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3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Hump Day Zentangle® Challenge #11 – Steampunk Art for Labor Day Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on August 28, 2019 · 2 comments

color steampunk tangles

Labor Day and Steampunk- A Smidgen of History

I guess a history major can graduate from college, but she’ll still always be searching for historical underpinnings. So, please excuse me while I learn something about Labor Day “out loud”.

In the United States and in Canada, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September. According to the United States Department of Labor website:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

An official Labor Day was first celebrated in New York state in September of 1882. Following New York’s lead, other states started adding a day to honor workers to their holiday calendars. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law, making Labor Day a national holiday.

Most other countries celebrate a day to honor workers on May 1st, a tradition initiated by Communist and Socialist labor unions at a multi-national conference in 1904. The conveners issued a statement, requesting that:

…all  Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries [to] demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.

May 1st was chosen to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre that occurred at Chicago’s Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886. On that day, a rally in support of workers striking for the 8 hour workday, became violent. Both workers and police died and were injured. Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy in connection with the deaths. Four of those were hanged. However, in 1893, the governor of Illinois criticized the trial and pardoned the participants.

Labor Day is the Unofficial End of Summer

Given that Labor Day in the U.S. and Canada is a long weekend at the beginning of September, it also marks the unofficial end of summer. Many schools reopen around that time. Mr. Excitement and I have been empty nesters for going on 9 years, but I still remember the first day of school rituals—walking our first born son up the street for his first day of first grade at a new school, and dropping off our younger son for his first day of college at the University of Miami. I wrote an essay about that experience if any of you are interested: First Day of College, First Day of the Empty Nest. If you are so inclined, feel free to share your first day of school experiences in a comment.

Hump Day Zentangle® Challenge #11: Celebrating Labor with Steampunk Design

For this week’s challenge, let’s tangle our appreciation for workers. I’ve been intrigued for awhile by Zentangle Inspired Art and tangles that seem inspired by the Industrial Revolution. It turns out that this genre is referred to as Steampunk. I’ve linked to an article that talks about the genre in general.

I googled “steampunk tangles” which took me to several Pinterest pages and also to Ina Sonnenmoser’s Pattern Collections where she did a comprehensive week-long series on Steampunk tangling. For my own response to my own challenge, I used some new tangles I learned from Ina’s Steampunk collection. Here it is in black, white, but without much shading:

steampunk zentangle inspired art

I worked with an 06 black gelly roll pen and a Graphic 1 felt tip. The tangles I used are Steam Gear and Metal Plating by Ina Sonnenmoser,, and Kurbelwelle by Silke Wagner. I used a compass and a straight edge for the Steam Gear tangles.

And then, I wanted to see what it would look like in color to better differentiate the tangles:

color steampunk tangles

So, I kind of like both of them. Which do you prefer? Feel free to say neither and why or to offer suggestions for improvement. My oboe teacher said I wasn’t thin skinned.

I spent quite a lot of time on this composition which I did on 8.5 x 11 white card stock. (I know it came out kind of gray in the photos, but the colors are pretty accurate—go figure.) I’ll blame my up do the deadline post on that.

Some of the Steampunk tangles are quite challenging. I realize some of you have a real life and a day job. So, another option for this week’s labor celebration is to choose tangles that start with the letters in the name of your own job—past or present. For once, I was happy not to have had a career as an Otolaryngologist. In fact, I was too fatigued to even cope with “lawyer”, so instead I tangled L-A-W. I used 2 tangles that I’ve never done before: Lightning Bolt by Suzanne McNeill and Widgets by Kate Ahrens, CZT. I also used Akoya, a favorite border tangle by Sandy Hunter, CZT. has tangles listed in alphabetical order, so that’s helpful if you choose this option.

Zentangle tangles: akoya, lightning bolt, widgets

Pretend the smudges are comet trails.

Please Share Your Hump Day Zentangle® Challenge Creations!

Please share your responses to this week’s challenge with us in the Hump Day Challenge Facebook Group and/or on your Instagram, Twitter  or Flickr feeds. Use the hashtag #hdchallenge11.

Note: The Hump Day Zentangle Challenge Facebook group is a “closed” group to discourage axe murderers and other unsavory types. I can’t invite you to join unless we’re already FB friends, but if you request to join, I can add you to the group. Other group members can also admit you to the group.

There are other ways to share your work: We also have a Pinterest group board to share our Hump Day Challenge responses. Email me at if you’d like me to add you as a contributor to the Pinterest board or you can mention that in a comment with your Pinterest name below.

If you have your own blog and are posting your challenge responses there, leave the URL to your blog in a comment below so people can paste it into their browser and find your post. (PS: The first 2 times you comment, I will have to moderate the comment. After your first two comments on Boomeresque, your comments will appear without moderation.)

Feel free to share your work for this or any challenge at any time—even next week, next month, next year, ad infinitum.

A note about Zentangle supplies: I am an Amazon affiliate which means I may earn a few cents if you do your Amazon shopping via affiliate links on this website. A few people have asked me for links to Zentangle supplies. At the end of this post there are links to supplies you may be interested in, including books, pens and colored pencils.

Oh my, I’m flashing back to electronically filing federal court briefs at a few minutes til midnight.

Do you have any first day of school experiences to share in a comment below? When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you say? I say I’m an almost recovered lawyer/zentangle enthusiast/blogger/dog person. 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

roz warren August 29, 2019 at 6:34 pm

LOVE the black and white one.
It’s really gorgeous.
Not so crazy about it in color.


Nan September 6, 2019 at 12:02 am

Those tangles are gorgeous!

I will always remember Labor Day because 100 years after September of 1882 – my son was born after I labored for 15 hours on Labor Day. I was given something called the “Twilight Drug” – as the nurse said, “You’ll still feel everything but you won’t care” – she was right.

I loved your history lesson – you always teach me something


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