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Zentangle Project Pack No. 12 - The 12 Days of Zentangle 2020 - Day 11

Zentangle Project Pack No. 12 - The 12 Days of Zentangle 2020 - Day 11

Alfie writes:

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. 

Ah . . . Breathing. 

A simple but necessary function for me, all of you, and Bijou, too (a land snail). It might just be the most important exercise any of us need to do, and yet how often do we concentrate on just that? Deep nourishing breaths, ones that make us light-headed. Remember as children, we would sometimes hold our breaths to see who could hold it the longest? Then we would all fall on the grass, (or sand) and laugh 'til there were tears in our eyes. Maybe those games we played were some of the more important things we were inherently teaching ourselves to do. 

I believe that Rick, in his clever, quiet way, was trying to tell us this with his tile today. The importance of deep breathing. We can practice this when tangling, inhaling before a pen stroke, exhaling when finished. It's that simple. The Zentangle Method is an exercise in more ways than you think; as much a metaphor as a method. It is an exercise in relaxation, focus, sharing, patience, trust, and of course, letting go of the fear of making mistakes. It is a physical, mental, and creative training workout. 

Let's just look at this tile he has prepared for you. The name of this tangle is drawings. Kind of a funny name for a tangle, unless you say it more like "draw-wings".

It's all about feathers, light and flight, the movement of air, of breath. Maybe, if we do this, it will make this "wind mill of wings" whirl ever so slightly, so we can see our efforts dance. 

Well . . . it could happen that way . . .

How inspiring!


Rick writes:

Bijou insisted on including two Bijouisms today, "Breathe" and "Inspire." He says that they are related.

We all know (or think we know) about breathing. As Alfie pointed out, breathing is the inhale and the exhale. Breathing has its own rhythm and it forms its own pattern. During Zentangle workshops we remind students to breathe. Not because anyone forgets to breathe, but sometimes it is easy to hold your breathing cycle as tightly as you might hold your pen. So "Relax" (another Bijouism) the grip on your pen and relax the "grip" on your breathing. Magically everything feels differently when you do that - if only for that moment. And sometimes that is all that is necessary . . . that one moment.

Bijou suggested I look at the origins of "inspire" at I learned that "inspire" has its origins from enspiren in the mid 14th century, meaning in part, "to fill (the mind, heart, etc., with grace, etc.)". And comes from the earlier Latin inspirare "'blow into, breathe upon,' figuratively 'inspire, excite, inflame,' from in- 'in' + spirare 'to breathe' (see spirit)."

Hmm, I think Bijou is on to something.


Bijou adds:

Alfie has been wanting to try out Maria's pens for some time now. Today he goes for it. He has no formal training in lettering, but he knows how to tangle! So with joyous anticipation and without any fear he kicks up his heels and trusts that he can "wing it!"

I'm all a-glow seeing him balance ever so elegantly between tangling that rock and reaching for those wings.

Go Alfie!

---- + ----

Welcome to the Project Pack No. 12 and the fifth day of the 12 Days of Zentangle!

It goes without saying that 2020 will go down in history as remarkable year. This year we all experienced the unexpected, the unknown and the uncertain. There were challenges that required our patience and strength in order for us to contribute to what the world needed.

In our Zentangle practice we encourage you to embrace the unexpected, the unknown and the uncertain as a part of your creative process. We encourage you to look for opportunities and to shift your perspective.

As we bring a close to a pivotal year in history, Project Pack No. 12 will offer us a magical time of rebirth, restoration, and awakening. We are excited to begin this year’s 12 Days of Zentangle, that we are calling the 2020 Zentangle Renaissance.

Day 11

Project Pack No. 12 materials available here

Please share your creations on the Zentangle Mosaic App using the hashtag #PP12Day11 and #12DaysofZentangle2020

Let Alfie know your thoughts and each day we will pick a commenter at random to receive a Zentangle Surprise! 

The winner from Day 10's blog is Ellen W ! Please send your snail mail address to 

Note: to curb spam on the blog, comments require approval. If you do not see your comment right away, please do not resubmit. All comments will be approved before winner is selected. 



  • That is a very cute story! I used to zentangle and maybe I will get back into it. I created my own zentangle that I add in many art pieces. So inspired by you. Thanks for being old school and reading and talking to each other.

    Chandra Merod on

  • Although I have not put pen to paper yet, watching these videos on break have truly been a joy. I look forward to practicing these techniques and taking my tangling to a new level. Renaissance tiles are my favorites so this collection of lessons have sparked joy in me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️ for your beautiful gift. My wish to the Zentangle family and community is to please stay safe and tangle on in gratitude.

    Kathy Y. on

  • So light and airy like angel wings. Lovely.

    Betty K on

  • I am in awe of your shading skills! Goingvto try your technique out!

    Charlene on

  • This lesson makes such a simple, elegant tile. Ahhhhhh

    Donna Pilato on

  • looking forward to drawing. c-

    cindy b on

  • What a holiday gift this 12th Project Pack is! I had really loved the grey/blue color way, but now I’m a “Renaissance” woman too.

    Patricia on

  • Breath I know, but I often forget…

    Already on Day11…Is it only me that I misswhile doing?

    Myungsook Chang on

  • Reminds me of the pinwheels I used to play with as a child!

    Ellen W on

  • Perfect with the burnt edge ! Thank you for this video.

    Jackie on

  • Another wonderful, zen-filled sharing time! Thank you!

    Linda JF on

  • I am loving the Renaissance theme for PP12!

    AndreaR on

  • Oh how lovely – one of my favourite tangles.

    RLJ on

  • I’ve really enjoyed Bijou’s thoughts and comments this season. Several really hit home.

    I finally got a version of Drawings to work! I’ve never been able to click with this pattern before and get a piece I was really at peace with.

    I really wanted to do some angels for some family members really affected by Covid-19 this Christmas and the ideas are really “flying…”

    Thank you.

    Tamra Black on

  • Absolutely beautiful and yet so simple. Love this!

    Nancy Wilcox on

  • Every time I see photos of the Christmas lights in London they remind me of the tangle Drawings. The 12 Days of Zentangle is my favourite Project Pack every year. And especially in 2020, it comes at a time when we all need some extra Zen in our lives. Thank you to the Zentangle team for your dedication and your gift of Zentangle.

    Suzanne M. on

  • Lovin’ the memory of the like-burnt-edges of a treasure map! ~ Rose

    Rosemarie Crawford on

  • I really like the subtle effect of the brown pastel pencil. I think that when I go back and watch again with pen in hand, I may try black pastel pencil instead of graphite.

    Natalie M on

  • Must be angel wings! So graceful and sculpted with detailed shading. A wonderful tangle for the Winter Solstice.

    Joyce R on

  • I love the emphasis on breathing in the blog today. It’s so true. Sometimes just concentrating on the breathing makes me forget about whatever obstacle, pain or objective I’m trying to conquer.

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • I hope you have wonderful holidays. Thank you for the zen-ful fun!

    Andrea S on

  • Breathing meditation is how I fall asleep each night. I always breathe before I draw…happily, I don’t fall asleep…

    Lee levin-Friend on

  • Couldn’t wait…had to peek. Beautiful!
    Will try this afternoon.

    Cathrine Nicols on

  • “See spirit” . . . that says it all.

    Rosy S on

  • Perfect night to have something zen…..on the Solstice!

    Tisha C on

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