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How to draw CABANA

Zentangle pattern: CabanaToday’s new tangle, Cabana, comes to us from tangler and future CZT Milde Weiss of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and it’s her first on the site.

Cabana is an interesting ribbon-type tangle pattern with a woven appearance that does well in stripes or borders and around curves too, as you can see in Milde’s example below. I’ve added a narrow Knightsbridge element to the edge of my example here.

Milde writes,

We recently toured Namibia – a country of incredible beauty. I saw patterns everywhere, but was especially fascinated by the bark of the camelthorn tree. It is a very rough inverted Y-shape, repeated along the length of the trunk. The attached photo gives an idea. (Just ignore the lion, which is also interested in the bark pattern, I’m sure!)  I battled for a while to make a tangle out of it. I kept on simplifying the pattern, and voila, one day it just happened. As you can see, there are various shading and filling possibilities.

The name? CA-melthorn BA-rk in NA-mibia … =Cabana.

Milde's photograph of the Namibian Camelthorn tree

Milde’s photograph of the Namibian Camelthorn tree (and friend having a stretch).

While researching a little deeper on the Camelthorn tree, I came across the site with incredible photography of some magnificent tree species. Quoting from her site, “TreeGirl® (a.k.a Julianne Skai Arbor) is a fine art photographer, certified arborist, environmental artist, sustainability educator, California naturalist and most importantly a tree lover. She travels to photograph and research some of the most amazing tree species in the world, synthesizing her knowledge and passions into inspirational and educational artwork that focuses on intimate self-portraits, and portraits of others, with trees.”

Do yourself a huge favor and take a minute or two to check out her exquisite photo gallery of some truly amazing trees at the top of Julianne’s home page. Wowzah. The things we get to learn about through tangles.

Now, let’s get to know Milde:

I am a South African, living in a small university town called Stellenbosch, in the cape Winelands. Two years ago, while visiting my daughter in South Carolina, we received the devastating news that my youngest son had died from suicide. My world fell apart. Then my daughter, who had become a water-colour artist to keep her sanity while raising six little boys, told me about Zentangle®. After googling it, I was hooked. I started tangling on my own, then travelled to Pretoria to take classes with Marizaan van Beek, as there is no CZT where I live. My dream was to become a CZT myself.

Looking back, I  realize how much Zentangle has helped me in putting my life back on track. It anchored me to the NOW, and gradually and subtly – one stroke at a time – helped me to start focusing on creativity and beauty instead of the darkness, pain and emptiness of my loss.

The high cost of travelling to Providence to become a CZT would normally have prevented me from doing so. Paradoxally (no wonder I love that Tangle), due to a small sum of money my son left me, I will be attending the CZT Seminar this November!

Cabana is a very easy tangle to construct and it’s fun to add shading to the “over unders”. Linda’s tip: if you are challenged with spacing the rhomboid shapes of Step 1, try starting with the shallow V shapes in Step 3, then go back and finish the rhomboids and proceed from there.

Milde illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Cabana below and includes some variations to try in her Zentangles featuring Cabana. Milde’s examples include the Zentangle-original tangles Pokeroot, ‘Nzeppel, Flux and bits of Tipple.

How to draw CABANA by Milde Weiss

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. Republishing or redistributing pattern deconstructions in any form is prohibited under law without express permission of the copyright owner.

Check out the tag milde_w for more of Milde’s tangles on

Related Links

  1. Looking for tangles by Artist or Type? For details visit the ABOUT > HOW TO FIND TANGLES BY ARTIST OR TYPE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site.
  2. What is a Zentangle? — if you are new to the Zentangle Method, start here for the fundamentals.
  3. Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form.
  4. How to use the site — an excellent free video tutorial showing how to use the site as well as pointing out lots of useful features you might have missed.
  5. Linda's List of Zentangle-Original Patterns — here is the complete list of original tangles (aka "official tangles") created and introduced by founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, including those not published online. If you are new to the Zentangle Method I highly recommend learning a few of the published Zentangle classics first.
  6. "A Zentangle has no up or down and is not a picture of something, so you have no worries about whether you can draw a hand, or a duck. You always succeed in creating a Zentangle." Thus patterns that are drawings of a recognizable naturalistic or actual object, figure, or scene, are not tangles. A pattern is not always a tangle — here's what makes a tangle. TIP: tangles never start with pencil planning.
  7. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  8. For lots of great FREE tutorials on TanglePatterns, click on the TUTORIALS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page.
  9. Strings! Have we got STRINGS! Click on the STRINGS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page for 250 different (free) Zentangle-starters. More than enough for any lifetime!
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5 comments to How to draw CABANA

  • Daniel

    Lovely picture and tangle! Thank you, Milde. 🙂

  • Vicki

    I love woven patterns and this is a keeper! Thanks.

  • Margaret McKerihan

    Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal story of Zentangle in your life Milde. I love the providence of you getting to go to Providence! Great tangle and share 🙂

  • Joyce

    Milde, I am so sorry for the loss of your younger son. I know firsthand how badly it hurts. (((((MILDE)))))

    Your tangele is great!! I love it and plan using it a lot.

  • Milde,

    Thank you so very much for sharing your incredibly inspiring story with all of us.
    I am deeply sorry for the tragic loss of your son.
    I am still amazed at the vastness of Zentangle’s reach. It truly is astonishing.
    It boggles my mind when I observe the immensely positive impact that Zentangle and the tangle community radiates.

    I am forever grateful to Maria and Rick, and to wonderful people like you, Milde, for sharing your art and your heart.

    Your tangling buddy,

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