Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

My Amazing Crafting Products giveaway-enter for a chance to win Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Clear Cast Resin!

Two new tangle patterns Querl & Querion

TanglePatterns STRING GUIDE now available!

Tangle Patterns: How to draw DUGWUD

3 more days to enter Odd Idol challenge

Adding Texture to your stamped images…

WIN! A Paperblanks Journal for Your Most Beautiful Memories (Facebook)

Jenny's Sketchpad giveaway

Huge Mother's Day Giveaway--Win a Cricut Expressions 2 plus a Kitchen Aid Mixer or a Cannon Rebel T2 for yourself AND your mother!

Masterpiece In A Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up

Closed: Giveaway-Amazing Mold Putty & Amazing Clear Cast Resin

First, I want to make you aware --The Amazing Crafting Products Creative Team has a call out for their next Guest Designer Team.   I'm a guest designer for this term, and I can tell you it's a blast!

And that nicely segues into my next announcement--I'm giving away some Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Clear Cast Resin!  Amazing Crafting Products from the Alumilite Corporation is supplying this prize:

2/3 lb Amazing Mold Putty
16 oz Clear Cast Resin

Note that in the photo that most of the Amazing Mold Putty is gone!  That's because I'm addicted to using it.  I see things, anything, and I MUST mold it!  

The 16 oz resin is enough so that you can pour several castings from your molds.

So how do you enter to win this fabulous prize?

U.S. Only.  I'm truly sorry about that, but international postage is outrageous.


Initial entry REQUIRED: Leave a comment on this post with an email or some way that I can contact you if you win.  

EXTRA ENTRY: Go to the Amazing Mold Putty blog and leave a comment on one of the posts.  Come back and tell me what the post was about.  (You'll get to see what amazing things you can make with your prize!)

EXTRA ENTRY: Go the  Amazing Crafting products website. Come back and tell me something you learned about one of their products.

Easy Peasy!  Let the giveaway begin, now, 04/30/13.  It will end Tuesday 11:59 05/07/30.

Thank you to Susan and Amazing Crafting Products from the Alumilite Corporation for your generosity!

New tangle patterns Querl & Quarion

For my Amazing Crafting Products giveaway (Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Clear Cast Resin), go here.

Round 10, Page 8 of the Rhodia Journal Swap!

You can see what others are doing in their swap journals at the Rhodia Journal Swap blog on Tumblr.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dragonfly ATC-Amazing Crafting Products from the Alumilite Corporation

Face it.  If you do much crafting, sooner or later you need a dragonfly.

I created this Dragonfly ATC with bookbinding thread, Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Clear Cast Resin.  

Sunday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Drawing Tips and Sunny Grid Doodley Pattern

Gelatos drip technique! 

Drawing Jessie-step by step pencil drawing

Painting a Blue Hydrangea with #Aquamarkers

Sew Special Mini Paperbag album

Crochet Patterns: Oak, Birch, and Elm Leaves

The Altered Dictionary Challenge

The FDA Crime Scene-making a statement with Viva Las VegaStamps!

Daily Free Printable via Rhonda Greene: Snake Finger Puppets (by Mr. Printables) 

Something Old, Something New - Day Five and a Giveaway!: 2 lucky winners will receive one Xyron 2.5" create-a-sticker

Review: Nu Elite B5 PU Notebook - Pink

European Paper Company-This Weekend Only! Free Shipping on Orders $25
(Disclaimer: I am an associate of the European Paper Company and if you make a purchase after following this link, I might receive some compensation)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review of Tops Journal, Notebook and Legal Pad from Shoplet #shopletreviews

I've always loved office supplies (and not just for the office!), so I look forward to the reviews I do for Shoplet.  When I saw the TOPs products I received I was immediately curious. 

All of these products are priced around $6 or less.  (Collective Notebooks come in packs of two for $12.02).  They looked fabulous, and I was eager to see how they performed.

Tops Idea Collective JournalItem #TOP56874 – Black Hardcover, Ruled, 5-1/2 x 3-1/2, Cream, 192 Sheets

I'll start the review for the Tops Idea Collective Journal by letting you know that Shoplet is selling it for $5.83.  Normally, I wouldn't even look at a hard-bound journal that goes for that price, because of disappointments I've had in the past.  This journal has made me rethink that position

As you can see from the photo, the journal has a nifty debossed design on both front and back and even the spine.  The design makes it eye-catching enough for the trendiest coffee-shop, but subdued enough for the staidest of workplaces.

The journal is nicely color-coordinated as well.  The pages are a cream color with gray lines that guide the eye, without interfering when you read.  The elastic closure is a gray that matches the lines.  The yellow ribbon book-mark adds a splash of color, and the expandable pockets has yellow sides.

The binding is sewn so I decided to try my usual test of folding the book in half as you would a spiral-bound book.  It does fold back, but the cover tore at the corner.  The binding held firm though, and I don't believe any pages would come loose.  If you don't care about the appearance you could fold it back for ease of writing or drawing.

The pages have a little spring to them, but will lie flat while you are writing on them.

The lines run from edge to edge, with a gray area for the date on the right hand side of the page (front of page only).  I prefer a border of space around the page, but that's my personal preference, and it isn't a deal-breaker for me.

So how does the paper perform?

With each pen, I drew a dot where I really saturated the paper.  The second dot, I smeared with my finger immediately after writing. I went back and ran my finger across the first dot after letting it dry for several seconds.

While there is some show-through, it isn't bad.  I don't believe it would interfere with writing at all.  

While most of the inks smeared in the immediate test, none of them smeared in the second.  I chose most of the pens because they are the 'wettest' I have and most likely to smear.  The Zmulsion and Zgrip, which have dryer inks, barely smeared at all.

For my drawing test, I used an .08 point Micron Pigma.  Given the silhouette you would expect heavy show-through, but there is surprisingly little.  At a few points along the trunk of the tree there were a few points of bleed-through.  I wouldn't hesitate to draw on the back of this page.

The Tops Idea Collective Journal isn't going to replace my current favorites, but for the price, I'm impressed.  If I were going to school, or working on a project that I suspected would take several notebooks, I'd choose the Tops in a flash as the best bang for the buck.

Tops Idea Collective Notebooks

Item #TOP56879 – 10 x 7-1/2, Black, 2/Pack, Ruled, Cream 96 pages each

The Tops Idea Collective Notebooks come in packs of two.  The cover is black with a slight vinyl-like texture.  It doesn't feel like vinyl though, being stiffer, yet still flexible. (sorry for the photo, but I was trying to catch the texture in light.  Otherwise, it's just a plain black cover!)

The binding is sewn, and you can easily fold the book in half, like a spiral-bound book.  

There are front and end pages of light cardstock.  The front page has lines for you to enter personal information.

The paper is essentially the same as found in the Tops Collective Journal, with the same cream color and gray lines that run edge to edge.  (It doesn't have the 'date' section).

Since the paper is the same, I'll just direct you to what I wrote above rather than repeating it all in this section.  I did the writing test with the same results, but didn't do a drawing test because of time limitations.

As with the journal, I'm impressed with that amount of quality at the price.  I don't like the cover on the notebook.  But this is my least favorite format to write in, and I believe the cover is comparable to others in this style.  I wish there was some design or color to make it more appealing.

But I like the paper, and at the price, I'd buy the notebook just for that.  While the cover and design in general doesn't have the pizzaz of the journal, the 10 x 7.5 size would be more suitable for many occasions.

Item # TOP77103 8-1/2 x 11, White, 50 Sheets/Pad.  Also comes in 5"x8 size.

The Tops Cornell Note Taking System Legal Pad is a fairly standard legal pad that comes in two sizes 8.5 x 11 and 5 x 8 inches.  The paper is thin and fairly bright-white.  The gray lines guide the eye without interfering with reading.

The pad is top-bound with perforations.  The perforations are strong enough that I could hold the paper from the bottom corner and bounce it without any tearing.  But it also tears away cleanly when you jerk and pull sideways.

The layout has three sections: a top section for the date and purpose; a column to the left to highlight important items, and a ruled section for general notes.

As thin as the paper is, show-through is inevitable.  It is more apparent that with either the journal or notebook. and there was bleed-through as well.  The lines are not printed on the back.  With the top-binding, it would be difficult to write on the back anyway, so I don't believe the bleed-through would be a problem for writing.

Ink feathered a bit, especially if I paused with the pen on the paper. However, there was less smearing of ink than there was with the cream paper used in the Tops Collective Journal and Notebook.

I did a drawing test and was actually more pleased with the results than I thought I would be.
The white of the paper made for a sharp contrast with my Micron Pigma ink.  I found the lines and wording more noticeable than I usually do.  I think it is because of the space for the 'Cue Column'.  If the whole page was ruled, my eye would tend to ignore it, but contrast always draws the eye.

The Tops Cornell Note Taking System Legal Pad is what it is--a legal pad for taking quick notes.  I don't use enough legal pads to compare it with others, but I suspect it is comparable or possibly better than most in the same price range.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy it for school or meetings where note-taking was my main purpose.

I want to thank Shoplet for giving me the opportunity to try out these products and to remind you that you can fulfill all your office supplies and promotional products needs at Shoplet.com.

Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Tangle Patterns: How to draw three types of grids for your Zentangles

Sakura’s calligraphy tips for beginners with Maria Thomas 

Art Journal: Sixth Lesson of ChakrART FREE Workshop

April's Creative Dare (art journaling dare)

Tie Dye an Upcycled Skirt

Chance to win an  8 x 8 Embossalicious Grande Dots embossing folder!

Friday review roundup-links to pen & paper articles

Monday, April 22, 2013

Review of the Midori B6 Bee Side Spiralbound Envelope Notebook

Yesterday, I posted a picture of a notebook cover I had fancied up using Amazing Mold Putty and Creative Paperclay®.  What I didn't go into was the contents of the notebook, and I think you'll be interested in them.

The Midori B6 Bee Side Spiralbound Envelope Notebook is a spiral-bound collection of 12 window envelopes. 

Pretty cool, huh?  I was entranced that minute I saw the product. I'm always looking for places to stuff away receipts and ephemera and what not.  The Honeybee seemed perfect

Even better the notebook has a plain chipboard cover that's perfect for decorating as you wish (as you saw above!)

Ther are two Sizes: 

130 x 90 (approx 5 x 3.5 in)
193 x 130 mm (approx. 7.5 x 5 in).  

Midori also has a 'Kangaroo' version with white envelopes that don't have windows.

But what about quality?  

The chipboard cover is light and flexible.  I saturated it with Golden Soft Gel medium and glued on a magazine page, some woven bark paper and then stuck on several paperclay items. The cover bowed a little bit from the moisture, but didn't bend.  I carefully weighted it down (so as not to break the paperclay items) and the bow straightened out.

The envelopes are a medium heavy kraft paper--stiff, but still flexible.  They are evenly folded and well-glued.  I don't see any loose areas, and I think they will hold up well to having items inserted and removed often.  There is no glue on the flaps, or any means of fastening them.

While both the notebook and envelopes are a decent size, they are not designed to expand, which will limit how much can be placed in each envelope.  

The spiral binding is sturdy, and generous enough to accept the volume that will occur as items are added to the envelopes.  

The Midori B6 Bee Side Spiralbound Envelope Notebook is a nice little item, though I wouldn't have minded a heavier chipboard cover.  While a design that allowed more expansion would have been nice, this is a good size for carrying around or sliding into already crammed areas.  

I bought three of these. As well as decorating the cover, I intend to tangle all the envelopes and give them as Christmas/Birthday gifts that are both functional and beautiful!

Where can you find them?  

The European Paper Company carries the Honey Bee and Kangaroo versions in both sizes (as well as the Polar Bear, which has standard blank paper rather than envelopes).  Follow the link and type in 'Midori Honey Bee' in the search window.

This leads me to a disclaimer.  I am an associate of the European Paper Company and if you buy a product after following this link (or clicking on the widget in the sidebar), I may receive compensation.  However, I bought the Midori Honey Bee because I wanted it, and was not asked to write this review and will not receive compensation for writing it.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

How to draw CYRA


Daily Free Printable: Yarn-Trimmed Scrapbook Journaling Tags

FREE Downloadable Stationery!

Honeycomb Accordion Mini Tutorial

Melted Paper Crafter Crayons

Test drive a Quo Vadis: 10 lucky people will win a President, Minister, or Trinote planner

Paperthinks prize package Giveaway, valued at $70

leslierahye's 2nd Annual Earth Day Blog Hop & Giveaway

AMAZING Journal Cover from Sandra Strait...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fish eats Fish

Round 10, page 06 of the Rhodia Swap Journal, drawn and colored with Tim Holtz Distress Markers and Micron pens. The octopus in the corner is another of the stamps from Viva Las VegaStamps! that is based off my artwork! 

You can see what others are doing in their swap journals at the Rhodia Journal Swap blog on Tumblr.

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Weekly Zentangle Roundup

TanglePatterns String 049

Saturday Crafts Fair live stream starting at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern. Log in here at show time: 

Steampunk Troll

golden giveaway week 4: Golden grounds set, gel medium set, principal fluid acrylics set, PLUS the digital mixed-media grounds set, and instructions, lesson plans, etc.

Clearly Gelli-Printed — and a Giveaway! One (1) 6x6" Gelli Printing Plate
Three (3) 6"x6" stencils by StencilGirl AND six (6) bottles of Distress Stain by Ranger!

UNSCRIPTED SKETCHES #207-sketch layouts for cards, scrapbooking, zentangle strings and whatever your imagination can conjour!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

See what I've been up to in the back yard

Amazing Crafting Products recommends working in a well-ventilated area when pouring resins.  I took that as an excuse to set up on the back patio, and for once, the Oregon weather co-operated!

You'll be seeing projects from these molds in the not-to-distant future.  You can find inspiration and fabulous projects at the AMP blog!

New tangle pattern Gleam

I've been drawing a lot of tree pictures lately with globes of light glowing through the branches.  I've had several people ask how I get the effect, so I came up with this pattern.

I've added a lot of commentary, which isn't usual for a traditional tangle pattern.  But this pattern is only one way to achieve the effect, so I felt it might be helpful if you knew a little more about the reason it works the way it does.

The penciled circle at the beginning is a place holder, meant to help you determine where to start and end your loops so you'll be sure to have the blank area in the center.  You don't have to draw one and after a while, you won't need to.

The silver gel pen I used doesn't show very well, and just served to muddy colors in the scan.  But it looks cool in the actual picture!  Both tangle and example are the latest entries in Round 10 of the Rhodia Journal Swap.  You can see what others are doing in their swap journals at the Rhodia Journal Swap blog on Tumblr.

Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

The Beauty of Zentangle is available for pre-order!  Some of my artwork and one of my new tangles will be included, as well as work from some of the most fantastic zentangle artists out there!

Tangle Patterns: How to draw BLANKETT

Another Silly Giveaway from Carla Sonheim-she's giving away copies of her book 'The Art of Silliness', all week long!

Review: Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood Fountain Pen

Viva Las VegaStamps! spotlights the work of some of their fans!

Birds on a Wire – Using Amazing Clear Cast to Make Resin Paper

Product Photography - DIY Light Box REALLY EASY TO DO!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kathy Delumpa Allegri's Watercolor work

I had the pleasure of visitng Kathy Delumpa Allegri's wine shop/watercolor gallery today and meeting with some of her students.

She had never seen any of the Stillman & Birn sketchbooks, so I took mine over to let her check them out.  I got to share my work and promote both Zentangle and Stillman & Birn.

I left Kathy with a couple of the sketchbook so we should be seeing some fantastic pieces happening soon!  Visit her website to see some of the beautiful work she's already done! http://www.kdallegri.com/KathyAllegri/Artwork/Artwork.html

The Beauty of Zentangle book now available for pre-order

Some of my artwork and a new tangle from me will be included in this book!  And even better, it will be featuring work from some of the most amazing zentangle artists out there!
I can't wait to get a copy!  The Beauty of Zentangle!

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

How to draw WIDGETS-Tanglepatterns.com

Norma J Burnell, CZT is now selling coloring pages of her ACEO FAIRY-TANGLE PRINTS.

A new review is up of the Nakaya Neo Standard Fountain Pen

A Giraffe Haiku, and a Silly Giveaway from Carla Sonheim

Shoplet-win a case of 12 notebooks

The Derwent Spring Giveaway! Grand Prize: 5 x Artists 72 tins to share with their friends! 2nd Prize: 4 x Watercolour Pencil 36 tins. 3rd Prize:3 x Inktense 36 tins to share with friends! 4th Prize: 2 x Artbar 24 tins to share with a friend! 5th Prize: 1 x Drawing 24 tin, all for yourself!

Jetpens Giveaway: 1 x Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case; 2 x Uni-ball Signo UM-151 Gel Pens; 1 x Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencil; 1 x pack of Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencil Lead

Gelli Journal Tutorial -- Using My Gelli Prints for Instant Background Books!

Creating Texture in Watercolor tutorial

Announcing the new AMAZING Crafting Products Creative Team!!! (I'm one of their guest designers!)

A Comprehensive Guide: Pencil Cases, Pouches, & Rolls

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm a Guest Designer for the Amazing Crafting Products Creative Team!

Put on your dancing shoes and shout with joy! The new Amazing Crafting Products Creative Team has been announced (and I'm one of the special guest designers).

I hope to amaze you with daring feats of Amazing Mold Putty, and adventures in casting Amazing Resins!  I stopped at the Oriental Market the other day.  Dried fungus, dried mushrooms and unidentified spices--just a few of the experiments I have planned!

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Laura Harm's Weekly Zentangle Challenge #114

Coffee Filter Butterfly Tutorial

Transforming Paper with Vivian Keh

Golden artist colors - introductory grounds set giveaway

CardMaker Blog post- Favorite Things Giveaway! 2 different sets of Fireworks Craft Ink Sprays to give away!

New Red on Kraft Bitty Bags and a Giveaway

Mock Turtle-Page 4, Round 10 of the Rhodia Journal Swap

I've been looking for an excuse to use the new stamps from Viva Las VegaStamps! that are based on my artwork.  Since the theme of the Rhodia Journal Swap is Favorite Things, and using my stamps is a favorite thing...well, what better excuse to use this tangled turtle?

You can see what others are doing in their swap journals at the Rhodia Journal Swap blog on Tumblr.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bleedthrumanade with Caramel Factory and Adventure Map

When I put down the color, I was using freshly inked Copics and they were jUICy!  The color bled through the page almost 100%!  Normally, this is what I want but I got creative and decided to do my linework with the Copics as well.

 The result was a *bleedthrumanade back that was the same as the front and very hard to change.

So I colored with some non-bleedthru Faber-Castell Big Brush pens.  Still didn't like it.

So I brushed on some gesso to white-out (almost) color here and there.  Still didn't like it.

So I added some color pencil.  Hmmm.  I like the feeling of transparency where the markers are showing through the Gesso.  But not sure I like all of it yet, lol!  

Third times the charm.  At this point it's best to walk away for a while and look at it later with fresh eyes.  I may do more or I may not.

What do you think?

 *bleedthrumanade-got lemons? Make lemonade!  Got marker bleedthru? Make bleedthrumanade!  Color a page with alcohol markers or other medium that will leave color on the back of the page.  Tangle or draw on the front of the page, then turn it over and tangle or draw on the back, using the same color base.

You can see what others are doing in their swap journals at the Rhodia Journal Swap blog on Tumblr.

Thursday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Zentangle featured in Colored Pencil Magazine!

Sandy Steen Bartholomew's Review of the Tropical Tangled Garden

Mixed Media "Beehive" Card Tutorial

"Bird Wings" Window Hanging Tutorial

Brick stenciled circle how-to

Mixed Media Cardboard Art Tutorial 

May Arts/Paper Crafter’s Library April Giveaway!

Free Whimsical Paper Flower Printable

Introducing the TWSBI Vac 700 Fountain Pen

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Just checked my stats and my pageviews are at 903,687!  

Ooh.  Caught me unprepared.  I'll have to look around for something to giveaway!

All my Tangle Patterns are now on Pinterest

I've pinned all my tangle patterns--all 283 of them.  They can also be found on my Flickr site, where I've been posting them since I started drawing pattern step-outs in 2009!

Strange, how it seems as though it was only yesterday I started tangling, and yet Zentangle seems to have been part of my life forever.

Pine Cones and Hornet's Nest

Here's the backside of the  same bleedthrumanade I posted yesterday.

For those who haven't been following my blog for very long, a bleedthrumanade is what I call it when I use alcohol markers on the front of a page (Copics, Sharpies, Spectrum Noirs, etc) and the color bleeds through to the back.  I color and then I tangle on both sides, using the color as sort of a string.

In other words--Got Lemons? Make lemonade.  Got marker bleedthru?  Make bleedthrumanades!

To see what others are doing in their journals, check out the Rhodia Journal Swap page on Tumblr.

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways

Rhodia Fan Photo pages-send in your Rhodia photos!

Graphic 45 Monday giveaway

Anderson Pens-Announcing the TWSBI 580 Pendleton Point Giveaway!

What is WOYWW?

Faux Textured Glass Tutorial

Scrap Time - Copic Watercolouring Technique

The Odd Girl-How to Color Clouds and Sky, Gardening Mae Part 1 Video and giveaway of 3 Multiliners, a copic pen bag and cute sticker. 

Copic Raindrop Tutorial and giveaway of Copic Sketch markers

Paper Crafts Magazube: Myth Busting – Revealing the Secrets of Submissions 

It's Party Time with Petaloo and Bella Blvd Day 2 Giveaway

Heartfelt Creations Giveaway-High Seas Stamp Set, Sand & Sea Stamp Set, Surfs Up Stamp Set, Waters Edge Stamp Set, Seascape Stamp Set, Beautiful You Stamp Set, Decorative Flower Pot Die, Decorative Lattice Swirl Die & Balmy Breeze Paper Collection

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

Zentangle Challenges The Daily New Tangle Challenge Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus Zentangle All Around-Taking it to the Next L...