Thank you, Laura, for having everyone commemorate Chinese New Year this week! I’m Chinese, and while I’m not a very “Chinese” Chinese (I can speak the language only stutteringly, and the last time I wrote any of it was in school), Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration on the Chinese calendar here. So I was glad to see that the Diva’s Challenge #205 is to include Chinese New Year in our tiles.

Many children’s favourite Chinese New Year tradition is the giving of red packets. Juniors give their elders Mandarin oranges, and in exchange, elders give red packets, which are red envelopes with money in them, to their juniors. More accurately, married couples give them to non-married people. (In the old days the two were synonymous concepts, but not any more.) I decided to tangle on some red packets.

Here’s the red packets I used. The picture shows both the front and back of the packet. They were the perfect size – 3.5″ x 3.5″. Red packets are often given out by banks, hence the “Bank of America” on it.


This was my first attempt. I used a black Micron 01, white and dark brown colour pencils for shading, and a white Uniball Signo Broad for the highlights.

Amaze, Floo, Flukes, Inapod, Kiss, Meer, Well

Amaze, Floo, Flukes, Inapod, Kiss, Meer, Well

However I found that the black didn’t show up well on the red paper, so I tangled another one with the white Uniball Signo, and shaded with a white colour pencil.

Nzeppel, Rixty, Sanibelle, Scoodle, Shattuck

Nzeppel, Rixty, Sanibelle, Scoodle, Shattuck

This was an interesting experiment. The broad 1.0mm nib of the pen meant that I had to draw with broader strokes and less detail, and the vertical grooves meant that I couldn’t shade finely or blend either. However the broader nib meant that I completed it quickly, and since I liked how it looked, I decided to tangle on a third red packet.

Chainging, Munchin, Tripoli

Chainging, Munchin, Tripoli

Today is Chinese New Year Eve, and it’s been a lousy one for me. I’m down with a sore throat and fever, so I slept through most of my reunion dinner (another tradition where extended families have dinner together, usually on the Eve). But tangling this way, without having to pay much attention to detail, was perfect for someone feeling ill.

By the way, the title of this post is a standard Chinese New year greeting wishing the other person prosperity.


mathematical braids

A non-Zentangle based craft challenge that I take part in recently challenged us to create something to reflect a mathematical braid. A mathematical braid is made up of any number of strings that travel from one point down to another, but never travel upward again. They may intertwine, but they don’t have to.

This was my first tile. I hadn’t grasped the concept of a mathematical braid, so I just did a normal braid, with three strands going over and under each other.

20150107 Braid

Bridgen, Peaks Border, Scoodle, W2

Then I realised that in a mathematical braid, the strands don’t have to intertwine! So I did another tile with strands in the middle that don’t intertwine, with Punzel in the periphery, that has four strands that do intertwine.

20150111 Braid 2

Punzel, Quib, Static, Tipple

I actually tried using Cadent at the left, but I felt Punzel didn’t stand out against Cadent, so I blacked out the area instead. Now I wish I used shading to help Punzel stand out. Shading saves everything!