Patti Edmon Altered Attic: December 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HoW Do yOu EXpReSs GrAtITuDe?

Certainly not like I do... by receiving not one, but three blog awards!!, all in the month of December and then not acknowledging a single one. I think that instead of posting them and writing things about myself, I'll mention the lovely artists who were kind enough to bestow them and provide links to their sites. That way you can explore the art and wisdom and warmth and devotion that these women share regularly.
Denise at Couture de' Papier awarded me a Butterfly Award, for having a cool blog. Check out her yummy, delightful creations. Earlier in the month, she posted one of my favorites, about the need for making Christmas real by sharing ourselves and using a fraction of the billions of dollars spent on gifts to help the many who are going to die from lack of clean drinking water.
Lani, Leader of the 14 Secrets of a Happy Artist, a group I'm fortunate enough to belong to, an art therapist and extraordinary mixed media artist. When you visit Lani's blog, you'll find that not only is she generous about sharing her art, she regularly provides links and portions of posts that further and enhance the creative process, spirit and life in general. She promotes other people's blogs and giveaways and teaches a fabulous course on Happiness in Art, which is how I met her.
Sharon, jeweler extraordinaire from Mana Moon Studios, was kind enough to tag me with the Bloggy Goodness Award - early in December. Wow, it has been weeks though they have flown by so quickly. Sharon just received the Spreader of Love Award, how apropos. Just prior, she received the Christmas Spirit award. If you read her reasons for loving Christmas, you'll get a grand idea of why she is the recipient of so many awards.

Thanks to all of you who entrusted me with these awards and my deepest apologies for not passing them along appropriately.  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Laugh Much

Another in the series - supposed to have a rich crimson-purple background, instead of, well, whatever color this is. It imparts the general idea though, another of the sentiments that I loved about that Christmas card I cut apart. 

I hope you are all enjoying a bit of rest,  peaceful, slow days that follow the hectic, harried pace leading up to the holidays. Whatever it takes to recharge and renew your spirit. 

Only 3 days to the new year? I know it's corny, but I'm making my list of resolutions; if you are, I hope you put creating at the top of your list!

p.s. images  used for this series purchased from ArtChix Studios

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sing Loudly

It seems that so much of Christmas is about preparation - shopping and cooking, wrapping and embellishing. Energy expended with wonderful intentions but little left over for the real meaning of the season - connections. So, I was more than a little happy to enjoy visits with close friends, meals with family and my favorite Christmas Eve church service (lessons and carols, along with a homily on gifts - what they represent and reveal about the giver's idea(s) about who we are... mention was made of a Scooby-Doo Chia pet and slippers with light-up toes before she moved on to the way those who know us best often give us what we need, even if we don't know it at the time). 

I think of the many gifts I've received throughout the year and am happy to blog hop, leave notes and find similar sentiments; I am blessed to be in the company of talented mixed media artists, writers and other creative spirits who appreciate and focus on the truly amazing gift of a creative moment. The time and space to translate the myriad emotions and issues we face in life into wondrous works. I didn't have as much time to work in the Altered Attic as I'd have liked this holiday season, though I did my series of 4x4 canvases. And, now that I'm able upload photos again (thanks to my bud Karin for uploading the one below), I realize how pitiful they look when photographed with a flash. Scanning is definitely the way to go, except when objects are too dimensional, so this will just have to do. Ah well, the sentiment is there. Sing loudly.
One of my favorite activities this season is the Christmas breakfast we serve to those not fortunate enough to have family, friends (or a home) for their own holiday meal. Having had very little sleep, which was probably a good thing, my husband, kids and I headed to Maxwell Street Presbyterian  at 8:45 on Christmas morning to help hand out long underwear and socks, plates of food and a little holiday cheer. A group of four or five from another church had stopped by to sing carols accompanied by guitar; I didn't realize it at first, they just weren't singing with the kind of gusto that I reserve for my favorites - church hymns, classic rock or Silent Night. I didn't hesitate when they handed out a few song sheets and in no time we had significant volume, which seemed well-enough received. Fortunately, my kids were otherwise occupied so they weren't even embarrassed. Joy to the World.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

I am in the habit of saying Merry Christmas; I'm a Presbyterian and I've grown up with most of the same traditions that I now practice with my own family. Like lighting a candle in church as we sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve. 

To say Happy Holidays is not an attempt to generalize, only acknowledgment of those friends to whom Christmas isn't the focus of their December. So whether it be Hanukkah, Kwanza, or a quiet day away from the noise and fast pace, Happy Whatever You Celebrate. 

Thanks for reading my blog! I appreciate the community I have grown to cherish and the comments I look for every time I post; the encouragement and friendships that keep me feeling a deep sense of connection to something much larger than my own little world, up in the attic where I explore mixed media and focus on creativity to keep my life in balance.

Over the past couple of weeks, I  made a series of 4 x 4 canvases using a Christmas card that I cut apart - each phrase its own piece. I'm going to try to post the rest within the next couple of days. Please come back soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How Many Crackers...

How many nuts would a nutcracker crack if a nutcracker could crack nuts? Well, I'm nuts and more than a little crackers after spending the past 10 days immersed in ballet world. It is Christmas time though and what are the holidays without the timeless classic. 
In addition to the two roles my daughter has been rehearsing for months (Waltz of the Flowers and Spanish Corps), her best bud broke her left foot and Al filled in, learning a third - and very long - role in one day, the day before dress rehearsal, one week before show time. 
This is also her first year performing en pointe, which was so exciting. As a seasoned ballet mom, every year I think it can't get more challenging or thrilling. The early days she was a honey fairy, a snow flake, a candy cane, and putting on her makeup and gelling until absolutely not one hair went astray and organizing snacks between shows were the  monumental tasks. Now she is doing is doing her own make up (except the eyeliner and mascara, she is only eleven after all) and I hardly hold her hand back stage. But instead of getting easier, as her job becomes harder my work has become far more challenging. Now it's quick costume changes, sticking bobby pins in hair pieces and tacking tutus, steaming and stitching in the ESR (emergency sewing room); also the need for navigating the politics and personalities of nearly a dozen pubescent divas... 
Alice has always been a natural on stage, every drop of performance ability in her DNA coming from her father's side (jazz singers, musicians and extraordinary hams - Jim played Mother Ginger for three years:) I never had to calm her nerves but little girls rely on us moms to ask if their lipstick is dark enough or the skirt fastened in the center. One year as we waited in the dressing hall (now they have graduated to dressing rooms, which acquire a definitive odor after six performances in two days), I photographed mothers and daughters, a series of ten or twelve friends with their daughters in various sages of preparation. While waiting our turn on stage, they sat and colored pictures and played games on the floor while we sat around them, gabbing and laughing. We've been a ballet family for more than six years, with a very few it's tradition to attend the after-final party at a favorite Mexican restaurant that reserves two rooms - one for the adults and the other for the still-shrieking dancers, The load lifted, there are pitchers of margaritas and salsa as the adrenaline simmers down. 
After days of not dancing a single step my feet are killing me and it takes more than a day or two to recover - every moment of which is one of my primary reasons for being a mother. Spending this kind of time, watching her grow and develop as a seasoned, committed dancer and beautiful young lady, and knowing that I had just a little bit to do with it is more than gratifying. 

On her toes, Alice is nearly as tall as her brother, who hasn't missed a show in six seasons.
The costume for the Snow dance is befitting a princess; she is with my very proud mother and my sister after the afternoon show.
She loved wearing the Spanish Corps costume, which accented her looming maturity. A few years ago it was hard to imagine her in these roles, let alone the costumes, or twirling and leaping across the stage in pointe shoes. The bond is still there, but it has changed, as has every facet of our relationship; her growth and independence, the spreading of wings that have been nurtured since the earliest days of pinning buns and wrangling with tights.

One of her first roles was a black ant in a recital; she's hugging her best friend, Maddie, the same one who broke her foot this past Thanksgiving Day and turned the pointe shoes over to Alice, the director - and I - knowing that she'd pull it off. Just like always, that in spite of the technical and other difficulties, all ends well when the curtain closes, even if I am more than a little crackers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Make a Wish...

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

Chrysti has an inspired idea - and a giveaway! Check out her blog and leave a comment, that's all there is to it; except for generating goodwill and encouraging meeting and exchange among artists/bloggers in the land of mixed media!


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