Party On! the first weekly #ThrowbackThursday bloghop

Who wants to PARTY…!?!?!

The newest blog party has hit the Internetosphere: #ThrowbackThursday Link Party. You can read all the fine print here on the Official Link Page, but I’ve summarized it below.

The three co-hosts of this adventure are:
Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy, a woman who writes “about my life. I enjoy reading, cooking, and drinking way too much caffeine; basically anything I need to do to survive motherhood.”
Part-Time Monster, a blogger who is “a reader, writer, and observer, a lover of strange and impossible things, a feminist, and a pop culture nerd.”
The Qwiet Muse, a newish blogger self-described as someone who writes “about about life and love, the good and the bad, the serious and the silly to retain what is left of my sanity.”

What makes this bloghop so different from the rest?
This party is about sharing blog posts from our past…30 days or older. “You can shine it up so it sparkles again or just leave it as it is. You might want to include an update at the end or not. It’s all up to you.”

There is only One Rule:
1–The post you add must be at least 30 days old. The older, the better.

The party starts on…you guessed it!…Thursdays every week. Revisit a favorite post from your past and post your link here, anytime between each Wednesday through Sunday night.

Don’t forget to read and share some love to the other posts in the link up. 
My inaugural post is yet another example of what The Universe tells me is my February theme: revisit the little things.

Yes, you should remember little moments

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”~Winston Churchill, English statesman

NOTE: apologies to Diva visitors; I initially uploaded last week’s linky code to this week’s challenge.

Do you remember last month? Heck, do you remember yesterday?

I appreciate the little things, yet sometimes I need a visual reminder of those little things so I can remember to appreciate them in the future. What about you? Do you forget little things like making all the green lights on the drive home? While that’s not a good example of capturing the image on film/digital media–always keep both hands on the wheel while driving and make bluetooth, hands-free phone calls–what are some tiny things that made your days?

For me, I looked at my phone at 4:44 on May 4th–Star Wars Day–and was able to capture that moment with a reminder pop-up on my phone’s screen. Cool coincidence!

My tree. I see her death and her rebirth. Follow the full journey over at #TheWritersTree on my Instagram feed.  I am so pleased, nervous, scared, happy and joy-full over her daily growth and change. Little changes every day: a new bud here, a larger leaf furl the next.

Zentangle classes at Great Lakes Mega Meet and Baker’s Studio. Happy students. Stunning images.

Back on the WiiFit, the highest step scores to date, and I’m lookin’ fine doing this.

A navy blue evening sky. Creating my first refrigerator magnet haiku on my new phone app. Taco Tuesday–I had totally forgotten about that! An inspirational cough drop wrapper. Funky manicure color. Calming moment sitting on a wall one evening next to a highway. Yes, I found that relaxing, and I want to do it again.

I note my lack of coffeeshop photos, signaling a lack of writing. I miss that. Reminders don’t always have to be positive, but they shouldn’t make us feel guilty. I’m not, just sad that I didn’t make the time.

In a moment to make more time for things I like comes this week’s Diva Zentangle Challenge 220 is the monthly Use My Tangle (UMT) post.

I have some half-finished tiles that I carry around in my Zentangle leather wallet–thanks to Laura, the Diva herself and the Blog Friendship Cup–and those tiles annoy me. Every time I look at them. It’s an incomplete feeling, a stubborn emptiness, an almost-hatred for their stalled completion. I decided to get them out of my life, and wallet, to make room for new, blank creativity. Incorporating a Diva Challenge into one of those was an increased challenge.

I not going to tell you what was new and what was old, but I was thrilled enough that my hands were not steady. The lines on All Boxed Up are uneven, but it’s a comfortable, flowing tangle full of auras. I like that aspect of tangles, and I like the sense of happiness at reviving an older, unfinished tile.

I have two more tiles like that–at least that I know of. This is exciting.

Another little moment to remember. What about you? Is this one of those moments?

Happy St. Tangles Day to you

“It’s not easy being green.”~Kermit the Frog, TV and movie celebrity

It’s Monday. The snow is melting. There is actually some green grass under all that kicked-up, street-brown snow.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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CZT Guys Finse and Snufflet Dance

I think this first snub at that punky Punxy Phil’s ominous forecast makes me cheerful. I wish I’d been less down-dooby-doo-down-down for last week’s Zentangle Challenge. The thought of lines upon lines upon lost lines coincided with a snow spiral, and I was gloomy for no particular reason. I’m clearing photos off my camera (still), and I wish I’d found this one last week. Not only was this Zentangle Challenge #100 completed in the coffeeshop Espresso Royale–the only best part of University of Michigan–but the art is tangled in the journal sent to me from Laura as part of the Blog Friendship Cup. The photo and the memory itself makes me smile and would have put me in a better frame of mind.

I’m not Irish; I’m German descent on both my parents’ sides. I don’t look especially good in the color green, although I can stylishly pull off a fantastic forest-y green at Christmastime. Green bagels look moldy. I know no one, male or female, named Pat. To top off the morning, I don’t like beer except when it’s battered in bread. Hmmm…it’s been awhile since I baked…okay, back to the post, which just demonstrates that I don’t have a reason to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Until now.

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Zentangle: green mania!

The Diva’s Zentangle Challenge #159 celebrates the occasion with a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired Zentangle. I was feelin’ lucky, so I took inspiration from the idea of a four-leaf clover. If you look, you can see it. And if you look, you can’t see it. Love that duality! It’s another excuse to dance with my Derwent Inktense pencils, and I created a wash of just about every green color I had, shading with the dry pencils afterwards.

Mentioning both “coffee” and “clover” above makes me think of the Starbucks reserve blend coffee blends and the Clover brewing process. I didn’t go out for coffee today, but I do hope the baristas did not color it green.

Today and …

“Today, make it count.”~poster in Next Chapter Bookstore & Bistro, Northville, MI

Today this award-winning blog is featured on the Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine blog. How fun! Okay, that post is really just about my latest article, my acrylic mini-album how-to, but my editor did such a great job including my extended article that I had to post the link here. I am still amazed at how cool my project looked when I didn’t even plan it all out. Serendipity rules!

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Segue into this week’s Diva Challenge #120: Bales Monotangle. Imagine what happens when Bales is released from its structured grid and allowed to play? Because I always teach this tangle in my Basics classes, sometimes it feels old and stale. I actually played with Bales variations back in October 2012, in a journal I carry with me, thanks to our very own Diva and her contribution to the Blog Friendship Cup.

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Today’s Bales challenge

Today again I play with Bales. After looking at that example, I feel stifled, like I should try something new and different. No doubt the next Bales tile I monotangle will feel more free, but for now I play in black and white. Trying something different, stretching myself with limits. Not bad.

Commitment

The wish for healing has always been half of health.”~Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher

So much for my “Keep Up” resolution. I have been sick since New Year’s Day and have only stopped coughing today. I was too well to be sick, so I went out to the movies and a PennState women’s basketball game (beating Michigan State in East Lansing!), but it was hard to enjoy all this. I was too sick to be well.

So I start from here.

Remember my Blog Friendship Cup? Another tangler has it and wants to share it with you. Visit her blog to join in the fun! Check it out here.

I never posted the Diva Challenge #101: Phicops, so here is that:

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I spent today playing around with Diva Challenge #102: Auraknot and Bunzo. I had almost forgotten about these newly-released tangles. I rediscovered them and how fun they are. I explored some ways to play with Auraknot, the star-like tangle, adding black here and there. I also played with Bunzo, but I need to stretch my sizings more. It’s one I will practice more, but I like what I have so far, especially the teddy bear/Mickey Mouse head shape at around 11 o’clock on the Zentangle. Here’s my contribution:

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I read a comment from a friend who said that she was starting a habit of exercising. “I have so many bad ones I figured I would add a good one.” That made me smile. What made me gasp was her next comment: “It’s a commitment not a resolution.”

Semantics? I think not.

The Blog Friendship Cup: next stop

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.”~Robert H. Schuller, American televangelist

The Blog Friendship Cup is on its way!

Yep, I am totally lame because I held onto the cup for longer than I should have. Life has a way of asserting itself saying “Live me!” and pushing fun stuff aside. Then fun stuff becomes responsibility and then everything gets muddled. I decided to wait until after the holiday mail rush to get the package out. And so it goes.

Do you remember how it all began? It started here when I won the cup. Then the cup arrived and I received all sorts of goodies!

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My contribution: masculine pink

Now that it was mine, temporarily, I had to follow the rules set forth by Aunty Teeni. As stated above, I blew #1. Rule #2 was to “alter it in some creative way.” Sooner or later someone was bound to paint it, so I decided to be that one.

I have gotten in touch with my inner pink over the years, so I added that touch of me to it, but just on the outside. I am not a frilly pink, so I mixed red and deep pink acrylic paints to create a dusty maroon.

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Apparently, I have not yet mastered the art of gesso, and a smidge or three spilled over to the inside. I dabbed a bit all over to make it a speckled blend, justifying it by saying to myself that I have started prepping it for some future alteration. Just like a Zentangle, I work with my mis-steps and make it complete.
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Rule #3: “Place a small gift inside.” The cup is on its way to Cathy Cusson and I looked at her blog for inspiration. She’s a tangler, too, with some awesome art on her site. She dabbles in severa forms of mixed media, and I took that into consideration when I chose a gift. Gifts, actually. I’ll let her describe the contents, but I will say that any gift should include chocolate and who doesn’t love Winnie the Pooh?

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Oh-so-sassy

Unofficial Rule #3 1/2: Add a tag. Everyone included contact information in some form on a tag, so I was not about to break the tradition. Besides, when I hear the word “tag,” my mind instantly jumps to Tim Holtz’s altered tags and this was a perfect excuse to use my grungy supplies. And to buy more. One can never have too much shabby chic grunge.

I smeared and blended a base of distress stains on a manilla tag I had from this summer’s CHA show press room. I mixed in a touch of metallic paint to add that extra shimmer. I stamped some oh-so-sophisitcated images from a Close To My Heart stamp set in Archival black ink. I touched up the clocks with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint. It doesn’t show up well in these photos but it is there. Inked the edges with Distress Inks, added fringy fibers and voila!

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The cup so far, and it’s only going to get better.

Rule #4: Take a photo and blog about it. Geez, that’s an easy one to follow. This is a composite picture of the alterations to date: Aunty Teeni’s cup, Sharon Ojala’s crochet heart danglie, Laura “the Diva” Harms’ tangled cup bottom and then my super-cool paint job. Looking at the progression of this humble tan cup as I insert these links simply amazes me with the creativity as it metamorphasizes into what it will become.

Presentation is everything and I am sentimental, so I wrapped the cup in the original box.

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The box sides were splitting so I strengthened them with solid packing tape. Dad would be proud of me since he was the one who taught me how to package boxes. With a slide of the original polka dot bow, the gift is Tennessee-bound to share the love and friendship.
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Follow the cup’s escapades here as it travels the everywhereosphere.

A beautiful Zentangle and a cup of friendly tea

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”~Confucius, Chinese philosopher

I created a beautiful Zentangle.

This week’s Diva Challenge #97 is to create a Zentangle without a string. We started with that awful blank space and had to fill it. Where to begin?

I started at the left for no particular reason. Just like I do when I write, I needed to fill that space somehow, and fast. I have a number of go-to tangles, so I picked the first that came to mind: Mooka. From there I built off that. My husband continually remarks how I should use color more so I sprinkled some throughout. I gave myself a time limit and made a conscious choice not to shade. It is beautiful as is and I want to preserve the purity of this.

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I did not find this challenge particularly good or bad. Just like the blank paper, my mind was empty when I started. I had no plan but in desperation I started with a safe tangle. I resisted the urge to make a tangle the string, like Hollibaugh. I also resisted drawing a picture out of tangles.

Would I do this again? Sure. As long as I had a starting tangle. Time to pull out my Zentangle kit’s icosahedron.

This is also a good time to mention the winner of the Blog Friendship Cup. Check out this post to see the gift I received from The Diva herself. Ironically, another tangler, Cathy Cusson, will be the next to receive it. She’s been a lucky lady these past few months. Watch this blog and hers to follow the cup’s adventures.

And my NaNoWriMo Word Count is still behind by 10,000 words or so, but I’m at my personal-daily-word-count-to-finish-on-time Word Count. The deadline comes closer…and so does the celebration.

WoW! I fancy a party, don’t you?

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”~Ella Fitzgerald, American singer

Welcome visitors, both new and old. Today is special day: A Fanciful Twist’s annual Halloween Blog Party. I know many of you partygoers are hopping around this weekend, and I don’t want to interrupt the festivities. After all, I’m a party animal myself. Do take note of the Blog Friendship Cup post. Take time to bookmark it and came back to peruse later. I would love to pay it forward and share this with people as passionate as you. Halloween is the deadline to post comments. Everyone is welcome. Join the fun.

Speaking of fun, there’s a party goin’ on right here. A celebration to last throughout the year…

Oops. Karaoke has not started yet. Come in, come in.

“Welcome once again to my party,” says our host, Sehlat. “It’s been three years since we began and what changes have come about.” He looks down at the black cat. “Never fear; Scaredy Cat is on her best behavior tonight. No bad luck here.”


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“I have just finished my drink, so why don’t you come in and join us for a rousing song.”
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On the FIRST Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…

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…a Mocha Frappuccino.
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On the second Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
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…TWO skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.

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On the third Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…

…THREE black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.

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On the fourth Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…

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…FOUR ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.


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On the fifth Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…


…FIVE Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.

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On the sixth Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
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…SIX lions pouncing
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Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.
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On the seventh Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
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…SEVEN owl cupcakes

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Six lions pouncing
Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.

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On the eighth Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
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…EIGHT candles glowing

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Seven owl cupcakes
Six lions pouncing
Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.
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On the ninth Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
…NINE cauldrons brewing
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Eight candles glowing
Seven owl cupcakes
Six lions pouncing
Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.
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On the tenth Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…

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…TEN bowls of candy



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Nine cauldrons brewing
Eight candles glowing
Seven owl cupcakes
Six lions pouncing
Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.
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On the eleventh Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
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…ELEVEN cups of cider
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Ten bowls of candy
Nine cauldrons brewing
Eight candles glowing
Seven owl cupcakes
Six lions pouncing
Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.
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On the twelfth Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
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…TWELVE Smiley Cookies
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Eleven cups of cider
Ten bowls of candy
Nine cauldrons brewing
Eight candles glowing
Seven owl cupcakes
Six lions pouncing
Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.

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On the 13th Halloween eve, my true spook gave to me…
…THIRTEEN Jack-o-lanterns

Twelve Smiley cookies
Eleven cups of cider
Ten bowls of candy
Nine cauldrons brewing
Eight candles glowing
Seven owl cupcakes
Six lions pouncing
Five Zendalas
Four ghostly Peeps
Three black cats
Two skeletons
and a Mocha Frappuccino.
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Happy Halloween!

The good, the bad and the Zentangle

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”~Robert Frost, American poet

A tile and cup of tea courtesy of The Diva’s Blog Friendship Cup

Hey, curious about the Blog Friendship Cup? You should be! You can receive it next. Check it out here!

The good, the bad and the ugly–it’s not just a movie title. That sums up Life. Days are usually a mix of those traits.

Today was a blah day for me. I woke up and felt lousy all day. Lunch didn’t agree with me. I spent 31 minutes on the exercise bike and I felt better. Then a Penn State car magnet was snatched from my vehicle. I got a good mocha frapp from Starbucks.

As scrapbookers, we tend not to focus on the minutiae of life, especially the negative things. However, without that reality, we have piles of books with pretty pictures in them.

As writers, we need that infusion of honesty to make writing speak more than just its words do.

I have family members who send me cards. I have friends who I can call at 3:00am, and fortunately I don’t have to. I have medical issues that must be monitored. It’s not all good. It’s not all bad.

Laura, the Zentangle Diva, reflects on that this week in the Zentangle Challenge #91 as she struggles with health and self. She calls attention to the organization Beads of Courage. I donated Zentangle polymer beads I made earlier this year for this charity that chronicles each step an ill child goes through with a necklace bead. The Diva’s challenge: interpret “beads.”

Beads of courage infuse every space possible

“Strength” is one of the tenets of Beads of Courage, the same as the Four Diamonds Fund and Penn State’s THON. The word “Hope” also comes to mind, at once a wimpy word–relying on fate and belief, not action–and a strong one–serving as inspiration for a better tomorrow.

When there is a disease, a tredgedy, a hardship or whatever challenge facing us, it consumes our life.  I created a traditional tile using some unused-in-a-while tangles, but placing beads in each one.  There is movement, clutter, structure, black, white, grey areas…and a little funnel for hope.  All part of life.

This is my contribution, hoping that someday we wear beads only for joy and we dance in celebration of no need to dance.

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