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Finding Beauty, Making Beauty

Finding Beauty, Making Beauty

When Maria and I knew we were going to Taiwan for zenAgain-Asia, we wanted to introduce a new tangle at that special event.

While we were in Germany for the first Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) seminar in Europe, we took some time to visit friends near Munich. While there, we visited museums and cathedrals and architecture in that beautiful city -- always with an eye out for patterns and possibly a new tangle.

As you may know, we found just such a pattern on some china (appropriately). 

That pattern became a new pattern we named hollis.

The other day, I noticed the base of the stove in our living room. Check out the embellishments on either side of "Art" in the nameplate. There was hollis!


Then I looked at the stove in our kitchen. Again, there was hollis.

All that reminded me of George A. Moore's quote, "A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."

Take a moment to admire the effort and cost that designers and manufacturers went to in order to incorporate such beauty into these stoves from over a century past. 

When we were in Seoul we saw the oldest known piece of Korean pottery in a museum. It was over 4,000 years old. On its rim was shattuck. 

Did adding shattuck make it a better pot? Did it need a non-slip grip? But why the care to make such a beautiful pattern? Does Zuni pottery function any better because of its painted pattern embellishments? Are Navaho blankets any warmer because of their woven decorative colors?

Is adding beauty a human instinct? Is it perhaps also a necessary nourishment?

Where are such embellishments and decorative touches of beauty today? If current kitchen appliances are any example, such touches of beauty are no longer included.

But that doesn't matter. At least it doesn't matter to tanglers! It is just another open field of potential on which to add your touch of beauty.

For example, here is our slightly more recent kitchen refrigerator:

A perfect place to present pictures, paintings, and Zentangle art.

Maria uses whatever is necessary to add beauty . . . double sided tape, magnets and even drywall screws (for the slate blackboard on the side where we leave each other messages).

No fear!

With Zentangle, you now know you can create beauty.

This is a gentle reminder of blessings that occur as you add beauty to your world.

No fear!

(But, maybe don't use drywall screws on your refrigerator!)

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 Thank you to everyone who commented on last week's blog about tipple! Bijou has randomly selected Marilyn W. Iezzi to receive a surprise! Please send your snail mail address to

Rick Roberts


  • Oh how I love this post! I can well imagine how eye opening it was to find Hollis in your living room and in your kitchen after travelling the world looking for a new tangle. I swear this happens to me all the time. I thought I was the only one who could look at something a hundred times and not see it for it’s beauty, until something else happened to trigger it. Just goes to show “ Anything is possible – one glance at a time”.

    Brenda Shaver on

  • How TRUE! It feeds both the soul of the maker and of the admirer(s).

    Jamie Herron on

  • “The ability to create beauty is God’s greatest gift to man. And the appreciation of beauty – whether man-made or natural – is not only a joy but an active call to something much greater than oneself.” – Painton Cowen, in the book “Rose Windows”

    Margaret Bremner on

  • Seeing beauty around me makes me feel blessed. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes, though I am not sure who said it:

    “If of thou mortal goods thou art bereft
    And in thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
    Sell one and with the dole
    Buy hyacinths to feed the Soul.”

    Leslie Hancock on

  • Beauty is ALWAYS round about us. Zentangle enables everyone that practices it to observe and use its patterns to the full, even in places where it seems not to exist. “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

    Sandra Pridmore on

  • Brilliant!

    Kathy on

  • I had that same fridge but in White. It never looked that nice though. But maybe I can improve my current fridge!

    Jeanne on

  • “In the end, the world will be saved by beauty.” Fyodor Dostoyevsjy in The Idiot.

    Dorothy Day was guided by this quote in her work with the poor, wanting to have objects of beaury for their souls as well as food, clothing and shelter.

    Edith Bogue on

  • I am excited to add this to my collection! I have seen many examples of Hollis. Thank you for showing the beauty in our own lives that can often be overlooked. Amazing!!

    Tracie Giles on

  • I never thought about putting large pieces on my refrigerator. I’ll have to try that. Thanks for the great blog. 😊

    Maureen Stott on

  • Oh my!! How old is that fridge?? I had one with the wooden handle decades ago!!! LOL!

    Deanna Williford on

  • Oh my!! How old is that fridge?? I had one with the wooden handle decades ago!!! LOL!

    Deanna Williford on

  • What a delightful post! I love Hollis and, since it was introduced, I have spotted it here and there, in the most unexpected places! The bits of Hollis you discovered at home are very beautiful examples, especially the base of your living room stove – wow! And the MOOKA!! Just gorgeous. :) <3

    Jan Brandt, CZT12 on

  • Thank you for this post. Celebrating beauty brings such joy.

    Andrea Ward on

  • Hollis seems almost like a universally present decoration during the Art Nouveau period. But I guess when I think about it, so much Zentangle has that ornamental beauty especially from Art Nouveau. And yet, this design work shows up throughout history wandering out of style and back in again repeatedly. Now, we can draw upon all of history for the beauty we introduce into our everyday lives through Zentangle.

    Thank you for guiding us through this process.

    Beth Peters on

  • So nice to see the tangles all around your home. I got the project pack #7 for Christmas and I have been enjoying the tangles involved. I was showing the 2nd tangle to an art group I belong to and they were amazed and all of them tried it. None looked the same, but they were all nice. Three of us had done Zentangle for our ATC’s that we make and trade every month. When we stop to appreciate the art around us is when we find tangles

    Sue Bellefeuille on

  • I’m gonna have to take a close look at my 1890’s coal stove at my office tomorrow! It’s full of ornate doo-dads! I bet some of them will look familiar.

    Cari on

  • Since I have been tangling I notice tangle designs everywhere I go. Especially hotel and cruise ship carpets! I have found them in hospitals over the beds, on the sconces, floors, fences, walls, fabrics, peoples clothes and the list goes on. I get so excited to find the tangles. I even found some on tissue boxes! They are everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open to see them! Thanks Rick for this great blog!

    Leslee Feiwus on

  • A few weeks ago, I was working with my husband to sort and stack 3 cords of firewood. It took a bit longer than expected. Every so often, I had to stop to take a picture of the grain and patterns in some particularly lovely pieces ;))Yep, future strings for tiles/pieces that will honor the gift of the wood [all deadfall] to keep us warm. win-win

    Ginger White CZT34 on

  • Isn’t it amazing considering all of the natural beauty that we are blessed with, that from time memorial, humans have sought to add their own expressions of beauty? It says a lot about the need to make, or leave, a mark. What joy that we can each participate and appreciate individual contributions instantly around our modern world! Mary

    Mary D'Angelo on

  • I love this post. ❤️
    My belief is that when and wherever beauty is found, without trying, there is serendipity in its discovery.

    Joanne Erhartic on

  • This post is such a wonderful reminder that no matter where I am, I can slow down, look around, and find beauty everywhere … perhaps in the least expected place.

    Molly King on

  • There’s even an inspiration for a tangle on the metal tray on top of the fridge!

    carolyn weber on

  • What a lovely post. Loved seeing the designs in your home’s objects. Thanks.

    Rimona Gale on

  • We just need to open our eyes and really see all the beauty that is every where and has always been there. Thanks for a wonderful reminder to be open to seeing all the beauty in the world every where we look.

    Sue Leslie on

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