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Zentangle Diva’s Challenges ##275 and 276 – Back in the USA from Scotland and England Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on May 11, 2016 · 25 comments

Domed ceiling over the central staircase in the Birmingham, England Town Council Building.

(New to Zentangle? Start here.)

I missed posting my response to last week’s challenge. My excuse—I was too busy visiting people in England. My real excuse, I found the tangle Crux difficult to master — and “master” is probably too strong a description for what I eventually accomplished even with the coaching of Margaret Blank—Magibee to Zentangle Diva fans. So, here’s my Crux effort—surrounding some Aloha:

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This week’s Zentangle Diva’s challenge was to use Poke Root and Drupe in a duotangle tile. Poke Root is one of my “go to” organic tangles. For some reason, I haven’t used Drupe very much, but now that I’ve been reintroduced to it, I can feel a Drupe phase coming on:

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Zentangle tile carrier hand made by English tangler, Margaret Blank.

Zentangle tile carrier hand made by English tangler, Margaret Blank.

I admit I was less than enthusiastic when Mr. Excitement invited me to join him in Birmingham, England for a conference he attended there. I always thought of Birmingham as an industrial city with little to recommend it as a tourist destination. However, when I finally took a look at a map, I realized that 3 people I was anxious to visit lived nearby, so while Dr. Excitement conferred with his mesothelioma medical research peeps from 20 different countries, I was busy visiting.

Margaret Blank is one of the Zentangle people with whom I had formed an on-line bond—perhaps because like me, she likes to write. Margaret took the train to Birmingham to spend a day with me. Even though we had never met before IRL (in real life), we managed to spend seven hours conversing non-stop with a tangling interlude in my hotel lobby where she tried to help me get a handle on Crux. Beyond Zentangle Inspired Art, Margaret has other craft talents and she gave me this lovely tile carrier she hand-made. It’s perfect for safely transporting a few tiles and will be accompanying me on my future travels, be they a “hurry up and wait” visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles office or on a long haul airplane flight.

Birmingham, England new library building

The “new” Birmingham central library. Notice both the building and the tiled plaza in front of it.

 

 

Birmingham, which refers to itself as England’s “Second City”, is in the process of reinventing itself. Our hotel in the central core was attached to the shiny relatively new International Conference Center and Symphony Hall. In the midst of many ongoing construction projects, buildings which had tangle inspiration potential caught my camera’s eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Birmingham, England central core building.

Another Birmingham, England central core building.

 

Domed ceiling over the central staircase in the Birmingham, England Town Council Building.

Domed ceiling over the central staircase in the Birmingham, England Town Council Building.

Have you been able to meet any on-line friends in real life? Have you been pleasantly surprised by any places you’ve visited where reality was better than what you thought you’d find?

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Broady May 11, 2016 at 12:18 pm

I think this is my first visit to your blog! I look forward to returning. I love how you ended your post with questions.
I have met a number of my CZT friends INR after having established online friendships. What fun it is! If we ever find ourselves in the same city at the same time, I hope we can meet as well! Let me know if your travels take you to East Tennessee. 😉

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Lorna May 11, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Good one with the Crux, and wonderful Drupe variations along with poke root. I love your photos too!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 11, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Welcome and thanks for stopping by, Amy. I’ll keep you in mind if my travels take me to East Tennessee. Please do likewise should you find yourself in Philadelphia.

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CCOURTOIS May 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Your duo Tangle is very nice. I like its colors and the shading of your red and yellow Drupe !

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Melena May 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Suzanne, I love your Drupe and Poke Root Duotangle. The colors on Drupe are wonderful and make this tile very festive. I hadn’t used Drupe much at all either, and it was definitely fun to use it.

Birmingham looks like an up and coming city. Beautiful architecture. I’m glad you had so much fun meeting with people there. I saw the post by Maggibee about the Crux Diva Challenge and she was delighted to meet with you. Sounds like you two had a good time.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 12, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Margaret and I had a really nice visit. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about my blog is the opportunity to meet people with whom I’ve reconnected via social media or met for the first time that way.

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Annemarie May 12, 2016 at 2:39 am

Wow, I love that duo tangle tile of yours!!! LOVE the design and coloring!

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Yorkshire Tortoise May 12, 2016 at 3:11 am

Glad to see you back, but pleased you had a good time. What fun to be able to meet up with other tanglers and that little Zentangle bag is so cute, what a treasure.

Your Diva tile is lovely and colourful, and it looks to me like you managed to get to grips with Crux. Even a few variations of it.

Those tangled buildings are amazing, that first one on the building looks similar to OOF.

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The Creative Miss L May 12, 2016 at 7:33 am

I also struggled with Crux. It looks nice on other people’s tiles but I won’t be going back to it very often.

Re meeting other Tanglers. I visited Shelly Beauchamp’s website over several months before I met her in person. I’m heading back to see her again in July. She is just as warm and giving as you’d imagine from reading her blog.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 13, 2016 at 12:20 am

I’m glad I’m not the only person who found Crux challenging.

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Jacqueline Gum May 12, 2016 at 8:12 am

Loved the crux! Beautiful and am am surprised that Birmingham provided you with much fodder for future tangles:) I haven’t been there for many years…looks as though it has changed a bit. For the better………..

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 13, 2016 at 12:22 am

Birmingham, England has been busy reinventing itself. The entire central core seems to be under construction, but there are already some interesting new buildings among what look to be Edwardian public buildings.

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ria matheussen May 12, 2016 at 10:20 am

Nice pictures of Birmingham: everywhere tangles!!!
I like your Zentangletile carrier, it’s really kind from Margaret to make that for you.
Your Crux tile, divided by Aloha is well done. (Me too, I find Crux not so easy)
For this week challenge you have made a very pretty combination and I love the colours!

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Patti May 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Um… the city of Birmingham looks to be a Zentangler’s paradise.

The 2nd tile with the color spots… I can’t decide if it looks like rows of cherries connected by the stems, or, a child’s length of beads strung together. But either way, I like it. 🙂

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr May 13, 2016 at 12:23 am

It can be whatever you want it to be. 😉

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Nan C Loyd May 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

I am biased. I tend to like all your tiles, drawings, whatnot! And I love how you look at the world differently – and have made me begin to do that, seeing Zentangle ideals everywhere!! It is a good way to view the world! I particularly like the central library and the parking lot!!

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Madaline Resendes May 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Love your Zentangle work, Suzanne. Gazing at it calms my busy mind!! Would have loved to have a cup o’ tea with you in Birmingham. I’ll have to settle for my Tetley here in Milpitas, CA.

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michele May 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm

I love your Diva tile and I’m with you on Crux. It’s a great pattern but sometimes you just don’t want to work that hard;-)

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Jean Chaney May 12, 2016 at 11:58 pm

How lucky to meet some online friends. Yes, I am the one who lives in the big city, so I get to take classes with a “famous” Copic teacher. When she put on a big three day class here in town, I was able to meet a couple of gals from my design team. It was very exciting. I’m actually going down this weekend to another event she is having so I can meet another one of my “peeps”!
I visited some AZ caverns and didn’t realize how amazingly beautiful it would be. One of the best trips ever!
You got some great pictures of tangles. I like Crux, but it isn’t my favorite either. Right now I’m working on Ogee grids. GRRRRR! 🙂

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Donald W May 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Nice Duotangle. Like the color. The design on the picture of the central library looks like the background on the Diva’s blog.

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cheryl stocks May 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Dear Suzanne, thanks for taking us along on your travels and through the Zentangle process. How swell to meet Margaret–who does her own share of traveling, for certain. I’m currently reading “the Art of Gardening,” a beautiful book about “Chanticleer,” a private residence turned public garden in Philadelphia. It’s been a long time since I visited the place of my birth and this book is making me yearn for a trip. And to try growing some plants that may not be normally happy in the desert Southwest. Have you been? Cheryl

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Maggibee May 14, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Your final version of Crux looks pretty good to me and I think you flatter me somewhat in terms of how much help I actually was. I’m glad you like the little pouch, it was fun to make and I like the idea of it on your travels too. That Aloha pattern is spectacular. I’m doing a couple of ZIAs for a friend’s Church bazaar and I think I’m going to start with that. (If I can reproduce to any standard at all.) I’ll keep you up to date on that one too.) The colour on the Challenge tile is gorgeous and on the bed of pokeroot it looks good enough to eat.

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Annie May 14, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Lovely words and a lovely selection of tiles – particularly taken with your super drupers! I had no idea Birmingham was such a devoted follower of Zentangle. Must do a detour next time I visit old Blighty! Glad you had a lovely day with Margaret – I am definitely planning to see her on one of my trips if it’s possible to catch her at home one day! Axxx

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Anja May 15, 2016 at 6:51 am

Your work is really beautiful! Happy Sunday!

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HeidiSue May 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Ooh! that tile with the crux and aloha…it looks like a vine climbing up a trellis. Very nice. What fun, you got to meet Maggibee! I’d LOVE THAT…she and I have similar reading tastes, at the very least, we’d swap lines of Terry Pratchett or Emily Bronte hahaha. And yes, I’ve met a few online friends, two from a discussion board I’ve been on since the mid 90’s…one, who I also corresponded with by snail mail, came to Utah on a geological tour of the US, and the other came thru UT on her way from Baltimore to Idaho and I had the privilege of putting her up for the night. I might get a chance to meet some from another board, come September *if* I get my act together and actually take my little planned trip to CA. 🙂

And I love your pictures of buildings in Birmingham…I saw a pattern similar to that first one, on a dog bed. It reminds me of bales, in reverse, if that makes sense. The second one would be such fun to deconstruct…and you almost didn’t need to do a Diva challenge entry, with that pic of the cathedral dome. But you did a delightful duo tangle. Just love the colors! yummy!

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