zentangle: more catch up

I realized I missed posting a few tangles I've worked on in September in my effort to work through all the Diva challenges - so here they are...

Breathe #7

Hearts #8
Artoo (new pattern by Diva) #9

 The Space Between (explore white space) #10

So I think this publishes all my "catch up" challenges to date.....  You can always visit Laura at I am the Diva to join in.....

zentangle #41: jonqal and opus

This week's challenge was a duo tangle using jonqal and opus, neither of which I've used before.  The contrast of the 2 patterns is great - angular and curvy, dark and light, hard and soft.  I don't think my work showed that to its best advantage, but they were fun to do.

My first effort - you can see I screwed up the jonqal at the bottom by forgetting to alternate the colors in the chevron (I did that EVERY time!).  It's okay but seems too divisive with the big stripe of jonqal through the middle.

A little better since jonqal is in organic shapes too but I had definite issues with the spiral - think it's too big so I didn't have room to add opus at the top and I really struggled to get the alternating stripes.

My last effort - changed up the scale of opus and the fill of jonqal.  Not lovin' this version either, but it was something different.  Kind of looks like to eyeballs looking at me. :)

Visit Laura at I am the Diva to see more (and better) versions of these 2 patterns.


inspiration ave: spain

This topic was of particular interest to me since we've been to Spain and just loved it.  We visited Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and Tenerife (Canary Islands).  It was sunny, picturesque, colorful, exotic and so much fun - I wanted to try to capture all that in a digi collage effort.  A tall order.

Here's the raw material I began with....

A mosaic bench designed by Gaudi at Parc Guell.

A mosaic detail on a column at Palau Musica in Barcelona.

Two towers of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona - a pretty iconic sight.

I added some textures:

The above 3 are digital scrapbooking elements (I've long ago lost the source).

This texture is from Skeletal Mess (see his flickr group).  A little judicious erasing, blending, and change of opacities and this is what I arrived at.

This represents the hot sunny colors of Spain, the showy, beautiful mosaics and the iconic shapes of Sagrada Familia watching over it all.  It's a little busy, but so is Spain :)

I'm looking forward to the other depictions of Spain over at Inspiration Avenue - go check it out!

zentangle: catch up again

I'm still working on past challenges from Laura at I am the Diva - here's what I've finished in the last week or so (now that fall TV shows are starting, I find this is a good activity to do while sharing my time with the TV)

I Walk the Line is using only straight lines.....

Show Me Your Curves Baby is using only curvy lines for #15............ (this one was fun!)

Mooka is the featured pattern for #16 - this is one of my favorite tangles and I was experimenting with only a few of the many variations possible.  I love this tangle!

I'll start working on this week's challenge - a duo tangle using jonqal and opus, two patterns I've never used....


let's go back to kauai

Nothing particularly creative or inspired about the layout or my verbiage today - just participation!  We loved Kauai and would go back in a heartbeat!  To see more great "K" inspiration, visit ABC Wednesday.  Have fun!


texture tuesday: love

This is my first participation in Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.  Although I have a few of Kim's delicious textures, I'm not always sure of the best way to use them.  So, to depict today's theme of love, I chose a picture of my son and his girlfriend. I actually took it off his FB page since I don't have any of the 2 of them. :)

I added 'fall-in' at multiply, 55% opacity and 'pourvous' text at hard light, 60% opacity.  I erased part of the pourvous that was over their faces and lightened it over the black jacket & hands.  The textured photo is different though I'm not sure it's necessarily better.  I like that it's warm and old looking but is it too strong?

I tried a few versions where everything was much brighter and washed out because I like those effects in other people's photos, but on this one somehow it always just seemed TOO washed out and bright.  I'm open to any and all feedback and suggestions - I really want to improve my use of textures, so any criticisms or observations are welcome.

If you like experimenting with your photo processing, check out Kim's Cafe and see the range of classes and tutorials she offers.


zentangle: catch up

I'm still working backwards and practicing with earlier tangle challenges provided by Laura at the Diva.  I finished two more - a couple of mono tangles and one with 'a touch of blue'.

The top pattern is betweed and the lower one is dancet (I just found this one on someone's site, but I didn't write down who - if it's yours, let me know and I'll give credit!).  I wanted to play with using one pattern but changing it up as it crossed the strings.  I did that okay, but the overall effect is too jumbled I think.  I might have to try a different pattern.  I enjoyed the idea of working with a single tangle.

shattuck, fricle, florz

I didn't use the standard 3.5" tile size this time; I wanted to explore a more free flowing style.  I didn't use a string but just kind of built it organically.  There are some parts I like a lot and others aren't as successful.  I haven't expanded to working with any color yet, so this was a fun exercise.


zentangle: pinwheels

The Diva challenge this week is in support of a good cause: Pinwheels for Peace.  Since I really didn't know how to draw a pinwheel, I had to do a little online research - I took the general idea from a few places and adapted it for me (simplified it in other words :)

After I got the basic pinwheel shape down, they were fun to do.  The bottom edge treatment is experimenting with a new design I found called krli-q (curlicue) by Margaret at Enthusiastic Artist  I hope my version does her justice!  Be sure and check out all the pinwheels at the Diva site.


jumpin' jehosophat! - it's J day!

A challenging letter, J.  As my mind meandered through the myriad possibilities (wait is it M week?!) of flowers like jonquil, johnny jump up or jasmine, I was uninspired.  As I considered animals like a jackal, jaguar or jellyfish, I was uninspired.  Hmmm.  I considered places like Jakarta, Japan and Jamaica.  Playing both judge and jury on my ideas, I jumped for joy when I hit upon the idea of taking you on a photographic journey of JUMP!

To see even more creative depictions of "J", visit ABC Wednesday.  You'll be glad you did.....


autumn splendor

Inspiration Avenue's theme this week: autumn splendor.  I love working with these warm, rich colors so it was easy to get into the mind set to create something representing the splendor, the richness of fall.

Working on 9x12 watercolor paper with acrylics, I played with blending a few fall colors.  I added some leaf stencils and a little collage (I cut up a mag picture of sand dunes - pretty cool abstract patterns, huh?).  I was pleasantly surprised at how well the paper held up to the acrylics.  I'm gradually getting more comfortable using them and learning what they will do.  The red blobs at the bottom are my fingers - I got red paint on a couple, so just painted them all and left my fingerprints!

Another way for me to appreciate and share the glory of fall is with my photography - here are a few of my faves:

Aspens in Sundance, UT sure made a gorgeous hillside.

See more great examples of Autumn Splendor by visiting the other participants at Inspiration Avenue.


zentangle: love

Every Monday I am the Diva posts a Zentangle challenge - this week the theme is Love (in honor of 9/11).  Here's my entry.... I only know names of a couple of the patterns: coaster in the first X and lily pads in the last O.  To see other lovely entries, visit Diva and check it out.


Inspiring I - in Italy!

Italy - a place of interesting people, inspiring views, and informative guides.  Our visit 10 years ago was indisputably exciting.  We indulged in an inordinate amount of eating, invigorating walking, and important sight seeing.  We didn't get ill, didn't get invited to anyone's home, or injured in any way, but we did use our intelligence and intuition to interpret the maps and idioms of the language.  I guess that's enough tortured travelogue for one day....

Here are a couple of my fave photos from the trip - the photo quality isn't great; it was our first little point and shoot digital....

A canal in Venice....

The duomo in Florence - stunning church!

The detail of the roofline of a church in Florence.

Yep, THE leaning tower of Pisa - it's quite amazing to see, but the church and basilica on the grounds were more impressive.  The acoustics in the basilica was amazing!

Our hotel window in Rome.  I can't wait to go back and see even more of this beautiful country!

To further investigate the letter I, hop on over to ABC Wednesday and see what everyone's sharing.


inspiration ave: pattern

When I saw the prompt for this week from Inspiration Avenue, I immediately knew I wanted to do something using my new interest in Zentangles.  As I pondered what form it might take, I settled on a sampler format to show a range of some of my favorite tangles.  (patterns used from top left:  mooka, toeter, (border) hollibaugh, onamato (border), warped eggs, weave, brayd (borders), pais, zedbra (border), ambler, nzeppel, ?, coaster (borders), paradox, pendrills, peas in a pod (border) and shattuck)

However, then I realized that there's lots of patterns in the daily world around us - so picked a few of my favorite photos to illustrate patterns in nature.....wish I could draw them!

Flower petals are an endless source of pattern.

Plant life, leaves, branches - all beautiful patterns.

Architecture is an unending source of repetitive patterns - these arches were photographed in Rabat, Morocco.

When patterns don't occur naturally, we tend to create them - grass in baseball diamonds a perfect example!

Barcelona is one of my favorite cities and is packed full of pattern, design, and beautiful inspiration.  This is a couple of buildings designed by Gaudi along the Ave. Discordia.  I can't even count how many patterns are in this shot!

So, if you're inspired to explore pattern some more, visit Inspiration Ave and all the talented folks there.


Exploring with the Camera

I'm working on my photography skills this year and started the photo/day in January with the goal of taking a photo every day....haven't missed any yet!  All my daily photos are visible in my flickr account or my photography blog, PurkeyPages.

One of the learning challenges I'm participating in is with Kat at Kat's Eye View and currently we're focused on the process of elimination.  In other words, framing or editing a photo to get rid of the extraneous stuff so you can focus on the story you're trying to tell.  Here's a few examples of Elimination from my photo archives (not necessarily from my 365 project).

 I thought I wanted the context of the rusty gauge thingy, but it's really kind of a boring shot - the closeup is much more interesting.

I framed this rusty old car to eliminate most of the car and just focus on the grille, then came in even closer for around the headlight for an abstract shot.

I love the simplicity of the framing here - there was a big planter to the side and plants in front to work around, but the result looks kinda cool!  (It's San Juan Capistrano)

Here's one where I resorted to the magic of Photoshop (Elements actually) to remove that distracting light post.  Much better, don't you think?  This is a hotel on Tenerife, Canary Islands.

I find that I pretty naturally frame and reframe in the camera, trying to get the best angle or light but sometimes I'm carried away about the subject and don't notice the background - or it's immovable like the light post!  This was a good reminder exercise to keep me focused on the "why" of my photos - what's the story I want to tell?

You can see even more great examples of photographic Elimination at Kat's blog and flickr group.