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I Can See Clearly Now

I Can See Clearly Now

Molly and Martha write:

I can Z clearly now … La Z en Rose

“Hi, I’m Molly, and I’m Martha! We are the daughters of the founders of the Zentangle Method.” This is how we start each one of our Zentangle retreat workshops.

For the past eight years, the two of us have been teaching deep-dive Zentangle workshops. Each workshop idea starts with a basic focus on some sort of tangling theme or technique. From there we build a dialogue around a specific Zentangle philosophy. Then the magic starts to happen, and we build creative and inspiring content based on the core theme. We journey through the days with a common goal of learning new Zentangle ideas and techniques, while opening our minds to the possibilities of taking what we learn from the tile into our everyday lives.

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of spending four glorious days on a mountaintop in Boone, NC, with a remarkable group of Zentangle enthusiasts. The Art of Living Retreat Center was the perfect venue to gather like-minded artists in a nurturing and beautiful environment. This workshop was titled, “Translucen-Z, Create Tangled Illusions Through Light and Perspective.” We worked primarily on our newest tile surface, TranslucenZ® Tiles. These tiles are created from a vellum-like paper with gossamer see-through qualities. The paper brings with it an exciting new process of tangling both sides of the surface and using light to enhance and support the creative process. Seeing through this surface we were able to see through obstacles to a path beyond. We learned to let our artistic light shine through not only in our work but to enhance our individual creative personalities. As the days unfolded, this new “tool” unleashed a new confidence in our students, and they were able to see things in a new light. Borrowing from our “No Mistakes” philosophy, we found that any miss-strokes were met with a new approach to seeing things in a positive light. Though we do not have control over what happens in our world, we do have control over how we choose to view it and how we want to navigate it. We, as artists, get to choose what lens we want to look through. This shift of perspective is exactly what we are working with when we talk about the Zentangle “No Mistakes” philosophy.

To empower ourselves through our artistic vision we decided to honor this concept with our students and crown off this amazing 4-day journey in style. Pushing ourselves to use our art to practice finding the beauty and good that lives along the way in all our journeys, on and off the tile. As a symbol of this approach, we gifted each of our students a pair of rose-colored glasses. A fun-filled reminder of this philosophy. Putting that energy together, we collaborated on our new rosy outlook and donned our rose-colored glasses to remind us that we can choose to see our world and all its beauty, no matter the circumstances. Not because everything is good but because you have the choice to see the good in everything. Some may know of the traditional French reference, “La Vie En Rose,” a well-known saying and song lyric that celebrates this same idea which we say in English as, “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses”.

Can you just picture it? A roomful of Zentangle artists tangling away on a mountain top, wearing rose-colored glasses and Edith Piaf singing our anthem in the background. We are forever grateful for these amazing artists and their willingness to spend their precious time with us.

Forever in our hearts, “La Z en Rose”.

Update April 2024: Molly and Martha are excited to be back at the Art of Living Reatreat Center in Boone, NC in September.

Embark on an artistic exploration with Martha Huggins and Molly Hollibaugh, as you weave your resilient web, gathering confidence and growth along the way.


During this experiential weekend, we dive into thematic Zentangle philosophies and play with carefully curated materials that teach you to build composition with tangles through layering and perspective. We use unique techniques to lace tangles together with strength and harmony, creating an extraordinary web of creativity.



Learn more and register here.

Martha Huggins


  • Please come back to the West coast! I went to Providence in 2019 to get my Certified training. But now, health concerns prevent me from a lot of traveling, as does my daily dialysis. Sure would love to challenge myself to get to an in-person retreat or training!

    Ginger White CZT34 on

  • Thanks for the reminder that it’s our reaction to the events that happen to us that counts, rather than the events themselves. Any chance of making some of those wonderful-sounding events you do available online, as well as in person? Love the Youtube videos which accompany the Project Packs. However some paid for, online sessions aimed at practitioners who want to improve their skills and learn new ones, but not necessarily teach others (ie via the certificated training) would be most welcome, especially to anyone not living in the USA.

    Linda Culm on

  • Would love to see you in Sydney Australia.

    jenny bollinger on

  • Could you please come out Santa Rosa California. I found Zentangle in Michel’s craft store, I was just walking through with the store a friend I wasn’t planning on buying anything. But as I turned the corner of an aisle on the end cap I happened to look down and found a Zentangle Kit, I had never heard of this form of art. As I read the package I was intrigued at the idea of being able to do something that you "CAN"T" make a mistake doing. For me it was hard to believe, I couldn’t draw a straight line if my life depended on it. So I took the kit and a couple of the books that were under it and went home. It took me a day or two before I did anything with it except open the package up and look at the contents and the little booklet that came with it. Then I took out the first tile and pencil put 4 dots in 4 corners then connected lines to the dots. Then I took the Pen and started to follow the instructions how to make a tangle. About an hour later I had my first tile done. I was surprised that it didn’t look to bad the second one was much better. Now I tell everyone about Zentangle especially for children and seniors. Thank You for designing such a great product I Love it.

    Ilene Mauser on

  • Tangling is an all encompassing journey. It’s No Mistakes, One Stroke at a time. It’s free, yet mindful. It’s creativity that blooms with each stroke. It’s inspiration that whispers to our hearts and individuality.

    It would be lovely, somewhere in time, if a Zentangle Retreat out West were feasible. I’d definitely attend!

    Anna Vermillion-Hoss on

  • Will you ever come back and teach on the west coast? Maybe at 1440 again?

    Tracie on

  • Please, could you host a retreat in California?

    Blythe Nicassio on

  • Hi! Any chance you will be coming to Maryland? Northern Virginia?

    Cathy on

  • You have stayed away from California too long…….come back!!!!

    Diane McCurdy on

  • Seeing the good, the beautiful and the possibilities is the way to a happy life. No matter the circumstances .

    Wonderful Blog Molly and Martha. Thank you for all the encouragement and inspiration.

    Kathy McMurtry CZT on

  • Northeast Iowa offers gentle beauty in wooded rolling hills. Please come. Doris

    Doris Howard on

  • What a great experience and a beautiful venue!

    Delisa Rice on

  • I had such a wonderful experience attending this workshop in Boone, with my mother. We were really on the fence, as we were not yet hooked on the Translucen-Z medium – but it was so much more than just the Translucen-Z tiles! Molly and Martha, you are such incredible teachers – inspiring, thoughtful, creative and supportive. The fellow tanglers were equally inspiring and really helped to create such a special place for being in the “Zentangle Zone”! I hope I will have the opportunity to explore more at future workshops or classes. Thank you!

    Meredith Krimmer on

  • Yes! Please come to California!! I am in Marin County. Let me know if I can help 💕

    Wendy Need-Beak on

  • I thoroughly enjoyed every second at this retreat and love tangling along with Molly and Martha! I will be back every year! I have my rose colored glasses displayed in my art room where I spend 1 to 2 hours every night tangling.

    Carol LeBlanc on

  • The whole retreat was so enjoyable and I learned so much! I appreciate all the planning that went into each day and how it all tied together. You both did a great job and I look forward to next year!

    Lynn Starnes on

  • What a wonderful event. Days devoted to Zentangle, Spending time refining some of those tangles I haven’t used for a while and enjoying the new Translucen-Z tiles. Lots of beautiful mountain sights, fabulous food. Can’t wait until
    next year!! Thanks Martha and Molly for planning such a great 4 days.

    Kim Seastrom on

  • That’s just darling! And I agree, seeing the rosy side of things is a choice!

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • I recommend coming to beautiful Mt Shasta or it’s neighbor McCloud, CA

    Rimona on

  • Please come to the Northwest 🙂

    LouAnn Smith on

  • Do you give scholarships? I cannot afford the price of a workshop, but would love to participate

    Sue Bellefeuille on

  • It was an absolutely wonderful event. Every moment was exciting.

    Ann Florence on

  • It was an absolutely wonderful event. Every moment was exciting.

    Ann Florence on

  • The Zentangle family constantly astounds me with their creativity! I love the rose-coloured glasses you provided this group of talented tanglers! Please come to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area one of these years. Texas needs some serious tangling time with you two!

    Debbie Smith on

  • Please come to Tallahassee, Florida, our Capital City, and a beautiful place to hold a workshop

    Brenda Jowers on

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