Wednesday, December 24, 2014

New Yarn at The Irresistible Ewe

I will be adding three new yarns at my etsy shop, The Irresistible Ewe. I received my shipment of yarn from Universal Yarns yesterday and am very happy with the bags of Poems Forte that came. The colors are beautiful and the yarn is a nice soft fluffy swirl of color. I am trying out Lofoten, Amazon and English Garden. I can't wait to try my hand at some of these. I'm not sure if I'll knit, crochet or weave with my selection. The Lofoten is the featured yarn for the Camilla pattern  which is included in the pattern book, Poems Windfall, an ebook.

English Garden is featured in the picture of the swatch below. This 12-stitch swatch shown here used one ball of Poems Forte (colorway 1003 English Garden) and 10mm(US15) needles, and turned out to be 5 inches wide and 50 inches long – the 90 yards of super bulky wool went a long way.

As soon as the rain clears and I can get a clear picture of each color, the yarns will be available on our site.

Here are the specs:
Yarn Details:
Yards: 90.00/ Grams: 150.00

Yarn Composition:
Wool - 100%

6 - Super Bulky Weight Yarn
Knit STS: 1.50 - 2.75
Crochet STS: 1.25 - 2.25

Recommended Needles (US):
Recommended Hooks (US):

Hand wash, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, do not iron, dryclean - any solvent except trichloroethylene

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Zentangle Class

I had the privilege of teaching two holiday Zentangle classes in December. The first, a holiday card class was all about re-purposing old Christmas cards with Zentangle patterns. You know the cards, the ones that sit in a box or basket for years and seem to get more blah by the minute. They're also the ones that you bought in a large quantity and didn't have enough people to use them us, so you don't know to whom you've sent which cards after a while. Not being from a large family, I'm one of these people. Also, half of our family gets Christmas cards and half gets Hanukkah, which makes the problem worse. I had some mostly gold-ish cards which looked much better and completely different with a few colorful tangles added.

The Dollar Tree came in handy with inexpensive cards with white doves, just begging for tangles. The Identi-Pens by Sakura were wonderful for both classes as they are permanent and dry a lot faster than Sharpies. Jo-Ann's and Amazon are good resources for these.

The ornaments class was even more fun, as the rounded shape of the ornament offers more of a challenge. I'm showing my student's work here. At the last minute, I couldn't resist jumping in to do a penguin ornament Sandy Steen Bartholomew style. I just love the whimsy of her tangles. My students were all repeaters, which made the class even more special.

And, if you're looking for inexpensive satin ornaments like the ones we used, try Hobby Lobby. They now have them at a 66% discount. I bought lots for next year when I'll be retired. My mother and sister and I are already planning a craft fair.

Last thing, one of my green fennels is still not only hanging on, but is also sprouting new growth. You just have to love a North Carolina winter!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Holidays

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday today. I've been keeping the Cricut Explore hot this weekend, making a pilgrim hat for my great nephew and a wreath for my mother. Both and free patterns on the Cricut site and very easy to do. I started one foam wreath without covering it using pins to secure the leaves. This was very slow and after a while the pins wore on my finger tips. I tried gluing with hot glue, but it still was not getting the effect I wanted. Back to Michaels and I purchased another foam wreath, but this time also a roll of brown, burlap-like ribbon. I covered the wreath form with this in a few minutes, then began gluing again, running off a few extra leaves. I'd suggest when making this, to make a couple of extra sheets to have your wreath look full. I added a small bird at the bottom, because my mother is a bird lover. I think it came out nicely. I can't wait to surprise her with it this afternoon.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Crafty Classroom

Teachers are very creative people. We have to be considering the materials we need to teach and decorate our classrooms and the money available to do this. I'm heading into my last year of teaching this month before my retirement next summer. I decided that I wanted to make my last year a colorful, cheery place for my students and for myself. And, even though my new 6th graders will never have seen my old posters, I've been looking at them for years and frankly, I don't want to do it again.

Our 6th grade Open House this year has a beach theme, so I decided to extend this into the year with beachy decorations. I didn't want to spend a fortune, but at the same time, I'm having a ball with my Cricut Explorer, especially the vinyl setting, so I've found ways to cut some corners while investing in paper and vinyl.

One idea I had was to purchase some $1.99 calendars from Michael's and to add vinyl lettering to make mini posters. This has worked really well, thanks to Pinterest and the quotes sections. I also found a suggestion to use scrapbook sleeves instead of laminating. The jury is still out on this as it adds a little glare when viewed from across the room. But, when considering the size of the posters, the sleeves fit perfectly and will be extremely easy to change out later if I decide to do this.

Today I cleared my cabinet of eight soup take-out containers and added words in vinyl. Henry and I eat a lot of soup and these just build up. I don't like to throw them out as they are not recyclable.

These will be filled with markers, pencils, scissors and small plastic rulers - one per group for my group work assignments. Students will be able to just pick up a container to take to their groups rather than scrambling through containers and arguing over colors. Quick, organized, simple. The way I like to teach.

An empty tissue box became a container to hold plastic bags, often requested by students. I accumulate these at school from taking my lunch. It's surprising how many bags will fit in one of these. 

I got ideas from a another teacher for assigning classroom jobs this year. She's used this system for years and it works well, builds responsibility and makes her job easier. Each child applies for a particular job and knows what to do as soon as he/she gets to class in the morning. I can't wait to try this out.

I'm moving on to lesson plans and although I still have some wall space to cover, I feel pretty good about starting school. What are some of your classroom ideas?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Doug Welburn, 1941-2014

Doug Welburn, owner and creator of Welburn Gourd Farm in Fallbrook, California passed away Friday, July 25. Doug will be missed by his friends and family as well as his loyal customers. His memorial page is:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Autodesk Elephant

I'm going to try to list the steps taken for the Autodesk elephant. They would apply to the head as well.
I used the poster board setting. The leftmost setting worked well for the chipboard. I'm not sure which is the "leather" or "chipboard" dot, but this one worked well. I tried to Google this, but didn't have any luck. If anyone knows, please comment and I will share.
Pieces will be available by the end of the week on my etsy shop, tangled moons, with choice of colors, white, black or gray/tan. Complete assembly instructions will be given with pieces. 
This took two sheets, 12 x 12, of black chip board.
Insert the silver marking pen in the holder. The Cricut Explore will mark the pieces and the individual slots will be numbered. 
After unloading the cut sheets, pull the background off the pieces and then use your spatula to release the others. It works best to slip the spatula under the side without the slits to keep from accidentally tear them. 
I used Sakura gel pens, metallic and florescent to add "S" tangles to each piece, using the same tangles for matching pieces. I tangled up to the slots and some just over the slots.
I didn't tangle on both sides for the Z pieces, but wished I had when assembling. I tangled both sides of the Y pieces as each side would show when assembled. I made a point of NOT tangling over the letters and numbers even if they would show. This made it easier to put together. They actually seem to disappear in the tangles, kind of like letting the strings blend with the overall work.
The instructions on the Cricut website says to line up the Y pieces horizontally and the Z pieces vertically.  I didn't find this necessary, but I followed their instructions exactly for attaching pieces.
You need to pay attention to the photograph of the elephant as far as attaching the "ears" on the outside. This will help you start out correctly with matching the Y and Z pieces.
The Autodesk assemblies have been relatively easy thanks to the nice labeling of pieces and slots. Thanks for reading. I welcome comments and others sharing experiences with these.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cricut Autodesk and Zentangle

I've been playing with two new projects on the Cricut Design Space. Cricut has joined Autodesk®, a 3-D design and printing company, to create some awesome projects. I've made two so far, the head and the elephant. I didn't tangle the head, but I did the elephant today with gel pens on black chip board. The head was done on thin blue posterboard. The chip board was much easier to work with and didn't bend as much as the posterboard. The posterboard (cheap) also stuck very badly to the mat. I'm planning a tutorial for these maybe for tomorrow and will also offer kits on my etsy shop, tangled moons. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Scrapping and Tangling®

Happy 4th of July, everyone! I'm having a laid back holiday today. Henry took me out to IHOP for lunch and now I've just finished up one of my summer projects. I've been playing with the idea of combining scrap-booking with Zentangle®. I hate empty-looking scrapbook pages, so this allows me to fill in spaces without adding more pictures. Zentangle is a wonderful way to complete a project by slowing me down after the activity of cutting, pasting and rearranging. This is the largest page combo I've done so far. I've added the tangles®, a partial Crescent Moon, Marasu -uncoiled, Hollibaugh, official tangles. I also used Wing Dings by Sandy Steen Bartholomew and some dangles ala Joanne Fink style. 
The scrapbook images are from the cartridges My Quiet Book and Disney Classics. The yellows don't match like I wanted, but I didn't realize I only had one 12 x 12 sheet off the lighter shade. Another example of hindsight. Oh, well, something to keep in mind for the next project. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Tangles® - Fogones & Shrumps

I'm sharing my new tangle, Fogones, which is featured in Caren Mlot's new e-book, Step Out in Style. My inspiration was a beautiful tile outside of my favorite Peruvian restaurant in Goldsboro, NC, Los Fogones. "Fogones" means the fire pit in which foods are cooked. I am including the step-out and a variation of the tangle, called Shrumps. Enjoy!

Fogones Step-Out    Shrumps Step-Out

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Step Out in Style Volume 1 - New Zentangle e-book

I have had the honor of having two of my tangles included in Caren Mlot's new Zentangle® e-book, Step Out in Style Vol. 1, now available on her etsy shop: TangleMania. I can't wait to work through all of the other new tangles in this book. There are 40 new tangles developed by Caren and other CZT's. This was a lot of fun to do. The book is available for download only at $9.95. The book is beautifully laid out with detailed step-outs and a ZIA® (Zentangle Inspired Art) piece using that tangle. The inspiration for each tangle is also given, showing the reader how easy it is to find tangles in our world.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fibbin' Nacci - New Tangle®/ Mandala

We had a lovely day Sunday with temperatures in the low 70's. I took some pictures in my backyard to use for some new tangles. They have inspired a new series I hope to do, called Fibbin' Nacci. As a math teacher and enthusiast, I've always been fascinated by the Fibonacci numbers. The following tangle is inspired by the bottom of a pine cone, that of course, goes spiraling into a Fibonacci sequence. I'm sharing a short video clip for my readers which will show you step by step how to create this tangle and also how to use it as a mandala. For now, here are the Step-Outs for this tangle. I did use Genevieve Crabe's Stencil for Mandala's just to place some points around. This will be shown in the video.  Just add a curlicue on the end if you like, otherwise, leave them pointed.
Thanks to another weather-related school canceling today, I've been able to enjoy my studio long enough to almost accomplish a goal today.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Zensational Art Article

At my first class taught at the Wayne County Arts Council here in Goldsboro, NC, we were joined by Casey Mozingo, photographer and Becky Barclay, writer for our local newspaper, the News-Argus. They did a very nice article in the Life & Family section last Sunday. I'm sharing with you here:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thought I'd share some valentines tangled on tiles. The pink backgrounds were made by scribbling Tombow markers onto a blending board, then soaking up the color with the tiles. When dried, they were tangled with a micron pen. Hoping your Valentine's Day is spent in peace with friends and/or family.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow, Snow!

I don't remember when I've seen this much snow coming so close together in North Carolina. We do have the occasional "deep" snows, or what we consider deep in the South. That mostly means that when you walk in it, the snow comes up to your ankles. I'm not a huge fan of the stuff myself, except in viewing pictures of snowflakes as seen under microscopes or on Christmas cards. My dog, a maltipoo, has enjoyed it somewhat, romping around in the soft piles. The fun ends when I have to coax him into a towel to rub off the chunks of snow clinging to his fur and then spend fifteen minutes drying him with a hair dryer. My brother-in-law in Chicago told Henry that they can certainly relate - three times fold with their three Shitzu's and also reminded him that they do this ALL WINTER. I guess I should stop complaining.

The first snow postponed my Zentangle® class at the Wayne County Arts Council, but we rescheduled and five out of the six original signed students came. It was fun, but I was a little nervous at the same time. The Arts Council had been asked by the local newspaper, the News Argus, to be allowed to come to the class to take pictures and interview me. They did come and took a ton of pictures. I was interviewed later by Becky Barclay, who writes for the Family/Lifestyle pages. The article comes out this Sunday, so I'll be sure to post the article. My students were very gracious to have their time with me shared for this.

I did manage to get my Zentangle apron finished using my Fabrico black and gray markers as well as some Tulip colored fabric pens. Since I was taking some of Sandy Steen Bartholomew's products, I decided to use several of  her tangles. I love her whimsical style and her tangles cards and books are so easy to follow. It came together just in time for class. I've also finally tangled the small muslin bag I received at seminar with Rick and Maria. For now, I'm leaving it black and white. Tangling on fabric was a very different experience, but I loved it. The Tulip markers were not my favorite to use. They're a little on the dry side, but they do come in a lot of really bright colors and they didn't run at all. Fabrico pens tend to be a little more moist and I have to watch to not overdo. The gray pen is fabulous to use for shading, not only on fabric, but also on paper.

Right now, there are no classes scheduled, but life seems to be frozen, literally, here for a few more days. No one seems to want to plan anything in advance due to weather, but I do hope to do another class with the Arts Council for adults as well as one for children. We haven't met for clubs at school for a while because of testing and now WEATHER, so I haven't been able to meet with my Zentangle Club members since November. I see some of my students tangling in class when they have free time. In the meantime, Henry and I are hunkered down here at the house with the dog and cats. More time for tangling!

For those of you also experiencing this crazy weather, be safe and warm!

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Zentangling for Peace in the Holy Lands

I had the pleasure of meeting Lani Levine at the CZT Seminar-13 last November. She had made the trip to Rhode Island from Israel. Her goal was to use Zentangle to build positive relations between Jewish and Palestinian women in Israel. What a terrific idea. I recently found a Facebook entry which showed the results of her first class conducted with the assistance of Tamara Elizabeth, CZT-12, who lives and teaches in Bethlehem, Palestine. Hats off to both women for incredible devotion to peace. Here is a picture of their students' first tiles, shown with permission. Beautiful!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Zentangle® Scrapbook Update

I did manage to place a few more tangles on and started a squid tangle on the back. School's back in session, so I was grading papers last night. I do plan to do more tangling over the weekend and to post some Valentines I'm working on.