Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Zendala - circular mandala-like tangleations

I have just tried out tangling mandala-like shapes for the first time. They have been in my ‘want to do’ list for a while, and finally I found time.
Zendala-Moments Template #1
Petals/Heartband/Well well who/Hut plant/Coil/Petals
 Many thanks to Annette for her Zendala Moments templates which can be found on her blog.
Zendala-Moments Template #2
Incantoo/Knase/Q-belle

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Interfaith Fire Ceremony for Buddha Day at Aro Ling Cardiff

At Aro Ling we were delighted to be part of a series of events being organised by different faith communities in association with the Interfaith Council of Wales. We hosted an Interfaith Fire Ceremony to celebrate Buddha Day. It was a joyful occasion. The weather was perfect for an outdoor event, and everyone enjoyed taking part in the celebration.
First I gave a short talk on the significance of Buddha Day for Buddhists, and the format of the ceremony itself.
The fire was created over a mandala, and oil was poured onto it as an offering throughout the ceremony.
A thread-cross was burned at the end of the ceremony. The woven threads symbolise the elements earth, water, fire, air, and space, using the colours yellow, white, red, green, and blue. The elements represent physical and psychological qualities. The threads are woven to decrease distortion of the elements, and to increase the enlightened qualities.

After the ceremony, while the fire was still lively, those attending were invited to place messages in the fire. The symbolism of burning messages is to let go of something unhelpful, such as a grudge or an irritation, and to effectuate something helpful, such as a good wish for someone, or a personal aspiration.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Visual tangling encyclopædia – pages 9 and 10

When I started the tangling exercises for my encyclopædia I grouped the tangles in types – ribbons, grids, motifs. I started with favourite tangles, but then decided to include every tangle I had ever learned in one or more exercise. These two pages—9 and 10—are the last two that have a theme to them. It is interesting how the majority of tangles I know can be categorised as ribbon or border tangles. They far outnumber the others. There are also quite a lot of grid patterns.
I think these two pages illustrate a change in the quality of my line. This was where I started to slow down and become more meditative in my execution. I think the evolving ribbon of exercise 9 is fun. They flow into one another quite nicely. I enjoyed trying to draw the spiral patterns in a spiral shape from the classic printemps centre in exercise 10 – though it did lose its structure a little part way through.
Exercise 10  –  spirals
Exercise 9 – ribbons

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Tangle exercises – creating a visual encyclopædia

I realised—belatedly—that what I was in fact doing with my tangle exercises, was creating my own visual encyclopædia. I already have my sketchbook with drawings of step-outs, and my spreadsheet of tangle names with their location in my sketchbook and some hints at what they are, but these exercises seem to be a more immediately accessible means of viewing the tangles. Realising this, I then had to go back through the exercises and name all the tangles. They are a bit like the zentangle spinner—which I still intend to make one day—in offering a method of choosing what to play with in a tangling session.
Exercise 6 – ribbons
Exercise 7 – ribbons




















I now have 13 exercises which include a visual reference to all 470 of the tangles that I have learned so far. It has been an interesting journey. I have discovered forgotten tangles. I have developed an appreciation for tangles that made no impression on me when I first encountered them, or did not appeal to me. I have recognised that some tangles I will possibly never draw again because they do not draw me in (if you’ll excuse the pun).
Exercise 8 – grid tangle fragments
Exercise 8 will be ongoing as I learn new grid patterns. Currently it is 2½ pages, two of which are shown above.
Creating the encyclopædic pages has changed my relationship with tangling. My drawing has become slower and more meditative. Through drawing so many tangles one after another, I have noticed patterns of similarity, clever techniques used in different ways, and many other insights. I have developed a confidence that allows me to be more playful in combining tangles, or developing them through experimentation. I am grateful to the many tanglers who have taught me so much.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Birthday celebrations and a garden quiz

On Saturday we are having a party. The main purpose is to celebrate ’ö-Dzin turning 60, but it is also quite close to my birthday, and we are also delighted that ’ö-Dzin will be finishing at work by the end of May.

Quite a few people are expected, so we have been working hard on the garden to get it looking nice, with plenty of areas for people to sit and enjoy each other’s company. The paths have been cleared; there are twinkling lights in various places; the old log store is now the ‘Cwtch’ with seating inside; and we have bought new benches.

The event is an afternoon-into-the-evening sort of party, so I have devised a garden quiz for the children. I imagine a few of the adults will wish to join in as well. Here is my garden map.


It was fun to draw and I hope everyone will enjoy the quiz that goes with it.

Happy May Day to you all. I hope you remembered to wash your face in the morning dew to ensure a beautiful countenance for the rest of the year!

Friday, 5 April 2019

I’m a Couch to 5K graduate!

Weather.com told me that there would be a two hour window with no rain this afternoon. I decided to trust it and got into my running gear. I ran from home to Heath Park and back. This was the third and last thirty minute run of week nine of Couch to 5K. I did it!!


I can’t say I enjoyed it exactly. Despite the forecast it was raining slightly and I am finding half an hour running quite a challenge, but I am so proud of myself for completing the nine-week schedule.

I think I will not be continuing with straight half hour runs for the time being. Maybe eventually I will find this easier, but for now I think I will either have a walk break in the middle of the half hour, or I will go back to 20 minute runs. My next run will probably be on Sunday, so I’ll see how it goes.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Tangling Exercises

I am in the final week of Couch-to-5K but the weather has been so awful that I have only managed one park run. I did the second run of the week on the trampoline, but really want to finish the programme with a proper run in the park. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow. At least we haven’t had the heavy snow they have had in some parts of Wales.

Over the last month I have been working on a few more tangling exercises.


This one I created on graph paper because I wanted to draw a few grid patterns. It was good to have an accurate grid to work with for these tangles that require some precision, but it had drawbacks. The paper itself was poor quality and not really suitable for ink pens and colour. Also I feel that the patterns have lost some quality of liveliness and spontaneity through being more precise. I do like it better than when I first drew it.


The tangles in this exercise are also grid tangles, but use a grid of dots. I didn’t use graph paper and I think makes the page a bit more lively. A few of the tangles got away from me a little!


This one has turned out a bit wild! Motifs and ribbons and probably too much colour. 

Two more exercises to come soon.