This Dragon Breath


This past week, my 100 days began. A friend of mine recently mentioned having heard a podcast host explain how she sets aside 100 days to learn a thing. In a sense, this is what I’m doing — with some vague differences. See, I can relate to both the Tortoise and the Hare in the fable. Quick to speed ahead actively planning, while taking forever to bring those ideas to fruition. It’s easy to never be ready for overdue change. Frightening to acknowledge when it’s time to move forward from a comfort zone.


The original, index card version of Dragonbreath.

I’m falling in love with art again. I have no real plans for it — let me repeat — I. Have. No. Zip. Zero. Nada. Plans for it. I cannot tell you how delighted I am about this very minor factor. And that’s what my 100 days is for. It’s 100 days of ‘no real plans‘ with creative drive and spirit. Just me, arts, crafts and a little community.

This is the last week These Faces will be hanging in the library on W 5th St. in Winston-Salem, NC. I’ve loved having it there so much, but am looking forward to finally having some art on the walls of my home. And when it arrives, another piece will be joining it on the wall.

Seated at my desk on Monday afternoon, I tangled a mashup of Dragonair and


Progress on my latest artwork, Dragonbreath.

PZenplosion Folds on a background of Knightsbridge [for those unaware, I recently read The Great Zentangle Book and learned that each tangle in Zentangle has its own unique title]. I had such fun coloring it in, I decided I had to do a larger version of the piece, with a few minor tweaks [I added a 4th tangle, entitled Narwhal] and color edits just for my wall here. I’ve been at it for five days now and only just began coloring it last night. I cannot wait to see the finished piece.



It began as a pencil sketch; now I’m playing with my Crayola coloring pencils, blending the shades, and using Staedtler Fineliner pens to outline each section. I’m looking so forward to finishing it and beginning a new piece.

I’d love to see what you’re up to! Share in the comments below, or follow along via my Instagram!



Thanks for reading.


These Faces


Art shown above by several local [Winston-Salem, NC] artists. This particular exhibit currently located at the Forsyth Central Public Library in Winston-Salem, NC until August 31st, 2018.

If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve recently taken up tangling.U I picked up two books about Zentangle from my library and have been practicing various tangles in efforts to improve upon my techniques.

At first, I was a little skeptical, as we often are when trying something from a new perspective. But, as I learned Zentangle designs, I also began noticing some patterns in the messages I wanted these particular tangles to express. As I highlighted and shaded the images, there was one phrase which came to mind repeatedly.

U“Whatever is behind the faces of others, we can’t see it…”

There is so much there, behind your face. Direction at your core, imagination bursting forth. Calculations both meticulous and carefree. The beauty they wear in the positive moments. The roads they’ve walked no matter how rocky, painful, dusty and confused. The ribbons of thought and the braided – sometimes fraying – remains of what we’ve inherited and carried with us.

We don’t know what a person’s been through. Sure, they’re marked from the battles. They smile at their triumphs. But the rest of us know nothing of that struggle or it’s effects on the individual. We have to take a moment to dig deeper — exerting time and efforts. And our own faces are designed and colored by these experiences. U

What will you find behind your face? Behind those of others? How will you express it today?

To see more artwork free of charge, drop by Winston-Salem Central Public Library and visit the 2nd floor. 

To see more of my personal artwork and crafts, follow me on Instagram.

Thank you for reading.





Whenever I think of ‘media’ in reference to art tools, I remember the I Love Lucy episode, “Lucy Becomes a Sculpturess” [Season 2, Episode 15] in which Leon Belasaco’s character eloquently asks, “Which of the media do you employ?” I’m just as clueless as Lucy, but I can safely say, I’ve yet to make a bust of myself.

I love making art, but it’s easy to look at what others are doing and think your own skills and tools inadequate. My spouse and I are by no means rich, so I sometimes struggle with a fear that my art isn’t legit because I didn’t do it a specific way that someone with better, more expensive resources might can. One day, I started doodling and fell back in love with it. When friends saw what I was up to, they gave me a lot of positive feedback [thanks guys!!] and well… here we are. Long story short, I had to give myself some positive feedback, too. I tell myself how cool it looks with just a #2 pencil — and it really does. There are times I almost fear it’ll look worse inked or colored in. Point is… don’t let that stuff get you down. If you want to art, go do it!! I bet you actually already have some of what I use, or something similar.

Let’s start with the basic tools. [If I know the price, or where I got it cheap, I’ll let you know.]–

  • Mars Lumograph pencil sharpener by Staedtler. I don’t remember where I found it, exactly, but I think it was about $5.
  • Hi-polymer eraser by Pentel; I’ve found these for about a dollar at Wal*Mart.
  • Sketchbook, XL Series by Canson. This is the Mix Media sketchbook for acrylic, watercolor and pen or pencil and it’s acid free. I don’t understand what the bulk of that means to say — painters — because I don’t paint [yet?] but there you have it. I got this one at Walmart for around $10-12, but…
  • …lately I’ve preferred to draw on blank index cards by Pen + Gear. Those pictured are 4×6; I’ve been using 3×5’s. I get 100 in a pack for less than $1, also at Wal*Mart. I rarely ever see bleed-through, etc.
  • I got this Flexi Ruler at WalMart so long ago, I no longer remember the price. It’s survived years of mildly abusive art, being rolled into backpacks, or smushed / bent by heavy books. Still works great. The ticks on the ruler haven’t faded a bit. Definitely a long-lasting purchase.

Sample scribbles.

Bic Grip Rollers: I got this one from a bank and am delighted to report that such a simple pen [read: inexpensive, not super fancy] is so great with my art. I use it for Zentangles, and heavier lines. It does bleed through some papers if used too heavily, but this is the only drawback I’ve found.

Uni-Ball Signo (Micro 207): This is a ‘sometimes’ pen for me. I hardly ever use it for drawing, but it’s within reach when I draw, so, we’ll include it. I’ve found that there are times when these pens skip a little… but then I’ll find the one signo in the pack that’s completely okay with writing…

Pilot G-2 (0.5): This is probably one of my favorite pens to write or create lettering with [I usually sketch things out before inking them]. These pens write very clearly and I’ve never had any problem with them whatsoever [until they run out of ink, obviously]. Great control, because of the grip at the end. Just all-around awesome ball point pen, in my book. They’re excellent writers, too.

Dixon Ticonderoga (HB2): This is my pencil of choice. I’m on the hunt for a mechanical pencil, but am perfectly happy with these in the meantime. The erasers on these are fantastic and will usually get up most if not all the marks if mistakes are made. They’re reasonably priced at Wal*Mart and similar stores as well.

Marvy 1122 Le Plume II [No. 50, ultramarine | No. 55 iris purple | No. 83 butterscotch | No. 58 peacock green]: I usually use these for stamping [most of my stamping is done on letters to decorate the envelope, hence why it’s rarely seen in my art]. These are the 4 I chose when I realized I didn’t need as many as I had. Excuse any messy marking in the image — they’re quite old and some are starting to dry.

Staedtler FineLiners (0.3 mm): These are excellent for bold coloring. I love the smooth drawing and coloring abilities, as well as their lengthy life-span. I’ve had this pack since 2013, none of the pens have dried up. There is minimal damage to a few of the tips from overuse, but that’s about it. I could easily replace one or two pens at a time as needed and never have to purchase a full pack again. I’ll hold for the collective “oooh… ahhh”. Oh, and regarding the lifespan, it actually says “dry safe” right there on the packaging. This pack cost me about $20 at Target — but I think I got the holiday discount…

Crayola Colored Pencils: I love my Crayola. I doubt it’s really necessary to explain these. But what I will share is that about a year ago, I had a ton of colored pencils by another, cheaper brand. They were wooden and the wood around the lead kept breaking, making it nearly impossible to color with them at all. I finally decided to give them up in exchange for a more expensive box of 24 Crayolas and I’ve been so happy with them ever since.

Do you have a favorite media tool? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Thank you for reading!


The Great Zentangle Book

Book Review

Today I’m reviewing The Great Zentangle Book: Learn to Tangle with 101 Engaging Patterns by Beate Winkler, CZT, & Friends. I found this book at my local library, and really loved every aspect of it. As someone who has visually taught herself the art she knows, I found this book quite helpful, not only to learn how to Tangle, but also in practicing different types of lines.

The introductory pages of the book speak a little on the history of Zentangle — I found it’s beginnings quite surprising — to me, Zentangle started at my parents’ dining room table which stood next to the landline phone. Seated at the head of the table, deep in conversations with callers, they would take notes and occasionally doodle a latticework of lines, circles, spirals and spiderwebs, only much later did the epiphany arise that adults want to color, too, and bam — Zentangle. Truth: It was actually invented by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. You can read all about how it began at their website, Zentangle.

20180801_193008.jpgThe one thing the publishers / author might have changed about the book to make it even more helpful is to add tabs, and either alphabetize the patterns, or create a tab for each one so it’s easier to flip right to them. A ring-bound book may have been additionally assistive. These was my only grievances with the book. With it being a library book, I have to be gentle with it, and I had no way to hold it open to the page I needed while drawing. So I had to try to commit patterns to memory before beginning. Easy with some — not with others.

Best things about this guide:

  • At the very back there are a few pages titled, “All Tangles from A to Z”. These pages held a brief compendium of all patterns shown throughout the book, and images of tiles visually describing each so you know exactly which ones you’ll find and where. Page numbers included.
  • Each pattern taught was coupled with examples of tiles that particular pattern had been used in. These tiles were drawn and provided by Zentangle Artists from so many countries. So not only do you learn how to Tangle that pattern specifically, but you get to see variegated examples — the one pattern doesn’t have to look exactly so. Take your inspiration on a journey.
  • Patterns were extremely easy to comprehend with new lines and shading marked in red. This book did all but hold my hand through the learning process.

I did things slightly different from what the book recommends — nothing against the recommendations made, I really love the materials I have, and felt I should use them rather than purchasing more right away. I used blank index cards, #2 pencils from Ticonderoga a Staedtler eraser and when I needed ink I used a BIC Grip Roller. In my practice, I came up with this Tangle-Face.


Tangle-Face by Laura Weiller, author Re.Habit Crafted

Tangles Used: 

  • Zinger
  • Strircles
  • Ahh
  • Keeko
  • Onamato
  • Knightsbridge
  • Cubine
  • Msst
  • Cruffle
  • Laced
  • Aquafleur
  • Printemps

So, how about you? Are you tangling yet? Please feel free to share your own experience with Zentangle, this book, or even your art links in the comments below. I’d love to hear from all of you!! What art materials and guide books have you found most helpful?

Thanks for reading! You can see more of my art and craft work via my Instagram and don’t forget to touch base with me on Twitter.