New tangle pattern BeezWacks, Steps to Buttercup, Review of the Tangled Fashionista


Sandy Steen Bartholomew's Tangled Fashionista
(Sorry The giveaway is now closed.)

You've probably heard the good news!  Sandy Steen Bartholomew has come out with a new Zentangle® book!

The Tangled Fashionista  is fun and sassy, but it is a departure from the style of Sandy's other books.  A blurb on the cover says '32 pages to tangle and color', and that is what you get.  There are no tangle instructions or new tangle patterns.  There are some examples of patterns on the front and back pages.  Other pattern examples are worked into the illustrations throughout the book.

The illustrations revolve around a fashion theme. Although
the drawings depict real objects ranging from soulful shoes to marvelous mermaids (see illustration at Sandy's blog), they are also meant to be strings, the guidelines used in zentangle to create sections on the page.  The drawings are wide and open, leaving lots of room for tangles.  I found the drawings fun to look at, but was amazed at how they came to life as I colored and tangled them.  In fact, Sandy sums it up perfectly, in her Letter from the Editor, which is found on the inside cover:

"The pages presented here are to kickstart your creativity.  Some pages feature tangle swatches as suggestions, some pages have unfinished tangles or borders, or clothing or hairstyles.  Think of all these pages as elaborate 'strings' or guidelines to be filled with your own tangles and Zentangle artworks.

I asked Sandy if she had anything she wanted to say about her book and she sent me this.

This book came about because Suzanne McNeill, my publisher at Design Originals, asked me to do an activity/coloring/Zentangle book on Fashion. FASHION!? Me? What do I know? She wanted dresses and shoes and girly-fun. Ack. I really, really tried! I bought a ton of Vogues and Cosmos at our closing Borders sale and drew and drew... and screamed! Finally, I admitted failure to Suzanne. She replied, in her Texas accent, "you've just got to put your own personality into it!" Huh? OH! So my sarcasm sat up and we drew ghost fashion, steampunk fashion, mermaid fashion... Tangled Fashionista became tangled in more ways than one. It became a spoof on a fashion magazine. Spoof Fashion? Yes, I CAN do that.

Zentangle® enthusiasts will enjoy the commentary on each page but it does assume that you are familiar with tangling and tangle pattern names. Someone unfamiliar with tangling might be confused.

The Specs:
Size-10.8 x 8.3 inches
No of Pages-36, including cover
Extras-Tangle Swatches (examples, but no steps)-Emilie, Festune, Cadent, Flux, Flukes, Eke, Poke Root, Adele, OrNot, Krust, Mumsy, Chads, Bales, Buttercup, Leeter, Florz, Btl Joos, Puff-O and Color Tips.

Alcohol Markers-I used Copics, knowing that the color would bleed through to the back of the page.  I debated about doing this test because I didn't want to ruin any of the cool illustrations.  But I decided the color would be okay on the tangle samples, and I consider this test a sort of hallmark.  I learn whether color will be brilliant or dull or tinted, and how the paper color might affect applied color.  I felt the sample tangles on the back page would be okay with some color, and went for it.

The bleed-thru was about 75%, so I can't recommend using alcohol markers, unless you want an abstract coloration on the back.  But the color was brilliant, and I'd love to have some of the paper used in this book, just for markers!

Color Pencil-Next, I decided to see how the paper would work with Lyra Rembrandts because with colored pencil you can get more delicate tinted effects.  The paper is smooth to the touch, but has enough tooth to allow several layers of color.  The pencil lines do show a bit, so a light hand and layering works best.

Ballpoint pen-I used a Bic ballpoint pen (actually a Bic pen refill in one of Bonnie Jean Woolger's cool wood pens--but that's another review and another giveaway to come!)  I was able to get both distinct line and shaded effects.

Fiber-tipped pens- Micron Pigma .02 
The line was crisp and sharp with no feathering.  Perfect for traditional zentangle design.

Fountain pen- Lamy Safari Fine point; Caran D'ache Grand Canyon Brown ink.
This was another test designed to see how the paper holds up to wet media.  Fountain pen ink often bleeds through or shows through on the back of the page.  It did--minimally--in this case, leaving small dots of color on the back, with some shadow.  The shadow disappears when you color the back page, but might distract some people.  I recommend not using Fountain pens or other pens with very wet ink.

Neocolor II water-soluable wax pastels
I'm getting better with these. Finally!  They worked well with the paper, blending easily when water was applied.  The paper dimpled from the water, but I was able to press most of it out.  There was also some color bleed-through to the back, but I couldn't get it to scan.  I haven't colored the back page yet, but I believe that the bleed-through could easily be colored over or worked into the coloring.  I can't whole-heartedly recommend water-soluble media, but it could be used with care.

Want a bit of cool gossip?  Sandy tells me that the inspiration for this dress came from an old-time hot air balloon!  She also gave me permission to share the steps to one of the tangles that are used in the book, and I chose Buttercup, because I thought it would be wonderful for this dress. 

And, of course, I had to create a tangle of my own.  I've been playing with this connector style tangle for my steampunk series of tangles, and I thought it looked something like the guardrail you might have on a zeppelin (I know--it was a hot air balloon, but hey!  Zeppelin.  Balloon.  Same difference, right?  I don't want to be on either one, lol!) to keep you from falling off.

If you are looking for a way to spice up your tangling, The Tangled Fashionista is a fun way to do so.  It isn't the book for someone looking to learn about zentangle or new patterns, but will provide enjoyment for someone who wants to move away from the pure abstract of the traditional zentangle, for a while.

The Giveaway:  Giveaway closed!
One winner will receive  An autographed copy of The Tangled Fashionista and a tin of 12 Derwent Coloursoft Color Pencils.  The contest starts today-4/6/12 and ends at Midnight PDT Friday 4/13/12.  Winner will be announced on Saturday.

Please read the rules.  They are simple, but must be followed or your entry will be voided.

  • Leave a comment on this post with an email where I can reach you. 
  • Only 1 entry per person.  I’m running this giveaway at both of my blogs—please only enter on one of them.  All Duplicate entries will be eliminated from the giveaway.  If you accidentally comment twice, email me at LifeImitatesDoodles and I’ll remove the duplicate. 
  • If you don’t wish to leave an email in the comments—copy your comment post, paste it into an email and send it to me at:  lifeimitatesdoodles[at]  
Each comment will be assigned a number, and the winning number will be chosen by random generator.  The first number drawn will be the winning number.  If you don't want to wait to see if you won, you can purchase one of Sandy's books at her Etsy store.  Good luck, everyone!