Leslie Roberts

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Not my circus, Not my monkeys. Is that not the best proverb ever (it’s Polish, for the record)???

circusIf I’ve learned nothing else in my 40-something years, its that my circle of influence is not as broad as I’d like, and my circle of control is virtually non-existent. Attempting to control anything beyond the bounds of my own skin is an exercise in futility and letting go of the need to control is incredibly liberating. When the proverbial inmates are taking over the asylum, “Not my circus, not my monkeys” is a great mantra to use to remember that I don’t have to have (or even WANT to have) every last semblance of my reality under control.

So…speaking of CIRCUS life…

Great segue to this week’s I Am The Diva guest challenge from CZT Lee Darter. Lee asks us what we think of when we think of the circus and challenges us to use two tangles–Cack and Tropicana–along with a third (either Florz, Linq, or Fescu–I went with Florz) to complete a three-element tile (ostensibly we’re looking at a 3-ring circus). I couldn’t help incorporating this proverb into my ZIA (Zentangle-inspired Art) this week since I’ve been using it to keep myself in check lately. I also went much heavier on the shading than I normally do. Not sure if I like how it turned out, but I’m satisfied for now.


P.S. I am still trying to collect #ArtForHayden on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Learn more here, post artwork here or on Instagram or Twitter with #ArtForHayden, and share. Please.








I encourage and appreciate sharing!:

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25 Responses to Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

  1. Tracy McDonald July 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    What? Did I hear negativity re: shading? Naught you. Critiquing your own work is not allowed! (Tee! Hee!) It’s lovely, and was admiring your shading before you mentioned it. Nice piece.

    • Cari Sultanik July 21, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

      Thank you, Tracy! I do need to be reminded to give myself a break sometimes. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  2. Lee Darter July 21, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    I keep being amazed by everyone’s tiles…And your’s is just absolutely amazing! Just love, love, love everything about it!

    And that is one of my favorite quotes. I use it when someone is trying to drag me into their drama!
    Lee Darter

    • Cari Sultanik July 22, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Thank you so much, Lee! I know, right? Another one I like…”You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”

  3. Ulrike B July 22, 2015 at 1:29 am #

    Beautiful idea, great work

  4. Maggibee July 22, 2015 at 5:55 am #

    The saying is new to me but I have a feeling I’ll be using it in future – a lot. As for the Challenge piece, I love it. It is very well structured and the shading is superb.

    • Cari Sultanik July 22, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      Glad I shared it! One of my favorites. Thanks so much!

  5. debi_jay July 22, 2015 at 7:55 am #

    Absolutely beautiful – the tile and your perspective. Never heard that gem before – but I am sure you will hear me say it – as an affirmation. Thanks for sharing. I have Hayden in my prayers and have shared her story to many friends, who are also joining in the prayer chain!

    • Cari Sultanik July 22, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      It’s a good one, right? Thank you so much for keeping Hayden in your prayers and inviting others to join in. I have to believe it helps.

  6. Deb Myers, CZT18 July 22, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    What an awesome design and use of the tangles! Beautiful!

  7. Jenny A July 22, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    I was admiring your shading on the Florz. I think I could do that, and it looks so delicate. Great tile!!

    • Cari Sultanik July 22, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

      Thanks, Jenny! I like that offset shading…there are only a few tangles I tend to use that with and Florz is a good one for it.

  8. Ilse July 22, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Beautiful ZIA!

  9. Annemarie July 23, 2015 at 1:52 am #

    It has all been said here above, nothing for me to add. So ….. I agree!!!

  10. Sigrid July 25, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    I am impressed by the beauty of your tile, I find it very harmonious and creative at the same time. I also love what you wrote about letting go of the desire to control. That is an ongoing challenge for me and I am always glad when I notice that I am trying to control something and then manage to let go. That great proverb may help me with that exercise in the future, so thanks for sharing it!

  11. HeidiSue July 25, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    I like the Celtic look of your basic shape, and so elegant with Tropicana all around it. Little piles of the notorious cack in there, and the flord. It sort of reminds me of playing marbles in the church nave. hahaha!

  12. Annette July 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    Cari, this is gorgeous!!! I just love how you you shaded your tile too. Oh, be expecting a tile from me in the mail, for Hayden!!! The whole family is in my prayers. I didn’t have a chance to take a photo and post it on FB. I have a tangle called ‘120 Ribbonz’, dedicated to brain cancer. check it out. Have a blessed day! (((Hugs))) Annette :00

    • Cari Sultanik July 27, 2015 at 10:54 am #

      Thank you so much Annette! ❤️

  13. Kate Ahrens July 26, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

    It is such a pleasure to see my pattern used. Thank you for this gift at this time in my life. You are a Rock Star!

    • Cari Sultanik July 27, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Thank you! The pattern is great, I appreciate you having shared it ?

  14. Diane Clancy July 26, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    This is a fun 3-ring circus!! I too was admiring the shading!! Love your proverb! 🙂 🙂

    ~ Diane Clancy