On August, the 25th., Annette Plaga will publish her ninth Mosaic project with participants from different countries (including me). You can see all the individual entries and the beautiful finished mosaics on her site.

For this mosaic, Annette asked to draw a part on a white, a grey and a black space. A nice, pleasant base to start. That is why I have done the same for myself once again and made a small personal mosaic of this tile.

 

The drawn tangles are: on the black part: C-View ( you can make a lot of variations on this pattern), Tipple  and Antidots, on the grey part: Joki, Tipple, Patience, Antidots and Windfarm, on the white part: Windfarm, Tipple, and Patience.

 

 

I like to draw in black and white but also in colours. It is often a difficult choice. Sometimes I ‘m in love with black/white and all the grey tones, but at the moment, I noticed that I am unconscious mostly in for more color pick.

Last year, I learned how to use  Ecoline. This kind of paint gives very intense colours and it was time to experiment with it once again. In addition to a regular brush, I also drew lines with a pointed bamboo stick and for more contrast, black Chinese ink was also used.  A small frame around your drawing, gives a better look to your work.. Here you can see a few results. Thank you Jacqueline for your advise!

On the drawing above, the following tangles were drawn: L’Eaura, Scallamps and NKD . Beneath, I have chosen for Borbz, Beadlines, Trumpets, Gravee and Fission.

 

The picture below is taken about 25 years ago in Nepal in front of one of  the numerous Buddhist temples.  Making a trekking in the highest mountains in the world was a long-awaited dream that came true.At that time, I was already impressed by the calmness, the cheerfulness and the inner peace of  the monks. I was  surprised when this man agreed to go with me on the picture. Selfies didn’t exist.  Going to Nepal is going to another era. This country is very special and  colourful  with great contradictions: intense beauty and spectacular nature, but also a lot of injustice and great poverty. For many, especially women, life is very hard. However, I have seen so many  smiling faces. It was a learning journey that made a deep, lasting impression on me.

Now, I know why these monks are so calm, meditation is their secret. People who are unhappy and feel depressed, have little activity in their left frontal cortrex. After only one month of daily meditating, the activity can already rise slightly.. This has been measured scientifically. In other words, by meditating about 20 minutes daily, you can change your brain activity. That is great news and therefore now even the medical world encourages people to meditate. It is certainly not meant for “trippy” types, on the contrary it is worth trying for everyone. Mindfulness, meditation and Zentangleart have  a lot in common: you have to concentrate on what that you are dealing with and that can give you many benefits in the long term.

To meditate,  sitting is preferred but you can also meditate while lying and even stepping. Find a posture in which you feel good and don’t force anything. Take a timer and set it to 20 minutes, a perfect time. Even though you find yourself that you are doing it wrong, just keep on trying every day 20 minutes. Focus your attention on your breathing.  A good tool is to imagine a blue sky in which you transit thoughts in clouds. Do not pay attention to the clouds, let them come and disappear again…and go back to your breathing, again and again. The “training” of your mind is not easy and requires dedication and exercise. Constantly there are flying other thoughts through your head. Do not push them away, but do not give attention to them.  If this seems too difficult, you can possibly choose to start with one action a day to perform with full attention, just as you should do during your Zentangledrawing. Do not plan other activities but focus on that one activity you do. These “Mindfull” actions, can gradually come into your life and can grow into a new attitude towards your life.  As I mentioned in an earlier blogpost, I followed a course of Mindfulness where I learned this knowledge.

Below you can see a drawing of a kind of image you could put in your mind during your meditation session. I have not used real tangles, but have drawn clouds on a blue background of watercolor paint.

 

Through meditation, you can’t change things you’d rather would seen otherwise, but you’ll learn to deal with them better. In October, a European CZT meeting will taken place in Germany and I liked to go.  Unfortunately, due to a combination of  circumstances, it is not possible anymore for me but who knows, maybe I can join next time…

This picture is taken on Madalena (Pico-Azores) with the mountain Pico on the background surrounded by a very special cloud we used to call the Ufo. When we saw this Ufo, we knew, rain would come.

Just for those spectacular clouds, a visit to Pico is worthwhile. (for the whales and dolphins of course too). Never I have seen so many spectacular cloudy skies  as on that island.  Did you know that there is even a cloud club? cloudaprreciationsociety.org . Members get an email every day with the “cloud of the day” and a tool to recognize cloud formations.

To finish this post, I have made another drawing on my favorite background: fresh watercolors  in  aqua tones. Next blogpost will arrive in another season with other colours, for me the most beautiful time of the year. Tangles I have used are: Abukas, Min-line, CO2, Battlo, Zander, Ovolution and Pokeleaf.

Please enjoy the beautiful voice of Sophie Hunger, assembled by my husband on spectacular skies. Thank you Rob.

Le vent nous portera:

music : Noir Désir (2001)

singer : Sophie Hunger

images : Astonishing Sky 4K UHD Timelapse   (Race the world)   HDR Time-laps

 

 

Happiness is like a butterfly, if you try to grab him, he remains always just out of your reach but when you remain quiet, he comes maybe sit on your hand. Nathaniel Hawthorne

The (relatively rare) lesser purple Emperor, whose wings light up in the Sun, unexpectedly came to visit us during a hot summer day.

Happinez does not mean the same for everyone. Some people like to have a lot of friends around them, they love noisy parties, big events and get there  energy by … There is nothing wrong with, but others can really enjoy,  being on their own on a familiar spot, and that’s pretty okay too.  People need the company of other people but  some of us need that more than  others. It’s nice to know when you like to interact with others  and definitely go for it but on the other hand, you  must not forcing anything and sometimes you really have to say no.   I’m a bit older (and hopefully wiser) and now I know what  brings happiness and peace but also what asks  a lot of energy. Saying no, is not as easy as it seems but you are never to old to learn…

Being in the forest, especially on spots where I can hear the birds  and the sound  of the little rivers, gives  me energy and inner peace. When I hear the crickets sing, I always get a nice summer feeling. I like to be in nature and love  animals, flowers and plants.

The orchid is my favorite flower. The best known cultured species (Phalaenopsis) are very easy to maintain. Just put them on a light, (not to) cool place but avoid  the sun and keep humid during the flowering period (with soft water). If the flowers are wilted, move the plant to a cooler place and slow down with the water. After a few months, new shoots with flower buds appear and than I  move him back to the familiar place. I give regulary a little fertilizer and then he gets again more water. Every time when I see such a ” promising” twig appearing on an older plant, I find that fantastic. The first thing  when I get up, is going to look how many buttons already have emerged …

This beautiful orchid is one of the species you can find in our forests  but also in our own (wild) garden, he blooms every year..

This Phalaenopsis was a present from our youngest son Bruno and friend Nathalie. After the blooming time he urgently needs to be repotted. The roots grow all outside and he  almost falls down by the weight of the flowers that have arrived this year.

Such a beautiful flower deserves a tile. On this 3Z one you see a stylized Orchid surrounded by the beautiful Feen by Ela Rieger, a pattern that I really like and seems a bit like an orchid.  The other pattern is called Beebug, a very recently, funny tangle, and  nice to combine with other patterns.

The second tile that I made, during my “break” was   Adele’s challenge., number 200.  Also her new tangle C-Perfs is very original. Here you can see a variation in combination with C-View and the fragment Y1, drawn on a grey tile. Just like on previous drawing, in addition to the classic black pen, pencils and a white gelpen are used.

Of course it is always nice to see your own patterns, appearing in the work of others. It was a real surprise to discover how  Anita Westin   combined a wonderful drawn C-View with other tangles on this beautiful Renaissance Zendalatile.

Tack Anita, jag tror att du har gjort det bra!!!

I have glued the two next ones on black cards. They are drawn with a lot of care for the two doctors who have treaten me very well and thanks to them, my complaints have  reduced a lot. On their advice, I take 2 organic pills  of Flexipur every day  included  Curcuma and Omega 3  (without any side effects)

On the first card, I have glued a strip of blue watercolor background on which I have drawn the new pattern  Agni  by Lily Moon. El Prado is drawn with a white and gold gellypen on the black card.

Here I have cut out a circle  from a yellow/greenish watercolored paper and you can see  next tangles: Field of Flowers, Metro, Molygon and Orb-on-the-move. I have used colourpencils to make the colours a bit stronger and a white gellypen for the highlights.

Under the heading “challenges” on my front page, you’ll discover a few entries that I have made for the guests of Joey. I find this a very sympathetic idea and I like to take  time for some contributions.

The next card was for the 35th anniversary of our oldest son Bram. Just before his thirtieth, now about 5 years ago, he had a very serious caraccident that brought him into a deep coma. After several weeks on Intensive care, followed a long difficult rehabilitation but now we are 5 years further and it goes well with him. After his resignation from the rehabilitation clinic he could go back to his flat where he lives fully independent, without assistance. He has found a nice part-time job  and enjoys life, even though he now has limitations. His (and our) life changed forever but we have accepted that and  feel better and more connected than it used to be.

On Bram’s birthday card I have 5 “rubies” drawn in different sizes. One for every year after its 30th. The smallest is a symbol for the first year and every year the stone has grown a bit  because he is still getting better, thanks to his optimistic attitude to life. The pattern on the inside is Apacore and is   colored in green, the color of hope. Apart from the “rubies”  the Renaissance tile is finished in different shades of green, interspersed with white/grey and black (gelstift and crayons)

Ruby is Bram’s birthstone. Everyone has a birthstone. I din’t  know that but I have recently read an article about. A tile with such a birthstone as eye-catcher, is an original idea if you want to create a card for someone’s birthday. Bram collected stones (when he was  a child)  and he liked the card immediately… and that made me also happy.  On the Internet you can find many images and guidelines to draw beautiful gems.

Participate in challenges is instructive and can be quite nice but also, just making  a drawing  to surprise someone, can be great. You make something very personal for someone you like and that is usually highly appreciated. To get something is nice, but  to give something, that is certainly nice too.

The last tiles were made for I.A.S. T. numbers 203 and 204. Very recently, Adele’s daughter was married and the tradition says: for a long and happy marriage it is necessary the bride has to wear something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue.

part one: something old (Sez) and something new (Trilad)

part two: something blue (Bluebonnets) and something borrowed ( variation on Hollibaugh)

All the tangles can be find on Tanglepatterns.com and/or Elatorium.

In the meantime, I’m working on my condition:: doing exercises every day, making many small walks, regularly going to swim and taking adequate rest periods. The time in front of the computer is limited but  again, drawing  occasionally  remains a challenge and gives me pleasure.  I have invested in a good ergonomic chair from Spinalis, an ergonomic keyboard, an ergonomic mouse, mouse-tray and  regularly I am wearing a small braze on my wrist. This was a substantial amount but this stuff guarantees years of more comfort during computer and drawing activities. On the Spinalis chairs you  are sitting on a movable kind of balloon and that is better for your back. Your arms can rest while surfing and there is also a support where you can lean. In the beginning  this “active sitting” was not for granted  but I just feel that it is better and then maintaining becomes easier. This is a wonderful chair for everyone who needs to sit a lot for hobby/work.

 Nice weather today? Don’t wait any longer and enjoy a summer picnic in the sun or under a beach umbrella.

In Belgium, many festivals are organised during the summer. Even almost 80-years-old  queen Paola and her daughter Princess Astrid were spotted at a concert of Cold Play and King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited our famous Tomorrowland.

In our environment  Esperanzah.  (4, 5 and 6 August) gives beautiful moments every summer.  It is a small, cosy event and takes place at the Abbey of Floreffe. The location is authentic, the atmosphere is welcoming and everyone shows its best side … Great isn’t it?

Esperanzah abough and beneath King Philippe and Queen Mathilde at Tomorrowland

Exactly 50 years ago, The summer of love started in San Francisco  and that is why I have searched in the “old” box to find  an appropriate number to close this summerpost. Enjoy and untill next time:

 

Every time Annette Plaga figured out a mosaic, I was happy to contribute to such a nice initiative. Until the end of May, you could send an entry. Soon, you can admire the surprising results on Annette’s website.

Above you can see my contribution for her eighth mosaic. Annette had suggested to use green in the string which has a  form of a ribbon.  It’s my favourite colour.

Green is soothing and stands for hope, nature and renewal. The tangles I have used,  are: Pebble Flowers, Birch, B-Horn, Praa, Dai-Dai, Fun-bee, Leaf-a-vin, Cornetz, Jelly legs en Triple Tipple.

Below you can see the mirrored result for which I‘ve used a photo editing program.

 

Two is a particular number. It is a pair. Together you are stronger. By seeing someone opposite to you, you learn to know yourself.You start thinking in similarities and differences. That dualism is a part of life: male and female, yin and yang, light and darkness, joy and sadness, life and death …

Below I have posted an example of a drawing which can easily be mirrored, a very funny experiment.

The used tangles are:  Tipple, a variation on Copada, Sandswirl en Betweed Flower (supplemented by ribbons consisting of hearts in 2 colors)The tile was made on a watercolored background that I have cut out and then glued on a black tile. A few other patterns were applied with a white gelpen and finished with orange tones: Tipple, Bowswing and (a part of) U-bend.

The original tile:

One time mirrored:

 

Double mirrored:

 

If you like this, check out the site of the Diva. For her 318 th challenge, Laura proposes to make a Diptych . This is a Zentangledrawing consisting of 2 mirrored panels. A nice idea with many possibilities and worthwhile to try!

This is  Laura’s example:

Every day, a new tangle is popping up. It is impossible to know and integrate them all in your drawings. Only those who appeal to me, I draw in my personal legend. Sooner or later, they will appear in my work, along with my other favorites.

I honestly admit that I  have difficulties  with some logical but more intricate patterns (High focus tangles). Although they can be very nice, I prefer easy (mostly) organic patterns. Finally I managed to design one myself.

I love flowers and plants and regularly I discover “new” species during my walks in the forest. I search for the correct name in books or on the Internet. During such a search for a “new” plant, this image took immediately my attention:

It is a view on a fruit of the  Medicago who really looks a bit like a rolled up caterpillar.

Instantaneously I saw a new tangle in it and began to draw. My new pattern got the name: C-view (Caterpillar view) and below you find  the steps to draw it:

On the image below, you see the variation of C-view, combined with Rick’s Paradox, CO2, and Tipple.  I finished with blue colourpencils and a white gelpen. More variations are possible, f.e.by drawing Printemps in the middle you will get also a nice  result.

On the next tile I’ve made a composition with  C-view  B-Horn, Birch, Mooka, Raindotty, Fescu, Hypnotic and Tipple.

Only Mooka is colored with green pencils. A white gelpen makes some highlights, while B-Horn and Birch were drawn with an ordinary pencil .

As I wrote above,   number 2 appears in everyone’s life , also in mine.

By sitting (too) much while drawing and working on my computer, my arthritis symptoms continue to increase. In addition, I develop symptoms which seem to be a beginning RSI. ‘m facing a heart-breaking choice: either I just go further as I am doing at the moment and the complaints will only increase or  I’m going to change my habits and I  can expect a lot of improvement in the future.

With a heavy heart, I opted for the second solution: I’m going to draw less,  spending only little times in front of the computer, doing exercises and swimming. I’m planning to take more rest, and will start again with Tai Chi. I have practiced this beneficial movement form for years but ended after a shoulder surgery. The rehabilitation took longer than I thought and I could no longer follow after so many missed classes in the group. Tai Chi seems simple but it is definitely not. Also here are concentration, patience and exercise important. Like Zentangle art, it’s a pleasant, relaxing activity that haunting thoughts can stop and also gives you more flexibility. Take a look to this short exercise:

It would be wonderful to make a combination of the two and that is exactly that I hope to do in the future but now I have decided to take a long break. In concrete terms, that means no more traveling tiles, no contributions to challenges,  less  time using the computer and  no more blog posts.

I would like to make an exception for the challenge of July, the 17 th. at Joey Van Oort. On this date, Suzie Ngamsuwan will be the hostess with a new challenge,  everyone can participate. I’m a big fan of Suzy’s inspiring personal Zentanglestyle. Despite the fact that we live thousands of kilometers from each other,  where we lead our own lives, we learned to know each other better by our common interests …

Below I have posted a unique contribution of Suzy for the Diva’s 317th challenge. Around a subtile stylized figure she has built a beautiful Zentangle drawing. I am delighted to see my own pattern Nouvart popping up, nicely integrated in this gorgeous drawing:

Setback, such as now, giving up something that I really like to do, is not pleasant. However, setbacks can make your life richer and make you also  stronger.  I have encountered that already several times 

I fell in love with Zentangle art at  first sight, practiced almost every day and I‘m not going to it up but I have to listen to my body and will go back to an acceptable level.

Not every day is great but every day has something great:  unexpectately getting a friendly smile makes me warm inside,  crossing a shy deer on a walk in the wood is wonderful,  enjoying the scents of the forest after a  rain shower, smells better than any perfume, I enjoy drinking a glass of cool white wine on a warm sunny day, having a nice conversation brings happinez , sometimes I need being touched by beautiful music or a compelling book, and it’s delicious to take a refreshing shower and  go to sleep between clean sheets with a drop of lavender oil on the pillow

There are so many little things to enjoy, I can continue enumerating for hours … and I am grateful that there is still so much possible

Side issues are important, at some point you realize suddenly that those side issues were the main issues : little moments of intense happiness!

Here are a few happy moments that I want to share with you:

I saw a “newbeautiful butterfly,  suddenly  popping up on the terrace. Definitely he will get a place in my book.

the White Ermine

I saw hundreds of the flowering Columbine in all its colours, only a 15-minute walk away from our house:

An easy but typical Belgian dish that tastes so delicious. The season is short but now the Flemish white asparagus is available everywhere . Peel them well, let cook for about 10-minutes , bring some butter sauce over it and finish with hard-boiled eggs and parsley.

Recently, I got  two beautiful cards, one of a student and the second of another CZT/friend, I met in Providence. Thank you very much, both of you, they are lovely and I’m very touched.

I want to thank everyone for the interest in my blog, for the comments and emails and am grateful that I could inspire you a little

Below I have placed one of my first works. At the moment, I would draw it in a different way but I still like this tile. I just want to show you one more time, that you can combine your Zentangleworks very well with other techniques. On this summery tile I have used a simple stamp  with butterflies above Henna Drum, Pokeroot, Tipple, Flukes,Antidots and Kogin. In specialized shops you can find really nice stamps around which you can build your Zentangle drawing .

And to finish,  2 more pictures, taken, just after getting the CZT certificate during the 22nd seminar in Providence. You see only happy faces and satisfied people. Really a happy memory! .

Press the Full screen button to enjoy the beautiful colors. Maybe you discover a new pattern in this special clip made on Mike Oldfield’s Voyager.

If you let go of everything, you have two hands free to grab the future.

take care

Ria Matheussen

 

In the south of Belgium (and also in large parts of France)  May always started with the provision of Lilies of the valley. All along the road are small booths where this fragrant bunches are sold for a few Euros. Every man should donate them to his wife as a sign of good luck for the new season. A beautiful tradition who faithfully is honoured on this national holiday.

In many countries, an extra day to thank all mothers, is also celebrated in may but in Belgium we mostly do that  on August 15.

After a rather cold beginning of the year , the real spring feeling has finally arrived with delicious soft temperatures. They  invite you to go out. Please take time to enjoy and admire all the beauty that nature gives us for free:

A while ago, by reading the Dutch magazine Happinez, I discovered  the art of Andres Amador from San Francisco. He makes every day beautiful works of art on the beach during the low tide. At the first tidal wave, those carefully made drawings  will disappear… I would find it a pity  to see those magic drawings, created with much love, disappear into the water. However, I understand the philosophy of Andres. According to him, the nature changes constantly, nothing remains the same and so he wants to show that in his works of art …

For more information: Andresamadorarts.com

 

 

I have specifically chosen these pictures because they seem so familiar. Andres “signs” Zentanglepatterns, definitely. He first creates  some sketches that he enlarged and carefully make with a rake in the sand. The locations are very important because his works are at their best, seen from a certain height. Andres should never clean up anything, tomorrow will come a new day with new challenges!

These pictures inspired me to draw a few larger works on sand-coloured paper,  without the addition of colors, a bit like Andres  does on the beaches of California … In the next drawing you can discover following patterns: Hollibaugh, Hypnotic, Vivid, Quandary, N’Zeppel, Mumzy, en 5C Aura.

Here you can see a combination of  Vano, Phicops, O, Cruffle, Tangleflake 3, Tripoli and Emingle drawn in triangles on one of the circles.

And a little one with only patterns that reminds me of things you can find on the beach: Ohana, Bunzo, Tipple (must always be there), Festune, Joki, Lollypops, Trumpits, Printemps en Fünf.

On this tile I have also used a little green to get a bit the effect of algae that you sometimes find on the shells and stones at the seaside.

Let go and start again, can also be useful in our daily life. You can’t start a new chapter in your life when you always reread the previous one. Let things go can hurt but frantically stick even more. Therefore:

It’s time for a new season,  a new start, and a new tangle of Maria Thomas: Spoken. Here, I signed Spoken on a background of green watercolor  in combination with Praa ( Simone Menzel’s new organic tangle) 5C Aura and Field of FLowers:

The following  round tile is cut out from a piece of grey cardboard on which  you see a variation of Spoken, CO2, Dai Dai en Praa (variation) and on which I have glued some dried ” Forget-me-not’s” : they grow at the moment by hundreds around our cottage. I couldn’t resist to pick a few and let them dry.

 

It is worth to make a drawing in combination with other materials, such as here with the dried “Forget-me-nots”. The flowers/plants have to dry thoroughly between old newspapers (1-2 weeks). Put some weight on them  ( a book)  and after this period, you can paste them on paper (with ordinary Pritt) … and start tangling around. It is nice to be busy with something very small, such as the beauty of a simple dried flower

As usual I would like to close my post  with a piece of music and a nice quote of Bob Marley:

One of the great things about music is that if she hits you, you will feel no pain.

During my  study of the Portuguese language,  I have been lucky to  attend a performance of Madredeus (showed in an earlier post) and Sarah Tavares. Both on the Azores,where we have lived for several years, as on the Cape Verde Islands where Sarah was born, Portuguese is spoken.I like this difficult but very melodic language. The  vulcanic green Azores belong to Europe and have especially  rocky coastlines. The Cape Verde islands, situated a bith more  to the South, belong to Africa, they are  much drier … with lots of sand.

Let’s  enjoy the cheerful voice of Sarah Tavares and  beaches to dream away.

Adeus!

 

 

April 22 has been declared  Earth Day.

It is important  to reflect regulary on our consumption habits and try to reduce the impact on our planet.

Every little bit helps, and therefore we can, despite all the negative posts, no matter how small, do an effort to cope better with our environment and  contribute also to a cleaner world for everyone.

Some simple tips:

Do you have a garden? Try to lure bees and butterflies (by placing insects hotels, butterfly trees, flowers …)

Less intensive stock breeding,  less meat, means less warming, less animal suffering and more life on earth. Try a Pita of the vegetarian butcher. With a delicious garlic sauce and some fresh raw vegetables, this is a surprisingly tasty, balanced lunch.

Lavender bags in wardrobes, lemon peels in a bowl of vinegar in the refrigerator, sodium bicarbonate with a drop of tea-tree oil in the litter box, selfmade air freshener … This is  all  natural stuff in order to obtain pleasant scents without using harmful chemicals.

Translation for a natural air freshener: 200 ml of distilled water, 2 tabelspoons Wodka and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil together in a plant sprayer and shake well … ready.

Do we really need all those artificial perfumes, lotions, creams, soaps, gels? Just click on the site of  Skin deep.  With a little searching you can find all the  ingredients of your own products. You will be surprised how much trash manufacturers put in their products. ..  On the other hand,  jojoba oil, is a real little tresor for our skin and the price is nice. It sounds weird but this ” oil” is both particularly well for oily skin that tends to acne and dry skin. It doesn’t feel greasy at all and just a little bottle gives you months the best care you can imagine.

Bying local and fair trade products and avoiding as much as possible  plastics,  are lowering significantly our ecologic footprints

With a little creativity you can certainly find more challenges… and that will give you a fine and happy feeling!

Wild flowers are a wonderful gift of the earth ,  look at these short but intense beautiness during the spring in the South African desert:

Also much closer,  in the Belgian Ardennes, the wood anemones (also called windflower, thimbleweed, or smell fox) now make a beautiful white carpet. It only takes just a few weeks but I love  to see this, every year again. In other places in Belgium,  dominate the purple color of the Bluebells.

 

Flowers are not only beautiful to look at, there are several types you can eat. The cheerful orange Nasturtium (Indian cress or monks cress) tastes delicious  (a bit like radishes) and they  brighten up your risottos and fresh salads.

Flowers are also a grateful subject to draw.  You can find many beautiful organic patterns. I have all my favorites drawn in a Leporello booklet. I don’ need to surch anymore on the Internet  but immediately I can see the most beautiful tangles in that little book. I also have such a booklet with grid patterns and one with border patterns. (I honestly admit that I regularly  “forget” tangles and these booklets are then a handy tool)

Let’s show some examples of tiles with a lot of organic tangles:  here is a Renaissance Zendalatile with on the top right Laflor,  Abeko, Curly Q, String Rose, Boxwood, Printemps, Alabastro, Flux and Morning Glory.

In the following movie you can easily follow how Elena Babayants draws this beautiful flower motif :

Ikebana  or Japanese flower art is very elegant but more difficult than it seems at first sight. Here too I found inspiration to create a tile with flowers. Eastern Lily is the star along with Fricle and Eddy.

Helen Williams, a very talented lady from Australia has an interesting blog where you can find many organic tangles. There I saw for the first time  to draw gridtangles not always straight but in a in a more “wonky grid ‘. Below an attempt with Florez, surrounded by a few Pokeleafs and  dewdrops.

Then I noticed Compass Daisy, a simple easy pattern but please draw it carefully and accurately. It is  beautiful in combination with other tangles but also very suitable as a monotangle. I have only  drawn one on a background of watercolor and Bistrepowder

Every morning, I look through the window  and I see the violets in our flower boxes, they inspired me for the following tile:

 

The fun pattern Plum-lei looks a bit like a violet. I made a composition that I have finished with Lapin (Susie Ngamsuwan) as a framework.

And finally, you see another tile, inspired by. Laura’s challenge (311). I used : Cuttle, NKD, Patience, NZeppel and Peek-a-boo-Daisy.

 

Of course I was quite happy with the challenge no 190 of Adele Bruno. She suggested  a combination of Wind farm,Box Spirals. and Nouvart. Not a simple task but I saw wonderful results appearing and I thank Adele for this challenge and all participants for their commitment and interest.

Below you can see my entry, you can admire the other tiles on Adele’ site:

On  Susie Ngamsuwan’s website I discovered a beautiful monotangle of Nouvart wich reminds me to ice crystals. Susie is a  talented tangler who lives in Thailand. She can make something special and refreshing of every pattern and I admire her personal style.

Reena Soni also shows a nice work in which she integrated Nouvart in a delicate way. (I met this sympathetic lady during the 22nd CZT seminar) You can follow her on instagram.

This combination of Zimba and Siri, along with organic patterns is lovely, isn’t it? It was one of the entries of Annette Plaga for the Diva’s challenge (312)

To end,you see a picture of my contribution for her 7th mosaic. You can see the results of the participants  on  her site. On the 10 th of may,  the 8th project will start. I’m already looking forward to join again. Everyone is welcome to be a part of a great mosaic and will receive  a small personal mosaic afterwards. Thank you Annette for your commitment and creativity and I wish you succes for the next one!

I like to finish with a nice quote and a little piece of music:

Hans Zimmer wrote Now we are free for the movie Gladiator. The music is  mounted  by Chris Demian on spectacular images of our fragile planet, a suitable contribution for this special day:

 

With the “Mc and Cheese challenge, number 308” the Diva (Laura Harms) wanted  to see  simple compositions with trusted tangles. We had to use easy motives, no searching work on computers, no stress or competition spirit, just drawing relaxed patterns  that we know by heart. This challenge brought  us back to the essence of the Zentangleart. Below I show you an example of a former student: Marianne Repriels. She has designed a beautiful Zendala only with Flux and Tipple. Original, simple in black/white but very nice and finished with subtile shade.  Once again you can see:  Zentangleart is available for everyone and even with a few simple patterns you can create wonderful tiles.

I’m very gratefull for the nice comments I get, every time I make a drawing on coloured backgrounds. I have learned this technique from Jacqueline Nouwen, who teaches in the Doppahuis in Hasselt. Immediately I felt at home  between these friendly creative people. Jacqueline and some other students have come on their turn to my workshops.. We continue to keep in touch and occasionally a cosy, creativ afternoon is organized.

Below I show you a small impression of such a wonderful afternoon.  Unfortunately those days flow alway too soon. This time we have made folders for  booklets. We used pieces of hardboard  which we decorated with different kinds of materials and finished with a mixture of Gesso and Watercolor paint. As you can see, everyone was excited about the results!

Regularly, I see work of people, who have been ( just like me),  infected with the Zentanglevirus. Margit Van Ostaeyen (with red blouse and brush in her mouth) came to follow some Zentanglelessons with me. She would also like to combine her gorgeous watercolors with tangles. She did a great job, judge for yourself . You can read the story of Margit on the Original Zentangle Blog .

On the last picture, I noticed special white lines  and I asked her how she had done that. The answer is quite simple: with a piece of candle  fat lines were drawn on the paper before painting. On those white lines the paint is amost invisible and  you get a very special effect which I  like very much. I have  congratulated Margit for this special result and I am grateful to her that she has brought me to this idea. I do appreciate that  people  share their knowledge to each other and in turn also learn from the others. That is a fine experience for everyone and it fits completely in the Zentanglephilosophy. Once again thank you Jacqueline and Margit for sharing your knowledge!

Would you like to try this technique also? It is really very easy and you’ll get amazing results:

First take a piece of candle and draw a few “fat” lines  on your tile. I just use watercolor paper and then cut out the most beautiful stretches (9 x 9 cm).

It is good to make your paper very wet (with water)

Then bring some colours on with a thick brush  (you can dilute with water to receive different  tintes of colors) the paint has to  flow into each other. You can rotate or sheet to different directions. By blowing you can let the colours flow in a particular direction. Too much paint can be easily absorbed with  a little cottonstick. When the colors are still wet, I sprinkle a little bit of the magical  Bistrepowder on the paper to. Don’t use to much, that is not nice.Let  everything dry (about 2 hours) and then you will see very well the whimsical shapes on which or between which you can draw your favorite tangles. On the painted pieces can easily be drawn but you can also leave white spots on which you can make your patterns or you can choose for a combination of both … Afterwards it is possible to make certain colors stronger with ordinary  color pencils.

Watercolor paper, watercolors of Winsor & Newton, Bistrepowder, my usual brushes, a piece of candle, mix jars and you can start!

Here I have chosen autumnal tints and signed with a white gelpen, brown and black pens. The patterns are: Zinger, N’Zeppel, Indi Rella, Rixty and Birch (this pattern looks very much like a birch tree, and that was the intention)

For this tile I mostly have used blue paint, the brown color is due to the Bistre that I have mixed with the watercolor paint. The  tangles are Mooka, Molygon, Tipple, Verve, Caviar, Shattuck and Curl. In addition to a black pen I used  again my white gelpen.

Here you can see that I’ve used,  more red but also yellow and green (the colours flow always in each other and the result is often different than you had in mind) Undu, Wud and El Prado were drawn with a black pen and finished with a white gelpen. For the highlights,  a white gellypen  always give that nice final touch.

My favorite tile gives me already a bit of springfeelings thanks to the  the use of fresh yellow and green tones on which green Bistre was spread. It was my I.A.S.T. contribution (188) .We “had to” make a combination of Fescu, Zinger and Frickle. In addition to brown, black and white pens, you see also some Fescupatterns made with a green pen.

Everything reminds me that the season is changing.  Blossoms appear in all colors, here and there  fresh green is popping up, the first butterflies flutter around on sunny days and especially the birds start  to whistle louder.That gives a nice feeling every year again. If the temperature will get a bit higher, it is pleasant to make a walk on a barefoot path. These paths are specially designed. (3 to 4 km). The walks are not heavy and because we don’t just have to walk barefoot, they give you a special experience and a free foot massage. On the internet you can find different paths. I’m also fond to walk  barefoot on the wet grass in the morning, it is  funny and very refreshing! Am I a little crazy perhaps? Maybe but I enjoy those moments.

Travelling tiles give always fun. Below you can see the results of an exchange with Heidi Sue Whitney from Utah.  Travelingtiles are unique experiences and I want to thank Heidi for this wonderful collaboration. Recently, Heidi worked out a beautiful pattern. Definitely  you are going to see this new tangle on one of my future tiles. I adore  the wild northern nature and for this tangle, Heidi found inspiration at the tough Vikings: Torsdag,

Heidi’s starters and then the tiles, finished by me:

 

Below my starters and Heidi’s finished results, very beautiful is the clear letter i. Heidi used this tile as an entry for Joey’s Challenge.

 

 

I have send Heidi also an empty tile on which she could do what she prefered, it is a lovely result isn’t it?

She used her new tangle Concert .

Always interesting is to discover, how others use my own tangles in their tiles.  I show you a beautiful work of  Anja Schaffeld who made a very successful combination of different variations on Zimba with the beautiful Amphora by Lily Moon. Thank you Anja, I appreciate this very much.

Also Duane Anderson from Oregon, has made a unique tile, directly after publishing Nouvart on tanglepatterns.com. Thank you very much Duane!

I’m honored to see that Adele suggested to use my tangle Nouvart together with two wonderful patterns of Margaret Bremner for her weekly challenge It’s a string thing. Thank you very much Adele.

A bit early, I want to wish everyone already a Happy Easter and a great start for a new season with lots of confidence. To develop self confidence, you have to leave the person you wanted to be  but  take peace with the person you really are. You need to stop to compare yourself with others but continue to believe in yourself. Follow your heart, it knows the way.

This wise advice I have read in a magazine  and it’s true, the older you get, the better you do.

To finish this post, I have chosen gentle accordion music. Long ago, we left on a hot August day on honeymoon to Normandy and Paris. The distance was not too far, we drove with our own little car and booked rooms in simple guesthouses, very romantic and cheep at the time. The music I have select, was written for the film: le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain with a very naughty Audrey Tatou in the leading role. Whenever I hear such an accordion, I think of that typical atmosphere on hot summer evenings in Paris where you always can hear that kind of music. However this clip comes from Chile but I  find it very beautiful. Therefore my choice fell on this musician who plays the walz of Amélie.

Does this look familiar?  Here are the famous four seasons of Alphonse Mucha, the wonderful  Czech Art Nouveau artist

When I think about Art Nouveau (or Jugendstil)  I always see Prague in front of me. In this beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, located on the Moldau River, you can discover a lot of beautiful art.  In the evening, you can enjoy   performances of classical ballet and concerts. It is delicious to finish  the evening in one of the cozy Jugendstil coffee houses. Personally, I  prefer a visit in the winter, the city  looks just like a fairy tale.

Charles Bridge

The astronomical clock

The cultural house

Art Nouveau became popular at the end of the nineteenth century in different places of Europe. The inspiration was found in nature and we saw popping up graceful organic patterns and wavy lines everywhere. (ceramics, glass, paintings, architecture…) The flow had a short but intense flowering time and then went over to the Art Deko, more stylized, with tighter lines and mainly geometric patterns.

On the picture beneath, you can see clearly  the difference between these two styles:

 

Also  in our small Belgium, there is a lot of Art Nouveau and Art Deco to discover. I am thinking, for example, on the stately mansions on the Cogels Osylei in Antwerp, the numerous façades decorated with ironwork in Liège but especially  the Horta House in Brussels  is beautiful and worth to visit..

Cogels Osylei in Antwerp

 

Forgings in Liège

Entrance hall of the Horta House in Brussels

 

Horti, my new pattern, is based on the strongly simplified pattern in this Art Nouveau tile and is an easy tangle that offers many possibilities:

 

On this tile I started with a spiral (R-H1 found in the book the Primer). The spiral was not filled with fragments but I chose to draw a  mirrored Horti, combined with a variation of Mooka, Curly Q, Abeko, Tipple and the beautiful recent. pattern Clamz. The tile was completed with colourpencils and a white gellypen for the “highlights”.

 

On the second example, I started with  a very simple Horti in circleform, then another version around it with 2 different auras, followed by L ‘ Eaura, again a variation of Horti with aura and TIpple. Finally I decided to draw Umble and filled a few pieces  with colourpencils. To finish, I have put  Printemps in a few areas.

On the other hand, Nouvart is a pattern that I have composed after seeing several pictures from the Art Deco period. You’ll find similar motives  in the architecture,  in the glass art and in paintings …

 

 

Above and below Nouvart was drawn in combination with other tangles and fragments, including Rick’s Paradox, Tipple, Sails, Fassett Hibred, Zenith, Stircles and the Fragment K1. On the tile below, I started with  Gneiss, a beautiful and easy pattern and very nice to tangle around.  I have used gelly pens and only a little bit of chalk pencil.

And a Zendalatile with Horti and Nouvart, together with Zander, Petal Panes, Tipple, Joki and Scrawlz. I have used braun, turkoois and black pens, ordinary colourpencials, white chalkpencil and a white gellypen.

Christmas, New year, Valentine’s day and Carnival are already behind us but that does not mean that it is already spring. Personally, I find this period the least attractive of the year. But it is allright when you accept to have a lesser period. The winter is over its peak but there is not yet a real spring feeling.  Heavy rain, coldness and wind  are regular in March and April. But now and then  the sun comes through and you can already feel her stronger power. Very slowly, nature will awaken after a long period of rest.

Around this time, in Canada, the Maple juice is tapped from the trees: it’s  delicious on pancakes or  in a cup of rosehip tea .. In the Ardennes, Birch juice is harvested. It is a powerful drink that will clean and revitalise your body  and excellent to drink in this period of the year to give your body a real boost!

Once again I have chosen to end  with a template of Ben Kwok. The  Dragonfly is seen so many times  in the Art Nouveau and that is why I show you this drawing . The patterns I have used are: Nouvart, Horti, Knightsbridge, Hibred, Printemps, Jetties, Flux, Shattuck, Sandswirl, the fragment F7 and a very special tangle: Vo (just below Horti into the middle). This beautiful and easy pattern is designed by the six-year-old Vincent Roller, son of the German CZT Nadine Roller who created already several beautiful patterns. Her most recent pattern Elloso appeared a few days ago on Tanglepatterns.com.

Again, you see, the Zentanglemethod is achievable for everyone!!!

Vielen Dank Vincent für dieses schönes neues Muster. Ich werde es bestimmt  brauchen in meine Zeichnungen.

The morning symbolizes the spring, the  afternoon the summer, the evening the autumn and the  night the winter. At the moment, we long so hard for springtime, my choice fell on” Morgendstimmung” by Edward Grieg. The song was mounted on beautiful pictures of the idyllic Norway, the homeland of the composer.

I am very proud to have joined  the sixth mosaic project of Annette Plaga. This time, she has  chosen  for a nightly starry sky. Below you can see my contribution,  brought together by Annette and then integrated into a mosaic with participants from all over the world. There are several other mosaics, you can admire on her site.  Congratulations Annette, for this wonderful design. It is fantastic that we could make, with people from different countries, this unique work. On March the 10 th., starts the next project and everyone is welcome to participate!

 

 

 

 

In one of my previous posts, I have showed you 2 travelingtiles, the results of a swap with Joey van Oort from Vancouver. Due to family circumstances,  Joey couldn’t find the time to finish my starters. A week ago, she published the tiles on her site. I like both results very much. Thank you Joey for the cooperation and good luck with your further activities.

 

 

It’s only February and  we could already enjoy some soft, sunny days. For next week, the weather forecasts  are promising! However, it will be take a while before the real spring is coming. Outside it looks still  grey and a little sad.

One of the first flowers in our garden is the Witch-Hazel. The tree is still very small but is growing every year a little bit. When we will be old, we will see an intense blossom, every year, in the middle of the winter.

 

The picture below was taken in the arboretum Kalmthout  where you can admire the largest collection of these Witch-Hazel in Belgium. Thousands of visitors are coming every winter to enjoy the trees, during the flowering period.

Black/White is classic and always beautiful. Therefore, some days I like to draw in black and white, on others days, I want to draw in colours. In daily life, I love colors around me. In our Interior, you’ll find anywhere warm, sunny accents. Especially in the dark winter months I need that. Below, you see a picture of an ugly power box that disturbed me.  A simple wooden frame was confirmed. Then I made small shapes from fimo clay  and painted them with acrylic paint. I just let them dry and glued them on the frame.  It  looks now a little bit more enjoyable. Fimo clay never needs to be baked, just let it dry and it’s ready.

 

 

Occasionally, I like to surf on the Internet, looking  for beautiful color combinations. Especially, I like the intense patterns of Africa. So I discovered a fabric from Zimbabwe and  immediately, I saw a new tangle:

Because the pattern is very difficult to draw, I simplified it and have called my new tangle Zimba :

 

It’s not really a flowing tangle but suitable for a grid. As a fragment or as a border, it can give nice results. You can make different  monotangletiles or make combinations with other gridpatterns or fragments (see in the book “the primer”). The use of colours will give an extra touch!

Here I combined Zimba  with the fragments B11, C11 and E7. The small square is glued on a piece of black paper, so I could draw  with a black and a white pen.

Also here, I have another small square, glued on a black paper. Zimba is surrounded by the fragments H1, F11 and C11 and I like to use  Perfs (small balls). On both tiles, I have used  regular color pencils.

Immediately after publication, I became a few  comments and some tanglers have allready tried out the new pattern.  Simone Menzel from Dresden, who recently added the beautiful pattern My Swing to the list of tangles started to play with Zimba. Unexpected,  a new, graceful tangle appeared and she called it  Siri ( Simone and Ria). I appreciate that very much. As I wrote before, we all learn from each other and get inspired by each other. That is a very nice aspect of the Zentanglemethod and I am delighted that this little piece of fabric was a source of  inspiration for 2 new patterns.

Below I have made a tile with a border of a variation of Siri. The inside is filled with a lovely older pattern: Tink. To finish I have used colored pens and a grey pencil.

Speaking of colors, I think of the Carnival that will arrive very soon. I  am not such a party animal but I understand very well that many people look forward to this festival. Months in advance, they worked hard on making  special clothes and lavish floats for the parades that will take place within a few weeks. You can not compare Belgium to Brazil or Venice but also here, in our little country there  are places where they love Carnaval. . In the south Eupen and Binche are famous  and in Flanders, everyone knows the city of Aalst.

 

The Gilles of Binche in their traditional costume with their baskets full of oranges, are classified under the Unesco World Heritage site.

 

 

To finish, I have drawn a mandala in heart shape, of course, special for Valentine’s day.

You can find this mandala form in one of the notebooks of Ben Kwok. I didn’t know the artist and was pleasantly surprised when I ‘ve got two booklets from a student, after closing a workshop. I appreciate this gesture very much and I’m sure, I will  use more drawings from the book in the future. Below, you can see a picture of my 2 books but there are several others, certainly worth to explore.(strings are already there, you only have to draw your favorite tangles and to colour them if you like)

 

 

Music can always touch me and I like many different genres. This time, special for Valentine,  I have  chosen for “Run to you” by Bryan Adams. Put the sound a bit louder and dance… good for your back and no one sees you (LOL)

 

 

A few tangles around a picture, glued on a black card, can  give a nice and personal touch. I have used Catkin and O.

At the moment,  there is still a lot of snow in the southern part of Belgium. It is quite cold but also sunny  and the landscape  is soooo beautiful, the skies are soooo blue, the evenings soooo colorful … Already a few weeks, there are  possibilties to “langlauf” and to ski. In the Ardennes we love the snow.  Every day I make a walk, together with my husband and dogs. I enjoy every moment and so do Miles and Jools.  While Rob and I carefully struggle  through this white world, the dogs skipp and dance around us. All of a sudden  they “fly”  upon the hill. I don’t see anything but after a few seconds, I know why that happens. Abough, on the top  some timid deers are passing. For some people, this means  maybe nothing, but I think it’s great. My day can’t be broken, it is gorgeous,  seeing those  beautiful wild animals, running away, just a few metres abough me.

Is there also a little fox? No, no,  that is our Norwich terrier Miles. He is  always excited, afraid of nothing. It is a  brave big dog, packaged in a compact, small body.

Once again, we take the camera  with us, during a walk and hope to find special winter pictures. Tomorrow all of these beauties can be gone.  You never know in Belgium. Nothing is more inconsistent than the weather, but still, every season has its beautiful days (and its lesser too but  I quickly forget those ones)

At the moment, it is very tempting to  relax in the warmth and to stay inside, just like a bear in his hole, who is coming out only in springtime

Nevertheless, the message is to move, the best remedy for the “winter blues”. Especially now it is very important  to go outside regulary and have some UV light. I have to admit that I don’t really like sports but I can’t miss my daily walk.  Recently  I do that with 2 sticks. This way of walking is original from Finland when cross-country skiers wanted to remain in shape during the summer by a similar sport. There are many advantages to Nordic walking and it’s been many years quite popular in our area.

Nordic walking respect your lower limbs, it improves your posture, strengthens your muscles and very important: you consume more calories than during a regular walk. It is the ideal sport to practice  outdoors, on yourself or in group …

 

Last Friday, again a 3-part workshop was completed.  After a first trial lesson,  some more theory during the second lesson, the students had to draw and colour on black and tan tiles in this third workshop.. It’s great to see all  students,  focused on their work and show nice results. Different people let me see works they had made at home; legends with  tangles, drawings in sketch books, different tiles, bookmarks, cards, napkin rings … Quite fascinating to see how  anyone can grow if the motivation is there. I wish to thank everyone who took part at the course and even more thanks for the commitment, enthusiasm and fine atmosphere in the classroom. Despite this pleasant experience I have decided to stop a while to give workshops  My back is a lot better but arthrosis is unpredictable and I don’t want to make appointments I might counsel. I  prefer to wait and see for a while…

The colourful results on the tan tiles: a combination of Sez, Oke, N’Zeppel and some favorite tangles…

And the black tiles, on which they have used for the first time gellypens and chalkpencils. The challenge was to fill straight or curly stripes with the new learned tangles:

Sometimes, students tell me that they are not always satisfied about their work and that they distroy their tiles regulary. I admit that I  also did that occasionally in the past, but that is wrong. Everything doesn’t has to be perfect. I don’t like the word perfect. Each drawing should be made with love, attention and it gives a unique result that is worth it.

A beautiful saying goes: be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone constantly is mean to you.

You can better put these tiles  in a box  and after a while take a look again. You see them in a whole different perspective. Occasionally I take a black brushpen to cover ‘the mistakes” ,  new tangles can be drawn on that black space with a white gellypen. The final result can give nice contrasts … What I also regularly do is, using the same string but  create a new tile, possibly with other tangles…you will see  a total different drawing …

On the two black spaces, I have drawn tangles  I didn’t like. So I used the black brushpen. When the covering was dry, I have drawn Rick’s Paradox, and on the other plane, just 3 smaller triangles. This tile was my entry for I.A.S. T, challenge number 180. You can see all the results of this challenge by pushing on the buttom on my front page. I’m learning a lot by joining challenges.

 

Above and below you can see two drawings, assuming the same strings (on pre-printed original tiles) but with very different results.

 

To end, I would like to tell something more about the 14 shades of grey. No it has nothing to do with those other shades of grey… This special technique is created by Sonya Yencer from the United States. I  like that “misty” atmospfere  around the already-drawn tangles.  Therefore, I have followed the example of Sonya and made a drawing in my sketchbook with Jetties in the leading role. In fact you can apply this technique on all tangles. In the next example, I have chosen for the beautiful pattern Stella and finished the tile, according to the rules of the 14 shades of grey.

 

And here is one more example of a drawing with Stella from my sketchbook. The great thing about Zentangle is that you can make so many beautiful and different works with your trusted tangles. You can make so much variation, both in black and white and in color. But when you want to try out something new:  put on your computer,  surf a little and always you will find a new pattern, a nice string, an unknown technique, a different background … It remains fascinating and never bores me, on the contrary, I never get enough of it!!!

I don’t like to make long trips anymore  but during virtual tours you can also discover very much. I have found a nice movie of an Ukrainian guy (Estas Tonne).  Wonderful sounds comes out of  his guitar  and he shows us  very special spots. I have enjoyed it and hope you  too!

Take good care, keep on tangling, and until next time.

As long as I can remember, on  January  the 6 th., children, dressed as the three kings, usually with a “Golden” Star, go singing from door to door to collect candy and money:

In original Flemisch language they sing:

Drie koningen, drie koningen

Geef mij een nieuwe hoed,

Mijne oude is versleten,

Ons moeder mag het niet weten,

Onze vader heeft het geld

Op de rooster geteld.

Also the three king cake is part of this annual tradition that found its origin in France. In the forests around Orléans  King Charles the IV was captured by the Huguenots. When they realised their mistake, they offered the King the specialty of the region: a puff pastry, filled with meat. Later the meat was replaced by almond cream with a hidden almond bean. The one who finds the bean in his piece of cake, gets a crown on the head and will be King or Queen for one day …

My first work on the new 3Z tiles, a mosaic, also  in the shape of a star:

Tomorrow, the Christmas lights will disappear again for a year. The hustle and bustle of the turn of the year is behind us and full of good courage we all embarked on the new year.

I wish everyone a happy 2017 and like many others, I hope that this will be a year with less violence than in the previous one. There are so many conflicts in the world causing untold suffering. I sincerely hope that common sense will win and that we will evolve into a direction that brings improvement for people, animals and our planet. One thing I know for sure:  hate, anger and revenge give no benefits and those feelings turn finally against yourself.

During last december we had  many cold but  beautiful, and sunny days with colorful sunsets which resulted in an enchanting atmosphere. In various places in the forest you could find hair ice, a special phenomenon that I  recently discovered and I like it very much:

If you pay attention while walking, you can discover, even during the winter, so many beautiful things, worthfull to take a picture:

and zoomed in:

The past few weeks I have drawn less,  that was necessary. Scans have shown that I have obtained a serious narrowing in the nervecanalzone  (osteophytes), both in my low back and in the cervical area. Nerves have become less space and can  easier squeezed tightly. This situation can give  radiating pains in arms and legs, which recently was the case. Surgery is not necessary ( yet)  but I am  forced to live differently: doing daily exercises to make the muscles stronger, making many light walks, not staying too long in the same position but regularly alternate and especially rest more . I will continue to draw but not so often as I used to do. My participation on challenges will reduce and an occasional blogpost will surely appear but not as regularly as in the past. I don’ t like this situation but sometimes you have to accept things and learn to go on with your limitations. I live in a nice quiet area along with my husband and two dogs, we have kind neighbours and our two sons visit us regularly. I am satisfied and grateful for all those good things…

In this regard, I would like to thank everyone again for the mails, messages, comments and beautiful cards I received in the past. Thanks to my husband,  I can now also drawing while standing which is a better position for  my neck and back.

Sitting in my ergonomic seat, together wit my tablet,  I found the time to master the technique of gemstones with the help of the work booklet by Eni Oken that I highly recommend:

In the annual 12-day Christmaschallenge of RIck and Maria,  the new 3 sided tiles were used. Some new tangles of Maria were shown: Drawings on  the 10 th, Icanthis on the 11 th, and Crazy Huggins on the 12 th.. I  didn’t draw but  I followed every day the blog and saw the mosaic grow into a great final result.  Every day, a price was given for one entry on the app and one for a comment on the blog. I was pleasantly surprised when I found my name on the list of the winners at the comments.  I have received almost hundred 3-sided tiles: white, renaissance, black and preprinted ones. The triangular shape gives special results and you can build nice mosaics with them. Below you can see another mosaic of nine 3Z tiles:

Especially in the winter period, the black tiles have a special charm, below a small example:

On the tile, I have put again a little  bleach , after drying, I put some  Watercolour on  and finally, the tile was finished with a black, a green and white (gel) pen finished.

Every day again:

A small positive thought in the morning may be enough to change your whole day

 

After all those end-of-year rushing and the popping of fireworks, I realize how much I actually love the  quietness. Enjoy  “the sound of silence,” sung by Simon and Garfunkel