© All images and text remain the copyright of Sandra Kay Strait.

Feel free to print, share or use my tangle patterns. Credit is not necessary, but you may not copy & claim the step outs as your own. You may not alter or use any other images in this blog without express permission from myself.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop-Where To Hop Today

Today is the eighth day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.

This blog hop is being run a little differently than most.  Only one member will post each day. I'm going to post this each day, so you'll know who is posting and can hop over to their blog (except on the 26th, because that's MY day!).


Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.



  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH -  Kass Hal (major prize giveaway)
  • Last Day for Christmas in July

    Lyneen Jesse shares her last card made for Christmas in July.

    Holiday Planner Tutorial

    Holiday Planner Tutorial from Leslie Rahye.

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Link to tangle pattern Pop-Cloud

    The steps to Carla du Preez tangle pattern Pop-Cloud have been posted at Tanglepatterns.com.

    Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop-Where To Hop Today


    Today is the seventh day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.

    This blog hop is being run a little differently than most.  Only one member will post each day. I'm going to post this each day, so you'll know who is posting and can hop over to their blog (except on the 26th, because that's MY day!).


    Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.




  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH -  Kass Hal (major prize giveaway)
  • I am the Diva's Weekly Challenge #81

    I am the Diva's Weekly Challenge #81

    Link to tangle pattern Monaghan

    Neil Burley has posted steps to his new tangle pattern Monaghan.

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    I signed up for a zentangle class

    I just signed up for a zentangle class with Suzanne McNeil when she comes to the Art and Soul retreat in Portland, OR this Oct.  It's about time I actually took one of the classes, lol! Hopefully, I 'll see some of you there!

    Sandy Bartholomew's UN-tangle Retreat

    A few notes on the UN-Tangle Retreat!

    Join me on the Artistically Speaking Talk Show

    Approximately 1 hour from now--I'll be on the Artistically Speaking Talk show with Rebecca E Parsons.  Hope you can join us! 6:30 PM (ET) – 5:30 PM (CT) – 4:30 PM (MT) – 3:30 PM (PT).

    The sessions are taped so if you miss it, you'll be able to listen to it later.

    Link to giveaway for 50 Free Roses

    GaryAScott.com>> 50 Free Ecuador Roses to Give Away Free (U.S. only-sorry) http://www.garyascott.com/2012/07/29/23304.html

    Closed-Two Giveaways/Design Team Post for Viva Las Vegastamps!



    Normally, when I do a Design Team post for Viva Las Vegastamps! I post the same thing in my own blogs and on the VLVS! blog.  But I'm doing something different this time around.  I'm having a giveaway with Two Winners! 

    Prize package #1: A set of the seven unmounted VLVS! rubber stamps, based on my Zentangle® -inspired artwork.


    Prize package #2: Four wood-mounted VLVS!  rubber stamps, two of which are based on my Zentangle® -inspired artwork, and two which are part of the latest releases from July.


    Just click on the +1 Do It in the Rafflecopter box to get started for your chance to win these stamps. Lots of ways to win!  After you've entered here, if you haven't been there already, head over to my Wordpress blog for the OTHER giveaway!!!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway A Disclaimer: Viva Las Vegastamps! sent me the stamps used in this giveaway as part of the deal for using my artwork to create these seven stamp images.  I'm asking for people to visit the VLVS! sites as a way to get extra entries--but it is me asking.  VLVS! has not requested that I do this.  I'm hoping more people will discover VLVS!, but I've tried to be sure there are plenty of ways to enter, for those who just hope to win some of my stamps.







    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    Rhodia DotWebbie Custom Cover finished

    My customized Rhodia dotWebbie cover is finished!

    I decoupaged a few pieces of ephemera--pieces torn from an admission ticket, ledger paper, phone pad and some B&W plaid washi tape that I added at key spots to help tie everything together and lead the eye around the cover.

    Embossing the Rhodia logo was eaiser than I thought it might be, though I wasn't able to totally keep the integrity of the logo as well as I hoped.

    But overall I like it.

    If you missed the previous post, you can find it here, with details showing how I did the whole thing.

    TanglePatterns String 011

    TanglePatterns String 011 via Tanglepatterns.com

    The Winner of the Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio Prize package is....

    ...Pat Clinton!

    Pat, Congratulations!

    I've sent you an email.  Please respond directly to that email (so I know it's really you), and I'll get your package in the mail ASAP!

    Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop-Where To Hop Today

    Today is the sixth day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.

    This blog hop is being run a little differently than most.  Only one member will post each day. I'm going to post this each day, so you'll know who is posting and can hop over to their blog (except on the 26th, because that's MY day!).


    Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.



  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH -  Kass Hal (major prize giveaway)
  • Friday, July 27, 2012

    Elephant Walk with Viva Las Vegastamps!

    Elephant Walk with Viva Las Vegastamps!

    Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop-Where To Hop Today

    Today is the fifth day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.

    This blog hop is being run a little differently than most.  Only one member will post each day. I'm going to post this each day, so you'll know who is posting and can hop over to their blog (except on the 26th, because that's MY day!).


    Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.



  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH -  Kass Hal (major prize giveaway)
  • Viva Las Vegastamps! Guest Designer Post #2

    Viva Las Vegastamps! Guest Designer Post #2

    Zendala Dare #16

    Zendala Dare #16

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    The Viva Las Vegastamps! Newsletter is out!

    Free shipping, the latest releases and news of upcoming giveaways!

    Free Shipping & Newly Released

    Retailer Spotlight: The European Paper Company – Paperblanks Blog

    Paperblanks has featured The European Paper Company in their Retailer Spotlight: Paperblanks Blog.  I can understand why.  They're one of the first places I look when I'm planning to buy a quality item!

    New pattern Kwilt by Ellen Wolters

    Tekenpraktijk De Innerlijke Wereld: New pattern Kwilt by Ellen Wolters

    Poodle in Pink with Crystal Tatum Rood

    Viva Las Vegastamps!

    Simply Stampin with Shirl: Blog Candy Time!

    Simply Stampin with Shirl: Blog Candy Time!

    Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop & Review


    The Zentangle® Untangled Blog Hop




    This is the 4th day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.


    I've written a review, along with some artwork that uses the tangles included in the book (see below).


    Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.



  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH - Kass Hall (major prize giveaway)


  • Review of Zentangle Untangled 
    ~a book of Inspiration and Prompts for Meditative Drawing~

    Specs 
    I was sent a review copy, so what I have in hand may differ somewhat from the book that is being sold.


    No of Pages: 128 pages
    Size: 8.3 x 10.9 inches
    Weight: 2 pounds 

    Look & Feel
    The book is a paperback with a cardstock cover.  The sections are stitched, but the cover is glued on.  The pages have enough spring that you might have trouble keeping the book open.  I can't recommend bending the book backwards because the glue could crack.  However, I took the chance, opening and bending it in 3 or 4 places toward the center and was able to make the book lie flat.  My personal style requires that both my hands are free for drawing, so I need a drawing book to lie flat.

    The pages are a heavy, glossy white that might be hard on the eyes, except that the lay-out skillfully uses blue-gray backgrounds and images break-outs to keep that from happening.  

    The trade-off for those glossy pages is weight.  I'll be reading this book at home, but probably won't carry it around with me.

    Overview of content
    Zentangle generally relies more on images than words to convey meaning. Zentangle Untangled goes into more explanation than other similar books I've read, but not to excess.   
    While the focus is on Zentangle, the book also explores Color Theory, Art Materials, and Art Journaling.

    Images are plentiful, colorful and beautiful.

    The book can be read front to back, or browsed at random, though some chapters, such as the one on Color Theory, are more helpful if read beginning to end.


    The steps to 12 tangle patterns are found in Chapter Two, and examples of many others are found throughout the book. Kass includes her own tangles, official tangles such as Mooka,and tangle patterns submitted from other tanglers, many of whom you may recognize--CZTs Genevieve Crabe and Sue Clark, just to name a couple.   

    What does this book have that other Zentangle books do not?  


    I feel that it has more answers to the question 'What is Zentangle?'.  That is not an easy subject to explain, and the book doesn't explain it all, but if you've been tangling for a while, and are still unsure of the answer, you might find it here.


    The author discusses her own journey with art and Zentangle giving this book a more personal feeling than many and I think it may appeal to those who are interested in the journey as much as the tangle patterns.


    At 128 pages, this is just a longer Zentangle book than most.  I don't know that it has anything unique but it takes the time to be more thorough on each subject.

    Content
    ~Part One~
    Chapter 1: The Beginning
    In the Beginning
    History of Zentangle
    Traditional Zentangle Materials
    Relaxation and Focus


    Chapter 2: Tangling
    Let's Get Our Tangle On
    Cabin Floor
    Five-Oh
    Starfish
    Echo
    Bronx Cheer
    Cheers
    Mooka
    Facets
    Honeycomb
    Frippery
    Tripoli
    Betweed
    Shading Zentangles
    Black-and-white Zentangle Gallery

    ~Part Two~
    Chapter 3: Color
    Color Me Happy
    Basic Color Theory
    12-Part Color Wheel
    Secondary Color Wheel
    Complementary Colors
    Analogous Colors
    Monochromatic Colors


    Chapter 4: Art Materials
    Art-Material Intervention
    Sakura Pens: Microns, Souffle and Glaze Pens
    Colored Pencils
    Inks
    Liquid Ink and Pen
    Watercolor Pencils
    Watercolor Paint
    Gouache
    Acrylic Paint

    Chapter 5: Art Journal
    Art Journalism
    Borders
    Titles and Lettering
    Zentangle as a Background
    Zentangle and Patterned Paper
    Page Accents
    Rubber Stamps and Zentangle
    Creating Shape with Zentangle
    Zentangle and Photography
    Zentangle Goes Digital
    Digital Mysteria
    It's That Easy


    Zentangle Gallery
    Digital Zentangle Gallery
    Contributors
    Further Reading
    Resources
    Index
    About Kass
    Acknowledgements

    Artwork created using tangle patterns from the book and ideas from the chapter on Art Journaling.


    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    The Rhodia dotWebbie-they don't only come in orange!

    Many people are familiar with the Rhodia Orange covers (and if you aren't, you should be!), but the Rhodia Webnotebook comes in a black cover as well as the orange(AND, if you haven't entered my giveaway for a chance to win an Orange dotWebbie, along with some other things--be sure to check the end of this post!)
      
    In fact, originally, you could only get black.  My first Webnotebook is a black one, and that has bothered me. You see, I have other black notebooks, and when you are in a hurry, one black cover can look much like another.  I've been in a hurry quite a bit lately because my mother has been ill, and I've been coming home, grabbing something to draw in and heading back to Mom's. A couple of times, I thought I had my Rhodia and didn't.  Not that the other notebooks were bad--but I wanted the Rhodia!

    I got a little free time this week, and decided to use the time to personalize my Rhodia.  It isn't totally done--I want to emboss the Rhodia symbol and add some trim to even the edges, but I wanted to get this posted before my giveaway has ended (which is also why I'm posting these pictures from untouched camera photos, lol). I'll post the finished piece when I'm fhinished, but I think you can get the idea how it will look.

    I started with an old McCall's dress pattern, and stamped a repeating pattern of images with an Illuminated Text  stamp from Viva Las Vegastamps!, using Brilliance 3-color stamp pads of Tiramisu and Peacock.

    I had recently watched Susan M. Brown's video (it's long but totally worth the watch) showing how to create a faux leather look with decoupage.  I didn't want a leather look, but I did want a textured grunge look--sort of like an old wall covered with years of old posters and notes.  As soon as I saw Susan's technique I knew it would work for me.  I used the old pattern tissue to get the look of old paper worn translucent by age and weather.

    I may add a couple pieces of stiffer paper to get a change of texture, like newer posters, still old, but less weathered.  I haven't decided yet.

    And, I did some work inside my dotWebbie as well.  One of the things I like about the dotGrid paper is that you can use it as a guide for the eye, or easily ignore the dots.  I decided to play with something using the grid.

    It's a bleedthrumanade...anade.  Got lemons, make lemonade.  Got marker bleedthru, make bleedthrumanade..  And if the marker bleeds through the back clear through to the next page--keep 'anading!



    If you look closely, you'll see the dotGrid, but even looking at the actual page live, those dots fade away unless someone is looking for them.

    Follow this link to enter the Giveaway for an Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio, an Orange Rhodia Webnotebook (fondly, called the dotWebbie), and a six set of Spectrum Noir markers in Turquoise colors.

    As of the moment I posted this, you have two days and one hour left to enter!

    BEEZ in the Belfry: The 2nd Annual CZT Retreat

    I wish I could go!  It sounds like so much fun! But even if I had the money, I'm not a CZT.   You might be interested in the details though, because you know that the CZTs will be learning some new techniques to teach in their classes--including my Bleedthrumanade technique!

    BEEZ in the Belfry: The 2nd Annual CZT Retreat

    Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop-Where To Hop Today



    Today is the third day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.


    This blog hop is being run a little differently than most.  Only one member will post each day. I'm going to post this each day, so you'll know who is posting and can hop over to their blog (except on the 26th, because that's MY day!).


    Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.



  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH -  Kass Hal (major prize giveaway)
  • Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop-Where To Hop Today


    Today is the second day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.

    This blog hop is being run a little differently than most.  Only one member will post each day. I'm going to post this each day, so you'll know who is posting and can hop over to their blog (except on the 26th, because that's MY day!).


    Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.


  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH -  Kass Hal (major prize giveaway)
  • Viva Las Vegastamps!: Meet the beautiful "Lady in Fir"

    Viva Las Vegastamps!: Meet the beautiful "Lady in Fir"

    I'm going to speak on Online Radio!

    I 'm going to be on the Artistically Speaking Talk Show, an online radio show--Sunday July 29, 2012 at 6:30 PM (ET) – 5:30 PM (CT) – 4:30 PM (MT) – 3:30 PM (PT). I feel like I've been given the chance to talk with all you!  Thank you DeeDee Catron and Rebecca E Parsons for giving me this chance!

    New tangle & Part II-Review of the Quo Vadis Habana Blank Notebook


    Did you know that Exaclair, Inc. is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, G. Lalo, Brause, J. Herbin, Mignon and Decopatch products?  I've been raving and reviewing about the Rhodia line, with their seductive 'R' pads and awesome dotGrids but today I'm reviewing one of Exaclair's other products--the Quo Vadis Habana Pocket-sized Blank Notebook.  As usual, I have lots of photos, so I've broken the review into two parts.  Part I covered the look and over-all performance and Part II covers the results I got with various media.

    Stabilo Point 88 Erasable & Colorkilla pens
    Note about the tangle pattern.  I was thinking of magnifying lenses when I started drawing this page, but when I'd done a few, I thought "Oh look! I've drawn Looking Grass!"  I had to make it a pattern, Lol!  

    I've covered pens in Part I of this review so I won't say much more.  I do find myself less inclined to cover the entire page, because I like the bold contrast I'm getting...

    ...well, sometimes I'm less inclined to cover the entire page.  Bleedthrumanades just seem to call for it!

    Alcohol Marker


     This is the front page of a bleedthrumanade (got lemons, make lemonade.  Got marker bleed-thru, make bleedthrumanade!).  The color is a bit muted, possibly because the bleed-thru of color to the back is about 95%.  

    Alcohol Marker, Stamp Pad Ink and Tim Holtz Distress Markers
    The left side of this page is the back of the bleedthrumanade.  The right side is water-soluble distress marker.  I liked the way the two looked together, so I treated them as one.

    Distress Markers go on like alcohol markers, but you can blend the colors with water.  The paper worked very well wet--no dimpling or buckling at all.

    The doilies are stamped images using Viva Las Vegastamps! Medium Doily and Ranger's Waterfall stamp pad ink.  The image stamped very clearly, but when I added the water to Distress Marker side the ink ran.  I like the effect.  I ended up smearing the other two a bit by accidentally letting the book close momentarily while the page was still wet.  That was the ink and me, though, not the paper.

    Twinkling H2Os watercolor paint


    I was very excited by the performance of the paper while using the Distress Markers, and I had just bought some Twinkling H20 paints, so I did two full-page spreads.  Outside of real watercolor paper, this Habana has given me the best performance of any notebook I can remember.  I got these pages very wet, and there was barely a dimple to be seen.  The colors are brilliant (I wish the scanner would pick up the shimmer better).  

    Colored Pencil
    I used Derwent Metallic colored pencils for this page.  They are a hard, thin-tipped pencil, and not overly rich in color.  Still I was able to build up hard-ediges and lay down several layers with little wax build-up.  The Habana paper doesn't have much tooth, so this was another surprise.

    Conclusion
    The Quo Vadis Habana is surprisingly flexible, both in physical design and the ability to take a range of media.  I'd recommend it more for drawing than writing because of the amount of show-through.  If you really want 'wet' media a watercolor book is still the best bet, but handles wet better than most comparable notebooks I've tried.  I'll probably be using it mostly with my Distress Markers and Twinkling H2Os.

    Thank you Karen!  And thank you Exaclair! You can learn more about these Exaclair products at their website, the Rhodia Facebook page, and the Rhodia Drive blog.


    Karen sent me several products. I've recently reviewed the Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio and sometime next week I'll be reviewing a Decopatch Frame kit, and the Clairefontaine GraF It sketchpad.   Be sure to come back and check them out.  

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    How to draw DOOLEEDO « TanglePatterns.com

    How to draw DOOLEEDO « TanglePatterns.com

    I am the diva - Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT®): Weekly Challenge #80!

    I am the diva - Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT®): Weekly Challenge #80!

    I Draw Cars Giveaway! | COPICMARKER.COM

    I Draw Cars Giveaway! | COPICMARKER.COM

    Zentangle Untangled Blog Hop-Where To Hop Today


    Today is the first day of a 12 day blog hop featured around the book Zentangle Untangled by Kass Hall.  Every day or so a member of this hop will share something--a review, artwork or thoughts based around the book.

    This blog hop is being run a little differently than most.  Only one member will post each day. I'm going to post this each day, so you'll know who is posting and can hop over to their blog (except on the 26th, because that's MY day!).


    Here is a list of the hop member blogs and that dates that each will post.




  • Monday July 23 - START - Kass Hal
  • Tuesday July 24 - Jill Berry
  • Wednesday July 25 - Rachel Grieg 
  • Thursday July 26 - Sandra Strait - You Are Here!
  • Friday July 27 - Melanie Testa
  • Saturday July 28 - Ingrid Dijkers
  • Monday July 30 - Pam Garrison
  • Tuesday July 31 - Genevieve Crabe
  • Wednesday August 1 - Traci Bautista 
  • Thursday August 2 - Fran Meneley
  • Friday August 3 - Jane Davenport 
  • Saturday August 4 - FINISH -  Kass Hal (major prize giveaway)
  • Monday Morning Review Round-up | The European Paper Company

    http://bit.ly/OlP7iB

    Monday Morning Review Round-up | The European Paper Company

    Christmas in July with Susan M Brown

    Viva Las Vegastamps!

    Creevagh – tangle pattern | perfectly4med: Artist at work

    Creevagh – tangle pattern | perfectly4med: Artist at work

    Part 1-Review of the Quo Vadis Habana Blank Notebook

    Did you know that Exaclair, Inc. is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, G. Lalo, Brause, J. Herbin, Mignon and Decopatch products?  I've been raving and reviewing about the Rhodia line, with their seductive 'R' pads and awesome dotGrids but today I'm reviewing one of Exaclair's other products--the Quo Vadis Habana Pocket-sized Blank Notebook.  As usual, I have lots of photos, so I'm breaking the review into two parts.  Part One covers the look and over-all performance.  Part II covers the results I got with various media.



    Specs
    Size: 4" x 6.125"/10x15cm
    No. of Pages: 160 Blank Pages (80 sheets)
    Binding: Hardbound, Sewn
    Paper Weight: 85g
    Paper color: Ivory
    Extras: Accordion Pocket, Elastic Band, Ribbon Bookmark, Rounded Corners, PEFC Certified Paper-acid & Chlorine free

    Look and Feel
    The Habana comes in several bright, bold colors.  I received one with a beautiful raspberry cover.  It has a lightly grained leatherette surface--both nice to touch and a treat for the eyes.  The rounded corners add a bit of elegance to the saucy colors.  


    The stitching is even and barely noticeable, but this book is surprisingly flexible for a hardbound book.  You can bend the pages completely back.  I suspect that if you did this all the time, eventually you would crease the cover, but it didn't happen during the time I was testing the book.

    The pages have some spring but if you carefully fold back as in this picture, then you can get them to lie flat.

    The paper has a smooth, hard surface but it's not glossy or slick.

    Performance
    I wasn't surprised to get a bold, smooth line.  I expected no less.  But 
    there was more show-thru, and even a bit of bleed-through on the back of the page.  I wouldn't hesitate (didn't hesitate) to draw on the back, but I'm not sure I would use the back for drawing.

    What really surprised me was that the Micron Pigma ink did not dry immediately.  It only took a few seconds, but I managed to smear it a bit. Again, not a turn off for me--I'll know to be a tad more careful than usual.  

    I was able to get nice, crisp lines and very bold darks very easily.  This is a notebook I'll enjoy using for my Zentangle® -inspired Artwork.

    In Part II of my review, I'll show you the results I got with various media and I'll be sharing a new tangle pattern.



    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    New tangle pattern Eights #zentangle

    New tangle pattern form Dorothy Gast Roller! 


    tangles for submission to tangle patterns 003 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Review of the Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio

    Review of the Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio



    A while back I saw a review of the Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio, and I fell in love.  It's so adorable!  Cute as a bug!  Okay.  I know I'm officially an paper addict geek when I get warm and fuzzy feelings over a small folder file---but it's soooo cute!  

    I was over the moon when Karen at Exaclair agreed to send me a couple of these.  They are 4.75×6.25″ and come in red and black, as well as the green and kraft colors you see here.  Not everyone will be as awestruck as I am, lol, but they are a very handy item.  Too large for back pockets, but nice for purses or drawers.  

    You can keep them flat, and store 4x6" cards or tags or coupons or bits of ephemera, or you can fold them along the scored lines and turn them into boxes that are about 1/4" thick.

    Or--if you are like me, and have to do something totally different with them, you can turn them into journals!


    I took some 9 1/2 x11" Clairefontaine GraF It paper and made three signatures of 6 sheets each (I cut each signature into slightly different sizes, just 'cause).  After sewing the signatures to each other, I sewed them to the portfolio.

    The portfolios have a textured surface, but not so textured you can't stamp, ink, or emboss them, and I did all of that.  I used a dauber to darken the edges, and punchinella (sequin waste) to ink up some patterns, and then I embossed the front with a Viva Las Vegastamps! stamp (Item 18821 Plate 1425-Bird Thingie 3 1/2 x 2 3/4) .


    It's still cute as a bug, but a prettier bug now.  And there is still room to add cards or bits of ephemera for collage or notes.  

    So now I have some bad news and some good news. 

    The bad news.  I wanted to buy some more of these.  Alas, I could not find them online.  I found the larger size portfolio--9 1/2" x 12 1/2"  at Classic Office Products, and will buy some of those, but I want these little guys!  I'm infatuated, you see.  

     I am still looking, and will let you know as soon as I find a place to buy.  

    The good news.  Did you notice that I haven't said much about the kraft-colored portfolio in the first couple of pictures?  It hurts me incredibly, but I'm giving it away, lol.

    But wait!  There's more.  I've been raving about the Rhodia dotGrid paper, and the wonderful Karen at Exaclair agreed to send me a WebNoteBook (aka dotWebbie)--for a giveaway!  

    So thanks to Exaclair, you now have a chance to win an Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio and a Rhodia DotWebbie.  But wait--there's more!  I wanted something in the giveaway to come from me, so I'm adding a set of 6 Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.  It's the Turquoise set, because I noticed that every time I drew something using these turquoise colors, everyone ooh'd and ah'd.  And because turquoise really goes well with the orange dotWebbie cover!

    You'll be seeing some artwork that I've done in my own dotWebbie, soon.

    Thank you Karen!  And thank you Exaclair!  Did you know that Exaclair, Inc. is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, G. Lalo, Brause, J. Herbin, Mignon and Decopatch products?  You can learn more about these Exaclair products at their website, the Rhodia Facebook page, and the Rhodia Drive blog.

    Karen sent me several products, so over the next week or two, I will also be reviewing the Quo Vadis Habana notebook, a Decopatch Frame kit, and the Clairefontaine GraF It sketchpad.   Be sure to come back and check them out.  



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