Learning to Tangle Outside the Box

Recently, the folks from Zentangle introduced Zendalas to the public. Put simply, a Zendala is the dynamic merger of Zentangle and Mandala (Sanskrit for "circle") created on circular tiles using the same paper as the original white square tiles. They are available pre-strung with nine different strings and, of course, blank tiles as well. This new approach has activated a burst of creativity and reminded us once again that with Zentangle, anything is possible!

Look below to view some of our recent creations.


"Pushing" through Challenges

I would like to share a personal note about the power of Zentangle. One month ago today, my baby girl was born! As wonderful as her arrival was, I spent most of the day before her birth in excruciating labor. As any mother knows, true labor can be agonizingly painful and only gets more intense as labor progresses. In the childbirth classes they teach strategies to make labor easier, or at least more tolerable, but no one talked about Zentangle as a way to get my mind off the pain! Tangling worked for me as a distraction from the pain and to keep me from watching the clock (timing contractions was my husband's job). Although I wasn't able to devote uninterrupted attention to tangling, I did work on a tile for blissful intervals every four to seven minutes. I chose some of my favorite tangles and I didn't have to think about what to do next. It helped me relax my body and focus my mind elsewhere. I believe the mind has the power to overcome and push through physical challenges. My experience was that tangling made labor easier to endure. If Zentangle can help me through childbirth, what other challenges can I "push" through?
- CK
"Between Contractions"
created 12.24.11


December Discover Zentangle Class

Last weekend we held a Discover Zentangle class at Crossings in Silver Spring. We taught 6 enthusiastic and diverse students who filled the space with an amazing creative energy. It was so much fun! Each student had come to learn about Zentangle in a different way. The youngest participant was an 11 year old who attended with her mother. Another student, who had never heard of Zentangle before arriving at the class location, was given the class as a surprise 31st birthday present from her mother in Brooklyn, NY...what a gift! 

It was amazing to get to share Zentangle with this group. Check out the pictures we took from that morning:

First Tiles: Hollibaugh, Printemps, Flukes and Flux

Munchin Monotangle


Learn to Tangle with the Best of 'Em

This Saturday we're teaching another Zentangle class...

Discover Zentangle
Saturday December 10, 2011
10:00 am-12:00 pm
at Crossings
8505 Fenton Street, Suite 202
Silver Spring, MD  20910
$40 all materials included


November is "Art Every Day Month"

After doing some surfing around other CZT Zentangle blogs today, I found an intriguing challenge from Leah Piken Kolidas on her blog Creative Every Day. Her challenge is known as the Art Every Day Month (AEDM) Challenge and she has been doing this for the past nine years. The challenge encourages people to create art everyday for the entire month of November. http://creativeeveryday.com/art-every-day-month

Honestly, this challenge is incredibly daunting. It is quite a commitment and there is a bit of pressure involved. Writing about it here certainly demands a level of accountability.

But Creative Every Day writes that the purpose is not to feel overwhelmed, pressured or guilt-stricken. Instead this is meant to inspire creativity in any form and nudge participants to make something every day. There's even a Survival Guide for extra support.

My thought is, "if I don't push myself, no one else will". So I'm taking a leap, dragging Lauren with me, and joining Creative Every Day for a month of creativity!


Saturday's Discover Zentangle class

This past Saturday we held a "Discover Zentangle" class. Our three students were wonderful passionate women who were bursting with creativity! Two of these women already had great enthusiasm for Zentangle and came with some experience, but had never taken a class before. The other woman had no prior experience but came with an open mind. By the end of the class she said she was hooked!

We started off the first tile by teaching four of the essential tangles.  With that foundation, we were able to move into more complicated tangles and techniques.  We taught a mono-tangle for our second tile – which was a hit! By the time we got to the end of the class we were taking requests to learn more! It was a great class and a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning. The women each created beautiful Zentangles, shown here in this mosaic!

One of our students was so kind to share her artwork with us. She is a quilter, check out her amazing blog here:

Thank you to the ladies who attended our class and we hope to see you again soon!

Lauren and Chelsea


The Journey to Becoming a CZT

When Lauren decided to go to Massachusettes to learn this thing called “Zentangle” I was honestly skeptical. She asked if I wanted to go too, but I turned her down. When she returned from her seminar I thought she had joined some ridiculous cult, like she had drank the juice! She was ranting about how wonderful this is and what a gift she had been given. Of course, then I was intrigued.

Lauren introduced me to Zentangle immediately after she returned. Her enthusiasm for it was so compelling that I couldn’t resist. I felt like I inhaled some of the fumes from the juice she drank! I signed up for the next available CZT training!

So now that I have completed my CZT training, I wanted to share some of my experience from Providence, RI!

First, Rick, Maria and their entire crew were incredibly kind, incredibly talented and incredibly generous in sharing this gift of Zentangle. They were welcoming and honest. They shared their stories. They shared their gift and I am so grateful for being a part of it all.

The last three days were jam-packed with information, inspiration and tangle-ation! I learned new tangles, and I discovered inspiration for tangles I have learned in the past. I was given the training to properly pass this gift on to others while maintaining the beauty and integrity of Zentanlge. The seminar inspired ideas I never would have dreamt previously.  I met lots of wonderful people and was blessed with the gift of viewing and sharing their artwork. I have a whole new admiration for Zentangle and I am bursting with enthusiasm!

I am now returning home as a Certified Zentangle Teacher! I am proud of the training I have completed and I can’t wait to share Zentangle with the world!

Here are some photos from my journey:
This is a mosaic of everyone's first Zentangle tiles 

 Here is Rick Roberts, one of the founders of Zentangle

 This is one of my Zentangle tiles, with a new tangle called Punzel!

This is a collaborative Zentangle that everyone contributed to. Each person added one tangle and it was raffled off to one lucky winner (sadly, not me).

Another tile I created at the seminar

Best wishes,


Bon Voyage Chelsea, enjoy the punch!

Today, like a parent sending their child off to overnight camp for the first time, I took Chelsea to the train and saw her off to attend CZT seminar #7.  For those who don't already know, CZT stands for Certified Zentangle Teacher.  I was fortunate to attend CZT Seminar #5 in Whitinsville, MA last February. What an amazing experience.  For three days, I was surrounded by a group of talented and passionate tanglers from all over the world.  After a brief phone conversation where I relayed to Chelsea all of the fabulous things I had experienced, she remarked, "well, I guess you drank the punch".  And she was right, I had drank the punch. So now, Chelsea has probably arrived in Providence. Hopefully soon she will drink the punch too.

Before leaving, Chelsea shared this gorgeous tile she created:


Black Zentangle Tiles

Back in the spring, when black tiles were first made available to CZT's we ordered a boatload! Initially I tried them out with my Sakura white Gelly Roll pen, but had  difficulty in creating evenly weighted lines and obtaining the same detailed results as I was used to with my Sakura Micron 01.  I spoke to Maria about this over the phone while placing a Zentagle order a while back.  This is what she said...when using the white pen, hold it, so that it barely touches the tile.  Place it at a 90 degree angle to the tile and gently stroke the tile.  She also told me to practice on the back of the tile first by signing my name and tangling around a bit before starting.  Signing it first gives you a feel for the pen and a sense of ownership. We share these tips with you.

This weekend, while fasting for Yom Kippur, I completed the following black tiles.  I call them the atonement series. Enjoy!


Discover Zentangle in October


We're back...

After a brief hiatus, Tangled in the Beltway is back.  We have been working on many new and exciting things and we're looking forward to sharing them with you.  Join us for our upcoming Zentangle class on October 22, 2011.  Chelsea will have just returned from attending CZT #7 class in Providence, Rhode Island and we are looking forward to celebrating with you.


Come tangle with us


Welcome to Tangled in the Beltway

From the White House to the Kennedy Center, Capitol Hill, the monuments, the mall and all of the Smithsonian Institution, most people know Washington, DC as a great place to visit.  Those of us who live and work here know a different story. Living in our nation's capitol can cause it's fair share of headaches. Our jobs are fast-paced and high stress and too frequently our drive to succeed professionally means sacrificing our personal well being. Couple that with the recent study that showed no one spends as much time sitting in traffic as we do and it seems clear that we need a chance to shift focus and perspective. 

This is why we have gravitated so strongly toward Zentangle. It provides a creative outlet and a centering and calming experience, which eases the stresses of our daily grind. Working with this set of repetitive patterns restores in us a sense of balance and freedom similar to the benefit of meditation.
Learning to create a piece of art without the concern of having to look "perfect"is an extraordinarily gratifying feeling and we are excited to get to extend this art form to those of you in our area.

Lauren & Chelsea