Life In Tangles Alice Hendon Book Cover

BOOK REVIEW: Life in Tangles by Alice Hendon

Life in Tangles is Book 8 in Alice Hendon’s Artangleology Series. It’s chock full of tangle patterns, 504 of them, all created by 92 different tangle artists. It’s a companion to her previous book Tangle All Around the World with the same layout and same theme.

Once again, Alice asked the members of her Facebook group Tangle All Around to submit patterns and created an encyclopedia-sized volume of tangles with them.

I have to tell you. I created ninety-nine of these patterns. I received no compensation other than bragging rights, but I have an obvious reason for liking the book. That said, I’ll do my best to just describe it rather than promote it, so you can decide if would be of value to you.

What is Tangling?

I’ll let Alice answer this question, in the quote below from her book. She goes into more detail in the book itself, but truly, this is most important part of tangling.

Each pattern (called a tangle for the rest of this review) is named, so you’ll know how to look it up, and each is broken down into simple steps – usually 4 to 6 – so you can easily recreate the tangle.  These are used to create beautiful abstract artworks, or used to decorate and enhance more realistic work.

Both the patterns themselves, and breakdown of steps are called tangle patterns, which can be confusing. I’m going to call the breakdowns step-outs in this review.

Some of the tangles in this book are original, not found online or in print, but some have been posted online or in other books.  The purpose of the book is to collect a large number of tangles in one place for handy reference.  You will probably realize that you’ve seen many of them as quilting, wood crafting and other traditional arts.  


  • Series: Artangleology (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Cover: Softcover 
  • Binding: Glued
  • Language: English
  • Independently published (November 25, 2020)
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches

Look and Feel


Life in Tangles is a 6 x 9 softcover with glued binding. 

Life in Tangles Book Thickness Example

It’s .6 inches thick so it doesn’t lie flat very well.  I think I’ll cut the edge off mine, and rebind it with rings to make it easier to handle.  It would be wonderful if Kindle Direct Publishing would do coil binding.

This is not an activity book or a coloring book.  Although it has some brief instructions, it is not a how-to book. It is a reference book, a collection of tangle step-outs. 

The book is black and white. A book this thick would be expensive in color!

Alice jumps right to the tangles. Most of the writing is a repeat from her earlier books and meant for the beginner, so they can start with any of them.

A sampling of the instructions:

Alice goes on to show you an example tangle and a little bit about shading.

Alice explains how you can create your step-outs based on patterns you discover around you – and they are everywhere!

The tangles are organized by type:

  • Dedications
  • Traditional
  • Organic
  • Gem Setting
  • Grid
  • Steampunk
  • Fantasy

The contributor of each step-out is given credit by name and country. 

Although the step-outs have come from 92 different tangle artists from 18 different countries, Alice has redrawn each and everyone, to keep the look and style the same throughout the book. What a massive task!

With 504 tangle patterns there are plenty of tangles to choose from.  

Alice Hendon Tangle Pattern Example

They range from totally abstract designs with simple steps …


Zebra Tangle Pattern Example Sandra Strait

… to more realistic – well, okay, very-stylized realistic – tangles that are complex to create.

A couple of years ago, I created several step-outs as part of a Fun & Easy Landscape series. Many of them are included in this book (and many others were in Tangle All Around the World). So, if you are one of the people who were hoping I would publish them, Alice did it for me. I’m very grateful to her, because it seemed too much like hard work to me, lol.

The point being, that even if you are not interested in drawing abstracts, there are plenty of step-outs in this book that you can use to create stylized landscapes with flowesr and animals. There is even a monster or two.

Heidi Kay Tangle Art

Artwork created with the tangles, such as this example, are salted throughout the book.

There is an index of tangle patterns and list of contributors at the back.

What Can You Create?

So many things!

Zentagle Art In Color

You can be totally abstract, using black and white or color.  In this drawing, I used Amy by Shazia, Hearty-Net by Smita Toke, Jacy by Julie Beland, Plankz by Margo Hoffman, Scape by Angie Gittles, Tri-Curl by Lisa Jane, Vase by Irene Lammerse-CZT, Vectoree by Uttara Shidore, Wisket by Sandra Strait.

I did this tangle drawing while waiting in the car.  Tangling is great for that because it’s quick, can easily be put down and picked back up later, and it doesn’t take prep or a great deal of thought.

Zebra Tangle Art Design

If you aren’t into drawing abstract tangle patterns all the time, you can create stylized realism that doesn’t look anything like a pattern.

In this drawing I used Toadstool by Regina Wenzel, Fantas Fleur by B.Srimathi Prakash, Flux Pod by Alice Hendon and Hut Plant, Googly-Eyed Zebra, Skyscraper Tree, Junction and Line Pine by Sandra Strait (that’s me).

The traditional method of tangling is with pen and paper, black and white, and as you can see, you can mix pattern and stylized realism. I like doing this because it’s fun to look for all the critturs.

 In this drawing, I used Amazing Spider-6 Legs by Hennie Brouwer, Bunny by Sandra Strait, Cardinal by Sandra Strait, Clover by Alice Hendon, Cluster by Maureen Stott-CZT, Fan Fun by Elizabeth L. Hoffman, Fish N Fish by Smita Toke, Jas by Randi Ziegler, Kazoo by Angie Gittles, Limon by Freda Littleton, Little Fairy House by Regina Wenzel, Maeby by Julie Beland, MXll by Angelina Arcari-CZT, Owld by Simona Cordara, Paprika by Susan Murphey Patereau, Ring O’ Fire by Alice Hendon, Roundabear by Sandra Strait, Sponge Star by Cludia Pon V.-CZT, Walk the Line by Chris Titus-CZT.


  • What is Tangle Art?
  • Tangle Basics
  • Deconstruction
  • Traditional Tangles
  • Organic Tangles
  • Grid Tangle
  • Gem Setting Tangles
  • Steampunk Tangles
  • Fantasy Tangles
  • Hahnemühle Tangle Products
  • Index of Tangles
  • Contributors
  • Author Information
  • Artangleology Book Series

The Tangle Patterns

3 & 5 Flower, 4 Tulips, 88’s, 8ball, A-Frame, A-net-t’d, AbominableSnowman, Aegis, Aireez, Alice, Alissea, Alitos, Amazing Spider – 6 legs, Amazing Spider – 8 legs, Amy, Anchored Gem, Anchored, andover, Angelbee, Aohata, appearance, Apple Core, ARCHII, Armz, Arnia, Arriba, Atc, Avro, BABBle, Baleselation, Bamboo, beanstalk, Beauchamp, Bela Hearts, Bethlehem Star, Big Rocks, billy, biloxi, Bingja,BirdSong, bkgrnd #6, bkgrnd#1, blaw, blossom, Blozzum, Bolz,Bookten, Boomeria, bouclé, Bownus, Brace Bridge, braces, Breezy Danse, Brittbead, Brooch, Bubble wand, Bud Runner, bulbz, Bunny Trax, bunny, BunnyBerry, Bushyberry, Busybee, caffeine, Candle Bench, cardinal, Caroline, Carpet Line, carrotz, Cave Pony, caviar, ceed pod, ceedarr, ceedz, chain,  chakeye, chakroot, chakthro, ChEEEse, chick, Chocolate Star, CirkZee, cirquare, Clover, Clower, Cluster, cocoonsPlant, Concert, Connected Stars, Conos, Cori, CowDelight, Cristal, Cristina, Crossed Corners, crossroads, Crown Fleur, B. Crowsant, cruffle, Cupcake Flower, curvaceous, Cyclops, D-str, Dad-dles, Devil’s Lettuce, Diga, Dimon Table, Divine Leaf, dizessa, Dogface, Dovetail, DragonEggz, Drakon, drip curl, Dutchie, duying, eanavo, Ebb & Flow, Echo Pearl, Eiffel, EKG, Elata, elephant, Eltimar, embellish, Embezzled, Enchanted, European Robin, exinside, Exo,Eye Chain, Eyee, eyen, Fairy’s Hair, Fan Flower, Fan Fun, Fan of Hearts, Fantas Fleur, FanThing, Fat Bird2, FatzKatz, Fen, Fenestro, festoon, Fire Fan, Fireball, Fish n Fish, Flame Flower, Flo Tree, FloraMe, Flower Square, flower wheel, Flower6, flubber, flux pod, Flux Shell, Flying Aapples, Folia, Fossy, Fountain Flower, FreBee, Frendzy, Friendly Aliens, Friendly Line, Friends Forever, frillytunia, frond, Fun Five, Fun-Bike, fuxing, Fyrn, gadroon, gaut, geer #6, Geerandola, gem brace, Geneez, ghostie, Giant Alium, Glow Bud, Gooberz, Googly-Eyed Zebra, Goose, Gramsil, Greating, gumdrop 3 Plant, Happiness, Harmony, Harvard, Haworthia, headless, Heart Mat, Heart Stained Glass, Heart-Throb, Heartina Liner, Hearts For Verena, Hearty-Net, Hendon, HenLi Ribbon, Hero, heron, Hip-hip Hippo, Hook&Eye, Hooks, horsefly, horsetail plant, Hose Clamps, Hulip, Hut Plant, iheartcat, In-N-Out Crystal, Indo Feather, Infinity, ingsmoor, Irma, Jacy, Jade Tears, japonica, Jardin, JaS, jellyfish, Joon, JuleBoxes, one word, Jules, junction, JustKidding, Juzbe,  kangaroo, Kazoo, Keen, klok #one, koala bear, kodi, koolapopper, KQKC, Kuki, Kushee, kwazeela, KyeDrumz, LALE, lark, Lattice, Leaf Sheep Sea Slug, Leafy Trellis, Leaves Circle, Lex, Lilac For Mom, Limon, LinePine, links,  Little Fairy House, Locked Wire, locknut, Lollywimple, Looping Around, Loopy R’s, Lots of Eights, Lotus Fluff, Lotus stem, Love Bug, Lovely, Lucy, M-Stars, Maeby, Magic, MagzVine, Maison, Maja, Majella, manilla, Meerhoot, Mekana, Mezzanine, Mirrow, Miss 1969 modulate, mooka 3D, Mookabet, Mookalov, Morphy Flower, Moxie, Multifold, Mushroom Heads, Mymuze, Myopia, n the Round, Nanu,  Native, Nemow, Nevaeh, Nile, Nippy Plants, Nix, Nola, nolashrim, Nomido, Norahs, nut, octoid, Oh!, Ojal, Only Fives, Onthewing, Opia, orange arc, orb #1, Orb Pods, OWLO, panda, Panz Bud, Panz, Paprika, Para, Parashoot, Payito, Pearl, petal, pezino, phanta-stick, Pharah, Phazes, Phorma, Pillz, pin,  Ping-pong, Pippa, Plain-Chain, planateen, Plankz, Plasch, Pleatz, Ponytail, Popla, Puhnee, purple star petunia, Purse, pypz, Q-tine, QiCrane Upward, quandu, QuaSahnt, Quatro, quin, quintau, R2, Rabbitcat, rafflesia, Rahelia, Railwayz, Raindrops Flower, Rangoli Snowflake, Rangoon, Ratoon Ribbon, Rchway, REE-NAA, reel, Reticulous, Revalu, Rigardu, RiMaRo, ring ‘o fire, Ring Toss, Rivets Square, rixty 3D, ROOMSQ, Rose Gold, Rosey, Rota Fishtail, Rota Mirrored, Rota, roundabear, Roze, Ruffle, Rufz, RUGEED, S Flower, Scallop,Scape, Scared Straight, Screw Dance, scribble rosé, Sealed with Love, Semoj, Serpi, Shaimay, Shamrock,Sharps, Shell Steps, Shiloh, Simple A’s, Six With Arrow, Skarf, Sky View, skyscraperTrees, Slab, Smike, Smiling Corners, SoapTree Yucca, Solas, SomethingFishy, Soulden, sparks, Spibra, Spider Lilly, Spike, spinner, Spirit Flower, sponge star, Spynes, Sr.G, Stackers, Star-Liner, Star-Mission, Star-X, Starry, Steamabet, Streetlights, Sun Flames, Supreme Lotus, Swag, Sweetpea, Sweets, Swervish, tack, Tapeta, tear drop, Tear-fleur, teardrop Dragon, Tecee,Teelke, Teffel, The R’s Have It, thoofen, Tiara, Tines, tinker toyz, tippling, Toadstool, Tom Tom, Toreez, tortoiseshell, travertine Tree-Three, tri-curl, Tri-Lad, tri-me, tri-roda, Tribal, lTrigono, trigue, Trimooka, trompo, Try-3, Tubular Bloom, Tuckin, Tulip Time, Turkish Tulip, Turtle,Two Hearts, Tyme Again, Tyme, U-Vee, Unbroken, V-Town, V, Vase, Vaves, Vectoree, UVerena’s Bales, Vidalia, Virya, vortex, Waffling, walessal, Walk the Line, wallbucket, Waranya, weave,Whiz-bang, whoot, Window Stars, Winklebottom,wisket, Wreath W, wrought Iron, X-Junction, X’s and O’s,Xaylee, Xs and Orbs, zanella, zanholli, zapateado, Zazu, Zeb Butt, Zebra-Leaving, Zebrump, Zebrut, Zebrutt, Zeez, Zeldee, zello,zipcurl, Zipperline

About the Author

Want a place to share your tangle work? Alice has a group on Facebook, Tangle All Around the World.

I’m giving away a copy of Alice’s book, along with some Zebra Pens. You can enter at my Life Imitates Doodles blog or Instagram account.


Related Posts

Disclaimer:  Alice Hendon sent me a copy of her book, ‘Life In Tangles’ so I could review it and I bought a copy to giveaway. I received no other considerations, though this post contains affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews

22 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Life in Tangles by Alice Hendon

  1. great review, sandra, thank you so much for sharing about our book <3 My favorite piece of art is the last one. the I Spy piece of art. hahaha! Even I had trouble finding a couple of the tangles.

      1. You are welcome dear Sandra. Thank you so much for your wonderful picture and that you draw my Little Fairy House! All the best, stay health and Merry Christmas for you and your family. Your Regina 🐈😍😘❤️

  2. Hello Ms. Sandra,

    Thank you so much for showing us yet another art style. And a bigger Thank You for answering a question that’s been on my mind for a good part of 25 years. When I was in 4th grade, our art teacher had made us do a project using patterns made based on different ways of placing the letter N. I had tried to tell my sister about it, but didn’t know the name. Today, I can show her with examples, all thanks to you!!!


  3. Wonderful review, Sandra! Loved your Fun and Easy Landscape series so it will be nice to see them all in one location along with all of the wonderful tangle patterns! Alice’s books are wonderful and I will add this one to my collection.

Leave Me A Comment!

%d bloggers like this: