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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Clowning Around #Gellyroll #Sakura #GelPen

To enter my giveaway of Eni Oken's '3D Tangle-Shading Case Studies' Ebook go here.
To enter my giveaway of Simona Cordara's 'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' Ebook go here.

What in the world is in his hand?  I don't have the slightest idea.  Sometimes my brain just goes on without me and honestly, I don't have a clue, lol.

Sakura Gellyroll in Pentalic Traveler Black Paper, 8 x 6.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

Ben Kwok Template

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Weekly Challenge #62: Tangle with N-W-L

"It's a String Thing" #149 Tiles
"It's a String Thing" #150 - The Zensquicentennial

Pattern-Collections: Tangling Family Facebook Groups

Zentangle® Video: Zello
Rick's Paradox Tangle Pattern Video
Verdigogh Pattern Video

TanglePatterns:Tangle Refresher 131
Tangle Pattern Cee-a-Mosa
Aynchunt Tangle Pattern
Obeto Pattern
Tapple Pattern
Forge Pattern
Puffties Pattern
Cordoba Pattern
TanglePatterns: How to Draw Veezy
Pattern-Collections New: Bikiini
Pattern-Collections New: Heartbroken
Pattern-Collections New: Back Flip
Pattern-Collections New: Suwaki
Pattern-Collections New: Telis-Clef
Pattern-Collections New: Rigardu

Weekly Zentangle Roundup #278

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Journal52 Prompt #24: Red-Handed or Barefoot
Doodle Gem Episode 9 Nephrite Jade
Gelli® Printed Diamond Kite
DIY Starry Night Hand Lettering Tutorial

ArtistsNetWork 30 Day Giveaway 
Giveaway & Review of 'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' EBook
Shoplet Giveaway-Win a Rainbow Gift Bundle of Office Supplies
Field Notes Giveaway – 6 Notebooks, 1 Pen, 1 Pencil, 1 Sticker
Dragonfly Mixed Media Card & Art Nekko Stamp Giveaway
Gallery Leather Giveaway-Personalized Key West Large Ruled Journal
The Postman's Knock Finetec Golds palette Giveaway
Jetpens Giveaway - Glass Dip Pen, Bottled Ink & Notebook

Pen & Ink

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cruise Liner in Pen and Ink Seas #Zentangle #Zentangle-InspiredArt #PenAndInk

To enter my giveaway of Eni Oken's '3D Tangle-Shading Case Studies' Ebook go here.
To enter my giveaway of Simona Cordara's 'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' Ebook go here.

Pigma Micron in a 5.5 x 5.5 Grandluxe Earth Care Sketch Book.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Giveaway & Review of 'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' EBook by Simona Cordara #Zentangle #SimonaCordara #Zentangle-InspiredArt

Simona has been a part of the Zentangle®/Tangling/Pattern drawing community since 2010 and has co-written three books on tangling.  She's just  published 'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' in a  PDF EBook format. 

That EBook is what I'm here to review today, and to give one away! (Note-I'm hosting the giveaway. Simona is the one actually giving the EBook away so all thanks go to her!).  Giveaway information is at the end of this post.

Format: PDF EBook
No. of Pages: 38
New Patterns: 13

What's It All About
'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' looks briefly at ancient patterns (aka motifs) and uses them as prompts to help you create your own patterns. There are 13 new patterns included, as well. The book is not about the Zentangle method, but does use the step-outs to show how patterns can be created. 

Some of the most ancient motifs are used here, such as Circles, the Eye, and the Bird Goddess. You are shown how to add to these patterns, break them down and use them to create new patterns for yourself.

Simona encourages the reader to pick up the pen and start creating patterns immediately.  She tells you how easy it is, and shows you how easy it is, and then lets you start drawing.  The instruction relies heavily on playful illustrations with just enough text to make the meaning clear. 

There aren't really chapters, just sections that explore a type of ancient motif, or introduce one of the new patterns.  Tips and reference links are given throughout. 

Most of the illustrations are in black and white, though a few are in full color.  While the illustrations for the motifs are very simple, the artwork for the new patterns, done by Lila Holter, Tricia Long, Sandy Moore and Agneta Landegren, are more complex.

At the end of each section, Simona leaves space for the reader to try out what they have just learned.  She suggests that the EBook be printed out, but it isn't absolutely necessary. The practice could easily be done on printer paper, in a sketchbook, or even on scrap paper.

'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' is a workbook, lean on text, with prompts. This makes it an easy read for the uber-busy, the young, or the new to the English language.  It isn't meant to be a comprehensive study of ancient patterns or an introduction to Zentangle.  It is a good introduction for those who want ideas for creating their own patterns.

Motifs: Circles, Squares and Triangles
Motifs: Spirals, Waves and Suns
Motif: Snake
New Pattern: Rando
Motif: Eye
Motifs: Ram Horns and Bull Heads
New Patterns: Rando, Regardu, Bendo, Arko, Aries, Fajro, Flugilo, Brovo, Pistilo, Vuohi,
Motif: Bird Goddess
New Patterns: Diino, Fantomo, Strigo,
Resource Links

My Examples

Using the suggestions that Simona gives for the Circles motif, I came up with this pattern.  Chances are step-outs for something like this has already been done, but when you are creating patterns for yourself, that's okay.  Simona does provide links for places you can go to check and see if your pattern already has a name and step-outs. 

I have to admit that this type of drawing is very close to what I often do.  Not necessarily with ancient motifs, but with taking shapes and just adding or taking things away.  I create my patterns as I go, and don't bother to keep track of what they are.  They get re-created again if I need them.  I find this a very organic way to draw, so for this example I played with circles and eyes and bird goddess motifs and just went where they took me.

It's also fun to use learned patterns, so for this tangle I used new patterns Strigo, Aries, Fajro, Flugilo, Pistilo and Vuohi from Simona's book.

If you don't want to wait and see if you've won, you can purchase her book at 'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' .


Who Can Enter
This giveaway is both U.S. AND International!

One winner will receive a copy of Simona Cordara's 'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' EBook' PDF EBOOK.  That person will be emailed a link allowing them to download the book.

How to Enter
Type or cut and paste the words  'I want to win a Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling EBook' into the subject line of an email, and send it to me at LifeImitatesDoodles [at] gmail [dot] com.

Start and End of Giveaway
The giveaway starts on Thursday , June 23, 2016 at 09:30 AM PDT, and ends Thursday, June 30 2016 at 11:59 PDT.  I'll notify the winner by responding to their email on Friday, July 1. 

Disclaimer: I received my copy of  'Ancient Patterns for Modern Tangling' EBook' for this review and giveaway.  I received no other compensation.  I'm excited about hosting this giveaway, but tried not to let it influence my opinion, and all opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
joey's weekly tangle challenge #118
Eni Oken's Shading challenge #45
It's a String Thing #149 tiles

Ben Kwok Template: Salamander

How to draw tanglepattern Ginili Video

TanglePatterns: How to draw RAINKING
Pattern-Collections New: Broken Hearts
Pattern-Collections New: Flu-Cones
Pattern-Collections New: Back'n'Forth
Pattern-Collections New: Dalmation Dogbone
Pattern-Collections New: Asclep
Pattern-Collections New: Ropuz
Pattern-Collections New: Broken Hearts Club
Pattern-Collections New: Ring-Flux
Pattern-Collections New: Elle
Pattern-Collections New: Tunnels
Pattern-Collections New: Jess

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
6 ways to get out of a creative slump
13 Goddesses Challenge - Week #4: SEMITIC - LILITH

Watercolor Techniques: Controlling the Paint
How to Draw Doodle Gems Episode 8: Rose Quartz
Hacks for Keeping Kid's Artspace Tidy As You Craft

ArtistsNetWork 30 Day Giveaway 
Copic Blog Hop & Giveaway-Win a Workshop class for 2017
We R Memory Keepers Angle Corner Chomper Giveaway
Graphic 45 Mixed Media Giveaway

Pen & Ink
Review: Pelikan Stola P16 III Fountain Pen

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review of the Clairefontaine My.essential Paginated Notebook & Gfeller leather cover #Clairefontaine #Exaclair #Gfeller

A few weeks back, I was delighted to find that I had won a Clairefontaine My.Essential Paginated notebook with a Gfeller leather cover.  The leather cover was a special add-on for the giveaway, but the My.Essential Paginated notebook is a brand-new Clairefontaine product that will be available later this year.

  My.essential paginated notebook

Size: A5/148 × 210 mm/5.83 × 8.27 inches
No. Pages: 96 sheets/192 pages
Format: Lined with numbered pages
Paper Weight: 90 gsm
Paper Color: Ivory with gray lines
Binding: Sewn
Extras: 8-page blank Table of Contents,  Front and Back corner pockets, Color coordinated ribbon bookmark elastic band, 8 perforated sheets
Pages 169-184 are perforated for easy removal.

My.Essential Paginated Notebook: Look and Feel
The My.Essential Paginated notebook has a textured cardboard cover, with color-coordinated bookmark ribbon and elastic band.  The cover is heavy enough to resist bending, but light enough to make it a good carry.   The Clairefontaine logo is embossed in the lower right-hand corner.  The copy that I won has is tan colored, but will probably be available in Black, Red, Green, and Blue as well.


The paper is an ivory Clairefontaine 90 gsm, with a smooth satin finish.  Clairefontaine paper is fountain-pen friendly even at 80 gsm or 85 gsm, so you know there will be little bleed-through or show-through. 

The pages lie flat with very little slope even in the middle of the book.

The main body of the book has paginated pages, with a title box at top, and a page number in lower, outer corners of the page.  The last eight pages of the book are perforated for easy removal.  That seems a little odd to me since the pages are numbered, and I would have preferred not having the perforation.  That's a matter of preference though.  It does mean you have some pages for testing your pens or other media, that you could just get rid of later.

Four sheets/eight pages at the beginning of the book are formatted for indexing.

Both the front and back inside covers have a corner pocket.

The book is sewn, with sturdy even stitching, but it is flexible enough... allow you to fold the book back almost flat, if you want to write in it without a surface to support it.

The frontispiece has a place for you to write your identity or title information.  The back gives you some information on Clairefontaine paper.

About the only bone I have to pick (and it's a might puny bone) is in regards to the elastic band.  You can see where it is attached on the inside of the back cover.  It doesn't hurt anything, and is common in books of this kind.  In fact, I can't see how they could work around it.  It's just one of the things that bugs me, but isn't a deal-breaker.

Gfeller Leather Cover: Look and Feel
Do you have to have a refillable cover for your My.essential? Not absolutely, but it would sure help to keep the cardboard cover unbent and looking nice.  The Gfeller Leather cover that was custom-made to fit my notebook is sweet one.

It's a lighter tan color that coordinates well with the tan My.essential. You don't really see that when the book is in the cover, but it's one of the things that resonates with me.

The stitching is small and even with thread the same color as the cover.  The leather is a smooth grain with just a hint of texture.  I believe it will become more textured, and possibly darker with use.

The notebook fits snugly, but there is enough give in the leather flaps that you can slide the notebook in and out easily.  A cutout on the right side lets you use the elastic band from the My.essential.

There is no embossing or debossing except for the Gfeller logo on the inside of the cover.

This cover is heavy enough to be sturdy, but thin enough that it doesn't add a lot of weight to the notebook.

To learn more about these leather covers, you can find a Rhodia Drive interview with Steve Derricott of Gfeller Casemakers here.

Clairefontaine Paper: Performance

I plan to use my copy of the My.essential to keep track of recipes that I find on the internet.  I won't be writing the entire recipe, because I wouldn't want to get stains on my beautiful Gfeller cover, but I'm writing down the ingredients and where I found the recipe, so I can look it up, if needed, and can use the book when making my shopping lists for the week.

I used a J. Herbin's fountain pen with Blue Pervenche ink to write this one (because it's my favorite color, and because most of my fountain pens and inks are packed away at the moment, while I get new curtains installed).

Fountain Pen Drawing
I used the J. Herbin fountain pen and ink again, with J. Herbin's Ocean Bleu in a Lamy Vista for the darker tones.  In some areas, I totally saturated the page, working wet into wet.

My scanner picked up more show-through than I can see with the eye.  There were a few areas of bleed-through but they only occurred at the lower bottom of the dress where I worked the Ocean Bleu into the paper.  I don't think you would be likely to see bleed-through with writing.

Water-soluble markers
I was pleasantly surprised when I used my Tombow and Distress water-soluble markers on this paper.  I used the markers dry for the most part, adding the bubbles as a test for lots of water.  I fully expected both show-through and bleed-through.  There was none. Zero, even where I really saturated it.  There was no dimpling or buckling in the wet areas either.  Now, I'm going to cover myself, and admit that I still believe there would be bleed-through and dimpling if you used enough water over a large enough area.  This isn't water-color paper.  But this drawing proves you can get away with quite a bit before that happens.

Colored Pencil
Another nice surprise happened when I tested my newest set of colored pencils.  They are woodless pencils, fairly soft, and I expected to get streaks and to not be able to build values well.  Colored pencils prefer a paper with tooth.

So I did get streaks - I left the violet background the way it looks with a single unblended layer of color so you can see.

However, the minute I started blending, the color just smooshed together beautifully, allowing me to layer and blend several times.  At least six layers of color in some areas, and I was able to use a technique for coloring glassy gems that is very popular at the moment.  When I rubbed my finger across the color, I didn't pick up a lot of pigment--something that is always a concern with unfixed colored pencil.

I'll cover myself again--not all colored pencils are the same, and I'd definitely test a brand in a corner or on a back page before going all out.  While I wouldn't recommend this notebook as a colored pencil book, I will say it is one that you can use with colored pencil.

The Clairefontaine My.essential Paginated Notebook is both rugged enough and light enough to carry, though the cardboard cover could be bent, if not easily.  The paper is satin smooth, providing a lovely writing experience, and it has very little show-through or bleed-through, even with wet media.  I wouldn't recommend it as a watercolor or colored pencil book, but you can use both to good effect.

The paginated format, and the ability to use several types of media, makes it a good choice for bullet journaling, or keeping track of just about anything you can think of, whether just for writing or for visual journaling. 

The outside spine is wide enough for titles or dates.  I think a stack of the notebooks would look cool sitting on a desk or a shelf, and I intend to have such a stack as the years go by.

The Gfeller Leather custom cover would have to be purchased separately, but would definitely be an elegant and useful addition.  The two combined would make a great gift.

Disclaimer: I won a copy of the Clairefontaine My.essential paginated notebook with a Gfeller leather cover in a Rhodia Drive giveaway here.  I was asked to review it, but that was not a condition of the giveaway, and I would have reviewed it anyway.  All opinions are my own.