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Bijou's Story | Bijouisms | Fun Facts | Products

A Fanciful Tale*

In 2006, shortly after the birth of Zentangle, we (Rick and Maria) took a trip to Paris. We had a wonderful time wandering its streets, museums, and city scenes. Our Zentangle discovery had recently occurred and our heads and hearts flooded with ideas and dreams of what was to come on this exciting new path.

Everywhere we looked we saw patterns to be deconstructed . . . patterns inspired by the art, architecture, and nature that surrounded us in Paris.

Back at our hotel, Maria spotted a small snail crawling up the zipper of her suitcase. Startled by its beauty, she smiled and called to me to share her discovery. It was time for dinner so we decided to leave it undisturbed so it could find its way back home.

However, this was no ordinary snail! When we unpacked our luggage after returning home, we discovered this snail had hitched a ride in our luggage! It looked perfectly comfortable at our home in Massachusetts. We decided to place him (or was it her?) gently among the ferns in our front yard. Before placing her (or was it him?) down among the ferns we named this adventurous and beautiful snail "Bijou" which means "little jewel" in French.*

A couple days later when I went out to pick up the morning paper, I noticed a glistening tangle on our front porch. At the end of this tangled trail was Bijou!

"Maria, come see!" Together, we watched Bijou knowingly look up at us and then move slowly and steadily off into the ferns. Was that really a smile that played across Bijou's glance?

Over the years since that magical morning, Bijou's front porch tangles have turned into conversations. We now enjoy a wonderful collaboration that has resulted in new web pages and products.

We are excited and thrilled that Bijou has decided finally to come of out his/her** shell (so to speak) after becoming more comfortable communicating in this particular human language.

Bijou's passion for Zentangle is obvious. Bijou's insights, that only a snail could have, are relevant and inspiring to us humans. We are thrilled to be able to share them with you. We are pleased to introduce you to Bijou, our friend and artist, here to guide us and remind us of many profound characteristics of the Zentangle Method as only Bijou can. After all, "Anything is possible, one (slow and deliberate) stroke at a time!™"


* Please note that this is "A Fanciful Tale." Bijou's image is born out of Maria's pen and his story, out of our playful imaginations. While we did go to Paris, the only "Bijou" that we brought back was in our hearts.

** We have come to understand from Bijou that each snail is both male and female. Given the use of the English language, Bijou is comfortable using the single reference of "he" instead of the more complicated "he/she".