Thursday, November 20, 2014

After a LONG Hiatus...the diva's Weekly Challenge 194: “Embracing the Yuck”

I know we all slip off the face of the world for a while, and I really seem to have a talent for that.  Since I last blogged here I found myself inundated with everything, from inside and out.  Work, volunteering, sewing (more on that in a later post), traveling...combined with a mind that has decided to absolutely explode from all the stuff I want to do...

Let's just say I've felt scattered.  It occurred to me a week or two ago that I hadn't tangled in ..

well... seemed like forever.

So I began again, and I really should never have hit the pause button.  3 days of meditative tangling and I already feel the difference.

I hopped back over to my favorite Zentangle challenge at and found this week's challenge--to use the non-dominant hand.  This is bad enough on its own, but I also opted to use tangles and styles I normally avoid, which basically amounts to putting myself in the most uncomfortable situation and then wallowing in it and figuring out how to make it work.

  • My beginning square is a bit un-square (I rarely do that).
  • I chose to use a ribbon-style tangle (Inchworm) for the string (I never do that).
  • I used Quiltz (I shy away from very regimented, grid-style tangles).
  • I used two other tangles I've never used before (Biscus and Uni).
  • Most uncomfortable for me?  NO SHADING.  If anything, I usually over-shade.
Here's the result:

Although this isn't one of my favorite tiles ever, the process of creating it was probably the most thought-provoking ever.  That may not be very Zen, but it really was enlightening.  Here are some of these moments, along with their little epiphanies--
As my shaky left hand tried to to straight Quiltz lines (and failed spectacularly):

"You know, I couldn't make these wavy lines so consistently with my right hand.
Sometimes you get something cool from something entirely uncomfortable."

When I was tempted to quit 2/3 of the way with the Quiltz and just leave it at that, I pressed on. After completing it, I was glad I forced myself to really did look better.

As I tried in vain to get the smaller Uni on the left to look right, I had a couple of thoughts:

"If it's hard when it's small, make it BIGGER.  At least I'll be able to see where I went wrong...
and boy, doesn't that have an application in life??"


"Wow, sometimes if something seems hard, it's because it's really HARD.
We shouldn't be so hard on ourselves, but should celebrate the times
when things actually work.  It's a big accomplishment to get it right,
so we shouldn't take that for granted."

Thanks to Elisa Murphy (guest blogger) for a challenge that stretched me in all the right ways.  You can find the challenge here.