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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Use this Random Tangle Selector with your TANGLE GUIDE to help you select tangles. See Pages 7 and 9 of the Guide for instructions. You can also use this to select random Strings: simply pop in any number in the range of 1 to 250.


Tangle Refresher 221 – How Zentangle Changes Lives; our random string; plus how to draw Quabog, Zap, Pooma, Corkin, Spurtle Buried Treasure & Tangle RefreshersWelcome to our occasional Buried Treasure explorations where we dig up gems from the past on the site.

Given the turmoil and all the pandemic experiences we’ve been through together in the last YEAR !?!, I thought today would be perfect for revisiting and updating a Refresher from the past about how Zentangle® has changed lives.

I’m sure there are new stories out there to be shared with our community and I invite you to share yours (instructions for how to do that are given below).

Recently I found myself on the TanglePatterns page containing all the personal accounts readers have shared describing in their own words how Zentangle® has changed their lives. It is powerful and inspiring reading.

The creative satisfaction (exhilaration?) we experience is an obvious benefit of the Zentangle Method™, but the unexpected emotional, psychological and even physical benefits are often not honored as much as they could be and that’s what this occasional series aims to spotlight.

When I began the series I wrote,

One of my greatest, and most unexpected, rewards in running is receiving comments and emails from fellow tanglers thanking me for the site and describing how Zentangle® has changed their lives. It is a wonderful feeling to know you’ve made a difference in a person’s life. Of course the real difference is what the gift of Zentangle has given, but I’m honored to help in my way through TanglePatterns.

For some time I’ve been sharing some of these stories (not private details) with friends and family, and it seems to me that these should be shared more widely. Many of you are new to this art form and I’m not sure you are aware of how Zentangle has helped so many people in dealing with some really tough challenges in their lives.

Here are some of the challenges shared in inspiring testimonials of how Zentangle has made a difference in someone’s life:

  • Relief from chronic hand pain, and depression and anxiety
  • Healing after a traumatic brain injury
  • Dealing with loss and grief
  • Overcoming artist block
  • Overcoming fear of failure
  • Dealing with loneliness and loss
  • Respite and relief for caregivers
  • Overcoming panic attacks
  • Relieving mental exhaustion and increasing productivity
  • Providing relief from medical withdrawal and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Healing a broken heart
  • Improving hand control from effects of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Improving hand control after mini-strokes
  • Accomplishment after loss of vision in one eye
  • Handling ADHD and anger management issues
  • Handling the challenges of “loss, age-related physical conditions and the sometime resulting depression”
  • Finding confidence and having fun drawing
  • Helping cope with devastating loss
  • Helping express feelings without words
  • Changed life of manic depressive, bipolar tangler, renewing her outlook on life and reviving her creative interests
  • Disabled, bedridden tangler finds life is richer and depression is dealt a blow through Zentangle
  • New tangler discovers unexpected benefits beyond the Zentangle art form
  • Helped get through rehab after major surgery and relieve restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • A life saver for caregiver whose husband had a stroke and now has Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
  • Helped get through pre-op procedure without anesthesia

You can read the full account of these inspiring stories in each person’s own words by visiting the STORIES tab in the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar as shown below at the green arrow.

How to locate the STORIES tab

If you would like to share your own experience for this series, please email me (linda [at] tanglepatterns [dot] com). You can make your story as long as or short as you like and, if you wish, your personal details will remain anonymous.

I’d love to share your inspiring story …


Many tanglers like to use these occasional Tangle Refreshers as their Zentangle® challenge-of-the-day.

This TanglePatterns String was selected for today – either to go with today’s Buried Treasure or just to use as a starting point for your day’s tangling. The RANDOM TANGLE SELECTOR in the left sidebar makes it simple to choose a String-of-the-Day from the 250 free strings in our resource. Or just click on the STRINGS tab in the pink alphabetic tangle menu bar and choose one at random yourself.

Think of this as your tangle Challenge, if you’re so inclined. TanglePatterns String 122 is from CZT Adele Bruno and was originally posted here.

TanglePatterns String 122

Right click and SAVE to your computer; then print. Pinning or republishing content from this site is not permitted. Copyright notice is posted on the bottom of every page. Thank you for playing nice and respecting these rights.

Remember that Zentangle strings are always drawn freehand in pencil so that they magically disappear when you’ve finished tangling the tile.

A string is a simple device to “divide your drawing surface into sections to be filled with tangles“.

In the Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1 (now available in paperback for $23.95, or as an instant download Kindle Edition $9.99) there’s an entire section devoted to Strings which in part explains:

As you tangle, your strings disappear as if by magic. This adds to the charm and unified appearance of your completed art.

If you had used a pen to draw your string, you would still see the initial sectioning in your completed creation.

Strings are not intended to be the focal point of your tile, Zentangles should not look like coloring book drawings.

More String advice from The Book of Zentangle (now available in paperback for $19.95):

A string is a useful reference, but it is not an impenetrable barrier. Practice going outside your string. It will help increase your ability to think outside the box.

To download eBooks containing all 250 TanglePatterns Strings, visit the STORE > EBOOKS page.


The Tangle Refresher series, aka Buried Treasure, spotlights hidden tangle gems from the past. It can remind you of tangles you might not have used for a while or introduce you to some you haven’t come across yet.

Here are five more tangle pattern gems and a Tangle Refresher from the past for your tangling pleasure. Remember to check out the “More Good Stuff” links below too.

BTW as you visit these tangles please do leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity to inspire yours. And please share a link to your favorite tangles with your followers on all your social media. Thanks!

Zenful tangling!

Buried Treasure from the tangling past
Zentangle pattern: Quabog. 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. Quabog
Zentangle pattern: Zap. 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. Zap
Zentangle pattern: Pooma. 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. Pooma
Zentangle pattern: Corkin. 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. Corkin
Zentangle pattern: Spurtle. 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. Spurtle
Revisit the Tangle Refresher from a year ago Tangle Refresher 192

More good stuff …


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Enhance your Zentangle experience while supporting TanglePatterns:

CURRENT EDITION! TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition TANGLE GUIDE, 2024 Edition The 13th Edition of the TANGLE GUIDE is an instant-download 109-page interactive digital eBook/PDF containing approximately 2,000 tangles on the site from May 2010 through December 31, 2023. It's a great resource and a must-have digital tool for using the site. Visit the STORE > E-BOOKS page and help keep going by getting your copy now!

"Linda, Thank you! I was relying on too few and getting stuck after 3 years of daily working with Zentangle. This has inspired me to ‘begin again’ with renewed excitement." ~ Barbara R.

See the BOOK REVIEWS page for more details on its features and view a sample page. Note: this is a digital product you download immediately when you place your order, nothing will be physically mailed to you.
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If you're new to Zentangle® and tangling, my BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ZENTANGLE is just what you need to get started. Also available en Français and en Español.

Zentangle Primer Volume 1 This is the only Zentangle book you'll ever need: the fabulous Zentangle PRIMER Vol 1. It's your CZT-in-a-book by the founders of Zentangle®. Visit the STORE tab on the top menu bar or click on the image. For more about the content and to read the rave reviews, visit the BOOK REVIEWS tab.
NEW! Now available in KINDLE format for $9.99. Spanish Edition here. Japanese Edition here.
"Absolutely the best Zentangle Book yet! As an accomplished artist I used to think I did not need instruction on this art form. How wrong I was! My tangling improved by leaps and bounds after reading this book. If you think you have Zentangle down then you need this book more than ever!" ~ Kris H


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