Variant Title has been added to your shopping cart.    View Cart   or   Checkout Now
Bordering On...and on...

Bordering On...and on...

In 2007, we started BLOG Zentangle and began our enjoyable series of conversations within our Zentangle community.

In reading through these blog posts with their insightful comments, we decided to bring a few of them to your attention from time to time. It is easy, for me anyway, to sometimes think of old information as stale information. But these insights and conversations are anything BUT stale!

We invite you Border On with us with this blog post from 2013...

Begin previous post . . .


. . . inZanity?

Maria writes:

I realize I have an obsession with any kind of border.

So yesterday I walked around our house with my phone camera to show you a bit of what I see. Imagine what you could find if you were JUST looking for borders!

Wallpaper, Fabric, and Furniture 











 (Maria when she was about eight with her younger brother, Tom.)






Musical Instruments












Table Linens

Chocolate Boxes



Bed linens















And even our Kitchen Stove (!!)


Rick adds: That stove used to burn wood, then coal, and now it uses gas. It's also our primary heat source in our living space. Check out the floor. It was our inspiration for our tangle florz.

Well, you get the picture(s). Anyone who is familiar with our house has seen my obsession. Second only to tassels. (!)

What can I say . . . (except I even have tassels with borders!)

(Rick adds:  . . . and borders with tassels! :-)

They instantly attract my eye . . . Guide me around . . . Keep me even-keeled. Maybe it's their ability to keep things together (I can be haphazard with most things) and perhaps I depend on borders "holding" things in place.


Borders provide their own "elegance of limits" to inspire and support.


Perhaps it is the border on your ring or bracelet . . . or the tooling on your leather shoes, or a book binding, or the table runner under the flowers, or the gingerbread on an old Victorian house on the corner, or the elegant gold pinstriping on that old Singer sewing machine, or the multicolored piping around the pillows on your favorite chair, or maybe . . . maybe it is in your memory, of places warm and comfy.


So I have morphed a few of these borders into the world of tangle for you to contemplate.







Rick adds: Take a moment to enjoy matching Maria's tiles with their inspirations. For instance, part of that second to last tile was inspired by the industrial shelving in our shipping area.

Now take another moment to look around you right where you are at this moment and become aware of border tangle inspirations. From where I am right now, a small sampling of what I can see:

  • Coiled wire on a telephone land line
  • Stitching on leather
  • Shadows cast by my computer keyboard keys
  • UPC code wrapped around a pencil in a cup nearby
  • Scales on a dragon on the picture frame holding Maria's picture
  • Grain pattern in the oak wood of my desk
  • Interlocking zipper teeth on my back-pack

Next, in your mind's eye, play with how you might deconstruct these images into the fewest and most easily recombined elemental strokes..

Finally, put on some water for tea, grab your tiles, pencil and pen, and enjoy!

Julie Willand


  • OK. Now ‘Im seeing borders everywhere and once I only saw patterns everywhere. Right now I’m looking at couple museum prints, each surrounded by an obligatory picture frame. However, at the bottom of each print, I see a banner with a printed statement about the art. First patterns, then borders. Can banners be far behind?

    Thanks so much for your continuing inspiration.

    Linda Dochter, CZT 16 on

  • Ever since I first learned about Zentangle, I have seen tangles in everything. I must admit that I never really gave borders much thought. Now, I will be paying more attention to seeing borders and deconstructing them in my head!

    Barbara Burgess on

  • When sitting in traffic, I see tangles in tail lights of cars in front of me. I pass the waiting time thinking of how best to tangle it & join several together. Much better than stressing about how late you are!

    Polly Quanstrum on

  • I often surprise myself as I look around and see the tangle first, then the actual object I’m observing. What a joy it is to view the world in such a multifaceted way! I feel that I’ve always done this in one form or another but now, after discovering Zentangle a few years ago, it all makes more sense and I connect even better. Thank you Rick and Maria.

    Becky Garvin-Gibson on

  • Hello Rick, Maria, Molly, Martha, your families, and all the Zentangle tanglers.

    Thank you for your generous gift of the Zentangle art form, that you have shared with all of us, and for being such loving, caring people. May you all continue to be inspired, and blessed with such a wonderful gift of creative talents.

    Cheryl on

  • Not t only am I clueless, but I’m also “borderless”! Seriously, I looked around my house and I have no borders!!! Am I that dull? 😂

    LaJuania Dorman on

  • Stitches on my shirt cuff, the rim of a plant pot, window casings, crimped metal between a pencil and its eraser, the edge of a lampshade … they’re EVERYWHERE!! I didn’t even turn around. :) I love that practicing the Zentangle Method has raised my awareness of my surroundings. I see much more natural as well as human-made beauty than I used to. What a wonderful benefit from just drawing “one stroke at a time”!

    Jan Brandt on

  • Shadows cast by keyboard keys…
    I’m at work with a million things to do and now I’m looking at shadows on my desk and out the window to find patterns. To my co-workers it may look like I’m slacking off, but my creative brain is working OT. Thanks Rick!

    Kim Kohler on

  • I think one of the bonuses a Zentangle practice provides is the ability to ‘see’ everything around you with fresh eyes. I now see patterns in everything. This is just one more way to take that to another level. What really makes me laugh is that I’ve even got my husband saying to me, “Jo, that would make a great pattern”.
    Thanks Rick and Maria for constantly keeping this new and exciting.

    Jody Genovese on

  • One of my favorite (and relatively quick) tangle projects is to color a tile with paints or inks (or not) and draw a series of squares in which I tangle borders. This somehow feeds my soul. Thanks for the border inspirations!!!

    Paula Schneider on

  • One of the biggest lessons for me in Zentangle is “stop-look-ask yourself ‘what do you REALLY see’.” Thank you for encouraging that and these borders are a great example.

    Valerie Hess on

Leave a comment