It’s a String Thing Challenge 231 with Eni Oken’s Blue Sky

I’m finally caught up enough to do the It’s a String Thing challenge this week! Luckily, Eni Oken released a new Blue Sun video lesson the day after the challenge came out and they dovetailed perfectly! Here’s the string with inspiration from the Olympics. The 3 tangles were Golven ( G for gold), Sand Swirl (S for silver) and Barney ( B for Bronze). I’m not sure my tile kept the idea of the Olympics or not but the string was perfect for the Blue Sun lesson from Eni Oken! I used a Bristol vellum tile and a mixture colored pencil and Sakura Pigma Micron and Sakura gelly roll Moonlights. It’s another great lesson for Art Club!

I haven’t been very plugged into Facebook lately, mostly due to behind the scenes work on a new Freeform Celtic Knot Tutorial. It’s almost ready and will include a free pdf with extra Knot configurations! I’m pretty excited to teach it as it has quickly turned very zenful to draw for me. Be sure to check back soon!

Happy Mail and a Look Back

Hello everyone! I’m so glad to be back writing this year and nothing can boost your spirits like happy Mail! For me, happy mail has 2 important parts. First, it can’t be a bill! I think that’s on everyone’s list! And secondly, it’s meaningful in some way.

Last year, I participated as much as possible in Adele Bruno’s “It’s a String Thing” challenges each week. If you follow this blog, you know I struggle with courageously posting art that isn’t up to my ridiculously perfect standards. I’m getting better about it  and mail like this is one of the reasons I’m feeling more confident about doing that. I had forgotten completely that 2 of my tiles last year won “best in show” in Adele’s Challenges. This happening was the very first time my art had been recognized in any way, and although it’s not about showing off or being the best, it is about recognizing the effort and attention to detail that goes into the art.

My mail this week included 2 lovely certificates hand-lettered by Adele! These are totally getting framed so that I  remember that creative courage is important and rewarding! It also reminded me hiw much artistic growth I experienced in 2017!

Here are my 2 certificates with the tiles that earned best in show! Always remember that courage is rewarded. I can’t wait to see what we all come up with in 2018! Be courageous! Take the leap and post your art! It might surprise you what happens!


Diva Challenge 343 and It’s a String Thing challenge 221

I have finally managed to get my Diva Challenge and my It’s a String Thing Challenge all finished this week just in time to be late! It’s a very busy time of year for everyone! So I’ll jump right in! 

The Diva challenged us, last week, to do a tile featuring the new Tangle from, Dewd. I love this tangle and took to drawing it first time out. If you want to find the step-out the link is here.

Dewd tangle on black tile
My first dewd tile from project pack 01


My dewd tile from last week.


Diva-challenge 343


 It’s a String Thing Challenge 221.

Here’s Adele Bruno’s string for last week’s challenge #221.


Iast 221 string
String 221

Iast221 tile


A new artist focus post will be out this week so please check back soon!



It’s a String Thing #218 and Diva Challenge #339


It’s been a crazy week with mom stuff putting the challenges a bit behind. Therefore, I’m going to combine my tiles this week into a single post.

First, the Diva Challenge 339. This week we were challenged to do a fall themed tile. I did Gourdgeous a Zentangle® original, of course, and Helen Williams’ leaflets, as well as a few Joki. Honestly, I wasn’t excited by my results but here’s diva challenge tile #339.



Next, it’s a String Thing challenge #218. Here’s the string. 


Only 2 tangles were chosen this week, Drawings, a Zentangle® original, and Adele Bruno’s own O.


Now I was thinking, practice more with black for this one. 😀 Yes I should have stayed with white. But i lost myself in whimsy, got out my Sakura stardust gel pens. These are special glitter pens. Instead of adding glitter to the ink like most glitter pens, Sakura uses a super fine ground glass. It makes them smoother and are easier with which to draw and write. The glass makes the shine gorgeous and they don’t soak or bleed through like so many. My favorite feature is how quick to dry they are.



Check back on Monday for the new Artist Focus, England’s Philippa Napper! 



It’s a String Thing #217

In case you dont know what candy corn is, it’s a chewy candy made shaped like corn kernels. Colored yellow at the bottom, then orange and white on top, it’s traditionally seen during Halloween.  At, Adele Bruno is a fan of candy corn. To read Adele’s post on the candy’s history, check out her blog entry from 2014 here. This week’s It’s a String Thing string is based on this candy’s shape. Seen below is Adele’s string.


I did the purple on an extra distress ink tile I had first, then realized I was completely missing the point. So, the orange, yellow and white above was my 2nd try. I like the purple best! 

The next Artist focus has been delayed due to unforeseen family circumstances (by my next 3 people!). Here’s hoping everyone is feeling better, back home, and not so swamped at work. Check back soon because they are worth the wait!

Journey into Art


When I began this post, I had a completely different direction in mind, but the more I wrote, the more it morphed into what it is.  I want to share with you something encouraging to me. In the Facebook groups centering around the Zentangle® Art form, there is always a pivotal moment when new artists finally start to post their art publicly that requires a courageous first step to overcome the fear of artistic rejection. Art is intensely personal and this type of rejection can hurt the soul. This is a much discussed topic and comes up over and over in these groups. I’ve been in Eni Oken’s Art Club about 5 months. I’ve been posting about Art Club here on for awhile and this weekend, when I posted my latest lesson art on Facebook in the Art Club dedicated group, it occurred to me to compare my first published tiles and the ones A.E. (After Eni) 😁 The next few images are my art from a year ago right after I started blogging. This was about 3 months after I began drawing in hopes of doing something productive to break depression. 




I was a beginner. It’s not awful, but as if I were in middle school! Though the kids could probably outdraw me! Move forward about 7 months March – May, 2017 still just before I added Art Club. At this time, I purchased the Zentangle ® Primer, volume 1. Everything changed for me with that book. I finally understood the point of Zentangle isn’t the art but the meditative state you reach with pattern practice of each unhurried stroke. Beautiful art is simply a wonderful by-product  I started this blog a year ago after being fundamentally changed by The Zentangle ® Method, created and nurtured by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Find the answers you are seeking at! (I sound like I drank the kool-aid…and perhaps I have!) My point is, I began posting my art in a public blog, not in our caring, safe online groups! This is why my tagline is “Creativity takes Courage” by Henri Matisse. It took so much courage for me to take that step and post my very crude beginning art. It will be a year and a half since I picked up my yellowed sketch book from 1976. Then I did what many of us did, used and and shamelessly for their wonderful free resources and practiced (and practiced and…), finally discovering the peace and mental and physical Zen in the drawing of these “tangles”.








I LOVE Jody Genovese’s lovely Patience Tangle! Find the step-out in the menu above. I bought Eni’s ebook Shading Fearlessly just before doing the above. Big difference! 






I see great improvement! I’m pretty happy with my progress. Honestly, I should have done this comparison long ago because I’m really encouraged! Here are some of my better tries since joining Art Club and here’s where I am learning be brave and say “I’m an artist!” The picture captions tell which of Eni’s lessons I was working on while drawing each piece of art (I can’t believe I just called them art!).

Shading Tiny Details/crazy detail aqua fleur

Let me just say Eni Oken has no idea I’m doing this post, I am simply passionate about Art Club and it’s my blog! I’m allowed to gush if I want! I think her lessons have greatly changed my artistic understanding and growth!

Tangled Letters



Tangled Words and Shading Fearlessly (this was Adele’s best of show at It’s a String Thing the week her blog hit 1 million views! I was beyond honored! When I look at this though, I am worrying about how the word is scrunched and doesn’t have enough contrast to be clearly read. Self doubt is a sickness! 😗)


Tangled Words, Dream Big (this is my favorite made for my son)

My message to myself and to all who read this is not to worry about being perfect, best or comparing your work! Trust the process! Stop worrying about perfection and the level of others’s art. This is impossible but we are works in progress as well! Adele Bruno says she’s a reformed perfectionist and I love that description! I’m attending perfectionists’ anonymous right now in an attempt to get help! Thanks Adele! I frequently get meaningful bits of personal growth from your blog! The Zentangle ® Primer volume 1 changed the game for me. It’s described as CZT training in a beautiful book! I agree completely (but my dream is still to be a CZT myself. Physical barriers and financial obligations may not allow that dream but this book is a great substitute!) Honestly, I wish I’d bought the primer first but when the pennies count we do what we must. There are hundreds of amazing books out there, but if I did it again the primer would be my first purchase (after the new sketchpad and Pigma Micron of course!). Look at what practice, a few basic supplies, and some zen can do in a year and a half!  I wonder how relaxed and satisfied I’ll be in another year? To quote little Bijou, “breathe, slow down, gratitude and appreciation!” Smart Snail! (Bijou’s fan-page is found at!)


If anyone is interested in sharing your art progressions please email me  at I’d love to post them here. I’m proof you can be an artist, even when you don’t believe it yourself! Thank you for your visit and check back soon for the new Artist Focus!

It’s a String Thing 213

Welcome to! It’s time for Adele Bruno’s It’s a String Thing challenge for this past week. This week we were given a simple string, seen here, and then a single tangle to use. This week’s tangle was Fassett by Lynn Mead, CZT.

I love doing monotangles (simply using one tangle) because it removes some anxiety about how to combine the tangles and helps me to focus on pen strokes and zen, which is the point right?

This week’s string: 


And here is my IAST 213 entry!

If you are interested in joining Adele’s It’s a String Thing challenge, and would like to participate then visit Adele’s site,, click on the It’s a String Thing button on my website which will take you there! 

Stay in touch as I’ve got a wonderful post coming up next week featuring our friend and “resident gem queen”, Amanda Rose Rambo! She has some spectacular faceted gems to show, as well as featuring some before and after pictures of her student’s work. You dont want to miss it!

It’s a String Thing #212

Adele Bruno was in the path of the latest hurricane to hit Florida. After finally receiving their electricity back and other services she was back this week with It’s a String Thing challenge #212. This week’s string is pictured above and the 3 tangles used were:

Wrapped by CZT Gale Sherman (stepout)

Danzer by Prairie Kitten (stepout)

Ok-Rah bt CZT Lisa Buckley (stepout)


I really liked the tangles but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t manage to find my zen and both of these were a disappointing mess! But here is my confusing picture of both tries together.


It’s a String Thing Challenge #210


I am beyond thrilled to be blogging again and to have weathered this latest stressful time! It was so comforting to know I had my drawing and tangles as well as the Zentangle® community. One of the most helpful and awesome things that encouraged me to come out of my shell was a visit/tangle session from my local CZT, Laura Story. It was my first time tangling with another person and my first true Zentangle ® Method lesson from an expert! She was so encouraging and sharing tangling with someone meant a great deal to me! Less than 2 weeks later, I published my first post in 3 months and then my new pattern Marito that I was lucky enough to share with her. How true to the heart of the Zentangle spirit this was! And I know that most of you would do the same were we local to each other. Laura is an amazing representative of CZTs (Certified Zentangle Teacher) and one of the benefits of Rick Roberts’ and Maria Thomas’ Method is the warm support of it’s community. Thank you Laura and thanks to all the wonderful CZTs and artists out there in the world that make the Zentangle® Method what it is! ❤️🌺

You may be wondering what this has to do with It’s a String Thing? I was enjoying Adele Bruno’s (It’s a String Thing HQ) site and reading about some of the projects she does with local tanglers. I often wish I could sit in classes with all the CZTs because I think you would learn something new from each of them. Adele also did a wonderful series of articles about her trip to Fabriano, Italy where the original Zentangle tiles are made. She is a pleasure to read and a talented artist! The first post today was celebratory as she has passed one million views! Wow! As my blog is still small, I understand what a huge honor that is! It got me thinking about CZTs and how I wanted to take a class from Adele but how grateful I am to Laura for her visit. So, I blame Adele Bruno for this love fest! 😄😇 I love her blog and you can visit her at and see what I mean!

This week’s It’s a String Thing challenge string is filled with round Os representing her million views. Here’s cheers to you Adele, thanks for your weekly challenge and for being who you are! ⭐️

Here are the 3 tangles for this week!

Lollywimple by Sandy Hunter

Purk by Maria Thomas

Jetties by Maria Thomas

Unfortunately, I have been busy this weekend and couldn’t finish my tile in time to submit it to Adele for publishing, but this tile is in honor of her 1 million hits!

It’s a String Thing #195

It’s a String Thing challenge this week included a special treat for me! The challenge features my good friend and artist, Sarah Fowler’s “Strutz” pattern. I’ve played with it many times but never completed a tile featuring Strutz. Of course, being in a pretty big artistic slump made forcing the tiles uncomfortable. That said, I love her pattern and its hollibaugh effect. It’s funky bends and embellishment possibilities make it lots of fun to play with. Sarah is an amazing artist and such a positive person, it was a real pleasure to feature her art and story on my blog a few weeks back! 

Strutz was a perfect fit for this week’s string and it works great with Maria Thomas’ Printemps. I’m hopeful I can relax enough to get next week’s tile finished before Saturday night!