PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Wishing Everyone a Happy & Peaceful Christmas & New Year

front of card
angled close-up showing sparkly 'grounding' plus
 dimension of reindeer 
angled close-up showing sparkly 'grounding'
plus dimension & shine of tree
close-up showing pearlescence & sparkle of
 snowflakes against textured matt white cardstock
inside of card

The background was made following Heather Telford's sponging tutorial except that I used ColorBox pigment inkpads instead of Memento dye inkpads. The silver star is a sequin & the snowflakes were punched out of pearlescent paper some years ago using a punch that has since found its way to the metal & plastic recycling centre. The crystal gems decorating the snowflakes were from stash.

The reindeer & the tree are from the retired 'Traditional Christmas' sheet of Chocolate Baroque stamps. The reindeer was stamped in VersaFine Vintage Sepia, coloured with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils blended using a dry paper stump & then cut out & shaped prior to mounting. The tree was stamped in VersaFine Olympia Green, wet embossed with clear embossing powder, then also cut out & shaped prior to mounting. Silver Ice Stickles Glitter Glue was used to 'ground' both the images & create a semblance of icy snow.

Since the card was made for a gentleman the inside was plainly decorated using navy & textured matt white cardstock with decorated corners (Xcut star punch & Woodware corner rounder).

Challenges Entered

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Zigzag Ziggurat & Zentangle Alphatag

My "Z" tag for the Baroque Guild Alphatag swap is based around a Ziggurat (an Assyrian/Babylonian temple tower or staged tower in which each storey is smaller than that below it) of parcels with a zigzag pattern for the background. The inspiration for the pile of parcels came from The Gift of Christmas stamp sheet which I originally used but wasn't happy with as I wanted something more tactile. I was going to put a large "Z" at the top of the pile but it didn't look right at all - my husband suggested a star & that reminded me of the Christmas Auraknot Star that I've been drawing (see PEP tangles), hence I acquired another "Z" in the form of Zentangle. It is actually quite apt in terms of the Ziggurat for it is quite likely that the Zoroastrian priests or Magi who followed the star to Bethlehem for Jesus's birth spotted that star on one of their nightly scans of the sky from the top of one of their Ziggurat towers. (See here for Zoroastrianism and my fellow Alphatagger, Vronnie at Vroncards, who used the wise men for her "Z" tag).

front of tag
close-up of upper section showing Zentangle star
& overstamping of patterned paper on parcels
close-up of lower section showing the patterned
paper parcels tied with different metallic threads
close-up showing dimension of wet embossed
"Z" plus zigzag background
close-up showing dimension  & layering
of Zentangle star plus zigzag background
back of tag 
close-up showing paper pierced scallops & inked edges
of theme panel plus textured pearlescent ivory cardstock

The parcels were made by wrapping oddments of the patterned paper around different sizes of thick cardstock & then tying assorted colours of metallic thread round them. The paper for the top two parcels wasn't particularly patterned so these were overstamped before wrapping. The creasing of the patterned paper when folding such small pieces occasioned some 'white cracking' which was "removed' by running the tip of a Coloursoft pencil in an appropriate colour along the sides of the parcels.

For the star shape I drew around a large star gem & enlarged it to the size I wanted & then tangled with a brown fineliner using the Auraknot pattern skipping two points (see here for a detailed explanation). A brown Coloursoft pencil with a paper stump was used for the shading. Two of the stars were offset & layered in order to achieve the ten-pointed dimensional star as above.

Stamps Elusive Images UA4HC0177  ATC Art Plate (zigzag pattern); Chocolate Baroque UA4 SP0150 Texture Blocks (overstamping patterned paper) & UA6GW0211 Celebrations Alphabet ("Z" letters).
Inks Chestnut ColorBox Pigment "Cat's Eye" (tone on tone backgroud stamping, Memento Tangelo (overstamping patterned paper), Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink (inking various cardstock edges), Emboss Tinted Stamp Pad with Stewart Gill Metallic Copper Embossing Powder ("Z" letters).
Pencils/Markers etc... Staedtler Triplus Fineliner & Derwent Coloursoft pencils with paper stump, Signo uni-ball copper gel pen.
Cardstock Brown, cream & textured pearlescent ivory from stash.
Paper Graphicus Guild Membership Pack.
Die Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Tag & Bookplates.
Punches EK Success (small circle), Woodware (scalloped squares).
The gems & ribbon are from stash. 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Yin Yang Yule Alphatag

My "Y" Baroque Guild Alphatag was initially inspired by my looking for tangle patterns beginning with "Y" in some of the Zentangle Books that Glenda stocks at Chocolate Baroque. In Zentangle 4 I spotted the Yin Yang Leaf. I then thought of a Fractal Tree, one thing led to another & as I was looking through my stamp reference file I caught sight of a Christmas tree image constructed from "Y" shapes. So, I acquired Yule as well. When it came to actually making my tag that particular image proved too large but I had a vague recollection that there was a branch with a bird image on one of Glenda's theme plates & found it on Sing Your Song. I used part of the image & decided to abandon Yule & just concentrate on using the Yin and Yang concept of dualities as in light (white) & dark (deep green). But Yule had other ideas: as I was looking through my Graphicus Guild (Chocolate Baroque's antecedent) papers for a suitable sheet I found one just the right colour green with snowflakes on - Yule in theme - & upon looking a bit more closely the snowflake is basically constructed from "Y" shapes.

front of tag
close-up showing detail Yin Yang leaves 
close-up showing upper wet embossed white tree panel
 & overstamping of patterned paper - the "Y" shape
is clearly visible in both
close-up showing central section with
 detail of Yin Yang symbol
close-up showing lower wet embossed green tree panel
& overstamping of patterned paper
back of tag
close-up showing paper pierced scallops & inked edges
of theme panel plus patterned paper background

The Yin Yang leaves & the symbol were hand drawn using a Whispers Brush Marker; the symbol's circular shape being obtained using a small punch.

The white tree was wet embossed onto dark green cardstock using the VersaMarker watermark pen & white embossing powder whereas the dark green tree was wet embossed onto white cardstock using VersaFine Olympia Green & clear embossing powder. Each tree was cut out (giving a whole new meaning to the term of "fussy cutting") & mounted onto a scalloped circle of the appropriate colour cardstock. I was really pleased with the dimension, shine & contrast achieved which can be seen in the following angled photographs.

Stamps Chocolate Baroque UA5SP0255 Sing Your Song (tree) & UA5SP0368 Stained Glass Christmas (snowflake).
Inks VersaFine Olympia Green with Stewart Gill Ultrafine Embossing Powder (green tree), VersaMarker Watermark Pen with Stampendous Detail White Embossing Powder (white tree), Memento Bamboo Leaves (snowflakes) & Cottage Ivy (inking various cardstock & paper edges).
Pens/Markers etc... Whispers Brush Marker, White Pentel K118 Hybrid Gel Pen.
Cardstock White & green from stash.
Paper Graphicus Guild Membership Pack.
Die Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Tag & Bookplates.
Punches Woodware (scalloped circles & scalloped squares), EK Success (small circle).
The gems are Anita's & the ribbon is from stash.

Challenges Entered
Stamping Sensations December Challenge - TreeMendous
Penny Black & More December Challenge - It's Your Choice

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Holly.........

Some of you know that we live on a Brecon hillside with part of our garden being woodland. The photo above shows the bank rising up to the wooded area & the stump you see is what remains of one of the many holly bushes (more like trees). We're on our fifth stump now - this was the first before we managed to extract it - working on dry days & as fast as we can before the snowfalls start.

As far as artwork is concerned I've managed a couple of tangle tiles which you can see HERE.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Xanthophyll & Xylem Alphatag

I had a look at what the letter "X" might entail when the Baroque Guild Alphatag swap first began & decided that I could make a tag based upon the word xanthophyll (a compound responsible for the yellow colour of autumnal leaves) using an assortment of Chocolate Baroque leaf stamps. It was my fellow Alphatagger Sarah's mentioning that she'd not used xylem (woody tissue) for her tag that gave me the idea to incorporate that & the whole concept crystallized when I caught sight of this (see photo above) a couple of weeks ago in the woodland forming part of our back garden.

front of tag
angled view showing dimensional shaping of leaves 
close-up of upper section
close-up of lower section showing background
stamping & shine of wet embossed "X"
close-up showing dimensional shaping of
punched oak leaf embellishments 
back of tag 
close-up showing paper pierced scallops & inked edges
of theme panel plus overstamping of patterned paper

The leaves for the garland were stamped in Van Dyke Brown (Nick Bantock) onto the watercolour paper & water coloured using a damp brush which I'd dipped into some Scattered Straw Distress Marker ink scribbled onto an acrylic block. As moisture touches the Van Dyke Brown stamped imprint (so far it's the only one of Nick Bantock's inkpads that I've used in this way) a number of browns & greens emerge. For the "X" I double inked the stamp, first with VersaMark & then the Van Dyke Brown, prior to adding the clear embossing powder for heat setting. I find this gives a smoother finish than when using the Van Dyke Brown alone with  embossing powder. The background was made by stamping the large leaf image (starting at the top) using VersaMark in rows & masking each successive row as I went down the tag so as to create a layered effect.

Stamps Chocolate Baroque UDLSP0121 Holly Ivy Mix (large leaf), UDLSP0234 Autumn Hedgerow (oak leaf), UDLSP0235 Nature Table (maple leaf) & UA6GW0349 Teeny Weeny Meadow (tree); Elusive Images UDLHC0181 Sketchy Alphabet (letter "X").
Inks Nick Bantock Vandyke Brown (tree, leaves on front & back, letter "X" & inking various card stock edges); VersaMark watermark stamp pad: by itself for tag front background stamping & together with Vandyke Brown plus Stewart Gill Ultrafine Embossing Powder for the letter "X".
Markers etc... Scattered Straw Distress Marker, Signo uni-ball copper gel pen.
Cardstock An assortment of greens plus yellow from stash, Winsor & Newton Cotman 190gsm Cold Presset/NOT Grain Fin Watercolour Paper.
Paper Graphicus Guild Membership Pack.
Die Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Tag & Bookplates.
Punches Woodware (scalloped squares, oak & maple leaves).
The ribbon is from stash.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

White on White Winter Wonderland Alphatag

I decided to make my "W" Baroque Guild Alphatag a white on white seasonal one using an old snowflake mandala stamp from the time when Glenda's company was known as Elusive Images. In the back of my mind I thought I also had a Chocolate Baroque themeplate including the words "winter wonderland." I was particularly pleased when I found it (a retired set aptly named "Winter Wonderland") for it also has a variety of snowflakes which proved perfect for my background wet embossing.

front of tag
close-up of upper section showing wet embossed words
on parchment paper & snowflake background
close-up of lower section showing glittered
snowflake layers & wet embossed background
angled view showing dimensional layering of snowflake
mandala & shine of wet embossed background
back of tag
close-up showing paper pierced scallops & inked edges of
theme panel plus wet embossed background stamping

Stamps Elusive Images UDLCW0028 Jolly Holly Snowflake (snowflake mandala); Chocolate Baroque UA6SP0267 Winter Wonderland (words & background on front) & UDLSP0121 Holly Ivy Mix (snowflakes on back).
Inks Emboss Tinted Stamp Pad with Stampendous Detail White Embossing Powder (snowflake mandala, wording, front & back background stamping); Brilliance Moonlight White (inking various cardstock edges).
Pens/Markers etc... VersaMarker Watermark Pen, White Pentel K118 Hybrid Gel Grip Pen, Signo uni-ball silver gel pen.
Cardstock Several textures of white from stash.
Paper Parchment paper from stash.
Die Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Tag & Bookplates.
Punch Woodware (scalloped squares).
The  gems shimmer dots are Papermania whilst the large white brad ribbon are from stash. The iridescent loose glitter is also from stash.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Zentangle Inspired Artwork

My final MCC project HERE on PEP tangles

Monday, 22 October 2012

Victorian Vintage Valentine Alphatag

It's quite amazing to think there are only four letters left for our Baroque Guild Alphatag swap. For this one I actually started out working on vignettes but they rapidly turned themselves into a Victorian Vintage Valentine.

Interestingly I found I was consolidating some of my discoveries (see here, here & here) with watercolour paper during my tangling course: both my main image & the two small roses are coloured using Walnut Stain Distress Ink (inkpad & Marker) but the lady is on hot press & the small roses are on cold press watercolour paper (see below for specific details). On the cold press paper I could manipulate & move the ink about far more freely than I could on the hot press. I suspect this will vary between the brands of watercolour papers too. A working knowledge of not only different materials but different brands of the same materials is really being brought home to me.

front of tag
close-up of upper section showing tone on tone
background stamping
 close-up of main image - angled to show glittering
pearl jewellery, hair & hat adornments
close-up showing wet embossed letter "V" & watercoloured
roses plus both pleated & unpleated lace trimming 
back of tag
close-up showing paper pierced & inked scallops of
theme panel plus tone on tone stamping

The lace around my image was pleated & secured by snipping from the bottom up to each eyelet & then making a tiny pleat as I secured each section onto the image panel using a combination of red line tape in small strips & tacky glue. Another die-cut oval (this time from some sturdy cardboard) the same size as my image panel was then attached across the whole of the back to provide both a neat & a flat finish for attaching the whole panel to the tag,

Stamps Chocolate Baroque UDLGW0093 Ornate Alphabet (letter "V"), UDLGW0095 Rose Set (small roses), UA6SP0141 Victorian Ladies Accessories (image) & UA4SP0242 Harlequin Rose (tone on tone stamping).
Inks VersaFine Vintage Sepia (background stamping), Walnut Stain Distress Ink (images & inking various cardstock edges), Emboss Tinted Stamp Pad with Stampendous Detail White Embossing Powder (letter "V").
Markers Walnut Stain Distress Marker, Sakura Stardust Gelly Roll Pen, Staedtler Triplus Fineliner, White Pentel K118 Hybrid Gel Grip Pen.
Cardstock Dark brown & white from stash,  Daler-Rowney Langton 300gsm Hot Pressed Extra Smooth watercolour paper & Winsor & Newton Cotman 190gsm Cold Pressed/NOT Grain Fin Watercolour Paper.
Die Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Tag & Bookplates, Spellbinders Nestabilities Classic Ovals Small.
Punch Woodware (scalloped squares).
The pearl hearts, lace & ribbon are all from stash.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Umbels & Ultramarine Alphatag

The inspiration for my "U" Baroque Guild Alphatag came from the scenery along Brecon Canal where my husband & I often (weather permitting) walk. There are numerous hedgerows to one side which act like a screen through which the Beacons Mountains are visible.  Both these hedgerows & the canal banks are full of tall umbellifers (plants of the Umbelliferae order where the flower-clusters or umbels have stalks nearly equal in length springing from a common centre so as to form a flat or curved surface). I've imagined my plants silvery with one of the early frosts approaching the winter months & my sky is a pale wintery one, appropriately created utilizing the colour ultramarine.
front of tag 
close-up of upper section
close-up of lower section
angled view showing wet embossing
& the different silvers of flower-clusters
back of tag
close-up showing paper pierced scallops & inked edges
of theme panel plus tone on tone background stamping

The cloudy sky was watercoloured using Aquatone watercolour sticks (mixing Ultramarine, Chinese White & Ivory Black) on watercolour paper. The mountains were sponged with the Distress Stain, misted & dabbed with a paper towel to soften the effect. I wanted a contrast in the silvers on the floral image so used an ordinary silver gel pen for colouring the stalks & leaves plus a silver  Sakura Stardust pen for the flower-clusters.

Stamps Chocolate Baroque UA4SP0176 Wild Meadow.
Inks Emboss Tinted Stamp Pad with Stampendous Detail Silver Embossing Powder (focal images), Pumice Stone Distress Stain, Brilliance Starlight Silver (tone on tone stamping on back & inking various cardstock edges).
Pencils/Markers etc… Derwent Aquatone watercolour sticks, Signo uni-ball silver gel pen, Sakura Stardust gel pen, Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.
Cardstock Winsor & Newton Cotman 190gsm Cold Pressed/NOT Grain Fin Watercolour Paper; assorted pale blues from stash.
Dies Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Tag & Bookplates.
Punches Woodware (scalloped square).
The gems & ribbon are from stash.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Some More Tangling Homework

Playing with some letters amongst other things on PEP tangles

Friday, 14 September 2012

Terracotta Tone on Tone Alphatag

It isn't until I start working with something that I can see if an idea will gel to become a concrete creation. I lost count of how many times I started again with my "T" Baroque Guild Alphatag - trying to work with ideas from triangles & thistles to tangerine & text. Finally, one of my triangle attempts reminded me of ancient terracotta vases & I decided to pursue that idea as I had a vase image.

I actually had some help from my husband who saw me puzzling over how to arrange my vases on the stamped background. He asked if I had an image of an  architectural column. Absolutely perfect - sometimes you just need a different perspective - with a little bit of doctoring: cutting in half & trimming off parts - I could see my way forwards with the tag. Once again I am applying artistic licence to my creation for I doubt if these images would have existed together in ancient times - but they do in the museum of my imagination.

front of tag
angled view showing dimensional shaping
& shine of wet embossed vases
close-up of upper section 
close-up of central section
close-up of lower section
back of tag
close-up showing paper pierced scallops of
theme panel plus tone on tone background stamping

Stamps Elusive Images E0445 (vase); Chocolate Baroque UA4GW0145 Antiquities (architectural columns & background mosaic patterning), UA4SP0365 Echoes of Italy (crackle background), UA4SP0184 Filigree Fusion (tone on tone stamping for back of tag).
Inks VersaFine Onyx Black with Stewart Gill Ultrafine Embossing Powder (vases); VersaFine Onyx Black (artchitectureal colums);  Memento Desert Sand (mosaic patterning, tone on tone stamping & inking some cardstock edges) & Potters Clay (crackle background).
Markers Memento Tuxedo Black Dual Marker, Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.
Cardstock Browns & creams in various finishes from stash.
Die Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Tag & Bookplates.
Punch Woodware (scalloped square).
The gems are Kanban & the ribbon is from stash.

The vase image is a wood mounted Elusive Images stamp bearing a copyright label for 2005; it  still had the price label on which means that I have never inked it & I honestly cannot remember when it was bought, though it must have been after 2008 as that is when I started stamping. Elusive Images was the name of Glenda's company before it became Chocolate Baroque in 2011. I shall be joining in Judith's Forgotten Friday with this tag.