While shopping for my recent Jetpens order, this Velos Tin Pen Case caught my eye. I scrolled down to the top review and saw this brilliant idea for a portable Zentangle® kit. Even if you aren’t interested in this exact case, there are some excellent ideas in this review for creating your own portable Zentangle kit:
I use these for my portable Zentangle kit. It is wide enough to hold the 3.5″ tiles flat in addition to multiple pens and pencils.
Right now mine contains 20 Zentangle tiles, 4 Sakura pigma microns, 2 Sakura Gelly Rolls, black and white pencils, a lead holder with sharpener, a Zenstone, and 5 tortillions.
It also includes a tiny magnet with a needle and some safety pins stuck to it, a crochet hook, a few knitting stitch markers, a Tombow Mono Zero eraser, a cheap mechanical pencil, a Preppy Platinum with spare cartridge, lip balm, a crystal, an acorn cap, and a Lego piece. And I could easily put more stuff in.
When there’s no good table handy, it makes a great drawing surface, too. I keep flat sheet magnet inside the lid to act as a “clipboard” and hold my tile against the case.
I don’t know who wrote this review, but I want to thank them for sharing useful advice. I love the idea about turning the case into a portable drawing surface complete with a magnetic “clip” to secure the tile in place.
Zenstones and Soapstone Pens
This word in the above review caught my eye because I’d never heard of this product before. I decided to do some Googling. I discovered that Zenstones are an old Zentangle product. A Zenstone is a soapstone pen that is intended for creating white shade effects on black paper tiles. You can read about Zenstones and see their shading possibilities in this old Zentangle newsletter from August 2013. Unfortunately, at the time I’m writing this blog post in September 2018, I don’t see Zenstones listed in the online Zentangle store. I don’t know if they’re discontinued, out-of-stock, or if I’m just blind, but I don’t see them for sale anymore. [Update: A Certified Zentangle Teacher® has informed me that Zenstones have been discontinued.]
So what exactly is a soapstone pen, anyways? Upon further research, it turns out that soapstone pens are mineral talc carved into the shape of a pen. Traditionally, soapstone pens are used by quilters to mark fabric. Indeed, Jo-Ann Fabrics still sells soapstone pens online. Amazon carries one as well. Your local quilting shops may sell them, too.