Category: Creativity



The Organic Artist: Make Your Own Paint, Paper, Pigments, Prints and More from NatureThe Organic Artist: Make Your Own Paint, Paper, Pigments, Prints and More from Nature by Nick Neddo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay. I didn’t read this word for word. It isn’t that kind of book. I doubt I’ll ever read it that way. This is a reference book of how-tos. It is well illustrated and the instructions for each craft is well-written. I loved what I saw here so much that as the book became due back to the library I had to go to Amazon and buy my own copy. By the way, our librarian recommended it to me. Thanks, Julie! I can’t wait to try some of these crafts!

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In the Meantime


Many of you may wonder what happened to me. I know it looks like I disappeared. But if you take a look at this page you will see what, besides summer, I’ve been up to:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Darravels

For those of you waiting patiently for reviews… I will be on it as soon as I can!


Sewing (History) An SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) friend of mine opened my eyes to Medieval sewing and suddenly geometry made sense. This Pinterest board is full of period patterns for mak…

Source: 5 Interesting Links for 01-29-2016 | Tales to Tide You Over


Source: Dar49 Daily


Zentangle For Beginners: Elevate Your Life With Zentangle Art, Patterns and Shapes for Creativity, Focus & Well-Being (Zentangle, Zentangle for Beginners, ... Zentangle Basics, Zentangle Books)Zentangle For Beginners: Elevate Your Life With Zentangle Art, Patterns and Shapes for Creativity, Focus & Well-Being by Charlotte Pearce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Of the freebie Kindle Zentangle books I’ve read so far, this has been my favorite. It was well written, describing the process of getting into the tangle, with zen and scientific results. I got so anxious about this just being wordy. But finally! There are enough illustrations of good Zentangles to give the beginner a chance to decide if this is for them. Worth the price (free) and maybe even worth a little more. After all, you can pick up most of this information from the website: Zentangle.com. Still it is nice that the author shared very different artists work. Try it, you’ll like it!

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My Intro to Zentangle Art


I can’t believe that it has been nearly three years since I discovered the magic of Zentangle. A good friend of mine mentioned it as something he likes to do. He uses his designs in wood burning projects.  I started researching this form of art. Zentangle.com is the best starting place.

When I finally could afford it I bought the kit from the website. Here are some of the goodies in that cigar box kit.

2015-02-22 13.44.29

At the top of this picture is my little gold Zentangle drawing pad I found in the dollar bins at some store. This is what I try to organize the different designs that you can click on at the top of the Zentangle site organized in alphabetical order. As you can see there is a little chart that has 20 designs to choose from. That’s for the beginner who needs a little nudge to get started. The 20 sided die is to make the choice easier. There are the special pens and pencil and shadow-maker. There’s a CD to get you started and an instructional booklet to learn the first picture. Which you draw on the included little cards. Here is my first:

2015-02-22 13.38.21

As is my usual bent, I got into this Zentangle thing and made two more within a couple days.

20120311 DM Zentangle

2015-02-22 13.40.15

I don’t know why this last one ever got finished. I didn’t seem to shadow anything. But see those two teardrop shapes? I could never figure out how to deal with them. I think that was why I gave up on it. Now I like those white empty spaces so I think I will just shade here and there and start something new.

I haven’t done much since those projects except occasionally keep up my alphabet design book. Now that I have read those two books I reviewed yesterday I feel this art calling me. It’s time!


Zentangle Basics: Easy to Learn Zentangle Method. 12 Basic Elements of Fine Tangling Process and Art Mediation (Zentangle books, Zentangle basics books, Zentangle basics featuring ideas books,)Zentangle Basics: Easy to Learn Zentangle Method. 12 Basic Elements of Fine Tangling Process and Art Mediation by Leroy Barnes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I have a bit of confusion going on here. I picked up two Zentangle books at the same time. One because it was free and the other because I could get it for free with Kindle Unlimited. This one was $2.99 last I looked. Though I got it for free through Kindle Unlimited. Now do I have you confused, too?

Either book is a good starting point for learning about the good that doing a bit of Zentangling can do for you. Both have written instructions for getting started. This one had fewer illustrations. Just as a hint of the type of designs that one can do simply even if you are not an artist. In fact, that is a point made in both books.

Both books are quick reads, even without pictures. And so I read them both yesterday one after the other.

Which one is best? The one with more pictures. But only because of that. I wish either of them had more visual instructions. Can you imagine being taught to draw without anything to look at to compare to? Yeah. Oh, some are upset about the size of the pictures. I found if I clicked on the tiny picture I can enlarge it to a satisfying size.

My advice? If you see these for free, grab ’em and read ’em. After that head over to Zentangle.com and play around that site. Then go check out the Youtubes that the site recommends. Pick up a Zentangle kit. I did and have loved working with it. One of these days, I will post some of my resulting tangles on my website: darsword.wordpress.com.

Now I am going to copy and paste this review into the other books review changing only the price range and a word or two here or there. Try Zentangling!

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Zentangle: Zentangle Art Basics: How to create beautiful patterns and shapesZentangle: Zentangle Art Basics: How to create beautiful patterns and shapes by Hailey Leman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I have a bit of confusion going on here. I picked up two Zentangle books at the same time. One because it was free and the other because I could get it for free with Kindle Unlimited. This one was $2.99 last I looked. Though I got it for free. Now do I have you confused, too?

Either book is a good starting point for learning about the good that doing a bit of Zentangling can do for you. Both have written instructions for getting started. This one had a couple more illustrations. Just as a hint of the type of designs that one can do simply even if you are not an artist. In fact, that is a point made in both books.

Both books are quick reads, even without pictures. And so I read them both yesterday one after the other.

Which one is best? The one with more pictures. But only because of that. I wish either of them had more visual instructions. Can you imagine being taught to draw without anything to look at to compare to? Yeah. Oh, some are upset about the size of the pictures. I found if I clicked on the tiny picture I can enlarge it to a satisfying size.

My advice? If you see these for free, grab ’em and read ’em. After that head over to Zentangle.com and play around that site. Then go check out the Youtubes that the site recommends. Pick up a Zentangle kit. I did and have loved working with it. One of these days, I will post some of my resulting tangles here.

Now I am going to copy and paste this review into the other books review changing only the price range and a word or two here or there. Try Zentangling!

View all my reviews


Um, yeah. I have just gotten to the halfway point of the word count. I really should have worked the outline better. Still without one, I do like how the story is proceeding. Things have happened I didn’t expect and characters have evolved far differently than I imagined when I began. So even though I am not getting the cute dragon winner’s banner, I feel good for having a story to work on that I feel good about. I miss the days I could blast out a novel in the required 30 days, but many of those novels I wrote are not worth a lot. AND those quickies leave me with so much more work to do in the editing.

Meanwhile, I have still been reading a lot, so now I have a review to write. Heh!

Word Count: 22,860


So at this rate I will reach 50k around the 14th of December. The good news outside of small progress is that I found a new character to explore another world with. He is supposed to be the bad guy, but I feel sorry for him as he is left all alone on his planet with only a small catlike creature to keep him company. How can he be all bad if he is so sweet to the feline?

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