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Twenty-Two Tremendously Terrific Techniques to Tipple Tiles

Twenty-Two Tremendously Terrific Techniques to Tipple Tiles

Maria writes:

I was boiling water the other night to blanch some green beans and in walks my beloved, to check out what I was doing (re: what's for dinner?). He spotted the energetically bubbling water and whips out his phone, quick as a bunny!   He proceeded to take this fantastic animated version of the tangle "tipple.”

How could I not show you all this, "what it's like to live with Rick on a daily basis" phenomenon?   So, then a few minutes later, Julie sashays into my studio asking for a blog for Tuesday.  HA!

Life is good. (Because, finding things for a blog gets just a tiiiiiny bit more challenging as each day passes).

Tipple is one of my fallback tangles, when absolutely nothing comes to mind. I love to spiral them out, (example #4 in above Zendala)  taking my time beginning with tiny orbs and each one gradually getting bigger and bigger as I follow the direction it so elegantly takes me.  Or, I begin with a large orb and taking the size down ever so slightly with each subsequent circle.  To me, this is a great way to intensify your meditation, when you must pay careful attention to an ever-changing element.  I do enjoy adding an intense tippling session to my tile, making something appear really complicated when it is merely time-consuming.

I enjoy carefully stacking the tipple, as they so gracefully fit together like a stand of bowling balls, (example #2)  if one was to be able to get the bowling balls to not roll all over the place, as they want to do.  I think of bowling balls, because I want the weight to be apparent, heavy, solid and powerful, as opposed to thinking of Styrofoam balls, that would fly away in a slight breeze.  So, I make the lines bold, going around the orb a few times with my pen. It's more forgiving as well, allowing you to correct or sculpt the" bowling balls" a bit.  I'll have to try going every so lightly and see what that gives me. 

In studying the video that Rick did for me,  I found that drawing the orb first then going in and drawing a smaller one inside, then filling it in with my pen, gave a similar look.(example #3)  It was a bit more unexpected and took longer,  but I liked the effect it gave me.  

I taught a beginners class the other day and instead of doing basic tipple in one of the four sections,  I drew a few larger orbs scattered about the section  (example #1) then drew a bit smaller orbs around each one, continuing until the background was filled with really tiny orbs.  All the students were able to get the concept and their tiles looked great.

At tea today, I noticed Stephanie's bracelet, the tipple in a traditional, square reticulum. (example #5).  A whole different look. The shading on that one surprised even me.  The bracelet itself, had a diagonal design of white and grey crystals.

And this other bracelet/cuff, that a CZT graciously gifted me, she said it reminded her of me. The double pearl pattern appealed to me, the bracelet a bit steam-punkish, in its boldness. (example #6).  Loved the tiny prongs keeping these pearls from wandering too far.  I am a bit hard on things and feel comfortable wearing this piece of jewelry.  And, also feel like it would fit comfortably in any of my Zentangle tiles.

I am anxious to see you artists using alternate versions of tipple in your tiles.  Seek the road less travelled. . .  and all that.  Go confidently in the direction of your dreams..

Not sure Robert Frost or Henry Thoreau had Zentangle in mind, but I guarantee they would have loved tangling. Hmmm…I wonder if they would have liked a tipple or two. . . 

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Bijou is going to be giving away a special surprise to one lucky commenter! The randomly selected commenter will be announce in next week's blog.

Maria Thomas


  • Who could quipple
    with sweet round tipple?

    You think it’s a dot?
    Of course, it’s not!
    Maybe a circle?
    Don’t be a jerkle!
    It may be sipple,
    but joy will tripple—
    These basic orbs
    are just adorbs!

    Who could quipple
    with sweet round tipple?

    Tami Andrews on

  • I love this blog today. Who to thank first. It has to be Rick. Sorry girls. That video was so cool to watch, just like the photo he posted awhile back of mud bubbles while taking his morning walk. This morning I pulled out a handful of vintage pieces from my jewelry box looking for inspiration to jumping into tangling some dingbats as my copy of Brian Crimmins book arrived yesterday. Immediately I noticed that tipples appeared on almost every piece. So it seems I’ve been surrounded by tipples today and it feels great. Oh, I have to go check on my big pot of vegetable soup. I hear it bubbling!

    Linda LUSK on

  • Twenty-two tipple techniques teaches how to trust the wisdom in this process. What may seem at first as plain as an empty ring may hold innumerable worlds of opportunity.

    kathy shapiro on

  • I draw circles and always have. It was also something my dad was really good it. He could draw any size almost perfectly! So when I started my Zentangle journey and naturally used Tipple, he was really tickled!

    Sara Harding on

  • I love all the different ways you do tipple Thank you for your insights and sharing with all of us

    Jocelyne on

  • I am currently obsessed with circles

    Julie on

  • Thank you both for your marvelous work. Taking a circle and making it a star. You are wonderful!

    Gloriann Ehrman on

  • I am currently obsessed with circles

    Julie on

  • So many ways to tipple!

    Mary Kay Cass CZT34 on

  • I love tipple and use it all the time. These variations are wonderful. The water video is mesmerizing and all you see is tipple orbs moving!

    Maureen Robins on

  • What is it about curves? Circles are the ultimate curve and so rewarding to draw. Many circles of different sizes filling in a space or turning into a design all their own is simply fun to create. Thanks for reminding us about the joys of “tippling”.

    Lucy Allen on

  • I have been collecting Tipple Tangleations since CZT 16 (just because I could!) Endless fascination that just made a quantum leap forward with this blog post. Many thanks.

    Linda Dochter, CZT 16 on

  • Love this, and I love tipple for looking cool on its own, playing nicely with others, and saving me from awkward spaces.

    Julie Keimig CZT24 on

  • I love being reminded that Tipple is a great tangle itself and not only to be used to “fill in”

    Nancy Wilcox on

  • Love Tipple. Very relaxing….

    Suzanne H Crisafi on

  • Tipple is such a fun tangle. So simple, but so many ways to use it. It never gets old!

    KEM on

  • Tipple is always one of the tangles I find most calming to draw. Plus it fits perfectly everywhere. Looking forward to playing with these other versions!!!

    Angel L on

  • I remember taking pictures with my tablet last year when I was in a nursing home last year of pictures that would make great tangles. This blog post reminded me of that. A nurses uniform top also inspired me also.

    Betty Johnson on

  • Thanks for all of the fun tipples! They surely love to dance around a tile!

    Wendy CZT 20 on

  • I love how you can find tangles in so many places and many times without even trying!

    Renee Knaus on

  • Tipple is my favorite go to tangle! I love seeing these new ways to play with it!

    Jeanne on

  • Just looking at this image is relaxing.

    Cheryl Baumeister on

  • Bubbles, orbs, reticulum, tipples… for some reason I’m caught up with the fascination of the vocabulary!!

    Nancy on

  • I am a “Tippler” from way back! Before I ever heard of Zentangle, I was a calligrapher, and used many techniques to decorate my calligraphy, including many comon, decorative motifs that are now included in Zentangle. I always called the “tipple” design, “bubbles.” (As in Maria’s saucepan, or water from the aerator on my kitchen faucet, or the bubbles at the foamy edge of an ocean wave…I could go on, but you get the picture.) Tipple is a fun way to quuckly fill odd spaces, and its versatility makes it one of my favorite “go-to” tangles!

    Jake on

  • Tipple has saved the day with many of my tiles! You kind of tangle your way into a corner and tipple is like many little lifesavers to complete a tile! ❤️

    Carol Markel on

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