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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Zentangle pattern: Pebble Flowers. Image © Linda Farmer and All rights reserved.Today, the 11th day of the 11th month, is a holiday observed annually as a special day of remembrance in many countries. In the UK and Canada and throughout the Commonwealth it’s known as Remembrance Day, and here in the US it’s observed as Veterans Day.

According to Wikipedia,

Veterans Day is an official United States federal holiday that is observed annually on November 11, honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). The United States also originally observed Armistice Day; it then evolved into the current Veterans Day holiday in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives and those who perished while in service.

With this occasion in mind I was looking for a tangle that helped represent the poppies synonymous with Remembrance Day, and I remembered Australian Helen Williams’s Pebble Flowers.

Lapel poppies like this one are sold each year in Canada to help raise funds for various service charities, similar efforts are carried out in the UK and elsewhere. This time of year everyone contributes to a “Field of Poppies” by wearing their poppy on their lapel and in fact Remembrance Day is often referred to as Poppy Day.

Canada Poppy

Last year in the UK an incredible installation of 888,246 hand-made ceramic poppies “representing each of the commonwealth servicemen and women killed in the first world war” was undertaken at the Tower of London and entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Here’s a photo gallery from the Financial Times of this breathtaking installation of handmade ceramic poppies.

“More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died as a result” of World War One, sometimes called The Great War.

The haunting and beautiful war poem “In Flanders Fields“, so well known to many of us as we learned it in school and recited it every Remembrance Day, was written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae and is inscribed on his tombstone.

"Johnmccraememorialbookcloseup02" by Lx 121 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

“Johnmccraememorialbookcloseup02” by Lx 121 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

And thus we arrive at Pebble Flowers.

It’s drawn with one simple stroke, repeated: an orb. Alternating large orbs and small ones compose the pattern. Helen grows the pattern outwards from a “chain” of the large and small orbs. Spacing might be an issue however after playing around with it a bit, I found that drawing the small orbs (the solid black ones in my example) as a grid first then adding the large orbs between, made spacing a breeze.  I also added an inner aura and some graphite fill to my Pebble Flowers.

Helen features Pebble Flowers on a page with another pattern she calls 2/8s, but I think Pebble Flowers is perfect for this day of remembrance.

Helen illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Pebble Flowers here on her website.

Check out the tag helenw for more of Helen’s tangles on

Veterans Day Salute

This is a reprint from today’s “Dear Abby” column. I could not have expressed my sentiments any better, so many thanks to Abby for this.

Dear Veterans: I salute each and every one of you for your service to this country. My heartfelt thanks as well to the brave and dedicated men and women who are still on active duty. You are the personification of patriotism and self-sacrifice for your dedication to our country. – Love, Abby


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2 comments to How to draw PEBBLE FLOWERS

  • Thanks for sharing this pattern, Linda and the link to the ceramic poppy installation – wonderful!

    In Australia we observe a one minute silence at the 11th hour on 11/11. Earlier this year an amazing poppy project was displayed in Melbourne’s (my state’s capital) Federation Square – the goal was to have 5,000 crochet poppies created for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing – it was undertaken over 2 years – they ended up with 250,000 poppies – you can see a video of it here: Helen

  • Melena

    I really like this tangle. I can see so many possibilities with it. Thank you for sharing it here and on your website.

    Melena (yeah, my Dad’s name was Mel and my Mom’s name is Helen. 🙂 )

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