Saturday, December 22, 2012

Doing the Diva Dance

This week's challenge marks the great milestone of the 100th Diva Challenge.  To celebrate Zentangle co-founders Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts created three new tangles–Waltz, Foxtrot and Rock-n-Roll–that make up the Diva Dance.  To celebrate I have created a tile using the Waltz and Foxtrot.

Happy 100th, Laura!

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekly Challenge #99: Guest Post - String Challenge v. XI "Looped Border String Challenge"

This week we had a guest host for our Diva's Challenge.  Artist Margaret Bremner challenged us to use a looped border, which creatively makes its own string (see an example here).

This is my first Tangle.  I rather like how the string created 'keyholes' within the design.

This is my second Tangle.  I think the white on black worked very well, though I wish that my pen gave more even coverage.

I also wanted to share the Tangle I did for last week's Keenees challenge.  I continue to struggle with my migraines so I was unable to post it last week.  It reminds me of those tests the eye doctor uses to determine if you have color blindness.  But rest assured it is supposed to be black and white.  ;-)

I would like to take a moment to share some information on chronic Migraine.  Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from Migraines.  It is estimated that around 2 million of those have chronic Migraines (having Migraines or tension-type headaches more than 15 days per month–  If you suffer from chronic Migraine it is important to see a headache specialist.  Many new treatments have been developed over the past few years and you may be able to find one that makes your chronic migraines manageable.  You can visit for more information and to find a headache specialist near you.

-Jennifer Gayle

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekly Challenge #97: String Theory v. XX -"No Strings Attached"

This week's Diva challenge was a string challenge with a twist.  Instead of giving us a string to tangle with Laura challenged us to create a tangle using no strings at all.  Since I like to use more of the 'graphic' patterns this challenge actually turned out to be rather easy.  I almost feel like I cheated.  I am pleased with the outcomes though.

My first ZIA is in honor of my mother who passed away in 2004.  Her birthday was on Monday.  She loved to wear mittens and play with glitter so her nickname was Sparkle Mitten.

My next tangle is a little bit softer.  I used the new/old tangle Zinger since I missed last week's challenge.

Happy Tangling!

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekly Challenge #94: "UMT v. X: Socc"

This week is the first week of the month so it is time again for "Use My Tangle".  Every month our Diva, Laura, features a tangle submitted by one of us.  This month's came from Erin Olson, CZT.  Her tangle Socc is simple, in that it only requires one type of stroke, but it creates such a beautifully complex design that you would never know it.

I spent the better part of this week in the hospital for migraine headache.  They are nasty little buggers.  While I was in the hospital I was picturing what I wanted to draw for this week's challenge.  It looked so much better in my head.

I really liked how the circle came out, so I decided to try again.  This time I practiced my shading and created a group of orbs.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Socc is definitely a fun and easy tangle to use.  It will be taking a permanent place in my library!

-Jennifer Gayle

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekly Challenge #93: New Official Tangle "Bunzo"

This past week Zentangle co-founder Maria introduced us to a new tangle, called Bunzo.  Our challenge this week was to create a design using Bungo.  I've been suffering from a terrible migraine for several weeks now, so I kept my designs rather simple.

Due to my migraine I wasn't able to get last week's stripes challenge posted in time.  I did get it finished to I thought I'd share it.  I had just purchased a set of metallic gel pens so I decided to go a little crazy.

I hope that everyone is safe after the wrath of Sandy.  Have a great week!

-Jennifer Gayle

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekly Challenge #91: "Beads of Courage"

This week's challenge was in honor of Laura's son Artoo's second birthday.  Artoo suffers from a rare neurological disorder called Moebius Syndrome.  Recently Artoo has begun participating in a wonderful program called Beads of Courage.  Created as a way to help children cope with chronic illnesses, Beads of Courage allows children to tell their story of courage and strength through strands of colorful beads.  Artoo's strand, already over fourteen feet long and not nearly complete, was the inspiration for this week's Zentangle creation.

I, personally, am rather pleased at how my drawing came out this week.  I used real lampwork beads as my inspiration.  It was also a good exercise in shading.  I love the use of shading in Zentangle, I just often get lazy and leave it out.  This is a good inspiration to start using more shading.

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekly Challenge #90- "String Theory XIII"

This week's challenge had us going back to basics.  One of the foundations of a Zentangle is the string. It is a guide line drawn within a tile that helps inspire the placement of the tangles in the design.  This week we were challenged to use this string as the foundation of our Zentangle:

You can find this string and others, as well as an explanation
on the importance of strings as

I found this week's challenge particularly challenging.  Like many others I have developed a habit of not using strings when I design my Zentangles.  Forcing myself to work within the confines of the string really made me stop and think about the tangles I wanted to use and how they interacted with the surrounding tangles.  I am not particularly thrilled with the outcome, but I believe the challenge has inspired me to start playing with strings and to push myself to go out of my comfort zone.

-Jennifer Gayle

Friday, September 28, 2012

Zentangle Ganesha

This week I have been focusing my energies on creating Zentagled Ganeshas for a friend in the zentangle community.  Dilip Patel, the first CZT in India, has made it his goal to collect 100 zentangled images of the Hindu god Ganesha.  He has invited those of us in the Diva's circle to participate.

My first Ganesha comes from this week's Diva challenge.  We were to use the new tangle 'IX'.  Honestly it is my least favorite primarily because of my unsteady hand.

For the other three, I searched the internet for images of Ganesha.

I hope that I have honored the Lord Ganesha well.

-Jennifer Gayle

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekly Challenge #87- "String Theory v. XII: Pinwheels For Peace v. II"

Today, September 21, is the International Day of Peace.  In celebration our weekly challenge was to create a 'Pinwheel for Peace'.  Our pinwheels would contribute to Pinwheels for Peace–originally started as an art instillation by two Florida high school teachers with only 500, 000 pinwheels in 2005.  On September 21, 2011 the number of pinwheels contributed to Pinwheels for Peace, including contributions from the Diva Challenge, had grown to 3.5 million.

I was first introduced to Taoism and the symbol of the Yin Yang my freshman year of high school during our unit on world religions.  Since then the Yin Yang has been an ever present symbol in my life (it is actually a permanent symbol at this point).  I have best heard it described as a balance of opposites.  When trying to decide what to draw for the International Day of Peace I thought back to this balance of opposites.  What is peace if nothing else but finding harmony among those with differences.  So, for my pinwheel I went back to my old friend because, like in so many situations, I believe he conveys exactly what I wanted to say.

-Jennifer Gayle

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekly Challenge #86- "Break Free!"

This week's challenge was to 'color outside of the lines'.  We were to break free of our boundaries, which could be as simple as breaking the lines of our Tangle borders, or be as elaborate as our mind could take us.

While my Tangle seems simple enough, I had only two patterns and I stayed within my tile, for me this was a great break towards freedom.  While I love the pattern Jalousé (the linear one) for its whimsy, I probably would have never used it for that very quality- it's just not my style.  And Binial (the string of 'bubbles'), I loved it as soon as I saw it, but knew I would never find a way to use it.   That is, until I was encouraged to break free.  So, this is my take at freedom...

-Jennifer Gayle

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekly Challenge #85: UMT v. VII Copada

This week brings around another new month, which means another 'Use My Tangle' challenge.  This month's tangle comes from Margaret Brenmer, CZT.  Her wonderful tangle Copada was inspired by the onion topped domes of the East.

Copada in its base form is a linear tangle.  I sat for several hours staring at a blank sketch book trying to come up with an inspiration for this week's challenge.  At one point I was digging through my bag of sketch books when I caught my thumb on my circle template.  I decided to see what Copada would look like in a circle.  I was really pleased with the sun-like effect that it achieved.  I combined with Verve to complete the effect.

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Diva Challenge #84- String Theory v. XI: Blind-Sighted

This week's challenge was all about giving up control and leaving our design to fate.  Our Diva, Laura, challenged us to close our eyes, put pencil to paper, and draw our strings blind.  (For those of you not familiar with Zentangle, the string is a light pencil drawing that is the foundation of the Zentangle drawing.)  

I had every intention of photographing my string before I started drawing, but I was so excited when I figured out what I was going to do that I was halfway done before I realized I forgot.  If you look closely though you can see some of my pencil lines.  

I decided to make this a Monotangle.  I've been playing with some new Tangles lately and Diamonds and Squares is one of them.  My string seemed perfectly suited to some experimentation.

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Diva Challenge #82- UMT v. VII "Brayd", Plus a little something for the Hubby

Like most husbands, mine has always taken care of me when I was sick.  He's fixed the chicken noodle soup and pulled out the extra blankets.  This year, however, he has gone above and beyond the usual husbandly duties.

After breaking my foot last July, then spraining it the week I get out of the boot, I developed a nerve disorder call Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  Because of the extreme pain it causes I have been on crutches since October 2011.  My dear husband has done just about everything for me.  He has been so wonderful throughout all of this.  I was thinking that he deserved a medal, but I decided to make him something even better.

My husband absolutely loves it.  He keeps it next to the bed and flips it to a different card each day.

This week's Diva Challenge was the first of the month so it was an 'use my tangle' (UMT) challenge.  The tangle this week, called Brayd, is designed by Shelley Beauch.  My first thoughts when I saw Brayd went towards a border.  I had hoped to put a monogram inside, but my handwriting skills aren't that advanced just yet.  I do think the medallion in the center fits quite nicely though.

-Jennifer Gayle

Friday, August 3, 2012

Diva's Challenge #81- Guest Post-Relay For Life

This week our Diva is dealing with some sick kiddies, so CZT Erin Olson was kind enough to step in and present us with a challenge.  In celebration of Erin's upcoming participation in her local Relay for Life she presented us with a Zendala challenge.  Zendalas are a combination of Zentangle and mandalas.  Their repetitive nature is meant to be meditative.

The challenge was certainly a change of pace, especially since I had never done one before.  I rather enjoyed working on the Zendala and had originally intended on doing two.  That was before the coffee table got in my way.  I've been on crutches since last October and coffee table has had it out for me for months now.  :-)  It finally got its shot Tuesday night.  I ended up rolling over it and landing on my right side.  I ended up finishing my Zendala with a sprained wrist.  Although this was my first, I look forward to many Zendalas in the future, once I get my revenge on the coffee table.

-Jennifer Gayle

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #80– Mi2

When I first encountered Mi2 I was a bit awed.  It is one of those Tangles that, in the right hands, can be done so that you could never figure out where one penstroke ends and another begins.  When I brought up the instructions on however, I was very overwhelmed.  I tried several times to get the Tangle to come out right, but it just didn't want to work.  I was about to throw in the towel when I read Rick's blog post about simplifying Mi2.  That helped so much.  My drawings weren't ready for the cover of a magazine, but they were much improved.  And I'm glad they were, too, since this week's challenge was Mi2.  I was still having some problems with lining up the dots, so I decided to stick them in a circle and what do you do, it worked.

-Jennifer Gayle

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Zentangle Inspired Art Journal #28- Fruit

I have recently discovered the Yahoo group Zentangle Inspired Art.  The community and resources are wonderful.  After I broke my fourth pen nib in six months many people offered suggestions for alternatives to Micron pens.  It was greatly appreciated.  I am also looking forward to participating in one of the many swaps that the group hosts!

Another thing that the group provides is a weekly prompt for some Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA).  This week's prompt was fruit.  At first I was rather stumped.  I could't figure out what fruit I wanted to use–I didn't want to draw a round orange.  So I Googled fruit for some inspiration and there it was, staring right back at me.

I broke up the apple based on the positions at an Apple Store–Specialist, Creative, Genius, Back of House, and Manager (they get to be the little leaf).

I really enjoyed doing this one.  It was nice and relaxing, as a Zentangle should be.

-Jennifer Gayle

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #78- Auraknot

"Are so!"  Seriously–Last week Rick and Maria debuted a wonderful new tangle named Auraknot.  It is a tangle that is beautiful in its simplicity, yet so versatile because of its simplicity.  As you can see from the website it has numerous variations.  Take a moment to visit the Diva's home page to see her variations, as well as everyone else's.

I am particularly happy with my response to the challenge this week.  I had spent several days practicing Auraknot before the challenge, so I felt a little ahead of the game this week.  The only problem I was having was that I couldn't draw a straight star to save my life.  They were all coming out 'wonkie'.  That's when I decided to embrace my inner 'wonkie' and just go for it.  I decided to use a variation of Mayflower by Ellen Wolters that I like to doodle in my sketch book.  It turns out that I can draw curvy lines a lot easier than straight ones.  Who would have known.

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #76- Home, Plus a small gift for a friend

As usual our lovely Diva, Laura, presents us with a fun and thoughtful challenge that really makes us take time to sit back and reflect on how we are going to respond in the form of a Zentangle®.  This week she gave it a new twist.  Since the Canucks are celebrating Canada Day this weekend, and we 'Ole Yanks are celebrating the Fourth of July next Laura decided that this would be a good week for us to take a look back at home–be it nation, state, town, street or living room–and interpret it in Zentangle® Inspired Art (ZIA).

My first ZIA has more of a national feel.  There is a broad stripe and bright star (which unfortunately is so bright it can look greenish depending on how close you are to the monitor :-).  You are probably wondering what the heck the C is doing there.  When I was young and would go to summer camps we would sing our patriotic songs.  One of my favorites was "My Country 'Tis of Thee."  But it never made sense to me why we would sing, "Of Thee I 'C'.

When I was a child do you know what I thought the Fourth of July was for?  I thought it was to celebrate me!  That's right, I'm a firecracker baby, as they say.  My mother always made sure that I had the best birthdays possible.  This ZIA is a bit of an homage to her.  The wording on top is the beginning of the song that she wrote after I was born.  She sang it to me even after I graduated college.  Of course she always called me her Sweetie Pie.  And the heart it a drawing of my first tattoo, which she payed for on my eighteenth birthday.  It was a great day!

Finally– My friend Taiya's birthday was this past Sunday, June 24.  I have a small ZIA just for her.

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Eccentric Circles–Who Knew Circles Could Be Nutty Like Me

When I first saw the title of this week's challenge, "Weekly Challenge #74: 'String Theory v. X: Eccentric Circles," I thought it must surely be a typo.  I'd heard of concentric circles, but never of eccentric circles.  So I looked it up in the dictionary.  Geometrically speaking it means, "not having the same center; not concentric: used especially of two circles or spheres at least one of which contains the centers of both," as opposed to peculiar or odd when speaking of a person.

I am still struggling with strings and and since this was a string challenge I have eccentric circles all over my sketch book.  What I present to you is a close version of Striping.  I personally love it for the optical effect that it has.

If you'll also indulge me–I have been having problems with my migraines lately and have missed the opportunity to upload my Tangles from the past two challenges.  

Weekly Challenge #73: UMT v. V: Bridgen-
The small Tangle is the first one that I did.  I like it for its simplicity and it's kind of cute, but I keep having this nagging feeling it needs something.  The second, the Christmas ornaments, I'm sharing with you in their raw state.  I haven't done any shading yet because I haven't decided how I want to color them.

Weekly Challenge #72: "Tanglation Nation-Crescent Moon"-
This challenge proved to be a bit difficult for me, but it also proved the idea of going with your first instinct.  The pattern that I ended up with is actually the first one that I drew, but I set it aside to try to draw something more 'exciting'.  After several frustrating days I returned to my first pattern and found success.  

And don't forget, June is Migraine Awareness Month.  For information and support go to

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Feelin' Groovy- Challenge #69

This week's challenge is what our diva, Laura, dubs a "use my tangle" challenge.  Anyone is welcome to submit a tangle pattern they have created and at the beginning of the month Laura chooses one, with the help of her trusty random number generator, to be our inspiration for the week's challenge. This week we were challenged by Eden's 'Groovy'.

Like many others this was a pattern that I had tried in the past, but was frustrated with it so I put it away for another day.  When it was assigned as our challenge pattern I spent the first two days filling up pages in my sketch book trying to get my foundation lines to match up.  I looked at the first few posts and saw the mention of Simon and Garfunkel's song, 'Fellin'Groovy', I decided to pull it up on the iPod and give it a listen.  After relaxing a bit I realized I was trying too hard.  Once I relaxed the foundation curves fell into place and the rest just fell into groove, so to speak.

This first piece is really more of a ZIA homage to "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)", by Simon and Garfunkel.  The cobblestones are a more rustic form of Brix by Carol Ottaway and the 'dropping petals' are Frairum by Molossus.  The overlap shading doesn't show up quite as nicely as I would have liked, but the most important part it that I was enjoying myself and feelin' groovy.

This is actually the first piece that I did.  I wanted to play with the shading of the Groovy so I picked a background that seemed to appropriate- Hopscotch.  I think the shading came out quite nicely.

I'm really glad that we had this pattern as our weekly challenge.  No longer will it sit, forgotten and alone in a corner of my sketch book.  Now that I more comfortable I definitely plan to use it more often. 

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Diva's Challenge for the Week: Duo Challenge v.IV Strircles and Hibred

I was very excited on Monday when I saw what this week's challenge was.  I love working with Strircles.  It's one of the big, bold patterns that can so easily be manipulated into an optical illusion.  I did have to look up Hibred since I had never used it before, but it was a simple pattern and I felt I would have no problem coming up with a design that would beautifully showcase the two patterns.

So far you may think the challenge sounds simple- all you have to do is use two patterns.  But that is the challenge- you can only use two patterns.  I spent the better part of the week creating a great Hibred tangle that wouldn't work with Strircles, creating a great Strircles tangle that wouldn't work with Hibred, or coming up with a master idea only to realize that it had an extra pattern or two.

In the end I sort of cheated.  The main tangle evolved from a sketch pad doodle.  This morning it suddenly developed some holes which revealed a patch of Hibred underneath.  Fascinating really.  :-)

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Amanda Day

This week began with Earth Day, which brings us to our challenge: create a Zentangle® or a Zentangle® inspired art piece to celebrate our planet.  Since Laura's son Chewie has decreed the the earth shall henceforth be known as Amanda, we are dedicating our tangles this week to Amanda Day.  I have created something simple, but I have enjoyed coloring outside the lines, so to speak.

-Jennifer Gayle

Friday, April 20, 2012

Laura's Auras

This week the Tangle Diva, Laura, challenged us to create auras around tangle patterns of our choice.  The challenge was to see how the shapes change and interact with other patterns as the auras expand.

Unfortunately for me the first thing I thought of when I saw the word aura was migraine.  I suffer from chronic migraines and occasionally experience auras.  I found Zentangle® pattern Wirly Bird and I think it perfectly illustrates auras.

For those of you who are visiting I am in need of some advice re: Micron pens.  I began using my pair of 01 and 08 pens in late February.  I had to replace my 01 two weeks ago and earlier this week I discovered that the nib on my 08 was broken.  What am I doing wrong?

I hope you enjoy my tangle.  Be sure to take time to visit the Diva's site to see everyone else's auras!

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Name is Jennifer and I am Addicted to Pinterest

Yes, I admit it, I am hooked. I have been since the day I received my invitation. I set up my account and before long I was spending my nights pinning to boards like 'my dream tree house' and 'fabulous manicures'. That's the spell of Pinterest–even if I could convince my husband to build a house in a tree I'll never be a manicure type of girl.

Easter was last Sunday. I was proud of myself; after my Christmas card debauchal and procrastinating too long to send my Valentine cards I started to work on my Easter cards the week after Valentines. I was getting creative-using Peeps as stamps. I was even taking photos so I could share them online. But then I hit a snag. The cards needed a little something else. They weren't quite complete. So I turned to Pinterest...

Easter was last Sunday. Today I threw away the Peeps I was using for my stamps, put up the paper I'd bought, and cleaned up my supplies. If you're curious how the cards turned out you can follow my 'Dream Easter Card' board on Pinterest.

-Jennifer Gayle

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spreading my Wings–Challenge #64

I was first introduced to Zentangle by a few of my Facebook friends last fall (2011) and instantly fell in love.  Both its resemblance to Escher's work, and its use as tool for meditation (which is something I have always struggled with) made this something I had to learn.  After the holidays I was finally able to take a class with one of our local CZTs Dawn Meisch and I have been tangling ever since.

I've been following the Diva's Weekly Challenge, amazed and impressed at the beautiful work that is done since I first discover Zentangle.  I keep hoping that one day there will be a challenge that I would be able to enter.  Needless to say I was delighted to see this week's string theory challenge.  My first thought was to do a tangle using the bold black and white patterns that I have been playing with recently, but when I saw Joni Feddersen's entry I was reminded of the image of a butterfly.  This is what resulted...

-Jennifer Gayle