Thursday, March 29, 2012

Challenge 64 - Fortuneteller

  Every week I have wonderful plans to check out Diva's challenge on Monday, get my tile done and post really early on the list.  Then papers to grade, lessons to plan and meetings to go to get in my way.  I know, I know.  It really doesn't matter when you post.  It's just a part of the challenge to me.  Obviously, I didn't do it this week either - but just you wait.  Spring break is next week and I too shall be a lady of leisure.  I shall stroll over to the computer to check her challenge, chilled water in my hand, relax on the porch as I tangle the morning away.  Yeah, right.  Sorry, got caught up in some weird fantasy.

This week's challenge was fun (they all are)!  We had to use a set string.  The string resembled the childhood paper toy called a "fortuneteller".   Or as I always called them, "cootie catchers".  Just the other day, a fifth grader stopped me in the hall with the directions to "choose a number . . ."

The first one was not at all what I wanted.  It was just sort of okay to me.  Then as I looked through my sketch book,  I found a pinwheel type design that I had used the same string on.  I liked this one a lot better, but I wanted to do something new for the challenge - not just use an older drawing.  The result was number 3.  I like it a lot better.  It seems more . . . fresh to me.  

  I can't believe spring break is almost here - one more day.  I don't know who is more excited the kids or their teacher!  See you next week from my porch - pen, tile and chilled water in hand!  Have a wonderful week!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Pink Pearl

I hope it is alright to post 2 entries.  I felt I needed to work with Fengle some more and I also just needed to write.  So here goes both.

I always put the challenge on my Tangle-A-Day calendar (by Carole Ohl).  I love this calendar and it keeps me inspired.  Fengle was giving me all sorts of problems - just couldn't get the flow of it.  Probably a state of mind thing.  So I thought I would just jot a couple of them on the Monday for the challenge and forget it.  Once I got them on, I had to put something else.  So I began filling in around them with those little circle dot thingies (do they have a name?).  As I just mindlessly drew them, I started to unwind a bit.  And the grains of sand (as I started to think of them) took over, spilling over letters and around corners.  When I finally took notice, I realized I was under water and needed some other watery tangles.  So I found ammon and urchin and bouy among others.  Then added one of my new favorites - sanibelle.  After putting in the posts to the pier this was all tucked under, I "found" a beautiful pink pearl of hope.  I stopped and looked around my ocean scene and decided this was the one I should have waited to enter.  The fengles aren't any better, but I like this one a lot.

I went to the doctor to get my update on blood work a few weeks ago.  Everything was fine.  Then my doctor checked my pulse.  She said she heard a missed beat.  Several years ago (six to be exact) when diabetes encountered me and landed me in the hospital, they discovered I had an a-fib heart beat.  That put me in the intensive care.  That was probably the most scary time I have ever been through.  I felt like so much was being thrown my way at once.  In the end, all the things really became one of my life's greatest blessings.  But when the doctor mentioned a-fib, I became really nervous.  I asked her what that meant exactly and she said "you get a blood clot and you die".  Ahh...  what happened to bedside manner?  I nearly choked.  So obviously when she said, relax we would do an EKG I wasn't in a relaxed state of mind!  She did detect an a-fib and said she would fax the results to my cardiologist.  The next day (being Friday), I called my cardiologist and of course they were not in.  I got to worry and fret all week-end.  Every time I hiccuped I panicked.  Great way to keep stress down!  And then being the "brilliant" person I am, I searched the internet.  Why?!  I found all sort of scary things - surgeries, failed therapies, etc.  I knew better than to go looking for any answers, but I just couldn't seem to use common sense.  By Monday, I was a basket case.  I got in touch with the cardiologist who said get there within an hour.  I felt my life spinning out of control - and spilling in all directions like my sand thingies.  The cardiologist was very comforting and really made me feel alright.  He also was very upset at my (ex) doctor's remark and that she just sent me home without really doing anything.  After doing another EKG,  he doubled my meds and sent me home to return in a couple of days.  Finally someone was in charge who knew what they were doing.  On return I got to wear a holter monitor for 24 hours and it was determined that I was back in normal sinus rhythm.  My cardiologist said it probably was stress that caused it and made worse by the stress the doctor put through.  I am so thankful for my pink pearl of hope.  I really appreciate the cardiologist and his wonderful nurse for their calm manner and helping me find that calm. 

Didn't mean to bore anyone, but I needed to revisit fengle and I needed to dump the last remains of that hectic few days.  Now that all that is over, I can head off my pier and get on with stuff.  Thanks for listening.  I have really enjoyed this blog and getting to "meet" and make new friends.  Have a wonderful week!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Challenge #63 Fengle

The moment I saw this tangle I knew I had to play with it.  It is such a fun design.  I gave it several tries, but these are the ones I am most pleased with.  It has a tendency to go choppy on me.  I looked at lots of the other entries and they all flow so smoothly.  I will persevere and keep trying to smooth mine out. 

I thought from the beginning I wanted to put it in the middle of a mandala, but as you can see from the following, it was a bit hard to get centered.  I am going to try this again and draw the fengle first and then put the circle around it.  May be working backward but it might help me get it centered.

Since it reminded me of a sea star, I thought the next fengle adventure would be something from the sea.  I grouped a few of them and then "caught" them in a net. 

This was a load of fun and something I really needed this week.  It has been a week filled with dealing with doctors - some wonderful, some not so.  I am glad to be on the up side of it all and to have gotten a good report.  I just hope I can stay away from "white coats" for awhile!

 Hope you all have had a wonderful week and thank you for any comments!  Just one more week til spring break!  Yahoo! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Challenge #62 - Paradox and Spiral

This challenge was a . . . . challenge.  Really.  I love paradox - it is one of my absolute favorites.  Many years ago, I drew this design for a high school drafting contest.  It had to be measured -  each line measured and spaced.  It was a large piece several rows by several rows large.  The pencil smeared and I restarted a few times.  And the entire time, my drafting teacher was "lurking" over my shoulder.  Not a zen experience!  But I still loved the design.  I had never thought about it in a spiral though.  That was hard for me to wrap my brain around.  I made the "mistake" of viewing all the wonderful entries first and nearly gave up!  Then I went to Margaret Bremner's great tutorial on how to do paradox. (Sorry I don't know how to put in the link).  I knew I had to give it a try.  So I drew this big spiral, and went about putting in the paradox.  I thought it needed some color, so I added a tiny bit to separate the areas.  It reminded me of a large rock or snail shell so I put some sanibelle in to make it look like a forest floor.  When I finished, I just wasn't happy with it.  It didn't capture what I wanted.

Time for try #2.  I drew another spiral, filled it up with paradox again.  This time, I tried to not represent anything.  I stared at it for awhile.  Decided I really wasn't happy with this one.  It needed something.  I drew some other tangles around the outside in hopes to help.  It didn't. 

My brother is sitting at the computer playing baseball.  So I decided three strikes and  I was out of ideas!  So here goes strike #3.  I kept the spiral part all loose - probably not a true spiral at all.  Then I tried to make my paradox less confining - the ghost of my drafting teacher disappeared.  When I finished, I added just a few small beads and stopped.  I did not want to overwork it.  I really like this one.  It is not spectacular, but I felt satisfied and little more zen!

This has been an adventure!  I still love paradox!  But I have a healthy respect for trying to put it into unusual spaces.  I also have a whole new admiration for all the other awesome entries - everyone is so talented.  I learn so much from these challenges and looking at other people's interpretations. 

Hope you have a wonderful week!  Thank you for any suggestions you can give me for making these look a bit better.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Challenge #61 - Golven

If I thought last week was "interesting", this one was a real emotional trip.  I was glad for the moments my pens and I spent together.  I needed the time to relax.  I had just finished up a piece with golven as a part of it when I read that was our challenge!  Yahoo!  Two for the price of one!  I really love this tangle by Mariet.  It is so relaxing and peaceful to draw.  You do get the feeling of being on waves.  (Golven is the Dutch word for waves).
Then I got busy on my tile for the challenge.  (Can you tell I finally got my micron colored pens?)  I really was pretty happy with this one.  Then I looked at all the other entries - oh, my - wow!  They are all so gorgeous.  Still happy with this one, but envious too.  Didn't choose green for envy, but it fits. 

Hope you all have a great week and thanks for visiting my site.  This has become so much fun. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Challenge #60 Duo Tangle

     Wow, what a week!  My student teacher that I had (relied on) for 7 weeks left.  I was back to "solo-flying" - all the grading and planning by my lonesome.  The classroom was not quite as settled as I like.  Several meetings.  Waiting on news about my blood work (routine, but still waiting is hard).  Then to end the week, we had severe weather and dismissed from school early Friday.  After last April and all the chaos our area felt (Tennessee), just the mention of severe weather makes everyone very nervous.  So whenever it rains I have some children in my class who get really panicky.  To sum it up, a very complicated week.  So while I enjoy using LOTS of tangles in my work, it was really nice to just know I could only use two and those two were already decided for me.  One simple thing in this week was very welcomed.  I am not super thrilled with the results, but it was relaxing to focus on it for awhile.  I sat and finished it up last night while listening to really scary weather reports.  What a shame one of the tangles we had to use wasn't Rain!!  Just kidding.
     One of my favorite authors and philosophers had a birthday this week, Dr. Seuss.  I enjoy reading his books aloud to my class.  Many years ago when I first started teaching, I wrote and asked him for an autograph.  He sent me back a wonderful crayon message on Cat in the Hat stationary!  It is one of my most valued possessions.  I had to use the calendar pages around his birthday - March 2 - to tangle a birthday page.  Some of the tangles remind me of his books.  I think if he were still with us, he probably would be a "tangler"!

  Hope everyone has a great week!!  Thanks again for all your comments.