Suzanne McNeill
Suzanne is often known as “the Trendsetter” of the arts and crafts industry. Dedicated to hands-on creativity, she constantly tests, experiments and invents something new and fun. Suzanne is the creative woman behind Design Originals, a publishing company dedicated to all things fun and creative. She is an artist, designer, publisher, TV personality, columnist, art instructor, author and lover of everything hands-on.

Art & Soul Retreat Virginia Beach

     View a YouTube, Zentangle® and Templates, a great technique for cards and journals. You'll want to check out the newest and wonderful ways to add pizzazz to your tangle designs with little metal stencils.

     I am so-o-o excited! Art and Soul Retreat is coming to Virginia Beach, VA in March and my classes are almost full. Nurturing your creative soul is a must. For over ten years Art and Soul Retreats have been dedicated to just that. It is a mixed media extravaganza, filled with classes, the yummiest supplies, ephemera and workshops from well known artists as well as newly discovered ones. Everyone has a passion for what they do and is ready to share their knowledge and ideas. If you love mixed media, art, jewelry and creativity, you'll be in the right place when you experience Art and Soul. Check out their class offerings and I hope to see you in Virginia in March.

      The retreat offers women (well 99% women) a chance to explore new mediums, perfect exciting new techniques and discover their own individual style. The list of class offerings at Art & Soul in Virginia Beach  is amazing ...  jewelry-journals-dolls-fibers-metal-clay-resin-enamel-painting and more. 

     I am teaching three classes at Art & Soul  and taking several classes from other artists... I can hardly wait (and I'm teaching 3 more classes in Portland, OR in September). As a teacher and a student I always come away from these events filled with energy and a new spark of creativity.

Spirit Dolls - Zentangle® on Gourds - Sunday, March 4
You all know how much I love Zentangle, I also enjoy designing on gourds. These handy nature grown vessels make a fabulous surface for Zentangle - the pen just glides across the surface. In this class we take the magic of a "Spirit Doll" and enhance the meaning and beauty by adding Zentangle patterns. Don't worry, I am bringing clean gourds and supplies for the class, so you don't need to worry about finding your own gourd.
Art and Soul  - Virginia Beach, VA - class #VA152

Zentangle Art Journals - Monday, March 5

     I hope you have a journal or a sketchbook of some kind to work in occasionally ... better yet daily. Even if it is only a small addition of watercolor, tangle patterns, paint, images or sketches - it can add up to something valuable. With Zentangle my journaling has evolved into a more personal experience.  Learning new tangles allows me to freely and without too much thinking add beautiful flourishes and embellishments to my journals. I don't have to search for the perfect stamp or image... I am more comfortable with what I can draw on the page. That is the idea behind this journal workshop. This class also covers how to make your journal more visually engaging by adding windows, foldouts and interactive pages.
Art and Soul - Virginia Beach, VA - class #VA154

Silk Scarves - Dyeing with Sharpie Markers - Sunday eve, March 4
     The Silk Scarf workshop is so much fun,  I am always amazed at the beautiful colors that can be achieved from the blend of seemingly normal markers and alcohol. This class explores other techniques as well... shibori, stamps, tie-dye and textures. You'll go home with 2 finished silk scarves. All you need to do is sign up for the class (I'll bring the scarves and the supplies).
Art and Soul  - Virginia Beach, VA - class #VA208

     Hopefully, some of you will be able to attend Art & Soul this year. You'll be sorry if you miss it.
     Take some time this year to explore your creative side, being creative is something to be cherished. Tune into fun and instructive videos on YouTube, take an online class or gather with kindred spirits who enjoy exchanging ideas.

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                        Zentangle #96


The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at

Fun, fun, fun at Art of the Carolinas

View a YouTube - Have fun making a fun and funky Stash & Smash - Junk Journal from a paper bag and window envelopes. Recycle artist Cindy Shepard shows you how.

     Recycle-repurpose-reuse whatever you call it...  the old, worn and thrown away have begun to creep into the studios of many artists.  Cindy Shepard has taken her stash of trash and come up with some great  ideas for turning it all into treasured journals. Inside the pages of the book  'Stash and Smash', you will discover how to turn a toilet paper roll into a mini-journal, how to preserve old and tattered papers and how to turn everyday objects from your life into an art journal.

Fun Sketchbook and Art Journal class inspired by Zentangle®.

     I had so much fun attending the Art of the Carolinas show in North Carolina this year.  Manufacturers of all types of art materials attend, new products are demonstrated and over  100 workshops are given by well-known artists. Design Originals had a booth at the show plus I taught Zentangle® workshops to art enthusiasts.  Great students as usual, everyone who attends this venue is an eager learner.  There was lots of interest in Zentangle last year and even more this year ... yay! glad to see the word is spreading.

Free ATC workshops given by the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild.

      North Carolina is also home to  a very special and very active group of mixed media artists. The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild not only volunteer to setup and work the show, they also hold their own free workshops and display some of the marvelous art they have created through out the year.

Roberta Morgan and her beautiful quilt inspired by Zentangle.

      Members of the guild have so much fun too, many of them extend their creativity to the clothing they wear during the show... it's fun to see what they show up in every day.

Roberta Morgan painted fanciful designs on her overalls.

Penny Arrowood did a fabulous job on her Zentangle hi-top tennies.

     I taught three fun workshops this year, 'Zentangle Art Journals', 'Zentangle on Clayboard' and 'Zentangle and Watercolor'.  Since I taught here last year as well, I was delighted to see previous Zentangle students back for more.  They have discovered - as so many have - the beauty of Zentangle and how easily you can translate the pattern and design to other aspects of art.  Watercolor and Zentangle are a perfect match whether you attempt a large drawing or just add a few splashes to your art journal pages.
     Clayboard by Ampersand was a new medium for many of them. Clayboard has a smooth absorbent clay surface, scratch board tools and black MICRON pens are used to add designs. 
     I hope you all have a joyous holiday filled with friends and family. The poem below was written by quilter Donna Kinsey. I am sure many of us can identify with it!

A Quilter’s Christmas Eve
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, save my quilter spouse.
She sat by the chimney stitching stockings with care
In hopes she would finish before Nick did appear.
Her eyes, how they squinted, in concentration, so rarely
Did she spare a glance  from her quilting so merry.
With the moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
She embroidered a vest to a candle’s bright glow.
She spoke not a word but kept to her work,
And when she was finished, she turned with a jerk,
For she remembered that towel with the bear for her son,
Still needed a hem before t’would be done.
With the blink of an eye, and twist of bright red,
She knew she would finish, Twas nothing to dread.
She tied the last knot and remembered with fear she had started that runner so early this year. But it’s binding was left, the hand stitching undone.
If I use the machine, I can still beat the sun.
She ran to her room, just under the roof,
And thought she heard reindeer- A fatigue-driven spoof.
Dressed in her jammies, bunny slippers so warm;
The machine made a hum like bees in a swarm.
And as the fingers of dawn crept over the sill,
My quilter suddenly sat very still.
A smile lit her face; twas plain to see
The gifts were all wrapped and under the tree.
With a wink of an eye and a nod of her head,
My quilter, at last, trudged off to bed.
But I heard her sigh as she turned out the light,
Next year I’ll finish early...God bless and good night.
by  Donna MJ Kinsey, 2 October, 2011

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                                       Zentangle #95

 Jelly Roll

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at

Zen Monotypes & Gourds

     View a YouTube - 'Monotypes, Pin-Press and Zentangle®'... Creativity at it's best.  Junanne Peck shows how to use a Pin-Press and Akua inks to create a monotype, then add details and accents with tangles.

      Today I'm talking about the wonderful process of Monotypes with Zentangle... and I'll describe my coming classes at the Arizona Gourd Festival and at the Art and Soul Retreat in Virginia Beach, VA. I hope you can find time to take a class soon. For me, classes are about renewal of energy and creativity.

      Monotype is a wonderful type of creative printmaking. The process begins by applying color to a smooth surface such as glass or plexiglass. You can add marks, more colors, stencils, scratches - anything that will create a pleasing design. Your design is then transferred to paper using a Pin Press and Akua inks. I found it to be a wonderful medium to embellish with  Zentangle®.

     I have long been interested in learning more about Monotype printmaking. I finally made the time to attend a workshop given by a working artist, Junanne Peck. Junanne gave a marvelous workshop, and provided all the materials.  I am so pleased with the results I just wanted to share them with you. By the way, if you would like to take a class, you can reach Junanne at

     As most of you know traveling is one of my passions. When I travel for a trade show I usually stay a few extra days in whatever city I end up in just to tour the art museums and galleries, maybe even take an art class or two. Another favorite stop I sometimes make is gourd farms. Nothing better than tromping through fields of these fanciful, odd shaped ornamental plants. Especially now since I have discovered how easy they are to tangle on.  I love how the shape of the gourd can have such an impact on the Zentangle patterns I choose.

     One of my favorite farms is the Wuertz Gourd Farm right outside of Phoenix. They grow a vast amount and an endless variety of gourds. I will be teaching classes during their 9th Annual Gourd Festival held February 3-5, 2012. I am so excited to be offering workshops combining Zentangle and gourds, two of my loves.... plus I get to stock up on more gourds!
If you are planning to attend a workshops the sign up for classes begins today December 1st.  Here is a list of the classes I will be teaching. Hope to see you there.

Zia Mandala - inspired by Zentangle®

Teacher: Suzanne McNeil 9:30am-1:30pm Friday, February 3rd, 2012 - GC-19 Level: All Levels

Students Must Bring: A clean, dry smooth gourd- about 6”-10” in size is ideal.

        Enjoy the process of creating your own images, symbols and tangles on gourds. Zentangle is a meditative drawing style that increases focus and relaxation. It is perfect for all ages and skill levels. This exciting and visually engaging medium is fascinating. Suzanne’s captivating images have been referred to as “mesmerizing art”. Zentangle appeals to doodlers, graphic artists and painters. The class will include the Zentangle ritual and how to draw tangle patterns. You’ll learn the best design idea’s, appropriate materials and how to finish your gourd.

Zia Owls - inspired by Zentangle®

Teacher: Suzanne McNeil 9:30am-1:30pm Saturday, February 4th, 2012 - GC-31 Level: All Levels

        Enjoy the process of creating your own images, symbols and tangles on gourds. Zentangle is a meditative drawing style that increases focus and relaxation. It is perfect for all ages and skill levels. This exciting and visually engaging medium is fascinating. Suzanne’s captivating images have been referred to as “mesmerizing art”. Zentangle appeals to doodlers, graphic artists and painters. The class will include the Zentangle ritual and how to draw tangle patters. You’ll learn the best design idea’s, appropriate materials and how to finish your gourd.

     Soon after the gourd farm I will be giving a workshop at one of my favorite teaching and learning venues, the Art and Soul Retreat in Virgina Beach, VA.

Spirit Dolls
- inspired by Zentangle®
9:00am - 4"30pm, Sunday, March 4, 2012 -VA152

‘Spirit Dolls’ have magical meaning. Learn about these dolls and create a personal spirit. Enjoy the process of creating your own images and muse symbols on hard-shell gourds. The class will include the Zentangle ritual and how to draw tangle patterns. Create a clay face on your spirit gourd and draw tangles for an original designs. Make a sampler gourd shard for a piece of jewelry. You’ll also learn how to add color to the tangles and how to add dimension with shading.
     Zentangle® is a meditative drawing style that increases focus, dexterity and relaxation. It is perfect for all ages and skill levels. This exciting and visually engaging medium is fascinating. Suzanne’s captivating images have been referred to as “mesmerizing art”. Zentangle appeals to children, doodlers, graphic artists, quilters and painters. A gourd and all materials needed for the class are included.

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                                 Zentangle #94


The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at

International Quilt Market & Festival 2011

View a YouTube - Use Zen-sational Quilting to create decorative elements for quilting, applique and drawing on fabric. Check out how to create Zentangle® birdies.

Zentangle birdies.

   One of the events I look forward to every year is the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston, Texas.  This premier quilt show is host to some of the most fantastic quilt artists, new fabrics, antique quilts and instructors imaginable. People really do come from all over the world to attend. 

New books in the Fox Chapel/Design Originals booth at Market .

     I was given the opportunity to be one of five presenters in the 'Applique Forum'.  It gave me a chance to connect with fellow quilters and share my own quilting journey. My first quilting experience was five baby quilts that I put together for my grandchildren.  I have made and learned from many mistakes over the years, they have all helped me grow in life as well as in my art form. I also shared what I am presently working on - creating Zentangle® patterns with applique.

I showed a few of my original designs for applique quilts.

Zentangle inspired quilting for the 'Quilting Sampler' presentation.

     There are so many fun things to participate in at International Quilt Festival. I also gave a 'Quilting Sampler' presentation introducing my new book, 'Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting'.   Zentangle translates so well to the quilting world because of the repetitive patterns used... I chose continuous-line tangles for my new designs. 

Zentangle students with their tangled canvas bags.

     One of the classes I taught involved drawing tangles with a Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric onto a canvas bag.  There were 35 students in the class, many of them completely new to Zentangle... everyone was delighted with the results. The canvas bag looks great with a tangle design simply drawn with the fabric pen. Whether you draw tangles with a pen or stitch them free motion the process is the same, it is only the tool that is different.

Donna Lohman in her Zentangle shirt.

     One of the attendees at the Quilt Festival, Donna Lohman, was wearing this beautiful blouse she had drawn tangles on.  Donna wears another shirt underneath this one and carries a pen with her.  When she has a few moments she removes her shirt and draws a few more tangles on it. Her plan is to eventually fill the entire blouse with tangles. Isn't this a novel idea?

Tangled tennies make walking more fun.

     Mother and daughter, Linda Heathersich and Stephanie Sheridan stopped by the booth to show me their tangled shoes.  I was delighted to see so many attendees already familiar with Zentangle.

Mixed Media surface designs for cloth are one of my favorites.

     Another class that is always a joy to teach is 'Mixed Media on Cloth'.  I teach 3 methods of coloring cloth.  A Sharpie marker on silk, fluid acrylics in a squeeze applicator on muslin cloth and fluid acrylics mixed with Golden GAC-100 on drill cloth (a lightweight canvas available at fabric stores). Each process produces beautiful color and pattern.

Book signing at International Quilt Festival was Zen-sational.

     A big thank you to The Craftsmans Touch for inviting me to appear in their booth for book signings.  I got to introduce the new book 'Zen-sational Stitches for Quilters' , available the end of November, as well as some of my all-time quilting favorites, 'Twist & Turn' and ''10-Minute Blocks'.

This has been a big year for me, I sold my company of over 25 years to a wonderful  publishing company, Fox Chapel Publishing.  While the process has been a little scary for me it has also given me some time to reflect on how I will go forward and all I have been able to experience during my years as a publisher.
     While I was attending the Quilt Festival someone remarked to me how easily I seemed to be able to reinvent myself. They were surprised at the range of classes I was teaching.  It got me to thinking how blessed I have been to associate with so many wonderful artists and designers and all I have learned from them. 
     I also feel blessed to be in a business that has thrilled me every day.  Whether it was a beautiful quilt, a masterful painting or a simple holiday craft item I was always interested in how it was made and more importantly how I could put my own touch to it. I want to encourage all of you to look for ways to add your own personal touch to your art. Look at the world as if it had something new to offer you everyday. Be inspired!

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                   Zentangle #93

Chillon *an original Zentangle pattern

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at

    Fox Chapel Publishing is introducing a new book, 'Sew Kawaii''. Kawaii is the Japanese word for cute, a large part of the Japanese culture which emerged in the 1970's with the introduction of Hello Kitty.  The author, Choly Knight showcases some of the adorable sewing projects from her new book in this YouTube video.

Zentangle® Gift Ideas

View a YouTubeA Scentsy® warmer makes a great holiday gift when you add Zentangle®.

    I think artists have a hypersensitivy to their surroundings anyway but I have found since I began tangling I see  Zentangle® patterns everywhere.  Not only do I see tangle patterns everywhere... but now I also see surfaces just ripe for tangling. With the selection of markers and paint pens available just about anything can be tangled.
    Last week I talked about the plastic pumpkins and paint pens, perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. This week I began thinking in terms of gifts to make for my friends and family.   Oil-base paint pens (Deco-Art, Marvy, Sakura and Sharpie are all good brands). These pens are so versatile, they can be used on pottery, plastic, metal, even wood.  This means the sky's the limit for my Zentangle obsession.

     I recently acquired a wax warmer called Scentsy® from Andrea Gibson ( A Scentsy is a clean white porcelain container with 4 square sides - yes, it is super easy to tangle on with paint pens. 
     A white plastic clock also caught my eye. Drawing tangles with a regular Sharpie® marker really jazzed it up. The clock opened up fairly easily, so I made a Zentangle drawing and glued it inside the face of the clock. Really sharp and professional looking for only $6.00.

     Of course every year I add a few more Zentangle ornaments to my collection.  There is a tutorial on Zentangle ornaments available on the Design Originals YouTube channel, dated December 16, 2010. Check out the YouTube... it is easy to add a bit of personalization to ceramic, wood, metal, foam and glass ornaments.

    Stroll through the aisles of your local home and garden store you will find pottery, vases, kitchenware and barware... great items for tangling and perfect for gift giving.  Friends and family love receiving gifts with your personal touch.

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                                  Zentangle #92

King's Crown

     Fox Chapel Publishing Offers Bargain on Woodworking and Craft Books to Raise Money for Employee and Local Fire Department.
In September 2011, Tropical Storm Lee caused local streams, creeks and river water to rise in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to record highs, and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in flood-related damage to resident homes. Shannon Flowers, a long-time Fox Chapel Publishing employee and Editor of Woodcarving Illustrated and Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazines, had to flee her home as flood waters rose up through the basement and crawled 3 feet high on the main level. Her family lost everything on those 2 floors, and are now in the long process of renovating and recovering a sense of normalcy in their lives.
     Fox Chapel Publishing and Design Originals, a new imprint of Fox Chapel, would like to help this dedicated team member by holding a special Grab-Bag Benefit. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised will go directly to Shannon Flowers and to the local fire department in Mount Joy, PA that helped so many people during the flooding.
     Grab bags will be sold for $10 each, plus shipping, and will include at least $40 worth of books. Grab bags can be purchased in several categories: Woodworking, Quilting/Sewing, Home Décor Crafts, Kids & Teens, Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking, Digi- Scrappin, and Beadwork & Jewelry. The Grab Bags will be available until November 14, 2011 or while supplies last.
Grab bags can be purchased online at:
grab bag special

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at 

A Little Halloween Zen

     View a YouTube, create beautiful Zentangle®-inspired decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving, all you need is a few pumpkins and a paint pen.

     The holiday season is about to kick-off!  For me it always begins with Halloween and doesn't seem to slow down 'til the beginning of the year. One of the best things about the holidays is all the new crafts it inspires me to make.  When my children were little they loved Halloween, now I get to share with my grandchildren. 

     If you are expecting little goblins to knock on your door October 31st the mummy bowl is a perfect way to hand out those treats.  A very easy craft and fun for the kids. This one is made with small clay pots, however you can use any size you like.  A foam circle works very well to plug the hole in the bottom of the pot, just glue it in. This craft is from the Design Originals book 'Pots of Fun for Everyone'

    Don't get me wrong I still have fun decorating pumpkins and carving Jack-O-Lanterns but this year I had to decorate with Zentangle® in mind, besides it gives me another reason to tangle on something!  My husband swears I will Zentangle anything that stands still long enough... between you and me, he may be right.

Painted pumpkins from Design Originals book 'Pumpkin Patch'

     I found these pumpkins at the craft store, they are perfect for a little Zentangle inspired holiday fun.  Of course I had to buy one in every color white, black and orange.  These will be so much fun to decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  The black one is my favorite, the glossy white of the marker on the glossy surface of the pumpkin is striking. They all seem to be made from a type of foam which is a great surface for a paint marker... and I can save them to decorate with next year too. 

     The holidays are a busy time for all of us, I will be doing some travel during the holidays this year beginning very soon.  Through the end of the year my blog posts will be every other week instead of weekly. 

     My first travel opportunity is Oct 27 thru Nov 9th. I'll be at Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival introducing my new book 'Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting'. Come visit me - I'm giving a 'Zentangle on Bags' class, and I am a presenter at the 'Quilting Forum', 'Applique Forum' and the 'Sampler' events.
    My next travel opportunity is November 10th thru November 12th.  I'm teaching three classes at the fabulous
Art of the Carolinas Trade Show hosted by Jerry's ArtaramaThis is the largest consumer art show in the country, jam packed with art supplies, workshops by some of your favorite artists, and bargains on hundreds of art supplies. In addition to teaching three classes, I'll be previewing my new 'Zentangle® for the Artist' DVD video.
     I will be teaching 'Zentangle and Watercolor' on November 10th, 'Zentangle Art Journals' on November 11th and 'Zentangle on Clayboard' November 12th. I am really excited to be attending and teaching again this year  and look forward to sharing Zentangle with my students.
     Hope to see you there!

Cindy Shepard and I drawing the names of the winners!!

     Many of you were able to correctly identify my tangle from all those pictured in the mandala created at the master's was the hands!! From the correct answers a lucky 6 names were drawn.  That's right we did it the old fashioned way.... drew names from a hat. The winners are....C.J. Daniels, Blanche, Melissa Smith, P.J. Waldrop, Emie and Dianne T.  Thanks for playing everyone, not everyone left a last name, so I hope you know who you are.  If you won a copy of the book please email your mailing address to  Your book will be in the mail, you should receive it in 7 to 10 days. Hope you enjoy your new 'Zen Mandalas' book.

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                     Zentangle #91


The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at

Zentangle® on Colored Paper

    View a YouTube, Margie Whittington demonstrates how to use gray paper as a mid-tone value for Zentangle® drawings.

     Several years ago one of my artist friends, Margie Whittington purchased a Zentangle® Basics book for her grandchildren's Christmas gift.  Little did she know she personally would soon become hooked on Zentangle like so many others. Margie finds the detailed tangles to be inspiring and loves to include tangled elements in her art. Now Margie has a collection of books and loves to learn new tangles to use in her art.

Margie's lovely Mardi Gras Ladies.

     I have always admired Margie's creativity.   Her beautiful art work is displayed at several galleries in Texas.  Margie is also part of a group of Texas artists who collaborate on a project called "Canvas by Canvas".  Each artist is charged with completing a portion of a finished work on a small canvas. Even though each artist has their own personal style the completed piece is rich and cohesive. Their assembled works have won numerous awards.
     Margie also teaches watercolor and acrylic classes at the Upstairs Gallery in Arlington, Texas where she exhibits her charming paintings. She is also a popular teacher at The Woman's Club of Fort Worth.

Margie and one of her beautiful watercolors.

     I was so thrilled when she showed me what she had been doing with Zentangle.  As Margie explains in the video, the gray paper (Canson Mi-Teintes) that she uses is a perfect mid-tone value to begin the drawings of her Mardi-Gras Ladies.  Drawing black tangles with Sakura Micron Pigma® Pens and adding white highlights with Prismacolor pencils bring the perfect balance to her drawings.  Margie shares tips for her Mardi-Gras Ladies in the 'Zentangle 5' book. 

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                  Zentangle #90

Chartz *original Zentangle pattern

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at


It's a Zen World

     View a YouTube CZT's share their favorite tangles and tangle applications, including rubber stamps, stencils and watercolor pencils.

     I run across many wonderful artists who are exploring new ways to introduce Zentangle® into their art and their environment.  There are local Zentangle groups as well as groups online that just amaze me with their talent and imagination.

     Cecilia Borlini is an artist from South America who sent me this wonderful Zentangle drawing, 'Elefante'.  I am so impressed with her art... and amazed how the love of drawing tangles is spreading around the world. Her blog features trays, clocks and clothing among her beautiful drawings.

     Seems almost anything can be improved upon with a few tangles.  Shoes, clothing, furniture, gourds and pumpkins are just a few of the unlikely items now being adorned with tangles.

     When I saw Bette Abdu's zentangle-inspired car window I was inspired, I had never thought about adding tangles to my car or windows. I had to know right away what she used to draw the tangles and how long they would stay put.  Bette uses Artista Pro Chalk Ink® Markers, they will stay on as long as you don't use a window cleaner on them.

     While I was at the recent CZT retreat in Massachusetts we worked on a collaborative Zentangle drawing done on Fabriano® Tiepolo paper. Collaborative pieces are always interesting, it's fun to see what tangles are added as the circle is passed from artist to artist.

       I'm giving away 6 'Zen Mandalas' books. All you need to do to have your name in the hat for a chance to win a book is:
      Carefully scrutinize the zentangle circle below --- identify which tangle was drawn by me --- leave your answer as a comment in this post. We'll have a drawing for the 6 lucky winners on October 20th.


Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                     Zentangle #89

Ribbon Bows

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at 

CZT Retreat in Massachusetts

     View a YouTube Learn great tangles, techniques and tips from Zentangle® CZT's at a retreat held in Massachusetts.

     One of the benefits of becoming a Certified Zentangle Teacher is all of the new friendships you develop.  Many of us have chosen to stay in contact with each other and meet occasionally through the year.  Recently Bette Abdu and Christine Britos (fellow CZT's)  held a workshop at a wonderful old home and retreat area in Rolling Ridge, Massachusetts. 

A labyrinth discovered...  perfect spot for a little Zen.

     Meet-ups are a time for sharing ideas, learning new techniques and generally sharing tangle talk.  Of course we all have a lot of Zentangle® inspired projects to share so show and tell was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.

Judy Lehman having fun with tangles.

      In the video for this week, part one of the CZT retreat,  Bette introduces you to the Cadex* pattern with variations.  The Zentangle patterns developed by Rick and Maria are basic structures of a design broken down into easy to follow steps. Once the basic structure of a tangle pattern is drawn the variety of options for adding your own embellishments to the pattern allows you to make it your own and to easily work with your personal design style. 

Jodie Ehler's Zentangle sampler tile is one of my favorites.

     How many of you have a difficult time organizing your tangles for easy reference? The more tangles you learn, the more challenging it can be. Christine Britos has come up with a great way to keep track of her tangles, she shares her tips with you in this week's video.

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!    

                     Zentangle #88



*original Zentangle pattern

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at 

Zen Mandalas

    View a YouTube,  learn how to use a compass and protractor to create a beautiful geometric mandala with a flower center. 
     Some shapes seem to constantly reappear in my art work, circles are one of them. Seems the round shape of the sun always finds it's way onto my journal page. 
     Mandalas are a circular shape most often associated with sacred spaces and inner truth. They have been drawn over the ages with numerous symbols and colors. There may be a myriad of shapes contained within this modest circle, or a simple few.  The symbols and drawings contained in a mandala can be inspired by nature, feelings, or culture.  The possibilities seem endless.

     Zentangle® goes hand in hand with this ancient symbol of inspiration.  I really enjoyed putting together a book which marries these two very spiritual forms of self expression. Carol Ohl and Margaret Bremner are some of the artists featured in 'Zen Mandalas'. Each artist has their own unique way of developing a mandala.

     The more geometric minded artist may prefer to use a compass and protractor for precise and very intricate work while some may use stencils, paper cut outs or even jar lids as the basic shape. You may choose to leave the outside of the circle as a clean edge or add flourishes, tangles and borders.

     For those of you who feel a little mathematically challenged and fear using a compass and protractor, Barbara Stembicki of guides you easily though it with this week's YouTube video.  She also explores the use of Sakura Glaze Pens as a resist and using stencils  as a mask with Adirondack® Color Wash.  All perfect applications for Zentangle®.

     It's fun to add color to your tangled mandalas with watercolor, colored pencils and even chalk.  As with the symbol itself different colors added to your mandala are meant to evoke different feelings or emotions.  Green is a color of harmony, a fact expressed in a Native American proverb, "No tree has branches so foolish as to fight amongst themselves." 

Zentangle of the week, enjoy and create!!

                    Zentangle #87

Cadent *an original Zentangle Pattern

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc.  and is used with permission. Learn more at

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