challenge #93 - bunzo

This weeks challenge was to use the new tangle Bunzo. It's a cool, organic looking tangle that I bet people are doing amazing things with.........unfortunately, it wasn't really working for me today.

Tried my brainstorming page technique which gave me a few ideas, but in the end I'm just o.k. with the finished results, I just wish I really loved them. Ah, well. There's always next week!

Love the name. Bunzo. Sounds a like an aussie guy that you'd invite around for a bbq. Bunzo. Bunzo me maaaaayte.

Anyway, here is my weeks contribution.

Bunzinky: the continuous pattern made me think of a slinky going down the stairs.

Bunzo beads


These two were fun to do :)

Brainstorming page. The starfish thing actually creeps me out a bit. The bunzo in the centre looks like a writhing vortex. And the arms. It's wrong, oh so very, very wrong.

Can't wait to see what everyone else has come up with!



Monday Moleskine 1

I am not really all that comfortable with "doodling" - I usually start my drawings with a bit of a plan - sure, they often evolve and change as I'm working on them, but I generally have a concept to start with.

Doodling starts with a random shape then grows from there - nothing predetermined. Well, this is how I am planning to approach it anyway.

Some people are incredible at it.......me..... I'd just like to improve and learn some new things.

So, I thought I would set myself a goal to get one doodle posted each Monday. I am using the Moleskine journals I bought a while back, they're a smaller format than my usual art journals - I am hoping that not needing to fill a big page will make these a quick and fun exercise each week.

I might not necessarily do the drawing on Monday (in fact I probably won't), but I'll post then........until I get sick of it. Which might be in a couple of months..........or next week!

So here is my first one:

I think I will always gravitate towards scrolls and flower shapes no matter what I do, though I am hoping to evolve in different directions as I become better at it.

I started with my micron .01, but found that it seemed to clag up on this paper and not flow properly. I've switched to a uniball - great ink flow, but I've got to be careful not to smudge it.



leaflet - video & variation

When I was playing around making a video demo for leaflet yesterday, I experimented with a different approach to drawing it. Here's the result:

I really love it. So flowy and organic.

The video runs through how to do the basic pattern, some shading options, and shows the alternative way to draw as above. It does run for a bit over 8 minutes, though you won't have to listen to my voice the whole time (a fate worse than death if my husband is to be believed!!!), as I have sped up some sections. Love to know what you think!

I had one more drawing in progress for the challenge  when I posted yesteday. I had sketched out a sun with straight lines for the sunbeams that I wanted to draw when I found this gorgeous drawing by Melissa Johnson on my pinterest zentangle board - I knew then that I had to add some flowing sunbeams too!

It was also a good excuse to colour using sunset tones - and give my orange promarkers a workout -  orange is a colour I don't really use a lot. I love it, I just can't use it!

I have kept the straight beams in a single pattern and colour - this woodgrain pattern is one that I used to draw quite a bit years ago - very basic, but I have stepped it out as it might be useful for some. It's a pattern that will turn out differently every time.



challenge #92 - stripes

This weeks diva challenge string theory - stripes. Loved it. I still have a couple more drawings in progress in my journal, but wanted to get something up today.

So, here goes!

Pencil strips - meant to represent strips of patterned paper rolled around a pencil. I love my pencil and most of the strips, though the orientation on one of them is annoying me.

Generally, when I am looking for patterns, I start flicking through my log from front to back - this time I started at the back so that I could use some of the poor, lonely patterns that normally get left behind :(

Don't know why this looks fuzzy, if you click on the image you'll see a clearer pic.

Patterned stripes - Transitioning patterns isn't something I do a lot of - so I went through my pattern log and tried to pick ones that I thought would flow together and this is what I came up with. I think I should've rethought the buttons on the bottom, great pattern, but not sure they're working here. Ah, well, I'm stuck with them now!

Pick up sticks: My favourite of this batch - so simple and minimalist. **love**.

I love using curved inked triangles at intersections - I call them "sticky corners", but have seen them around - do they have an official name?

Pick up sticks: progression. I scanned this one at various stages as I had planned to stop at each one and, then as I decided to add each additional layer, wanted to have a copy in case I hated it. Shading is done with promarkers. I love it at every stage :) Marry me, pick up sticks!

Off to finish my other drawings. I'm working on a leaflet video with a fun variation that I'm loving!

Have a great one!


poppies & leaflet pattern

The kids and I made it through our volunteer event last week - cooking for 45 people! Fortunately we had 2 helpers (including my son) which made a huge difference and kept my stress levels just under the highly dangerous zone! We got rave reviews, and all I can say is I'm glad it's over and I can concentrate on drawing again :)

This weekend I finally got around to drawing out a pattern inspired by what looks like a wood carving (though it looks to perfect to be hand-carved). I've had it pinterest board for a while - the actual pin is a dead link, but you can see the image from my board here - I love it, such beautiful flow from one section to the next - I couldn't get quite that look, maybe with more practice :) I have dubbed the pattern "leaflet".

More poppies! Leaflet pattern on the tube. Love how shading really brings this pattern to life.

The pattern step out: I found it a really forgiving pattern - it didn't matter if my curves lined up exactly at the start, or if some of my s strokes were a bit off (my concentration has a tendancy to wander!) Click the image for larger view.

You can find a video with wavy line variation here

Some easy variations such as a double curved or centre lines, leaving one side pattern free, comma shaped fill. Lots of shading options, also. These are just a couple of ideas.

Contours nicely, too :)


twirl pattern video - take 2

Whew! I think I now have a copy of this video that you can actually see!. I ended up filming on the iphone, then recording in vlc to convert so that I could open it in movie maker to flip and edit it. THEN blogger just wouldn't load it - so I have uploaded to my old youtube account.

Fingers crossed it works o.k.!! The detail is clearer in full screen. Let me know what you think :)

First video: basic twirl pattern

This video: double twirl pattern - this one is a bit pixelated, but should be o.k.

I have a new pattern that I plan to post this evening - just working on some variations :)



challenge #91 - beads of courage

The challenge this week was to take inspiration from the Beads of Courage charity - wow, what an amazing program - courage made tangible. The inception of this program is inspiring, and shows how one person can affect the lives of many. It makes me think of one of my favourite quotes "be the change you want to see in the world" (mahatma ghandi).

Now, beads, SO FUN to draw. Love. I sketched out a few ideas on Tuesday night and finally managed to complete them today.

Beads: This one was the last in my series of sketches, more of an afterthought, and ended up being my equal favourite (along with the poppies!). Funny how that happens. I combined shading mediums on this one - I still don't have a replacement for my lightest grey marker (hopefully in the post tomorrow), so I shaded the beads with markers, and did the drop shadows with greylead.

Poppies and beads! Equal favourite place. I love them, the californian poppies are just starting to bloom in my garden now and I have a few other varieties still to sow for summer. 
I kept this one really simple ( I had originally intended for the centre stamens to be strings of beads, then just decided to thread a string of beads through the whole design. Shaded with pencil.

Beads and scrolls: Had to squeeze in some scrolls somewhere! Love drawing nzeppel, too.


Beaded daisy chain: with the beloved cruffle. So perfect for beads.

Huge day at school tomorrow with the kids. We're cooking for a volunteer lunch of 45! I may not surface again for a week :)




I am so disappointed - yesterday I put together a video demonstrating Twirl and by the time I had edited it and got it on to the blog the details were not clear enough so I had to delete. So frustrating as it had looked o.k. on the computer when it was converted to a movie, but once it was uploaded - terrible!  I really need to figure out why my DV camera isn't talking to the computer so I can use that instead.

Anyway, I have a few drawings that I've done over the past few weeks that haven't really fitted in with anything I was posting. They've just been waiting for their moment.

Tulips - this drawing came about when I was trying to find a use for the pattern on the LHS leaf, I don't love the pattern, but DO love the tulips :) I want to draw more of them very soon!

Knyt beads: drew this right after the knyt post a few weeks ago, it's along similar lines to the theme I had going then.  I had  such good intentions of playing around more with knyt, but I have a short attention span and something shiny and colourful distracted me :) I have no doubt I will be using knyt again soon, though - it is one of my absolute faves. Love it.

Inspiration for this drawing came from this bracelet I pinned a few weeks ago. I'd like to try it again with the pattern tighter and more threads/beads criss-crossing everywhere!

A bit of daisy play. Don't you hate it when you colour something in and you go outside the lines so you have to make it a bit bigger - then you have to make another section bigger so it doesn't look out of proportion? It just keeps getting fatter.........and fatter! This happened with the funnel spiral on this drawing - so not so happy with this one.....but........pretty daisies. I can never stay mad at them.

Off to bed to excitedly wait for tomorrow's challenge!



twirl trumpet & pattern

A quick one tonight - I can't believe it's midnight and I am still playing around when I have a book I want to finish before I go to sleep!

I was playing around with this pattern "twirl" a week or so ago, but didn't have a drawing to show it in action. Tonight I finally got around to it- here's my twirl trumpet.

the pattern: initially I drew a single one of these freehand (looks cute as a flower) and thought it would probably convert well to a continuous pattern - I found the dots the easiest for a workable pattern, though if you don't object to drawing pencil lines, you could sketch a pencil grid. It can be drawn freehand depending on how regular you want it to look. Click on the image to see more detail - take note of the "missing" dot in each pattern section:

a closer look: love how this flows

 some fill ideas:



Challenge #90 - string theory - morning glories & genes

Another week, another challenge - this week it was string theory.

I often start my drawings with a couple of loose, directional lines to give me a framework to work from, so I loved that we were using a string this week - particularly one that had such a lovely curving flow. My favourite type.

The first drawing features mooka & morning glories, two things I LOVE drawing, and together I think they are perfect. This one is really quite similar to a picture I posted a while back, (you can see it here - also has the steps for the morning glories). So, though I've used this combination before, and had no intention of repeating it, my brain was chanting do it, do it, doitdoitdoitdoit - and I have learnt that resistance is futile. If I don't go with it, I am usually unhappy with the end result. It's like I need to get it out of my system before I can move on to another idea.

I kept this one a bit simpler by just colouring the flowers.

My second attempt reminds me of one side of a double helix. I call him "gene". I love doing stuff which lets me play with lots of patterns, yet still has a minimalist look.



A moo-sunta flashback

Happy day! My blenders arrived. Though instead of getting the moleskine journal that I ordered, I ended up with a moleskine passions cat journal - I love my cats but not so much that I want to keep a journal about them. It must be my month for messed up orders - this is the 2nd time I've been sent the wrong thing within a couple of weeks. I can't remember in all the years that I have been ordering stuff online that this has ever happened before.

So, last night I was flicking back through my finished journals - I like to mine them for undeveloped ideas that I've forgotten or passed over at the time - so easy to forget in the excitement of the next project that there's still some good stuff in there!

Anyway, I came across this page where I had sketched ideas for an earlier challenge - mooka v assunta. It was one of my favourite challenges and I loved most of the pieces I did for it - you can see them here and here - probably because I love mooka! So, so much.

Back to the journal page, here it is:

Hiding on this page I found these cute little moo-suntas (see the arrows), where part of the assunta has broken away from the rest. At the time I was probably a bit over it (I think I did 6 drawings for that challenge) but last night it was calling to me.

So, here it is - 3/4 of the assunta shape form the bulb and leaves, the remaining piece makes up the flower. The mooka - more leaves. This ended up being a quick drawing using some of my fave blending colours. Looking at the sketch again while I've been working on this post, I really like the stacked assunta I've got going there too.......maybe this afternoon after school.

Holidays are now officially over for me. I am back at school today and thursday cooking with the kids. Only 10 more weeks till the big summer break :) And counting.



feather flowers and shading woes

A busy weekend. Not only did I go on a field trip to buy a 300+kg bag of pig feed, John and I got out in the veggie garden and put up our new raised garden bed this morning. I was so glad to get back inside to my nice, warm wood heater and my pjs. Luckily John is back at work tomorrow and not able to distract me with moving cows, building garden beds, having coffees and spending time together :)

I've tracked down a "follow" button that wasn't the bulky, default one offered in blogger gadgets and it's now sitting proudly right column above the Pinterest button - I'd love, love it if you want to keep up to date with what I'm doing. I have plans..........oh so many (evil) plans........unfortunately probably not enough time implement them all, so I may have to cross "take over the world"  off the list. (Just having a bit of a Pinky and The Brain flashback here! My kids - yes, ok, and me, too - loved that show!).

So, I did get some time to draw this weekend. Have you seen flowers made out of feathers? Some are just so ethereally beautiful . I love them. 'Cos they're feathers .....and flowers. How could I not? I thought I would have a go at drawing some. Just a bit of very light colouring on this one. I almost left it B&W, but couldn't resist adding just a little.

I started this scroll/cone design last night. I didn't have any definite ideas I what I wanted to draw, so just loosely sketched out the 3 large curls and 2 cones as a framework and went from there drawing whatever with no end result in mind. I did the shading today, but as my favourite no.1 cool grey marker has run out of ink - I had to resort to using my no.1 warm grey instead, and it's just not right, the colour is more intense. Unhappy! My blender pen also smudged the black ink on the bottom curl which meant a bit of repair work and it has ended up darker than I wanted. Ah, well. I need to remember to lay some of the marker shading on the large items before I put in the detail pen work, but of course, this only occurs to me once I have done the detail pen work! LOL.

I have started working on my 2" pattern squares in anticipation of my page protectors arriving in the next week or so (hope they fit!!!!) - I am done with the a's and onto the b's. After reading through some of the other ideas at tangle patterns, I am also rather enamoured by the 4x6 index card system idea. I may eventually create one of these too in order to record the steps - I have the step-outs currently in the book in the pic below.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!


some kisses

Disaster has struck! My blender pens have not arrived yet (I use these to create blended effects like this on my morning glories. Hopefully Monday. And............my favourite light grey promarker has almost run out and it will take about a week for another to arrive! My visit to the  letraset site was dangerous - boxes of tria markers were on sale and I ended up buying the 12 set of grey tones. Can't wait for them to arrive. I haven't tried them before and they are meant to blend beautifully.

When I was scribbling away in my journal yesterday, I started stacking these fat curly bracket shapes and the drawing soon became a ?blade? of wheat.  (I googled it and cannot find a term for the seed head and stem. Anyone?) My 02 micron has become really scratchy - ideal for the feathery strokes on the wheat.

Since the individual shapes remind me of hershey kisses, or chocolate buds, I have dubbed them "kisses".  I love the idea of drawing something and thinking "I'm going to add some kisses to this!" Way, waaay cuter than saying "I'm going to add some fat, curly brackets!"

I love the flowing action of drawing these shapes (straight lines are not really my friend - I always lose focus and wobble), it's quite a diverse pattern once I started playing around with more ideas.

I love the little butterflies - the small ones are done by working up to step 2. The large one has another "kiss" added onto each side. The pattern makes a good braid when you stack single kisses, too.

If you click on the images below you should get a larger picture and hopefully be able to read the writing on the 2nd one - let me know if you have any problems with it :)


Bring on the weekend!


cone scroll & pattern organisation

Well, I do love my cone shapes. This is one that I did a week or so ago, it has been in my journal waiting to be scanned. Love the cones in various formats - lily, spiral and gramaphone :)

I am reorganising. Currently I have tangle patterns in a spiral bound log book (sort of alphabetically) and also scattered throughout my art journals. It's not a great system, and I'd like to have them all in one place, in alphabetical order, which means being able to move them around when I find new patterns. I also don't want it to be too bulky, as I think a card, or pattern to page binder system would be.

I think I have the answer:

This idea that I spotted when surfing the web yesterday designed by Sandy Hunter at Tanglebucket. Brilliant idea. Love it. It ticks all the boxes for me, reasonably compact. Easy to look through. And, most important, I can reorganise the tiles so that they always remain in alphabetical order. I know. I'm unbalanced. I can't help myself.

I have ordered my sheet protectors from ebay and they are currently making their way from the US. I plan to leave about 2 rows on each sheet empty so I can fit in new tiles without having to shuffle the  entire collection. Unfortunately, I don't have that super-cute punch, so will be cutting my tiles to fit - I think I will just round the corners of each one.

I have also bought a smaller (A5) journal that I am just going to devote to exploring some of the patterns I really like in a bit more depth. My regular journals are more like a constant stream of thought  ....... scribbles, colour experiments, drawings, so they can be a bit hard to wade through to find what I want.

Even though I just finished getting through all the patterns fairly recently, I am looking forward to this project. I like drawing out patterns. And having things in strict alphabetical order, let's not forget that! I find working on pattern samples relaxing, it also helps get the ideas flowing, especially if I'm not feeling particularly inspired by a new blank page. It's a bit like a warm up, gets my creative muscles working.

What do you use to organise your patterns? Any better ideas out there I should consider before I am fully committed?



Challenge #89 Sankegg

This weeks Diva Challenge. Sankegg. . Well ......... I was completely stumped when I saw this pattern, my brain pretty much a gigantic, echoing cavern. Nothing. I sketched it out a couple of times it just wasn't working for me. So, I took a closer look at the original picture of the Pysanka Egg and noticed that in the centre of every jet shape had a triangle. O.k., so now I had something geometric to work from and I could make a reasonable replication of the pattern as shown on the egg. Still. Nothing. I told my husband I wasn't going to do it, he muttered something, probably "coward", or maybe "goodnight" and went to bed clearly disgusted with my lack of fortitude. Though, that may be me projecting. He's probably not quite so invested in my decision whether or not to participate.

So, this afternoon I sat at my desk determined to give it another go. I ended up taking one of my usual approaches which is  to turn a pattern into a flower. This is about 4 sankegg "jets" rotated and layered over each other, along with the next set of long triangles in the pattern coming out from each point. That probably doesn't make much sense, but I've included a little diagram below. The second set of triangles remain uncapped so I can use them for the seeds. Just a lazy bit of shading with a greylead.

Here it is, my sankegg Dandelion. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. That's about it.

The diagram:


garden, cows, flowers and feathers

Today has been the most amazing day in my little corner of the world. One of those beautiful, sunny, blue-skied Spring days that makes you forget all about miserable, muddy winter and has me feeling so glad I live in the Yarra Valley. I seriously hate the cold and cannot wait each year for winter to end. Those of you who live in climates that snow would probably find our winter laughable, but, hey, we do have frost a few times each season, and I can see snow on the mountain caps in the distance.......well, every few years, anyway.

So, today. STUNNING. Slip on a pair of thongs and get out in the garden weather (thongs = flip-flops for those of you who just had the truly horrifying thought of me gardening in my underwear). I managed to pull a few weeds, remove the chicken wire fence from around my flower garden (the chickens kept getting in and ripping through my seedlings - we think we have now stopped them from getting over the house-yard perimeter fence, so my flowers are back out of jail), took some photos, uncovered the daybed and had a nap on the porch - something that I really needed - it's school holidays and I have been staying up late drawing, blogging, whatever, telling myself I will sleep in in the morning. Problem is, when John's alarm clock goes off at 5.45 and I wake up, my brain just starts spinning, spinning and I can't go back to sleep. So, anyway, now I feel fantastic. Ready to take on my Zumba class tonight.

Some snaps from my garden today. Love the transition between late winter/early spring bulbs and the new spring flowers. Every day I go out and there is something new! Today I spotted my asiatic lillies pushing through the soil. And........fabulous news!!!!!.........all 3 of my coneflower plants are coming up, too. Just need to keep the snails off them.

In another adventure today, when I went up to feed muffin and puddin' (my pigsters) this afternoon, I forgot that the paddock that I walk through had some of the cows in it. In a funny and somewhat terrifying experience, I had a train of 6 cows and their calves following me across the paddock trying to steal the gone-to-seed broccoli plants out of the bucket I was taking to the piggies. Funny, because they frolick around like lambs, running and bucking. Cute! Terrifying, because they do this by running up behind me, and, ya know, those mamas weigh over 500kgs each! The old house-cow that we used to milk a few years ago was very spoilt and used to getting treats. She would spot me in a paddock and come running full-bore towards me, then skidding the last couple of metres so that she didn't take me out! LOL.

O.k., a few days ago I was playing with Knyt and once I started drawing the pattern as I posted in my knyt post I became really fascinated by the linking centre, and couldn't resist making a feather out of it (never saw that coming, right?)

Here's what I came up with:

Greyscale link feather - probably my favourite - you can see I didn't continue the centre line through the entire feather - just to the base of the links.

Basic link feather - continued the "link" a little way along each scroll. Centre line goes to tip.

Link feather with bubbles. I don't love this one, it was the version before above - I don't like the lines, but I DO like the bubbles :)

Double strand link feather: on this one instead of joining the 2 lines from the link I have continued each out into scroll to create a fuller feather.

The step out - shows how to do the basic feather, the variations are pretty straightforward from here.

I think that this has satisfied my feather fetish for a while :) Or has it? LOL. Probably not!