Thursday, 3 October 2013

New Tangle - Darvaza

Here's my new tangle pattern, Darvaza:

And here's the link to another recent one of mine, Moog.

All of my patterns can be seen on My Tangles page

If you've seen any of them anywhere before under another name, please do let me know!

Happy tangling...

Fun with Borders

This week Laura challenged us to use borders. I'd also seen Sandy Hunter's Merryweather, so I put the two together...

Happy tangling...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Weekly Creative Roundup

I'm a little late with the Roundup this week, so let's get cracking with Zentangle...

Check out my new page to display all my tangles.

This week Laura's "I am the Diva" Zentangle Challenge asked us to use the new official tangle from Rick and Maria, Well.
I drew a free-form version and this is how it turned out:

 I added some Pais, Voga and Tipple too.

30 Days of Lists has hit the halfway mark and I'm still going strong...

Seven Days - a creativity challenge from Koosje Koene had caught my eye this week (see @koosjekoene on Instagram or for more). Although I found it after it had already begun, I'm still having fun with it. 

Sketchnoting, Graphic Facilitation and Graphic Recording are my current fascination... I'm still investigating, but a few sites that have caught my eye are those of Mike Rohde, Jeannel King, and Eva Lotta Lamm. I'm practicing my doodle pics everyday!

Chilla - a savoury pancake made from yellow moong dal and besan (chickpea flour) with some spices and seasoning - has become my fave weekend snack. And this time I remembered to take a pic! 

This is great with ketchup or green chutney :)
So that's all the creating for this week!

Happy creating...

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Weekly Creative Roundup

Laura's Zentangle challenge this week was a Use My Tangle challenge. The chosen tangle this month was Beamz by Traci Frogley.
As Beamz is very angular I softened it with some Opus, Tipple and Pais.

Last week I painted three backgrounds and this week I turned one into a freehand mandala. I think it needs some white... But still looks great!

Here's my new tangle... Moog. 

It is quite similar to one of my faves - Bales. However it is based on the pattern seen in this picture I saw on Instagram, belonging to @joyephoto.

Here's moog in use:

This week I've been playing along with 30 Days of Lists {check out #30lists on Instagram} and added a doodle theme throughout.

With the monsoon drawing to an end the days are brighter and the plants are starting to flower. All in all, sunny days make for a happier Claire!

This week in the kitchen I've been successfully experimenting with overnight oats, green moong pancakes and schezwan fried rice.
Yet again there are no photos... Once food is in front of me, all thoughts of photos disappear straight out of my head!

Happy creating... 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Weekly Creative Roundup

Laura's Zentangle challenge this week was to use the official Zentangle pattern Tipple in your offering. Tipple is just lots of small circles or squished circles and a great space filler. So here's my Tipple offering, along with Paushalov and Pippin.

This week I've been noticing patterns everywhere. Here's a few I've spotted on a cushion in the back of a car, a drain cover and the interior of my rickshaw one morning on the way to work {Henna Drum, Bales-ish, and one that reminds me of W2}.

I had a revelation! I realised that I now had some white paint, so even though I never got my white Gelly Roll to work I could finally finish the Ebony and Ivory challenge! So here it is...

And I'm super happy with it. There's some Crescent Moon, Nzeppel, Kuke and Tripoli.

I've also finished a couple of backgrounds for some freehand mandalas I'm planning to do over the next week.

30 Days of Lists is back. This challenge rolls out every March and September. Super easy to do; just answer the daily prompt with a list! A great way to begin Journaling or for those who don't have much time. Then if you want to you share a pic of your journal page on one of the social networking platforms. Mine go on Instagram.

So after I made coconut milk last week I decided to use it in a Thai Green Curry. I used a bunch of not very Thai veggies... button mushrooms, baby corn, potato, pak choy, carrots, and peas. Then I cheated and bought a jar of green curry paste, as it's really hard to get some of the stuff you need for it.
It was yummy! But I forgot to take any photos. Next time... And there will definitely be a next time!

Happy creating... 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Weekly Creative Roundup

I've put pen to paper recently and got back into tangling... First was my tribute to India on August 15th - Independence Day. Here I tried out a freehand Mandala, which I then coloured.

Next I drew this piece. I used two of my tangles, Dilmore and Panzi, and added a few of my faves Dugwud, Voga and Miasma. I like how it came out!

Laura's last challenge was to use your non-dominant hand - for me this means my left hand - to draw a monotangle of Bales. I enjoyed the process on this one. I took the opportunity to be mindful and focus on my breathing. I concentrated on one stroke at a time and I love the result. I think the wobbly lines add to it's charm!

Also over the last week I've been working on my first bigger piece. It took me a few days - but I got there in the end. 

Besides tangling, I've enjoyed taking photos when out on my walks with Coco recently. Here's a few snaps - you can see more on my Instagram account.

Look carefully at the bottom two pics - eye spy...

Stray pup

I've also been inspired to walk more - I've downloaded a pedometer app for my Android phone, called Accupedo. It's great. I can track my walking on a daily basis, and best of all - it's free from the Play Store. 

I've also been creative in the kitchen recently. I've made Chilla. 

It's like a pancake, except the batter is made from Besan (Chickpea flour), soaked and ground Yellow Moong Dal, water and a splash of oil. Throw in a few spices and some fresh coriander and you're done! I also added onion and tomato to mine, coz that's the way I like them. 

I also made my own coconut milk from a fresh coconut. It was really simple to do! Next I'll try making coconut chutney.

I look forward to more creative times in the near future.
Happy creating...

Thursday, 15 August 2013


As I live in India, it's evening by the time Laura posts her weekly challenge. As usual, I checked it out when I was on my way home from a long day at work.

A little later in the evening I sat down to tangle. And it was only once I'd finished and was about to start shading, that I remembered it was a monotangle challenge - oops!

After my first attempt I decided to do a second one... A monotangle this time.

So here are my two Zentangles. I'm really happy with both of them as Dex is not a tangle that I find easy to use.

Not a monotangle! 
Dex monotangle 

Happy tangling...

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Weekly Creative Roundup

I've been off the grid for a month, as I decided to turn my free time away from Photo-A-Day, Zentangle challenges, ICAD and blogging, to reading, my ongoing quest to learn Hindi and cooking.
I became a silent observer, and enjoyed the experience. 

Now I've started to take photos again, but not in response to a challenge, although I still love and follow everyone else's FMS Photo-A-Day snaps.

I've picked up with Laura's {I am the Diva} weekly Zentangle challenges. I think I will catch up on the recent ones I've missed, because these challenges never feel like a chore.

129. TanglePatterns string 004 
130. Henna Drum v.1
130. Henna Drum v.2

I love my ICAD little booklet and will definitely come back and add to this sometime in the future.

Reading has always been a passion and when I don't get enough of a regular fix I suddenly go book crazy. I think I read 12 or 13 books in my month off! Most of them were either romance or murder mysteries, but I also read and enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy.

I will continue to struggle with Hindi. It keeps getting mixed up with French in my brain! It doesn't help that I work for 9 hours a day at an English speaking company, but that's not going to change anytime soon - I love my job!
मैं हिन्दी सीखती हूँ।

In July I learnt to make Aloo Paratha {recipe from Home Cook's Recipes}, and Mixed Dal. I also improved my technique on Misal Pav, Bhindi and Chapatis {some are nearly round!} I might even get round to posting a few recipes... Who knows!

Happy creating! 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Weekly Creative Round-up

After yet another crazy-busy week, I'm back again with my weekly update...
We'll kick off with The Diva's weekly Zentangle challenge. This week Laura asked us to keep the people of flood-hit Calgary in mind when creating a Zentangle or ZIA. Not just Calgary has been hit, but as K.N. Malathi and Dilip Patel have already shared, the region of Uttarakhand in India has been devastated by the 'Himalayan Tsunami' that hit on 17th June.

Today's newspaper shared the following figures:
822 people confirmed dead
4649 people missing
3978 villages affected by flash floods
600 villages still completely cut-off
1636 roads damaged
More than 500 roads totally washed away
Power and water supplies hit - many still not back to normal

On top of all this, more heavy rain during the last few days has further hampered the ongoing rescue attempt.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the people affected across the world. So keeping all those in mind, I created this ZIA.

Over on Chantelle's blog, Fat Mum Slim, the photo-a-day challenge continued with these prompts:
24. Negative space
25. Sharp
26. Empty {the biscuit tub}
27. Into the sun

28. Red {yummy plums}
29. In my bag {a pink, flowery umbrella to keep me dry during the monsoon}
30. Handwriting {a joint entry for ICAD and FMS}

As tomorrow brings a new month, here are the new FMS Photo-a-day prompts:

In Tammy's Index Card a Day (IACD) challenge, I had great fun creating these entries:

This week I was also lucky to be able to attend a 2 day workshop on stress-free living. Sunil Pareikh of Rise 
Development Academy was a fantastic speaker and facilitator.

He took us through a series of sessions which helped us to pinpoint stressors in our work and personal lives, then demonstrated a set of tools and techniques to help us deal with stress - Tapping {also know as Emotional Freedom Technique}, Meditation, Visualisation, Power of the Mind, Positivity, The Law of Attraction, and Mirror Work. Along with other mindful activities such as Yoga and of course, Zentangle, I was aware of many of these techniques and concepts.

Several years ago I'd taken the first steps on my journey to a positive life when I bought The Success Principles by Jack Canfield with Janet Switzer. Since then I've read several books on the topic, including 'You Were Born Rich' by Bob Proctor, and 'Goals!' by Brian Tracy.

What was fantastic about the workshop was it brought many of these techniques to life for me, in a way that just reading about them was unable to do. I was especially surprised by the deep effect that the guided meditation sessions had on me, and intend to make meditation a daily habit now!

An app/website that will help me turn it into a daily habit - Lift - also wormed it's way into my consciousness this week. Pick the things you want to turn into habits and check-in every time you do them. Lift sends emails to reward and motivate you and keep you going.

Happy creating and positive thoughts!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Creative Splurge

I've been extremely creative recently, but in all the creating I've had less time to blog about it, so this post will be a catch-up for my creative splurge.

I'm taking an online art course on Coursera. So far we've studied various art techniques, Fantastic Art, Mail Art and Portrait Photography. Each week we read about the history of the style of art we're studying and watch a few videos on some of the contempory artists in the field.

I've been opened up to the art of many wonderful artists who I was previously unaware of or haven't thought of since my high school art classes, which were a long time ago! I've been inspired by the Fantastic Art of Henri Rousseau, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Joan Miro, Max Ernst; Mulready envelopes and the Mail Art of of Ray Johnson, Eleanor Antin and Ryosuke Cohen; and the Portrait Photography of Alfred Stieglitz, Dorothea Lange, Sebastiao Salgado and Cindy Sherman.

I've created a few pieces of art following the themes through the course, but am struggling to meet the deadlines for submission of the pieces as I'm so busy with work. I hope to be able to submit at least two pieces for peer review and come out of the other side with a distinction {I'm such a nerd!}.

Here's my Fantastic Art piece - Falling. It represents a dream I commonly have and uses colours that I strongly connect with.

Then there's my Mail Art piece - Memory. Rather than base the piece on an old memory I have, I chose to focus on the neuro-biological aspects of memory which I've learnt about in the Psychology as a Science course I've also been studying recently. Art and Science are both incredibly important to me, so this seemed like an ideal representation of me!

The envelope I made from scratch is decorated with neurons which feature throughout our nervous system and carry signals between the body and the brain. You can also see the neurotransmitters (chemicals) travelling across the synapses (gap), from one neuron to the next.

The insert is shaped like the cross-section of a brain. The front is coloured to show the main regions of the brain. Our memory resides in the Hippocampus and it's location is represented by the white region in the light green section, deep in the centre of the brain.

The back of the insert is covered in a Zentangle pattern which is reminiscent of the network of neurons that reside in the brain.

I'm still working on my Portrait artwork, but hope to share it soon.

Fat Mum Slim's Photo-A-Day challenge continues, and last week the prompts were:
17. Centred
18. Street
19. Currently reading - for my art course!
20. Cute - little lizard in my kitchen

21. Lunchtime - Dal fry and roti
22. Enjoying life - Joanna Rohrback of - sooooo funny!
23. Last - need to buy some new coffee...

I had got a little behind on the Diva's Zentangle challenges. First Laura had challenged us to use Rick and Maria's grid seeds, which I had already fallen in love with and used in four or five Zentangles. I could have just posted links to these pieces, but I really wanted to complete a new piece for this challenge. I ended up choosing two of the grid seeds {at random}, D2 and F2, for my Zentangle.

The second of Laura's challenges was to create a Zentangle without using any patterns that you already know of. The little fishes don't really follow the Zentangle idea of non-representational patterns, but they are cute! I enjoyed this immensely.

Index Card a Day (ICAD) continues.
What I love about this challenge is that I get to try out a whole bunch of techniques and media that are new to me. Also Tammy has given us a bunch of optional prompts in case we get artist's block.

Moleskine restored my faith in them by sending me this package all the way from Milano to Mumbai :D

A few months back I bought my first ever Moleskine and the inside cover was glued in upside down. No biggie - it was still totally useable, and the quirkiness of it added to the appeal for me.

However, Moleskine are big on Quality Control, and in the little booklet that comes along with it were directions to the quality section of their website. There it said they'd send me a replacement product in one month, as mine was defective, so I entered all the details and uploaded the pic and waited. And waited. And waited...

Then nearly two months later this package took me by surprise. I had actually given up all hope of a replacement. What I love about this little book is it's the perfect size for my Zentangles, and my Sakura Microns work so much better on this paper that the handmade paper that made up my previous Zentangle journal.

Finally, I've found a wonderful new Android app {it's new to me} called Shape'd. It's easiest to show you what it can do rather than try to explain...

So cute! I love it :D

Happy creating...