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Monday, December 7, 2015

On the sixth day of Christmas, Bijou presented to me . . .


. . . a treasure for my Christmas tree.


BREATHE

Molly writes:
We all breathe. All ages, all cultures – with help or without – we all do it. It is a vital component of each moment of all of our daily lives. We all take in little bits of the air around us and then release it back into our environments and then do it over and over again.

A simple breath can nurture and awaken the body and soul. It can bring perspective and awareness. However, in the rush and stress of life, our breaths can become short and almost forgotten. A slow deep breath can heal and bring focus – it can even give you strength.


Sometimes a simple reminder to breathe isn't so much about just taking a breath, but rather to bring a little focus to how we are breathing. With that awareness, our breath rate slows down a tad. We allow each breath to completely fill our being and then ever so slowly release it all. It is a gentle reminder to, "Stop and smell the roses," and to see and appreciate where we are.


When I first started tangling, I often found myself holding my breath and gripping my pen as if it were about to flee. As I continued my practice, I became aware of this and made it a priority to remind myself to stop every now and then and take a deep breath. Then, I began incorporating more focus into my breathing as I drew.

It took a while, but I finally noticed my grip more relaxed. I found myself taking my time and enjoying each stroke – stopping here or there to regroup and then begin again.


Breathing is such a wonderful tool, one that we all have with us to use and to guide us through our journey.

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Maria created today's treasure with beads and baubles, ribbon and string, two tangled Bijou tiles, a Bijousim, a Bijou tin, and her ever-present double sided tape!

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Our winning commenters from yesterday's blog, (On the fifth day of Christmas):

  •   carowild
  •   vicki walsh
  •   gaga4graphix
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Above winners, please send us your snail mail address to Zentangle [at] gmail [dot] com.

Many thanks for all your wonderful comments!

Rick, Maria, Bijou and Molly

89 comments:

Holly Moseley said...

I love reusing tins for gifts, adding my own decorations, especially Zentangles. Often I draw directly on the tin (using the Identipen); now I will try using the Bijou tiles. Wonderful!

- Holly

DS said...

This is by far my favourite decoration. I'm enjoying all the days! They are very motivating!

Caroline Mann said...

I have been loving these posts! Glad to know that the pen-grip-of-death and holding one's breath is not just a 'me' thing :) I too am working on that as I continue my art. Thank you!

Jennifer Matthaei Cottrell said...

being a yoga teacher, as well as, a CZT (12), i know and love the importance of breath...i love to tangle :-)

Art and Light said...

This is such a fun adventure. Thanks for doing this.

Paula (PEP) said...

Your posts are really making me think - & consider the importance of being aware as I'm drawing.
Thank you.
Paula (PEP)

kksolliday said...

So lovely, and a sentiment that is becoming my mantra.

Ellen said...

I love to take time "to smell the roses" because the only way ou can do that is by taking a deep breath. Being aware of my breath helps me to deal with stress situations.

Michele Wynne said...

So funny, I was just thinking about this today while drawing one of my challenge tiles. It was not really flowing until I got up a took a deep breath. I sat back down and it worked!

1 Art Lady Kate, Tangles and More said...

I often remind my students to breathe, but often forget to do it myself! Great little wee box!

Nancy Roth said...

I love the size and the message of Bijou. slow down.

Petrified Peep Eater said...

OK, "Breathe" so important! and yes i do tense up and put too much pressure on myself. But what I really loved about today's gift...
is that I can take just a snippet of some tangling and "focus" on the beauty of that little section..

Thanks! this series is truly amazing !

Ken Claypool said...

I will have to remind myself to slow down....focusing on my breathing might just help with that. I really like the little elf with the bijou ornament.

Jennifer Postley said...

A great little ornament/surprise to go with yesterdays. Recipients could keep the box to save little treasures in all year long.

Melissa Cahn said...

Breathe and be easy in your mind and tangle on!
Love the re-use of the small tin, just right for a little surprise inside.

stitchinRN said...

What a great reminder. I am learning that my breathing assists me in my meditation. I had been very amiss in concentrating on 'breath' but find that a calmness comes when I purposely concentrate on the Breath.
Thank tou,

MartyG said...

What a great reminder. I took a deep breadth when I read it and I could feel tension leaving my shoulder.

Bonnie Feather said...

Thank you Molly for your reminder to breathe! I've been making some gifts for special friends lately, and the arthritis in my hands has really been kicked up a notch! Along with breathing and slowing down, it has reminded me to loosen my grip on the pen. I can work longer with less pain, and sometimes a looser grip also allows my mind to flow with the designs that appear in the tangles as well as allowing the pen to glide more easily along the paper.

As always,
Thanks for Zentangle!

Michelle Doyle said...

Adorable! And what a great reminder!

Maxine said...

The knowledge that God is breathing us is so powerful. Each and every prayer I say or give, Begins with; Take a breath a deep breath, go to your center now and find the peach. So it is with drawing as well. it begins with Breath. I definitely want to make bijou-isms for my tree.Thanks so much for the inspiration.

Debbie Thingvold said...

My brother had back surgery today so I took my tangling tiles and pens for the long wait. My sister in law watched me draw and turn the tile and shade and look at it pensively. Eventually she thought I was done and asked if I was happy. I said yes but I plan to add more here and here and here. You see it is about the journey not the end result. She laughed.

Charlene said...

Love today's hint to breathe. I notice as I breathe and relax, my tangles come out better! My lines don't look so forced, and curves look more natural. I will have to be more creative about reusing tins...these ornaments are so precious.

Catherine Langsdorf said...

Another wonderful post. Love the little elf. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Linda Dochter said...

Do you know that deep breathing noticeably lowers one's blood pressure? Just sayin'

Lori said...

I'm enjoying this series of reveals and the use of upcycling. Is the suave elf holding the tin the mature older brother of Elf on the Shelf?!?!

Laura Carpenter said...

Whoo hoo! Woke up this morning breathing! Always a good thing! LOL ;-)

Laura Oldham said...

The power of the breath is so often taken for granted or forgotten. Thank you for this reminder!

Melodie Jae Bradford said...

Thank you for this gift of life!! I mean that literally. I have dangerously high (had 2 strokes by age 45) blood pressure & my body does not like medicine. Your wonderful art of Zentangling has calmed me helped me lower my pressure & keep it down. I enjoy tangling immensely!! I would be over the moon to win a "Bijou" gift!! He is my hero!!
Thank you again, Jae Bradford

Angelia Lanouette said...

Thank you for reminding me to breathe and to relax the death grip I have on my pen! :D

Donna Pilato said...

Great reminder of the benefits of breathing mindfully. Love the little elf!

Lynnita Knoch said...

Another cute ornament and great Bijouism. I, too, need to concentrate on my breathing or I tend to hold my breath while drawing. Good reminder!

Lynnita Knoch said...

Another cute ornament and great Bijouism. I, too, need to concentrate on my breathing or I tend to hold my breath while drawing. Good reminder!

Melody (lacyquilter) said...

Great ornaments.

brenda shaver shahin said...

Love these little tins and Breathe is a perfect word for this time of year! Merry Christmas!

Onefineteacher said...

Taking time to slow down, relax, and breathe is a great Zentangle practice and also something to keep in mind during this busy holiday season! Thanks for the reminder and the lovely ideas!

Yvonne Westover said...

That's is an excellent reminder.... To breath.... Funny how bodies do things when we don't!!! Breath... Loosen the pen grip... On stroke at a time!!! Love you guys!!

Phyllis C said...

Thanks for reminding us to slow down and "smell the roses". In this fast pace world, we need a reminder once in a while.

Nupur said...

Basic yet hard to do sometimes

elianna987 said...

Another wonderful use of bijou and even the container they come in. Very nice.

Debbie Butterfield, CZT 19

Carol Graham said...

Love the little elf!

Cathrine n said...

Breathing is definitely key! Love the little elf.

Rhonda Miller said...

Thank you for your post. I needed the reminder to slow down.

Quwatha Valentine said...

I take a deep breath every morning when I awake and am thankful for a new day.

Dorian said...

I love the element of surprise inside the little box.

Lady Dragoness said...

Yet another excellent idea for using a Bijou tin and tiles. Love the little elf holding the tin, also.

lishamarie said...

Another recycle project! Yes! I tell my students all the time just breathe! And you shouldn't have muscle failure gripping the pen. Great advice

JJ said...

Slowing down and Breathing are one of my issues... nice to know I'm not the only one!

Taz42 said...

Bijou is an extremely wise little fellow! Thank you for forwarding his advice.

Sarah Hluchy said...

Took some time out today to tangle some Christmas cards, it was fun :)

Lynn Jarrett said...

This is another great idea!! I just purchased some black obsidian beads and silver beads a few weeks ago. They will be perfect for this project. Thank you for another neat gift idea.

Mamie P. said...

Thank you for this reminder, Miss Molly! Breathe, relax, enjoy ~~ something I need to focus on when doing anything! I love these wonderful ideas and the Bijou-isms that go with them. Pleasant dreams and awakenings to you.

Anne's tangle blog said...

Last night I was trying to new tangle 'African Artist' for the Challenge of this week and I just couldn't' do it. And ... yes my breathing was high and absolutely not relaxed. After reading your post I realize that and will try again in full awareness of my breathing. If it will help to master this tangle? We'll see.
I'm glad you reminded me anyway!

Wendy said...

More loveliness !

Linda Mondloch said...

Charming creations. Love the reminders to breath in life. I tend to grip my pen and hold my breath. Working on it all.

Jan Brandt said...

I love the simple, basic truths the most ... yes ... just breathe!! Thank you for the reminder. I needed that! :)

Jan Brandt said...

I love the simple, basic truths the most ... yes ... just breathe!! Thank you for the reminder. I needed that! :)

Marieke van Nimwegen said...

I have learned myself to take a breathe every time I am drawing one line of my Zentangle, then take a moment rest and let it go before I draw the next line. This really works well to relax but also to focus on my work. This way every Zentangle become a beautiful meditative experience.
Awesome series of blogs your offering us this Advent time! Thank you so much for that!

anotherid4me said...

"BREATHE" is a mantra I use regularly. It's a wonderful way to focus, shift thinking, whatever is needed in the moment

Sue Sharp said...

These Bijouisms and way you are presenting them are so inspirational and motivating! Breathe is probably the one I use the most for students, and I have it posted on my fridge!

Christine Dearinger said...

I need to remember to breathe. I'm always rushing and feeling the everyday stress of life. I will have some time to myself today and I'll do my best to stay mindful and in the present, just relaxing with my pens, pencils and tiles!

Dawn Price said...

I may try this idea with a small jewelry gift box, ribbons, and baubles, and tangles! Another nice idea today. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Lovely message and ornament. Jackie S CZT XIII

Lucy said...

Why is something so simple so difficult to practice sometimes? Thanks for encouragement and reminder!

Makkaroo said...

Amazing isn't it that we require a reminder to breathe!! Thanks for the reminder, Bijou!

Anonymous said...

The little tin is fabulous, what a great idea. I love unusual ornament.

Elizabeth Card said...

My favorite Bijouism!

Ginny Stiles said...

Breathing is part of the ceremony of Zentangle.
I find it the hardest to demonstrate, strangely, because I feel that people who do yoga know how to breathe better than I do. I know deep breaths everyone can do and that we all breathe too shallowly most of our lives and that deep breaths also make you more clear headed. It actually also helps your posture to breathe deep. And if you stand tall you look thinner. (REALLY would I kid you?) So Bijou can make you look thinner. Hahaha. But it's true.

Laurie Patterson said...

You guys are so inspiring. Thanks.

Michele Emerson-Roberts said...

Greetings,
Once again your posts so often hit home with me....THANK YOU!
Love and light,
Michele

Gerri Hanus said...

Yes, the pen flows so much better when I breathe. And adding that reminder to a tangle is such a simple addition!

JAMIE HERRON said...

Yes, yes, yes! Breathe. One can never have too many reminders! And, another wonderful treat and fabulous idea for decorating my Bijou tins!

Dana Jones said...

I especially appreciate this reminder at a time when I have felt really overwhelmed by my life circumstances. I was so upset yesterday that I thought I was about to pass out! My 12 yr old daughter came over to me, put her hands on my shoulders, and said, "Mama, u need to calm down, and just breathe for a few minutes." She was so right. I was actually out of breath. I am so thankful I found this site, and this impressive art form to help me cope with the daily struggle we call life.

Dana Jones said...

I especially appreciate this reminder at a time when I have felt really overwhelmed by my life circumstances. I was so upset yesterday that I thought I was about to pass out! My 12 yr old daughter came over to me, put her hands on my shoulders, and said, "Mama, u need to calm down, and just breathe for a few minutes." She was so right. I was actually out of breath. I am so thankful I found this site, and this impressive art form to help me cope with the daily struggle we call life.

Ester Massuger said...

I recognise this... Sometimes when you try too hard a hobby stops being relaxing. It's good to have this reminder, hey it's only a hobby, just breathe.

JanLo said...

Love the little Bijou tins. Now I have a couple of great ideas for their use. Thanks. Beautiful.

Pat Floerke said...

This is another of the many words of zentangle wisdom that are so true not only while tangling but throughout life. Thanks again for the reminder, and may we all really remember!

Andrea said...

Keep the great ideas coming!

Anne said...

I too have difficulty gripping the pen too tightly. I'll try mindful breathing and see if it helps. Thanks for the reminder.

pulverschwein said...

As a yoga teacher I just brought the essence and importance of deliberate breath message to my students this morning, it is wonderful to get home and be re-inspired by that very message! It's a beautiful day!

twin410 said...

You are so right about the word breath.
That's what helps with creativity and acceptance.
Wonderful surprise inside the tin.
S

Pam Truitt said...

No matter what I am doing when your beautiful thoughts and Zentangles come in to my email I stop and breathe. Thank you Molly for putting this into words for us!! And thank you Maria for the lovely designs!
You always make my day go better!!! Pam CZT18

CZT Cris said...

That is so perfect. I just bought pre-made ornaments that are perfectly sized for Bijou, but this is better because of the potential for secret messages on the inside. Or even a small gift. How fun! Happy Holidays to you both and thanks for sharing your creativity.

Mgoosen said...

Thank you for the inspiration and positive comments. Stress relieving indeed. Mlgoosen. Mldorr@usa.com

deleted said...

What a wonderful gift it is to breathe with intention. We take all the wonder in, and we exhale pain, frustration, and anger. This is a great way to remind us that we are not here simply to survive. <3
May the holidays be filled with all the wonder you and yours can breathe in!

Mary B. said...

Thank you for the reminder to breathe and relax. It's so appreciated at this time of year. Cute tin decoration.

Natureluvr57 said...

Beautiful as always and I love the little "helper"

Mindy Shapiro said...

Awesome and creative. Very special gift.

Lucy said...

This series brings comfort and joy! Thank you.

RoosterRat Design said...

Nice post. I've been seeing these Zt's popping up for a while now. I thought it was okay because 40 years ago I would turn sheets of notebook paper into "ZenTangles', but much more intricate and detailed. Who knew? I basically did them just how your method says to so I'm glad I did it before you patented it.. :)
Since i cant do any like these anymore without putting my lawyer back on retainer, can y'all point me in some direction to some sites that have "Big-Boys Zentangles":Theres a little on DeviantArt but I reckon y'all are the Inventors of this magical Doodle. If not, no biggie, and I'll just start another site..I have 10 websites paid for and doing nothing for me.
I figure it'll be cool to "up-the-ante" a little. Like I said before, this will be dip pens and wells of ink. 5 nuetral, and 1 tint or shade from Cyan,Magenta, & yellow. The abstractness stays the same, but the GOAL is to turn all that abstract wasteland into a masterpiece. Think about teams too. Just the choice of instrument and media makes these pieces amazing. With no subject outlawed, except for primal sex, violence, and hatred, We really do meditate if we can draw a gun or stilleto high heel, hidden in the reflections. Bonus Points for that!
If you've heard of anything out there, I'd appreciate a tip....Not counting on it.. Have fun tanglin...
RoosterRat