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Down the rabbit hole

Yep.....I've disappeared down the organisational rabbit hole.

Over the past week or so I've been curating my Pattern Reference Folder. You can read more about the system that I use here.

It's an ongoing project that will never be finished as I regularly organise, update, add and remove patterns. Generally when I do work on it, I only manage a few hours before I'm distracted by experimenting with one of the patterns.

The folder is set up in alphabetical order as this is what works best for me, using 2" pattern swatches. I add new patterns when I see one that interests me. Depending on the time I have, they are added in a variety of ways......
  • no time.....I just write the pattern title on a swatch and then slip it in the folder to go back and review at a later date
  • a bit of time......a quick, rough sketch of the pattern
  • lots of time.....I go through the folder, starting at the first page and do the following:
    • organise into strict alphabetical order (because......I'm just like that....) 
    • curate as I go - if I've just got a rough sketch or title, I'll track it down online and decide whether it needs to be added to the permanent collection. Pattern slots are premium real estate as my swatch pages were ordered online from the US and I am running out of spaces!
    • draw final, shaded versions of the pattern. 
Before organisation pages look a bit like this with half done swatches, title-only swatches and it's not in correct alphabetical order (oh, the humanity!)
after I'm looks like this
it's a bit prettier......and though I cannot do anything about my terrible writing it is, most importantly, in correct alpha order. hahaha.

Sometimes I will update swatches if I feel I can do a better version of the pattern. Here's an updated version of the "Fengle" swatch. The first one was done years ago - probably when I first started the pattern folder, I took one look at it and decided I really needed a better looking sample.
Working in the pattern file is a relaxing way for me to draw without having to think about anything else. I don't need to come up with ideas, I can just zone out and draw patterns. Usually I get distracted and start playing around with a pattern, for example my Gourdgeous experimentation started like this.....and then I don't pick up working on the file again for another few months. This time though I have become obsessed with getting to the end! I am just about through "S" and I am going to make it all the way! True, just like the laundry, it will never be completely done - there will be more patterns to add, but for a shining moment or two it will be my complete collection.

O.k., now, backing away from the obsessive pattern swatching........I had a Gourdgeous tile featured on the Square One Purely Zentangle facebook group as the "focus" pattern for this week. Very exciting. Here's my tile:

 I used the string method shown in the video in this post to draw it.

I played around with a couple of other fill iterations before I got my "just right" version above.
black fill (too overwhelming plus I get sick of all the colouring boring)

(black fill in all the negative spaces......meh - it might look o.k. if I shaded it too).

My youngest daughter moved to Tasmania a few months ago and we're planning a visit in October. While we are there we are going to do this 4 day walk - the scenery looks amazing! It's been about 20 years since I last visited Tasmania, so I'm excited. My fitness level is dismal since I went back to school in 2016, so I'm now in training! We got in two walks over Easter - Lilydale Lake on Saturday and on Sunday the Mt Donna Buang - Mt Victoria hike, this is a 6.2km loop which took us about 75 minutes - so a good start. Ultimately I need to be able to do 4 hours walking/day for 4 consecutive days carrying 15kg, so there will be a lot more walking over the next 6 months. This hike will be the first major one that I've ever done, and we've chosen it because it is fairly easy. All going well, and providing we enjoy it there are many more that I want to tackle once my training wheels are off!

Have a great day!


  1. You must be a Virgo! I constantly re-organize, including moving and shifting furniture!

    1. no.....a capricorn . But I still love organising stuff! :)

  2. Helen, You continue to amaze me in so many ways. Your energy must be boundless! Thank you for sharing your life & your talents with all of us.:)

    1. Thank you, LindyLu :) I just avoid me so much time to do other things, especially now with no kids at home :) hx

  3. If I ever succeed (which I know already, will never ever happen!!!) to draw gourdgeous any of your ways (ANY!!!) I would be over the moon bragging about it and I would never ever do another one thereafter because I would be scared of the discovery that my success was more a very lucky draw (draw taken literally AND figuratively). As for your organization tick...I wished I had one, too, but I seem not to care one iota about how I see or come to tangles. Somehow my brain wiring system fails the norm.
    Good luck with the walking. Love long walks, but carrying 15 kg on my back ...don't they have donkeys?

    1. Oops!!! Tic! Not tick! TIC, as in an idiosyncratic and habitual feature of a person's behavior (Google). Sorreeeeee!
      {Why do I sweat?]


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