Friday, January 16, 2015

Use your good stuff

I have boxes and cabinets filled with things i have never used..and I can't really tell you why. Becuase I'm waiting for something I think.
No more.
I'm going to pull out all my stuff and try and use a ton of it this year, what I don't, I will either sell and buy things I love and will use or I will give away to someone who might actually love and appreciate it. :)
The other day in one of the groups I participate in, I posted something. It's been pretty popular and I'm glad that it reached the audience it has, but I want to pass it around a little more, because I think it's really very important.
I've cleaned it up a little and made a few additional notes, but pretty much, here it is.
I've seen something a lot in groups and online discussion groups lately. I want to share something with you,  not because I am a CZT (though I am) or because I want to sell you something (you have a million options for that and unless you live close to me I'd direct you to someone closer anyway) so I really have NOTHING to gain by what I am about to say.
But it's in the spirit of Zentangle so I think it belongs here.

Use the good stuff.

Don't save your good paper for the day you feel your work is "good enough" because you never will. You'll always wait until you are "a little better" or you've "perfected that tangle"
Don't practice on scraps, don't treat your work as insignificant. That makes me sad.
Use the best you can.
If that's a piece of notebook paper because that's all you have, fine... but if you have choices, find paper YOU love.
It doesn't have to be Zentangle tiles... unless those are what you love. I mean.. I ADORE them, but that's MY personal preference because it's beautiful and make me happy to just hold them in my hands.
You might love Bristol. If that's your favorite USE BRISTOL!
Find a pen that works for you. Maybe you want something refillable, maybe the smell of sharpies makes you happy, maybe you like the way Pitts flow, maybe microns work for you. Good! Use what works FOR YOU.

Part of the joy of Zentangle is the play of the ink against the paper. Microns and tiles were selected to teach with because they work nicely together, they don't smear a lot, the color is deep and rich and beautiful and it's a JOY to lay the ink down on the paper. It really is. There are a lot of tools out there that will play nicely together. Each stroke feels like an event when you are using tools you love.
Whatever your tools ARE, they should be ones that make you ENJOY what you are doing.
Coloring in shouldn't feel like a chore, it should be part of the fun. The tools you use should be selected with that in mind. It doesn't have to be expensive. You can find a sketchbook to practice in with good paper for a couple dollars. I draw almost constantly and I only go through 1 pen or so a month. I can invest a couple dollars in that.
Truly if in your heart of hearts you know you truly can't afford any pen... reach out to me.
I'm not going to just pass out hundreds of pens, but if someone wants to create art and they can't afford the $3 for a pen, I will find a way to help them get one.
If you love crayons, use crayons. But use what you love. Use your good stuff, don't save it for someday, because someday might never come.

My favorite responses to that (and there have been a lot) were the ones where people shared that they were going to do that, that they took it to heart and that it inspired them to take it outside their art as well.
Go get a glass of your favorite beverage in something beautiful that you've been saving til you had company. You and your family are certainly as good as company. :) Make dinner tonight and use your fancy plates, even if you have leftovers.

My Gram used to tell me, make each day a memory. :) I've been forgetting that myself.

In the spirit of using things you love... I have a small  carepackage of things I no longer love or need. It's a surprise box of goodies... so I'm not going to tell you what's in it... but this is a little bonus contest for the month.
(I'll give everyone til the end of Jan)
Post your entry on here, show me something using your good stuff. It doesn't even have to be a creation with your good stuff... It can be a china cup, or your favorite boots, or whatever you want.

Leave me a comment completing this sentence...
I know I'm worth using my good _____________________.

Winner will be chosen at random on Jan 31st by one of my minions. :)


  1. I love this! I have boxes of beads that I spent hours sorting and organizing and literally have never used! I believe it's for the same reason. So here goes...
    I know I am worth using my beads! All of them, the pretty ones, the green ones, the blue ones and even the tiny ones!

  2. My copics.
    I have a nice set in a cool storage book. I pull it out and I adore the markers - the way the color flows and the blending and the smoothness. But I never use them because I'm afraid I'm not good enough at color blending with them; I'm not skilled at using them, I sure love them.
    I know I am worth using my good copics!!

  3. I bought a cup saucer set with 2 bowls at estate sale-8$---beautiful with flowers and different shape than usual--found out woth over 200!!! was asked if going to put away?? Nope--I am worth using this beautiful china and do everyday now--

  4. I am worth using my good markers (not copics like I want one day, but I did purchase a huge set of koi brush markers) because this makes me smile!

  5. I enjoyed reading that when you posted it on Facebook. You're right! We save things "for good" for no good reason. I'm going to work on this this month because I am so very guilty of this! And have boxes and boxes of stuff to prove it!

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  7. Oh you are so right. I have lots of beautiful paper that's just been sitting there for years as I really wanna use it for something special.
    I have already taken it all out of the closet and tomorrow I'm gonna use the very best of the best in my journal.

    I know I'm worth using my good papers, because it makes me happy when things look pretty!

    Also found a bunch of stickers and some old used wrapping papers I saved cause it was pretty.
    If only I was as good at actually using my stuff as I am at collecting them... ;-P

    (So once I've used all this cool stuff, I get to buy something new right??! ;))

  8. My husband and I have been de-junking our home over the last year and we are only keeping the things we love and use. No more packing away the good stuff. We use it and enjoy it.

  9. I know I'm worth using my good graphics 45 papers. I have been a hoarder of these paper packs for the past year or two. They are almost too pretty to use. And since I have a couple of mini albums to make they will be perfect. Thanks Kelly!

  10. Just uploaded a sample of what I've started working on. Decided to create a Copic Journal (yes, another journal! ha!) to encourage me to use and enjoy my copics (as well as the hundreds of stamps I own!).

  11. I know I'm worth using old books that I purchase to use in my crafts.

    I almost didn't but I thought about you and did! Thanks

  12. I don't think my other comment posted. Thank you for bringing this to light for me. I know I am worthy of using my Canon 65 pound sketchbook. A friend bought it for me because he thought I was worth it and now I KNOW I am worthy of it. Thank you for the inspiration.

  13. Listening to you now makes me know that I am worth using my "good" supplies. From now on I will try to think positive and not tell myself "you'll mess that up so why waste it". I have just started tangling and have been using cut-up card stock and cheap artist note books but I do have the Zentangle Tiles that came with the Starter Kit.. I have had so much trouble getting the pens and papers that everyone mentions as there are no suppliers anywhere near where I live...I live in Australia and most of the supplies that are mentioned I can only find on the US sites...the prices seem OK but then the postage makes them way to costly.

  14. I'm working on something right now. Will post it soon. Meanwhile, thanks. :) I agree with the sentiments and the idea. I am a pretty-close-to-beginner-improving-all-the-time artist, and I am using the good stuff. And wow. I love it.

  15. this is great! I'd like to post a link to this wisdom onto our blog, Intermountain Tanglers. Would it also be okay if I printed it up to hand out at our next gathering. It's okay, if not. But we'll be getting together on Sunday and I think the participants would love to read it.

    1. just bumping, so I can click on the "notify me" button...durr...

  16. Just now reading this, as with what is going on in my life, I am way behind.... I know that I am worth using my handmade, beautifully bound, heavy weight paper, book that I purchased in Italy, for my art work. I am not going to save it anymore!