Friday, December 2, 2016

MadebyJoey Weekly challenge #141

The MadebyJoey weekly challenge  for November 28, 2016 was to "Finish my tile." The tile started with Alice Herndon's Pipez along the right side of the tile - you could finish it with any tangles you liked. I used Gneiss, Crescent Moon, and 'Nzeppel.

White Zentangle©  tile, 3.5" x 3.5" with black Pigma Micron pen.
I have a bit of a back log of completed tiles that I will put in another post. Someday. Eventually. Whenever. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Diva Challenge #290

This week's challenge is to create a Halloween-themed tile - so here it is.

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"
with Ahhh,Vigne, Fescue, Mooka, PokeLeaf, Flux, Diva Dance (look hard), Rixty, and Keeko

Now I can go look at everybody else's!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Weekly Tiles 10/24/2016 – 10/30/2016

Diva Challenge 290 – ’Nzeppel & Flux Duotangle

A duotangle is a *tile or design with two and only two tangles (duh). This week the Diva's challenge was to do a duotangle of 'Nzeppel and Flux. Both are tangles I use overuse frequently, though rarely together. 

Flux is an interesting tangle because unlike most, it has two “official” forms with two *stepouts. Before I did the tiles, I drew and shaded both versions of Flux in my sketchbook.

Two versions of Flux with different shading

 My first attempt was in another sketchbook on tan paper, which unfortunately doesn’t photograph well. I’m sure there’s a way to restore the lovely tan hue of the paper, but I’ll leave that for another day. The idea was to explore layers and shading and introduce a little color. 'Nzeppel is the wire-like tangle at top and bottom.

Diva Challenge 290, Tile #1

 Not entirely happy with that one. ‘Nzeppel is a grid-based tangle, and I thought, “what if I take one of the repeating units in ‘Nzeppel and use it as a *string, then filled the squashed balloon segments with both versions of Flux?"

Diva challenge 290 - 'Nzeppel and Flux, attempt #2
Ahh, that’s better. I know Zentangle says that there are no mistakes, and that you shouldn't be critical of your own work, but there are always going to be tiles that you think turn out better than others.

It was a relatively busy and stressful week, so I finished two more tiles that I started in Hilton Head, just to relax. The first one kind of captures what my week was like!

Mr. E, Crescent Moon, Hollibaugh,Tipple, Black Pearl, Florz, Tripoli, Mooka

Garlic Cloves, Binda, 1/2 Orbs, Ruutz

That's it for this week. Thought I would start defining my terms (not everybody tangles!)

*tile – from Linda Farmer’s blog: “A 3 1/2-inch x 3 1/2-inch (89 mm x 89 mm) square card of high quality paper. The format of a Zentangle®. So named because completed tiles can be arranged together to create a beautiful mosaic.

*string – from Linda Farmer’s blog: “One or several random free-form pencil lines drawn within the tile’s border, creating sections within which one adds tangle patterns to create a Zentangle®.

*stepout – A series of steps used to create a tangle.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Weekly tiles (plus tempus fugit)

Been gone for a while. Been busy, been covered up, but mostly just lost in the day-to-day. I think it’s time to get back on here again, even if this becomes an “action item” in my BuJo (ask me – I dare you).  I guess that’s the Rational in me coming out.

Anyway. One of my favorite Zentangle Artists is Lily Moon. Her work inspires me. Her productivity inspires me. Her blog inspires me. It’s not chatty, not full of technique, rationale, daily life. Though she often posts themes (“color”) or thoughts, usually what she does is regularly post what she creates each week or two. Often with no comment, just pictures. And I spend hours studying what she posts.

So I think I’m going to try that. I have been posting my work occasionally on Facebook, but since only a handful of my FB friends really give a damn about my art, I feel like I’m showing off a little to the others. Makes me uncomfortable. Plus, I can only post finished work.

I’m going to try and post once a week, Sunday, for now. I can post my art, my tiles, my sketchbook, knowing that only friends who are interested will seek me out.

Like Lily, I do have thoughts/opinions, I do have progressions, I do have themes and tutorials. But mostly I want to have a place to put my “stuff.” Comments will always be welcome as will silence.

Work from October 15 - 22 (more or less):

Facebook Square One Challenge: Tagh (with Antique, Shattuck and A tiny Tipple)

Diva Challenge #289

The Diva challenge for last week was "Leafy Goodness." Looking at her blog now, I realize that I did something very similar to the Diva's example. Oh, well. Sincerest form of flattery, blah, blah, blah.

Then, of course, the Election. Zentangle relaxes one, requires focus, takes one away from day-to-day inanity. So of course, having watched Debate #1 and #2, I decided in favor of sanity to draw instead of watch.
 So here is what I did when I wasn't obsessing over CNN or watching the Debate:

Zendala, unshaded

Zendala, shaded
Plus, I shaded a couple of tiles from Hilton Head that I had not finished:

Anyway, thanks for listening. 'Til next week!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Diva Challenge #239 - "Munchin Play"

This week the Diva's Challenge is to use Munchin.  an official Zentangle® tangle.  The stepout can be found here, and on the Diva's blog there is a Sakura video showing Molly Hollibaugh drawing the basic version on a black tile.

 I started by going to my journal, and tried drawing it various ways. I tried following the instructions for transforming tangles out lined in Helen Williams' new book, Tangle Transformation. By the way, I am delighted with this book, and recommend it without reservation!

The last variation I tried stayed with the basic construction, but instead of having evenly spaced lines originating at the apex of the triangles, I varied the width between the lines, trying to make each resulting section smaller than the one before it.

I found this more interesting than regular divisions

I settled on the last option. I tried to follow a basic rule: That each line would divide the remaining available space in half. 

Munchin divided with 4 lines into 5 sections, with Flux in the largest section

The rule worked, but I found the large sections too roomy.  I tried adding a tangle inside the largest section of the triangle. That section was created with the first line (line 1 above) that bisected the baseline of the triangle.

I was ready to do a tile.

Munchin with graduated divisions in each triangle. Triangles filled with (spiraling clockwise from upper right) Celtic Triskele, Amaze, Flux, Shattuck, ????, Extracto, Tipple, Bunzo, Drip Drop, ????, Diva Dance Foxtrot, Tripoli, Zenplosion Folds, Mooka

That was OK, but I felt like I could do more. I thought I could divide the tile diagonally into a section filled with a smaller Munchins (still graduated sections) and a single large Munchin triangle  (lower left) with each section filled with another tangle. I even sneaked in a few awkward Paradoxes. Can you spot them? 

Munchin with Mooka, Flux, Snail Tangleation, Shattuck, and Tipple.

Still not happy, not sure why....So I returned to the sketchbook and looked at the versions of Munchin that I drew with curved lines.

Munchin with simple C-curve lines (H.W. refers to Helen Williams, "A Little Lime")

Munchin with S-Curve lines (mostly)
Still Better! Time to try another tile...

Munchin Monotangle with S-Curves

I don't know if I will ever really like Munchin. I wish I had more time to play with it. I reminds me a little of Aquafleur - beautiful as an object, but challenging to work into a design with other tangles.

Still, it was a good challenge and motivated me to study and to practice a single tangle and try some possibilities. As usual, critiques are welcome!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cooking Class #2, and a WIP

Wednesday was the second of the two cooking classes I signed up for at Michael Anthony's this trip..

Greeted with a glass of Prosecco, as usual.

Minestrone was the soup this time, and like the Italian Wedding Soup we did last time, was totally different from versions I've had before. Vegetarian (or Vegan, I can't keep them straight), with onions, butternut squash, zucchini, yellow squash, and Savoy cabbage

All the versions I've had before have included some type of pasta, which is not traditional in Italy, according to Chef Chris. Instead we used farro and Borlottis. Borlottis are dried beans, very similar to what we call Cranberry beans here, that are soaked over night and cooked til tender. They are perfect for this dish because even after cooking they retain bite and don't get mushy like other beans. Chris says the appeal of this dish is that it's not watery like a lot of Minestrones, but has what he calls "Guts." It was truly delicious, so much so that I forgot to take a picture in its pristine state, but plunged right in. Sorry!

Minestrone with"Guts"

The entree for this class was a traditional Chicken Cacciatore served on a bed of the best polenta I've ever tasted. The chicken was cooked perfectly, not dried out, not stringy, but tender and moist. If you've ever braised chicken, you know how difficult it is to get it perfect. 

This is one of the reasons I take these classes - I learn the "best" way to prepare things like polenta, risotto, chicken, etc. - straight from the Chef's mouth, so to speak. And Chef Chris is extraordinary. Many of the recipes he teaches are not on Michael Anthony's menu, but are recipes he learned from the Italian side of the family while growing up in New Jersey . 

Chicken Cacciatore with polenta

Finally we closed with a whole pear, poached in Cabernet wine and cinnamon. After the pear is cooked, it is removed from the pot and the wine reduced to a yummy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, sauce that you can smell a mile away. In this case it was served with a scoop of vanilla Gelato. Very light dessert, which was good after the two dishes that preceded it.

Cabernet-poached Pear
There was no tangling on my menus during the breaks like last week. I was seated at a table with three delightful ladies who were attending for the first time and commanded my full attention! They apparently were not aware that they needed to pace themselves, both with the wine and the food, so all three were a little buzzed and stuffed by the end of the meal. They agreed that it was a lot of fun, and that they would do it again..

I have been doing a little Zentangle-Inspired-Art (ZIA), which I will share in another post after it's finished. Here's a WIP teaser, though:

Until next time (probably from home - sigh), Aloha.

Friday, September 25, 2015

When I'm not tangling...

If you've read my blog before, you'll know that one of my favorite things to do while on Hilton Head is to take one or more of the cooking classes at Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana. I've been doing this for several years now, and it has completely changed how I cook. Last April I took two of them and reported on it in this blog entry, and in this one.

There are two types of classes - Hands-on and Demo. The Hands-on classes are my favorite, since you get to prepare each dish yourself (sometimes with a partner).  But they also take longer - up to 4 hours if you get lucky in your partner! Plus, you don't sit down for the lunch you've prepared until everything is done. That means a late, heavy lunch, which puts a damper on dinner plans.

The Demo classes, where Executive Chef Chris Johnson prepares the dishes while you watch and take notes, only takes 2 hours, and you taste the dishes as he finishes each one. Easier on the time, and you eat early enough that you can still enjoy dinner.. So I signed up for two of the Demo classes this time - the first was today. The handout has all the recipes that Chef Chris prepares in the class, and as you arrive you are given that, plus a nice glass of Prosecco.

Here is the layout and kitchen for the class. Get there early enough to get a seat where you can see every detail without resorting to the TV screen! I got there first, so I snagged the second seat from the right, where my nose was practically on the cutting board!

The kitchen

One of the things that slows down the Hands-on class is assembling the mise-en-place, all your ingredients, measured out before you begin and in some rough order of their use. For the Demo classes, this is all done ahead of time (it's good to be Chef).

The mise-en-place. Note the heavy Italian pounder in front, used for preparing the pork scallopine
 Lunch includes wine, red or white, Prosecco in the center. 

 The first dish was Italian Wedding Soup, which we were told is not Italian, but Italian-American. The inspiration for this soup is a dish from the Campania and Lazio regions of Italy called "marriage soup," which originally referred not to nuptials but to the "marriage" of meat and greens. Whatever its origin, this recipe is so-o-o much better than the insipid Italian Wedding Soups I've had in the past. I can hardly wait to make it at home!

 Italian Wedding Soup 
Second dish - Occhi di Lupo alla Sardignola. Occhi di Lupo means "Eye of the Wolf" and refers to the pasta which is traditionally used in this Sardinian dish. We used a similar pasta - a mezzi rigatoni. This light and really satisfying dish has pasta, mild Italian sausage, and arugula, served in a light Pomodoro sauce.

Mezzi Occhi di Lupo

Occhi di Lupo alla Sardignola

The final dish was Scallopine di Maiale con Balsamico (Pork scallopine in a balsamic reduction). In the recipe was a pepper that I had never heard of before, but will certainly use - peppadew. It actually from Africa, and has an intensely sweet taste, but with a kick at the end. Absolutely delicious. Served here with sauteed spinach (which was actually green)

Scallopine di Maiale con Balsamico

There was a little down time between courses, so to keep myself from guzzling wine, I tangled on the only piece of paper available. It might only have been lunch, but I still had to drive home. Fortunately, I am never without my Micron pens!

The second entry in Diva Challenge #236: Freeform Aquafleur, Curly Bracket Feather, Fescu, Mooka
Cadent, Poke Leaf, and Poke Roo
A good time was had by all, Especially me. I've signed up for another one next week!