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Maria’s Meanderings - The Handsome Egyptian Runner

Maria’s Meanderings - The Handsome Egyptian Runner

Sometimes our tangles have stories or tales behind the pen strokes and sometimes our pen strokes inspire stories or tales. When Maria posts a tile on the Zentangle Mosaic App she almost always shares with us some sort of creative narrative. Her words range from inspiring thoughts to fanciful tales. We thought we would share with you some of these parings in a blog series we are calling Maria’s Meanderings.

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Maria writes...

The huggins appeared first. Nice enough. But it needed some. . . drama to make you look twice.

I love the “curvitudes” of gourdgeous, and the almost comic relief it imbued. All we need are the warts and such we usually see on these squashes. Did you know that gourds are amongst the oldest cultivated plants? They were the early water bottles of the Egyptians. Can you picture one slung over the shoulder of a particularly handsome Egyptian guy, running to work, perhaps a stone mason. Heck, everyone must have been a stone cutter back then. Thirsty work. I’m so relieved they had these gourdgeous bottles to quench the constant thirst. Whew.

Actually, this was one of the walls this particular gentleman (the handsome Egyptian runner) was building. Some nice detail here and there, and you can see some invasive vines of some sort huggin the surface, adding a bit of flora to the structure. An impressive bit of stone work. He must have been tired of all the 3 sided monolithic monsters surrounding him. Maybe it was for a lesser wealthy royal family member. I like this guy’s style.

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Thank you to all who commented our last blog, Bijou Speaks: Deliberate Strokes. Thank you for sharing your tangling intention for this coming year. We have randomly selected a few commenters to receive a Bijou Box! If your name is listed, please send your snail mail address to 

  • Leslie Hancock
  • LLS
  • Sarah W. 

Maria Thomas


  • Our imagination is the garden of many wonderful stories that come to life in art form. Thank you Maria for sharing your garden.

    Jacki Fry Brewer,CZT on

  • Very creative……as always!

    Jeanne on

  • ‘Curvetude’ What a great word! Until today I haven’t been a fan of the Gourd, poor misunderstood creation. Seeing it used as is makes a whole new impression on me (grateful). Looking forward to revisiting older drawings and delivering some attention to the well deserving gourds in my tiles.

    Jeannine Honeysett on

  • I think this tile is just lovely. I was immediately drawn to the tendrils that flowed down.

    Barbara Burgess CZT on

  • I loved this meandering so much! I especially loved the talk of stone cutters as my family on my father’s side immigrated here in the mid 1800’s and my great grandfather was a stone cutter there, then here in the USA.

    Loved that tendril under the piece of Huggins so much!

    Kat Van Rooyen on

  • Maria’s tangles are always amazing – but I think it would be so much fun to take a peak inside her mind to watch it as she tangles. I can only imagine the twists and curves that go on in there. LOL.

    Lori Riden on

  • Love the imagery you always create. Love the whole tile, but mostly I cannot stop looking at how that one little tendril is creating the bump under the weave in the middle. That just gets me every time.

    Jody Genovese on

  • I love doing artwork on gourds, and I love Zentangle. Both bring a soul satisfying experience of mindfulness. It’s been a while since I combined the two. I think it is time! Maybe a story will emerge too! Thank you Maria.

    Carolyn Thomas on

  • I did not know that gourds are amongst the oldest cultivated plants. Or that they were used as water bottles.

    Jackie on

  • 😆 😂 😆 and here I thought it was going to be a story about a beautifully patterned rug! 😂 😆 😂 Love you guys!

    Betsy Summerhayes on

  • I love the stories, thanks so much for sharing! Beautiful tile Maria :)

    Michelle Dugdale, CZT37 on

  • There is so much to admire about this tile, but I find the bumps with gourdgeous tendrils underneath particularly striking! Love!

    Donna Flynn on

  • The eye gaze really pulls you in to meandering in the Gourds… ‘Hugging on the Huggins’

    CeCe Bushinsky on

  • I just love all the details Maria adds from the tiniest detail to the huge ones. I strive to see those & emulate them. This is a challenge for me because I don’t always see them. Thank you Maria for always making us more aware.

    Leslee Feiwus on

  • This design is so elegant. The gourdgeous tile reminds me of an octopus or some underwater sea creature, friendly and curious and meandering.

    Roxann on

  • Beautiful tile and awesome tale to go with it. thanks for putting a smile on the face today.

    Sue Leslie on

  • The “ins, outs, and unders” of Maria’s tangled masterpieces still boggles the mind, as we wonder how (or if) she envisions the end product. As one who
    seems to be stuck in “doing the tangle correctly” I am again inspired to go beyond and reach for the unknown! Thank you Maria, for your continued example and encouragement of stretching our creativity!!

    Bonnie Johnson on

  • Fascinating to hear the story, I can just imagine a whole book comprising a long narrative with tangles to illustrate each page – a glossary to interpret the stories through the images might be needed though.

    Evy Browning on

  • The stories accompanying the tangles always make them fun to learn and draw and interesting to teach. I liked Leslie Hancock’s continuation of Maria’s story. “Never spoil a good story for lack of color.” — Celtic Wisdom

    Joyce Rosenberger on

  • I have been tangled since 2013. For some reason I freeze when I pick up a tile and pen. It makes no sense, I don’t compare or set goals. I hope it passes soon. Thank you Maria for the tile and story. 💕

    Kathy Y on

  • So I see this handsome Egyptian stonecutter relaxing in the evening with his stonecutter buddies, drinking beer from gourds and drawing some ideas for stone tangles with a stick in wet sand. Then maybe one of his scribe friends sees his ideas for stone tangles in the sand. (The scribe is relaxing with a beer there too). He, the scribe, then starts to draw patterns on his papyrus to go along with some hieroglyphs and pretty soon he has drawn embedded hieroglyphs (like our embedded letters). Unfortunately, even though this scribe draws a lot of embedded hieroglyphs, and he teaches other scribes, the papyrus with their work doesn’t survive the centuries. Nevertheless, their influence becomes widespread and is felt by all scribes and stonecutters into the future in many different cultures such that we now see illuminated manuscripts from the dark ages, beautiful carved Celtic knot work on gravestones, and the ancient Incan and Mesoamerican stone carvings, just to name a few. All this beautiful work continues throughout the ages until one day a gifted calligrapher and her partner, a Renaissance man, himself, are inspired to share a delightful and uplifting method for drawing all sorts of patterns that almost anyone can do and they start teaching this to everyone who is interested.

    Many thanks to you, Maria and Rick, and to the handsome Egyptian stonecutter who, perhaps, started this this wonderful process.

    Leslie Hancock on

  • I love stories and I love art … When they come together nothing to beat it. Lovely Tile Maria… Thanks for sharing

    Kokilashree on

  • How fitting to see a great story about a gourdgeous Egyptian stonemason right before I leave for my trip to Egypt! You can bet I’ll be looking for that guy, he sounds great! (I’ll also be looking for all the beautiful patterns I expect will be there!). This is inspiration to take with me, so I’ll find some to bring back!

    Laura on

  • I can almost hear Maria’s voice as she tells the tale!!! Thank you for your inspiration Maria!!!

    MaryAnn Scheblein-Dawson on

  • Love this. I can picture a particularly handsome Egyptian building a gourdgeous stone wall.

    Karen Bunnelle on

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