This year Mike and I celebrated our 30th anniversary by taking a trip to St. Thomas. We had a fabulous time and enjoyed every minute. We took a tour of the British Virgin Islands and enjoyed white sandy beaches, meeting new friends and relaxing. Unfortunately vacations come to an end. Sitting in the airport waiting to leave St. Thomas I noticed a design on the bottle of water I was drinking. I deconstructed the pattern but then went on to make it my own. This pattern only uses 2 shapes, an S shape and an O shape. The name became “So” for that very reason.
In 2015 around Valentine’s Day there were many posts and patterns that included hearts. As I was playing around in my Tangle a Day Calendar I wanted to use a heart but create something that felt light and airy to me. This is what I came up with. It made me think of love getting caught in a net.
Beep… beep… beep… “Breathe Christine, come on you have to take a breath” beep… beep… beep… “Christine, you HAVE to breathe!” beep… beep… beep… I just want to be left alone to sleep. Don’t make me try to breathe, it hurts.
That was three years ago this month. I’d had a brain tumor (benign) for a few years but started having odd symptoms that I couldn’t explain. My doctor scheduled an MRI. The results showed that the tumor had grown double in size and was in an area of my brain that would cause seizures if it continued to grow. The recommendation was to take it out.
There was a good chance I could die. I wanted a family picture before I went in for surgery. I was afraid that would be the last image they would see of me.
After surgery my motor skills were virtually non existent. I couldn’t pick up small objects with my fingers. I had difficulty with hand eye coordination. For someone who is on a keyboard for a living, this is not good. I asked for some cheerios. I poured some out on my tray table and kept practicing picking one up, putting it in a container, picking up another and putting it in the container. I would do this over and over again until I was too tired to do it anymore.
Recovery was difficult. But I am very lucky. Some of the people that have had this same surgery have been left unable to form let alone retrieve words, unable to walk without assistance and unable to care for themselves.
I discovered Zentangle through a series of amazing events. It still blows my mind to imagine how much I needed Zengangle in my life. (you can read more about it here http://bossycow.net/zentangle-discovery-2/) I suffer from headaches on a daily basis. The process of Zentangle has allowed me to get away from the pain. I find myself in a zen state of relaxation all because of the Zentangle method. I’m thankful every day for the Certified Zentangle teacher who gave me the opportunity to do something that helps me heal. I want to become a Certified Zentangle teacher so that I have the credentials and ability to teach others who have been in the same or similar circumstances as me. I’ve started a GoFundMe campaign so that I can do just that. https://www.gofundme.com/czbq84v5
Zentangle is the one thing that lets me focus and just breathe.
Dream Dancer – a new Zentangle pattern came to life while I was trying to fall asleep. As I was trying to fall asleep one night, somewhere in between being fully awake and asleep, I pictured this pattern. I grabbed my notebook and drew it out. One of the variations looks like a dancer to me. That’s how the name came about. It is a simple pattern with a lot of options. I had fun with it in my sample, using two variations and putting it in a grid. I’d love to see what you do with it. Feel free to comment and include a link to what you’ve done.
In September 2014, I signed up to be a distributer for Young Living Essential Oils. Now I can’t imagine my life without oils. I’m currently sitting at my desk with a bottle of water that has a few drops of grapefruit, lemon and orange oils. It is like having a treat. Don’t get me wrong, I like plain water but there is just something about having oil infused water that just lifts my spirits.
There is a longer story to the way I got involved with these oils but that will have to wait until another day.
In December of 2012 I had brain surgery for a benign brain tumor. Two months after that surgery I was re-admitted to the hospital with a subdural hematoma. Following each surgery, I was advised by my doctor to take breaks away from the computer often during the day. He suggested doing something where a screen wasn’t involved. For a web designer/developer who reads on an e-reader that makes things a little difficult. I picked up my old sketchbook from when I went to the Art Institute and just stared at it. Nothing came to me. I set it back down and played around on Pinterest. It was there I discovered a pin of cute patterns drawn on rocks. I started using ink in my sketchbook to make my own rocks. I drew different shapes and used some of the patterns I saw online as well as some I just made up as I went along. It took me completely out of the world and muted any noise or distractions around me. Wow, what a relief to my overtaxed brain.
It wasn’t until late December of 2013 that I found a Zentangle book at Barnes and Noble. This led me to discover Tangle Patterns online. I decided that I needed to find the “right” way to do this and wanted to take a class. I looked up CZT teachers in my area and saw that there were two. I was leaning toward one of them but made no attempt at contact. Then my friend Beth encouraged me to post some of my tangles on facebook, this is a big thing for me as I have a hard time putting my stuff out for others to see. Later that evening my high school friend posted on my board introducing me to her friend Karen, the CZT that I had been leaning toward for a class! I emailed Karen that evening and was able to go to one of her classes. I LOVED it!
I do Zentangle whenever I need a break, or just some time to get rid of stress. I once lacked the confidence that I could create something beautiful with paper and ink. Now I’ve found that when I get out of my environment and into the zone, I can.
I love water. It balances me. When I was suffering from horrible migraines, besides the dark room, pillow over my head, ice pack over my eyes, and drugs, the sound of waves was what helped me to try to relax. It was imagining myself at the beach with the wind blowing and the rhythmic sound of the waves that got me through it. Sometimes I still have to imagine that just to get to sleep at night.
I used a regular Zentangle tile for this challenge. I spritzed it with 2 Shimmer paints, Mama Sings the Blues and Jeni B Blue. Instead of using regular graphite pencil, I used my lovely Fantasia Colored Pencils. They are so pretty and smooth. Did I mention that I love color? Don’t get me wrong, I love the simplicity of black and white too, but color… It makes me happy.
I took a paper making class a while ago. Below is a picture of my favorite piece. I haven’t done anything with it yet. It is just too pretty to draw on. Maybe one day…
Along the lines of water, my daughter picked the theme of “Under the Sea” for her son’s baby shower, nursery etc. It fit well since she thought she was the little mermaid when she was young. She insisted that her (black) hair was a lovely shade of red. The quilt below was the one I made for her son (now 14 months old) with fabric called “A B Seas” and oh-so-cute! It is kind of hard to see the details in this picture but all of the ABCs have under the sea related words associated with them. You can get an idea what they look like if you click on the “A B Seas” here or above. Also the quilting, which I did on my regular sewing machine, was done with a lot of circles, swirls and shell looking designs. I admit, I had a lot of fun doing it even though it took a long time, it was truly a labor of love for my cute little grandson.
This week’s Diva challenge “UMT – MacDee by Anneke Van Dam” was fun. I had to do color for this one. I mean really, the plaid just screamed out for color. Luckily I had been playing with the sprays that I bought from Pat. I had some leftover spray on my craft sheet and mopped it up with my sketchbook paper. Love the orange and pink together. I think it would make a really cute plaid skirt – if it were fabric.