When you search for “Zentangle borders” followed by “images” under Google, you’ll instantly see several examples that can inspire you to create unique frames. Inside, you can put quotes, wishes, photos, drawings, whatever you like… This tile was made on the back of “eco dyed” paper. The advantage of this technique is that you can work on both sides of the tile. On one side you will clearly see the prints of the leafs, on the backside you’ll get softer, more pastel colored shapes. You can follow the leaf motifs with tangles or you can simply draw on the “blurry” background. To you the choice!

I have seen beautiful drawings, made on eco-dyed paper on the sites of Margaret Bremner and Michelle Wynne. It is really worthwhile to discover this wonderful technique. I am certainly going to experiment more in the future.

Eni Oken’s “Framed Treasures” were a source of inspiration by making this tile. I have drawn with brown and black pens and you can see a lot of   tangles: Coil, N’Zeppel, Remo, Zander, Shattuck, Barberpole Slowpoke, Flux, Zoran-Flower, Printemps, Crescent Moon, jetties, U-too and Tipple. The finishing touch was done with grey, black and orange pencils and about the highlights: a white chalk pencil and a white gelstift always give beautiful results.

Pleasant moments can appear all of a sudden and you will find them very often in small things!



Unfortunately we do not always enjoy  beautiful things around us and find (too) much, just for granted.. This  buddhist quote will help to look in a different way:

Beauty is not only in the object you are looking at, but also in the way you look.

Mesh balls, peanuts and feeding bowls lure birds to your surroundings. They help them through this cold period and you’ll get funny winter scenes.

For many of us, a new year means a new start with good intentions that we will try to continue. On the other hand is giving up when it is necessary, also a life art. It has nothing to do with a shortage of perseverance but requires a lot of courage and it is often the only way to get a better balance in your life. Staying in regrets does not make any sense. Is the goal no longer possible, or do you not feel good in a certain situation, why  putting in still so much energy? Are there alternatives?  I’m sure there will always come other challenges to put your focus on…

We have only one life where work and free time are intertwined. Finding a good balance is different for each of us and often you have to  search… Anyone can take a certain amount of stress if a relaxing activity follows.. No one can maintain to say always yes, now and than say “no” is necessary.

Even on cold, wet, winterdays, you can discover the beauty of nature.

The well-known symbol (Yin-Yang) is an ancient Chinese concept. The outer circle stands for “Everything”, while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called “Yin” (black) and “Yang” (white). They are not completely black or white, just as the things in life are not completely black or white, but they cannot exist without each other and ensure balance.

The origine of yin/yang goes  back thousands of years. The principle was first mentioned in the I-Ching written between 700 to 1000 years BC. The shape of Yin and yang share the symbol and give a sense of the continual movement of these two energies, yin to yang and yang to yin.

Below you’ll see how easy you can make such a drawing and then fill it with your favorite patterns. There are many possibilities to design your own unique yin/yang symbol. I  like to show you a few examples:

The following drawing was made on a watercolor background with only 2 tangles: The recent tangle Abukas around the yin/yang symbol in which you  recognize Hybrid. (and of course again Tipples, I couldn’t resist to add them) On watercoloured backgrounds, I like  to make the colours a bit stronger with ordinary colourpencils.

On this tan coloured tile I’ve used the new cute tangle, created by Rick and Maria: Toodles.  It is not a real ” Renaissancetile” but just brown wrapping paper. I have cut away half of the tile and glued a black piece behind on which I tangled with white pens and finished with chalk pencils.

I’ve found this image on the Internet. It’s not Zentangleart but it’s  funny, nice and cute and therefore this ying/yang deserves a place on my blog post, especially for all the cat lovers among the followers and I know, there are  many…

Meanwhile, I ‘ve  found a new tangle. This form was used as a string on one of the Prestrung Zendalatiles but I have never seen the pattern as a tangle. Therefore, I chose the name Mistura (Portuguese for mix) it is a mixture of old and new, of eastern and western and  also of strings and tangles. It’s a very easy pattern when you follow the right steps and you can make beautiful compositions with it. You can use Mistura as a framework, as a background or combine with other motifs. This pattern looks also  nice on black tiles

The following example is drawn on a white tile and finished with ordinary pencils, besides Mistura, you can also see a variation of Nouvart, Onomato, Hybrid and the fragment K14

On this black tile, I opted for a combination of Mistura, Wud, Hybrid, Peek-A-boo-Daisy and the fragment B12. The tile was finished with white and colored chalk pencils.

I really enjoyed the unique demonstrations that Rick and Maria showed us on their blog during the 12 days before Christmas (which is accessible to everyone) I find their two new tangles Toodles and Rumpus very nice and therefore I have added a few examples of Rumpus. If you follow the guidelines, this tangle is not a difficult one  and you can use beautiful colours. My grey tile is finished with grey, black, pink, red and three different tints of blue pencils, a white chalk pencil and a white gellypen.

I discovered this gorgeous variation on Susie Ngamsuwan’s site: Fleeting time. She really has a gift to put her personal touch on every tangle.

It is only the beginning of January, the heart of  the winter but  the darkest days are already passed away.  At the end of this month, the days will have become quite a bit longer and  the sun will give us new energy…

I started with a buddhist quote and I would like to end this first post of 2018 with another one:

Whatever your past may be, your future  you make now..

Thank you all for your visits, feedback, comments, e-mails and wishes and once again, I wish everyone the best in the new year: peace, happiness, a good health and many new Zentangleadventures. Let’s have fun and now we finish this first post with a fantastic piece of music by Father Bach, brought by Vanessa Mae and the symphonic Orchestra of Bratislava.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


  1. 17
    Ela Rieger says:

    Dear Rea, I love that Tangle so much an really enjoyed to play with it. ? Thank you so much.
    I hope the sun is shinning on your way this year und you will have a lot of great moments. Best wishes creative greets
    Ela Rieger

    • 18
      Ria Matheussen says:

      We had a cold and long winter but finally Spring arrived and at the moment I feel a lot better than last year. I’m very grateful to be able to draw a bit more and I’m glad you like Mistura. Thank you very much for putting this pattern on Elatorium. I wish you succes with your great site and thank you for this kind comment.
      Warm regards from Belgium.

  2. 15
    Jan Brandt says:

    Happy New Year, Ria! Thank you for this wonderful post. I learned about eco dying this fall from Sharla Hicks. What BIG fun!! I’m addicted. I love your examples! What lovely outdoor pictures you included this time. Although I love summer the most, winter is a close second for me. Even though it’s cold, it’s also so refreshing! I love your Yin/Yang tiles! Cruffle is one of my favorite tangles. 🙂 I’m looking forward to drawing Mistura! Wonderful stepout and great effect. And your Winnie the Pooh cartoon is just delightful! I shared it with my husband and he’s asked me several times since, “What day is it?” 🙂 I hope life is good for you and I look forward to your next post. Hugs to you!

    • 16
      Ria Matheussen says:

      I’m glad you discovered the technique of eco dying, my husband helped me to become those wonderful effects on paper, I just tangled on the results and I loved it.
      I’ve seen on the TV how hard the wintertime is in the U.S.A. We don’t have such low temperatures and so much snow in our neighbourhood. I think I wouldn’t like that neither. Eastern and North Europe can be hard too..
      I agree that the Winnie de Pooh cartoon is nice but he said the truth, we have to live now, trying to make the best of every day and not waste to many time. Life is too short.
      I wish you and your family success, lots of fun and beautiful moments and of course a good health in 2018!!!
      Thank you very much for your kind words and send your hugs too.

  3. 13
    Reena soni says:

    Happy new year !!! Wishing you the best of health and happiness!!! Lots of love Reena

    • 14
      Ria Matheussen says:

      You have made wonderful work in 2017 dear Reena, let’s go for another year, full of creativity!!!
      Thank you very much for this comment, and you know I wish you too, all the best for the future.

  4. 10
    michele says:

    Happy New Year Ria! Thank you so much for this gorgeous post. I enjoyed reading it and looking at all of the the beautiful images! I love your pattern and I will be playing around with it shortly.
    Here’s to a year of creative adventure;-)

    • 12
      Ria Matheussen says:

      All the best wishes for you and Aimée too and thank you very much for your kind comment. I’m glad you like my first post of the year.
      Let’s do our best to go for another year, full of fun, new challenges and experiences…
      “See” you soon on one of the challenges

  5. 9
    Pat Mathes says:

    Happy new year Ria. Love your tile.
    i just finished Eni’s lesson and ready to try.
    i love your nature photos,

    • 11
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Eni Oken is a great source of inspiration for us all and this lesson is really a good one!
      As you can see, I’ve used totally different tangles, so many variations are possible and I’m glad you like my tile.
      I wish you succes with yours.
      Happy Newyear, lots of fun and a good health are so important, I hope to “see” you soon again on the challenges and thank you very much for your kind comment

  6. 6
    Aurélie Dubois says:

    Merci Ria de me faire connaître “zentangle”. C’est magnifique ce que vous montrez. Votre article m’a donné d’agreables moments. Meilleurs voeux pour 2018.


    • 8
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Je te remercie pour ta réaction Aurélie. Je suis heureuse que tu aime mon travail et mon article. Comme Rick et Maria disent: ” everything is possible, one stroke at a time.” Ces mots sont très importants, dans l’art de Zentangle mais aussi dans la vie de chaque jour.
      Pour toi aussi les meilleurs voeux pour le nouvel an et surtout beaucoup de succes avec dessiner!!!

  7. 5
    Anja says:

    Dear Ria,
    HAPPY NEW YEAR! Love, good health and happiness!
    Many thanks for this wonderful post! It is always a great pleasure reading it.
    Today I‘m not able to say which of your tiles I like most. I really love them all!
    And I love the snow sculpture and the „Yin-yang-cats“. Thanks a lot for sharing them.
    Sending you a bis hug from Germany, Anja

    • 7
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Today, I received your blogpost about your website and by this way I hope you’ll have more luck this time. Of course I wish you the same for 2018: satisfaction, happiness and especially a good health. Sometimes we have to make some efforts but it is worthwhile and I wish you success.
      I’m always glad with your feedback (every time, I went back for a few moments to our wonderful time at the seminar…) Time goes so quickly, isn’t it!
      I hope to “meet” you regulary on the challenges and I send you too a big hug from Belgium, for you, your husband and your gorgeous cat.
      Take care dear Anja and untill next time!

  8. 3

    Wow, Ria! Yet another post I enjoyed reading. You are correct, I did what you said and googled zentangle borders…and you are correct. Beautiful tiles out there. Maybe one day I will draw borders, too. But the best is your new tangle Mistura. On first sight it looks complicated, but I have thought that many times before and stood corrected. I will certainly try it out!!! Oh, and then I came to a very familiar tile. My Rumpus. Hahaha! It is not that different, but I am glad you like it.
    Ria, a fantastic 2018 to you and let all of us have many more of your very inspiring posts.

    • 4
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Thank you Susie for your kind feedback. Zentangleborders exists already so long but many people (me too) are using all the time the same tangles. It is interesting to try to make frames with other tangles. In fact every pattern is possible! As you could see on the first tile, I ‘ve made a frame with a lot of tangles I’ve never used therefore…
      I’m glad you like Mistura, found by coïncidence by using an original “Prestrung Zendalatile”. I have drawn it very small and added some squares, and there you are: a new tangle was born. Many variations are possible.
      Rumpus is such a beauty, looks very complicated but in fact it is not a difficult one. I saw already very nice interpretations but I felt immediately in love with your two coloured ones. You had given them a unique personal touch, a bit different from the original!
      Today, it is a very windy, rainy day in Belgium, a fine day to stay inside and tangle (LOL)
      I wish you a lot of fun, new experiences and a good health in 2018!!!

  9. 1
    Caroline mistral says:

    Happy new year, Ria !

    • 2
      Ria Matheussen says:

      Merci beaucoup Caroline, et pour vous aussi la même chose, une année heureuse, pleine de nouvelles expériences mais surtout une bonne santé!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.