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.

HandyWoman Loom arrives!

dav

Over the past week, I’ve been wrangling with Adobe Illustrator for a very good reason – to convert my art into vector graphics so that the lovely Janet Fox at HandyWoman on Etsy can use them to laser etch the designs into the looms that she makes.

You can see some of my dragonfly art on this loom, which arrived today, and I can’t wait to make use of it.

It’s only a little loom, but that’s exactly what I want … and I already have ideas ticking around my brainbox.  It’s been a long time since I did any weaving – over 10 years I think.  Hopefully I haven’t forgotten the skills I developed then, and even if I have I’m sure I’ll find my way to achieving what I’d like to with it.

The loom itself is made of wood – I can’t remember what kind Janet said – but it is of excellent quality.  She makes all kinds of looms – simple ones like the one I have, tablet looms, heddle looms and others, again all of excellent quality.

When her Etsy shop is open once again (she’s closed it so she can focus on building stock up for the busy Christmas season), I’ll be sure to let you know.

More mushrooms!

Just like hobbits, I believe there’s only one thing better than mushrooms and that is MORE mushrooms!

In my case that means more needle felted mushrooms.

needlefelted-mushrooms-by-angela-porter-2017

So, I’ve learned a fair amount about needle felting in making these mushrooms and I look forward to creating more items as time allows.  I suspect my own whimsical, doodly drawings will be a source of much inspiration.

It is, however, much quicker to draw and colour things than to needle felt them.

The large mushroom took around 10 hours to finish.  The smaller ones have taken between 4 and 6 hours to create.

Now, all I have to do is to decide what to do with them!

Synchronicity

Synchronicity 1

Synchronicity 1 © Angela Porter 2012

Approx. 16cm x 12cm

Rotring pen, Sakura Glaze pen, Derwent Inktense pencils with water wash on heavy watercolour paper.

Small, intricate, full of spirals and swirls.  Typically me when in a fussy, detailed mood.

Many of the patterns and shapes are inspired by ammonites, nature, cells, Romanesque architecture, Prehistoric pottery and rock art.

Synchronicity because there have been a lot of  ‘coincidences’ noted in my life recently.

Back at work

Oh the joys of teaching!  There is an element of sarcasm there.  The lack of respect, manners and cooperation seems to have increased over the summer – either that or I’m getting old, having passed the 49 year mark during the long holidays.

I find myself emotionally drained at the end of each day after the constant hard work to get pupils to stop making assorted weird noises, disrupting the lesson in a myriad of ways, and just trying to bet them to be polite.  I feel ‘battle weary’.  Yet, teaching should not be such a battle.

The worst thing for me, however, is the effect this has on my creativity and the time to create.  I miss the hours I could spend creating art during the break.  If only I could earn enough from art reliably and sustainably to become a full-time artist…or writer…or or or…

Hypnotherapy

Well, yesterday, the Autumnal Equinox, saw the end of the hypnotherapy course.  I have an extension to complete the case studies, so the work isn’t quite over for me.  I managed, finally, to get a merit in one essay – hurrah!

Not sure if I’ll be able to start a hypnotherapy practice up for a few years for various reasons, but I’d like to keep my hand in and practice the skills I have learned until I’m ready to take that plunge.

Endings

Yesterday, in fact the past week or so, have been rather weird.  I’ve found myself very emotional, on the point of tears or past the point of holding them back on a number of occasions, including today.  I have no idea exactly what is the problem.  I thought it was hormonal, but I’m not too sure about that now.

Anyway, the hypnotherapy wasn’t the only ending this week.

I resigned from a committee that I perhaps have stayed on for a few months too long.

I’ve had various bits of a jigsaw puzzle about a friendship that ended a few months ago.  I’ve spent most of this time blaming myself as I was made to feel it was my fault.  However, the jigsaw pieces show that it isn’t my fault at all!

All this is quite apt for the equinox I think.

New Textile Art

Nebulous contours 7 June 2012

Nebulous Contours © Angela Porter 7 June 2012

Approx. 17cm x 11.5cm.  Needle felted dyed goat hair on a black felt background.  Patterns picked out with copper ‘Japan’ threads, various beads and metallic threads.

Inspired by the flow of gases in nebulae and of contour lines on maps.

Nebulous Rainbow 7 June 2012

Nebulous Rainbow © Angela Porter 7 June 2012

Approx 11cm x 10.5cm.  Needle felted rainbow dyed synthetic fibres on a black felt background.  Patterns picked out by gold ‘Japan’ Thread, various beads, sequins, polymer clay tiles and metallic threads.

Shapes and patterns inspired by contour lines and also the flow of gases in photographs of nebulae.

New Items in Etsy…

I have just spent the last couple of  hours taking photographs of items for sale on Etsy.  Included is some of my beaded/stitched/felted jewellery, including this

GoldPurpleCuff©Angela Porter

It all takes time, but it’s a good use of time.  The worst problem I have is pricing my work – even looking at other work on Etsy it’s hard to find something similar to compare it to.  I guess it’ll be trial and error for a while.

Everyone has to start somewhere!

Autumn Flow 1 and 2

Autumn Flow 1 © Angela Porter 12 Apr 2012

Autumn Flow 2 © Angela Porter 12 Apr 2012

Two teeny tiny little pieces of textile work.  The photo doesn’t really show the sheen on the mohair that has been used in the needle-felting on the black felt background.  They are approx 2″ square-ish.  Copper thread has been used to add the lines and shapes, along with copper, gold and red beads.

The colour reminds me of autumn, but I also think it may be how I seen passionate love too.  It has a wonderfully warm, deep, intense colour to it that I find quite irresistible, not a colour I would have usually loved.  I think this could be becoming my favourite colour!

The lines remind me of contour lines on an OS Map.  I feel a new source of inspiration for art coming on… maps and satellite and aerial imagery perhaps.  I know my fingers have been fair twitching for paper and pens and inks and paints and pencils to use my textile work as an inspiration for other forms of art, so my textile work may become an inspiration for me too. How weird is that?

These may be for sale on Etsy…I’ll have to decide if I can part with them!

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!