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Zentangle Project Pack No. 12 - The 12 Days of Zentangle 2020 - Day 8

Zentangle Project Pack No. 12 - The 12 Days of Zentangle 2020 - Day 8

Maria writes: 

I am pretty sure you envision us all here at Zentangle Central, like little elves, getting all these videos done in plenty of time and basking in the luxury of completing a major project. When in reality, we are running around, willy nilly, filming, creating audio, and writing stories and doing photo shoots up to the very last minute. I'd like to think we plan it that way so it is not too predictable, but we intend to get them done ahead of time. It's just that there are so many important Zentangly things that need our immediate attention, or so it seems at the time.  

Molly plans the Project Packs months ahead so we have the time to order and assemble materials and design the lessons and record the videos. But about two weeks ago, Molly comes into my studio and says, "Mum, Mum! We have 2 prestrung Zendalas in this project pack. And each person gets two different designs (out of nine possibilities). I need you to create a lesson that will fit on any one of the nine strings." 

And as usual, I said, "Sure, no problem. I can do that". Then I began the journey of doing just that. I must have worked a week, going back and forth from one tile to the other (you can picture me starting to sweat, Zendalas thrown all over my studio.) But no one lesson I tried was comfortable on each of the nine strings. 

So, I let it rest a couple of days, and thought, "Okay, Bijou is always telling us to focus . . . I can do this. I can do this." (I actually had to do this!).  

And then, like a whisper from a good friend, it came to me. We always teach that Zentangle strings are (almost) always drawn in pencil so that you can use them or ignore them. It's your choice. 

That was it!

So I chose to ignore them! Or at least parts of them. I was then able to design something that would look fantastic on each and every prestrung Zendala tile, and still leave room for you to finish the remainder of your string with your favorite tangles . . . with love, as only you can do. 

And, I made my deadline! 


Alfie writes:

Maria's story inspired Bijou and me. We set up today's photo shoot with magnifying glasses and loupes and focused them on beautiful patterns we gathered from this magical world where we live.

Bijou is focusing your attention on a beautiful page from a Renaissance prayer book. Bijou is paying his attention to a beautiful quartz crystal.

We also spent our time setting up one of Maria's tiles and a tiny jewelry box for your focusing pleasure.

The Tumbling Santas focused on showing you the detail on a tiny tin notebook. (They also apparently want you to focus on them! They are like that you know, tumbling as they always do.)

Perhaps you can see why "Focus" was important enough to be a Bijouism. At least Bijou and I find it important because we can only focus on one thing at a time. And if those little cards were a bit bigger, we might have said, "Focus on what you want more of."

Bijou and I focus on patterns. We've noticed an interesting pattern: we get more of what we pay attention to and what we spend our time on. So now we focus our time and attention on what we want to create.

That reminds me of another Bijouism, "Beautiful and Beyond."

Ahh . . . I can spend my time on that!


---- + ----

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 8

Project Pack No. 12 materials available here

Please share your creations on the Zentangle Mosaic App using the hashtag #PP12Day08 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 7's blog is MartyG! 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. 



  • As always, I’m thoroughly enjoying this 12 Days of Zentangle, and its focus on the Renaissance tiles. One question I have: is there any particular reason for using the brown ink rather than the black, or vice versa? In my own mid-tone tiles, I always hesitate and wonder which one is “right”, even though I know “Anything is possible!” I’m wondering if there is some connection to foreground / midground/ background sometimes? Also wondering if there are certain kinds of tangles that work best with this technique… Thanks for always taking us further in our practice! Happy, well-deserved holidays to all the Z crew!

    Jennifer Sparrow on

  • “Focus”. Thanks for the reminder i jeeded durung this crazy, hectic tine of year. :)

    Charlene Smith on

  • Focus you say…ah….I have finally stopped trying to keep up with the video! Thank you, Thank you,

    Thank you! What a wonderful 12 days of 2020 to partake in!

    Mary Ellen Ziegler czt33 on

  • This is my third Project Pack and definitely my favorite! I tried Renaissance tiles in the past, but felt stuck and dissatisfied with my results. Not so, now!!! Thanks for all the teachings about layering, shading, brown, black and white, Oh My!!!!! And the gold is simply magical!

    Maryanne L on

  • So beautiful! Thank you for the Zendala lesson!

    Natalie E on

  • I love today’s lesson!

    Betty K on

  • Love this tile! Looking forward to trying this a few times!

    cindy brandt on

  • When I first started “tangling”, I didn’t want to shade. Now, I appreciate the depth and beauty shading brings. My new favorite addition to “my toolbox” is the white highlight line- OMG !!! So simple but wow- it is magic. Thank you for opening my eyes to a whole new world.

    Rachael S. on

  • How exciting. I popped onto the blog to tell Maria that her story so resonated with me and I saw that I am today’s winner. I am so grateful for all of you in the Zentangle community and for the wonderful team at Zentangle HQ.

    MartyG on

  • Today’s tangle reminded me of my grandmother’s tatting on her tatting board. Thanks for calling up that wonderful memory!

    Patricia on

  • Always love to learn more ‘tools’ – thanks for the tortillon tip to make borders

    Natalie M on

  • Gorgeous. The brown charcoal pencil is lovely. Brown is not normally my favourite colour but when I see these tiles I often rethink that. Lovely pattern.

    Lisa Crow on

  • Too busy watching…now must try.

    Cathrine Nicols on

  • Love the idea of ignoring, so helpful when I’m stuck on a pre-strung tile. I would love to have dinner plates with this border!

    Mary Ann W-J on

  • Watching these videos are my special treat for the day. Thank you !

    Jackie on

  • I am loving the photos you are posting with each day’s blog. The antiques and art are fun.

    Mary Kay Watson on

  • Beautiful! I enjoyed the creativity with ignoring the string and then letting us design the middle of,the Zendalla!

    Linda JF on

  • Stunning! I love the variations and the shown option of ignoring the string. Brilliant! ~ Rose

    Rosemarie Crawford on

  • My FAVORITE tile-prestrung renaissance Zendala!

    Kathy Y. on

  • I love the lesson of focus in today’s intro. Thanks for the fun tangles so far!

    Nancy Wilcox on

  • Thank you for sharing that ‘behind the scenes’ story. The process and the lovely outcome is always part of the whole journey. Happy holidays!

    Nancy D. CZT18 on

  • Having fun and getting inspiration from the daily videos. Thank you!

    Andrea Saxton on

  • Such a relaxing meditative process.

    Tisha Cabral on

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