Reader of the Week: Juliet Arrighi



Juliet’s zentangles

Whenever I think of Juliet, I think “zentangle.”  It is a form of art that I have wanted to try, but am “afraid” of messing it up.  Juliet has really captured the essence of what a zentangle is all about.  What is a zentangle you ask?  It is a series of repeatitive lines that make up a magical piece of art.  Would you believe that Juliet’s zentangles are inchies?  Clearly, she works very well in small spaces.


Juliet’s Zindorf style card.  You can read about it on her post here.

Juliet has a blog called Ballpoint Bliss, and is full of inchies, ATC’s, cards and journal pages.  Although Juliet has only blogged since July, she is not new to the art world.  Journal pages are now appearing on her blog, and she said to expect more.  In our question-answer format, you will learn so much about Juliet’s talent, family, and interesting career.  Her sense of humour really shines through.

What do you like about working with ATC’s?  Do you participate in many swaps?

I wanted to make and trade ATCs the minute I found out about them.  I was sick of having to store cards I’ve swapped in boxes, and sick of mailing cards that would end up in the trash (my family throws my cards away).  I wanted to make cards worth keeping, and to have a way to display to beautiful cards I was getting.  ATCs were the perfect solution.  I belong to three different yahoogroups that are devoted to ATCs, and I host an ATC swap for Technique Junkies.  I swap in all four groups.  It is a thrill to go to the mailbox and get an envelope full of art!
More of Juliet’s inchies

Tell us about your doodling and how you got started.

I tend to hold a pen too tightly, so my hand would always get tired when I tried to draw.  This why I used digital art, and later stamps, to express myself.  When I first learned about zentangles in one of my ATC groups, I was certain that I could never do it.  However, after learning the whole thought process behind zentangles (tiny, deliberate, repetitive strokes to invoke a meditative state), I decided to give it a try and discovered that it wasn’t hard for me to do at all!  I was so thrilled by my success with zentangles, I started trying to do other types of drawing.  I now realize that my problem has always been that I was trying too hard and thinking too hard – by relaxing, and only focusing on one thing at a time, I find that drawing is fun and occasionally recognizable.

Can you explain your thought process when doing zentangles?

Basically, the idea behind zentangles is that instead of thinking about the finished product, you focus on each tiny stroke, and let it develop as it will.  It is supposed to be a very mind-clearing and meditative process.  Some people feel the need to work all the way to the edges, but I find it more more exciting to just be working along and suddenly realize that it doesn’t need anything else!  I love the crisp, clean look of zentangles.  I have, on a couple of occasions, added them to cards, but fancy layers and embellishments seem to detract from the end result.

BEEZ in the Belfry is a good blog to read if you like Zentangles.

Do you have favourite products?
I love Sakura Pens – my favorite for drawing is the Micron One (recommended for zentangles), and for coloring, I like the Glaze Gellies, Souffles, and Stardust pens.  For stamping, about the only colored ink I use any more is the Tim Holtz distress inks – they are great for stamping and embossing, brayering, burnishing, everything I like to do with ink pads.


How long have you been a Technique Junkie?  Any favourite techniques?

My very first TJ newsletter was the April 2006 issue.  I fell in love at once!  I was beginning to be bored with rubber stamping, and didn’t feel like it had much more to offer, and suddenly there were techniques to learn!  My favorite technique when I am making multiples for a swap is the Triple Mosaic technique, but the one I think I fall back on most often is the Faux Chipboard – it’s great whenever I need a little depth in a project.  One of the reasons I started the TJ ATC swap is that I wanted to have samples of every technique in every newsletter, but realized it would be too hard to do by myself.  I now have hundreds of technique ATCs to refer to when I need inspiration, all neatly arranged in a binder.
Juliet’s Teesha Moore style journal page
You mentioned you watched Teesha Moore’s videos on You Tube.  Do you think we will see more of her style on your blog?

I plan to scan and show my progress in my art journal as I go along.  This is not a fast process – I can see how it might take weeks before I am done with it.  I am learning a great deal about myself as I go along – for example, last night I reflected on the fact that Teesha usually has a single figure on each page, where I have two, which suggests to me that the writing I will ultimately do will be dialogue rather than introspection.  I’m not sure what that says about me, but I do believe that this is the purpose of art journaling – to discover things about oneself that aren’t revealed in other ways.

Tell us about your family.

I met my husband(archnemesis) when we were both in the Navy, both working as air traffic controllers.  Air traffic controllers have very strong, dominant personalities.  We seem to be constantly arguing, not just with each other but with everyone, but that is just our way – we like power struggles.  It’s a little weird, but it works.  We have 4 equally strong-willed children(demon spawn)- The oldest is a Navy Seal, the second is a Marine, the third is a political science major, and the 13yo – well, he’s 13, that says it all.

Do you have any other hobbies?

My first love is digital art.  I’m a big fan of Paint Shop Pro, and serve as a moderator at Stepping-Stones-through-PSP.  I came to rubber stamping through a need to make print projects with my digital designs.  I also bowl in a league.

To see more of Juliet’s work, you can visit Ballpoint Bliss.  Please give her a big hello and let her know you read about her here.

Zentangle Links

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Posted on : Mar 19 2010
Posted under Reader of the Week |

9 People have left comments on this post

Mar 19, 2010 - 12:03:36
Sue said:

this gal is wonderful & such an inspriation to the crafting delights; a beautiful tutorial on her & thanks for sharing her with us!!

Mar 19, 2010 - 01:03:49

I never understood the zentangles until Juliet explained it all here. Knowing her in real life, you are just getting a sample of her talent and personality here – but it’s a true sampling! 🙂 She is one sassy lady and I love when she brings her work over because it looks even better up close!

Mar 19, 2010 - 03:03:58
Susan G said:

It was great to learn more about a fellow crafter that i am in groups with and have swapped with…awesome article! She is right about the power struggle part, lol but it makes her who she is 🙂 and Juliet is a ZENTANGLE queen!

Mar 20, 2010 - 01:03:23
Diana E. Bishop said:

WOW…and to think she is an E-mail Friend. Juliet, your are one Special Lady and I am so happy to have you as a Friend ! Your talent is way beyond me and I have so much to learn from you. SPECIAL LADY, keep up all the good work you do for us novices. See you in our E-mails.

Mar 22, 2010 - 07:03:50

How interesting to read more about you Juliet 🙂 I have been enjoying your blog for awhile now and it is always nice to know a little more about a friend!

May 19, 2010 - 11:05:30
Pate20Alisa said:

Some time before, I did need to buy a house for my organization but I didn’t earn enough money and could not buy something. Thank heaven my mate proposed to try to take the at creditors. Thus, I acted that and used to be satisfied with my collateral loan.

{ Apr 3, 2010 - 09:04:53 } brayering

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