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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Doing the dishes

It is always fun (for me, anyway) to find new homes for my Zentangle tiles. I like them gathered around us in and about the house, not safely tucked away in a book or drawer. They seem to take on a function, a reminder of all good things. I like to just stick them on the walls with architectural putty (also called blue tack or white tack). I use this silly putty-esque feeling semi-sticky mounting stuff all the time, to keep dishes from sliding, to keep pictures hanging straight. I also use it to stick tiles right on the wall, be it plaster, wood or wallpaper. Some days I stick tiles to the corners of framed art or mirrors or wedge them between mandolin strings, the tines of an especially exotic fork. With  Zendala tiles, I love to use the putty to stick them to . . .

. . . dishes!

What a fun way to spend a quiet Saturday afternoon, wandering the aisles of no-name antique shops, second-hand bazaars and the like.

I even like to buy ones that have nicks and chips, because I know how they can be rescued by the mighty pen, wielded in Zentangle fashion, adorning it with tangles and . . . zen.

And, whilst you are out and about in these shops, you can also look for the tiny and wonderful miniature easels, to "pedestal" your new found work of art in a more regal fashion. If the plate is of the plain variety, old and yellowing or crackled ever so, you might add a border tangle around where the plate dips into the center.

A pre-strung plate! Use a Sakura® IDentiPen™ or even better, Sakura Microperm™. You can add perfs all around, then maybe an aura around them. This creates a classic border the likes of which you normally see on the edge of a gilt frame. The easels, you can also find online. (They are not as easily found as orphaned china.)

And, I was able to give one of the tiles a "hand." All us old artists, were certain to have been given these wooden "structures" to practice drawing (wooden?) hands.

You may have some great ideas of your own for presenting your tiles about your house. Tell us about them in your comments. And we will send goodies to a few randomly chosen commenters.


The winners from our last blog post, Walk on the Wild Side, are (drumrollllllll):




Please send your snail mail address to zentangle(at)gmail(dot)com and we will send you something special.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Walk on the wild side!

Maria writes:
My habit, when I begin to tangle, is to grab a square white tile; maybe once in a while, a blank white zendala. But I decided I would go over to the "other" side for a while and I got a stack of black Zentangle tiles. I wanted to really dive in head first and see what happens. At first, I began with simple strings on squares. Marking my corner dots, connecting them, drawing my string with a white charcoal pencil as I followed the basic Zentangle ceremony. Filled my sections with my go-to tangles, threw in a mac'n cheese tangle, and I let it draw me into its magic.

It did not take long for me to get hooked. I started to see opportunities not available to me when working on a white tile.

Like the original tile, the real magic appears when you add the shades of gray, but with black tiles, you also have the option of using a white chalk pencil or a Zenstone to add highlights and lighter tones. This added another dimension, not available when working on the white.

I then grabbed a new tool for working on black tiles – a gray Fabrico™ marker.  For years we offered this gray dual tipped marker for working on fabric (T-shirts, sneakers, aprons, etc.) when one would ordinarily use a pencil if it were paper. I began using the gray marker to shade the black tiles and it was spectacular. You almost don't even see it, except for the before and after tiles – it darkens the white lines but doesn't affect the black paper so much.

I love the subtle nuances it creates. AND you can make it darker and darker by adding another layer of the gray marker. OK, this is way more fun than I should be having . . . .

Also, I played with going over the white lines more than once. The first line of white can partially soak into the paper. But once it dries and you add that second stroke, it is brilliant! (in more ways than one) You could create stripes, only redrawing every other one, or going over the top half of each stripe, or adding a highlight here and there. The textures are lovely.

SO . . . you may want to take a little walk on the wild side, and dance with your Gelly Rolls®, try out those shades of gray, go find your ZenStone, wiggle some dust on those tiles, rough them up a bit.

Experiment with old tangles and new . . . monotangles and borders.

Zendalas, both strung . . .

 . . . and not.

Show your wild side. . . .


We will randomly pick some commenters to receive a tile as our way of saying, "Thank you," for commenting on our blog.

Many thanks,



We designed an introductory Black Tile Tool Set just so people could try tangling on black Zentangle tiles.


Updated October 7, 2015, to add:

We originally uploaded this blog post at 6:37 pm EST.

Molly received an email from our friends at Sakura of America . . .

 . . . within seconds of the same time, telling her that they had just uploaded a YouTube of Molly teaching how to tangle munchin on black Zentangle tiles using materials from the Zentangle Black Tool Set that we developed with Sakura.

Molly did that video a while back and we had totally forgotten about it when we did this blog post. We love it when that happens!

Oh yes . . . Here's the video. Enjoy!