Something Pithy Here

"Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop." -- The King of Hearts

I'm an adopted Texan. As they say, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" I post pictures and opinions as suits my mood, mostly because I can. Hooray Internet! 

So far I have three blogs here. By the Way is the oldest. I started it in 2003. I lost a couple of years to Vox because I was too lazy to bother to export when they shut down. I consider it an exercise in accepting impermanence. When I followed my husband to Singapore for his first expat assignment, I started (T)expatriate: A Southern Girl in Singapore. That covers 2010 and 2011, give or take. Next came Oslo, and (T)expat 2: Norwegian Boogaloo,  in 2012. Now I'm back home, and back on By the Way.

Pix live on Flickr. I toss links out on Twitter when I feel like it. I'm still not sure what to do with G+ but I kinda like it.


Been tangled up (in a good way :-)

I’ve been having a lot of fun with Zentangle lately. As a habitual doodler, I was hooked when I first discovered it over a year ago, but in the last few months I’ve found: a pattern-sharing group on flickr, a pattern database, some really inspiring flickr contacts, and Sandy Bartholomew’s books. All this iiiinput (Stephanie) has got my tangling in overdrive!

Plus I finally figured out how to get my scanner to make a good line-art scan :-)


After marveling at skinnystraycat’s tangles on flickr, it finally occurred to me that maybe I could also draw one that wasn’t in a square ;-) And sure enough, I could. This was also the first time I got the Pepper pattern to come out looking kinda 3-d instead of just like a flattened starfishy thing.


After that I needed MORE circles. Good thing I had a compass hanging around!


Looking back through my book, I realized that I was happier with drawings that ended up with more dark areas. When I first started, I would rarely color in any large space. The commitment! Scary! As a result, those now look kind of wispy and insubstantial to me. So I decided to take it to the extreme and try one with a LOT of black. Well, it took for-fricking-ever to color all that in, even with an 08 pen, but I like the result.


I got to one of the centerfold pages in my book and decided to try a zendala. I’ve done a few of these now and every single time I go through this up-and-down love-it-hate-it-love-it cycle. When I get to one of the hate-it points, I just tell myself to keep going, add something, anything! And so far I’ve always come out on the other end loving it.


Laura Harms has been posting weekly Zentangle challenges, and mostly I haven’t been playing along because, well, I’m lazy I guess, but one of them involved using two pencils to make a double string. I tried it on that black-background one above, but then somebody somewhere posted the idea to put something between the two pencils to make a super-wide double string, so I tried that too :-)


And here, inspired by PRaile and a whole bunch of gorgeous new patterns in Sandy’s books I got brave enough to try a no-string flower-y drawing and I love it. I think those crazy little antenna things (leaves, or thorns?) are my favorite part.

I have even more in my book now, but haven’t scanned ‘em yet. I figured I’d better go ahead and post these or I’d never get around to it, and how sad would the internet be then?!

Anyhow, if you’re at all intrigued by this Zentangle thing, check out the starter kit and the newsletters on the official website. Yes, the kit is kind of expensive, and sure, it’s nothing you couldn’t figure out on your own, (and no, I’m not getting a commission ;-) but you just might be stumbling into something incredibly satisfying and mentally liberating. For me, it was definitely worth tossing a few bucks as a thank you to the folks who took the time to think through how to make it accessible and just so… darned… EASY. Like the ad says, that’s priceless :-)

Totally Tangled
Yoga for Your Brain a Zentangle Workout

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