REVIEW: Alice Hendon’s Tangle Starts Planner, Into the Future

A few months ago, I reviewed Alice Hendon’s Artangleology Book Series.  Well, she doesn’t let the dust settle before writing the next, and it is out!  She sent me a copy of this latest book, Tangle Starts Planner, Into the Future for reviewing.  I also bought a copy to give away (along with some other goodies).  Giveaway information is at the end of the post.

In a Nutshell

Tangle Starts Planner, Into the Future is offered as a planner, but designed with undated, blank pages and quotes so that you can use it for many things – a bullet journal, art journal, tangle organizer or just an everyday planner.  There are tangle step-outs that show you how to draw 100 patterns.  The patterns are *steampunk-themed, but can be used in any kind of tangled drawing. There is a thumbnail index of all the patterns, and blank boxes for you to add other patterns. At a 6 x 9 inches, the book is a handy size for traveling.

*Not sure what Steampunk is? Imagine today’s world if we still ran everything on steam and clockwork engines.  Where we still dressed and decorated in Edwardian, Victorian and Wild West fashions.  Add a little magic.  And then turn that into a lifestyle and look, sort of like Goth.  For tangling that means patterns that resemble gears, metal fixtures, magical ensembles and steam.


  • Series: Artangleology (Book 5)
  • No of Pages: 210 pages
  • Size: 6 x 9 inches
  • Weight:13.3 ounces
  • Format: Paperback
  • Binding Glued

Tangle Pattern Step-outs

Fifty-three of these patterns are previously unpublished.  Seventy-three were created by Alice Hendon, twenty-three by Sandra Strait (yes! That’s me!) and four by Christine Reyes.

Pattern Names

4 Point Star, 4 Spool, 6 Point Star, Aim, All Boxed Up, Banded, Barz, Beaded Pipez, Background #3, Black Tie, Bladed, Blox, Boilerplate, Bolt Petal, Box Kite, Bradnut, Bulbz, Chalice, Chunky Monkey, Class EE, Compass, Coral, Corkal, Corragate, Corset, Crete, Crossbar, Diagonal2, Dream Dancer, Fire Box, Fire Wheel, Fly Wheel, Foil, Got Stars, Hached, Harlee Qwin, Helical, Hive, Hole in the Hedge, I-wear, Icing, Imperfection, Ingen Block, Instacon, Jump Rings, Konnect, Lifter, Linkz, Mertail, Netz, Oscillate, Over and Under, Pipez, Porter, Quadrant, Raid, Ringz, Ripped Screen, Ripple, Roller, Rotory, Rubin, Rush, Sea Wall, Shuri, Smoke Stax, Sphere Gear, Spinz, Sprocket, Square Gear, Stanchon, Star Fire, Star Gear, Star Wall, Starry Pete, Starshine, Steam Chane, Stell, Storybrooke, Tall Pipes, Tear Gear, Tinker Toys, Top Hat, Triage, Tri-Fleur, Triforce, Turbine, V-Wraps, Whirly Bird, Whistle, Windfleur, Windmill, Wingnut, Wrapper, Y-Arrow, Your Call, YX box, Zeplin, Zone.

Overview of the Book

Alice’s frontispiece is whimsical, slightly steampunk and just plain fun.  You can do this too!


Alice Hendon Tangle Book Index

The Planner Pages

The first part of the book contains information about tangling and how to do it with suggestions for using the book as a planner.  This includes a page for testing your pens and paints, and a two-page spread of calendars for the years 2018 – 2021.

The planner structure is minimal. Brief descriptions are written at the bottom of the page, indicating the start and stop of planner sections. The pages themselves are blank except for quotes on the bottoms of odd-numbered pages. 

This is a random sampling of the quotes.  The sources for the quotes are many.  They come from graphic novels, movies, famous artists, scientists and politicians. The quotes can be used as prompts or inspiration.

If you prefer to use the book for something other than a planner, it is easy to do so.  

The Tangle Patterns

The last portion of the book features tangle pattern step-outs, which show you how to draw the patterns yourself. Twenty-three of the step-outs were created by yours truly, four were created by Christine Reyes, and the rest are Alice’s. 


Tangle Patterns Steampunk

The step-outs show the progression of the pattern, drawn in four steps.

Thumbnail Index

Tangle Index Zentangle Pattern Examples

The index list the pattern in alphabetical order.  Each has a thumbnail picture and the page number where the pattern can be found.

Go-To Tangle Thumbnails

Five pages are filled with these blank boxes so that you can draw thumbnails of your own pattern creations, keep track of your favorite Go-To patterns, or record interesting patterns you see while on the go.

Pen/Paint Test

Toward the front of the book there is a page for testing your pens and paints to make sure they don’t bleed through the paper. There are a couple of blank pages at the back that can also be used for testing.

Pen test Page

I tested several mediums – ballpoint pen, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, calligraphy pen, brush pen, watercolor brush pen, highlighter, permanent marker, fountain pen, fineliner, watercolor cream, white gel pen, metallic gel pen, and I also painted watercolor over masking fluid and masking tape.

Tangle Book Interior

The only bleed-through to the back was from the watercolor brush pen, the permanent marker and the fountain pen.  These are mediums that usually bleed through paper so I wasn’t surprised.

If you want to use a medium that does bleeds through, you can use gesso to prevent it.  There are many kinds of gesso.  It comes in jars, bottles, and tubes and in a variety of colors.  I like clear gesso because I can draw something first that will show through and add interest to my finished work.  White gesso works well too.

Would an example be helpful? Okay, I’ll do one, lol.  It’s included in the video below as well as shown step-by-step, here. My index finger has been sore, so I decided I wouldn’t worry about making it all neat, and I actually had a lot of fun. I’m happy with the result.  Just goes to show – quit being a perfectionist and just enjoy yourself and you might be surprised.

I used a watercolor pencil to draw a box for writing appointments.  I kept it simple, with the date on top and just a space where I could write the time and activities.

On the bottom half, I drew a rough version of Alice’s Barz pattern.  I knew the gesso would smear the watercolor pencil and much of this would get covered, so it wasn’t worth being tidy.

I used a clear gesso that I know works well with pen and pencils.  Some gessos can be gritty or difficult to smooth out.  They’re all fun to work on though, even the cheap ones.  Just be sure to test your pens and paints on it so you’ll know what to expect.

I spread the gesso as smoothly as I could.  I decided to only use one coat so that I wouldn’t build up thickness.  For watercolor inks or really wet mediums, I would use 2 or 3 coats.  Once on, I let the gesso dry for at least two hours.

The gesso is a wet medium, so the paper did curl and wrinkle a little.  It flattened almost entirely. It won’t curl or wrinkle further even if you add watercolor to the gesso’d area.  Of course, if you add watercolor to the non-gesso’d area it would.

I had an idea in mind now, and decided to limit the writing. I used the fountain pen and permanent pen that had bled through on the test page.

Neither of the pens bled through to the back.

Next up – watercolor creams to color the rest of the gesso’d area. These are a creamy crayon that spreads similarly to watercolor pencil but makes it easier to cover a larger area.  You can run the wet brush over the cream and pick up color …

…or you can use it directly on the page and spread it from there.

With the Barz pattern in the background, I think this looks a lot like a map.  I’m leaving it at this point.  I’ll finish it off as a map tracing my travels to all the appointments I write down.  I may make all my entries in watercolor pencil, but I might mix the media. I haven’t decided yet.

Tangle Pattern Art Example

This second example, done in Zensations Fineliner, used tangle patterns from the book: Banded, Starry Pete, 4 Spool, Imperfection, Aim, and Triage.

Alice Hendon Book Interior Author Info

I love the selfie that Alice chose for her bio.  It’s very steampunk.  I’ve known Alice for a few years now, and I can assure you that she is wearing goggles and doesn’t normally …  Although, wait.  I’ve never actually met her in person.  Could it be …?

Alice’s other books can be found on Amazon (U.S. links)

Products used for examples in this review:

I’m giving away a copy of Alice’s ‘Tangle Starts Planner, Into the Future‘, a tin of ARTEZA Colored Pencils, Professional Set of 48 Colors, a 3-pack of Zebra Zensations Technical Pens and a tin of Hahnemühle YouTangle tiles at my blog.  To enter, GO to my Life Imitates Doodles giveaway blog post and leave a comment telling me what you like best about Alice’s book.


Tangle Starts Planner Alice Hendon Book Cover

Alice Hendon sent me a copy of her book, ‘Tangle Starts Planner, Into the Future’ so I could review it.  I bought the second copy myself for the giveaway (as well as the Arteza colored pencils and Zebra Technical pens). I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews
  1. Sheila 4 years ago

    I took a couple of semesters of Zen-Tangle at a local senior program and LOVED it. This looks like a great planner to work in, kudos to Alice.
    We have festivals in our town and we sell costumes for these events. One of them includes Steampunk, this is such fun to dress for. A great description I heard many years ago, went something like this….Steampunk is the blending of Victoriana and Orson Wells. 🙂

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 4 years ago

      Those festivals sound like great fun! I love Steampunk!

      • Sheila 4 years ago

        Sandra, I went back and re-read this post. I neglected to give you the credit that you so richly deserve, Kudos to you for some amazing tangles and artwork!! And to Christine Reyes as well. I am so sorry that I did not get that the first go round. 🙁
        Yes, those festivals are wonderful fun for all ages. Steampunk is GREAT stuff. 🙂

  2. Lynne howard 4 years ago

    I totally love Alice’s new book !!!
    Thanks for the review.
    Your artwork is wonderful sandra!

  3. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Wonderful review, thanks!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Great review as always, Sandra! It’s very cool that your step-outs are included in this volume.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 4 years ago

      Thank you, Sharon! It’s always thrilling when I managed to get published, lol.

  5. Anita Sinha 3 years ago

    Awesome review!👏 Thanks for sharing!🙏

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