Tuesday, 3 April 2018

good enough to eat

Over the long weekend I worked on one thing, and one thing only - Zenbuttons!

These are the creation of Marguerite Samama of Happy Tangling.  They seem to be popping up in various Zentangle places I frequent and so I wanted to give them a go while they were hot!

Done well they have an amazing dimension and shine and seem to pop right off the tile.  See some mesmerising examples by Laurel Storey.  She won't burden you with words like me, just tonnes of great pictures!

I wanted to do them justice, so I bought Marguerite's instructions. (Edit - Marguerite has now generously made her instructions available free for all on Tangle Patterns - have fun!)  I usually wing it when new techniques appear, and often I manage to get to the desired result through trial and error.  But I wanted the foolproof method.  And it worked first time!

My first four Zenbuttons were done by sticking pretty close to the instructions.   I used fragments inside the reticula and shaded as suggested.  I drew them onto tan paper, but I did them Bijou sized - for some reason I like to start small when practicing something new.

My first four buttons - in black in with added brown,
wine, purple and olive ink

They look great to me.  In fact the hardest thing is getting a photo or scan do them justice, they look even more dimensional to the naked eye.

I then tried things a different way, using coloured pastel paper.  And on some of the Zenbuttons I used a single tangle round the entire band as opposed to fragments.  I think the blue ones work well, but the orange less so - and the orange one with Printemps the least - something just doesn't pop!  I've got an instinctual feel that some tangles / fragments work better than others, but it's early days.

Mixed success - but the blue ones I like.  Top right looks almost metallic -
bottom left has extra colour laid down first and in the shading

But imagine the possibilities - this is just the start.  I want to try them on different tonal papers, in different colours, I want to try them larger.  I wonder how I might combine them with other tangling.

If the world is my oyster, it won't contain a pearl but a button!


  1. Love this post. Fantastic results on your buttons. I love the way you take something new and run with it. Good on ya!

    1. Thank you for your comment Sarn, and your one the other day on my other post.

      Yes, when I spot a good idea I can see so much potential in it. I'm still thinking of new ways with these buttons! Who knows where one might pop up next!

  2. Wow! These are all amazing Jem😍 I like the orange one with the printemps. The contrast is quite remarkable, but those tan ones...stunning!

    1. Thank you Michele. They are quite addictive. I've forced myself to put them down for a few days to do other things, but I think I'll be heading back to Buttonville soon!

  3. Your Zenbuttons are great. I would like to improve mine. Where did you buy the instructions?

    1. Hello Marty. I bought mine from Marguerite herself. You can contact her through her Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/happytangling/.

      I hope that helps.

    2. Thanks very much. I appreciate you letting me know.