Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘tangles’

Cherished Blogfest 2015

Thank you, Damyanti, Dan, Paul, Peter and Sharukh for co-hosting this Blogfest.

I apologize I can’t figure out how to link to the participants’ list, but you can find it by linking to one of the co-hosts above.

Did anyone else drive yourself crazy selecting a Cherished Object?


The Vision Thing

(Coincidentally, I wrote this post last week BEFORE  ‘what color is the dress’ set the world a-twitter!)

We see, look, view, observe, peer, watch, stare, examine, gaze …

How we characterize vision is unique to each of us – a combination of visual acuity, our level of awareness, and emotional reaction to what we are seeing.

I was reminded just how unique when I read Dan’s recent post about his color-blindness. Now I wonder if any of us see ‘true’ colors, or discern the same subtleties of hues, pastels and palettes when we look at something. How do we know? I haven’t a clue what colors you see and vice versa.

butterfly Tangle

Hint: There’s no lavender, Dan.

I’ve worn glasses or contacts since the tenth grade. Once I saw the world in high definition 20/20 rather than blurry 20/400, I never let those glasses out of my sight (no pun intended).

In hotels, I refuse to take the side of the bed without a nightstand because my glasses will be out of reach. I insisted that the nurse let me hold my glasses, through the night in the hospital, because I’d need them if I had to rush to a fire exit. I sit out fun times in the lake because I’m too scared not to be able to see the shore.

Despite my disappointment when my eye doctor told me recently my vision can no longer be corrected to 20/20, I remind myself that I’m seeing better than ever. Yes my visual acuity is deteriorating, but I am paying far more attention to what is around me – seeing light, shadows, patterns, colors, movement in ways I used to ignore.

Having to accept and adjust to changes in visual acuity reminds me of an episode when I first moved to Boulder in 1977 – a heady time for a Midwestern farm girl to be transported to a culture mix of Rocky Mountain outdoor living and Boulder earth muffin hippies. After devouring the menu of classes offered at the Community Free School, I registered for Vision Quest.

The first lecture was about how Westerners (non-Asia) interpret vision as visual acuity and strive to provide everyone with the same 20/20 corrected vision. Easterners, we were told, accept eyesight as it exists without correction, and interpret vision as what the mind and soul perceive.

Our first assignment was to take a walk and ignore visual acuity using our other senses and soul to guide us. We didn’t have to go as far as closing our eyes, but the instructor encouraged us to leave our glasses at home.

I lived north of downtown, and several miles separated me from my favorite Chautauqua Park up a steep hill at the south edge of Boulder. On a sunny, warm September afternoon, I set out on my ‘vision quest’ to walk without seeing to see what I could see. (Or something New-Age-y like that).

Although I was scared crossing streets, and somewhat intimidated that someone might be staring at me, I gained confidence with each block. The sun was warm – too hot almost – and I huffed and puffed my way up the long hill, not yet acclimated to Boulder’s altitude.

Breathless and triumphant, I reached the park entrance and headed up a familiar trail a short way before deciding to sit awhile and ‘invite vision into my soul’. I stepped off the trail, crossed my feet, bent my knees to lower myself to the ground, and sat squarely on top of a small prickly pear cactus.

So … yeah … The Vision Thing?

I find it a giant pain in the ass.

Snow Tangles

Here on the Front Range, we’re getting one of our two-day snowstorms. This is one of our few storms with measureable accumulation and blizzard-like winds of Winter 2015. Nothing like the Plains and Northeast states are suffering, but enough to use ‘hunkering in’ as an excuse to tangle.

I decided to try a snowflake template. My results are ‘ok’ (shushing my inner critic to post not-ready-for-prime-time results) because:

1). I’m being lazy with my brain and eyes today

2). I’m using twelve new (to me) tangle patterns with no practice

3). The shading technique still baffles me. I overdo, underdo or in-the-wrong-place-do

Meh … whatever.

I selected patterns beginning with S for Snow on the first tangle and ones with F for Flake on the second.

The six patterns here are Sandswirl, Showgirl, Spaanders, Slalom, Snowzags, and Seedings (they are spelled correctly).


By Sammy D.

The six patterns here are Facets, Fiore, Fandango, Fang, Fishnet, Footlites.


By Sammy D.

I like all twelve patterns well enough to practice and use them again, but I would use a design that provides larger tangle areas than my snowflake templates did.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, here’s your bonus …..

Mind-boggling, stop-in-your-tracks Snow Tangles by Simon Beck, an artist whose work was produced next to Mt. Blanc in Savoie, France. HOURS of meticulous design planning followed by stomping kilometers worth of footsteps in the snow to produce these fleeting works of art:

Art by Simon Beck

Art by Simon Beck

Art by Simon Beck

Art by Simon Beck

snow art 4

Art by Simon Beck

snow art 2

Simon Beck creating his snow art

Even as I marvel at his creativity, beauty and stamina – and strap on my snowshoes to mush around the neighborhood – I’m agreeing with myself this is one kind of tangle I won’t be attempting. But I sure enjoy his!

You can google Simon Beck or see more of his work here.

Thanks to my wing-woman, Coco, for introducing me to Simon!

Navajo Twisted Tangles

I’ve been practicing lots of tangle patterns and designs – a whole sketchbook’s worth. I keep reminding myself all craft is a work in progress, taking years to become ‘polished’.

The following two, begun earlier this fall, remind me of an old Navajo blanket (rug?) my parents had when I was a child. I remember it lying on a shelf in a closet in our upstairs bathroom. The closet was big enough to walk into with rudimentary, dark wood shelves and a tiny dust-covered upper window that let in filtered light.

The closet was a place of great intrigue – sheltering artifacts I wanted to explore but knew I probably shouldn’t.

Or so I imagined.

You know – the way places loom larger than life or things promise a secret delight for a curious child.

I don’t know where the blanket came from, what we used it for, or if anyone else in my family remembers it. I think it had a diamond and rectangle pattern with earth tones – muted reds, yellows, tan and black.

It was scratchy to the touch.

Was it a real Navajo blanket?

Did we store it in the closet as I remember or did it lie on the floor in the back entry?

Do we even want to learn the truth behind every childhood ‘awe’?


Navajo Tangle 1


Navajo Tangle

Chihuly’s Lily Pads


This is my favorite of Chihuly’s art installments at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It is titled “Persian Tower 2012”.



The flowing waterfall made the perfect acoustical background for the serenity of this opaque glass and steel structure, and I spent awhile on a nearby bench studying the intricate detail of the lily pads.




As I strolled the gardens, I paid particular attention to nature’s lily pads which are equally serene and intricately detailed.



This fuzzy, slimy alien-looking creature


could be viewed in various growth stages, ultimately unfolding into



All of which inspired

Lily Pad 3

Lily Pad 1

Lily Pad 2


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