Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekly Challenge #202

Good Morning!
Thank you, everyone, for your amazing submissions for Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day last week.

What a tough week it's been.  Both boys have been sick.  Both with Strep Throat which turned into Bronchitis for Artoo.  Chewie seemed to bounce back fairly quickly, but Artoo gets hit hard with these kinds of things.  Many sleepless nights and coughing fits and cranky family.

Not every week can be jam packed with good times.  This one, unfortunately, was a hard one.

We did get our Purple on for Artoo though and took the obligatory family purple picture. :D

Happy Moebius Awareness Day!!  Love the Harms Family.
I'm going to keep this week short and to the point.

Let's call that week done and move on shall we?

Weekly Challenge #202: "DuoTangle: Chebucto vs Copada"

This week's challenge is to create a DuoTangle, which is a tile using ONLY the two tangles given.  This week those two tangles are Chebucto and Copada.   This is the first time that the DuoTangle challenge has NOT been two official Zentangle tangles.  These tangles are by my fellow Saskatonian CZT - Margaret Bremner.  (you can find the step outs for these tangles in the links above)


These two tangles are both tangles i use regularly, but i thought it would be interesting to use them in a DuoTangle because they're both sort of border-type tangles.  How to work that into a DuoTangle?

I'm really interested to see what you all come up with.

Have a great week! 

If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Challenge #201

Happy Monday everyone!!

HOLY MOLY! WE DID IT!! Last week's 200th Challenge had over 200 submissions!! i haven't had a chance to go to everyone's blogs and sites this week, i'm making may through all the posts slowly!  You guys are so awesome!!



Aaaaaaaaand now for the winners of the 200th Challenge Giveaways!! (are you all dying of anticipation?)

This winners of these prizes were all chosen via Rafflecopter, based on your various entries like commenting and visiting facebook and tweeting, etc! 

Winner #1 
Britt Jacobson!
You won a set of Puzzle Coasters,
Bijou tiles, a tile sampler pack, and an I Heart Zentangle decal

Winner #2: 
Carmela from the Netherlands!
You won tan Zendala tiles, white Artist Trading Cards,
black Artist Trading Cards and an I Heart Zentangle Decal 
Winner #3
Cat Trask!

You won White, Tan and Black tiles,
Bijou tiles, and an I Heart Zentangle decal
Congratulations! i hope you enjoy your loot!

I have to say that i was just tickled pink by the number of people who bravely shared their tiles last week!  There were many of you who said you followed along but had never posted until now... i'm proud of you!! I hope you had a pleasant experience!

Thank you, everyone, for making last week my most successful challenge to date.  Last i checked we were at 209 submissions, so that means:  

SECRET PRIZE NUMBER 4!!

This prize was selected using the random number generator from random.org and i randomly selected a number between 1 and 209.   and the winner is: 

DIANE TREW!!
Diane, you have won:
The book of zentangle, signed by Rick and Maria (and me),
and a Bijou version of my Mac'n'cheese tile,
complete with wearable frame (just add chain, or pretty ribbon), and an I Heart Zentangle decal
Diane, please email me at lauraharmz at gmail dot com with your mailing address! 

Thanks to those lovely souls who have fed the tip jar!! Sign up if you're interested (on the side bar or here)  Tipping brings good Karma, and makes the Universe happy and gives all the kittens of the world super fluffy marshmallows.  Please, think of the kittens.  :)

Weekly Challenge #201: "Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day 2015"



Moebius Syndrome Awareness day is Friday, January 24th.



For those of you who've been around since the beginning you know that my son, Artoo, has Moebius Syndrome.



For all my new friends - Moebius Syndrome is a congenital nerve disorder affecting cranial VI and VII nerves controlling the lateral movement of his face. Moebius is a spectrum disorder - so some cases are more severe than others.


We've been extremely lucky that Artoo's symptoms haven't been too difficult to adjust to. 


Without going into too much detail about his condition; we deal with delayed developmental milestones, eating/feeding issues, club feet, low muscle tone - just to name a few things, and of course - being unable to deal with viruses and bacterias, he gets very sick. very fast.


Not a lot of people know about Moebius Syndrome, which is not surprising given the odds of having a child with Moebius is 1-2:1,000,000



yes.  you read right.  one million.  There's currently about 5,000 people on the planet with Moebius Syndrome 


When Artoo was first born and we'd take him to the hospital for emergencies, we'd tell the doctors that he has Moebius Syndrome and they would say: "What's that?"  We've had to become the experts on the syndrome, and the advocates for our child, finding our way through the haze of the medical system.



i also want to stress here that Moebius Syndrome is 
NOT A DISEASE, it's a disorder affecting his nerves.  The word disease implies that he is sick, or that he could 'get better'.   A lot of people assume that people who have Moebius Syndrome are mentally disabled because of their facial paralysis.  This is simply not true.  It does not affect intelligence, in fact - Artoo is really super smart. 


He's now 4.5 years old reads just as well as his older brother.  He's incredibly smart, and he really loves to sing and dance.  It's not uncommon for him to sing out loud, at the top of his lungs... in places like the doctor's office... or the grocery store... or outside of Chewie's grade 1 class.  Much to everyone's delight.



If you ask him what he'd like to be when he grows up, he will tell you: A Palaeontologist. 




To raise awareness for this disorder is this week's Challenge. Use the Moebius Syndrome Foundation's logo as your string, or create a moebius strip out of paper and tangle that... or some other awesome creative thing that i haven't thought of.


Here's two versions of the logo for you to work with.  You can print them or trace them or draw your own.


For those of you who remember this challenge from last year, please don't submit your tile from last year.  I'm going to send the link to the Challenge to the folks on my Moebius Syndrome support group on facebook, i'd love for them to see all your amazing artwork so that each and every one of them will know that they are not alone and that we are aware!!

If you are going to post your piece, also, to Instagram (@iamthediva), Twitter, or Facebook - please consider using the hashtag: #MSAD15


OH, also - the colour for MSAD is Purple, so if you want to incorporate purple into your tile, feel free.  Please consider wearing purple on Saturday, in support of Artoo - The first baby to attend a CZT Conference in utero! :D.

If you do, and you'd like to send me a photo, you can send it to lauraharmz (at) gmail (dot) com, or post it to the Challenge Facebook Page with hashtag #MSAD15

Thank you everyone for being so supportive of our family!! it means so much to us.

have a great week!



Monday, January 12, 2015

TADA!!! WEEKLY CHALLENGE #200!!!!

KABOOM!!
Two Hundred Challenges under our belts.  Can you even believe it?  Two Hundred Challenges, over 1.7 million page views, and over 3000 fans on Facebook.  Sometimes i can barely even grasp it.

It's a brand new year! Are we all settling in to 2015? I've found myself writing the date with 2014 a few times... it usually takes me until mid February to get that straight. 

As we start this new year of challenges, i want to bring your attention to a few things.  The first one being this: I'm doing away with the slideshow.  This shouldn't come as a shock.  I'm sad to see them go, believe me.  They were pretty amazing.  I'm not shutting down the ones that are already in existence... so any of these slideshows should still be available to look at on line.  

Collecting the images and creating the slideshows was very time consuming, and even when i had some amazing help, it was too much for me to keep going.  Being a busy stay-at-home mom to two boys and one of those with special needs... it's just one more thing on my plate.

 Over the past few months i've been asking for your feedback on this, and the majority of you said that while you'd hate to see them go, you were onboard with making my life easier. ;)  

So, now the easiest way to share your submissions is to use the linkey machine.  You don't have to have a blog for that, you just have to have your image hosted online.  There are some great image hosting websites you can use, like Flickr or Picassa, or Pinterest to name a few.  They're all free and all pretty easy to navigate.  An offshoot to this is that i can't accept your images by email any more to upload for you.  i'm sorry.  i hope you'll understand.

The next thing i wanted to do was to bring your attention to the PayPal button on the right side of the blog.  I've created a TipJar through PayPay.  You never EVER need to pay to take part in the Weekly challenge...EVER.   

This is a service i provide out of the goodness of my heart for you because i love you and i love this community, and i'm sweet like that.  HOWEVER - if you think that the service i provide is worth a cup of coffee once a month - PayPal will help you do that.  

You can now set up a monthly donation that will come, safely, from your PayPal account. You can cancel any time from your PayPal account.   

There are three levels of tipping: Cuppa Coffee ($2/month), Micron Pen ($5/month) or Champagne and Cupcakes ($10/month) and if you're more a one-time lump sum kinda tipper, you can always tip via my PayPal address; madam_diva at yahoo dot com  

[if you're visiting my blog on your mobile device you can find the same tip jar in the drop down menu of blog pages or by visiting this link]

Now that that's out of the way... here's what you really came for....
Weekly Challenge #200: "Bi-Zen-Tennial Celebration!"

First off, i can't take credit for the term Bi-zen-tennial.  That's all on my friend Elisa Murphy - as with many things in our new friendship.... things just fall into place.  I had spent a good portion of Sunday afternoon trying to come up with some kind of clever title for this week's challenge... and was coming up blank.

cut to: an email from Elisa arriving Sunday evening congratulating me on my Bi-zen-tennial.  Perfect.  Just Perfect.  Thanks lady! 

I also received this sweet email from Rick and Maria at Zentangle HQ:
Two hundred  is quite a "festiva"
Can anyone hardly believe a. . .
Goddess named Laura
Zentangled an aura
All around us. . . ."Viva la Diva!"
Our Best Good Wishes to Everytangler's Angel 
The Great Laura Harms
2015 
Rick and Maria
Isn't that the sweetest? it's not every day a gal has poetry written about her.

Also Sunday as we celebrated B-rad's 35th birthday at my mom and dad's, my family surprised me be bestowing upon me this deliciousness!
Tasty celebrations!! (My niece is cute)
Om Nom Nom.... Moments after this photo was taken my brother shoved my face into my cake.
Classic.
So, just what is this week's Bi-Zen-tennial challenge?  

This week's Challenge is to use your Mac'N'Cheese tangle in a Monotangle.  Or, in other words: create a tile using ONLY your go to, or favourite tangle.  

And let's take advantage of the WHOLE tile! No borders! Let's extend from end to end, and fill our tiles BURSTING with Tangly JOY! 

And finally - put the number 200 (big or small) somewhere on your tile.    

200! Bi-zen-tennial!!
So - to recap: 
  • Monotangle of your GO-TO or Mac'n'cheese tangle
  • no border, extend from end to end
  • stick in the number 200 somewhere!
And what kind of Celebration would it be if i didn't have a giveaway?
I have three lovely SECRET prize packages to give to you! (the suspense is killing me already)

Entering is easy! Follow the steps in the Raffle copter below to be entered!

ALSO!! if you are a long time lurker now is the time to join in! Your day to shine!  I would LOOOOVE to see 200 partipants on the linkey machine this week!  If we make it to 200 by Saturday at midnight, i will chose one lucky participant to be the recipient of a FOURTH prize!!! 

WOO! FUN!

I want to take this opportunity (quickly, as this post is uber long already) to let you all know how much i have loved being at the helm of this crazy ride... every day is a gift and i'm honoured to facilitate this space that you all have created.  You've all been so wonderful and i am blessed to be able to share Monday mornings with you.
Much much much love,
Laura

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekly Challenge #199

Hello everyone! Welcome back, it's a brand new year and the 4th year of the Diva's Weekly Zentangle Challenge!

Watch as i slam you with photos! ;)

CHEERS!!

the cutest little Elves this side of the North Pole
Just before school ended for Winter Break Chewie found himself with some kind of a nasty cough l... it carried over the holidays - he's still coughing... although it doesn't sound nearly as nasty - Thankfully.  So, we spent a lot of the holiday making sure no one else got sick.. and we were mostly successful except now *i'm* sick.  :(

Chewie is FAR more excited than he appears in this photo,
which is still pretty excited, too bad Artoo wasn't there
I also took a laser ornament making class with my pal Tara where the website said we could submit our own designs for the lasers to cut out.....

We broke the class
 Leave it to the two Zentangle artists to come up with designs that ultimately broke the class.

the laser at work
Our designs, while adhering to the specifications of the artwork parameters, were too intricate and our pieces took longer to set up and longer to cut out and our pieces melted.  :(

Luckily, the lady took our work over the week and made them bigger and made them out of MDF board instead of acrylic.  

And so i'm the proud owner of a laser cut version of my very first challenge... Simplicity


Pretty neat, huh?

The Marathon that was Christmas was full of Christmas Magic.  The boys were mostly well behaved through all the gatherings and lack of sleep and lack of naps and over sugared and extra cookies and cakes and pies and people and relatives... 

We had some struggles with a case of the "Greedies" in Chewie's case.  I'm not sure how to address this in the coming years.  We are trying to explain to him that people give him gifts because they love him, and they took the time to find a gift for him - the VERY LEAST he can do is to say thank you and be grateful.  
Artoo's Rudolph nose

Chewie's Santa Hat
 We had such beautiful weather leading up to Christmas.  B-rad and I were excited because they boys were getting a toboggan for Christmas! But then, wouldn't you know it - Christmas day and the temps DROPPED waaaaaaay down.... and they haven't gone up.

We took it for a spin around the block but had to go back home because it was too cold
The boys got some fun board games this year, so we've been playing a lot of HeadBandz, Memory, and my favourite: Yahtzee!

I am a Key! I am a pillow!
as well as copious amounts of video games....
I am a helicopter! I am a tractor!
And now we're busting into year 2015.  Another year older, perhaps a bit wiser - but i doubt it. ;)
I don't like to do New Year's Resolutions - but i do like to think of goals...
this year i'm participating in a few online classes like Mandala Magic (again, for my 3rd year!) and the Documented Life Project (again for my 2nd year) and i've signed up for another 10K race, and a 5K Foam Fest run with B-rad and my parents....

and i've finally chosen my OneLittleWord to focus on for 2015.... BADASS (Thank you Elisa!)


What about you guys! Any awesome goals or art projects or focus words for 2015??

Weekly Challenge #199: "UMT: Hitch by HeidiSue"

this week's UMT comes to us from HeidiDue and her blog: TanlgeOoh! You can find the step outs for her tangle HERE

This is a great tangle, and as you can see - there is LOTS of room for variations.... i particularly like the one second from the left.  So fun.
For those of you who don't know, the first Monday of the month, is a UMT Challenge (Use My Tangle), where the challenge is to learn and use a tangle created by one of you! It's awesome for me, because i don't have time to try all the new tangles i see on the web on a regular basis. This challenge makes sure i'm at least learning ONE new tangle a month... 
if you have a tangle you'd like to submit, please follow this link for the guidelines for submissions. Each month's tangle is chosen at random by www.random.org 
Have fun with this tangle!  Have a great week!  See you all back here next week for the 200th Weekly challenge!!!
If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 


Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekly Challenge #198

Good Morning everyone!

Welcome to the Last Challenge of 2014!  If you're a regular here, you'll know that i tend to take the last few weeks of December off to do Christmassy things with my family!  Don't Worry, we'll be back and ready to rock on January 5th!

What adorable little Christmas Trees they make.

the family tree selfie
We had some pretty crazy weather up here, it was really cold and snowy... and then - just like that it was warm and all the snow was melting... we had about 3 or 4 days of temps hovering around 4-6 degrees Celsius (that's about 39-42F)

i took this picture early one morning of my neighbours tree... i love hoar frost
The boys are having a tough time with the dark this year.  I was telling a friend that the sun has been rising around 9:08am and then going down at about 5:43pm.  Chewie is having a hard time going to school in the dark.  But thankfully we are almost at the darkest peak!

These are amazing cookies - i made them for a cookie exchange with some girlfriends
There've been lots of baking and holiday movie watching as well.  We've watched Elf, Arthur Christmas, The Legend of Frosty the Snowman; and The Muppets Family Christmas tends to get watched every single day.  (B-rad and i attempted to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation together last night and we were both seriously underwhelmed.  lol - i remember it being a lot funnier, now it just seems really stupid.)

The boys and i have been busy making Christmas type crafts as well.  Chewie likes to make snowflakes.


he's having fun, he just tends to make a 'grump' face when i take pictures of him now...
i forsee a lot of 'grump' as we venture into teendom


We also got our letters to Santa sent in the mail!  that was a fun day.

and i've been busy carving stamps like a crazy lady.... I've been doing the #CarveDecember challenge with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, but i haven't been carving every day... mostly just the odd numbered days (Suzanne's doing the evens ;) hello Suzanne!)

Here's a few of them:




It's been really fun!!
I also attended my first ever Dr. Sketchy Anti-Art School event which is a life drawing session with burlesque dancers as the models.  it was really fun, and i'll be going again in January!  I've never done life drawing before - it was hard!!

here's one sketch i particularly liked.... (I don't do faces very well so i tend to just not draw them)

Busy busy busy!!

Weekly Challenge #198: "K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, silly!)"
so!!
We are officially entering into YEAR FOUR of the Weekly Challenge!! Can you believe it?? The very first challenge was issued 4 years ago, on December 20th 2010.

I went back and re-read the first challenge (found here) and i can remember where i was at, all those years ago.  Artoo was only a few months old, and we were still dealing with his diagnosis of Moebius Syndrome but were not yet telling anyone about it.  We were struggling to keep our heads above water as we navigated the terrain of the crazy learning curve of a special needs child.  I wanted to stick my head in the sand and never come out, and i still wanted to make christmas special for then-2-year-old Chewie.

I look at where i am today and i find that i am still NEEDING some simplicity in my life -  just in other ways.   There are so many things that need to be done.  Gifts to be made/purchased/and wrapped, activities to do with the kids... I feel like the minutes and the hours of the days are gone before i even begin.  I don't want to venture out to the stores, but i'm not done shopping and someone has to!  Christmas dinners with families, christmas parties with friends... i sort of feel like December needs to be 6 weeks long, instead of 4, only then there would be 6 weeks of craziness.

So, we come back to the challenge.  The first challenge ever posed here... the challenge to simplify. To keep it simple, silly.

How does this challenge speak to you.  How can you translate that into your work? Will you simplify your string? Simplify your tangles?
Here's my tile. 

Also, congratulations to the winners from last week's giveaway: Suzanne Wilka, Bunny Wright, and Lucy Banta! I hope to get those in the mail for you as soon as i can!!
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
I will be more diligent with the linkey machine - by editing out the ones that don't work, the doubles, the links that lead to nowhere, the links that go just to blog home pages (this is why we need those site specific urls), and the spam. And there is some spam. PLEASE do not put your *home* page in the linkey machine... please? for me??