken’s Art Club, I am finally courageous enough to say “I’m an artist”. 

Last year, I experienced the tragedy of suicide, 3 times in 6 weeks. It was months before I was calm enough to draw, much less write this blog. I didn’t think I’d survive. But I kept trying, thanks to my counselor and the Zentangle community, I’m back and determined not to give up. My life is unrecognizable from last year at this time. It is always filled with adversity but I have managed to find my joy again thanks to Zentangle and the support I can always find with you, my dear readers! 💔 Thank you for making my life rich and full again. Each of you is dear to me!

This is my disclosure section: unfortunately, I now need one, but it is a sign of progress. 

I am currently an affiliate marketer for Amazon (US) but i hope to add the UK, CA, and DE.

I’m also an affiliate marketer for Eni Oken’s Art Club. 

What does affiliate marketing mean? Basically that I host ads for things I think are useful to the artistic community, or, as with Eni Oken’s Art Club, I may earn a small commission if you join art club using the link on my website, or make a purchase on Amazon using my link.

I am in the process of branding this website. Making choices in how I want it to look and be set up. Please give me your feedback if you love or hate anything. If something doesn’t work, I want to know so I can fix it! It will probably undergo several transformations before I’m happy with it. I would ask your patience for my growing pains. I want to switch to a business plan and I need to figure this out before I begin offering anything. Being an affiliate may help pay for some of my costs moving forward. 

Most important is to tell you that this site and blog are mine. The decisions on what to write and what to say are solely mine. Neither Amazon.com nor Enioken.com is responsible or liable in any way for my words or mistakes. All content is my responsibility alone.

Lastly, and most importantly, if you’re enjoying the posts here, please leave a like or a comment so I know how I’m doing! I’m very close to 15,000 views and I would love to reach that goal before January 1st, 2018.

Thanks to all my followers and readers! You make this worthwhile!

This picture is my pride and joy. Thank you Eni Oken for this amazing lesson! Tangled Dragons

Tangled dragon image by Cyndee Pelley

Milestones

I had to stop yesterday and breathe, and focus on accomplishments. I am normally frenetic about constantly creating at a high level (that’s a high level for myself not everyone else!) and pretty OCD about getting things done well and on time. Unfortunately, this means I get lost in the journey and forget about the big picture. Me and half the population, right!? Today was a big picture day for me. After slogging along for about 9 months this blog hit 3,000 views and today i had 100 views in about 8 hours. Seems silly but its nice to see your hard work realized even to a small scale.

I wouldn’t be here though, without the encouragement and support of the wonderful people in the Zentangle® Mosaic app, as well as the amazing group of artists and friends at Tangle It! Pattern Club on Facebook. Hmm, this sounds like a bad award dinner speech! Since I’m thanking the academy, let me give a nod first to Barb Masinton for the use of her beautiful art for this post! It’s nice not to need to prepare art for each post and quite honestly her art has been part of the reason my site traffic has been up. It’s simply spectacular! I also wanted to thank Dr. Ellie Miller (who’s off for CZT training next week, Gratz Ellie!🤗) of Tanglesxm.com and Write of Passage. She stuck with me thru a long time during which I couldn’t write or create. We found each other on WordPress then discovered we were both on Mosaic. Since that time, she’s been a true friend in her support and encouragement. Thank you Ellie! I cant forget Terri Delaune, CZT for your help with my pattern submissions. It helps having feedback! Dolly Bolen, CZT, Jody Genovese, CZT, and Sarah Fowler, each of whom have been encouragers, and all of whom created fabulous art using my Patterns so I would be able to showcase them in a variety of ways, thank you all! In honor of their impact on my life, here is some wonderful art by these wonderful ladies! Zentangle is amazing! Everyday, I get visitors from all over the world. April has been my most successful month yet. Thank you all!

Apcorg by Sarah Fowler
Apcorg by Terri Delaune,CZT
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Apcorg By Dolly Bolen,CZT ( a favorite!)

 

Apcross tiles by Terri Delaune, CZT (thank you so much!)
Tangled tile using Apcross by Terri Delaune, CZT
Apcorg by Dr Ellie Miller
Apcross by Dr Ellie Miller
(struggling with this WordPress iOS app. So the photos aren’t set in perfectly and I had 2 duplicates I couldn’t remove without starting over. My quick post changed into a nightmare but I’m still grateful!)

Attitude: Your Zen Starts Here 

Attitude

Our single greatest gift is the freedom to choose our attitude.

Your Attitude is more important than knowledge, education, background, wealth, position, talent or appearance.

It is even more powerful than what other people think, or say or do.

It will make or break a team…a company …a person…a relationship…a home.

I am convinced that life is 5% what happens to me and 95% how I choose to look and react to it.

And so it is with you! Your attitude is your choice! 

Ellen A. Miller 

If you can wrap your mind around this you’ll be way ahead in life. Choose to be positive! This is the way I survived 3 suicides this year and all the drama and pain that came with it. Sometimes when things are desperate it’s the only thing in your control. It seems trite but it’s true. 

Suicide, the Next Chapter

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Nothing could have prepared me for the last 6 weeks. Suicides took a son, a niece, and a dear friend. I haven’t begun to process the first much less the last. My life looked unbelievably bleak and empty. Then God or Karma or Fate intervened. This week I have a 6-year-old boy who has no one and who needs me. Being granted custody of this baby is an unbelievable blessing. Much of my stress has been my fear for him and what was happening to him. Worry about his support system after losing 2 parental figures has been constant. I am not allowed to post his pictures anymore but he is a beautiful soul. Such a sweet, bright and broken child. To be given this responsiblity is immense and yet I believe we will help heal each other. I am no longer sure what this blog is about, but we will find out as we go along. My art is still blocked and will be hard now to find time for but with the little guy we will be doing lots of creative projects.

All of our lives look different from the reality before July 4, 2016. I’m going to have to figure out OUR new reality now. We will remake our reality until we find our joy again.

Thanks for stopping here 🙂

Suicide Cluster?

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This lovely lady is Sherry. She and my Sean were in a year long relationship when he ended his life. This picture is from his funeral on July 10, 2016. Today, August 6, 2016, she was remembered in her own memorial service. Sherry ended her life on Sean’s grave August 2, 2016, leaving a 7 year old son with no parents after making me promise her I’d be here for her son and her mom “in case anything happens”.

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Sherry and Sean’s son Makai

There’s nothing left inside for me. I don’t know how to begin to express feelings about this. Except a lot of anger for her deciding her son “would be fine” without her. I don’t know how to do anything but stare at the wall. I have 4 unfinished blog posts. Many half-finished watercolors. I’m just filled with nothing and pain. Nothing and despair. Nothing and panic. Nothing and tears and nothing. How am I to be here for a child when I’m not here for myself. Everytime I close my eyes I’m waiting for the next person to quit. I don’t blame anyone. I don’t want to keep going either. I feel obligated to post, but don’t want to depress everyone. This is all I’ve got to share though. Nothing.

Simba Sliced! (My Future Mobility Dog; part 4)

I sent Simba out to the country 2 days ago so he could get some exercise with his sire, khan and sister, Athena.  This morning, the family called to say Simba had cut his paw, slicing his radial artery. A few stitches later and he was okay, though if the lady had not been forced home to change her clothes, he could’ve easily bled out. Every time I have that thought I cringe and die a bit inside. He is too closely tied to Sean and we only lost him 3 weeks ago. Sean’s sons that were here with me when we heard of Simba’s injury were panicking too. Makai told me he couldn’t lose Simba after losing daddy. Exactly how I feel about it!

Simba and Makai (brothers and best friends)
Makai was devastated when he heard of Simba’s injury.

Puppy Nala was sent to friends when Simba returned. She is relentless about playing and far too rough for a hurt Simba. Simba has been able to make it outside to potty and kept his food down. We will have to make sure he takes it easy for a few days before the dressing comes off.

Simba and Camden
Simba and Camden after the stressful vet visit.

All of this brought me back to yesterday’s post about expenses and reminded me how vital his health is to me now. And how expensive it will be. Time to do pet insurance before anything else happens! I was also very pleased with his treatment of the veterinarian and the vet tech. He was sweet and compliant and never showed a tooth or growled. That is wonderful information for me.  Further proof of his sweet nature and excellent temperament. The further down this road I go, the more anxious I’m getting about the huge responsibility. That said, I’ve always felt that Simba was worth something special and if I can do this, both our lives will be richer.

My Future Mobility Dog (part 3)

Simba, one year old German Rottweiler
Sweet Simba (luckily he still thinks he’s an indoor dog.

Part 3 in this journey (there’s going to be a lot more in this story) is about expense.  I said in my last post that I’d be looking for Simba to do his AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification. This is basically a series of easy tests to prove the dog is well behaved in public with both animals and people they don’t know. The only Oklahoma AKC club link on the AKC site doesn’t work, so of course, I Googled the evaluators in okc and ended up at my favorite training center, K9 University, home of Angel “the dog whisperer”. No surprise here! Angel’s training facility is first rate (they do police, military, drug, etc) and they can do the test $150.00 for a successful test.  Ok. That’s like 15% of my disability income.  But I can get it together.  I am also going to want a vest for him. It’s not legally necessary but because he’s a Rottweiler and will be seen as a threat I might get him a pink one with fluffy bunnies on it!  Then again, my son might haunt me for that! Hehehe… yeah the first issue was not to use one of these scam sites that sells service dog tags and fake registrations with vests.  I found 2 I liked. One actually quotes ADA law instead of promising you can take your dog with you “everywhere”. Their vests were all handmade to order in the USA which is a bonus. (I am not against imports but I am against us not owning our own country so yeah, I’ll happily buy American)  All their vests start about $60.00 US plus another maybe $30.00 for the appropriate patches  another $15.00 for the extra large size not to mention the various accoutrements required to make it work. I will also need to buy some sort of mobility harness which I also found a US Company that hand makes leather harnesses for Mobility dogs starting at about $400.00. Now I’m well on my way to a grand in expenses and I haven’t started to figure out his food budget and I won’t skimp. He will also need hip and joint tests to prove his health. Now, I could breed him but that goes against everything in my shelter volunteering ass. I cannot do that for money. Growth I’ll wait for but not this. 

Other financial considerations, pet insurance, joint supplements vaccinations, heartworm, flea, tick and mosquito treatments, cutting and I’m just getting started. Some of these financial obligations are the same no matter where I get the dog, some are going to be on me if I choose Simba. 

This is a huge decision that will require work, research and money aplenty to make it a reality.  And keeping with a reality based approach, reality is we have to teach him stay before I need to worry about all this! Stay tuned for the next episode of SIMBA, MOBILITY DOG!  

My Future Mobility Dog: ADA LAW (part 2)

Accepting the responsibility for training a service dog is even more intense than I thought.  Once  I had decided to train Simba as my Mobility dog. I began to look into what certifications were required for my state and the United States. I wanted to know what types of trainings were required to be certified as a service animal. To my shock and dismay, I found there are absolutely no regulations or laws regarding what a service dog must be trained to do in order to be called a service or assistance dog. Apparently, there are many sites out there that pretend or fraudulently sell service dog kits, service dog certifications, service dog collars, tags, registry or vests. When I looked into it, I found that none of these things are technically illegal but they give a false impression that the dog has been evaluated by some government agency, or have met some sort of criteria. The criteria is money! Under The Americans with Disabilities Act a service animal must perform some task or job that assists the disabled person. This is the only requirement necessary to call an animal a service animal. Any business may sell these items but it means nothing (except you’re out some cash.).  They’ve absolutely no authority in the registration or certification of service animals as there is no such authority. The best you can do is to check and see if the agency you are using for a service animal is registered with Assistance Dogs International. If it isn’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the training that your assistance dog will receive there is no good. Having one registered with ADI (Assistance Dogs International) is no promise of good training. And since I know many of you out there are thinking, my Fido can learn something then I can take him everywhere! Let me be clear, you must have a legitimate disability and needing emotional support alone from your dog isn’t considered service. The dog must DO something.

Next I want to address another concern. What about breed bans for Rottweilers, Pitbulls or other negatively stereotyped breeds. These bans do NOT affect service animals. A city or municipality can’t ban a service dog based solely on breed. That said, the dog must be under the handlers’ control at all times. So, I can decide how best to train Simba, but it’s also my responsibility to control his behavior. Hmmmm.I’ve got to get some good advice now on how best to proceed.  My biggest fear is doing something that will negatively impact the legitimate service dog community. I’m starting to realize the breadth of this undertaking. I’m going to get Simba’s AKC Good Citizen Certification first so any breed issues with behavior are addressed up front. I’ve gotten some great advice from several blogs. One is Al Brittain, the Dog Chief.  Another is called Actually Service Dogs. This blog is going to be an on going story of my journey with Simba. Come back and see what’s next for us!

Meet My Future Mobility Dog! (Part one)

This is Simba, he is a German Rottweiler, here at 5 weeks. He came from a litter of 10 and being the only male he was given a small dot on the head to differentiate him from the girls.

Simba, 5 weeks
5 week old German Rottweiler, Simba

At six weeks this boy never looked back. Just look at those paws! I knew he’d be a beast!

Simba, German Rottweiler, age 6 weeks
Simba 6 week old German Rottweiler
Simba, German Rottweiler, 10 weeks
Simba and Mari were already best friends

I spent the first month with him with  my hands and fingers in his mouth. I prefer to get the nibbling out of the way  before they can swallow you whole! Simba learned quickly and now at one year he is so gentle you can barely feel him take your arm. Simba was Sean’s puppy and he had to take him while he was renovating the house he would live in. That meant I got to keep Simba with me and begin basic training for the first 4 months. I knew he was exceptional from the start. Even then, I secretly wished for a dog like him for my mobility dog.

German Rottweiler, Simba and owner Sean.
Simba and owner Sean

At 4 months Sean’s family moved to the house in the country and Simba lived in dog heaven for awhile. Strong, caring owner and 4 boys to play with, Simba  reveled in the freedom to run down the block to where his dad lives and play. His sire, Khan, is just 2 years older than Simba and has plenty of  go left in him.

Simba at one year
Simba is in the middle with Khan in the red collar and Athena, Simba’s sister, in the back.
TUG-OF-WAR Rottweiler VS. Disabled
This is one of the ways Simba adapted so I could play with him.

Simba brings his toys up on the bed so I can play tug of war with him. Front paws on bed, back paws on the floor. Love this dog!

4 month old Simba
Gorgeous Simba sitting on my bed, 4 months old

When Sean died on July 4th, 2016, Simba was nearly killed by police for protecting his body.  He was so fierce that friends who knew him were afraid.  Since Sean’s death, Simba has been back with me. He’s not the same and it took me about 2 weeks to figure out he’s been waiting for Sean to come and take him home. He’s been visiting his dad for the kind of rough play only big dogs can handle. But I was still faced with how to help him.

Simba and Makai
These 2 boys have a very special bond. The adoration is definitely mutual!

I was told a story about a Rottweiler who was ex-military.  When his handler died he was adopted by an older man who wasn’t active.  The dog steadily declined until the man took him to a handler/ trainer and was told he could easily adapt but needed a job to be happy.  The man trained the dog to retrieve his paper in the morning then sat waiting as the man read each page. When finished he would place each page on the floor and the dog would take it and throw it away.  The dog then returned and waited for the next page.  Apparently this was enough of a job for the Rottweiler who settled in happily thereafter.

This story just clicked in my head and I realized I had the perfect solution. Since I have still not had an initial interview with the service dog agency, I started asking questions and after the funeral one of Sean’s friends in Colorado, who is a handler, offered to do Simba’s initial service dog training.  He has a pure pitbull at home who will love Simba.  I believe sending Simba to Colorado will change his scenery and routine enough that he’ll adjust and be much happier.

I haven’t yet spoken to the service dog agency but all involved feel they will accept him more easily if he has already finished his basic training.  This may be a “hand of God” outcome I never could have expected. I am hoping there will be shared healing all around. wp-1469080618553.jpg

(After spending a lot of time researching, I realized how much I don’t know. Stay tuned for part 2, which will focus on the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES Act and laws regarding service animals)