Tuesday, 10 September 2019

falling into autumn

Last week me and mine took a week's holiday at home. Many gentle hours spent reading and snoozing and nibbling and cross-wording and resting and loving. And of course a little tangling too. I knew I wanted the opportunity to tangle, but that I also wanted to largely disconnect from the outside world. I didn't want to be going online looking for tangles - so what perfect timing that the new book by Alice Hendon arrived just in time. 

I began our holiday armed with the book, a handful of pens and pencils, and three postcards I pre-coloured
with Inktense bands that carry my late summer colours through to my autumn palette.

Those of you who know my tangle shopping habits know that I rarely buy much without careful consideration. I own only five tangle books, and this is my sixth.  But as soon as I heard about it I knew this would be on my shopping list. Tangle All Around the World (UK link to buy) is the latest in a series of books by the ever inspiring Alice. This one is a bumper compendium of tangles, tangles and more tangles. Alice put a shout out to tanglers in her Facebook group asking for contributions - and I was lucky enough to have eight of my tangles included in the book! In total the book contains 453 tangles from 50 people, spread fairly liberally through this wide world. There's also plenty of Alice's own tangles in here too - and many of them are mighty fine! You can find more details about the book, as well as sample pages on this post by Alice.

Late summer colours tangled with -
Paddle Pedal (Alice Hendon) - page 93
Plicated (Sandra Strait) - page 45
Echo Two (Sherri  Lee) - page 25

I'm impressed by the book. It feels like a quality product, well-sized and robust. The tangles are packed in with no space going to waste, but the step-outs are clear to see and easy to follow. Alice has divided the tangles into sections grouped by tangle type - and while I initially thought there were chapters I was less likely to visit I was soon proved wrong.  For instance Steampunk tangling has a section - and that's not something I'm partial to, but of course all tangles are ripe for reinterpretation - and something that started as a very mechanical looking disc, turned into a fragile autumn flower (see Oscillator on my final postcard). If I had to find one criticism - and I believe all balanced reviews should try for one (!) - it's that some of the tangles were a little similar to others, either others in the book, or others published elsewhere.

Summer slides into autumn - tangled with -
Flora Flower (Smita Toke) - page 84
Instacon (Alice Hendon) - page 32

For me the biggest plus point of Tangle All Around the World (US link to buy) is the ability to work offline, away from any screens or devices. Mostly I'm able to pull tangles from memory if I want to work unplugged, but sometimes you want to try new tangles without trawling for them through a screen, and this book is perfect for that.  I discovered plenty of tangles I'd never seen before, and worked with some new-to-me tanglers, and I know the book will be a resource I visit again and again.

Autumn's arrival - tangled with
Patchett (Donald Wilka) - page 43
Tierso (Donald Wilka) - page 57
Oscillate (Alice Hendon) - page 171

When tangling my postcards I mostly stuck to using one tangle in each coloured section, but crossed the lines at times to better tie the sections together. I was pleased with the line work, but my shading went a little awry as these postcards had a challenging surface, both bumpy and slippery, and they resisted smooth use of coloured pencil or graphite. Had I not been on holiday I might have tested more thoroughly before I began, or chosen to shade differently, but this was about relaxed no stress tangling. So while the finished postcards may look a little rough and ready, they gave me great pleasure to work on - a little bit added here and there over the course of a lazy week, a week that took us from bright bone-warming sunshine to crisp blanket-craving autumnal nights.

I ended our holiday a bit more rested and ready to resume normal life, 
and with a panorama of global tangling to show for it too!


  1. 8!! Wow :) congratulations Jem!! Sending lots of love from a very hot and hazy Singapore.

    1. Thank you Debbie. The sun is out here today, yesterday it was pouring with rain, but the intensity has gone, summer is on it's way out. If I could I'd send the cool your way!

  2. What a wonderful panorama, Jem, and the shading looks great from where I'm sitting.

    1. Thanks Linda. Often tiles look better in person than on screen, but on this occasion the screen is helping to hide some of the issues that niggled me - I do like a smooth shade!

    2. Yes, most of the time tiles look much better in person. What looks tiny and delicate in your hand can look huge and clunky on screen. It's like that with my beadwork as well. You just don't get a good sense of scale when the beads are as big as your head on the screen! It's some consolation that most people these days view my photos on a cell phone with a very small screen.

  3. Many congrats on having your tangles published Jem. Way to go.

    The postcards in today's blog post look amazing individually, but even better when you put them together all lined up.


    1. Thank you Sarn. I'm excited to imagine my tangles reaching a wider audience. Yes - these postcards work well together. I think I'm finding myself more and more drawn to working in sets - something about seeing a style repeated but altered - and then brought together, power in numbers etc.

  4. Looks like a great book! Congrats on being featured! I love your art .. so very pretty!!