Welcome to BLOG Zentangle. To learn about Zentangle, visit our website, read our free newsletters, take a class with a local Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), and best of all . . . create your own!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When's the last time . . .

. . . you did something for the First Time?

It seems a silly question, but it's fun to ponder. . .
  • The first time I went up in a hot air balloon comes to mind . . . (with my daughter Molly and my sister Sue in Mexico). 
  • The first time I ate an oyster (I preferred the hot air balloon!)
  • My first time in Paris
  • My first time in Paris for the second time :-)
  • The first time I got up in front of a big crowd to talk about Zentangle (over 100 calligraphers) 
  • 10 years ago, when I went on my first date with Rick
  • This morning, when I created . . .
Then I asked the girls in the Zentangle office.

Sarah said, "Going to the cocktail party here Saturday night!" (That was fun. We invited friends, family, staff and suppliers to our home to meet and get to know each other.)

Mary Lou said she had made a lemon mousse recently for a party for the first time and, thankfully, it came out great.

Daughter #1, Martha, who also works here said she and her husband had just kidnapped their young rooster (or would that be chick-napped?) and were bringing it to a nearby farm because it was causing a ruckus in their neighborhood. A first for her!

Rick writes:
Learning Morse Code. It's not yet second nature for me and I must pay close attention to each character. I've learned that if I don't recognize a character right away I need to let it go and just listen for the next one. If I try to get each character perfect, I miss the next few letters while pondering the one I didn't recognize instantly. Then, instead of missing one letter, I miss 5 or 10. Hmm, I sense a metaphor!

Maria continues:
So, what does this have to do with Zentangle?

Do you remember the first time you created a Zentangle tile? We hear from folks all over the world, saying "I just discovered Zentangle and I am hooked!" It seems to have a very profound effect on people the first time . . . life changing.

So, dear friends, what was your experience when you experienced Zentangle for the first time? We'd love to hear your stories.


For that top mobile, I gathered some of my and Rick's completed square tiles (top), ATC tiles (middle), and Zendala tiles (bottom). I folded them in half and then stuck their backs together – half of one to half of the ones on either side. Doing the ATCs was fun because I folded them diagonally and they formed a new pattern as they came together.

I'm looking forward to when we can open our porch windows and watch this spin in the breeze!

We'll send one of our commenters one of these blank ones which I made with double-sided tape, ribbon, string, and Zentangle tiles.

Click images for larger views.


TToon said...

Well...I have a story, which is funny, but I related this to Ellen Darby CZT from Cleveland. I discovered her website and took her series of classes on Zentangle. The following is the email I sent to her today. :)

Hello Ellen!

I have a story :)

I had listed a 3M overhead projector on Craigslist sometime ago. A very persistant lady :) kept asking me about it and wanted to know if I get up to Cleveland much because she was very interested in purchasing this overhead projector. She said she lived in Lakewood. Well, I was born in Cleveland and have family there, so yes I do make my Cleveland runs..but not so much to Lakewood...Our 40th wedding anniversary was coming up and my husband told me he picked out a restaurant and made reservations...it was in LAKEWOOD at the Pier W. I told the prospective buyer of my projector that yes I would be in the Lakewood area on the 23rd of March. We met..at the Carlisle apartments NEXT to Pier W. Amazing..I'm sure you know who I am referring to :) Judy Montgomery. Anyway, she asked me if I had ever heard of Zentangle and said no. She said she wanted the projector to teach Zentangle. We went home and I did a little research on computer about Zentangle and have been addicted since!! I found Judy's site and she mentioned your name..I found your site and the classes. I took all three of the classes you offered. I even purchased the Zentangle kit and book. It's hopeless...I LOVE Zentangle. I have attached pics from following your class, from tangles I saw in books and I love the Zendala's and tried one. I love calligraphy so I purchased Joann Fink's book on letters and put a couple within the borders I did in your class. Thanks. I love your classes and hope you do more. Have a great day and never give up. :) treeoflifedesigns@yahoo.com

Ellen said...

I remember the first time I heard about Zentangle. And the 3 times after that. Because that made me wanne become a CZT. And I did. I travel to the US and spend some days in a cold and snowy Boston, before I took a cab to an amazing week of sharing and fun and learning. I made so many wonderful friends, learned the amazing art of Zentangle. Looking back I still feel blessed. Thank you!

Lois Stokes said...

It was one of those events when you are searching the internet and stumble upon something that catches your attention. I landed on Zentangle.com and the pattern of my life was forever changed. I found myself snared by a string and the tangles found within it.

My husband Earl saw my excitement and purchased a kit as a Christmas gift. I could not wait for the kit to arrive and I must admit that my first Zentangle tile was not an official one. I could not stop drawing.

The moment of awareness arrived when I put pen to paper on the official tile that came in the kit. I was embraced by the quality and care that Rick and Maria put into the creation of this method and the materials that they used. My first tile will be forever remembered as a gateway into a new world filled with wonder and awe.

Ginny Stiles said...

I remember the FIRST time I held my FIRST grandchild. Wow. That was so amazing! And every one of them has been amazing since (now there's 12!)

I remember my FIRST watercolor painting. (I still have it). The instructor had us paint a crinkled brown paper bag using one color. It wasn't half bad. I knew I was on to something here!

I still have my FIRST Zentangle. Not very exciting one but very "satisfying". I knew I was on to something there too.

Marcia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcia said...

I am so in love with this art form and process that I'm coming to CZT seminar in June and can't wait. I feel great joy and satisfaction with each tile from the very first one I did to the most recent. And I love to share this whole experience with others - seeing the joy they experience when they try it too. Thank you Maria and Rick for creating such a marvelous experience for all of us. Marcia at marciasdesignstudio dot com

Dilip Patel said...

Coincidentally, 'When was the last time that you did some thing for the first time?' is one of my training modules looking for how often people respond to new challenges/opportunities/learning. One can not expect new outcomes if they are not willing to adopt new things.

For me my first zentangle was an exclamation mark, wow. So I created it using paradoxes. My other zentangle related new thing was, of course, Naturetangle in Jan 2012 which paved my way to becoming a CZT, and an opportunity to be with you and Rick at your lovely home. It was a privilege.

The third first time new thing with zentangle was my recent Diva's challenge of 'an out of the box' creation. I zentangled on the edge of a thick book.

Kristel said...

I still remember when I saw my FIRST zentangle on the net, it was on an ATCforum, nonetheless. I thought: wauw, loved the architecture captured in the tile. I started scribbling away to try and create something similar, but it didn't quite work out. So I followed my FIRST zentangle course with a CZT, and I thought wauw, I can do this too. I also discovered then the depth of zentangle, as anyone can doodle away, but really being in the moment when tangling,..., that was a FIRST for me too. Since then I use zentangle to cope with stress and help to put everyday troubles into perspective.

Webster said...

When I first discovered Zentangle it was due to a blogger friend getting a Zentangle kit for Christmas from her Mom. I checked it out on the internet, and I was hooked. Finally, an art form that I could do despite my limitations. Thanks for inventing this amazing teaching method of line drawing.

Deb said...

Being a beginner this is really a cool idea.

Lara Williams said...

I remember my first encounter with zentangle very well. It was at a manangement committee meeting for a company I worked for in Whitinsville where Maria and Rick also live. It was way back in 2004 when zentangle was brand new. They were very brave to walk into a room of 60 people who didn't want to be at that meeting. WHAT AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!! For the next hour and a half 60 people were silent and tangling away. It was the best management meeting ever! I haven't stopped tangling since!

Anonymous said...

I drew my first Zentangle a few weeks ago after discovering a pin on Pinterest. Instantaneously , I had the "Aha" moment.... knowing that those doodles that I have done over the years had a name and a home, so to speak.

Zentangles are very much a part of my creative process. They have helped me in my quilting, my music, relaxation and focus.

I appreciate all the inspiration on the internet. I hope to have a class from a CZT next month and I am looking forward to a very long and wonderful relationship with drawing Zentangles.

Suzanne said...

My first interaction with Zentangle I can remember like it was only yesterday. I had surgery at Lowell General Hospital and noticed some interesting free seminars. One was geared at women who wanted to enhance their careers (the free snacks and wine were also a bonus too). As we walked in and picked a table, there was a display of Zentangle work at the side of the room. I was immediately enamored! During the class Wendy Brown spoke of Zentangle and did a very impromtu class (they tore up paper to let us all try a little). My friend and I left with little but Zentangle on our minds. I found the next class and we signed up, and I searched Zentangle probably every waking second I had available. After taking my first class with my two friends, I knew I had to know everything Zentangle related. I am now a CZT (and a funny story, my favorite number is nine, so I waited until the 9th seminar to attend) and still have Zentangle on my mind daily!

Barbara said...

I saw a Zentangle book in a quilt store while vacationing in Seattle, WA in September 2012. I looked it up on the internet when I got home and started doing them during the Presidential Debates to keep calm! My husband gave me an official Zentangle kit for Xmas and I am hooked. I want to take a class but there is no CZT in the Roanoke, VA area where I live!

janee said...

In 2010 I learned to make a "Penwork box" (faux ivory inlay) and was fascinated with the process but didn't like having to trace the designs. I was looking up designs on the internet and found Zentangle. Wow, that opened up a whole new world for me. In 2011 I became a CZT and I have been enjoying tangling and teaching ever since.

A recent first? I taught Zentangle to a group of educators, administrators, and clinicians at the So. Vermont Educators Symposium. It was wonderful.

bwright35 said...

Two and a half years ago I was at a Fibre Art show in Oshawa Ontario Canada and spotted two unique dolls covered in these amazing patterns. When I inquired about them, the lady who had made them said (with her lovely South Carolina accent)"Oh, do y'all know what zentangle is?" Afterwards, I hurried home and looked it up. I immediately designed a Christmas card without really knowing the in's and outs of zentangle and sent it to a friend. She said the other day that she still has that card! I took a basic class the following February. Last weekend I introduced it to some Brownies and Girl Guides at a weekend camp. They loved it. While I am a retired teacher,I am so looking forward to becoming a CZT this coming November.

herkimer said...


Anonymous said...

I sure do remember the first time I came across zentangle. I was looking for interesting free motion quilting designs. There was an article I found that had a zentangle image. That is what first caught my attention. I read the article and had to learn more. I went to zentangle.com and my world changed. I took the next CZT class and have been happy tangling ever since.

Genevieve said...

I'm loving reading everyone's stories.

I discovered Zentangle when I read Sandy Bartholomew's article in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine in the fall of 2009. I started drawing immediately, it was so much fun!

crotnem said...

The first time I discovered Zentangle was in June 2011 and was on the pc found a book to get started on Overstock.com of all places. That was it for me, books were being bought couldn't get enough Zentangle for me. Now, I get to go the CZT in June, wow, 2 years later I can wait.

Tinkered Art said...

On a blog saw a ZIA and the link to zentangle.com - looked interesting so instead of going to bed (had to work the next day) I started reading it all and clicking on many other sites. Totally hooked and longing for more I ordered the kit and 6 months later headed of to CZT Seminar. It would too long a comment to list all the ways this changed my life. One click - who knew?

Sarah M. said...

I remember the first time I spoke on a panel. It was completly terrifying. In the hour leading up to it I probably covered 2 notebook pages in zentangle doodles trying to calm my nerves. I managed to survive it and not throw up.

Tricia, CZT said...

A few years ago, I was surfing "quilting blogs" and stopped to read one that was of interest. At the end of her entertaining message, she closed by saying "time to enjoy a cup of tea and relax with Zentangle".

Hmmm. Zentangle. What's that???

A month later I was sitting in a 'classroom' in an old mill in Whitinsville, MA, where Maria and Rick were teaching a Beginner Zentangle Workshop. It was awesome. The next spring, I attended CZT seminar #3. Meeting Zentangle et-al is one of the best experiences my life has embraced since my retirement. It's on my daily list of 'things to be thankful for'.

ladycadjs said...

My work involves technical drawing. Lots of straight lines, angles, and DEADLINES. I found my 1st class with Caren Mlot (CZT) in South Carolina. Although I had seen tangles online (Etsy, swaps, etc.) I'd never tried to make one. Caren's class changed all that! Now I tangle my way through lunchbreaks and just received my own personal "stash" of Zentangle products. (I love the black!) Blessings to y'all for giving me a (sorely needed) new lease on life.

Unknown said...

I am an Accountant. (25 years and "counting" *snort*) I have found that the older I get (45 this month), the fast pace and deadlines get to me more and more every year. I have 4 yr old and 21 yr old boys, a husband, 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 gerbils and run an Accounting firm in a small town. Busy, hectic, etc.
When I discovered Zentangle a few months ago, I was also "hooked". Although I've always wished/prayed for the talent, I cannot draw even a suitable stick figure. It's just not happening. THEN...I created my first Zentangle Inspired Art and was just floored at how beautiful it was! I posted it everywhere and got so many positive responses to it that it made me feel all dreamy and happy and peaceful. That's what Zentangle does for me. It takes the rat race away fro my mind and gives me a few moments of peace and tranquility that I find I need more and more. I love wind chimes and the little swirly gigs that turn in the wind. When I saw yours, I wanted to leave work right then and go try to make one!!!!
How very awesome and wonderful to put two of the very few things that make me feel at peace together into one object! I just have to try this. Thank you so much for showing me the idea and for sharing your talents with us all. God bless you both. I sincerely hope you know how much you are appreciated and loved!
Cindy Therkildsen
North Carolina

Jo said...

I remember stumbling upon Zentangle while browsing Pinterest. Was fascinated by the designs and thought I should give it a try. I remember my first tile and how proud I felt when my husband said that I had such talent! I would love to take a CZT class. In the meantime, I refer to several books and read your blog and many others on line. Thank you for creating this beautiful and relaxing form of art!

Jo F said...

I found Zentangle December 30,2012. I'd just finished a quilt for my sister in law and was looking for quilt ideas for my next one. In a quilting blog I came across zentangle, both as stitching and pen work on a quilt. The next day was consumed with searching all sorts on zentangle. Needless to say it is now four months later and I haven't cut or sewn any fabric since. I've even added a drawing and painting corner to my studio, and it is currently the most used area of my studio.
I've always wanted to draw and paint, but haven't had an art class since Grade 7(32 years ago) and feel inadequate in my skills. I have now been creating art, whether it's a Zentangle tile or ZIA. Thank you so much for this technique, I no longer feel like a frustrated artist. I only experience frustration now because there are not enough hours in the day to create the avalanche of ideas that crop up in my mind!!!

Pat Lawson said...

My first Zentangle I created while taking care of my aging mother and we were looking for something to keep her mind active. Even in her confused state, she found a little peace in creating something, and I found joy in creating with my mom.
When I saw the spinner you created in the blog, I knew instantly that that is what my new house needs! I am going to make one for the feng shui in one of my corners. Thank you so much for the great idea!