A is for … Angel Kitty. A monogram dangle design.

Angela Porter 3 Nov 2018 A is for

I got lost in drawing and coloring this dangle design this morning!

I had it in the back of my mind that I’d like to do a series of monogram dangle designs with a kitty or critter theme along with following the letters of the alphabet.

For A it just had to be an angel kitty!

I started with a pencil sketch, then, after scanning the sketch in, I inked it in using my trusty tool trio – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. Colour and texture was added and a lot of use of layers has been made and a couple of new ‘tricks’ for my digital art spellbook have been learned.

The first was about making solid areas without the black lines by using the fill tool, first in white to block out the sections, then using it as transparent to remove the black.

The second was figuring out how to use layers so I could use a natural blend brush on these sections without messing up bits I was happy with. This may seem an easy thing to those of you who are digital art experts, but I’m slowly learning what I need as I need to learn it!

Finally, I explored the use of a natural blend brush and really enjoyed working with it, once I’d figured out how it works.

I really, really enjoyed doing this one. Cats as a subject for my more whimsical, doodley type art are something I want to do more of. Maybe other critters too; I also have a soft spot in my heart for ravens, koalas, badgers, and many others!

I wonder what B is for… will turn out to be? Birthday Badger? Bookworm Kitty? Baker koala? Any suggestions? Leave me a comment here, or on facebook, on twitter (@artwyrd), or on instagram (@angela_porter_illustrator). I’d welcome suggestions and maybe I’ll draw your particular one, not just for the letter B, but for any other letter of the alphabet.

Of course this is a dangle design, and monograms, handlettering and dangle designs are some of the topics I cover in my tutorial book ‘ A Dangle A Day ‘ which is published in January 2019, but can be pre-ordered now.

 

A little cattitude

angela-porter-17-june-2018-watermarked.jpg

A couple of quick (ish) drawings of kitties, the first I’ve done since I said goodbye to my companion puss of 16 years a few weeks ago. So, they’re both white as he was pure white.

Often, all anyone would see of him was his backside while I was Skype-ing with them.  Sometimes his cute pink nose pressed up to the screen.

He sure left a lot of deep paw prints of love on my heart. He was one unique kittycat for sure.

BuJo for June 2018 and a reflection on May 2018

Angela Porter Bujo June 2018 CoverAngela Porter Bujo June 2018 MonthlyOverviewAngela Porter Bujo June 2018 Mood Habit TrackerIt’s that time again – starting to fill in my bullet journal (BuJo) pages for the upcoming month of June.

I’ve set up part of my bullet journal for June. I decided to go with daises again.  They’re such happy little flowers, bright spots in the green grass. They remind me of innocence and hope. Pale pink, green and flashes of gold will be the colours I use, where I use them, for this month.

May has been a very stressful, upsetting and emotional month, and my bullet journaling, along with lots of other things, went out of the window.

My little smartcar, Smartoo Deetoo, broke down. I had the stress/anxiety/panic of a very long time for the car and I to be recovered and taken home, and then organising recovery of the car to the Mercedes dealership in Cardiff for repairs. Eventually it was diagnosed with a terminally broken gearbox.

Instead of paying to have it replaced, I decided to buy a brand new Smartcar fortwo, which then had the added stress/worry/anxiety/panic of applying for finance.

Very quickly though, Binky was with me – my third Smartcar. Binky is fantastic and I can’t be happier with it.

Just after I signed all the paper work for Binky, I went to check on my cat who had been poorly for a day or two and who had rallied round that morning. I found he’d gone seriously downhill, so to the emergency vets we went.

After a night at the vets, test results and observations of my beautiful boy Cuffs, the diagnosis was brain cancer, so I had to make the decision to let him go, and went to say goodbye to him.

Cuffs was amazing. I had 16 years companionship with him.  He was with me for some of the best and the worst times of my recent life. He always greeted me when I came home and he often tried to stop me leaving for work, especially when teaching had become so very, very hard for me when my mental health was plummeting downwards.

There’s just too much to say about him here. To say I’ve been upset would be a gross understatement. I’ve grieved for him, and it’s knocked me not just for six but for 6 million I think.

I’m beginning to feel better, I still have moments when I miss the purrfurball, when a lumpy bit of the duvet will make my heart leap that he’s under it, only to remember he’s not and to feel that disappointment and sadness.

I am feeling better and getting back into my creative stride.

I’m working on the illustrations for Entangled Butterflies.

I will be working on the June colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group later today.

 

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.

A clowder of cats and a kindle of kittens

Some Memories from Primary School

Yesterday, while looking for a particular book, I stumbled upon a copy of “A First Aid in English, Revised Edition”.  I’d forgotten that I’d bought this book several years ago simply because I stumbled upon it on Amazon and it brought back warm memories of primary school.  I remember with fondness enjoying working through it, working neatly in my English book, while left to my own devices while everyone else in my class was practising for the competitions for the Urdd Eisteddfod.  I wasn’t with them as I wasn’t deemed good enough for any of the competitions; my accent was too English, I was too clumsy and uncoordinated to dance or act, and was told I couldn’t sing either.  So, I was left with maths and English work to do in the classroom by myself.

Fond memories of being left by myself?  Yes, that is the case.  I have always enjoyed learning, working, and producing beautifully written notes/work.  I guess this was something I could excel at when everyone else thought I couldn’t excel at anything else.  Also, I had and continue to have a love of words and phrases, and the First Aid in English fed that love.

Other fond memories crop up, such as being able to choose a photograph from a huge, numbered collection to use to inspire story writing.  This could be done once the set work was completed and while others will still working on that.  I’ve occasionally remembered about this activity and thought I could use it now as a source of inspiration for creative writing.

Anyway, once I found the book, I had to sit with pen and paper and work through some of the exercises, and found great pleasure and comfort in doing so.  I realised how much I’d forgotten, and how much the book seemed to have been cut down compared to the one I used when I was in school, but that may just be the warping effect of time on the memory.

I know, it’s sad, but it’s also true!

Similes

And this is where the title of this post comes in!  Clowder is apparently derived from clutter, which would describe a pile of cats all together, very much like a furry cloud!

Kindle is more obscure, coming from Old Norse ‘kynda’ which meant ‘to kindle’.  Maybe it’s just a cute sounding word to describe a pile of cute cuddly kittens making apt use of alliteration.

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!

Proudly presenting the letter ‘i’ (and some jewellery)

The letter ‘i’

Initial 'i' © Angela Porter 21 Feb 2011

Approx. 5cm x 13 cm worked using wires, metallic threads, beads and custom made ‘sequins’ on black felt.  The colours are silvers, blues, greens and purples.  Again, my poor photographic skills do this a disservice, but then again, no photography would capture the way this shimmers and shines and catches the light in different ways as you view it from slightly different angles.

I’m quite pleased with it.  The letters are a much more rigid format than I’m used to working with, but there’s still scope for so much embellishment and patterns within them.

The bonus is that it’s very relaxing for me to do this, almost meditative in nature.  That can only be of benefit to me.  Also, it’s been nice to be cwtched up under a fleecy blanket whilst working both this letter and the jewellery.  It’s a chilly day here, with heavy rain from time to time.  It’s nice to hear the rain on the windows and know that I do not need to go out in it.  It was doubly nice this morning as I was sat in bed, the purrfurrball (cat) draped over my legs, purring loudly, as I could hear the rain on the windows.  It was a very comforting place to be.  Also, it is the only place that the cat will sit on my legs/lap – his favoured spot is upon my chest, head nuzzled into my neck or shoulder, and that brings an end to anything that involves using my hands!

The Jewellery

Jewellery 21 Feb 2011 © Angela Porter 2011
The earrings are approx 2cm x 3cm.

The pendant is approx 3cm x 3.5cm.

Both worked with silver beads, purple/green iridescent ‘sequins’, silver threads.  The earrings have purple beads on them.

Just a few little items made for a friends’ daughters’ birthday this week … they didn’t take too long to do either, just a couple of hours, simply because I kept the design simple and not over embellished.  The pendant has a different ‘edging’ to  my usual over-stitched beads; I’ve used bugle beads sewn close to the edge of the felt so that there is a black border around them.  I don’t know if it works well, I’ll see what the feedback is from my friend!