Patti Edmon Altered Attic: June 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008


for Aunt Grey

spirit seeks freedom
from the shackles of time on
the prison of earth

Flower Dreams

breath on the night sky
fragrant petals drift inside
my deep dreams flower

Daughter Love

my daughter fills the 
well with love and her smile
waters my heart

Art Giveaway

Check out A New Angel, the fabulous piece of art that will be given away by Kristin Hubick at Retro Cafe Art. Click here to get to her site. I put my name in the hat because I'd love to own a piece of her work and I find her inspiring. The giveaway is in honor o the angels, unacknowledged by name, at work in her life. What a way to ensure the circularity of kindness and blessings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Goodbye Aunt Grey

My Aunt Grey passed away this morning. She was a second mother to me. The many characteristics and personality traits we shared bound us tight and kept me afloat during the difficult years of my life. Though her death has been expected it still caught me off guard. I visited her this past Saturday, her 85th birthday, and her body had already become like a shell, a housing for what small part of her remained in this world.

In recent days she talked about seeing a beautiful hilltop covered with flowers and a large book that contained all of our name. She had many visitors, some of whom she hadn't seen in years. It made me curious about that part of the journey; the idea that our real destination is what comes after this life is still a bit vague. But I whispered to her that I would see her there one day, kissed her cheek and said good-bye, that it was OK to go, we didn't want her to suffer any longer. I am grateful to God for answering our prayers, I just wish I felt what usually goes along with gratitude...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fourth panel

This is the one that had a niche carved and I found a dimensional metal cross that, with some moss, worked quite well; symbolic of the final season...

panel 3, life

I love using transparencies, especially adding a bit of white to the back, which illuminates the eyes... window of the soul.

Original panel and season 'one'

This is the panel that represents birth, season one. I got a bit carried away with the flowers and butterfly; I think sometimes that much of my work is a bit sentimental, but for now, it stays:)

This is the original panel, completed on day two of the deMeng workshop. I was happy with it, until I realized that the niche I carved in the opposing side, where I'd inserted a really cool little yellow/orange mask was art oxymoron, like Saturday Night Live and the Waltons, like Rambo and The Painted Veil,  Tolstoy and Stephen King, like Pollack and Renoir... like, well, I think that's enough like for now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Play 20 Questions - Let's Get to Know Each Other

I have only been blogging for a couple of months, but, well, let's just say I'm hooked. I spend quite a bit of time in the Altered Attic (or my bed, just below:) wandering through blog-world. In the mixed-media, altered art world it is gratifying to find bloggers who seem like kindred spirits; through their posts, the comments they leave on my blog, email exchanges, the way their art speaks to me, I feel a sense of greater sense of connection, tapped into that universe of creativity that keeps my world spinning.
I saw the Let's Play 20 Questions on Sweet Repeats, the delightful blog of an artist who lives in North Carolina, also where Saluda is located - one of my favorite towns where I've visited twice since spring. The game was part of a swap, but I thought it might be a fun way to tighten those connections, so why don't you play too? I emailed Lucy and she said sure, it's a fun game to play. So, copy and paste into your blog and leave me a comment so I can check out your answers- and let the universe zoom in a little tighter, while we get to know each other better. 
Let's Get to Know Each Other And Play 20 Questions!
1. What is your favorite Summer Drink(s)? Non alcoholic - Fuze (blueberry raspberry) Water, chilled coffee with vanilla soy milk, Alcoholic, no can do.

2. What is your favorite Summer Activity? Hanging with the kids. Neighborhood porch party and Fourth of July festivities.

3. If you could spend a lazy afternoon reading, what would be in your hands? Stampington mags, Cloth, Paper, Scissors, one of the many books on collage/mixed media/assemblage/art, and fiction - The Namesake by Jumpha Lahiri, Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson, Frog and Toad are Friends, any New Yorker or literary short stories. 

4. What is your favorite type of craft/art medium? Wholey Paper, alcohol ink, gels and gooey stuff, found objects, photos, rusty metal.  

5. What is one art/craft supply you absolutely have been dying to have or try? My soldering gun 

What are your favorite colors in our 'rainbow sherbet' theme? Pink, lime green, yellow, and aqua

What is your favorite sweet treat? It has to involve chocolate, nuts, caramel, maybe whipped cream - or good bread pudding.

Are there any craft or art supplies you are not interested in using? (this question modified since it's not for a swap) knitting/crocheting supplies, stickers, cute

What is your favorite song today? Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

How do you 'pamper' yourself during the hot summer days? Anything to stay cool... love to swim, need a pedicure!

Do you have any kidlets or pets? I have a son (12-1/2), a daughter (turning 11), a dog, two cats and a hamster

12. What is your best potluck dish for summer get togethers? Dessert wise, my double chocolate chip brownies. Unfortunately, thanks to this arthritis I'm not active in the kitchen; I am an expert at locating fabulous food that appears homemade! 

. If you could take a summer vacation anywhere, where would it be? New Zealand, to visit my good friend, Linda, or anywhere in New England or Canada. 

Describe your decorating style. Does that say anything about your personality? Lots of art and way too much clutter. I dream of a gleaming stainless and cherry kitchen, marble tiled bath, cottage style mixed with vintage and eclectic furniture in sparsely adorned rooms sans the laundry baskets, piles that I know I'll eventually get to and stacks of books; I've been told that our hundred-plus year old home has good vibes.

What are your initials? PATE as in chopped liver!

Why do you like to join swaps? It's a great way of learning new techniques and projects that I might not have tried otherwise; also it's fun getting art mail and collecting work by other artist pals and again, that sense of community that I so value. I have made some wonderful friends through internet art groups and it's only the beginning! I have trouble with deadlines but swaps and round robins keep me going. 

You have 25 dollars to spend just on you for a little treat. What do you buy? (you can list more than one thing). Aside from art supplies? Probably a bracelet made by a local or Etsy artist.

What's one craft supply or art supply you absolutely can not live without? Golden Clear Tar Gel, my husband's dremel and paints and my camera.

Who's the last person you hugged? My daughter.

What's your favorite number and why? 42. My husband and daughter came up with that as an answer to any question they didn't know how to answer otherwise. I think it's kinda catchy (yes, a little silly, which is why I love it - and them).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lazy Days at the Altered Attic

The Altered Attic has been quiet... it's difficult to mix up a batch of uszzh* in the random, tiny chunks of time I've had to myself, let alone create an altered trading card or other piece of art. Ahhh, summer. Kids. The old routine goes out the door and no new one takes its place. 
I love summer; no more waking to the annoying beep of the alarm clock at 6:30, sweeping my sleepy kids out the door at 7:30, for several more weeks anyway. I feel better when I sleep an extra hour or more and I realize how much of my kids' lives I miss when they're gone all day. It's fun doing the things we don't ever have time for during the school year and not feeling like we're in a hurry.
But I also realize how much entertainment school provides - my daughter misses her friends and I've been hearing "I'm bored" more than I'd like (frankly, once would suffice). They aren't old enough to go off alone, but too old to play with the hose and sidewalk chalk. Most of their neighborhood friends are off at camps and I haven't affixed the taxi sign to the van, yet.
The shift is in progress though, the slower pace has begun to ease its way into their systems and I've been able to get up to the attic, at least long enough to complete the ATCs for the Coffee/Tea ATC swap I hosted. I've only made ATCs one other time and I find them fun but quite challenging. Oh yeah, I need to mail the packages.... oops. Maybe today.
* Michael deMeng's signature color for aging paper and metal and thingies.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Frog and Toad Forty Years Later

Frog and Toad stayed on the island
all afternoon, they ate wet sandwiches
without iced tea.
They were two close friends sitting alone together.

     This is one of my favorite quotes, lines rather, from a favorite story. A very simple story, Alone, one of the many Frog and  Toad stories written by Arnold Lobel. As they find themselves in various situations and predicaments, Frog and Toad delight children and impart profoundly simple wisdom about the necessity, commitment and significance of friendship to adults reading the stories to children.

     I missed out on Lobel’s stories the first time around; most were written in the 1970s, a decade after my easy-reader days. But twenty years later, my childhood best friend, who worked in children’s publishing and television in California sent me Days with Frog and Toad, the book and cassette tape.

     I tucked them away for the time when we had children, five years later, in 1995. Then on one of the many sleepless nights I sat rocking my weeks-old son in the nursery and talking with my husband, who had stretched out on the floor. We were both trying to outlast the robo-baby who, aside from stray naps, stayed awake nearly around the clock. 

     I’d come across the tape and he  put it in and as we listened I began to giggle, then laugh until nearly hysterical; I recognized the deceptive simplicity of the author’s wit in the antics, adventures and ordinary moments shared by best friends, which was, of course, why Karen had sent them. Frog and Toad reminded her of us: they boosted each other’s morale, celebrated special occasions, played tricks and labored over decisions, shared secrets and burdens and stuck together. They were there for each other no matter what.

     Frog and Toad were much like we’d been, first surviving adolescence and boys, learning to shave our legs and wear makeup; writing poetry, playing music and making art, weathering heartbreak, school and then work, long distance moves, marriage and having children, creating a lifetime of memories.

     Just over two weeks ago, I received a box from Karen, still my best friend, who recently moved back to California; I miss her terribly in spite of frequent phone calls and emails. She warned me more than once not to touch it, not even a moment early. So, I dutifully waited until my birthday, this past Thursday, and much to my surprise and delight, inside were Frog and Toad, together, stuffed and smiling, dressed in their smart jackets and slacks, with a message: “To my favorite Frog from your favorite Toad.”

     I held them up and my kids cheered – they know the stories. I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. This is also the fortieth anniversary of  the beginning of our friendship, years before Lobel published the first of his Caldecott Honor-winning books. It’s hard to comprehend the scope and depth of a relationship nearly as old as we are, all the crazy things we’ve done, ways we’ve found to make life a bit easier, more fun and a whole lot more meaningful for each other.


I am happy. I am very happy.
This morning when I woke up
I felt good because the sun was shining.
I felt good because I was a frog.
And I felt good because I have you as a friend.
Alone,  Days with Frog and Toad, Arnold Lobel


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