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Tangled Tuesday No. 16

Well, this week I hit the 500 posts milestone on Ten Thousand Tangles. Yay me! While actually getting to ten thousand tangles is still pretty far off in the distance, I think reaching the 500 mark after just over a year of tangling is not too shabby at all. Happy Tangled Tuesday!

Tangling Goodies

I’ve been asked how I came up with “Ten Thousand Tangles” – that is, the name I use for both my tangle gallery and shop – and thought that having arrived at the 500 posts milestone, now would be a good time to explain it!

The idea was actually triggered by a Macklemore song called “Ten Thousand Hours” (Peter and I went through a big Macklemore phase last summer!). Here are some of the lyrics that I found inspirational:

A life lived for art is never a life wasted.

I stand here in front of you today all because of an idea
I could be who I wanted if I could see my potential

See, I observed Escher
I love Basquiat
I watched Keith Haring
You see I study art
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint
The greats were great ’cause they paint a lot

Put those hours in and look at what you get
Nothing that you can hold, but everything that it is
Ten thousand

On further investigation I discovered that the song was largely inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-Hour Rule” (from his book Outliers) – that is, in order to become an expert in your field you have to practice for around 10,000 hours.

While I haven’t yet read the book (and also realize that the 10,000 hours figure could be up for debate!), I like the spirit behind the notion: if you want to be an expert at what you do you have to practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. Overnight or natural-born success stories are few and far between – for most of us, being an “expert” artist, or writer, or athlete (or, or, or) isn’t in our DNA, but rather comes with hours of practice. And I’m pretty excited about putting in mega practice hours on my tangling!

So, that’s how the idea for “Ten Thousand Tangles” was sparked. And the fact that alliteration was involved sealed the deal! 🙂

New Tangles

This week I learned Slink, Y.A.F. (Yet Another Flower), Radia, Florgrate, Boxt, Pi, Ninja, Fürn, Zusafürn, Subcub, Tentacle, Ballenchain, Bellaposa, Paisley, Flores DeCasa, Billiken, Baseflake, Crystle, X-glass, Lustrade, Itch, Pellet, and Tung, all from Yoga for Your Brain by Sandy Steen Bartholomew.

If you’re following along in Yoga for Your Brain, you’ll notice that I’ve skipped a few of the designs. This isn’t because I don’t like or want to do them, but because I’ve previously learned them through one of my other books (there is often overlap and some repetition between the various Zentangle®1 books).

I also learned Uni, Croscro, and Schway, all from TanglePatterns.com.


I’m back on track with my goal of finishing my tangled alphabet in September, so that I can get the originals scanned and start offering monogrammed products on Ten Thousand Tangles for the holiday season. Currently I’ve got the outlines for both Q and R set up and plan to get both tangled this week.

Finished Projects

This week I finished N, O, and P in my tangled alphabet series.

Zenletter N

Zenletter N

Zenletter O

Zenletter O

Zenletter P

Zenletter P

Just yesterday I decided to learn the tangle Schway so that I could draw an arrow (arrows within an arrow, rather!) as my response to the Photo A Day Challenge prompt. I really like this particular pattern – it almost has an optical illusion feel to it, with the two sets of black and white arrows. I think the end result looks rather complicated, but it’s actually a fairly easy tangle to draw.

Zentangle ATC 2

Zentangle ATC 2

Coming Soon

This week’s tangling goals include:

  • Carry on with my Zenletter collection – completing Q and R.
  • Continue adding products to Ten Thousand Tangles.
  • Create pieces for new sponsors.
  • Photograph my previously-completed set of four Zendalas and set up listings to sell the originals in my as-yet-to-be-opened Etsy store.


Previous posts in this series are all tagged Tangled Tuesday.

For background on how I discovered and got involved in Zentangle, and links to further information and resources, check out my blog post For the love of tangling.

You can browse my entire tangle gallery at Ten Thousand Tangles.

And, if you’re interested in having a little piece of my art for yourself, please click on the GoFundMe button below for more information and also visit my Zazzle shop Ten Thousand Tangles. (Pssst… links to my international Ten Thousand Tangles shops are in the Alphabet Salad sidebar – just click on the appropriate flag and you’ll get to the place you need to be!)

1 The Zentangle® Method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

NaBloPoMo August 2014

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.