Category Archives: Books

Zentangle Untangled


A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of sitting with a cup of tea and Kass Hall's new book, Zentangle Untangled. It's lovely! Kass is a blogging friend and when she asked if I'd be part of her blog hop for promoting the book, of course I said YES! You can find out more about the blog hop with prize giveaways, here. It's great to see how other artists have used and incorporate zentangle into their work.

Now, back to the lovely book. It is well thought out and leads the reader through a Zentangle ( "an engaging art form that uses repetitive patterns to create striking works of art that anyone can achieve regardless of age or artistic ability." ) journey. Accessible and easy to read, I found I could read it all the way through (which I did) or jump around a bit and never feel lost wondering where I was.

From a design standpoint, I LOVE all the white space! So many of the mixed media books are so jammed with both artwork and dense type and then extra page decoration, I just tune out. But Kass's book has the great good sense to let the reader…breathe. Ah, just lovely. Kass's voice is friendly and I was drawn into her personal journey with Zentangle in way that made me, as the reader, excited to try out some of her designs and approaches. I see it's a very democratic art form and really is accessible to all – more established artists as well as those brand new to picking up a pen. Speaking of pens, Kass did an excellent job explaining her love of Japanese pens as well as the other art supplies involved in creating tangles in color. It's great to see some of the more complex tangles broken down and easy to duplicate.

If you are looking to get into zentangling, or want to add a book to your zentangle collection, this is the one!

And there are lots of ways to use and incorporate zentangle into your work:


 This recent, last page in one of my journals features many of Kass's tangles (over there on the left side), filling in the spaces of my indigo design. The page on the right complements it perfectly, but is not from my pen, it is a piece of beautiful art paper from Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, which also carries the book!


My friends Mardie and Pam turned me onto the idea of a zentangle mandala, which I worked on at the PLAY retreat in Seattle. Kass has some beautiful "Zendalas" in her book as well. 


Before I knew about zentangles, I had been using some of the ideas in my journal pages…


…just letting my pen guide me along. Anyone can zentangle and it's patterns and designs are endless. Grab a pen a piece of paper (and Kass's book) and get started! 

Some Inspiration

As the first days of 2012 roll by, I thought I'd share a bit of inpsiration that has come my way. I was really delighted to find a new magazine! As a lifelong magazine-a-holic, and former magazine adveriting director, I am always thrilled to find a new magazine to tuck into. And it is a… Continue Reading

Studio Listening

  I mentioned in my recent New York City post that I had a chance to hear Josh Ritter talk about his new book, Bright's Passage and well as hear him sing a few tunes. Here's the interview that I heard at the Barnes & Noble at Untion Sqaure. If you've got an hour to listen while… Continue Reading

Let Them Eat Their Books…

Following on the heels of our Cake Lab, last Sunday I wandered over to the International Edible Book Show and Tea sponsored by the The Book Arts League of Boulder. The Eat Your Words press release explains their mission this way – "The International Edible Book Festival began in 1999 as a Thanksgiving Day joke among a group of… Continue Reading


Happy New Year! Looking for some new inspiration? Here are a few things that I have come across that float my boat. These new journals from Strathmore are great. My students are always asking for a recommendation on what journal to bring to class. It's such a personal choice I've been reluctant to recommend any.… Continue Reading

Good Books Lately

If you are like me, when the weather begins to turn I start looking for new books to settle in with. It happens to me in the spring too, summer reading begins to whisper to me and I'm itching for some new print and plots and characters to take me away. And so it was… Continue Reading

“Loopy Compilations of Personal Matter”

I am home with a sick little boy today. Poor guy. Fever, sore throat – strep? – Having been up early with my little patient, I've kept him company by leafing through a couple of new books that I thought I'd share. This little gem, Scrapbooks – An American History, is a look at journalers of… Continue Reading

Frida’s Wardrobe

Sorry I've been a little off-line lately….hayfever's getting the best of me and I'm trying to get all my goodies completed for the Studio Tour. However….I did want to take a moment to share this wonderful book with you. Like many of you I'm a Frida fan. Even though she's become such a recognized icon… Continue Reading

A Perfect Red

I picked this book up when I was in San Francisco and just finished it. It is surprisingly a page turner. The history of a color? I have to say I was hooked by the cover. That incredible turban from “Portrait of a Man” by Jan van Eyck. It’s gorgeous redness just leaps off the… Continue Reading