Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: Zentangle Basics and Zentangle 2

As you know, I discovered Zentangle a few weeks ago when I visited the blog of Suzanne McNeill, who is, among other things, an artist, craft trend setter, craft book publisher extraordinaire and Certified Zentangle Teacher! Her company, Design Originals, is a leader in the craft book industry and I have several of their  titles. Design Originals has a book for every technique or craft that you could wish to know about!

Suzanne is part of a group on Facebook for Friends of Zentangle and I started to communicate with her through comments. Suzanne very kindly offered to send me a copy of each of her Zentangle books, and when I regained consciousness, I emailed her my address!
I brought the books to the Urban Craft Market and made many new converts! We are organising a Zentangle show and I will post the pictures from that here. All the Marketeers love Zentangle and made other things even after our Crafternoon was over, including a wooden letter sign! Marketeers who scrapbook were excited to see how you can use Zentangle to decorate pages, saving a lot of money and making it a much more personal momento! 
The 81/2 x 11 format of the books make them very manageable, especially if you want to keep them open to refer to while you Zentangle...and you will! The covers are lovingly Zentangled and there are 19 pages of delightful patterns and how-to's to sample! The thing that takes Zentangle beyond just doodling is that there are official patterns established by the developers of Zentanlge, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. While you are free to 'ad-lib', the fun, for me at least, is in incorporating specific recognizable patterns.
There are 24 patterns in the first book, some from Rick and Maria, some from Suzanne and others. It is very amusing to try and create your own patterns! The book explains beautifully how to start and how to continue. The patterns are large and the steps to make them are shown clearly. There is also a very helpful smaller legend at the back of the book which enables you to see all the patterns at once. All this is true of the second book as well AND it has 25 new patterns to try! I love the idea from the second book of compiling a pattern journal! Both books are well laid out and the techniques are very easy to follow. There are many suggestions and illustrations for using Zentangle for everything from home decor (see my switchplate) to fashion. I highly recommend both of these books but...they should come with a warning! Zentangle is VERY addictive! I know some people say that and don't mean it, but I REALLY MEAN IT!!!

Many, many thanks to Suzanne for sending me the books and getting me hooked on Zentangle!

Suzanne was recently on Inspired at Home Radio with Tiffany Windsor, talking about Zentangle. Please enjoy it! Then get Zentangling! I can't wait to see what you make! Zentangle has opened my crafty floodgates!

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  1. Thank you SO much for the mention of Inspired at Home Radio and posting the player. I had so much fun talking with Suzanne about Zentangle on our recent episode and it is so great to see so many new people learning about this great craft! Love your mermaid Zentangle!

    Tiffany Windsor

  2. Tiffany, it was perfect timing that you interviewed Suzanne just as I was about to review the books! Having the radio and interview in my post is exactly the type of content a good blogger hopes to be able to deliver to her readers! So thank YOU too! I love how you provide the radio to post and it was extremely easy to do so! Plus, like I said, I think it really added to what I was talking about! Have you Zentangled yet, I wonder?!

  3. I'm so glad you reviewed these two books! Having seen them at the Craft Market, I'd like to add my vote for FABULOUS! I need both both them!



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