Hi, I'm Torrey. Welcome to Left Field, where creativity runs amok and imagination is ALWAYS more important than knowledge. Shoes are not allowed but ties are optional. This is a repository of snippets from my life out here in Left Field. One never knows what shiny bits of creativity will be found here... cards, scrapbook layouts, photography, poetry, recipes, ponderings, rantings and musings. It could be anything! Life in Left Field is always changing, always real, always ...interesting.

July 16, 2012

Zen and the Art of Tangle

Hidy Ho crafty peeps,

I'm here to post the card I did for the challenge over at 
Craft Your Passion  (CYP) for their "Kraft" challenge 
sponsored by A Day for Daisies (one of my all-time faves)... 

But, before I do that...I wanna tell you what I've done gotten myself into.

For months now, Jodi has been dangling a carrot in front of me--a very tasty one at that. Instead of just drooling over it, I finally grabbed it and took a big old chomp out of it. I don't know what took me so long. I guess I had to mentally prepare myself for what I was certain was gonna be a life-changing art form. An art form that was tailor-made to fit my twisted creativity. Yeah...it's that AWESOME.

I'm talking about Zentangle.

For those of you who have never heard of Zentangle...I feel sorry for you. It's an art form that has actually been around for CENTURIES, but has recently been wrapped up in a very palatable little creative package and lovingly delivered to the awaiting arms of artists everywhere. Young, old, novice or pro...ANYONE can do it...one stroke at a time.

A very talented duo (Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts) gave name, structure and methodology to this "new" art form with very ancient roots. They named it...Zentangle. Basically it's an artistic form of meditation. There are several tenets, if you will, associated with Zentangle. It's a deliberate practice of the free-form drawing of repetitive patterning combined with deep breathing and concentration. Erasers are not allowed. Ever. As in all forms of art...there are no mistakes in Zentangle. There are, however, what I like to call "flopportunities". A flopportunity is merely an opportunity to employ one's creativity.

Now, I could have just set out on my own and tried my hand at this...but I wanted a "proper" introduction into this art form. I found a certified Zentangle teacher (CZT) on the official Zentangle website. They have a listing of CZTs all over the world. I just happened to find one in my area and I set up a 1:1 private class with her...here in my studio. Her name is Jackie. And she is REALLY good at Zentangle. She and I hit it off immediately. Kindred art souls and all that...if anyone out there in the Dallas area is looking for a Zentangle instructor...let me know, and I'll hook you up with Jackie.

We spent about 4 hours together...creating, talking, lunching. It was a wonderful afternoon. The only thing that would have made it better was if Jodi had been here with me.

Here is my very first Zentangle "tile"

There are 4 different patterns on here: (from upper L to lower R)...Flux, Crescent Moon, Cadent and Hollibaugh. I breathed, I relaxed, I chatted...and I drew.

So, it was then and there that I was hooked--line, sinker and the whole rod and reel.

Zentangle has quickly become a very dear friend. I was born to Tangle. Truly.

For my CYP challenge, I decided to use my newly-found favorite technique in conjunction with ANOTHER technique that I've been reluctant (ok, scared to death) to try--  
No-Line Coloring
I bit off a big old bullet and combined BOTH of these techniques for this card. And, if I do say so myself...they go together like peanut butter and honey. I used the luscious "Sun Flower Girl" image from A Day For Daisies. With an image like this to work with...how could it turn out to be anything BUT beautiful?? My bestee, Jodi (of Kaboo Designs), also used this same image for her project...be sure to go look at her blog when you're finished here! Click HERE for the link.

I printed out the image on Kraft paper using light brown ink...just dark enough for me to sort of see the lines. I colored her skin, hair and the flowers and birds with my Prismacolor colored pencils...then, I Zentangled the rest of the image (by hand of course) with a dark brown Micron (0.1) pen. After I "tangled" her dress and the stump...I shaded it all with dark brown and burnt sienna Prismacolor pencils. I stipple-brushed around her with some brown ink and that was that.  I love how she just sort of camouflage-blends in with the stump she's leaning on. But if you look closely, you can still see where she ends and the stump begins. I even found ribbon in my stash that had a Zentangly pattern on it! How cool is that?

Here's a detail shot of my coloring and Zentangling: 

What do you think of my VERY FIRST attempt at Zentangle-Inspired Art and No-Line coloring??? I'm SO hooked. Don't be surprised if I start Zentangling EVERYTHING.

I'm not kidding.

Sun Flower Girl - A Day For Daisies
Prismacolor Colored Pencils
Micron pen - Sakura
Ribbon - Hobby Lobby
Gems - Michaels
flowers - Michaels
Chalk Ink - Colorbox
Kraft cardstock

I'd like to enter this card in the following challenges:


  1. This is absolutely stunning. What a clever and creative way to use a digi. I agree, you were born to tangle! Love your colouring, too. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Amazing work, love love love it!

  3. Wow fabulous work...very clever.xxx

  4. This is gorgeous! I've been noticing more zentangle lately and think it's a fantastic art form. I love the way you tinted everything. Great job!

  5. Bravo!! Holy Wow...you are a natural born Z-tangler. That's the most amazing dress. Designers everywhere will be chomping at the bit for this little runway pattern.

    Thank you so much for linking up with Make It Monday as well.

  6. ....putting pen down, giving up zentangling 4ever!!.... sniff sniff.

    Wait, where's the COPICS? Comeon, bring on the COPICS - (holding head a little bit higher now)!

  7. Oh Holy Heck!!!! This is unfreaking real. I mean seriously. OMG. Your first zentangle card and it turns out like this??!!! GASP.

    I tangle at work, but it usually ends up very symmetrical, and not as fluid! I am VERY VERY impressed.

  8. Wow this is truly inspirational! Thanks for joining us at Stampalot this month.

  9. Hi there! Saw you on MIM. Just wanted to let you know I have blog candy if you're interested. :)
    My Blog Candy

  10. Super, stunning zentastic. Thank you for joining us at C.R.A.F.T. this week. Jeanette

  11. Wow, this is truly amazing! Can't believe it's your first attempt! I love it! Thank you for sharing your Crafty Passion with us at Stampalot Challenge this month, and good luck.

    Lynne x

  12. Stunning, amazing for your first attempt. I can only imagine how fabulous your work will be down the track.

    I saw your link on MIM, I'm #82 this week, I'd love it if you stopped by.

    Kasey ~ in Oz

  13. OMGosh, stunning doesn't even come close to describing this! I'm simply in love. I've never heard of Zentangle before but I think I'm going to have to look into it now. I'm so glad I stumbled onto your blog. Thanks for the inspiration! Hugs, Katie

  14. Hi!

    You were linked this card into the challenge of It's all about the vintage and Beauty! I didn't find the link to our challenge blog from you list.

    Hugs, Sande xx

  15. Incredible! What beautiful work. Saw you on MIM.
    Hugs, Heide

  16. This is so pretty! Thank you for joinging our 'Dust It Off' challenge at Incy Wincy! Best of luck in the draw!
    Karen C

  17. I saw your beautiful creation on Make It Monday and had to come visit and take a closer look. Gorgeous! TFS! My entries are: #89, #90, #91, #151, #154, #155, #173, #254 and #255.
    I would love to have you visit my blog!

  18. Wow! This is such a stunner..beautiful card hunnie..
    xx MIM

  19. WOW - I'm impressed - your FIRST TIME??? WOW...did I say that!

    Saw it on MIM; had to take a closer peek - fantastic!!

  20. Wow!! It looks as though you've been doing this for years!
    So intricate it must have taken you so long honey.. simply superb.
    Thank for joining us this week and good luck!
    Don't forget to check back next week to see if you made my Pick Of The Week!

    Smiles -  Krafty Karen - DT for Make It Monday.

  21. Totally stunning work Torrie, thank you so much sharing.

    Thank you so much for sharing your 'Crafty Passion' with us at Stampalot Challenge this month.

    B x

  22. very beautiful , thanks for joining us at Oldie but a goodie and Sir Stampalot challenges and good luck !


  23. I saw your card at MIM and loved it, what a gorgeous card. Good luck in the challenge. JOx

  24. Thanks for joining our challenge Oldie But A Goodie with this great entry, good luck.
    Happy crafting
    Tracy x

  25. Wow! this is amazing! Thanks so much for joining the Sir Stampalot challenge this month, Ruth :)

  26. This is incredible! I saw it on Stampalot and had to have a look. I have just started Zentangle but not up to your standard!! :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment! It is always wonderful to get virtual pats on the back!! I truly appreciate every comment...they are little bits of love.