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Zentangle Diva’s Challenge #270 – The Isle of Skye, Scotland Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on June 1, 2016 · 15 comments

Celtic knot tangle pattern

A mind blowing Scottish Celtic tangle on a jewelry store sign that quite defeated my attempts to deconstruct it.

A mind blowing Scottish Celtic pattern from an Edinburgh, Scotland jewelry store sign that quite defeated my attempts to deconstruct it.

(If Zentangle is a new concept for you, start here).

This week, the Zentangle Diva challenged us to use the new tangle, Skye, by Margaret Bremner, CZT. For this tangle, Margaret deconstructed a type of Celtic Knot pattern she saw on a box for the game, Isle of Skye. I don’t know anything about the game, but I visited the Isle of Skye IRL (in real life) at the end of April.

During my time in Scotland, I took photos of some Celtic patterns, hoping I would work on deconstructing them some day. I actually gave one a shot on the long plane ride home, but I was defeated for which I tried to blame the altitude.


Tangle Skye

The tangle Skye proved, um, challenging.

The Skye tangle technically meets the requirements of a true tangle in that it only uses a few, simple strokes to create the pattern. However, I sneaked and looked at some other people’s responses to the challenge and was relieved to see that I’m not the only person who struggled to reproduce this tangle. Celtic patterns are deceptively complex, but they are ultimately worth the effort. I can’t claim to have mastered this tangle (Skye), but for purposes of this challenge, I’ve managed to finally come up with a reasonable facsimile thereof after more than one false start. I also confess admit  I had to break the “no pencil or eraser” rule for the Skye tangle.

Skye tangle Zentangle

I’m going to need a lot more practice with this one.

The Zentangle Diva’s challenge this week segues perfectly into an opportunity to share some of my photos of our end of April trip to Scotland which included a three day tour of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. The Isle of Skye is one of the Inner Hebrides islands off the rugged west coast of Scotland.We did this tour with Rabbies Tours out of Edinburgh on a 15 person mini-bus. One of my favorite, multi-cultural, surreal moments of our trip was driving through some spectacular rugged scenery on the Isle of Skye with our fellow tour mates who hailed from Shanghai, Taiwan and Singapore, while our Scottish tour guide played us a recording of a bagpipe band playing the theme song from the film, The Last of the Mohicans.

Eilean Donan Castle

A view of Eilean Donan Castle located on a mainland sea loch as seen from the Isle of Skye. That’s yellow gorse in the foreground.

We spent two nights in the harbor town of Portree on the Isle of Skye and spent an entire day touring the island. One thing I liked about Rabbies Tours is that they provided a small group guided tour at a reasonable price and gave participants a choice of accommodations at various price points. Meals were on our own. We and the family from Singapore chose a bed and breakfast place while the younger folks opted for a hostel in town. We were very happy to leave the driving on the wrong side on the very narrow, windy roads on the Isle of Skye to our experienced tour guide.

Faerie Glen on the Isle of Skye

The haunting terrain of the Faerie Glen on the Isle of Skye on a snowy day in late April. The lines on the hills are sheep trails.

The old graveyard at the ruins of Saint Mary's, a Pre-Reformation church on the Isle of Skye.

The old graveyard at the ruins of Saint Mary’s, a Pre-Reformation church on the Isle of Skye outside of Dunvegan.

Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Quiraing, at the Trotternish Ridge Escarpment on the Isle of Skye,

The stark landscape of the Quiraing, part of the Trotternish Ridge Escarpment on the Isle of Skye, Scotland where I may or may not have ignominiously fallen into a cold mud puddle.

Have you had a chance to travel in Scotland? If you’re a Zentangle Diva challenge taker, were you able to master the tangle, Skye, on the first try?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

ria matheussen June 1, 2016 at 5:33 am

I love your pictures of Skye, this special and wild island which I also visited last year in June and I have happy memories of that journey.
I love the serie and soundtrack of Outlander. (the adventures of Jaimie and Claire in the beautiful Highlands and the song of Skye)
For drawing this pattern, I had to exercise a lot, but than all of sudden, I understood the steps and it was not so difficult anymore. For me: drawing in a circle was easier than on a straight line
I like the composition of your tile very much: Skye down under and abough some waves: original idea and together with the other patterns it is a nice tile.


Ilse June 1, 2016 at 8:28 am

Lovely tile! Reminds me of a sea. The Sea of Skye? 😉


Patty S June 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Great Skye tile and I know it was not an easy tangle….I definitely struggled with it and sort of broke my Zen concentration a time or two! :O). Loved your Scotland pics too…my Dad was born in Glasgow and always love seeing pictures and visiting!! :O)f


cheryl stocks June 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Suzanne, thanks for sharing the photographs of Scotland. Never been across the Pond, myself, but enjoy seeing your travels. And the snow! I’m sure you’re ready to go down the shore. And as for “Skye,” the tangle, well, my first attempts were a tangled, marled mess. Even with my “official” one, I cheated. Must be one of those “muscle-memory” things to work on. Cheryl


Jennifer Sparrow June 1, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Your Diva tile has a very nautical feel to it! Seems appropriate, given the lovely scenery you’ve shared with us!


Jean Chaney June 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Maybe I should have used a pencil first, Suzanne! Maybe I could have done a beautiful one like you did 🙂 Don’t give up. This one is worth playing with.


Donald W June 1, 2016 at 11:31 pm

One of the ways to tackle a tangle is to “biggify” it. Think it turned out well. I cannot tell you why but for some reason when I look at your tile it reminds me of a roller coaster. That is not a bad thing as I love roller coasters. I have to admit it has been some time since I have been on one. Loved the pictures. I have never been to Scotland. Our oldest daughter did have a chance to visit when she was in England for a cross cultural education experience when she was in college. It has unfortunately been a very long time since I have been out the country.


Suzanne Fluhr June 3, 2016 at 11:53 am

If you enjoy traveling, I hope you do get a chance to travel outside the country someday soon. The British Isles are a good place to start. At least they speak the same language – sort of. 😉


Annemarie June 2, 2016 at 2:26 am

A lovely tile, Suzanne and lovely photo’s. Thanks for sharing.


Jacqueline Gum June 2, 2016 at 7:39 am

Okay, so I know nothing about the challenges of deconstructing a Celtic pattern but looks to me like you met the challenge………sooooo…..but the photos are simply breath-taking! Not been to Scotland, but now it’s apparent that I should go!!!!


Suzanne Fluhr June 3, 2016 at 10:41 am

Scotland us most definitely worth a trip. Edinburgh is an interesting urban experience, and the Highlands and Isle if Skye were beautiful in a haunting way.


michele June 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Lovely piece and I love your photos!


HeidiSue June 2, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Beautiful Isle of Skye…what a privilege to see it and walk there. My daughter and her husband are headed for Ireland in September, but no one I know has visited Scotland.

Skye, the tangle pattern…tough to master but SO worth it! I like what you did with it. Good choice of complementary patterns, too.


Suzanne Fluhr June 3, 2016 at 10:43 am

Your daughter and her husband will find the Irish landscape to be similar to that in Scotland. I believe they are part of the same geologic formations. The weather is also certainly similar; hence, all that green.


Sidney Kapinos June 4, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Very interesting post! I’ve always been fascinated by celtic knots. Skye was difficult for me to learn, but I look forward to using it in many tiles to come.


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