Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Secretly Praying for Rain

I haven't been sitting still much this past week. My son has his one-week vacation and wants to do "stuff." The beauty of self-employment is that I can make time for "stuff." Our original plan kind of got way-layed, so we slipped into Plan "B."
I won't do that again!
When he was learning to drive, I had sonny boy drive up Schnebly Hill, a nice off-road experience, with some pretty views of Sedona as a reward. It was a lesson in caution, patience and attention for a brand new driver.
This time it was a lesson for this driver. That road is mess, the worst I've ever driven. My car performed admirably, but I won't punish it again.

The Red Badge of Courage

The Reward
Affectionately known as
The Cowpies

I'm not done with that story, but I need to move along. Sonny boy is hungry, wants to "do" lunch and that requires thought, perseverance and a big wallet. There's a lot of him to fill.

But before I go, I'm posting my responses that fit the TwobyTwo and the Diva Challenges. The first is "Rain," and the second is to "go Organic." Here's what I came up with:

The top two are just doodling. I was working on this umbrella idea for "Rain," which I was kind of successful with. The bottom left represents umbrellas, looking at them from above. I used Spectrum Noir markers, but could not find a nice yellow to finish the third one. Hmm. The bottom right represents my Diva response, gel pen over watercolor. I was thinking about how raindrops ripple on the water surface in our pool. I guess it worked out okay. 
I need to loosen up and experiment more, but I have to allow my adult self a chance to play more with my toys. It's a slow process, but I'm gaining on it.
For now, it's lunch time!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Life is a Circus

This is monsoon season. It's hot and steamy and I'm not used to it. Lived plenty of years near the shore with plenty of humidity, but it's not what the desert is usually like. Except for this time of year. This is what "siestas" are for--work early in the day or late at night and rest in the middle.
Otherwise, you have no energy.
Funny that the word of the week for  EIM is "energy."
The first thing that I thought of was the notation, "NRG." It litters my science notebooks from school, a shorthand of sorts from the seventies. From there my brain went to the Kreb's cycle, or how we generate energy on a sub-cellular level. I wasn't going to try to cram that diagram into a square-inch or even try to wrap my way-past-academia brain around it. (I'll leave that to my sister, the Professor--she gets paid to do that).
I have a bunch of other ideas, instead:

Solar Flare from pcmag.com, Turning water and sunlight into food and oxygen from science.jrank.org and
"IVY MIKE," the first successful hydrogen bomb, 1952 from CTBTO

No original work amongst the choices thus far, so I reached little further...

I've been reading about solar power. In Arizona we have a wealth of it (330 sunny days per year!); it's just a matter of turning it into usable power. It would be fabulous to live off-grid! However, the electric company has instituted a nasty surcharge on homes with solar panels and solar companies are not keen on mobile-home installations. Federal tax incentives have expired and the value of solar homes is less than comparable homes without it. I found this in the venerable Arizona Republic Saturday (Valley and State, p. 1F, "Rooftop Solar: Does it add Value to your Home?" by Ryan Randazzo and Catherine Reagor).
The accompanying photograph was a riot of patterns just waiting for me! (You just never know from whence inspiration may come!) Now we're getting somewhere!

Solar Roof Installation
Rachael Le Goubin/The Arizona Republic
Let's start with some zinchies!

Then move along to a bunch of twinchies!

Still have that SOLAR theme going on!
Then on to other ideas....

Lavender Fields
My first set of four Somethings
Found papers, 
Acrylic paint and beads

Based on an idea from
And onto all the Zentangly choices I can muster:

TM3 No. 005

Singing in the Rain
DIVA 226

Fried Eggs
IAST 102
I was still trying to muster that "enoughness" idea from last week. It took everything I had to NOT fill in that white space for the "String Thing." In fact, in disclosure the Diva art is my second attempt. The first one was so absolutely crazy it was a real circus. I may post that over on Flickr, but this has been a week and I'm done for now!
Thanks so much for dropping by! I appreciate the company as much as I appreciate the individuals that put the effort into creating the various challenges and prompts to get the creative juices flowing.
Have a brilliant day!

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I'll go out on a limb here and declare that simple is in the hand of the artist; that one man's simple is another's really complicated or vice-versa.
Take for instance, this week's Diva Challenge. Guest blogger Katie Crommet implored the crowd gathered there to embrace simplicity, to reach the point of "enoughness," in her words.
I like that, "enoughness."
That is one tough spot for an artist to figure out: to know when enough is enough, put a signature on it and consider it "done." For this exercise, I knew that magical moment as I had predetermined the spaces that were to be left unfinished, and that would be that.

I've also been playing with Margaret Bremner's idea of using "Flying Birds" to create strings, so I had my journal page ready and waiting for me. While I was at it, I wanted to use Margaret's tangle called, "Boss," which set the tone for the rest of it. Free-form "Lanies" and "Limpitz" completed the no more than three parameter. I chose not to shade it as I liked the bold graphic just the way it is, with some of the bits and pieces outside the lines (my kindergartner self would have had a conniption fit over that!).
The Diva response is in stark contrast to my IAST for this week, where I'm still embracing this concept of "enoughness:"

I drew another page with String 101 as I thought it has many possibilities. And good thing! When I was wide awake this morning at 3 AM, I dabbled in TM3 by Suzy Mosh. This week's monotangle is "Ixorus."  I know, it veers into "Crescent Moon" territory, but that just goes to show the similarities of some patterns.

What do you think? Are these pieces finished? Overdone? Half-baked?
Well, this falls into the latter category, for certain. My idea for this week's EIM:

Rudolph the Red-NOSED
OK! I think that's enough craziness for one week, don't you? And just to be sure I pack in as many links as is possible into a post, and if you didn't find enough inspiration here, be sure to check out the squirrels at the TwobyTwo! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Getting Squirrely

Another day, another challenge. Every time I look around, another one pops up that my teenie brain thinks it needs to do. And perhaps, I just might! Suzy Mosh's Tangle Me 3 is of which I speak and I've been doing the exercises, but I'll have to get around to posting them another time.
Because we're starting yet another home improvement project--without actually finishing any of the others! This one has come to the forefront--rebuilding the spa and the room it resides in. We want to use the spa when the weather starts to cool, so we have two, three months tops to do this. What a project!
So, today will be limited to posting that which is most timely and getting back to the other stuff...
One of the challenges that I work on occasionally is Adele Bruno's It's a String Thing. This week is her 100th, so it's big doings in Florida. That teenie brain of mine wasn't quite working out the particular challenge in a pleasing way, so my official response is a floral bouquet for Adele:

Happy 100!
A Tripoli Bouquet for Adele
If you've ever been here before, you KNOW I'm not a big fan of Tripoli, or any tangle based on triangles. Adele included this pattern for the 99th challenge and these are flowers based on all the variations sent to her in response. (I think I'm getting better with Tripoli, or at least improving my attitude immensely!)

I researched the proper gift for a 100th anniversary and found it to be a ten-carat diamond. I'm a little light on being able to do that, so I sent flowers instead. Flowers are always appropriate, right?

The other thing I've done is my official response to the TwobyTwo challenge. I have no business manning an art blog challenge if I don't do it myself, right?

To explain, ever so slightly, when we lived in Massachusetts we had these very mean squirrels with bad attitudes. I was told they were transplants from New York City (100 miles away) and had been dubbed Rabid Biker squirrels for their aggressive behavior. That always stuck with me. I want to revisit this and make a squirrel with a fabric bandana and some studs or something. Another day, perhaps! For now:

Rabid Biker Squirrel from
New York
I'll let you know if I get back to that.
For now, I'm pulling up these horrid burgundy and aqua tiles...and grey and white and rust and blue....

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In Living Color

We ran off to visit family in Colorado last week. "Run" being a relative term as it was 11 hours each way, but if my sister, the Professor, could travel 2000 miles to visit her daughter, we could go 700, right? I'd never been in that part of the States, among these massive granite peaks. I was not handling the altitude well or this weird time warp sensation as they're just now having spring weather, and we're well into the throes of the season I call, "Inferno." Lupines and columbines are for February. Snow?!!! (Sorry we missed the skiing at Breckenridge on the Fourth of July. NOT!)

And a happy belated Independence Day to my stateside friends! We are blessed with the Freedoms hard won on the battlefields many moons ago. We are free to use our creative voice to say how we feel or what we deem important. We can love, run, pray, sleep, eat and just be.

Me? I'm glad we're not travelling anywhere this week and I can just be--and not sitting in a car! I'm glad to be resuming my regularly scheduled programming--I started this creative week over at EIM. I like the challenge of working on just one teenie inch and it's a fun group of women from around the planet. (I don't know why there aren't any men in this group to create inchies). The prompt for the week is "yarn." I always have plenty handy, but I really wanted to illustrate "spinning a good yarn," as in telling a story. I couldn't really squeeze that into an inch so I went kind of old school (with a tip of the hat to Chrissy who loves her bling!). While I was looking for some materials, I found an advice column and on the reverse was a picture of a ball of yarn and thus a twinchie was born!

The other thing I've worked on is the Diva Challenge, with guest blogger Jen Crutchfield. Her challenge this week to all tangly people is to use color, but limit it to two or three. I typically limit it to two--black and white, with shades of grey in between--so anything outside of that is a stretch. I also try not to peek at what others are up to until I get mine finished. You know? No cheating!? But I stole a look at the work of one of the ladies who does both of these challenges--Jean Chaney. (She's a CZT here in AZ! She also typically thinks WAAAAY outside the box for the EIM. Endearing quality, that!). Jean drew a tangly piece based on a process called "Zentwining," created by Lynn Mead.
I like drawing twisty turny ribbons so I thought that'd be an interesting way to go. I even cracked open a package of artist tiles instead of just opening my journal. I can do this! Well, I made a few attempts and it wasn't anything like I figured it would be, but my teenie brain saw a similarity to the ribbons and well....

Collection of some bracelets
Including a new agate one
from the Professor

Materials--Some Colors!
I ended up collecting two Pitt pens, one conte pencil, eight colored wax pencils, one graphite, one Y&C gel and three Sakura glaze pens, way more than just two per the instructions. I was very excited last week to have actually FOUND my colored pencils, which have been packed away for a few years and left unused for much longer than that, so I may have gone overboard! I practically forgot how to use these things, especially all together (such as how useless a conte is over a wax pencil and if I'm going to go all out, use the good stuff and skip the leftover kids craft supplies).  I'm much happier with this result than what I had going on, but I'll have to try hand at Zentwining another time.

Only next time in black and white!

Thanks for visiting my twisty turny world. Be sure to check out what these other creative types are making!