Saturday, May 19, 2012

Zentangles: I'm Hooked!

I have a confession. In the midst of everything else, I now have another love: tangling, making zentangles, hitting paper with pen, two of my very favorite things. Long story short: The first zentangles I made I wasn't very happy with. I put them away with the idea that I MIGHT get back to them. They kept calling, but I didn't answer. I just decided it was something I wasn't so great at. Then one day, they called louder, and I looked at them again. They looked better than I remembered, and I picked up my pen again, and then things got a little crazy. I started carrying them with me to work to do on breaks and at lunch. The kids saw them and asked about them. So did adults, and then at request, I found myself showing them how to get started. Making zentangles saved my life the day I was stuck in 7th grade and "plan A" fell through. They L.O.V.E.D. them, and I figured out a way to teach more kids. If you ever want peace and quiet and are surrounded by 30 people your height who can quickly make plans on their own that you might not approve of, if you have nothing structured for them to do, I highly recommend them. The mandala is one I was able to do while the 7th graders were doing the same. The colored ones and the first two frames below are ones I did with 5th graders.

Review item for anyone who doesn't already know;  I am the product of an artist/musician father and a librarian mother, so you know what happened next. I had to find a way to organize all my favorites, and last night, a plan all came together. First of all, I am now keeping a rolodex card for each design I know, which makes a handy way to find them all quicker than digging through other things. I had the cards started a few weeks ago, but they are rightfully organized now. In true librarian style, they are alphabetized by name with a reference on back to where I can look should I need a refresher later.  Then I put the big ones in a 7X10 book I bought with paper as close to true Zentangle paper as I could find in an appropriate size. I tabbed sections for frames, mandalas, and more standard zentangles. My mother would approve, I know.

I have plans for other ones floating in my head. Ones that don't have to be as kid friendly. Paper in my Zentangle journal and news pens await.

There is one more confession. While taking a few days during the week for myself this week, I booked a trip back east to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher. I thought the certification might come in handy should I ever decide to step outside of the kid zone to teach. I am almost giddy about it.


  1. LOVE this idea of putting patterns on individual cards! I did this with my kids last year with their hand prints as the outline. They turned out really cool! I don't know actual "patterns" but after seeing yours, I think I need to! Love the dangling hearts in that one too! What pens do you use with the kids? Sharpies?

  2. Love Love Love the rolodex idea!! I am now copying you.