Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lilah Bean Comics

In a post on, Ms Bartholomew shared an inspiration about Lilah Beans and Comics. Once my kids saw the idea they of course jumped right in. I even was lucky enough to have comic strips on hand. I had printed them out from This particular set was by Tracee Orman. You can find the link for that page I ended up with a total of 10 different templates to choose from. I let my kids choose their templates and made copies. They really liked the ones with the word bubbles. 

This is the kids at the school table. Kaden has stolen my chair but then it is not school time so he is allowed. 

Recognize the tangle book? haha

Included here for your enjoyment is first Cali's comics with translation:

Meow Meow


But it would be fun to go to the movies.
Bang (into a wall)

Come! Come! (big snake to little snake)

Come on cat! (Bean to Cat)

And Kaden's comics with translation:

What should I do today?

Woah! What's this?

Hi! How are you?
Me? I'm fine if I can get this wall to crack!

I am totally counting these as school! The joys of homeschool. I am just thrilled that Kaden wrote as much as he did. He really hates to do his writing work and balks at writing stories. Little does he know that this is actually a story in and of itself! Yay! Win!

And finally my own comic.

I hope these made you smile. I know it was fun for me to play with. Download some templates and play for youself! 


I mentioned before that I had bought the pdf book "The Tangles of Kells". The author highly recommends watching the movie. Well, Kaden was sick with a lovely cold that just about stole his voice and we turned on the tv and loaded up Prime Instant Video to watch "The Secret of Kells". I am so glad we did.

While I did not particularly see much point to the story line (boy is forbidden to go to the woods, boy goes to the woods meets wolf girl, finds secret stone and goes off to finish writing book, comes back home in later years with book finished) the artistry in this movie is just amazing. But don't discount the movie entirely. I plan on looking into the "Book of Kellls" more. There is only so much they can tell you through a movie. There is much more to the story I am sure and it has sparked my interest. Of course I could have totally been too distracted by the art. Ms Bartholomew even says "If you watch the movie with your own sketchpad at the ready, you will surely see hundreds more patterns to inspire you." 

I think if Ms Bartholomew and I were to meet we would find we are of a similar mindset when it comes to art and drawing. She says that she is one of those people who sees a design and tries to break it down to 6 steps or less. She is always seeing patterns everywhere and she is always trying to deconstruct them. (sounds like I wrote this. I mean technically I just typed this but they are not my words although they kinda are cuz they are so something I would say!)

Alrighty, so I sat down, watched the movie, doodled away, and then took a look at what her pdf book had to say. 

I was amazed to find that many of the tangles I saw were ones that she found and even embellished better than I could in my brief glimpse of the movie. She has seen it many times and has had the chance to break down the patterns more. I just doodled as fast as I could as the scenes flashed by. 

With my pen at the ready I sat down to play with these tangles. I created two more Christmas cards inspired by the tangles of "The Secret of Kells".  These will be available in my Etsy shop soon. 

The tangles lend themselves to a unique creativity. They are whimsical and airy. The lines are very clean and easy to draw. I am so thrilled with this book and this movie. I want to own the movie just so I can watch the artistry more. 

Fast forward to this morning: I woke up to the latest blog post from Beezink. Ms Bartholomew has now created a printed book available in her Etsy shop. She has a new cover, and she has signed copies. I am so bummed and thrilled at the same time. I couldn't resist buying the pdf book and using it right away and now she has a new copy of it which is awesome but the frugal person in me says that I already have a copy so I shouldnt buy a second one and the evil imp inside me says that I could give my daughter my homemade copy and keep the signed copy for myself *mwahhahahahaha* and overall I am just in a very confusing state. Haha. 

Anywho, I was sitting reading the blog post and who should come in? My  daughter. "Mommy! That is the 'Tangles of Kells' book like you have! I wanna tangle some!" So here we sit, I at my table, my daughter across  from me doodling away, and me a bit jealous cuz I am typing instead of drawing.... 

Here are a few of her tangles... mine will be soon to come. 

 Oh Look! Another Bauble Tree!


And just for fun: scratch art! Mine and Cali's.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Post Card

I had the privilege of making post cards for a friend who was going on a missions trip. This was one I tangled and she sent to us from Albania! My tangles traveled around the world! So cool! 

If you haven't heard of the World Race check it out at 11 months and 11 countries! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More Ebooks and Tangle Cards

Hello again. I seem to be on a roll. Well, first let me say that this is all Ms Bartholomew's fault. If it weren't for her and her talent, I would not be so inspired to spend so much time playing with zentangle and especially her lovely little Lilah Beans! That being said, I had way too much fun creating my Christmas cards this year. I decided to extend the fun and once inspired it was hard to stop. I ended up making a total of 6 different designs staring the Lilah Beans. You can now find these cards as printable PDF's on my Esty shop CraftyStx.

So the first cards I made were the trees. They were so cute. I couldn't resist. I played with the idea on them for a bit. The Merry and Bright card was bothering me. The original was just missing something. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but it kept me awake one night. Then it hit me, an easy fix would be to modify the lettering some and maybe add a Lilah Bean or a present beneath the tree. The finsihed result was much more to my liking. 

The second cards were the Feliz Navidad and the little Bean hopping out of the present. This was just too much fun to do. They naturally lend themselves to mischievousness and hijinks. But I didn't stop there...

The last set of cards was the Welcome Santa and the Season's Greetings. Once I got started on the little guys wearing hard hats, it was only natural to take a look at them wearing elf hats and reindeer antlers. And the little guy wearing the antlers would not be pleased. Who would want to pull that sleigh? 

The next step was learning my printer. I am so technologically challenged. I only have an ipad and my latest addition was an epson printer. And our internet here is goofy so suffice to say I have to go offline and use a wireless nettwork that isnt' actually hooked up to a network in order to connect the printer to the ipad. Whew, and once all that is done I spent some time learning to scan with the epson app. I printed a black and white copy of my cards to play with on cardstock. 

I pulled out my handy dandy colored pencils and my fine point le pen markers and went to work. The results were just too much fun. It is always a joy when your own coloring work is satisfactory. After all and artist is their own worst critic. 

Another Epson scan and I now had printable color copies. I invite you to take a look at my Etsy store and see for yourself. Just look for CraftyStx and they are the newest listings. 

As far as my daughter goes... she has recenlty been "Bauble Bombing" as I like to call it. She simply can't resist drawing these little trees. My son has gotten in on some of the fun too; however he leans towards simply adding the Lilah Beans into his art. Take a look at the latest escapades....

Should I tell them I recenlty purchased the printable book, "The Tangles of Kells" by Ms Bartholomew? 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bauble Cards

Ah, yes. So I finally got hold of the book 'The Bauble Tree' and was able to try my hand at this tangle. What resulted was a lot of fun experimentation.

My first attempt was this little card. I colored on it with metallic colored pencil but I thought to myself, can I do more? 

Yes! I did! And I absolute love this little card! 

So how could make this even better? Well, color it in of course. Using my colored pencils I did a color version on a black and white printout. Then I printed again in color. Thankfully, my color printer did a fantastic job so I just had to cut and fold my papers. I now have over 40 of these little cards to send out this Christmas. I don't think I have ever had Christmas cards ready this fast! 

And my daughter even sat down to tangle and color yet again. What do you think of her version?

I also created another card which I didn't care for as much. It just didn't have the same playfulness that the little Lilah Beans added to the first card. 

What coloring tools should I use in a coloring book?

YOU : So Chelsea, what coloring tools should I use?  ME :  I'm glad you asked that random blog reader. The answer is, whatever o...