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Zentangle Diva’s Challenge #212 – Magical Thinking Edition (and Some More Tangle Inspirations from Turkey and Israel)

by Suzanne Fluhr on April 7, 2015 · 33 comments

[If Zentangle is a new concept for you, start here.]

Zentangle peeps, how many shirts (or other articles of clothing) have you ruined with indelible black ink? I’m wearing one of my ink stained shirts as we speak. I kept it to wear when I’m doodling tangling. The problem is, I didn’t put it on until I ruined yet another shirt with irrevocable stains. Apparently, I am willing to engage in magical thinking that goes something like this:

And another one bites the dust.

And another one bites the dust.

Oh, you want to  tangle with your archival quality Pigma Mircron black pens? You know, the ones that have written right on them that they’re “waterproof and fade proof”. No, you don’t need to change into one of your already stained shirts because you’ll be really, incredibly careful this time. There’s no chance one of the pens will leak or you’ll accidentally drop one on yourself with the cap off.

“They” say the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result. Apparently, I’m officially insane.

This week, the Zentangle Diva, Laura Harms, asked us to incorporate the tangle “Fanz” created by Susan Goetter. (Confession: I incorporated Fanz into a composition that was a work in progress). I learned something. It’s probably not the wisest thing to have one’s first go at Fanz in a rounded shape. So, I ended up using it as more of a border—yet another chance to make lemonade out of lemons.

Can you find the lemonade---um, I mean, Fanz.

Can you find the lemonade—um, I mean, Fanz?

I’m not writing this from Turkey or Israel. We arrived home safely after our three week trip (and 13 hour flight) last Thursday. My cell (mobile) phone has been replaced and, through some miracle, I didn’t lose any of the photos on my phone.. (Maybe a real miracle since I broke my phone by dropping it on a stone street in Old Jerusalem, a place holy to three major religions.)  I promised to share some more photos of tangle inspirations I encountered on our trip. It is clear that the attraction to patterns is embedded deep in human DNA.

Throne room in the Harem of Topkapi Palace, Istanbul Turkey

Apparently, sometimes the urge to tangle everything is overwhelming. Tiled room in the Harem in the 15th century Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey.

Even the ceilings are “over the top” in the Topkapi Palace.

Topkapi Palace Ceiling

Over 2,000 years ago, the Romans were also fond of patterns as evidenced by this ancient floor in a house at Ephesus, Turkey.

2000 year old Roman mosaic tile floor Ephesus

And finally, we discovered that a love of patterns is not confined to indoor spaces.

B'hai Temple Gardens, Haifa, Israel

Some of the magnificent and impeccably manicured gardens at the Baha’i Temple in Haifa, Israel.

I may not participate in next Monday’s challenge because, if all goes according to plan, I’ll be with the Zentangle Mother Ship in Providence, Rhode Island, learning how to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT).  (As many of us know, things don’t always go according to plan).

If you would like to see what I was writing with my travel blogger hat on this week, check out my blog post about Masada and the Dead Sea in Israel.

Please tell me I am not the only tangler ruining her clothes with indelible ink. Tell us about the patterns you’ve encountered out in the world.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggibee April 8, 2015 at 4:40 am

Well, Suzanne, this is a tangle and a half. The use of Fanz is well integrated into the whole thing and your patterning is fabulous.
As for the pens, I hardly dare say it but I’ve never had a problem. The ink stays in the pen and goes on the paper pretty much according to plan.
As for other things going according to plan – durrr! I don’t think that’s how it works. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that plans are made to be strayed from, altered and adapted or, on some occasions, ignored altogether.
However, I have to warn you, and not for the first time, that our friendship will be under stress if you keep mentioning the “You know what” training. Envy is a terrible thing!


Suzanne Fluhr April 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Maggibee, thanks for your comments about my ZIA. I’m more than a little chagrined that you do your crafts without ruining your clothes and I seem to be incapable of that accomplishment. As for being envious of me because I’m attending a CZT training, I’m not buying it. With the amount of traveling you do, the northeastern USA is well within reach. Since my last two flights were 19 and 13 hours respectively, 6 hours from the UK to the US (less long with a tailwind on the return flight) is a puddle jump. Yes, there is the expense of the course, but you know so many US tanglers you could save on hotel costs. 🙂


Annemarie April 8, 2015 at 5:38 am

I love your zia and thanks for the beautiful photo’s.
Like Maggibee, I have to confess that the pens (until now) never ruined my clothes (or anything else). But, for your comfort, I have to say that when I am coloring paper with ink, the ink is everywhere and of course on my hands and under my nails. And …. that always happens if I have to go somewhere where my hands are seen (a fancy restaurant for instance) 🙂
Hope that you have the best time ever becoming a CZT, I’m green with jealousy 🙁


Suzanne Fluhr April 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Thank you, Annemarie. I hope you will get your turn to become a CZT and congratulations on keeping your pens dry—–so to speak.


Jacqueline Gum April 8, 2015 at 6:25 am

If you tell me that Fanz is in that tangle, I am going to believe you! I have used indelible ink markers o color over a bleach stain n black swat pants…it worked! Sort of the opposite of your accidental stain! And I can see where you would be inspired by those photos…even with no tangling involved! Your gardens reminded me of the many formal gardens I have seen in Europe. I especially love the symmetry in Hampton Court just outside of London.


Suzanne Fluhr April 8, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Hmm. Since we’re baring all—I too have used a black marker to cover bleach stains on black jeans. I guess I engage in magical thinking when using bleach products too.


Jean Chaney April 8, 2015 at 10:43 am

Having been an art teacher, I would catch people staring at my splattered hands/face/clothes, and just say “art teacher” and they would nod approvingly. Try it and be proud of those badges of creativity 🙂 I am so excited for you and your trip. Amy is stopping by here on Friday and I am going to send her with hugs for you! Enjoy every minute.


Suzanne Fluhr April 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm

That’s it. I’m going to start pretending I’m an art teacher if I get any “looks” at my ink stains. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Carmela April 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

You did a graet job to put Fanz in a rounded shape. You made a beautiful composition.


Ilse April 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I love the way you put Fanz in this ZIA, well done!


1 Art Lady Kate Tangles April 8, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Your tile is lovely! As for the clothes I am with Jean, as an art teacher, I usually end up with something on me. I haven’t had a mishap with the pens yet, but look at it as an opportunity…. You just have to pick up one other pen while you are at training, and then tnagle away on your shirts and add a bit to them! Have a most wonderful time at training! You are going to love it! It makes me wish I could do it all over again! Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!


Suzanne Fluhr April 8, 2015 at 8:19 pm

I haven’t started tangling on my clothes and other objects yet. Sounds like a plan.


Laurel Regan April 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

I haven’t yet ruined any clothes while tangling, but now I’m sure that having said that I will do so in short order! Love your take on the challenge, as well as the gorgeous photos. I’m probably skipping the challenges for April, since I’m neck-deep in other blogging stuff this month… but you never know! We’ll see how it goes. All the very best for your CZT training – I will TRY not to be green with envy, but that will be a challenge in and of itself.


Beth Broadway April 8, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Beautiful tile and lovely pictures from your trip!


Marta April 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Awesome ZIA!! Just gorgeous!


Suzanne Fluhr April 8, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Laurel, since I discovered Zentangle on your blog, you are partly responsible for my ruined clothing. However, I will donate any money you were going to contribute for my new clothes fund to your CZT training fund. 😉


Lynell April 8, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Hi Suzanne…I have to say that I am a bit of a “messpot” when it comes to crafting. I think everything I own has ink or acrylic paste or some other gook on it. I used to joke when I got something new to wear that I should just get over the agony and throw some paint on it right away, because it will inevitably happen anyway. I am glad you are home safe and sound, you travel to scarey areas (my opinion of course). Love your tangled creation…it is wonderfully done. You always do nice work.


Suzanne Fluhr April 9, 2015 at 2:10 am

Lynell, thank you for your kind words and for making me feel better that I’m not the only one destroying my garments. Travel to Turkey and Israel sounds more foreboding than actually being there—-at least this time.


Tracy McDonald April 8, 2015 at 11:43 pm

Oooo! Oooo! Oooo! I just made a tangle of the Topkapi Palace Ceiling! The Step Outs just “came”! Now if my computer just worked properly. Sigh. I’ll mail it to and hope she puts it on her site.


Margaret BLANK April 9, 2015 at 3:11 am

I don’t normally comment twice but I had to share this. The very day I posted my previous message, I opened a brand new pen to find myself instantly splattered with ink. Hands, shirt, jeans, the lot. Never knew half a teaspoon of ink could go so far. Not to smug now!


Suzanne Fluhr April 9, 2015 at 11:24 am

Ha! Thanks for coming clean—-as it were. 😉


Holly Beaster April 9, 2015 at 11:39 am

I love the shape of your tangle. Nice roundness, it looks like it might float away. I think you did a good job using fanz for the first time. It works just fine as a border. Lovely!


Dorita April 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Love your tile. I worked for years as a chemist and had separate “work” clothes, as in clothes that were designated for work because I some how managed to get acid holes in them! I haven’t had any problem with the pens so far (knock on Wud) but I do seem to be really adept at getting paint and bleach on myself. Last Fall I took one of those bleach pens to a shirt that had a bleach stain on it and tangled the heck out of it. It was very fun and therapeutic. Tidy clothes are for tidy minds (or something like that!)


Suzanne Fluhr April 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Last night I posted a photo of my ink stained hand on Facebook. I’m having problems with my Sakura Pigma Micron pens. I’ll see if they have anything to say about that at my CZT training—- next week!


Marcia @ Menopausal Mother April 9, 2015 at 11:42 pm

I absolutely LOVE the picture of the tiled harem room in the Topkapi Palace! I don’ think I would EVER get tired of looking at those beautiful walls.


Suzanne Fluhr April 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm

The walls and ceilings are quite intricate and beautiful, but if I were confined to a harem, I think I’d be wanting out of all that visual “noise” after a while.


HeidiSue April 10, 2015 at 12:13 am

I love how bold this piece is. Lots of contrast and sharpness. With that ribbon coming down thru, and the roundness of the piece…it reminds me of balloons…and of course I am still jellin over your journey to Turkey. Talk about finding patterns, which of curse you are doing indoors and out. Lovely post, lovely work. and have fun at the CZT course. Dave Hunter will be there for the week following…again, me=coveting!


Suzanne Fluhr April 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Thank you, Heidi Sue. Now that you mention it, I definitely see the balloon thing. I can’t believe I leave for the CZT course the day after tomorrow!


SafariOnTheBlog April 10, 2015 at 11:42 am

LOL! Hello Suzanne, I love the way you put Fanz in this ZIA.


Sarah Satonin April 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Wow! Your design of the Diva challenge reminds me of something magical floating against the sky in the air. You have quite the talent for connecting and intertwining your tangles seamlessly and pleasantly. Sarah.


Kelly (Whimsybykelly) April 11, 2015 at 6:59 am

Congrats on your upcoming seminar! (And after you’re certification… you WILL be teaching art, so you can totally do that!) I’ve ruined lots of stuff, more often with paint than ink, but hey I can relate. 🙂
Your work is beautiful. I’m behind on my diva challenges, must catch up!


Roz Warren April 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm

I LOVE the fact that you’re going to teach this stuff. Clearly, you can’t fight your destiny.


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