Monday, July 30, 2012

Illustrious Illustration

Last week I posted a picture of my workdesk as a part of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, and in that photo I hinted around about the illustration project I was working on. Now you get to see the whole project as it stands so far - though it isn't finished. Yet.

The site has a challenge each month to write a 100 word story utilizing a list of 5 words. My co-worker wrote a story using this word list:


And the story is as follows:

The rock despised himself, he was deficient in producing moss. He wanted to produce moss so he could one day become a centerpiece in the fairy's castle. To sit atop the fairy Queen's table was his dream. He would be amongst the fairy berry pies and giggling Lords and Ladies. However, without moss, he was not invited. Then one rainy day the fairy queen was taking her umbrella for a walk and saw the bald rock. She gave him a wink and walked on by. The next morning the rock woke up with a coat of moss on his head!

When my co-worker read it to me, I was delighted by some of the visuals (I could just imagine "fairy berry pies" and the Queen "taking her umbrella for a walk"!). She teasingly suggested that I should illustrate it - thinking I'd just draw a few circles on paper for the rock, a little fairy here and there, and be done with it. Little did she know that I decided to go all out! It's turned into a major project - one that I hope to have completed before the beginning of school next month (egad!).

Here is the (again, incomplete) cover. I took a vintage book bought at a garage sale (would they have sold it to me if they knew what I would do with it?) and removed the book block (hopefully the book wasn't valuable! Yes, Mother, I know you advised me to check on these things before tearing them up - but I forgot...). Then, inspired by a pin on Pinterest, I added binder rings by setting some eyelets into the book cover.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zentangle in Motion

Not only is this my 20th blog post, but this is also the first video I've posted! I made this nearly a year ago, and I posted it on Facebook for my friends to enjoy. They're really the only ones who have seen it, so this is the first time it's been available to the Zentangle community at large! The video illustrates the process of creating a Zentangle, from pencil dots and string to inking and shading - and back again. Utilizing 974 photos, it took over 6 hours to produce! I hope you enjoy it!

                                         Music: Kevin Macleod -

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I've been making the blog rounds the past few weeks, and have noticed a weekly installment many bloggers present called "What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday", where artists share their creative spaces with the beautiful chaos of tools, supplies, and works in progress. I've decided to join in, so enjoy! (if you want to see other people's workdesks, check out the Stamping Ground blog, the host blog for WOYWW)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Me too, Me Too!

This week's Zentangle challenge from the Diva is to use the tangle Mi2. I've tried Mi2 a couple of times before, and I think I'll have to use it more often - it is such a great tangle. I started in the upper right corner with Mi2, transitioned to some W2, and ended with some "frayed" ends. I'm pretty sure that's an actual tangle, I just can't figure out which one it is! If you know, let me know, you know? :-)

W2 works great with Mi2, and it makes sense considering W2 helped inspire Mi2. I've been a W2 fan since I started tangling, but it's been a while since I've used it. It's great to bring it out again. We have an ample supply of craft baskets adorning our home, so I think that contributes to my love of this"basket weave-esque" tangle. 

If you're a visitor from the I Am the Diva blog, welcome! Since the last challenge I've added Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest follow buttons to the top of the right sidebar, and I'd love it if you'd join Designed to Create on any or all of those social media sources. Blog updates, interesting links, and contests are just a few of the things I plan to share via social media. Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekday Whatsit #2

Happy Monday! Almost a month ago I introduced the Weekday Whatsit - if you missed it, see this post. I'll continue that series with a new image. Again, the photo above is a macro photo of an everyday object turned black and white. Think you know the identity of the object? Leave me a comment with your guess, and next week I'll reveal the answer. May your eyes be sharp!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Zentangle Philharmonic

Zentangle Ensembles are groups of Zentangle tiles (usually four or six) with a string drawn across the tiles while they were arranged in a square, allowing them to fit together like a puzzle. See the Zentangle blog's Ensemble post.

I started a four tile ensemble over a year ago, completed one tile, and never went back to it. As I organized my tangling supplies last week I found the tiles already strung for an ensemble and decided to get back to it. I completed one tile yesterday, so that leaves two to tangle. 

According to

Ensemble - the united performance of an entire group of singers, musicians, etc.

I like this musical definition of ensemble. If done solo, an ensemble is the united performance of a group of tiles, tangles, and, most simply, lines. I've also seen ensembles where each tile is done by a different artist, and in that case the performance is actually by a group of tanglers, coming together to symphonize with the instruments of pen and pencil. Instead of sending sound waves through air, they utilize light waves in their orchestration.

Here's the one I did yesterday.
I love the itty-bitty Paradox on the corner of Auraknot.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rock the Block

If you have been in a craft store recently, you have probably noticed those glass crafting blocks they are carrying. I've seen some really cool stuff done with these, from lamps to dioramas, nearly enticing me to give in and pay the $10 these guys are going for ($20.00 on Amazon!). I'm glad I didn't fall for one, though, because last week my dear mother found a couple at a garage sale for $2! I started playing with it, not really intending to turn out a finished project without considering all the options and possibilities of the block form.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Red Eyes and Orange Flames

If you've been following the blog, you know that I'm definitely into many diverse art forms. Photography is among them. You saw some of my photographs in the post Guerilla Art - Experiment #001 (other posts too, but in this one I really worked hard to make the pictures nice), and I wanted to share more of my images.

For the first three photos in this post and most of the photos in the guerilla art post, I used a special DSLR camera lens called a Lensbaby. This lens is unique because it looks like a ball in a socket, and allows you to tilt the lens (see this). You'll notice the pictures taken with it have a sharp spot of focus, but the rest of the frame is blurred. The ball and socket design of the optic gives you this effect, and you can tilt the lens to change the sweet spot of focus. Pretty weird, huh? Another weird thing about it is that I must shoot in full manual mode. It has no auto focus, aperture ring, or even exposure metering (with my camera, some cameras will meter with the Lensbaby)! When I first got the lens I was inexperienced in manual settings and knowing what button to push when. This lens quickly taught me manual mode - sometimes the best way to learn to swim is to simply jump into the pool!

While shooting the guerilla art images, our backyard box turtle was sniffing around my camera bag, curious about the black, squishy mountain that had landed in her abode. She's the most curious box turtle I've ever seen, and she's most interested about feet. She'll come right up to your shoe to check it out without a care in the world. It's also really interesting to watch her eat - an activity any other turtle would never partake in with us standing above.

Despite the popular stereotype, turtles can actually be pretty fast, especially if they're scared or in front of a camera, making them rather difficult to photograph! I came away with only three good shots, fleeting moments of stillness. Look at those beautiful, fiery eyes! That was the first thing that struck me when I first saw her. Green head, red eyes. Blue and yellow/orange shell. Complements. God knew what colors would be pleasing together when He designed this turtle!

Monday, July 09, 2012


 I am in love with the new tangle Auraknot, so I was pleased to find that this week's challenge from the Diva over at I Am the Diva is to use Auraknot in a tangle. I attempted a step-out of this pattern when Rick and Maria challenged the Zentangle community to try their hand at it, but the actual steps are so much easier than what I came up with. It allows much more freedom, and is more relaxing. You don't have to connect the dots or pre-plan anything, you just put pen to paper and tangle. I didn't even use a string for this one, and I don't feel a string is necessary. The Auraknot becomes the string, the backbone of the tangle. Thanks Rick and Maria for what is quickly becoming one of my favorite tangles!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

July the 4th

I'll be brief today - after all, a picture is worth a thousand words and I have lots of pictures - but I do want to thank the heroes who have fought for our country and our freedom. I also thank the One who gives mankind the ultimate freedom, freedom from sin and death. Thank you King Jesus!


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Guerilla Art - Experiment #001

I've always been fascinated by the idea of hiding and finding things. Aside from Hide-and-Go-Seek and Sardines, one of my favorite games growing up was Lego Treasure Quest, the object of which was to hide cardboard keys in various rooms. The treasure chest base would tell you which room to search for a key in, and once you found a key in all six rooms you won. Very fun!

With this in mind, my fascination with guerilla art makes a little more sense.
Let me give you a definition of guerilla art: when an artist leaves an artwork in a public place for others to enjoy and/or take. The notion that I am leaving something that someone will eventually find and hopefully enjoy is one of the things that draws me to guerilla art. Another aspect of the appeal for the artist is that you can create an atmosphere, set a mood, and influence someone's day for good. Wouldn't you like to turn the corner and unexpectedly see a framed painting randomly hanging from a brick store facade (with removable Command hooks, of course)? Or how about coming across a beautifully chalked sidewalk? I know those things would make my day, and that's the type of thing I want to do for others.