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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw AXLEXA

Zentangle pattern: Axlexa. Image © Linda Farmer and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal.Welcome back! Hope you all enjoyed a beautiful Easter weekend and are ready for more new tangles.

Axlexa comes to us from German tangler Henrike Bratz and it’s her first on the site. Henrike lives in Neudorf-Bornstein in northern Germany, “close to the Baltic Sea.”

This is one of many tangles that are based on the Zentangle® enhancement called an aura. “In the Zentangle Method, a line tracing around the outside or inside of a tangle is called an aura.” Aura is one of six tangle enhancers along with dewdrop, perfs, rounding, shading and sparkle.

These enhancement techniques are each very easy and they make a very effective difference to your Zentangles.

For a living I work in a student lab at the University of Kiel. For a few years I’ve been making straw stars, a typical German Christmas tree ornament, even wrote a book. Does anybody know straw stars in America?

A few months ago I discovered Zentangle and it gives me a lot of fun. I regularly read your newsletter, scan your selection of patterns and I have already taken part in some of the challenges. In Germany Zentangle is only now gradually known. There are now two CZTS in Germany, but I’m sure there will be more soon!!!

Rabbit Hole warning! 😉 Intrigued by Henrike’s mention of straw stars I searched Google for “German straw stars” and found lots of beautiful image examples. If you just search for “straw stars” you’ll find more generic ones varying from some made with plastic straws to lots of origami versions. IMHO, not nearly as beautiful as the traditional craft with real straw, but interesting nonetheless. As an aside, today many origami enthusiasts are combining Zentangle with their paper craft to produce some wonderful Zentangle-inspired creations.

In German, straw stars are known as Strosterne and Henrike’s blog is named for them. She also sells her creations on a site called that appears to be a German version of etsy.

Henrike illustrates the steps for drawing Axlexa here on her blog and shows several delightful ways to vary this fun and easy tangle and a completed Zentangle featuring it. She also explains how she came by the name.

Check out the tag henrikeb for more of Henrike’s patterns on


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