Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Challenge #49: Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

The Diva has a guest challenger this week, Chris Letoumea and her challenge is to do a zentangle using black and white with a Red Thread in honor of the Red Thread Promise which is a charitable organization benefiting the children of the world....very interesting website...Chris's and the "Red Thread".  Check them out....

And because this week we here in the USA are celebrating Thanksgiving, my zentangle is of a turkey, using the good 'ol "trace the hand" technique, with the turkey's gobbler being my red thread!

Challenge # 49: Red Thread

"Annual traditions:
Families, feasting, football, fun!
Leftovers all week!!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Challenge #48: Tri-Shapes

This week's challenge is given by a guest host on the Diva's website...Sue Clark.  Her challenge is to use three basic shapes: a circle, a square, and a triangle for the strings and then create the zentangle....and an additional challenge is to use zentangle patterns that I have not used before.  So the tangles I chose are: zuan shi, wisket, popsicles, and Queen's crown.

Challenge # 48: Tri-Shapes

"Circles, triangles
...and squares, oh my...basic shapes...
Ovals, rectangles!"

And, while surfing around from other bloggers' lists, I came across the BEST site for Zentangle patterns! is a site that belongs to Linda Farmer.  It had access to every zentangel pattern imaginable!  And you can sign up for her newsletter to get new patterns as they are created.  You can get to the creators' of many of the patterns, see their websites, blogs, examples, etc.  Can you tell I am pretty enthused by Linda's site!!!!  (Now, I am sure that many of you are already aware of it, but it is new to me!)

On a sad note, one of my favorite sites, 3 Creative Studios, is disbanning at the end of the year!  I can understand their reason, but it is a site I have really enjoyed.  I am sure the gals will succeed in all they do! (If you have not checked them out, you can still reach them from my sidebar of blogs.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Australian Poster
     When I was little, my mom would quote "In Flanders Fields" to us on Veteran's Day; then known as Armistice Day.  I really didn't give it much thought until this week's zentangle challenge by the Diva.  So I did a little more research and discovered the following information:

Inspiration for “In Flanders Fields”
Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. (1)
Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (source: A Crown of Life)
During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae.
As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.

 I love the poem and I loved when the American Legion would give out paper poppies.  My dad was in WWII and we had a graveside military service for him when he passed away...gun salute and all.  I still think this day is one of our most special days...but I don't think it gets the recognition it deserves.  I will fly my flag and I will wear my flag T-shirt and I will re-read "In Flanders Field"...unlike my mom, I have not memorized it!

An Armistice Day poster
     What I didn't realize was that the poem was written by a Canadian, and that other countries also commemorate a similar day until the Diva gave us her weekly challenge: "Lest We Forget".  She writes some very interesting stuff on Canada's Remembrance Day.
  In Canada there is the Royal Canadian Legion which is similar to our American Legion. And Scotland has a Poppy Day.
A Scottish poster I saw on the Internet
     So with all that said and is my Zentangle and accompanying haiku!

"Poppies in the fields.
All the crosses in a row.
Must NEVER forget!"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

International Quilt Festival-Houston

      Well, I am recovered enough to do a little blogging!  Andrea (my daughter who came to spend the night) and I had a great time in Houston at the quilt show.  We did have a bit of a rocky start!!  We needed to be in Arlington at 5:30 AM to catch the tour bus...and Saturday night was the time change from daylight to standard time.  I changed my watch before I went to bed but left all the other clocks to deal with on Sunday (or let Dick mess with it while we were gone!)  So we set the alarm in our room to go off at nearly 5:00AM which would be 4:00 real time.  I knew we would need to leave by 4:45 to get where we needed to by 5:30.  I woke up several times and everytime I looked at the clock, I would mentally  subtract an hour.  Then about what I thought was 3:00, I heard Andrea up getting ready to go.  I thought "Oh, she has her time off!" and went back to sleep...When my alarm go off at ten til five (really ten til four) I got ready to get in the shower, etc.  Andrea knocks on my door and says, "Mom, we need to be leaving right now!!"  I said, "Oh no, you have your time mixed up."  So to convince her, I checked my watch but sure enough she was right!!  Man, I cussed up a storm...brushed my teeth, threw on my clothes, grabbed my bag, jumped in the car, and drove like a bat out of Hell!!

     Fortunately, there were not vey many people out at that hour!  I tailed onto a pickup truck going well over the speed limit thinking the cops would stop them first!! And we arrived screeching into the bus lot right on time!!!!  I called Dick to let him know we were there...he realized what had gone wrong...the clock-radio we use is relatively new and we did not know that it was a smart clock that would reset itself!!!  I tell you..these new-fangled things will be the death of me!!!!!

Entering the George Brown Auditorium

One of the displays by the "12 x 12" gals

Wonderful thread art and dyeing

Love these cattails!!!

From the Nature group...such wonderful dimension!

Three dimensional houses by several artists

Created with white thread on black fabric

More thread painting

Gorgeous colors...great fabrics!

A closeup of a really neat quilt!

Isn't this just out of this world!!!

Taken from across the hall...The quilt in the center on the wall was done by a good friend of mine.  It appears in the newest Texas Legacy Quilt Book....the whole exhibit is fabulous!!

     It was a wonderful show....there were several exhibits that you couldn't take pictures of  so this is a sampling of some of my favorites that I could take.  I think this show had more of the "art quilt" variety that usual....maybe the genre is becoming more popular!!!  Sure hope so!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Challenge # 46 All Hallow's Eve

Since Monday (when the diva posts the new challenge for the week) was Halloween, the challenge was just that "All Hallow's Eve", the accurate name for the date.  I wonder how many people really know the origin  of Halloween...I heard a group on the tv saying they were campaigning  to have the date changed to the last Saturday of October so the kiddies could stay out late and not have to worry about school the next day!  That kind of messes up the real reason for Hallow's Eve! So I decided to bore everyone with the "real" story of Halloween!  If you want to skip and go right to my new Zentangle just scroll down!

Halloween s origins go all the way back to Ancient times with the Celtic festival of Samhain. This was the Celt s version of a New Years Eve celebration honoring the end of summer and harvest time, and marking a period of cold, darkness, and death of winter. Celts believed that this end of the year time marked the time in which the barrier between the living and the dead became thin. On October 31st the spirits would come back from the dead and create havoc by damaging the crops with frost and causing a multitude of other troubles.
The Roman church soon enacted a holiday to detour the worship of spirits, and so proclaimed November 1st as All Saint s Day to honor the saints and martyrs of the church. This day was also known as All Hallows Eve. As the two religions began to mix much of the traditions of Samhain, such as dressing up in costumes and dancing around the fire, became one with All Hallows Eve to create Halloween.
Tradition has always been a part of Halloween from its very start. It s no wonder then that many of our traditions today came from this time period. An example of these traditions would be bobbing for apples. When Roman tradition mixed with Celtic tradition, so did their festivals. One festival near the time of Samhain was a day to honor the goddess of fruit trees, Pamona. Pamona is quite often symbolized as an apple, hence the modern day practice of bobbing for apples.
Trick or Treating is also a tradition of Halloween with early starts. Trick or Treating came from All Soul s Day parades in early England. The poor citizens of England would line up on the sides of the street as the richer members of the community paraded by and threw them pastries called soul cakes. The starving citizens would accept these cakes in exchange for praying for the richer class s dead family members.
Another tradition of Halloween is dressing up in costumes. This is another tradition that started in early England where citizens, knowing that Hallows Eve was a time for the spirits of their ancestors to come back and taunt them, would dress up in masks and costumes to keep the spirits from recognizing them.

# 46 All Hallow's Eve

"Scary Spider Webs...
Spirits roaming all around..
The Bewitching Hour!!