Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Break!

If you are in school, and you get Spring Break, you are supposed to head to the beach, right?

I went to the Maine coast! I spent a few days hanging out at my sister's house in Bar Harbor. She's renovating a house nearby to rent as apartments in the summer. She's ripping out floors and painting...

I avoided helping, hung out in her lovely family room...

... and local cafes...

... drawing comics for school!
I wandered around town (mostly boarded up) looking at the beautiful houses.

Then I headed down to Ogunquit, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

Leprechaun traps?
 I was in desperation mode, having missed my fall ocean-fix this year (I started school!) and just standing there, looking at the waves went a long way to heal my brain.

And sitting by the fire pit drinking Salted-Caramel Bailey's with Vanilla Absolut vodka... (mmmmm!)

 My friend Debbee was able to join me for a day and the OgunquitTangle Zentangle retreat was also going on at the hotel, so I never got the chance to get lonely.

When we checked out, Debbee wrote this great entry in the room's journal:


Then we roamed around town - the chocolate shop...

And the Art Galleries...

Abacus is one of my favorites! I REALLLLLLY want this amazing cabinet. And I want to design and build a house to go with it!

I had such a wonderful vacation.
I hadn't realized how badly I needed it - as if the extreme depression I'd been experiencing wasn't a clue, right? I'd have to say that the instinct to "run away" is not something to be ignored.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sandy and Christine - A Correspondence

Zentangle has been moving SO fast and the art online is staggering!

Sometimes it is nice to be reminded of the whole point of this art form - as I see it - Creative Confidence. I've always thought it was amazing how Zentangle could get people drawing and experiencing their own creativity.

If you are reading this and you teach Zentangle, I hope this inspires you to keep teaching Intro classes and don't worry so much about the advance level, or crafting type tangle classes. You never know who you will reach and how you might help - even in some small way.

I just had this great conversation with Christine and she gave me permission to post it here. I hope it makes you feel good too! (Thanks Christine!)

Hi, Sandy

Could you tell me if the cards in the Yoga For Your Brain Totally Tangled Edition Cards are the same size as these cards, please? I will have to buy them from Book Depository or Amazon because I live in Australia, but the description doesn't mention the size of the cards.

I was blessed with a signed copy of two of your books, "The Tangles Of Kells" and "The Tangles Of Santa Fe" and they are simply amazing. I have checked out your Totally Tangled and Yoga For Your Brain books at my local library, and I decided I have to buy them, too, so hopefully that won't be too far away.

If you could help me regarding the size of the tangle cards, and maybe even a suggestion of how to store them when I get them, I would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance, and have a wonderful weekend.

Christine Chipman

Hi Christine!

I'm thrilled to have you as a fan. :-)

Yes, all the cards are the same size. The trading card size is the same as "baseball cards" and ATCs - 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

Each pack comes in its own storage box, but you can also use any storage system designed for baseball cards or ATCs - like the plastic pocket pages for three ring binders.

The cards are great (I believe!) because you can pick a few patterns to use and take them with you. For example, when I was working on a tangled ocean picture, I sorted thru the cards to find tangles that looked like waves and scales, etc.

I hope you enjoy them too!


Thanks so much, Sandy. They sound amazing, so I'm definitely going to have to get them, as well as your book.

Now I just have to get the nerve to take that first step and do a tangle. I forgot to tell you that I have already bought the Alpha Tangle and the Alphatangle, Expanded Workbook Edition, both of which are amazing. I also have The Joy of Zentangle, and several other books, in which I know your work is featured.

Have a wonderful day, and keep those wonderful books and tangles coming.


You got this! I've attached an image with everything you need to know to get that first Zentangle onto paper! :-)

Thank you so much, Sandy. That makes it look so easy. Will send you a picture of my first effort when I've done it.


Hi, Sandy.

I've finally done my first Zentangle tile, and now I don't know why I was so scared. The lines and circles could be a lot better, so I'll have to practice those, but you won't be able to stop me now. I'm collecting step-outs of tangles, string examples to use, and am going to keep everything I do in folders the way you, and lots of others, do.

Here are two pictures of my first Zentangle tile taken from two different angles. Tangles used were Crescent Moon, Static, Tipple and Florz, using the booklet and DVD from the official Zentangle kit that I was blessed with a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks for all your help and encouragement. Have a wonderful day.


Those are lovely! Doesn't it feel good?
I think the first ones are the hardest - anxiety is a bugger.
Now, you can just relax and enjoy the process.

Thanks so much, Sandy. My problem is I was brought up in a home where everything had to be done perfectly, or you kept doing it until it was. Letting go of that control is so hard, even at the age of 67, because it has ruled my life all that time. Now I colour the way I want to colour, and now that I've done my first Zentangle, I feel there isn't anything I can't do. It's such a liberating feeling, and I had no idea how powerful just doing that Zentangle would be. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I'm free to move on and do things the way I want to.

Thank you for all your help and encouragement, and for publishing all your amazing books for us to use for inspiration. Can't wait to see what else you come up with.


Oh I love to hear this sort of story!!!
I'm wondering if you might let me share these notes on my blog with your first tangles too? I don't have to put your full name if you are shy. :-)

That's fine, Sandy. I don't mind you using my name, and I'm so chuffed that you think my first tangles are good enough for you to use on your blog. You have no idea how different it makes you feel when someone actually tells you that you have done something well instead of criticizing all the time, like my parents and siblings, etc did. This is the first time I feel that I have actually created something unique because everything else I've tried for hobbies have relied on other people's completed designs. Zentangle allows me to express myself like never before, and I finally feel like I'm starting to climb out of the big deep pit I've been living in over the last few years in particular since being diagnosed with breast cancer. This year has been a completely different one for me, with so many RAOKs coming my way already I'm overwhelmed, and my faith in humanity has been renewed.

God bless you, and have a wonderful day.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Artsy Weekend with the Kid

Lilah spent the weekend with me in White River Junction, VT. It was nice to have an "easy" weekend without lots of homework - now that the big comic book project is finished!

She finally got to attend the Comic Club at my school and I heard her get up to present her character designs a few times. I was very proud of her - there were a lot of kids in that classroom! And her designs were pretty cool too.

Then we headed over to the Montshire Science Museum. There's a new exhibit about human bodies and technology. Very interesting - there was a mechanical arm built from Lego! The interactive exhibits do a great job helping explain what it is like to be blind - build different "canes" to navigate a sidewalk with obstacles, or missing part of your body - try riding a snowboard/wheelchair. There was a very intriguing wheelchair that had been adapted for a DJ!

Here is Lilah is experimenting with how extending the length of a person's arms or legs, and increasing their strength affects the height they can jump or throw a ball. The exhibit uses technology similar to a wii game system - her motions are mimicked by a stick figure character.

The place was packed, but they handle crowds well. We were able to take a workshop that used Gelli-plates for printmaking after listening to a short lecture about an artist who does paintings of holes cut into frozen lakes.

And then I sat and drew the giant stuffed moose...

Back at the apartment, we carved rubber stamps and started making our Valentine cards...

And Lilah tested out a new book I just got.

I'd heard about it during an interview at school with an editor at the publishing house. "The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering" is a great book and I would have bought it just because I love lettering - BUT - what makes it pure genius is that they have built a chalkboard into the front and back covers!!!

So you can fold out the back cover and actually practice while reading the book! Lilah did a bunch of flourishes and letters, but got really excited when she found this section on flowers...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Artsy Holiday Celebration

I'm sick in bed and just realizing two weeks have flown by since I got out of school for break. Whoosh!

Just before Christmas, I got to participate in a Holiday Celebration at my daughter's elementary school. It was my kid's idea that I should volunteer to lead an art project and there were a few moments when I can't believe I went through with this!

Our idea was to do Winter Murals with stencils I die-cut and chalks and slick crayons... There were seven rotations of about 24 kids each. In general, the younger kids were more willing and excited to draw pictures, the older kids just wrote their names and other words. The younger kids were more respectful of the art supplies, the older kids... "feeding frenzy" comes to mind!

I made the mistake of wearing a very warm sweater - the gym is usually quite chilly - but after 3 hours of standing, bending, taping paper to the floor and "resetting"... seven times... I was drenched. But it was a lot of fun and seeing some of the teachers down on the floor coloring was a hoot too.

Now I will hand the commentary over to my little art director, here's Lilah...

"This was a Gingerbread Village that about 7 of us worked on. And one adult. Every building is made of gingerbread. We used the "lipstick" crayons. Owen's hands were COVERED with brown! I put orange gumboils on the top of my house (the one below)."

"Lots and lots of "Merry Christmases!" to you!"


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