Sunday, April 29, 2012


Crazy post title, huh?! Let me explain.

I was talking to my youngest nephew earlier this week, and he had just learned about the Panama Canal. Which made me think of the best palindrome of all time: A man, a plan, a canal: Panama! I always wished I could come up with a palindrome as cool as that.

Friday afternoon I had a small group of 5th graders working on a special collaborative project in the art room during a smidgon of free time that they had. One of them was wearing a cool screen printed shirt from Hawai'i. Pictured and named on the shirt was the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a fish, the state fish of Hawai'i. I just love the name of that fish! Yes, I can say it! I hadn't thought of that fish in a long, long time, and it made me smile. And made me wish I could name something with a long, unexpected awesome-sounding name like that. (I am familiar with this fish from a unit I taught many years ago about Hawai'i.) Speaking of Hawai'i, I need to shout out a friendly "aloha" to Lois And Earl Stokes, two CZTs who live on the Big Island.

Stay with me, now! The title will soon make as much sense as it ever will.
This week's Diva challenge, to use the Earth as our prompt, introduced us to a new name for Earth, brought to us by the Diva's oldest son, Chewie. Chewie has renamed our planet Amanda. So in their household, they celebrated Amanda Day last Sunday. Sweet!

So I figured if Chewie could rename Earth, I could come up with a palindomic (is that a word? or did I just invent it?), unexpected, awesome long name for my belated Earth Day (aka Amanda Day) post. I love the way Amandamandala runs together and sounds so neat. I almost went even longer by adding the word "day," which coincidently also adds "Amy," to the arrangement of letters
(Amandadaymandala'aladnamyadadnama), but it didn't all fit on one line in my post title bar. And it was just too ridiculous.

This design is a first for me: it is my first Zendala design! A bif thank you to Sandy Hunter, a CZT from Texas. Click here to visit Sandy's latest entry in her tanglebucket blog! And click here to see her beautiful Earth Day/Amanda Day tile. Sandy sent me a blank Zendala tile earlier this spring, and I've been waiting for inspiration to hit. It seemed to me that Amanda Day deserved something special, like a Zendala design. So I took my beautiful round Zendala tile out to my front yard this afternoon, sat on a dilapidated bench that we will be soon getting rid of--thank goodness it didn't collapse!--and took in the fresh air, glorious beauty, and joyful sounds (birds, dogs) of a gorgeous spring day in East Tennessee. And I tangled. In color, for a change--I thought that Earth/Amanda deserved it. I was trying to stick with Earthy-colors, but one of my green Microns is a bit bright! I tried to make it work.
I strove to use tangles that are reminiscent of land and water, plant life and sea life.
I wasn't sure which background to use. So here you see some of my other options...which do you prefer?

This post is now officially too long to write on a completely different subject that I am extremely excited to tell you about... that will have to wait until my next post. So visit me again soon! I have more to tell!
Happy Tangling,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Aura Exploration: my second tile

I have a second tile to post to this week's Challenge (#66: Laura's Auras). YAY! It's been a while since I have had two to submit.

It was a tiring week; the kids were wild! I had tons of different projects going on with my classes, and stayed at school until 8 pm last night cleaning and getting things put away! I woke up in a fog this morning and felt a complete lack of focus despite everything I need to take care of here at home.
Florentine, Erbluhen, Mi2, & Msst.
So I did what any reasonable tangler would do: I took a few minutes to check out the tiles that others have submitted for this week's challenge. I then sat down and drew this tile after having seen some new tangles that I was eager to try. It's so hard to hunker down on household tasks when there is Zentangle inspiration racing through my mind! I put off the shading until tonight, and kept it simple. I do have a "before shading" scan, but I don't think there's a big enough difference to post them both this time.

Florentine and Erbluehen are by Simone Bischoff, while Mi2 is by Mimi Lempart. Click on the names to see step-outs. :-)

I had fun with this!

As always, comments, questions, & suggestions are welcome and quite appreciated!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Adore a Good Aura...

Time to let the Diva, aka Laura Harms, work her magic and inspire me to complete another Challenge tile! Weekly Challenge #66 is "Laura's Auras"...about which she writes, "Ha, this actually has nothing to do with me, but i just like how Laura and Aura rhyme. :)"

I'm actually quite behind on my Challenge responses. I have several started but not finished, and part of me wants to get some closure on those before moving forward. But that's just foolishness--part of the beauty of the Diva's Challenges is that each one is a fresh start, no need to worry about your Challenge history.

So I went to my new favorite Tangling spot: Gourmet's Market and Cosmo's Caffè , a wonderful kitchen shop paired with a cafe/bistro in Knoxville's Bearden Art District. It was my first time tangling there...but the environment was just right. I knew it would be. It's a cozy, funky, casual, gourmet destination. They carry my favorite chocolate bar: Cinnamon Chili Mexican Style Chocolate, stone ground and handcrafted in small batches by southern chocolate artisans in Nashville, TN: Olive & Sinclair. YUM!!! But I skipped the chocolate today, since I have a few bars at home, and went for the latte, which is now a rare treat for me, as I no longer caffeinate daily like my former coffee--guzzling self.
Mooka, Rick's Paradox, Pweeko, Snircle, Inapod,
Vitruvius, Bales, and Sez.
So here is my response to this week's Challenge. As you can see, I played not only with the concept of auras, but also with line weight and rounding.

This is my first use of Snircles, a fun circular tangle from Sandy Hunter, CZT. Her blog is, and I learned about Snircles from Geneviève Crabe's blog, Tangle Harmony.
As I tried to explain to Caroline why I wasn't quite happy with it, she understood and summarized beautifully: "I think maybe you overworked it."

Fortunately, I took a few photos of it in progress at the coffee café, so you can see how it looked before shading.

  . . . before the outermost aura . . .
and after the outermost aura and Sez background. I think I like it better like this than I do shaded. But that's's all about the process,
as the Diva reminds us. :-)

I would LOVE, love, LOVE to hear your thoughts, questions, suggestions, responses to my art and/or my blog entry. So don't be shy!
Leave me a comment!
And if you are new to my blog, please read my back posts to learn more about me and my amazing tangling daughter Caroline.

Happy tangling!
Amy in TN

Sunday, April 8, 2012

May, oh nice! Must Art. Catch Up!

Caroline's Easter Egg, featuring her tangles Decoloca
and Bunears. She did this entry yesterday in her
Tangle-a-Day Calendar. :-)
Stay tuned for step-outs (directions) for Decoloca and Bunears.
Happy Easter, to those who celebrate this miraculous holiday! Happy Spring to everyone! I am posting one of my daughter's designs today. Thank you, Caroline!

It's barely, why is my title about May? Because I need to catch up. Ketchup...Catsup...whatever. Get the full pun range now? If you are not a pun person, please accept my apology. I'm sorry. But I love a fun pun, and if I waited a month, I'd surely forget. May is always a crazy month for me. (But then, aren't they all?!) Plus, cookout season is here, and I am husband is a grill master!

So there is soooooooo much for me to catch up on! You might think that I have stepped away from tangling for a while, but that is SO not true! I tangle every chance I get, and I tangle in my head when I can't be tangling on tiles. (Mentangling?) I have started numerous Diva challenges, but not quite finished them as family comes even before tangling. A few weeks ago, we had Spring Break, which meant ROAD TRIP! To Orlando! We did the Magic Kingdom...then Universal Studios...then E.P.C.O.T. (my former "stomping ground" as I did the WDW College Program a couple of decades ago)...then Sea World...then Sea World again, as you get a second day FREE! :-) We really enjoyed SeaWorld. (Tanglefish--DUH!) They have an amazing, unique roller coaster call Manta, which we loved, but our favorite thing there was feeding the stingrays. What cool creatures! They actually seem friendly, approaching the sides of their pool to take food from our hands, and seeming to give us "high 5s" with their fins as they glided so gracefully by, sometimes splashing us.

It was NOT a relaxing, restful vacation...but it was great fun! Unfortunately, it left very little time & energy for tangling. I was utterly exhausted at the end of every day! On the one day that we did not visit a theme park, I did find time to tangle another metal ATC, this time in ink, using my Sakura IdentiPen. It was the week of the Fengle challenge...I will add a photo as soon as I get it scanned. I started a traditional tile featuring Fengle as well, while my kids and I were enjoying a meal at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant at Downtown Disney. I'll post a scan of it when it's finished. Caroline also started a Fengle tile, working in white-on-black--I don't even know if she's finished it yet. She is working on homework, so I will ask her later.

I have lots of news--like the fact that last Tuesday I presented Zentangle to the most wonderful audience: the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild. What a fun, gracious, talented group!!! There were about 80 quilters there...I'm not a quilter (though I AM a quilter-wanna-be), and I want to join their group just for the fun and to be around all that creative energy! Here is the mosaic of tiles they created during the hands-on portion of my presentation:

Contributing to the group mosaic was optional, so there were even more cool tiles created that night that did not make it into the photo. I am so appreciative of those who did bring their tiles up, though. It was truly a beautiful sight to behold everyone's interpretation of the tangles I taught!

Caroline helped at the "Zentangle Marketplace," which we stocked with a wide selection of goodies. Stay tuned for a "Products" page here on my blog where I will list what I have available for local tanglers here in East Tennnessee! I have a great inventory of  Zentangle Kits and Design Originals Zentangle books. I even have the new Zendala Sets and all of Sandy Steen Bartholomew's books, including her newest, Tangled Fashionista!