ATCs I Received

ATC swapping is fun and it gives me something to do just for myself. I am not accountable to anyone when I work on these and it’s a nice change of pace. Pretty much every time I show you ATCs I worked on to trade – someone will ask me to show what I received in the swaps. Today’s post will show you two of those sets.

The ATCs I enjoyed making the most were for the Quirky Swap. The admins in ATC Trades and Jams on FB have some great ideas for swaps and this was surely one of their best. I traded with Indiana artist Tanya Phenis. I love what Tanya sent to me! We make two ATCs that fit the theme and I love what Tanya did with quirky! Especially the saying in the first one that goes so well with the background – especially since I used to be a professional photographer. Something Tanya wasn’t even aware of. Both are really cute!

I love the way she packaged the ATCs. Such an ingenious way! And when I pulled the first ATC out I could see the second.

Tanya even found a little tag with the word Quirky on it! Hahaha! Awesome!

Earlier I participated in a swap that required either a ribbon or a piece of metal be attached to the ATC coin. I should mention both of the swaps were for ATC coins. They are 2.5″ in diameter. I really like this one with the beautiful carousel horse and the shiny ribbons! These came from Canadian artist Carolyn Pullman.

And this one had more of a Caribbean night in the moonlight vibe. You gotta love that! Carolyn has been dealing with health issues with her mom. I’m just glad she has been able to find a little time for herself and her art. Thanks for swapping with me, Carolyn! I love what you sent!

If you are interested in swapping traditional ATCs or even the coins, head on over to FB and check out ATC Trades and Jams.

Brea Reese Watercolor Ink

Ooh! Isn’t that pretty? Lately you have seen me playing with Brea Reese’s alcohol inks. And I liked them so much I ordered a few bottles of her watercolor inks to try out. I ordered four colors and those are what you will see in these three tiles. And for whatever reason Amazon sent them in four separate boxes. Hahahaha!

This shot will give you an idea of the size. I am using the Tiles from Hahnemühle. That tin is roughly 3.5″ square. The colors I went with are ocean green, pink, orange and violet. They went all out on naming these things. Hahaha! And even though it looks like there is a noticeable difference between the orange and the pink – and there should be – I really had a hard time once the color was on the tiles remembering which was which. In my swatch book the two colors look identical except the orange has a little sparkle in it.

So they come like inks in a bottle. Not like watercolors in a tube or in a pan. I started by dropping a few drops of the pink – yes, you read the correctly – and the purple on the tile and let them blend a bit.

Then I sprayed a little water on the tile because I thought the purple was too dark and I hoped to lighten it up some. The water helped with that and it also helped the colors to move a bit more. So I set that tile aside to dry and moved on. I didn’t really like how you can see exactly where I dropped the color – those big dots of violet and “pink” and I was hoping they would soften as they dried. They did not.

I dropped some ocean green on my craft mat and sprayed some water over it. Remember in the first tile I worked straight on the tile itself. Here I wanted to try for a softer technique and worked on the mat first. And there was still a little of that pink because I didn’t clear the mat off first.

Tipped my tile down into the color and tapped it down.

And this was all the color it picked up. A little purple still hanging in there from run-off with the first tile. And I still can not believe that is pink and not orange. In the bottle it looks pinkish red. Weird.

I sprayed the tile with water and dropped in some purple and a bit of more of that pink. The added water let the ocean green move and soften up. These tiles are fairly absorbent and soak up the color. They always dry nice and flat and that puffiness settles down and you do not have any of that once the tile is dry. I will show you in a minute. I set this tile aside to dry.

I still had this much mixed color on my craft mat.

So the obvious thing to do was to slap another tile down into the color. Hahahahahahah! Yep!

I liked it but I wanted the color to spread some so I lightly misted it with water.

And added some drops of ocean green and orange on the mat.

And turned my tile over into the color. Strange. It has ocean green, orange AND pink on it. I see one area where there is a little pale pink. Let me show you something.

This is my color swatch book. My place to keep all the colors I have so I don’t double purchase. Unless it’s Opera Pink and that’s ok. This dot. It just sat there. It didn’t move. at. all. I had to use a brush to spread it out in the square.

And here are the swatches of my four colors. Hahahaha! Crazy! So. The tiles were drying. And now they are finished. Let’s look!

Here is the first one I showed you. After the tile dried I can see a bit of pink. Remember the only colors I used on this one was violet and pink. So I was surprised to see bits of pink and orange and even a little yellow in places.

This is the second one I showed you. This one had ocean green, violet and pink. The colors softened up so much and I think it is because of the absorbent nature of the tiles. I really like the colors!

And this last tile was a combination of what was left on my mat and a little added ocean green and orange. I really like this one a lot! In fact, I think I have already tangled it as part of The 100 Day Project!

Overall I like the Brea Reese watercolor inks even though the colors – specifically the pink – are not true. As long as I play with them first and color swatch them I will have a more realistic expectation of what they will do when I use them. The Tiles? What can I say. I just really like them a whole lot! And use them every single day pretty much!

Brea Reese Watercolor Inks Tiles and most things Hahnemühle and where to get them

Skarab, a New Tangle

Sometimes a new pattern just falls into our laps. Recently I was playing around with a new product called Opal Polish and one of the tiles I made was this one:

I love the shimmery, beautiful yummy color and I right away wanted to draw on it. But what to draw? Those shapes which came from a stencil were the perfect areas to trace. When I completed the tile for The 100 Day Project, I had people asking me for a step out and name for what I had drawn. And that is when skarab came around.

Skarab is literally built using C shapes. If you can write the letter C – you can tangle up a bunch of skarab. In that bottom block, I showed several different ways you could finish the individual skarab blocks. You are only limited by what you can imagine.

And this is the block I originally drew. I did not include the tear drops in the step out, but you could certainly use them. Many patterns come about as easily as this one did. Sometimes we just don’t realize it until someone else – or a whole bunch of someone elses – point it out. Have fun!

You can see more of my original patterns right here.

Line Dance Tangle

Many of you will already recognize this tangle of mine called Line Dance. I detailed the steps to this pattern in December, 2015. It came about because I was stuck. I didn’t know where to begin with my tangling for the day, so I just started drawing lines. And that is what line dance is all about.

Line dance is an easy pattern – every one can tangle this one. I promise! It is versatile. And it works everywhere – either as a focus piece all by itself, as a filler, in a border – and it looks different every time you draw it. If you need to practice your line work – line dance is an excellent way to do just that.

Begin by filling the four corners. It doesn’t matter if your lines are straight or curvy. Whether they go up or down or sideways. Just pick a corner and go for it. Draw the first line then aura it till your designated area is filled in. Then turn your tile and fill in the next corner. Keep repeating until the entire tile or section is filled in. That’s a whole lot of lines! And it is kind of crazy looking. Hahaha! Let’s see what happens when you shade line dance.

Shading brings some depth! Some dimension! And makes line dance look completely different. I am using line dance as part of The 100 Day Project I’m working on.

Here is my Day 43. I began by drawing some random blotches of printemps. Then I started in one corner and drew a big wavy line, that I auraed all the way out to the corner edge of the tile. I turned my tile and repeated.

Line dance really is that easy. Draw, aura, fill, turn and repeat. And repeat until your tile is filled with line dance. For Day 44, I began with a band of golden across the center. This gave me two distinct areas to fill with line dance. And I treated them as individuals. I did not try to carry line dance over across the entire tile – although I could have. I tangled two separate areas.

Possibly my favorite line dance piece of all time. I made this page in my art journal hours after Mark and I saw Wonder Woman. I wanted to keep my ticket and remember how much I loved the movie. I posted how I made this page here. And line dance filled in those Justice League letters in the background very well.

I’ve used line dance on an ATC many times before. It dances very well in that small amount of space.

I’ve used it on challenge tiles. I especially like this one. I think it looks like theatre curtains! Hahahaha!

And I’ve used line dance on coloring pages. That would be why this particular one isn’t shaded. I wanted to color this with pencils and shade with a color.

Same thought for this coloring page.

A really cool fun fact! Lynn Mead included line dance in her newest pack of tangle cards – Tangle Deck 3, CZT Edition. All patterns in this set were deconstructed by Certified Zentangle Teachers. And Lynn chose line dance to be included.

I am so thankful. You can read more about Tangle Deck 3 right here. And you can order the set directly from Lynn right here.

Regardless how you use line dance – whether to fill an entire tile, in a border area, in smaller sections, or as your primary focus tangle – shading really makes this pattern stand out. It brings so much depth to your art. I think you are going to have fun with line dance! I’d love to see what you create with it.

Interested in seeing more of my original tangle patterns? Just click right here and you will be taken to a page where I have several listed. Need a place to hang out and tangle? Head on over to Facebook and join us at Tangle All Around. I’ll let you in the door once you answer three simple questions. Gotta be sure you aren’t a robot. Hahaha!