At the moment, spring shows us her beautiful face.  More light and fresh colors give us new energy and everywhere  young life appears…

This “fresh look” can also be incorporated into your tiles. The following work has been created by Wud, Peek-a-boo Daisy, N’Zeppel and Copada.

Below you see a picture of the colorful African fabric on which one of my  patterns is based. Zimba  is in fact just a  simplyfication of this motif.

For the tile below, I have consulted the Primer, chapter 7 “Reticula and Fragments”.  I  have chosen reticula  R-H2, AKA “Zenbuttom”.  The fragments are  F16, B15, H1, D23 and my own Zimba.  The beautiful white glow that you get by a charcoal is better visible on ink than on coloured pencils. In chapter 7 you will find different possibilities about this fun way of Zentangleart . Previously I have shown a few examples . Countless variations can be made with these reticula and fragments. Also different tangles, including Zimba, can be used to fill the reticula.”

Again, I surfed to “African fabrics”… and almost immediately  I have found this beautiful picture:

The pattern is based on the well-known Scottish Paisleymotif . There are already a few tangles in which you recognize this pattern, f.ex.. Flux, Cruffle, Paisley-Boa… Yet, this tangle is just a bit different. The two opposite “Paisley’s ” hover ” In my pattern separate from each other and the elongated “tails” are connected by a little curl. I like  African colors and that’s also the name I gave to this new tangle: ILAC.

You can easily add “something extra”, as you can see in the variations. The African fabric is full of these motivs but I find Ilac very beautiful as a pendulum or as a border, which can be formed both in the square and in the round.  It is a very simple pattern that you can also fill or color. With a thicker black marker you can give a little roundness and  with a white gellypen you can give the pattern  a beautiful “highlight”.

With these cheerful  combinations of Ilac and Amy Baby, Susi NG  surprised me again on her blog.

Below, I formed a mandala of Ilac (and Flux) in the outer ring, Shell X Cape in the second ring and Cruffle in the middle.

Mandala. is Sanskrit for circle  and is always a two-dimensional drawing. The concept has a Hindu origin but is also widely used in Tibetan Buddhism. These mandalas consist of 3 parts. The outer ring stands for secession and protection from the daily world., the world of suffering and eternal reincarnation.  The middle circle suggests different stages of realizing the lighting. The middle means the realization (you often find Buddha or another enlightened being).  Believers can enter the mandala in their mind and visualize their own enlightenment.

A Buddhist Mandala:

Also in the Christian tradition the mandala appears, for example in famous rose windows of cathedrals. Below you see a mandala in Notre Dame en Chartres in France.


I like drawing in a circle. Occasionally I chose to work on the preprinted Zendalatiles.  But of course, you can also invent all sorts of compositions. Below  Blossom 1, Hilgabo, Columbine, Jetties, Tipple and Toodles formed my compositon but this tile is definitely not a mandala:

Even though this tile has a black background, I don’t think it’s gloomy. Black often provides a nice contrast and is easy to combine, both with white and grey as well as with other colours. Therefore, I use it very regularly in my work. Adding a little bit of color to a tile that was mainly in black and white is often my favorite.

After a long winter, we finally  get back higher temperatures and that gives a real boost.  Most Belgians are quite satisfied but we usually don’t live so long  as  the people on the Japanese island of Okinawa.  Studies have shown that several factors contribute to receive a very high age: a pleasant climate, good living and eating habits, little stress and satisfaction. The elders of Okinawa move a lot. Tai Chi is practised daily and also gardening is experienced as very soothing. The islanders drink little alcohol and eat almost no meat or dairy but a lot of vegetables, sweet potatoes, whole wheat products, legumes and fruits, seaweeds, rice/soy with an occasional egg or a little bit of fish.

A pilot project for the cultivation of seaweed is running off the coast of Belgium. This plant is a real “power food “, is packed full of sustainable meat replacements and our best chefs are experimenting to develop new dishes. It could be a very important part of our daily diet. The world is changing at a high rate in all aspects of life, also our dietary habits are subject to changes…

Two lucky people (100 plus), living in Okinawa:

For the most of us this way of life is not so evident. We usually lead a sedentary life and don’t move  enough. We are more stressed, many have a “to do” list that definitely needs to be finished. We often put (too) high demands on others and ourselves… and we have totally different dietary habits… But change is always possible… Rick and Mary would say: ” Anything is possible, one stroke at the time “.

Not every minute should be productive.  An evening stretched out for the TV, reading an exciting book in one trek or just lazing around… that should not lead to feelings of guilt because of “lost time”, on the contrary.   Sometimes, we just need to  slow down.

Not everyone can/will  make time to work in the garden.  I don’t have green fingers but yet I find it nice  to use fresh herbs from our own mini garden. The use of fresh ingredients lifts your hot and cold dishes to a higher level. The bins on the picture below require little space, work and maintenance. It gives a good feeling to  go outside and pick some tasty herbs to  use them immediately in your dishes…


However, drawing is for me the most important activity, I have written it several times. I like to participate in challenges because I can learn a lot, but I don’t see it as a must and it’s not a competition for me. Regularly I skip a time… However, I found Adele’s 239 th challenge very special.  She proposed to make a combination of Fasset, Flec and my pattern Tupuk. That was  a pleasant surprise and I started drawing immediately:

And again after the appearance of the results I was very happy to discover so many beautiful tiles in which TUPUK was integrated. If you would like to see the other entries, surf to Adele’s site. I’m grateful to have seen so many beautiful variatons of Tupuk. On the picture below you see the work of Adele herself. Please notice that beautiful shading!

Occasionally I even combine two challenges in a single drawing, but Michelle Wynne  is a real specialist. Every week she shows us an example on her  beautiful blog post. Below you see a combination of Adele’s and Joey’s challenge. As usual, beautifully done with a very nice TUPUK!

Besides drawing, cooking, reading and hiking, I enjoy listening to beautiful music. Therefore,  I would like to finish this post with a special sound, a combination of a harp and an Ocarina

This music was used in the video game Zelda:

I ‘ve had a short break and  will write some more about this very special and wonderful  trainadventure in a next blogpost.


I wish everyone the best and until June!

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  1. 7
    Aurelie says:

    You always write inspiring blogposts. Thank you very much. I love your new pattern ; tried it already 🙂

    • 8
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Merçi beaucoup Aurélie pour vos mots gentils. Je suis heureuse que tu as déjà essayé Ilac. J’espère que ce motif va te donner de moments agréables.
      Je te souhaite succès!

  2. 5
    Annette P. says:

    A beautiful post, dear Ria! So many wonderful tangled pieces! I like your Ilac very much and I´m glad to see Hilgabo in your wonderful zendala!
    Best wishes, Annette

    • 6
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Hilgabo is a wonderful tangle and I like to use it, especially to devide a tile (so as a kind of string)
      Thank you dear Annette for your kind feedback. I do appreciate that very much.
      As you could read in my blogpost, I have made a journey trough Switserland by train and I am back since yesterday. Today, the first tile I’m gonna draw is a contribution for your beautiful mosaîc.
      Warm regards from Belgium.

  3. 3

    Ria, my dear, yet again a wonderful post covering so many interesting subjects. Ilac. Such an airy, leafy, light tangle with so much potential. I loved it the minute I saw it!!! My fav tile this time is your purple mandala. You have a knack for choosing just the right tangles and color to make a stand-out beauty. The music in the video…Oh, I got a shiver down my back. Ocarina, harp and a dreamy melody, what more do you want.
    Oh, before I go…welcome back home, Ria. I hope my country by birth has treated you well.

    • 4
      Ria Matheussen says:

      I put a lot of energy in my blogposts and I’m so glad that you like them.
      Drawing in the round is very relaxing for me and that is why I wanted to write something more how to create a real mandala.
      Everyone likes to stay in a good condition. The way how the people live in Okinawa is interesting; for the ecology, for the animals but also for us.
      Nice and soft music is always on the background in our home and it gives me so much pleasure, that is why I like to close almost every post with a little piece of my favorites.
      The traveling was stressy with all those different trains but the stay in Switzerland and the Bernina and Glazierexpress were relaxing and I saw an absolutely gorgeous scenery with a wonderful target: the Matterhorn!!!

  4. 1
    michele says:

    ohmigosh! This is all SO beautiful Ria and what a delightful read as well;-) I am looking forward to using Ilac in the near future. I love how Susie did it. Thanks so much for the shout-out. You are such a dear;-)

    • 2
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you very much for this kind compliment Michele. I’m glad you like Ilac, it is an easy tangle and many variations are possible, I wish you succes and I like your work very much.

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