Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Need a Tangle*A*Day 2013 calendar?

If you haven't seen Carole Ohl's newest Tangle*A*Day calendar, it's not too late to pick up one to kick-off your new year.

Carole's done an excellent job researching paper stock and has come up with a surface that's well-suited to your Sakura Pigma Micron 01 tangling pens. She's planned a nifty and useful page layout. It's a terrific tangling surface, and the daily box frames can be used in several different ways.

I'm posting some examples here to give you some ideas. You can do a solo tangle per day, or you can do multiple tangles on a single day. Try drawing a string within one day, or across two or three.

I have one copy remaining, available immediately, at $22.50. Contact me if you would like to snag it.

Tangle a couple of tangles a day for less than a month, and you will be all caught up!

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Survey says..." help, please!

Survey says... Part 1

I am currently working on updating curriculum for my Beyond the Basics class series. I would like some input from any of you tanglers who already know the basics, whether through my Zentangle® 101 Basics class, a class with another certified teacher, or your own exploration with the practice.

What topics most intrigue or confound you?
What tangles are you most interested in learning?
Is there a Zentangle Inspired Art project you'd like to try?

What would YOU like to learn?

Survey says... Part 2

Additionally, some of the CZTs with whom I collaborate and share resources have been asked if they would be willing to meet with some students to tangle on a regular basis, sort of a mini-class - something like a quilting group or book club - to provide some guidance for a reduced fee.

I don't presently have such a group planned for my local area, but I'd consider it. I'm interested in hearing from you if it's something that "tangles your fancy." If you are in King, Pierce, or Snohomish County, or maybe a bit further afield, let me know what you think.

You can either comment on this post, or preferably, email me at arupley55(at)

And thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Linda Farmer's "Tangle Guide, 2013 Edition" now available

I know, I know. I JUST posted about how you don't need to know every tangle and pattern and try to corral all the step-outs. And that IS true.

But as a public service, I did want to let you know that the 2013 edition of Linda Farmer's lovely Tangle Guide has been published. Linda does a stellar job of doing that corraling of all manner of tangles and patterns for the rest of us tanglers. Her website,, has all kinds of links and resources and step-outs and suggestions and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! (Just kidding about the animals...)

Linda has put together a guide with almost more tangles and patterns than you can imagine, and this updated edition covers all the new ones up until the very end of 2012.

If you are interested in your own personal copy, you can get the details from her at Linda does ask for a minimum $12 donation in return for an e-copy of the guide, which helps enable her to keep on providing us with this superb service that she has put together.

If you DO get a copy of the guide (or even if you just go to the website), remember, start small. Try the official tangles first, or if you see another one that you just love, ok, try that one, too. Patience and practice will pay off.

Tangle on!

Recommend-A-Friend program still on for 2013

Tangling the Zentangle® way is even better with friends!

With the Recommend-A-Friend program, receive $5 off of your class registration fee with each friend's paid registration. Good for all class levels. Not valid for classes taught at organized venues. Limit per class to the value of the class fee, not including supplies cost.

Grab a friend (or 2 or 3), and you’ll have a ready-made shared group activity when you get together forever after.

Contact me for available class dates.

Overwhelmed by tangles and patterns?

I've been meaning to address this for a while now, as it happened to me when I first started tangling. There are around 140 official Zentangle® tangles at this point in time. There are at least a few hundred more tangles and patterns* available in books and on-line. While that's an amazing collection to which we have access, what's a new tangler to do?

At first, I frantically tried to collect step-outs** of them all, organizing them alphabetically in a 3-ring binder with page protectors. I spent so much time organizing, I hardly had time for the tangling. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my time. 

Then I took a class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher, got more in touch with the simplicity of the practice, and quit trying to go for the gusto with my all-encompassing binder (which by then was two binders because the first one wasn't big enough to hold all I was collecting!). It was suggested to me that I start with the official tangles, about 130 at that time, which I learned from both certified teachers and on my own with step-outs. I still don't have them all memorized, frankly, but that will come, as with other practices, with time.

Memorizing all the tangles and names isn't as important as the practice of Zentangle. Rick Roberts, one of the founders of the Zentangle method, commented on their Zentangle blog ( that he and Maria (Thomas - the other founder) both have their favorites, their "go-to" tangles that they like to use frequently. I have my favorites, and you will, too. It's not a rule that you have to like all of the tangles equally or even use them at all.

So, first, relax. Don't stress out. Don't try to do what I did. Pick up a tile and your pen and pencil and start small. Go easy. Enjoy the process. The rest will come with time. In your time, and nobody else's.

Tangle on!

* Not all patterns can be tangles. Tangles are non-representational structured patterns made up of no more than two or three (and frequently only one) of the five elemental strokes of the Zentangle Method. Patterns are all around us in our world, and many are suitable for deconstructing to create a tangle. However, not all patterns can become successful tangles. They can be fun and interesting, and you may choose to use them in your Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA). But to keep to the basic tenets of the Zentangle Method and receive the most benefit from the practice, tangles, official or not, are the first choice over patterns.
** Step-outs are simply the step-by-step instructions, usually 6 steps or fewer, that show how a tangle (or pattern) is created.

Come on, get happy!

Happy New Year (a little delayed)! I hope the holiday season was one of joy and blessings for you, and that your 2013 is off to a great start. It's cold, cold, cold here this last week, but that just means it's a terrific time to sit by the fire, or wherever suits your fancy, and tangle away, which I've been doing.

Had a lovely time in a Zentangle® 101 Basics class with four new tanglers last Saturday. I am always pleased and surprised at how each student takes to tangling and does it with his or her own style, even when I teach them all the same basic Zentangle method.

More on that another time. Back to getting happy... I wanted to let you know about a class I'll be teaching at the Anacortes (WA) Center for Happiness on February 17, 2013. The link for more detail and to sign up for the class is 

The class will be another Zentangle 101 Basics class, plus a bit. The Sunday afternoon class is a 3-hour format, from 1 to 4 pm, rather than the more standard 2-hour Basics class I usually teach. As noted on the website, there is a class minimum of 10, so if you are interested, don't delay registering so the Center can get an accurate count.

What is the Center for Happiness, you say? According to founder Laura Lavigne, "the
Anacortes Center for Happiness is both a movement and a place. One of Washington's very first Social Purpose Corporations, the Center's stated mission is to "provide joy, growth, connection and kindness to its patrons and anyone associated with it - as well as the local, state, national and world community." As a movement, it is an invitation for you, wherever you are, to join us and participate in raising your own happiness, as well as the world's happiness."
It's an intriguing concept, and I invite you to check out the Center ( and its "Happy Calendar" in more detail.

The world can always use more happiness, and so can each of us. Zentangle is a life-skill and tool that can make a difference in your "happiness quotient." So come on, sign-up and get happy!