One String to rule them all – Update

Well, now that I started blogging again, I can’t stop 🙂

The next pattern I wanted to try with “One String to rule them all” is WaterFlow. While playing around, I discovered something that comes in very handy when shading with marker!

stylefile marker 316

I used the stylefile marker and applied 3 layers. You can see that each layer adds more pigment.

Then I discovered the colorless blender 🙂 Voila – we have highlights!


Just like I did with the previous tile, I filled each section of the string with one layer of the marker. Then I tangled over this. A few swipes with the colorless blender added the highlights and finally, I added layer 2 and 3 to darken the shaded areas.

At the same time, I discovered that WaterFlow looks great when applied in the round.


One String to rule them all

I have to apologize – With all the posts for I neglect my own blog quite a bit.

Today I took the time to capture progress pictures of my “One String to rule them all“. My goal is to create my own pattern library where I can explore each pattern in depth. Drawing a pattern once or twice doesn’t give a pattern enough credit. Every single pattern has so many possibilities and I just love playing with patterns.

I want to create a mono-tangle (using just one single pattern on a tile) while exploring how this pattern will perform when tangled as a ribbon, a filler, and in the round. What is happening when it is tangled on black background?

Here is my very first version of the ‘String to rule them all“.

One String 1

I used the outline of my pencil sharpener to get that nice round shape. It will be great to see how the pattern looks when drawn in the round. The drop shape will show me what I can do if I try to use the pattern as a filler. And finally, right across I drew a ribbon.

One String 2

With a thick marker, I outlined the shapes….

One String 3

… and used the nice fat brush tip from my Chameleon Alcohol Ink Pens to fill in the entire space in black. This was quickly done and the pen provides a nice black base where individual strokes cannot be seen. I like that – black tile with white spaces to tangle.

One String 4

Since I cannot locate the box that contains my precious Copic markers, I purchased a few cheap alcohol based markers. They are called ‘stylefile marker‘ and come in 124 colors. And yes, they are only available in Europe at the moment. This post is not about comparing markers though. I am sure that most brands perform in a similar fashion. I filled the various shapes in different colors. To ensure that I can still add shading later on, I used the lightest colors I had. On the drop shape, you can see what happens when you add a second layer of exactly the same pen. This means the more layers, the darker the shade. No need to buy 5 different shades of the same color, if you can achieve the same result by simply adding layer after layer! One mistake I made though .. I should have erased the string lines. Once covered with marker, the pencil line cannot be removed.

One String 5

Time to tangle! I pick Shattuck – a pattern that has so many different faces! It’s been the first pattern introduced in the Go-To Pattern Library. Shattuck in the round is fun. Just look what happens when everything ends in a single center point!

One String 6

Next came the ribbon with curved Shattuck. Yeah, pretty boring – for now!

One String 7

The drop shape .. well, I like that! Adding contrast with the stripes and by leaving a gap between the sections.

One String 8

Now comes the fun part: Shading – I hate spending forever on shading. When I am done tangling, I want to move on to the next tile. Shading with a marker is a lot quicker and very effective! First I outlined all lines where they meet at a right angle. Then I applied a second and third layer of the very same marker I used for the background. Instant shading in the correct color!

One String 9

Finally, I added a ribbon of Shattuck with a white Uni-ball Signo. To add some highlights, I smudged a bit of aquarelle white pencil and turned the empty round shape into a gem. And just to see how it would look, I added one stripe with the Derwent Graphik Line Painter. To me, that is still the best pen to use on black paper!

This string is pretty good for exploring a pattern, even though there is so much more that Shattuck is capable of!

I wish you all a Happy Inktober!


Belize City

Official business made me travel to Belize City. Yeah, everyone tells me it’s more dangerous, but I have to see for myself.

Sadly I have to leave Room 5 at the Rainforest Haven Inn. I will miss the view of the roundabout – there was always something going on: Dogs crossing the busy intersection, bikes driving in the wrong direction, the icecream truck stopping for a few minutes smack bang in the middle of the crossing because a couple of kids wanted to buy… <Sigh>

I discovered that I can use Google Maps on my phone. Type in the route while still connected through WiFi and off you go. Now I will only pass the same building twice before I realise I drive in circles ..haha..



My Facebook friends recommended Villa Boscardi. It’s really nice and clean! I have the green room 🙂   WiFi is great! The bed is massive! And the aircon … wonderful cool air!

Of course, I can’t sit still for long. So I took a stroll down the road.


Excuse the lousy quality. I only had my phone with me.


Pretty path along the ocean


You can still see the damage hurricane Earl made 2 weeks ago.


Shopping in Belize City is great! In San Ignacio I only found these small shops to buy groceries. No way that you can buy what you need – you buy what you get!

Just down the road from where I stay in Belize City, is a huge supermarket: Brodie’s


Brodie’s, Northern Highway, Belize


They even have shopping trolleys! 

.. and here I thought shopping in Belize would be a problem ..haha..


After the shopping spree I decided to take a drive around town before it gets too late. Okay, now Belize City definitely reminds me of South Africa! I have seen a lot in my days, but this sight made me stop and take out the camera. I uploaded the picture in it’s original size, so that you can zoom in.


Have you ever seen a main road going through a cemetery ??? There are even graves in the green that divides the lanes !!!

I think that’s enough for today. 2 nights in Belize City should be enough to tick that town off my list.

More to follow …

Spanish Lookout

The last few days I’ve been driving around in my pretty little car. I drove up to Spanish Lookout, Belize’s largest Mennonite community. Again, this is completely different to what I have seen in Belize so far.  Wide open spaces – farmland.


The Mennonite women are dressed traditionally in cotton frocks and head scarves. The men wear straw hats, white shirts, suspenders and dark pants. Occasionally you come across the horse-drawn buggies. Looking at the people you would never expect such a booming infrastructure in Spanish Lookout. The buildings are massive and modern.

It is really beautiful up there. Unfortunately the day was very overcast, but I can imagine that the view must be breathtaking on a clear day.

Crossing the Belize River – you can see the pillars of a bridge that never got built.


A closer look at what is growing ON the trees 🙂


Wood carvings offered on the side of the road.




BTW, road signs are mostly non existent. That proofs to be a problem if you have no sense of direction – like me 🙂 Needless to say that after I passed the same building for the third time, I realised that I am driving around in circles.

On my way back, I stopped in the twin town of San Ignacio – Saint Elena, to grab a coke. And of course, disaster strikes: The car does not start. Not a light or any sign of battery life. Luckily I had the number of my new best friend, Lisa, stored in my phone. Lisa immediately came to the rescue – with leads to jump start the car. Turned out that the connectors to the battery came loose while driving on the sand road.

Once P.F. (short for Pathfinder) was rattling again, I followed Lisa to her new house. It is STUNNING! So stunning that I forgot to take a picture. But I am sure this wasn’t the last time I visited Lisa. She has 3 lovely boys – 2 of them are the same age as my youngest. They will have a great time playing together in the future!

More to follow!


Belize – this is ‘home’ now

My 4th day in San Ignacio – When I walk through the streets, the shop owners greet me and ask what I am up to right now.IMG_0125

Everyday I try a new place to eat – except for breakfast! Pops is my favorite place for coffee and toast.


And as of today I do not feel like a tourist any longer 🙂 I have a CAR !!! A Nissan Pathfinder – and I think I struck a bargain.



Registering a car is pretty simple in Belize – IF you know where to go. The previous owner has to come along (I was so grateful for that!). First you need insurance – you can drive without a number plate for a day, but you cannot drive without insurance! When that is done, you hand in the old plates and get the new ones. The whole process takes about 2 hours (more, if you don’t have a local that jumps the line). I just smiled politely at the people waiting, pretending not to understand what was going on 🙂

“Clever me” then asked the old owner to come along while I fill up the car. Every country is different, and I hate it when I look dumb at the gas station. No self-service in Belize. You just stay comfortable in your car and everything is taken care of. I like that ! In Germany your hands stink like petrol after filling up.

And now I am planning the next couple of days. Tomorrow I will be checking out San Ignacio’s twin town, Santa Elena, Bullet Tree and the Spanish Lookout.

The following day I will head down to the coast: Belize City and then down to Placencia. I can’t wait to share the photos with you!

My move to Belize


After many months of planning I have finally arrived in Belize. My first stop is in San Ignacio – it’s a very central location from which I can explore the entire country.

First impression: Culture Shock!

Coming from Germany you first need to get used to the building style. The houses are very colorful. Blue, green, red, orange, and yellow – just like a rainbow – and all of them could use a new coat of paint. The infrastructure reminds me a lot of South Africa. Electricity and phone wires are above ground on wooden poles. The ground floor of every house holds some kind of a business – a small convenient store, a restaurant, a bar, clothing, furniture or appliances. The owners sit in front of their shops.


I arrived rather late in the day and was tired and hungry. The 8 hour time difference didn’t help much either. Right after unpacking my luggage, I collapsed into bed at 6pm. Doubts were creeping in: Did I make a mistake? Is this really where I want to live with my family?


The next day I began my explorations of San Ignacio. Yesterday I only saw the peeling paint on the houses; today I saw the happy faces of all the people. After a decent breakfast at Pops and a chat with the famous Bob I felt a lot better. At 9:30 my new online friend, Lisa, picked me up to check out some apartments. I immediately found a place that would be perfect. A cozy little condo – complete with 2 lovely neighbors. Later on we checked out some cars. Again, lucky first try – 2 possible cars that I need to test drive on Monday. Lisa offered to help on Tuesday with the registration and insurance for the car. My guess is, on Wednesday I’ll be extending the radius of exploration 🙂

The kids insist that I check out the beaches, before deciding on our next home. I gave myself 4 weeks to learn as much as possible about the country. If it was just me and my husband, the choice would be easy. Bringing 3 kids and grandma along does make it a bit more difficult. The schools are very important. As a parent you have a responsibility towards the kids and I intend to structure our lives around their education. They are only part of your life for a short time, before leaving the nest.

More from me later 🙂


New website!

After many months of planning, I finally had the guts to begin work on a new webpage. The way I categorise patterns in my upcoming book needs to be shared.

Where do you start when you want to identify a specific pattern that you discovered in a tile? Well, normally you can identify what kind of an underlying structure the pattern has. Is it a grid? Or a ribbon? A flower?

To look it up you need to have pattern sorted by framework. Only searching your entire collection of patterns does not help. It will take hours to find what you are looking for. THIS method will limit your search drastically!

Sometimes you have a string that needs a filler pattern. For inspiration you can just call up the section containing only these.

I will write an extensive blog post on the new site shortly.

Until then, visit Blog Logo

Last week alone, I added 3 new patterns from my collection and 9 new patterns from contributing artists.

Vivid being my favorite right now (until I draw the next one – as always) 🙂

Vivid Artwork by Ina Sonnenmoser.png




Go-To Patterns

Everyone has favorite patterns – so called Go-To Patterns. You probably think that you only have a handful of those patterns. I got news for you! You probably have 30-40 of those stored in your head, waiting for the right string to apply them to.

What makes a good Go-To pattern and why do we use them over and over?

Go-To Patterns are:

  • easy to remember
  • a few strokes give great results
  • they are the obvious choice for a specific area
  • they give you true relaxation, because there is no pressure
  • they flow easily from pen to paper

Here is the string I provided our Tangle It Pattern Club Facebook group. I asked the members to use their favorite Go-To Patterns.

My string #18

I asked the members of our Facebook group Tangle It! Pattern Club to tangle a simple string, using only their go-to patterns – patterns that they know off by heart – patterns, where they don’t need to look at step outs any more.

Artwork by Lori Whitley

Lori Whitley used Printemps, Cubine, Tipple, Arukas, Well and Shattuck.

Artwork by Jane Nichols

Some of Jane Nicols’ go to patterns: N Zeppel, Pokeroot, Meer, and Diva Dance

Artwork by Sandy Moore

Sandy Moore used Printemps

Artwork by Sandra Strait

Sandra Strait did her tile with N’Zeppel, HiRise, Bales, and Flukes.

Artwork by Shelby Lazeren

Shelby Lazeren made this for her brother.

Artwork by Ruth Veler Gale O'Neil

Ruth Veler Gale O’Neil writes: I enjoyed this! Rick’s paradox is definitely my favorite….so versatile. Scrolled feather is one of my favorite “ropes.” I wish I knew the names of the others.

Artwork by Lynne McGee

Some of Lynne McGee’s Go-To Patterns: Cubine, Emingle, Ahh, Bunzo, Angel Fish, Bubbles, Chillon, and a variation of Panthe.

Artwork by Hilary Holding Merola

Hilary Holding Merola used Fife, Flux, Minline, Bala, Aquafleur, Shard and Paradox.

Artwork by Agneta Landegren

Agneta Landegren writes: Here are some of my favorite go-to tangles, Paradox, Huggins, Hollibaugh, Onomato, La Bel and Sand Swirl.

Jane Diller Gladwell‎ writes:  Some of my "go-to" tangles...Navaho, Intwine, Molygon, Printemps, and CO2. Added some color, kinda wished I wouldn't have...oh, well, a learning experience.

Jane Diller Gladwell‎ writes: Some of my “go-to” tangles…Navaho, Intwine, Molygon, Printemps, and CO2. Added some color, kinda wished I wouldn’t have…oh, well, a learning experience.

DrShazia Azmi

DrShazia Azmi

Lisa Wick McLean used Static, Rick's Paradox, Crescent Moon, Cadent and Meer.

Lisa Wick McLean used Static, Rick’s Paradox, Crescent Moon, Cadent and Meer.

I actually got one done! I have been coloring so much lately I needed this push to tangle. These are some of my go to's: Betweed, Bunzo, Cadent, Mussels & Cockles, and I can't remember the other two. fun string! Elspeth Allen

I actually got one done! I have been coloring so much lately I needed this push to tangle. These are some of my go to’s: Betweed, Bunzo, Cadent, Mussels & Cockles, and I can’t remember the other two. fun string!         Elspeth Allen

Zen Tangling Debra Huff: I have trouble limiting my go to tangles because I have favorites for different purposes. Use this however you like.  Sanibelle, phroze, pug, Yuma, crescent moon, frost flower, roscoe, abundies.

Zen Tangling Debra Huff: I have trouble limiting my go to tangles because I have favorites for different purposes. Use this however you like.
Sanibelle, phroze, pug, Yuma, crescent moon, frost flower, roscoe, abundies.


As you can see, the string is the same. Maybe some of the patterns are the same, but the results are all different. And everyone agreed, that this was fun. And that is all that matters!

Before I compile a list of the most used Go-To Patterns, I will start another exercise with more different strings.

String 25

My next blog will feature again the different tiles from our members. I am looking forward to the results!

Moon & Tears

Normally I don’t share much of my private life. I make an exception because Moon & Tears is part of my story. So, for all the pattern hunters out there, here are the steps – don’t want to bore you with the details 🙂 Anyone else, scroll down.
Moon & Tears by Ina Sonnenmoser

Yesterday I got quite a fright. A family member was picked up by an ambulance and for a short time, I thought that this was it. Sitting for 6 hours in the waiting room, I had to distract myself. So I picked up pen and paper and started drawing – all the time thinking of this special person, hoping she would become well again.
The happy news is, she recovered and is back on her feet. I guess prayers do help.

Moon & Tears is one of the designs I drew in the waiting room. The lines are fairly shaky, but I will not redraw the steps. They are part of the story of the pattern. Looking out the window, I saw the moon through my tears. First those tears were that of sadness, but it didn’t take long and they transformed into tears of happiness.

Cherish your loved ones every day – you never know for how long you can show them your love!


Tangling Tips

I spend nearly all weekend flat on the sofa because I hurt my back.  Good news is, I had lots of time for Facebook and browsing the internet. I managed to tangle quite a few tiles too.  This spare time resulted in me preparing a new blog post.

So here we go – I hope I can spark some inspiration 🙂String tangling tips Part 1

String tangling tips Part 2

And here is my tile in big. The original is 3,5″ by 3,5″ – it looks HUGE on screen 😉

String 61 Artwork by Ina Sonnenmoser

Have a wonderful week!

ZenGreetings, Ina