Thursday, November 12, 2015

Teaching is a Privilege!

Teaching really is a privilege!

When I teach I also learn.  I probably learn more than the students do in class. Why? Because I have to teach myself (or learn from others) whatever process or technique I am going to share.  I need to have experienced it for myself and know how it feels, looks, tastes (maybe not), smells, and sounds. When I can do all that I think that I might have enough knowledge to actual impart the technique to others. Even with all that preparation I often am still learning as I share the technique with others.  My students teach me too! This wonderful process of learning, sharing and learning more is what I love, love, love about teaching.

This fall I have been focusing on shading Zentangle because I want to improve my skill AND because I was scheduled to teach a 4-week class at North Island College to a group of eager and attentive seniors. I have already shared with this audience some of my samples, but today I would like to share those of the students.

First we learned to draw freehand a pumpkin string and then fill it with tangles.  Next we shaded the tangles and the pumpkin roundness.

Another lesson was about light source and we focused on adding great shadows.

Another lesson included adding dimension by the shape and direction of our line before adding shading.

and finally, we explored shading with coloured pencil using three shades of the same colour.

I had a wonderful time and while I was learning more about shading I was also learning more about teaching.  
Any comments you make about this post will be shared with my students.  Thanks for stopping by and as always have a great day!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Lettering

Two years ago I Google'd "drawing programs" and headed into the direction of Zentangle drawing. "Why," you ask? My answer is, for three very important reasons:

  1. I never doodled as a child - never!  I know this doesn't seem possible, but I didn't adulterate the sides of my papers in school.  I have wondered if it was discouraged or if I got into trouble for having done it.  I don't really remember, but anything that did not lead to concrete eduction was discouraged.  Things like art and music were set aside in favour of math and science.  I think my mother was trying to create something, and she did, but it wasn't someone who would follow the artistic path.
  2. I wanted to learn to draw characters.  I was (and still am) heavily involved in creating cards with lovely digital and rubber stamped images of people and creatures.  I love to place them in interesting settings and colour with Copics or Tombows.  I thought that it would be great if I could create and sell my own unique characters as digital images. If I could only draw!
  3. Zentangle looked cool!
Fortunately for me, Barb Round from Campbell River was teaching a beginners class in my town within 2 weeks.  I was delighted!  Finally I would learn to draw!  I took her beginner series of three classes and then took two more she offered over several weeks.  I embraced Zentangle wholeheartedly making dozens of tiles and finally deciding that I wanted to be able to teach this method to others. In November 2013 I flew off to Road Island for Certified Zentangle Teacher training and became an official CZT.

I love Zentangle!  It has opened my mind to other creative techniques such as using colour in Zentangle and even creating what we call ZIA - Zentangle Inspired Art. My hand - eye coordination has improved as well as my handwriting.  I finally feel free to be creative and draw - freely draw with no constraints.  I feel that Zentangle has opened my creative mind to be more artistically expressive.

There is just one problem!  I would still like to learn to draw things such as trees, animals, landscapes and people. This is a long background story to tell you that I was back to the Internet and found a couple of online courses for drawing and lettering that I would like to share with you.  Actually, this little journey started after viewing one of my favourite YouTube friends, Sara from My Serenity Crafts (check her out!).

First, Jane Davenport from Australia has a wonderful set of classes - very low key and fun, on supplies and drawing, including drawing faces.  I absolutely love her style and happy, colourful presentation.  I started with her supplies class because I don't very much about all the different types of paint, markers and watercolours.  She goes into depth and makes us students try them out to see what they do - very experiential.  Here are a couple of pics from the early sessions ......

We are cataloguing all the art supplies that we have on hand.

Gelly Roll Pens on Black Gesso and cardstock
Then she has us drawing our happy place. I am looking forward to comparing this drawing to a future version. My happy place is in the tall grass around the tall trees in my grandfather's apple orchard when I was 4-6 years old.

The second class that I am taking is actually a book and book club on Facebook.  Joanne Sharpe's book The Art of Whimsical Lettering is amazing and helpful!  We are currently working on sampling alphabet styles.

And we have tested some of them ...

I have a long way to go and I am very much enjoying the journey.  Please check out the links above and see if these classes are of interest to your creative journey. I will be sharing more as the weeks progress.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Zentangle on My Mind

I've had Zentangle on my mind and in my art bag this last month.  I took my Micron pens and Zentangle tiles with me on vacation to California in October and had a great time tangling and drawing whatever my pen wanted to draw.  I have also been posting on my Facebook page without making a blog post (sorry!).

This post is a little catchup on what I have been drawing and doing since the Tangle Island Retreat in September.

This was an exercise in Inapod tangle and shading. I have found the greatest Fb page -  It is all about shading and Eni Oaken provides excellent feedback and encouragement for everything that we post.

Here is another sample showing the before and after shading. The tangle is Hamadox, a combination of Rick's Paradox and Hamail.

Here is one I just finished and posted last night with Verve, Abundies, Flux, Diva Dance and Printemps.

I have also been working with a little bit of color and working on stretching my drawing a bit.  I received a little Prima journal in a mystery box and have dedicated it to the Crazy Birds and what I might do with them.  In this case, I drew a tree around them and added the Tangle Poke Root for the leaves.  It is all colored with my new Irojiten colored pencils.

Lastly, I will show you a drawing I did to emphasize color shading in a class I am teaching at North Island College this month.  The tangle is simple (can't even remember the name), but I have used it to show using three pencil shades of one color - light, medium and dark, to work out the shading.

Well, I think that is enough catchup for today.  Hopefully, my next post will be about a scrapbook that I have been working on for Christmas/Winter snow family pictures.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Tangle Island was a success!

Hi all,  I bet you are wondering where I have been again.  My last post told you about how I was planning for the Zentangle conference in Parksville and was it ever a resounding success.  We had participants from all over who really enjoyed our classes and most of all the goodies and door prizes we handed out.

Big group photo on the last day.

The classes where a hit for sure.  On our private facebook page we are seeing lots of finished projects (very difficult to finish everything during class time) that are so beautiful it takes my breath away.  There are so many talented people out there who have found an outlet for their creative side through Zentangle.

This is one of my pieces that I created after the retreat was over with techniques from Barb Round's class.....

Many of the students have been asking if the Tangle Island Team will do another retreat next year and it is a resounding YES!  Some of us may take on lesser roles but we all enjoyed teaching and sharing our individual specialities.

Stay tuned for information about next years' Tangle Island Retreat.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Good Monday Morning!

If you are a follower of mine you are probably wondering what has happened to my regular posting. The answer is, I have been very busy planning and preparing for the Tangle Island Retreat at the Parksville Beach Club Resort scheduled for September 18, 19 and 20.

Yes, this is a Zentangle retreat where 6 island Certified Zentangle Teachers will be leading classes in fabulous techniques and Zentangle fun. We will be learning new tangles, shading strokes, mixed media, watercolor, card making ideas and much more. I think there might be one or two spots left, so if you are interested please visit and register today.

Here are a few pics of our planning and preparation, and my practice drawing:

This is the Tangle Island Team: Nancy, Barb, Linda, Donna, Jerryann and Marie.
A little practice with the document camera

Here is a picture of the beach side of the Beach Club Resort.....

Can you guess what I might be doing with this?

Here is another drawing I did for practice

And here is one more....

We are going to have such fun visiting and learning from each other.  We have a wonderful group of folks registered for the first every Tangle Island Retreat.  Interested Tanglers are coming from the local area, Vancouver area, Calgary, Ontario, Washington, California, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, and Tennessee. Amazing!

After the retreat my hubby and I are skipping town and visiting family in California for two weeks culminating with celebrating the 120th anniversary of Yosemite becoming a national park. We actually have a camping reservation on the valley floor!  Yosemite is one of my favorite places to visit and we have many happy memories hiking and backpacking around the area.

Well, I should be posting pictures of the retreat on the weekend and then stay tuned for my trip pics!

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Having Fun making a Steampunk Album!

Hi all!  I have been having fun creating a mini album with a Steampunk theme.  This style has definitely caught me up into the Steampunk craze of 1890's mechanical.  Gears and a little rust go a long way!

I used the Classic Handbag tutorial from Paper Phenomenon without the handbag closure of course.  I also added 1 inch to the width of the base pages so that I could get more 4x6 photos into the album.

Here is the cover with all its wonderful cogs and gears.

I used a lot of goodies on the cover alone....

  • Creative clocks and corners from Butterbee Scraps   
  • Gear Assembly die cut from Memory Box
  • Cuttlebug embossing folder on the tag
  • Metal key and brads from Michael's
  • Paper line is Kaiser Kraft Betsie's Couture
  • Everything is inked with Distress Brushed Corduroy
  • I inked the gears with Inca Gold Turquoise and Copper
  • The pin is from Prima
The clock at the top rotates!

Inside cover pocket with goodies!

This is the first page with all its flaps and pockets.......

I used Sizzix Trellis die on the pocket after rubbing with Inka Gold Turquoise and Copper.  The tag is embossed with a Darcie embossing folder. The tag in the top pocket is cut with the Steampunk "on the edge" dies from Tim Holtz (also added Glossy Accents) and finally the large tag in the pocket is cut with the EK Success scroll edge punch.

First side of first page.
Open the page flap to reveal more pockets
Back of first page. Large pocket contains a folder from Marion Smith.
Paper clips are from Prima.

Page mats are embossed with cuttlebug folder and then rubbed with Inka Gold.
Here is page two ....

This page has a flap that folds down and one that opens the page.

More embossing and dies cuts
Inside the page

Back of page and start of #3 with its waterfall.
More of Page 3 - this is where I introduce the Kaiser Kraft Antique Bazaar collection.

And now we are repeating page styles .....

The left page is collaged with several pieces from the ephemera packs.

There is a Butterbee Scraps filigree on the top waterfall flap.

This is a great tutorial and very easy to follow.  You can get it here at Paper Phenomenon.

I used three paper collections: Marion Smith Nirvana, Kaiser Kraft Betsy's Couture and Antique Bazaar, as well as a few pages from Recollections Espresso.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new album creation.

Have a Happy Scrappy Day!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mixed Media Foray

Today I would like to share my first every foray into mixed media.  A friend of mine (Linda) was over and she showed me a few ideas on how to get started. It was loads of fun and very easy to do.

Linda brought little packets of papers, fibres and trinkets. Each packet was slightly different and of course each artist will interpret and use the items differently according to their style.  Our tools were glue stick, liquid glue, staples, and a micron pen (to Zentangle).  I know there is a lot more that can be done with Gesso, paints and stencils, but this is just a beginning.

I picked out papers that "spoke" to me and cut or tore sections to add to my 5x7 chipboard piece.  I arranged them in whatever way made sense to me.  I like dimension so I added a curled up piece of netting and sparkling star on one side and a folded napkin on the other side.  Then we added Tangles to spice it up!

When we are finished we will coat everything with Mod Podge (I haven't done that part yet). In the end, I kinda think my piece tells a story. It's a little corny, but here goes......

We are all like a little fish who is on a life journey.
               Sometimes she will face obstacles, 
               but if she pushes through them she will be the star of own story. 

               Along the journey she might be delayed by her own struggles (nets),
               but she was given the building materials to make our own life story.

               If she perseveres she will have the joy of blossoming into a unique and special person.

I'll end on that corn fed note with .... Have a scrapping great day!