Pat Mathes,CZT
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last One for 2015

Zendalas are my zen.  I really get lost in them.  I have been working on this one for a few days.  It is created mostly from Ann Grasso template.  Color is prismacolor.  Size is 9" diameter.

Tangled Lives 2016 WORD

My word for 2016 is Continue.
I used a background of Color Burst. Then spread thin coat of White Dyllusions paint over a part of it so the letters would show.  Finished it off with mac n cheese tangles. My challenge will be to photograph the pages better.  Last year I used single pages and put them in a scrapbook.  This year I am using a Dyllusions Journal so the pages will probably not lay flat.

Our Tangled Lives Week 52

What a great year this has been and oh am I looking forward to next year!  We summed up the year in this last journal prompt and created a piece of the puzzle to link with others in our group.  I have learned so much in this last year - in fact I list that as my most surprising accomplishment.  My favorite new media has to be the mixed media art journaling I have been learning.  My favorite memory of the year was Tangle U 2015 in Santa Fe and all the new friends I made there and elsewhere in our Zentangle community.  And I now have a favorite color - ALL OF THEM!

I picked two symbols of spiritual growth - adaptability and energy.  Energize was actually my word for the year 2015.

The background of this page is dyllusions spray ink with colorburst.  I added some of the gelli plate prints I made.  The top puzzle piece is a gelli plate print.  The bottom right one is an alcohol ink print I made.  I have stamped borders around the entire page.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Square One: Trumpits

Theresa Glover's pattern Trumpits is this week's focus pattern.  I found this pattern a while back and have used it in some zendalas to fill in near the border.  It is a great fill pattern.  I tend to let it meander rather than stay in an "x" form.  And it is a great emphasis pattern for value/tone contrast balance.  Here, I have used it with Featherfall (Carol Ohl's pattern).
Here is the stepout for Trumpit - it is really a simple pattern to draw and let meander.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Square One: Ixorus

This week's focus pattern is the official Zentangle pattern Ixorus. I changed it up a bit, adding some embellishment.

Here is the stepout.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Our Tangled Lives - Week 51

This week's journal prompt was to honor our culture, our ancestry, our heritage.  I chose to honor my family history in Kansas.  These roots are what made me who I am today.  My family was old - to me!  My parents were in their 40s when I was born; my oldest brother has a daughter my age.  My oldest brother had 11 grandparents growing up; I had none (I was 4 when my last grandparent passed).  But I had aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles who had stories from their families of their lives during the hard times of settling in a new area in a time of unknown, Indian raids, through the dust bowl, through the depression.  And they told their stories.  And their children told their stories.  And I heard them from family and friends as I grew up.  We were not a rich family, but we were a proud family and shared love.  My oldest sister, who died in 1995, was our family historian and I have pieced together some things I was able to find.  I relate a story told by family of the Indians and Wild Bill Hickock.  As I was putting this together, I restudied my family timeline, the steps taken, the losses.  It was a time of rememberance. And I refreshed my memory on who I am.  Why I am.  How I am.

The narrative doesn't show clearly in the photo:

My grandparents on both sides arrived in Kansas in 1886 and 1887.  Their early years and ancestry was in the east, both sides having soldiers in the Union Army.  I think my mother’s side came from Germany originally, the first child being born in the US in 1770.  There is Pennsylvania Dutch background there too. But I want to share this story, related by my great or great great aunt (I am having some issues with the time line as parents named their children the same name).  I think this took place in the late 1870s  in Republic County, Kansas.

Father and Mother went to town and left us kids at home.  The Indians came and we were afraid.  Our house was partly in the hillside and Father had dug back and made a place to store potatoes, etc.  My sister (my grandmother, I think)  had long black hair and we were afraid the Indians would steal her so we put her in the root celler and shut it up, and the other young children went to the caves while the older sister watched for Indians.  Father heard in town that the Indians were coming so they came back as soon as they could, arriving after the Indians were gone, and got quite a scare when they came in and no kids.  But when the main group of Indians arrived Wild Bill was with them, so all was OK and the children were safe.

Another time, Mother said she and the children were alone; the men had gone to the mill to have grain ground for flour and to get groceries and feed.  Usually several teams went and brought back enough to last for several months. Some Indians came through there on their way to hunt.  She said they always were glad when a lot of Indians came through if Wild Bill Hickock was with them.  But they were never sure when they first saw them coming if they were renegade tribes or not.  This time they were camped near them and Wild Bill Hickcock came to see if he could get water from their well and they did.  It was early spring and one of the children had a bad cold and was terribly ill in the night.  Someone knocked on the door.  They were all scared, but the knocking continued.  Her mother opened the door and it was Wild Bill.  He had seen the light from their camp and knew the baby must be worse than when they were there for water.  He brought medicine and made poultices and cared for the child, and in the morning he was better.  It was cold and raining.  Mother said there was water everywhere.  Hickock and his men cut wood and did the outside chores, milking, etc.  The Indians helped.  She said two old Indian women came up and sat with them so their mother could rest.  Mother said they were good, they were scared.  She said the old women grunted and talked and kept the house warm and tended the sick child.  Mother said they weren’t near as afraid of the Indians after that.

I was trying to put this together and put the family members in the right timeline, especially reading about Wild Bill Hickock and his history in Kansas.  In doing so, I found a wonderful website that had an awesome timeline of Kansas history.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tangled Lives Week 50

A year almost done.  And I am so pleased to say I have completed every prompt for the year - one each week.  Some took more time than others, and some were easier than others, but they were all done.

This week we were challenged to create tags/labels for ourselves.  There are two ways to look at this.  You could use kind labels, which hopefully is where we all are at in our lives.  And labels that we would use to describe ourselves.  I am a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend, an artist, and so on, but that is almost cookie cutter in its own way.  Am I a good friend; am I a good artist - these are such general labels that don't really give an insight to what is inside.

But face reality, not all labels are kind.  Growing up, children can be mean and label another child as fat, ugly, stupid, etc.  Sometimes those labels stay with that person inside their own minds.  If you have negative people around you, you can be labeled as not successful, not pretty, not smart, etc.  And labels can lead to stereotypes, as we see in our world today.  If you are labeled old, you are stereotyped as helpless and frail.  So I ask that no labels be placed on me.  I am an individual and will keep my labels internal and ever changing.

This is not meant to be a negative representation of this prompt - it is just kind of from my heart having suffered through some of those labels in the past.  I hope I don't offend anyone by my take on this.  (And maybe you will read between the lines and see where I am coming from with this - labels haven't been kind to me in the past)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Diva Challenge 248

This week's challenge is to create for a friend, family or stranger.  And Laura is taking the rest of the year off for much needed family time.  This year I created Christmas cards using various techniques, and alcohol ink ornaments for gifts.  Not really zentangling, but art which supports my ZIA work.  So I used the cards and ornaments to practice some of the techniques.  Here is one of the cards, and a plate of the ornaments.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Our Tangled Lives: Week 49

The prompt for week 49 is to find a quote and incorporate it with a tangle.  Quotes that we connect with can represent some of our most important values.  My quote is: "Life is like a roller coaster - It has its ups and downs, But it's your choice to scream or enjoy the ride!"  This quote actually came to me 30 years ago - in a true to life form - from my mother.  I was going through a rough time in life and was visiting my parents.  I was sitting on the floor at my mother's feet and asked her how she managed to live with my father for over 50 years.  My father could be a stubborn, quiet but opinionated man.  Her response to me was that living with him was like a roller coaster ride - sometimes he made her scream with joy and other times made her stomach fall to the floor with dismay.  And she made the screams outweigh the pit of the stomach feeling.  I never forgot that moment, and can still picture it in my mind.  My mother has been gone since 1987 - she and my father had been married 63 years at that time.  But this is one piece of advice she gave that stuck in my mind.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Diva Challenge 247 - UMT African Artist

This week is the UMT challenge (Use My Tangle) with the pattern African Artist by Tina at Akua Art.  Tina was in my CZT certification class and I had the pleasure of meeting her.  I love her patterns and use them quite a bit.  African Artist has quite a few twists and turns.  Here I used it with  Purk.  And in the world of Zentangle, remember, THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only new opportunities.  That presented itself here - I won't say where, but it took me a different direction.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Square One: Drupe

This week's focus pattern is Drupe, a pattern from Sandy Steen Bartholomew.  I have a couple large pieces I am working on so I stayed pretty basic with this pattern and actually did it as a monotangle.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Diva Challenge 245

Guest blogger Dilip Patel from India gave us the challenge of creating a tree with a monotangle pattern using the tree as the string. Mr. Patel states that we are in dire need of re-forestation in our environment and with this challenge we are making a Zentangle statement for a great cause.  I have been "silently" working on trees, compiling photographs and studying art with trees as the subject because I am fascinated by trees. I have a couple of drawings in mind that I want to do, but for this challenge, I created my monotangle with Diva Dance.

Our Tangled Lives Week 48 Traditions

The prompt this week had to do with our holiday traditions.  Here is what I wrote and my holiday picture.  The pictures on my page are actually Christmas cards that I have drawn using some pictures on Pinterest that caught my interest.  The background is Dyllusions spray ink and the snowflakes are stenciled with pan pastels.

Growing up on a farm in western Kansas, I was pretty much raised as an only child. My siblings were all quite a bit older and most already had families of their own. The main two things I remember was that on Christmas Eve my mother would make a big pot of chili so my siblings and their families could have dinner as they traveled home for Christmas at different times of the evening – the pot was always hot. Christmas presents were usually opened on Christmas Eve since Christmas Day was always about family and food. We would usually rent the basement of city hall to hold everyone. It was an extended family celebration that went on all day with lots of food and people coming and going all day. Games and love abounded. But it was a peaceful time in the love that was there.
I raised my boys away from the farm and family and didn't travel much due to weather conditions, so we created our own celebrations, usually with a lot of friends around. We still did the pot of chili on Christmas Eve and we would go to Christmas Eve services at church. Always a tree and brightly wrapped presents and as much celebration with friends as possible. We tried to maintain the tradition of peace in our lives during the season.
Now I have turned holiday traditions over to my daughter-in-law. It does please me that both of my boys have still kept the chili tradition on Christmas Eve. Now I watch them start their own traditions. But in my mind it is always family, love, peace, food, beautiful crafts, trees and presents. And that pot of chili!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Square One: Steps

This week's focus pattern is Steps by Helen Williams.  I love the freedom of Helen's patterns.

Here is my tile with printemps and Squid added.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


I finally jumped into the ring and tried the gems pattern which was shown to us by  Kae Yoshino.  Eni Oken has also taken this and is making another of her great tutorial e-books.  I studied the way she created her gems, and it worked for me.  First, I took a photo of the tile before I started shading and weighting.

Then the finished tile.
flux, mooka, Mr. E, crescent moon, tumbleweed, arukas, hollibaugh and echoes and auras around the gems.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Square One: Pea Knuckle

This week's focus pattern for Square One is Molly Hollibaugh's pattern Pea-Knuckle.

This is definitely not one I have used in the past - it is not a favorite of mine even now.  I have used it here with mooka and shattuck.  I kept going back and working on contrast to make the tile balance.  So I think I lost my zen on this one.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Diva Challenge 245 - Hollibaugh

My Hollibaugh captured Blooming Butter and wrapped around the Zander!

This is definitely one where the shading made the piece. Here it is before shading was started.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Celtic Zendala

I picked up a book by Greg Grace named "Coloring & Drawing". It has some wonderful mandalas, both templates and the how-tos to create them.  My love is in the creation, so I spent today working on this one. It is a celtic knot mandala, colored with prismacolors, highlighted with gel pens.  It took the better part of a day but it was a great day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Article Reviewing Silver Pens

Deb Prewitt at Blue Twig Studio in Colorado Springs asked me to review six pens from the store.  I love pens so this was a great review to make.  And I must admit I like all six of the pens I tried out.  In fact I have been sitting here playing more with one of them today as I have been trying out patterns for my Christmas cards.  The photos don't show well, but the solid colored portions are silver.  This is the PenTouch.

You can see my complete article here. And I follow it with a couple of my pictures from today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Diva Challenge 244

A tile using Tripoli is this week's Diva Challenge .  I like Tripoli but my Tripoli sometimes has a tendency to wander.  So I had to corral it.

Then I decided to see if I could keep one corraled and did it in color.  Like a beautiful flower!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Paradox in the Blues!

I liked the way the paradox design I did for this week's Square One tile turned out, and decided I wanted to try it in my Blue and Tan journal.  It does still pop, albeit in a different way, and I like it.  The black and white one is actually a bit more dramatic in person than the tan one, though.  So I think the black and white one is still my favorite.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Square One: Paradox

I love the linework of Paradox.  It is a favorite and I use it often. It loses some contrast with the photograph but I really enjoyed making this one.  I spent quite a bit of time on the shading.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

OurTangled Lives - Week 46 Lettering

This week we were to peruse the book Whimsical Lettering by Joann Sharpe.  I do have this book and this falls in line with my playing with my new Dyllusions Black Journal.  I watched a video where White Dyllusions paint was used on the black journal to make a swatch to then do black lettering.  I used the Black Micron Brush Pen to do the lettering, and highlighted the lettering with a White Gelly Roll pen.  I did a little more Gelly Roll pen highlighting.  This was my first experiment with this process and I have a whole journal to play with!!  This page was actually a trial page done on black artagain paper and then attached to scrapbook paper.  I did find a fitting quote - "Fill your paper with breathings of the heart."

Diva Challenge 243 - ATiny Taste

Wow, what a challenge.  Less is better!  Laura challenged us this week to intentionally leave most of our space open with no tangles.  So here goes.  Of course, I have to use Mooka!  But I did add a frame.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Journaled and Tangled

I was working in my journal today.  I wanted to do Fengle, and as I started it, I saw a possible change and tried it.  I mixed Helen Williams' Tumbleweed with Fengle.

I could see potential.  So I started working it, and added some mooka (of course), flux, floodlites, verdigogh, tipple, punzel, Mr. E.  This one I am going to show unshaded as well as the final page, since the shading really makes a big difference.
Here is the final:

Square One: Cyme

Oh - Cyme Cyme!  (see me, see me)  I can't be contained!  Even Mooka couldn't contain me!  This week's focus pattern is the official Zentangle pattern Cyme.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Brown, blue and white

My friend, CZT Irena Lesner, gave me a new journal - it is a Kona Classic 6"x6" journal with 88 lb. tan toned paper 100% recycled, partially from coffee bean bags.  It is awesome!  Ginny Lockhart and Terri Oliver Young have been doing some journal pages on tan paper using blue and white.  I love this style - Sharla Hicks showed it to us at Tangle U and I have taught two classes using the blue and white on tan.  One of my favorite looks.  So I decided to start out this wonderful journal with this style.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 45 - Purely Zentangle Layered

Karen Sandoval at Tangled Dreams has been doing pages recently where she traces tiles - regular sized, zendala, and/or bijou sized - overlapping them, and then tangling.  She treats each tile as one tile at a time.  She has created some pretty cool pages using this method - filling an entire sketchbook.  Her prompt for us this week was to do a page in this matter.

I have been dealing with family issues lately that have been mentally challenging.  So my mind has not been too straight on planning.  I find solace right now in zendalas and in mindless lines.  So I did my grouping as 3 tiles and a zendala.  One tile was my favorite mooka.  Another one I used well, printemps, dragonaire, purk and cadent.  The next tile, I used well as the string, and did a betweed variation, nzeppel, socc, with some orbs and striping accents.  The zendala was just my line work - a flower of life center, some paradox, some tripoli, and linework.  I threw in some blue chalk highlights and did a hatchwork background with a framing.  Oh, yes, I added some Trumpits in the background, too.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Diva Challenge 242

This week instead of a UMT (use my tangle), the Diva Challenge is to use the new official Zentangle pattern from Maria, Gourdgeous.
I did two tiles - the first one is using a blue ink on cream paper.  The second one is white and pink metallic on black artgain paper.

I started out trying to create a torus pattern zendala and made a mistake, but liked the pattern that was evolving.  (Remember, in zentangle there are no mistakes, only new opportunities!)  I was playing with different media to see how the colors worked on the paper I was using.  It kept getting worse and worse and I kept trying to save it.  I wasn't real happy with the end result, but decided it was worth posting to show that not everything ends the way you see it in your mind to begin.  This is about 10" square.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Square One: Verve and InkTober 31

Happy Halloween!  A great day, beautiful weather, and a fun class on prismacolor techniques at Blue Twig Studio in Colorado Springs.  We had a great time and it is always fun teaching people something new.  An "Ah crap" moment on the way home - I didn't get any pictures of WIP.  But they really did have a good start on their dreamcatchers.

This week's Square One focus pattern is Verve.

 I am not very familiar with it, but decided to give it a band of Nymph.  The shading is what made this one work in my opinion.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our Tangled Lives - Week 43 and 44

I am combining Weeks 43 (a favorite picture  or picture that inspires) and 44 (the mask we wear).  A picture worth a thousand words - and wearing a mask!  I decided to show my mask on my picture.  I think I have always worn a mask to cover my feelings.  This quote fits - "We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing our own skin."