The clock is ticking, the calendar pages are turning, the Advent calendar is being consumed and Christmas is fast approaching. Surprisingly my stress levels are lower than they usually are at this time of the year. Maybe this Zen stuff is sinking in. Take each moment as it comes, each day one-at-a-time, every to-do item in its customary order.
And the order this week has been the Christmas shopping. If you do any of it online, you need to get that in the works this week to receive your packages in time for the holiday without paying a fortune to those brown trucks that are wearing tracks in the neighborhood throughout this month. The decorating will begin this weekend, although I’d like to save the tree for when Annie comes home from college next week. The wrapping follows the decorating. Then cookie baking. Oh, and ordering and sending Christmas cards needs to be squeezed in somewhere.
Breathe. Anything is possible, one stroke at a time, as we say in our Zentangle classes. Even Christmas to-dos.
Before I get to this week’s Diva Challenge, I wanted to share with you my final sketch book drawing with the tree theme from last week. This sketch isn’t a mono tangle, it became more of a whimsical forest. The branches are the tangle Frondous, which seemed perfect for this purpose. There’s a bit of a Tagh cloud up in the sky, with Msst raining down. And a few Printemps and Pokeleaf/Printemps combo flowers at the base. I got carried away, obviously.
This week’s Diva Challenge #247 didn’t come to me nearly as easily. The challenge was to use a new tangle called African Artist, developed by CZT Tina Akua Hunziker, inspired by an African textile. I encourage my readers to click on the link to Tina’s site to see her version of this tangle, since my execution of it bears very little resemblance to her original. I practiced this one for a while, but it will need more work to really “get” it. I think my brain has been highjacked by holiday preparations, leaving no room to learn something new. As I look at Tina’s drawings, they remind me of a box of Christmas ornaments, the running theme of my week. I approached the challenge with this in mind, and decided it would have a Christmas theme to it. But look what happened!
I placed the African Artist tangle at the bottom, expecting it to look like a pile of ornaments on the ground waiting to be hung from the tree above. I used Verdigogh as my tree with lots of little Christmas balls stuck between the branches. Verdigogh is one of my favorite tangles. As my brain whirled around this Christmas tree concept, I imagined the ornaments dropping off the branches into the rolling Jetties below. And then, every tree needs a little sunshine, thus the Arukas up in the corner. When all was done, I used a LOT of rounding on the African Artist to make these shapes more pleasing to my eye. After the final shading, I held out my tile, and instead of seeing a Christmas theme tile, I see a very organic looking design, with large gourd-like things waiting just below the ground to be dug out by some ambitious farmer.
Hah, hah, the best laid plans take a turn of their own when we’re tangling.
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