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.



  1. This type of response/testimony is always so great and does remind me of why I teach Zentangle® method. I also still remember my reaction when I first started and accessed that creative part of me that had only thought about before. Always like it when during or at the end of a class I hear someone say, I didn't think I could do it or just simply holding their tile up and there is a very soft Wow with a big smile.

    1. Yes! As an extreme introvert - that reaction was what got me out of my cave and teaching. It just seemed so much more important than my own fears.

  2. Thanks for featuring this on your blog, Sandy. I hope it encourages others to take that first step and do their first Zentangle. I've now done another one, and can't wait to do the next one and will be practicing my tangles, circles and lines whenever I can. what amazes me is that, even though you may be using the same tangles as others in your Zentangles, every single one is unique because everyone does them a little bit differently or does variations they've come up with themselves. I wish I'd discovered this years ago, as it would have been particularly helpful while I was going through the breast cancer journey to years ago. I'm a breast cancer survivor, and staying one, and Zentangle is something that is going to help me move on to better things.

    1. Keep going! It only gets better. We're all rooting for you. :-)

  3. Such an important and valuable post thanks to you and Christine for sharing. Your comment re: to keep teaching Intro classes rings true for me. I recently took a few months break from teaching with the plan to begin again after the first of the year. I didn't jump back into it as I expected I would. It took a bit of reflection to sort out why. What I realized is that the joy for me is in teaching the Intro class, especially to those students who come in thinking they have no artistic ability. So my plan this year will be to offer group and private Intro classes, maybe an expanded Intro class now and then. I can always offer a ZIA class if I need it or by request but definitely not the focus. On the bright side, for students who want other art/ZIA classes, there are several CZTs in the area teaching a variety of classes that I can refer them to. Thanks again the post was an unexpected but welcome boost of inspiration.

    1. The more advanced classes and retreats I did.. the less enthusiastic I was about Zentangle. I think my passion comes from the sharing, not the competition. If I decide to start teaching again, I'll have to go back to the beginning. :-)



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