When the Tangle is Too Hard


Tangle patterns come in all levels of ease – from easy peasy to oh my gosh what was I thinking!!! Normally when I hit one of those hard ones I push myself and give it a good go. If it is still beating me about the head – I move on to something else. But it’s Inktober and I picked the tangle patterns for my Facebook group Tangle All Around to use. I don’t try the patterns first. I just pick them, trying to have a good variety of types and skill levels. You know – to keep everyone challenged. And then this week happened. You know the kind of week I mean. Hahahaha!

I want to begin the post with Windmill. At first glance, this pattern is a grid based one. Grids aren’t really my thing. My brain hurts when I try to do grids but I wanted a well-rounded selection for Inktober. And it is good to push myself to try new things, and I thought this would be a fun pattern to work with. After I threw two really lovely colored tiles with messed up windmill attempts into the trash I thought about not doing this pattern at all. But I am the ‘leader’ of the group and I felt pressure. Hahaha! I have since gotten over that but on this day I felt pressure. So I came up with a way to make this pattern work. Let me show you what I did.

I drew the grid structure on my tile and placed the tile right on top of the step out page that I had printed off for this purpose.

I was going to work on step two, so I placed the tile under the step two photo and drew the lines shown in red – making sure that my tile looked like the drawing for step two. I know . . . not real zen-ful but at least it worked. Then I slid the tile over underneath the step three drawing and drew the curved lines for step three.

That worked so well that I moved my tile to step four. I could’t make my hand work to draw in that orientation, so I rotated the whole page AND my tile and turned it upside down. Then I was able to draw the curved lines for step four. By simply rotating the whole thing as a unit I was able to draw the step four lines the same way I had done step three. By starting at the bottom of the work area and drawing my lines upwards.

Notice in this photo that I drew an arrow in pencil to make sure I knew which side was the top of the tile. And then I moved on to steps five and six. They were the same as three and four – just going out to the sides, so I rotated my paper and worked on my tile sideways. Always moving the tile and paper as one piece. Yes, this was a bit much of a pain but I felt like I had to do this tile since I had picked it out.

And I was able to complete the basic steps of my tile by doing this rotate thing. At this point I know that I will never draw this pattern again. Ever. But I was able to make it this once. I even added some embellishments because it looked a bit like there was way too much space on the sides. Not zen-ful at all! But at least I thought far enough ahead to take photos so I could make this post! Hahahaha!

And this is how it turned out. Moving on.

A couple days later we had this pattern. I love Sandra Strait’s fun and easy tangles. Always so cute and full of fun! I was really looking forward to working with her little Dragon Fly! The inktober prompt for the day was dragon so this was going to be perfect! Two tiles in I realized I was going to need to cheat a little. My dragon fly was working ok but placement on my tile was not working. I wasn’t allowing enough room for this little guy’s tail and wings. I needed a plan to make that work because I wasn’t going to let this one get away from me. Hello! He is a dragon!

I did not want to ask Sandra for help, but I did think about what Sandra would do. And I remembered how she divides her animals up into shapes. Geometrics. And I was able to go from there. I began with a pencil and tried the shapes out on the back of the step out sheet, then moved to my tile and sketched them out there. I darkened this up so you could see it better. Not awesome but there is room for the head, the body, feet, tail and wings. As long as I stayed mostly in those specified areas – my dragon fly would fit! Yayayayay!!! Cause he’s a dragon!!!!

Working with the step out sheet in plain sight – sound like a cop, don’t I? – I was able to make my cute little dragon fly and I hope I made Sandra proud. I look up to her. She and Jennifer and Robin and Shay are my art heroes. I always want to make them proud.

I know I showed him to you a few days ago, but here he is again. I usually name all my dragons. Perhaps I will name this one Sandra <3

I hope I have been able to give you a few ideas for working on harder patterns. Today’s tangle was a particularly hard one for me. It’s called XOX. I tried it and threw one tile away and moved on to printemps and crescent moon instead. Hahahahaha! Have a great day!

10 thoughts on “When the Tangle is Too Hard

  1. Great post Alice! Not every tangle comes easily to every one of us. Some I struggle with, some I don’t. Windmill had a few mistakes on my first attempts.

    But… I’d love it if you didn’t throw away your mistake tiles. There is life in them still. In a couple of the swap groups we exchange ‘Be Bold’ tiles, that are otherwise destined for the trash. There are always fixes that can make a mistake tile shine again. Even if it’s covering large portions of the tile with black ink and tangling over in white.

    Save your duds for me or others to fix. Or make a little stash for yourself and work wonders on them on a rainy day – it would make a great blog post too!

    • I rarely throw a tile away but this past week I’ve tossed 5 or 6. usually they can be saved and truthfully that is where a lot of new patterns come from. haha! but I will keep your swaps in mind.

  2. *blushes* I hope you know you are my hero too, Alice! As I was reading this and you mentioned having trouble, I was thinking – oh work the shapes! And you did! Your dragon is FAB-u-LOUS!

    • hahaha! I knew you would know what to do – so I thought about it and remembered the shapes <3

  3. Yep sometimes the tangles are a bit much…and the only place you may see an attempt is in my sketchbook…but I thank you for the challenges as it helps me to grow..and you did a great job with both dragon and windmill!!

    • my windmill was very small. hahaha! I will not ever do it again but I was happy to try it once.

  4. Like the look of that windmill but I can see how confusing it gets. Reckon your solution a brilliant one & you never know IF you keep doing it again & again your hands might remember automatically how to go!! Love the result with your embellishment.

    • I figure once I’ve thrown several tile out I need to stop. I tried working it out on scrap paper to start with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.