News

Autumn1 Angela Porter 30 Sept 2017 coloured watermarked

Vida

I have been adding new items to my collection on Vida.  All feature my artwork, and the collection includes tops, scarves, wraps, bags, jewellery and tapestries.

There’s a 40% off deal until midnight PST 30th Sept; use the code BESTEVER to get the discount!  This isn’t available with any other offer.

Also, there’s offers on my collection until the 10th October 2017. The code WELCOME-25 will give you a discount of $25 off orders over $75, and the code WELCOME-75 will give you $75 off orders over $200.

Colorist

Autumn Mandalas, a collection of ten Autumn and Halloween themed designs, is now available in Colorist!

Colorist is an app for Windows that allows you to colour in the templates as if you were using pencils or gel pens!

Etsy

There’s now a total of eight digi stamps of whimsical, simple flower designs available in my Etsy Shopincluding the one to the left.

The large open spaces in the designs mean you can go to town on shading, or you can add doodles or patterns.

The beauty of digital stamps is that you can print them again and again on paper that is best suited to the media you’re using.  Also, you can re-size the image to suit the card, picture or other item that you’re making.  Not only that, these can be layered as the background is transparent, but the flowers and leaves are white.

Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group

A pair of lovely ladies who love my work have created a Facebook group for those who also love my colouring pages.  They’re Krystal and Brett.

Why not pop across there and join up!  They’re determined to make it a friendly, kind nook on the internet.  It’s in it’s early days, so will grow and develop as Krystal and Brett work on it and with the members.

One thing I can guarantee is that I’ll create unique colouring pages just for members of that group!  The first one will be live on the page very soon.

I also know they have a poll on the go to find out what you, the colorists, would like as theme for my next book!

Also, I’ll wander through there from time to time, though I don’t think I’ll have time to comment about everyone’s beautifully interpreted and coloured templates, I’m sure to leave a comment to let people know I’ve take and least a quick peek and answer any questions pointed in my direction.

Vector graphics and Adobe Illustrator

I finally got the dragonfly artwork finished as a vector graphic.  How frustrating was that?  Every line drawn as a series of points.  It took me days to re-draw a drawing that took just a day or so to draw.

Still, I’ve learned how to do it, I have a request for some other bits and bobs, as well as a suggestion that I should create vector graphics and sell them as there’s a market out there for that kind of thing.

Something else for me to wrangle with!

Embroidery Patterns

Someone has suggested that my designs would make lovely embroidery patterns.

I’m not an embroiderer, nor do I have a clue about what to do, but if there’s anyone out there or if any one knows someone who’d like to work with me to do this then please either contact me or suggest they contact me!

I already have a few cross-stitch designs available via Paine Free Crafts.

Juggling time

All this means I feel like I’m getting a little overwhelmed at the moment.  Learning time management seems to be something I have to do sooner rather than later.

I have, however, found time start to create this year’s knitted pumpkin patch; the one from a few days ago is no longer alone … I think I’m going to need to find homes for these…

Between working on things for Etsy, sorting out a collection at Vida, doing Vector graphics, completing the Autumn mandalas for Colorist, and everything else, I’ve not had time to play with the 3D forms or other ideas I have.

Autumn Equinox 2017 and the first pumpkin of the season!

dav Autumn officially arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere yesterday, astronomically speaking.

And with autumn comes the desire to knit pumpkins.  I have no idea why, but it’s something that I did last year, followed by knitted christmas trees and stars.

I think it may have something to do with the nights drawing in, the cooler temperatures, the cosy and candle-lit home.

It may also have something to do with the fact that as it’s getting cooler my cat thinks I’m warm-blooded furniture again and he requires lots of lying on and cuddling up to me.  Drawing is nearly an impossibility with him on my lap, but he will let me knit; he doesn’t even try to play with the yarn or needles.

So, as the nights grow longer and the days shorter, my workspace may end up being increasingly on the bed to keep a kitty happy and lest pesky, and that’s fine by me.

That was something that started when I had my first extended bout of depression/anxiety 3 or 4 years ago and I just wanted to be in bed, a pattern that was repeated during my second extended bout.  Indeed, in the first few weeks of the medication that’s the only place I could be for several hours a day as it zonked me out totally.  I think the cat got really used to my presence in his domain; he loves the bedroom and rarely ventures out of it.  Indeed, he’ll become a total pest if I’m downstairs and he wants my company upstairs so he can settle down for big sleeps.  I’m usually happy to go and spend the short time it takes for him to settle in that instance.

Having said that, he’s taken to being pesky and testy if I overstay my time in the bed and he wants to get under the duvet to settle down for big sleeps now the weather is cooler once again.

Yes, I have one crazy cat, and I love him very much. He’s nearly 16 years old, so he’s entitled to be the boss and make demands I think.  He’s also been a really good companion for me through some of the darkest times of my life.

I wonder if he’d let me weave … most probably!

Still, the first pumpkin of the season has arrived – it’s approx 5.5″ across and 3.75 inches high.  I knitted it in chunky weight yarn on 5 mm needles.

It’s been a while …

It really has been a while since I last posted – two months more or less.  And what I couple of months it has been.

Work has been tough at times as respect has noticeably diminished along with good behaviour and attitudes.  I lost my voice for a week, a regular thing with me it seems.  The good news is that the ENT consultant put a camera up my nose to look at my vocal chords/throat and there were no problems at all.  I’m now awaiting speech therapy as it seems to be an occupational hazard and they can help me to use my voice without stress or strain.  I know of two, no, three ways my voice could be looked after while I still work.  One is to change my job/career.  The second is for the school to actually get the microphone/speaker system installed in my room so that the speech therapy can be focused on teaching me to talk at a healthy level.  The third is for the decline in behaviour to be managed and turned around so that I didn’t have to raise my voice so much, or even shout to be heard by the person two feet away from me.

A good point looks like I’ve finally achieved my aim of someone actually admitting that I’m right that the GCSE equivalent course I’ve been expected to deliver to my SEN classes isn’t actually possible for them to do the controlled assessments.  I do have to search out an alternative qualification that would give a GCSE equivalent qualification that I can deliver for part of the time while I continue to deliver the Entry Level science course.  I think I’ve done that, but it has to be sold to ‘the man’.

Outside of the world of work things have been strange.  It seems that a move away from a spiritual pathway I’ve been wandering along has finally happened. The signs have been there for a while, my unhappiness with it has been present for a while.  As nasty as the ending got (I vow to do my best to never become involved with committees with ego issues every again!) it showed that there was no way of mediating the schism.  I just hope the half-truths, rumours and downright lies about me don’t cause problems elsewhere.  All could have been avoided by effective, polite, even-tempered communication, or just a politely stated desire that the class I have run for a couple of years needs someone other than me to run it.

I’m finding that so many people who claim to ‘know’ me really don’t know me at all.  I really dislike confrontation, but am willing to listen to calm requests, well reasoned and logical arguments backed up with actual evidence, even if that is someone’s opinions.  I’d much prefer someone to ‘man-up’ and state their opinions rather than sneaking around behind my back, getting people to ‘spy’ on me with a remit to dig up dirt and if there is no dirt to dig up to manufacture it.  I’d much prefer someone to be open and honest, even if their version of truth hurts, for them to admit it’s all their own perceptions.

The result of all this was a rather nasty meeting with the committee members with confrontational attitudes and no desire to mediate, just to attack.  I think the members of the group I lead sent letters with their observations in that caused some level of guilt and/or jealousy somewhere as they were asked to explain why ‘she’s a credit to us’, she being me.

That means, to me, that I’m not a credit.

In the end I quietly stood up and politely said I’d had a day of managing confrontational behaviour in work that I didn’t expect it from adults in this kind of setting, that no matter what I said I’d not be believed, that I was obviously in the wrong and that the faults lie with me as a person for caring about others, for being welcoming, for giving my time to those who need it, for losing sense of time as I got lost in long discussions about things that were relevant to the purpose of this group.  I kept my voice quiet (mainly because the stress of the situation had caused my throat to constrict) and my demeanor non-confrontational, yet the attacks continued.  So I left.

I left with tears in my eyes for the pain caused to myself and others.  Tears of disappointment that those who proclaim so loudly to be spiritual aren’t.  Tears of disappointment that my involvement in a certain part of this organisation will also have to come to an end.  Tears of frustration.  Tears of anger.  Tears of embarrassment, humiliation.  However, there were also tears of relief among them too, and tears of grief, tears of letting go.

I hadn’t wanted to go, knowing exactly how it would be; knowing that someone had an axe to grind because they disagreed and disapproved of me and my ways and they wouldn’t be happy until they had not just put the knives against my back but driven them deeply in.

I’d felt the knives there for a long time, but there was no way they were going to puncture me, and I don’t think they did.

They will believe they are victorious, but it is a false image or at best a Pyrrhic victory, but they will not see that.

I’m the true ‘winner’, if there is a win anywhere.  I am now free of the rules and regulations.  What I do and how I do it is now up to my own personal sense of ethics and morals.  I would never treat someone the way they have and revel in the glory of it.  I’m sure the gloating will go on for a long time by some.

As for me, it’s time for me to decide where I go with this next, or rather how the decisions that have been made need to be developed.  It’s kind of exciting yet scary as it’s very much me breaking new ground for myself in some respects.

Another ending has been hypnotherapy.  I’ve had problems getting people to be guinea pigs for my case studies.  I’ve also become very jaded with the course and the practice.  I realised I had got from the course what I needed, realised that I didn’t really want to start up my own hypnotherapy practice.  Taken together, I decided that I had what I needed and wouldn’t complete the course.

Arty things have taken a bit of a back seat lately.  My half term break seemed to be filled with errands and appointments and trying to rest, relax and restore myself.  In the evenings when I return home from work I’m often too tired to do anything much, emotionally and mentally drained that is.  The weekends are often a washout for me as I sleep a lot of the time as my sleep in the week is disturbed (and has been this weekend as part of the fallout from the above mentioned meeting which was Friday night).

I did buy a book – Knitted Dinosaurs by Tina Barrett – on a visit to the National Museum Cardiff.  I have a lovely pterodactyl knitted with sparkly purple wings and a lilac body, head, legs and arms.  Some friends have fallen in love with him and have asked for ones of their own!

Yesterday evening, after a lunchtime outing to The Skirrid Inn in Llanfihangel Crucorney with one of my pals, Wendy.  I really didn’t want a dissection of the previous evening’s meeting, and so did my best to turn the conversation to other things, which we mostly did.  The little conversations about the meeting did help to bring some clarity that may be related to jealousy, guilt, and some evidence of absolute hippocracy in at least one ‘complaint’ that was levied by the committee.

The previous Saturday we’d been to Glastonbury for a nice wander around the shops and a leisurely lunch in the Cafe Galatea, where I had the nicest cheesy garlic bread and homemade coleslaw I’ve had for a very long time.  I had a good look around Starchild and stocked up on candles and incense – I just love that shop and always have since my first visit to Glastonbury some 11 or so years ago.  A new favourite shop is The Crystal Man‘s shop where I picked up pieces of spirit quartz and botryoidol lepidolite mica, which is shiny and silvery-pinky-lavender in hue.  The chap who owns/runs it is hilarious and friendly, which encouraged us to have a good look around and to rummage in his drawers – drawers of crystals/minerals.

This has been a bit of a random ramble, admittedly.  However, it does give an idea why there’s been little art or blog entries of late (not that I’m consistent in doing entries anyway).

My main problem at the moment is that I’m happily ensconced in bed tapping away at this on the laptop given to me by a friend when they bought a new one.  It’s comfortable here, safe too, warm as well.  My only problem at the moment is that I want a cup of tea and I’ll have to get out of bed to go get it!  That’s one of the main downsides to being single!

Planting seeds of love work in progress and a new little pretty…

Planting Seeds of Love – Work in Progress

Planting seeds of love WIP 8Apr12 © Angela Porter 2012

This is a work in progress, and I’m not at all sure about it.  I had the title first (I’m working on loving and accepting myself), then a mental image of what I wanted to do, but I’m not at all sure about what has resulted from it.  Usually by this stage in a piece of art I know if it’s working or not, and this one … well I’m not at all sure.  I have to complete the outlines, add textures/patterns and metallic/iridescent accents, but I’m not entirely sure I actually want to finish this one.  I’m wondering how much the resistance to this piece of art comes from my lack of satisfaction with the art itself and how much comes from what it is representing – my inner work at this time… An interesting point to muse, eh?

I’ve had a lot of emotional turmoil in the past few weeks while I’ve been off work with laryngitis, much of it to do with allowing myself to love, respect and care for myself and to let go of various negative belief systems from the past.  It’s also involved a change in my value system, and something that hasn’t been easy to do. The words/mental idea sprung up from this work, as I’ve already mentioned.  It’s been a bit of a tough time, and sometimes it’s hard to find balance.

It’s also had an effect on my creativity.  Instead of painting/drawing/sewing I’ve been lost in either reading or knitting and watching DVD after DVD.  A positive from this is that I have created, after 30 years or so, a knitted throw/blanket – which has amazed me as I’ve always got bored with the process after a little while, but not this time.  It isn’t a pretty thing, it’s very random in terms of colours and knitted patterns and crocheted squares, but it’s mine and I love it very much, mainly because it’s proven to me that I can persevere with a project such as this, and there is benefit for me in doing something that is simple, creative in a crafty way, and also rather meditative in nature.

I now have another blanket/throw on the go – and it’s certainly going to be ‘different’, but very much ‘me’.

Little Pretty 7April2012

Little Pretty 7 Apr 12 © Angela Porter 2012

This is a teenytiny piece of textile art, approx. 4.5cm x 4.5cm (1.75″x1.75″) that I completed yesterday. The silver japan threads were added during a sewing/craft afternoon at O’Callaghan’s Coffee House yesterday.  The other stitches and beads were added later.

It will eventually be for sale on Etsy, when I work out what price to put on it, and whether to offer it framed or ready to frame … I dislike trying to put prices on my creations.

Why is that, I wonder?  I think it’s linked to me still not quite believing my artwork has value, or that my ‘doodles’ are truly art.  I have made the leap to the recognition that what I think of doodling is really my version of intuitive art, art that expresses who I really am, what I am inside, and the richness of that inner self and my love of colour and flow and swirl and abstract pattern.

I really do need to work on a statement of me as an artist that fully expresses who I am in terms of art and what my kind of art represents.  Now that’s a scary thing to do as it will lay part of me bare -though those who read my art aright will already have sussed that part of me out!

Cards for Pisces and Aries and a big dose of procrastination!

Pisces

Pisces Card A © Angela Porter 2012

Pisces Card B © Angela Porter 2012

Aries

Aries Card A © Angela Porter 2012

All these cards have mandalas on them that are approx 9cm in diameter.

The Pisces cards were worked with Derwent Colorsoft pencils, Sakura Glaze pen and Derwent Metallic pencils on black card with metallic watercolour paints providing the highlights.

The Aries card was worked with Rotring Rapidograph technical drawing pens and black ink, Derwent Inktense pencils, Zig Art and Graphic pens and Derwent Metallic pencils on cartridge paper.  This card needs some extra work on it to fully reflect the nature of sun-sign Aries.

Procrastination

Writing this post is a bit of procrastination.  I have to sort out some artwork and frame it, work out a price for it, and do the same for some pieces of textile jewellery to place in a coffee shop.  More about this later on.

I’m actually having a mug of tea after clearing off the table in the back room which I’ll need to cut the mountboard for the artwork on.  I’ve also cleared a chair which has been piled high with stuff since I was writing the two archaeology books a few years ago now – “Digging Down” and “A Road to the Past”.  I can be really, really lazy about clutter.  I have so much more to clear out, but I’ve started now … so …

I’ve also changed the voile curtains in the back room – that’s needed doing for a long while, and the ones that were hanging are now in the washing machine.

I’ve been signed off work for nearly three weeks.  I completely lost my voice due to laryngitis just over two weeks ago.  As my voice still isn’t fully back, the doctor has signed me off work for another week.  As a teacher, my voice is important, and when I can barely be heard sat in the quiet with friends then there is no way I can be heard over a class of 30 or so teenagers!

Right, so about the artwork.  I’ve visited a local coffee shop a couple of times while I’ve been off work – O’Callaghan’s Coffee Shop.  They have art by local people on the wall, all for sale, as well as other bits and bobs.  I bravely mentioned, while knitting and chatting to the owner that I did art, she wanted to look and well … one thing led to another and I said I’d get some of my art framed and some of my jewellery sorted out to go there.

Yes, knitting.  I have decided that it’s about time I made myself a fiery throw!  I’m knitting squares in lovely warm fiery colours to make a cuddly blankie just for me.  I’ve started this many times over the years, but have never got anywhere, but this time I’m determined to do so.  I plan on it being the ugliest but most lovely cuddly blankie in my home.  I think then I may have to work on one to have in my future hypnotherapy office … for clients …

So I may be procrastinating a tad, but the shock of actually clearing clutter, albeit a small amount of clutter, requires me to have a mug of tea before I retire to do some arty things!

Oh happy days!

Golden brown … teenie tiny textile work

Golden brown

Golden Brown 23 Feb 2011 © Angela Porter 2011

I have just finished this little piece of textile art.  It measures just 7cm x 7cm.  I’m not entirely sure about it, as the shapes/patterns are not my usual kind of organic spirals and curves, but … it was different to do and I’m actually proud of myself that I didn’t give up part way through the process.  There was a point where I was going ‘yeuch’ mentally about it, but it seems to have worked out ok.

I also used matt embroidery threads in this one to get a different kind of texture involved, so this is really more of a test piece, an experiment to see how things work out.  I’m also glad I went with the metallic purple/brown/blue/dark gold/green beads in places as they give a nice contrast to the gold that is used in so many places.

So onward with the work …whatever will appear next, I wonder?

Interesting work …

I found my way to First andFifteenth -the website/blog of Steve Powers who does some rather interesting stuff with words and pictures.  I particularly like the plays on words that he makes.  It’s different for sure!  I found my way via a mention given by Neil Gaiman on Twitter.

Another blog I found my way to, again by Mr Gaiman I believe, was Whodunnknit, run by DeadlyKnitshade, another denizen of the rather puzzling thing that is Twitter.  I do wish there was such a group of knitting guerillas/graffiti knitters nearer to me *sigh*, yet it seems such great fun!

Finally … destressing at last!

I actually feel more like myself today, calmer, more relaxed.  This is good.  Mind you, I woke at stupid o’clock this morning and managed to get back to sleep over an hour later after trying reading, puzzles, and finally meditation, which did the trick.  When I settled back down to sleep, the purryfurryone had already given up trying to bounce and clamber all over me and had fallen asleep and was snoring, just to add insult to injury!  I must say, however, I absolutely adore my pusscat, he’s certainly one of a kind, totally neurotic, insecure but he does seem to be very attached to me, sometimes quite literally so!

Sixteen squares

 

My first sixteen squares for KAS

Sixteen squares.

Sixteen squares done!

These have been knitted or crocheted in either double knitting, aran or chunky yarns for Knit-A-Square.  Some are kitting in stocking stitch with moss stitch or garter stitch borders.  Others have been knitted with a textured design on them, again with the borders.  One even has a flower on it – stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch are the contrasting stitches – a pattern adapted from “Blankets and Throws to Knit” by Debbie Abrahams.  A couple have been knitted diagonally in garter stitch.  And there’s even a couple of crocheted ‘granny squares’!  I have spent time keeping notes of what sized needles I’ve used, the number of stitches in a square, the patterns used, in a little notebook.

Crocheting is not a skill I’ve been able to come anywhere near perfecting.  I can just about manage granny squares.  Simple edgings too.  But that’s it.  Knitting is more my thing.  I must admit it was fun to knit the flower from the book as a textured pattern rather than in colours – I need to seriously practice my intarsia knitting!  I did try to make it in colours, but I got holes and uneven areas; it’s been a very long time since I did any such knitting.

I’ve found a lot of fun and joy and pleasure in knitting these little squares.  They let me practice different techniques, play with different yarns, and learn new tricks.  They’re small enough that they’re finished quite quickly and the materials/tools are easy to carry around so that knitting can be done on trains and so on; to take the blazer I’m knitting with me would need a large bag and plenty of room to accomplish job – not always available on a train, for instance, and not always sensible to take a huge bag of stuff with me anywhere.  I’m hoping that their small size will allow me to become more creative with the designs as time goes on…with the limited number of stitches to make a square it’s a challenge!

The other good thing about this for me is that the size of the project is not overwhelming for me.  I’m not making a huge number of squares of a certain size in order to create a blanket/throw/shawl.  Each square is a complete item in its own right, and will become part of something much larger.  I do have a problem with projects that overwhelm me with their enormity, such as knitting a large number of squares to make a blanket/throw, or writing a story (let alone a book), or a large and complex piece of art or jewellery or clearing the garden.  Something I need to work on turning around … and until then, I’ll work on projects that either don’t overwhelm me, or I can push myself a little bit into something bigger than I would usually do, or sneak up on ones that would ordinarily overwhelm me and surprise myself!

Once I shake this cold/flu/pharyngitis off then I’ll no doubt start to practice contemplative knitting as a way of developing mindfulness, with the aid of tips from the book “Mindful Knitting” by Tara Jon Manning.  But that is for another day.  At the moment I’m still coughing, sniffing, blowing my nose and generally feeling off-colour still.