Black Hills Majesty, Part 1


It’s been over 2 months since my trip to South Dakota in May and it still feels like yesterday when we were exploring those majestic Black Hills.

My husband and I traversed three states and close to 1,000 miles to experience the beauty of South Dakota’s most alluring area. Clean air, fresh pines surrounded our little cabin in Keystone, SD. We explored the hills to our hearts content and relaxed our evenings away enjoying stunning sunsets and beheld the eerie mists that rolled through the pines at night.

Our tour of the area included kayaking on Sylvan Lake, taking the wildlife loop through Custer State Park and driving through the wondrous Badlands. It was a trip I will never forget.

Our trip incorporated plenty of down-time where I could take a moment or two to draw or knit. I ended up knitting two sets of socks and three tangled tiles. Here are some photographic highlights taken during the course of the trip:

Stayed tuned tomorrow as I unveil day two’s tile with more commentary and photos of our adventure through South Dakota!

Tangles Used: Flux, Betweed, Tat, Fescu




Day Forty, Creation Forty


Okay gang! I finally made it to day forty! This little milestone is marks nearly the end of my 42 day journey from the book One Zentangle a Day. I definitely did not create a tile every single day, but I have for the most part drawn every day since starting this quest. The in between days of my journey have been filled with learning new tangles and created many practice journal pages. I also overcame many life-altering obstacles include home responsibilities, work stress and loss of loved ones.

Through it all, I have continued on this little voyage to make it to the end of the book. I am almost there.

Today’s challenge asked me to create a tile using letters as strings. How fun! As a refresher, a ‘string’ is lightly pencil-drawn intersecting shape, usually abstract, that you use as a guide to fill in with tangles. Letters are most definitely not abstract, so this creates a very different feeling when creating a tile.

I wanted to have an inspired short saying for my tile. After a brief search on the internet, I settled on the phrase “Be Happy”. After all, an overwhelming number of people, including myself, strive to make this their number one goal in life.

I filled in each letter with some favorite tangles like Tipple, Nekton, Zander, Knightsbridge and Printemps. To complete this tile, I wanted to add a simple but fun tangled border. I was recently asked to check out a cool tangle called “Riki Tiki” that was created by follow tangler Renee King . This is fantastic geometric style tangle that was a perfect complement to this tile. This tangle was very easy to learn and was fun to use. I encourage you to try this tangle yourself. The steps to create Riki Tiki can be found on which is a great resource for everyone that tangles their days away!

As you can see, color was a must for this tile. I used colored Sakura ink pens and created color shading with my favorite Derwent Inktense pencils. For a final touch I used my new TomBow markers to add a splash of yellow with a blender marker. Overall, I liked working with letters, but I can tell I could more practice in experimenting with different style fonts and tangles. Perhaps I will try another lettered tile in the future, but for now, I need to make it to the last day of this journey.

Until next post…

Day Thirty One, Creation Thirty One



Faux Illuminated Letters was the theme for today`s challenge.  The “faux” part of these illluminated tiles is that I didn`t use real gold just a gold pen…

Anyway, I really loved using letters as outlines that I decided to make two tangles! The first tile created was on black paper using opaque Gellyroll  pens from Sakura. Using white and gold pens together in this tile is what makes this creation POP!

The tangles I used for this tile is my new favorite original tangle “Lazy Eights”, and other two favorites “Scoodle” and “Florz”. For some finishing touches, I used my lovely white soapstone purchased from for shading and added lowlights of brown pastel here and there.


On my second tile, I switched gears entirely and used a traditional white tile with black pen. Similar to the first tile, I absolutely love the combination of the black and gold pens! Don’t be too surprised if you see this combination of pens in the future.

This white tile features “Nipa”, “Chillon” and “Meer” tangle patterns. To finish this tile, I used graphite to shade in select areas to give this tile some dimension.

Even though I didn’t learn any new tangles or particular techniques, I did learn to enjoy the process of selecting each letter and deciding which tangle to use in each area. As always, I find using the Zentangle method very relaxng and rewarding. If you have a chance to draw this week, I encourage you to take out your pens and have a little fun and relaxation – you deserve it!

Day Twenty Eight, Creation Twenty Eight



Sorry for the little gap in time folks. After a wonderful time-off relaxing at home, it was time to get back to work-literally. It’s been super busy these past three days, so I am a little behind in posting this day.

Day Twenty Eight marks the fifteenth day remaining until I complete my One Zentangle a Day Challenge. On a quick side note, I know I haven’t always been consistent in posting these back to back days, but that doesn’t mean I stopped drawing in between days even with my own personal struggles.

If you decide to pick up the book “One Zentangle a Day” the book is full of prompts to not only create a daily tile, but also encourages you to practice in a journal as you learn each new tangle, technique, and or new medium (i.e. colored pencils, watercolor, gouache etc.). Eventually I will get around to posting some of my journal entries, but will probably reserve them for my Flashback Friday posts.

Now that I got thoroughly got side-tracked, let me tell you a little about today’s tile.

This was a fun and quick tile to learn and do. Believe it or not it only incorporates just two newly learned tangles. The tangle called “Sez” is formed by drawing uniform lines around a single dot to create a circular pattern. In shading Sez, I decided to shade one half of the circles to give a much defined look and feeling of depth.

The second tangle used is called “Eke” which loops around across the tile in a non-uniform pattern. Eke is a very versatile tangle where several tangleations can be created from this single pattern. One of the tangleations of Eke I used is the one that appears to be small leaf-like petals that surround the tile. I loved the overall effect of using both Eke and Sez within the same tile and really enjoyed learning these two patterns.

For a quick sneak peek into day twenty nine, this day is asking me to create my very own pattern for the first time- yikes! Well, you’ll have to wait until the next post to see what I come up with.

Until next post…

Day Twenty Four, Creation Twenty Four


One would think that this would get easier as the days go by, but I still stuggle sometimes of where to begin when I start a post. I have a therory that most of the time I am blogging at the end of the day and I am just mental drained from the work day. That, or I just plain suck at blogging.

Anyway, today’s post showcases my 23rd tile of my self-imposed challenge of “trying” to create one Zentangle tile a day. If I am really honest with myself, I haven’t even come close to posting or creating these daily. However, I have stayed more consistant than I have in the past by continuing to challenge myself creatively. In other words, it’s okay to fall short of your goals, but as one of my favorite quotes state “Reach for the moon, if you fall short, you might just land on star”.

This little tile, I decided to go for something a little different. You might have noticed that the lines in the tile look a little thicker than normal. This is due to the fact that I primarily make all of my tile’s with Sakura’s #01black ink pen. This time I opted to draw this entire tile using the #05 which creates thicker lines.

I love the graphic feel of this tile which features a newly learned tangle called “Striping” and a tangleation of “Pepper”. I like keeping things simple when I can and this tile reflects this thought perfectly. Upon refelction, I think I will start using other pen thickness more often since I am very pleased with how this came out.

Until next post…

My niece’s first Zentangle tile! I’m so proud!

Well, you might be wondering were I have been all weekend. To put it simply- having fun! Saturday was a rainy wet day in the Chicagoland area, but my husband and I made the best of the day by working out the details for our upcoming Star Wars themed party and hitting a couple of coffee shops along the way.

Sunday we picked up our nieces for a fun filled day of swimming, movies, s’mores and more! We all had a blast just doing simple things and having good quality time together. Our nieces spent the night only to wake up the next morning to blueberry pancakes courtesy of my husband (go ahead and say it- we are so spoiled!). Before we left our abode to Grandma’s Labor Day get together, I had a impromptu Zentangle lesson with our second oldest niece Sam.

Sam had been watching her aunt do Zentangle for a long while and really wanted to learn. So off to the art room we went to pull out my original Zentangle kit. I thought it would be fun to watch the first lesson on the DVD that came with my kit. Who better to teach my niece the fine art of Zentangle but none other than one of the founders of Zentangle, Maria Thomas!

We took our time and went through each step of creating a tile, pausing the DVD along the way so we can keep up. I am so proud of what my niece accomplished in a short period of time. She drew her string and went through each step, filling in each area with each newly learned tangle. The tangles we learned together was “Crescent Moon”, “Tipple”, “Static”, and “Florz”. To finish her tile, she carefully shaded each section using a blending stump with some tips from her aunt. Together we worked out how her artist initials would look in order to “sign” her work. Of coarse, we took the time to reflect upon what she did and was really happy with the results.

I love that my niece not only took interest in Zentangle, but wanted to learn more about this art form. It proves that this art form is accessible to anyone at any age. I hope you take a moment to comment on my nieces first Zentangle tile to let her know how wonderful her first tile came out.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post!

Denielle Noe, the aunt to Samantha Neely, today’s guest artist!


Day Sixteen, Creation Sixteen

Organic patterns and colors combine- oh my! I took a little break from posting, but now I am back and ready to share my latest creation.

After all these days I finally had a chance to play with color! Not just any color, but I was able to incorporate my new Derwent Intense pencils in this tile. If you haven’t heard about these awesome pencils, let me be the first to tell you that Derwent makes some of the best art materials around and these pencils are no exception!

Intense pencils are water-soluble ink which is very similar to watercolor pencils. What really makes these different from watercolor pencils is that lay down a very vibrant color that becomes even more alive when water is applied. Another difference is that unlike watercolor pencils the color is permanent after the color dries. The unique nature of these pencils allows you to layer color upon color letting you work with your color choices in a different way.

In this tile, I played with my Inktense pencils by combining three colors together to make a soft but colorful background for my tangle patterns. After the tile fully dried, I then added my string to guide my patterns around the tile. Finally, I began filling each area with my the suggested patterns for this day. I learned three new patterns for this creation, “Pepper” which are the zebra-like orbs, “Ynix” which is a leaf type pattern, and “Squid” which graceful tentacles curve around the tile.

Overall, I love how this tile came out and really enjoyed exploring color for the first time. Despite my earlier gushing over my Derwent pencils, I really do not have a lot of experience in working with color. Good thing for me, that these small little art tiles allow me to explore color without feeling overwhelmed or committed to some large art project that I could mess up.

As always, thanks for reading this post and I hope you “like” my creation.

Until next time…

Denielle Noe


Day Three, Creation Three

photo 3I know, I know- I missed posting yesterday. Unfortunately, life had a way of getting in the way of creating art sometimes. But never fear, day three is finally here. This fun little tile features a new tangle called “Festune” and two other official Zentangles called “Hollibaugh” and “Poke Root”.

Thanks for viewing!

Denielle Noe

Day Two, Creation Two

photo 2Wow! Now I’m really cook’in! Day 2, creation 2 is done! I am excited to complete day 2 of my Zentangle a day art challenge. In case you didn’t read my earlier post, I am following “One Zentangle A Day” 6 week course. This new tile features a brand new tangle I just learned called “Nekton”. Complimenting this new tangle is two other great tangle patterns “Knightsbridge” and “Fescu”. Working on this tile really helped me unwind after another mind-numbing work day.

Hope you enjoy my latest creation!

Denielle Noe

New Zentangle Book = New Inspirations!

photoIt’s finally here! I have been waiting awhile for the book titled “One Zentangle A Day” to be restocked by Amazon. I was lucky enough to be able to preview this book from the library before buying. I was hooked from page one! This was the one Zentangle book I was searching for – a guided daily challenge to create a Zentangle art tile. I am excited to take up this challenge, so stay tuned, on Monday I will post my Day 1 creation.

Happy drawing!

Denielle Noe