Spring themed dangle design

Angela Porter 2 May 2018 coloured Friday is #dangleday as often as I can create one.

This Fridays design features stylised hawthorn blossom and daisies, along with hearts, leaves and berries. Oh, and a pastel feather.

It would make a charming piece of framed art, or a greetings card, or a cover page for May for a BuJo, planner or journal.  I’m sure there’s many other uses that the design, or parts of it, can be put to.

If you have any ideas for how this design could be used add a comment, or visit my facebook page – Angela Porter Illustrator – and drop me a line there.  You could also try tweeting me @wyrdsmithing if you wish too.

It’s been a nice way to start the day, and to get those #weekendvibes working. I started by doing a quick sketch of the design on paper, scanned in, inked in using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book using my Microsoft Surface Pen, and then simply coloured with some texture added.

It helps me to calm down a bit; there’s still a lot of anxiety floating around my body after the saga of my car, and I’m waiting for a call back from sales about the possibility of me having a new smartcar. I find it all very stressful, even though there’s a part of me that’s very calm, the surface emotions are all over the place, sometimes overwhelming me like an emotional tsunami. Having poor sleep because of the anxiety isn’t helping too much.

I just remind myself to breathe, that ‘this too shall pass’, and find things to do that help me calm.

Talking of calming down, over on the facebook group ‘Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans it’s #furbabyfriday.  Why not pop over and join in the fun with the lovely group members there?

If you’d like to learn a bit more about creating your own dangle designs, my book A Dangle A Day is available for preorder, just click on the link!

Eerie Entangled Art is also available for pre-order from Amazon and other places.  It’s my next book in the Creative Haven series from Dover Publications.

Energy Flow1

Energy Flow 1 © Angela Porter 2012

16cm x 8cm.  Sakura Glaze pen in black, Derwent colorsoft pencils, Derwent metallics pencils and Cosmic Shimmer iridescent/metallic watercolour paints on black card.

I started this one before my return to work a fortnight ago.  I noticed as I was completing it this weekend that it’s a little disjointed in places which may symbolise how I was feeling about the return to work.  The photograph really doesn’t show the colours properly, nor the shimmer and shine of the metallics.  However, you do get an idea of what it looks like.

Returning to work.

I made it back to work for the start of the Summer Term.  My voice, however, is still not right.  Work have referred me to occupational health and for speech therapy.  Also, there’s a microphone/speaker system on order for my room so that I won’t have to raise my voice.   My doctor has referred me to ENT to have my voice checked out.

The worst thing of all, is I still can’t sing.  I love to sing, have always sung with one choir or another since I started secondary school.  I join in the singing at any gathering where there is some.  This bout of laryngitis has affected that part of my voice, and I really, really do hope it will return properly and fully.

Not the car, again!

The handbrake broke on the car a couple of days ago.  As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for my nephew, who’s a whizz with cars, to come and see what needs to be done.

This is on top of a water leak from the toilet cistern a couple of weeks ago that came through the downstairs ceiling.

The ‘earphone’ on my mobile has stopped working too.

I hope that’s the triad of breaking done with!

Half term almost over … boo!

I spent the first half of the half-term week getting over ‘flu.  It took until Wednesday for me to feel even slightly alive, and until Thursday for me to feel like myself.

Wednesday saw my car pass it’s MOT with ‘flying colours’ – not a single advisory note, and just one bit of work that needed to be done before the MOT.  My bill was a massive £65 – which is a bit sarcastic as that’s the lowest bill I’ve had for a car that I own for a long time.  The Smart Car drained my resources frequently, but this battered, M-reg red Corsa is proving to be the most reliable and cheapest car to run (taking into account petrol, insurance, tax and servicing/repairs!  So a happy bunny, and even more so because the new mechanic is an absolute gem – thanks to my little sister Sara for recommending him.

Thursday was a weird day as I had to be interviewed as part of an inquiry into problems with a committee I’m a member of.  I’m not involved with the problems per se, but I am one of the witnesses to what occurred; not that I remember much as it was many months ago now.  So, we wait to see what happens as a result of the inquiry.

Friday saw a new shower fitted by a nice man from SWALEC at long last, but not without problems.  The main problem was that I couldn’t remember where the water stop cock was until water had sprayed over the bathroom and dripped through the ceiling downstairs and then my memory clicked in.  Everything else then went fairly smoothly.  After this, I had time to have a quick clean up before heading to Cardiff for an interview to start training as a hypnotherapist with Chrysalis.  That was easy, and though the nerves kicked in a little because it’s an unknown thing.  The actual interview wasn’t one really, more of a ‘this is what hypnotherapy is (I already knew that, but let them tell me again), I can see you have a lot of life experience (apparently important for any therapist), and do you want to ask any questions?’  It was a pleasant 30 mins or so.  I was told I could start the course the next day or wait until the next intake in the Spring.

Well, once I’ve made my mind up, I tend to do things as straight away as is possible, so I elected to start the course the very next day…

… and that’s how I spent yesterday! 10am to 5pm learning about the course, expectations, sorting out practice groups that meet outside of the monthly day courses, getting to know one another, and then actually experiencing and then practising a progressive muscle relaxation method.

The method was familiar to me as I use one very similar when I take a group of people for guided meditations on a Friday evening.  I cheated and didn’t use their script, but used my own … but I know I’ll have to follow more precisely in the future.  My partner was well pleased with the results, so that’s all that really, really matters.

I have a feeling I will instinctively know a lot of what is being taught, but the diploma will allow me to practice as a hypnotherapist, perhaps even start up a little business, which if it becomes successful and sustainable may allow me to change my career, even if only part-time.

I also have kind of decided that after this I’d like to do a degree in either psychology or forensic psychology and then use that to lead me to completely new pastures.  I’ve often thought about becoming a counsellor, but … there’s something that tells me not yet.  However, we’ll see!

I was totally drained in the evening.  It was a busy day, especially with so many people (26 including me and the tutor – Sue Preston).

I do plan to spend some time today completing another abstract artwork, that’s once I’ve sorted out all the notes from yesterday’s course.  I also have Pommes Dauphinoise, though my version has loads of garlic in it, parsley instead of thyme and no cheese on it.  However it is cooked it is a terribly indulgent yet scrummily delicious dish.  I will just have a variety of veggies with it…I think.  Though Quorn Fish-less Fingers may be speaking to me to eat them!

Bye, bye Smartiepants

Well, just after 4pm this evening, I waved a tearful goodbye to Smartiepants, my first SmartCar.  She has gone to be dismantled and recycled.  Hopefully parts of her will be transplanted into other SmartCars to keep them running healthily.

I will have fond memories of our time and trips together, of the great fun I had in driving her, of the places we went to.

I will try to put to one side the not so good memories of all the repairs, breakdowns, trials and tribulations that came with her.

I believe she was much used and abused by her previous owner(s), and I was able to give her the tlc she needed to survive another 4 years.  We had good times together.  And I’m sure this was all for the best.

So, bye bye, and thank you for all the fun times Smartiepants.

And hello to Foxy Voxy, the Vauxhall Corsa…time will tell if I’ve made a wise choice and a good buy this time…

Car update…

11:22 BST

Insurance is sorted for the Corsa.

I’ve got in touch with RAW2K about having the SmartCar scrapped.  Just waiting to hear from them about it…

Need a person to remove radio from SmartCar.  Must remember to remove all belongings from her too.

Almost all done!

20:44 BST

Just spoke with Jason from RAW2K about the SmartCar.  One of their companies is going to be in touch tomorrow about picking her up.  He’s going to put a note on the email to them asking if they’ll remove the radio for me when they come.

Nearly all sorted then …

And I just had the scariest journey of my life, possibly.  Two old ladies came to pick me up from the train station in Ponty this evening to go do a talk in Merthyr.  They entered into the station the wrong way.  Then they reversed into the railing near me damaging the rear bumper and the brake light glass.  The journey to Merthyr was … scary … as the ability to read the road or follow instructions like ‘go into the left hand lane’ was understood as ‘turn left’.  On the way back the driver managed to turn right onto a roundabout, much to the hilarity of a group of drinkers outside a pub.  Luckily a kind young lass in an old Clio came along and stopped the traffic so the car could be reversed back to the sliproad and then go around the roundabout the right way … kind of.

I think I just had a few years taken off my life!

Remind me to NEVER accept a lift from aged drivers again … I’m beginning to thing that after a certain age a re-test should be compulsory, and perhaps every so often after a certain age to ensure the drivers understand the rules of the road!!!

Sunday wittering


Anyone would think Mercury is retrograde with all the transport problems I’ve had lately!

Today it  continued.  I had a talk to give in Cardiff around 11am.  I’d checked train times and there was one from my local station at 10:09 that would get me there by around 10:30am – perfect!  I also have a talk in Merthyr this evening, and so was going to travel by train there.   I wandered down to the train station for around 10:00 to give me time to get tickets for both journeys.

I got there to find that all the trains between Cardiff and Treherbert, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Rhymney had been replaced by buses.

Wouldn’t have been a problem except the bus journey takes twice as long as the train and I’d be too late for the talk this morning.  So, I phoned the organiser (thank goodness for mobile phones!) who was gracious enough to say not a problem she’d sort something out.  I think phoned the organiser for this evenings talk, and she said she’d come and pick me up and bring me back again afterwards.

Its no one’s fault really.  I knew I should have checked for engineering works over the weekend, and didn’t.  Ho hum!

Personal Progress

It’s at times like this, when I recognise how I would have reacted in the past to these kinds of situations, that I realise how much positive work has been done through the counselling sessions I have.

In the past I would have been blaming myself, really taken myself on a guilt trip that would lead to a dark place.  I wouldn’t have slept, would have worried myself stupid, found it hard to organise myself or do anything by myself.

This time, and this is not the first time I’ve had a car die on me, I’ve coped really well.  I do need to find my insurance details so I can arrange the insurance for the Corsa. I need to find the log-book for the SmartCar so I can arrange for it to be sold for parts/breaking/scrap.  And I need someone who can take the radio out of the SmartCar and install it in the Corsa for me.  I’m fact, I’m quite pleased with myself, and that in itself is a big step forward for me too.


I have a couple of premature baby wraps and funeral gowns now made to send to Cuddles.  I have, and am, enjoying the process of knitting.  The book on Mindful Knitting arrived on Friday, and I’ve quickly scanned the introductions and some of the sections about how knitting can be a mindful practice, and I recognise much of it as a process I enter into when I find myself lost in art, not that I’ve done much art lately – wool, knitting needles, patterns, finished items and other paraphernalia of the craft cover the table I usually use to do art upon.  Today, though, I got a small wicker laundry basket that has a linen liner  to keep the yarns and stuff in in an attempt to have them easily to hand but also neatly in one place instead of scattered all over.  That purchase was one of the good things from not going to Cardiff this morning and walking through my town to do some shopping.  I don’t think the basket is big enough on getting it home, but it will help to organise things, so long as the puss-cat doesn’t decide they are there for him to mess with!


Well, my fears about finding a replacement car have been allayed and I’ll soon be independently mobile again.

A friend at school had an old (1995 M reg) Vauxhall Corsa 1.2LS for sale at a reasonable price.  The car looks like this, kind of. I went to see and test drive it last night, after doing a bit of research into car sales prices and reliability and cost of repair.  Repairs and servicing should be a lot cheaper and easier – it’s got far less mechanical stuff to go wrong with it!  I guess that parts are easily available for it too.  So that is a bonus and a big part of the reason for me to buy, as well as it being well within my very limited budget, both now and for the foreseeable future.

The Corsa has a full 12 months MOT on it, but I have to tax it, which is £122 for a whole year.  It’s mileage is a lot higher than my friend said – its currently at 118k.  I’ve been advised by another person to get the timing belt changed on it asap.  But it sounds like it’s running as sweet as a nut, drives well…so it seems.  There’s a not well painted quarter-panel, which I can live with.  A car is a tool for me, not a status symbol.  There’s no real signs of rust, though there is a little patch near the passenger door that needs a bit of attention.

So I agreed on £300 for the car.  I am no good at haggling!  It’s much, much less than it would cost me to have my smartcar repaired, even with the timing belt being changed!  I now need to find the log book for the smartcar, find someone who can remove the radio from the Smartcar for me (the radio in the Corsa doesn’t have a cd-player nor a jackplug for an mp3 player), arrange for it to be scrapped, and organise insurance for the Corsa.

Let’s hope that buying from a friend I see nearly every day and who would be really embarrassed if the car fails will work out better than buying from either a trade car centre or from a stranger …

It took a lot of thought and talking things through with various people to help me weigh up the pros and cons of fixing or scrapping the Smartcar and then getting a cheap car within my budget.  In the end, it was one conversation about the events of Tuesday night on Wednesday morning that led to  me seeing the car last night and firmly saying ‘I’ll buy it’.  I know it may seem crazy not to go and look at others, but I had a ‘feeling’ that this would work out right – not just that it was easy, but that it was too much of a coincidence to ignore.  I’ll try trusting my instincts this time…

My tight financial situation won’t last forever.  I’m literally paying for a lax attitude towards money over the last 12 or so years.  But in just a few years time at the most I’ll be in a position to be able to buy a new car, and that car will be a Smartcar!  Brand new.  With full warranty and so on.  Even my grim experience of my Smartcar hasn’t put me off them.  It was great fun to drive!  It was my fault for managing to find myself a total lemon!

Cars – harumpf!

Well, last night saw Smartiepants, my lil black SmartCar, die as it returned home, up a hill, from a very short trip to my meditation class.  3 mins walk away from home it happened.  Horrible sound.  No power at all from the engine even though it was running.  It took the RAC just over an hour to get to me.  It took another hour or so after the RAC man had left for the lorry to arrive to load her up and take her the short distance home.

What’s wrong with her?  Well neither of the mechanic type men were able to say definitively, but when the second one said ‘timing chain tensioners’ it reminded me of  when the timing belt went on my old Astra, same kind of thing happened … it happened to me twice, the second time it was terminal for the engine and car.

This year I’ve spent over £1000 on a 9 year old car.  Last year it was £300.  The year before was around £1000 and the first year it was nearly £3000, and that doesn’t include the £3500 I paid for her!  She’s had a ‘new’ (reconditioned) engine.  Loads of bits replaced.  And I now think it’s just time for me to let her gracefully go to the SmartCar heaven to rest in piece.

I’ve never had a lot of luck with cars, not even brand new ones.  So, I’m very nervous about looking for and getting a replacement car.  I have a very tight budget as I have to buy the car outright for reasons I’m not going to go into here.  None of my friends are car-savvy.  None of my family are available to help, not that they would if they were.

So, a stressful time ahead, maybe.

I know I didn’t sleep much last night, worriting about the latest car disaster to befall me.

Mind you, I think I’ve made the decision to not have the car looked at.  To let her go, gracefully and with thanks.  I don’t want a huge bill only to find it wasn’t fixable and then not have any money to buy a replacement.

Of course the lack of sleep isn’t helping me sort out what I want to do.  And in some ways doing without a car has it’s appeal, such as the benefit to the environment, the lack of stress when it breaks down, fewer bills … but it would clip my wings as far as travelling around to draw, give talks, go to meetings and so on is concerned.  And, as much as I like travelling back and forth with a friend, I still find it hard not to take some time at the end of the school day to mark and prepare and sort out things, and knowing that isn’t happening or rushing to get it done during the busy work day, is adding to my stress/worry about my ability to cope.

Still, it’s not the first time I’ve been here … and it won’t be the last given my experience with cars!  And it’s not as if I don’t look after them – I do!

And I now have a full teaching day, a twilight training session, and some decisions to make … as well as some enquiries to make about some cars I’ve seen for sale locally…

Fingers crossed!  And fingers crossed for a pal of mine who has a job interview today and another tomorrow …