Patti Edmon Altered Attic: 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to the studio - yay!

I don't know how so many of you manage to keep up the creative pace during the holidays... maybe you have studios in far better order than mine, are able to work late at night, or maybe painting in your sleep? Perhaps it's an illusion. But during my blog visits I saw a lot of work in progress - journals, paintings and assemblage, digital collage... I had to 'do' Christmas in a two-week period, unable to focus on anything else until I delivered the journals that were commissioned in November. I'm happy to report that someone along the way asked the gallery owner if there were any left... fortunately for me she wants more! And that's a good thing because once I completed the 8th piece I was surprised to find myself in withdrawal.

I only had time to make a few gifts, two of them, of course, were journals.
The background started out, as usual, gesso and a few layers of gel, some bits of paper and stuff to enhance the texture. I had an idea, albeit vague for the concept but I don't worry about specifics until later in the process.



More scribbling and stamping with gesso then the Turner's yellow. It's one of my favorite colors though it usually ends up covered up by so many layers of paints, media and texturing elements that it only shows through here and there.



Ready to collage I started to think about the recipient - in this case Karen, who has been my best friend for 40 years (oops, am I revealing my age??). It didn't take long to come up with the elements and then the concept... coffee, conversation, much of it via letter and the wires, the denim and watch face; the tiny slip of paper that says "make your rules," which speaks volumes about our teenage years and the journey we are traveling on today.



A few more symbolic embellishments, finishing off the inside covers and painting the back and in the bubble wrap in the nick of time.

Christmas may be over but during the time I spent away from the studio my subconscious was brewing... I believe I could create these without ever running short on ideas. I think I'll go up and spend a few hours (days?) cleaning, so that I can resume with an open path. That and my New Year's plans, the values I want to embrace in the coming year, a few old habits that need to be relinquished... more on that later.


What are your thoughts and traditions for approaching a new year? I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza...



It's fairly obvious that we celebrate Christmas, the festive tree journal and all... so whatever holiday you observe, or not, I hope it's filled with friends, memory-making moments and peace. Last night I re-read the message I wrote for the Advent Devotional published by our church and realized how little credence I was assigning to my own words. Written in November. Before, when there weren't a hundred things on my list and a clock ticking. So, climbed in bed with my laptop and I read it again, took a deep breath and... settled.
I moved on to The Rat Race Trap, one of my favorite blogs, and from there a link to an article by Steve Pavlina, about values, with a list of dozens (fortunately many are synonymous). I read slowly down the page and every time I felt a thump in my inner heart I stopped and made note. What I ended up with is a core set of beliefs that I already hold as truth but want to deepen, further, enhance, expand in the coming year. Like adventure, awe, focus, making a difference...
I came out of the Life is a Verb coaching class with a sense of, if not direction, an idea about how to lift any limits that present themselves along the way. My friend and art-group leader, Lani Gerity is several steps ahead of me. She cites a friends' idea that instead of resolutions, we need revolutions; she has paired her attributes with inspiring and amazing art that will help her focus on the qualities she wants to create more of in her life.

Why am I going on about the New Year when tomorrow is Christmas Eve? Perhaps to help me stay focused on the devotional, in the hopes that when the calendar flips I will be in good stead. I consider myself illiterate when it comes to the Bible, embarrassingly so, and don't ordinarily post pieces that I write to share with my Pastor (and great friend, Woody Berry) and church family. But, stepping out onto a limb, I place it at the end of a branch in the hopes that you will find some meaning as you enjoy a wonderful celebration of Christmas, Kwanza or whatever it is that you and yours observe. Peace.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?... Eat what is good. (Isaiah 55:2)

How many of us will settle into the grey January, post-Christmas days with a sense of renewal, abundance and spiritual strength? This may be the easiest of seasons to ‘overextend’ on all that is outwardly good. But can it fall short of reaching the inner emptiness that can hollow out the seemingly fullest of lives?

This scripture asks us to answer to the tendency, even in these times of hardship, to spend, eat, attend and present the perfect holiday picture for all to see. At first glance, it may appear that we have indeed done the right things for the right reasons, but if we do not eat what is good, what is vital for maintaining a spiritually nourishing life, we may arrive at the New Year empty handed.

In preparation for this Christmas, carve out generous moments for prayer and spiritual discernment; make time to care for those among us who seek not material bounty but a hot meal, a clean place to rest and warmth continue on through another day. Pray that God’s guidance and mercy will show us what is truly good to eat.

Dear God, help us stop, be still, find the cause of our inner restlessness. Quench our unceasing appetites with the bounty of your merciful grace and satisfy our deepest longing with all that is good in your eyes. In the name of the one whose birth we await with tender hopes, amen.

Sunday, December 20, 2009



Some of us can't keep up with the essentials this time of year, let alone creating a virtual encyclopedia of tricks, techniques and handy ideas. If you don't know about Seth Apter's Secret Sunday, it's time. This is the fifth Sunday that he's posted a veritable wealth of info from artists of all media and style - with the previous weeks' treasures posted on his sidebar.
The blogs I've visited in the past hour(s) are brimming with creative works that make me long for a trip to the studio. Everyone seems so productive. I have been busy up there, finishing the commission of journals, projects in various stages that I hope will be wrapped up by Wednesday. Not a lot to show off though... hmmm, I posted a photo of the wreath on the front door, now maybe the fab swag I made to drape over the mantle? Or the sled I salvaged from a junk shop and embellished with pine cones and greenery... wait, I think Martha does that. And believe me, I am NO Martha (if she even is the maven of all things decor these days:)
At least I have had my fill of warmth, humor, art, creative thought and deed... here are some of the blogs I've visited:
Seth's Secret Sunday, one not to be missed!
Beyond Words, a video presentation of Karin's giveaway
Altered Bits, Alicia's confession of just how many projects she can work on at any given moment along with an admission of feeling a bit... flowery?
Mistress Debrina, whose cards and other gorgeous goodies await, and there's still time!
Retro Cafe Art Gallery - did Kris say German glass glitter? how many colors must I have...
The Poetic Artist - Katelen serves up some words to live by - such a creative inspiration
Ilka's Attic - Susan makes magic look SO easy
Jazworks - Jilly shows off her cache of papers from the Woven Letters swap (Lawendula is always working on something amazing)
Jasmine - her beautiful felt scarves (and showing off her winnings from Karin:)
Sharmon's study of all things rock
Soulbrush - I think I'd like to get in on the 6:6 adjective swap
La Dolce Vita - Cat and I definitely share in the philosophy that giving gifts of art or handmade treasure are so much more meaningful than racing through the mall just to check off the list (my words not hers:)
Each Day is a Present - a wonderful blog I just discovered thanks to a comment!
and Iona Drozda - a new friend I met through Karin who has such a warm depth and insight that radiates from her art and in the book she published, Twenty-Two Prayer Poems for Care Givers, which is on my nightstand.

I guess it's obvious why I'm not making art... I could go on, listing many more of the blogs I've been cruising in the world that has become community, such a big part of my life. One way to catch up on much needed rest without missing out:)

The energy sucked up by chronic illness would collectively fuel a rocket to Mars. But in the meantime, more than one party a day is too much for me. And three events I most wanted to attend this season are all taking place right now - Christmas caroling, a memorial service at the Hope Center for the homeless, and a party at my great friend Judi's that promises to rock the night away... sigh. But tomorrow I'll arise refreshed and ready to tackle the fifth day before Christmas?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



So many posts, so little time... there are the wonderful gifts I received from the art exchange, the lovely papers from (have already used) Poland, the paper swap that Lawendula organizes... photos of the journals that were so well received (someone asked if there were more... that's what every gallery owner wants to hear - YES:)
Or, the price of wreaths... I wanted a large, lush production for my front door but alas! Even at the wholesale place they were $70 and $85 for a finished piece. Yikes. Not happening. So, I bought a fresh one while we were getting our tree, dug around in my supply bin and here it is, my $14 special!
I hope you are all coping well with seasonal issues, making a bit of time for art (time? gifts?) and for friends and traditions - old and new.
I hear the brushes rattling in the jar... it's December 16 and you aren't finished.... so for now, bye and blessings, much love ~

Monday, November 30, 2009

Photoshop fun

I've been a photography buff for more than 20 years, and a longtime photoshop fan - clipping paths, scanning images and painting, smudging and blurring until weeds looked like ethereal flowers....
Since delving into mixed media a few years ago I hesitated to get too far into the computer for my art because.... I guess I was afraid I'd never come out? I see so much fabulous digital collage out there, like
Lani's - moderator of the swap group I'm in. Hers rock and then there are Susan Tuttle's inimitable works of art... I did succumb though, and since the pumpkins I have been playing every spare moment. This is a lovely end-of-winter shot from my archives... but I thought, hmmm, wonder what would make it more interesting. So, I applied several of Susan's genius techniques (from Visual Poetry).



and came up with this. It might be a bit much - too spotlighty, as if that were a word, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it!



My fab friend Wendy took this photo some years ago up in her homeland (Saskatchewan) and when I came across it in her Flickr stream the first thing I did was ASK permission to play. She said, go right ahead, and I admit I was hesitant because it's perfect just like it is. I have such a thing for old barns, buildings, textures and rust...



and except for the sky, which I'm still messing with (as is Wendy, who is taking the class too!) I think it's really fun.




Take a look at the
Flickr page to see more amazing pieces by the group - I haven't gotten to week four, like many others have (gee, there's a familiar ring to that....), hoping soon! Then I'll start playing with textures. For now, I'd better get upstairs and finish the journal order - due tomorrow!! I'll post photos of them, I have to admit they are some of my most favorite pieces ever!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving




Grace

Thanks & blessings be
to the Sun & the Earth
for this bread & this wine,
this fruit, this meat, this salt,
this food;
thanks be & blessing to them
who prepare it, who serve it;
thanks & blessings to them
who share it
(& also the absent & the dead).
Thanks & Blessing to them who bring it
(may they not want),
to them who plant & tend it,
harvest & gather it
(may they not want);
thanks & blessing to them who work
& blessing to them who cannot;
may they not want - for their hunger
sours the wine & robs
the taste from the salt.
Thanks be for the sustenance & strength
for our dance & work of justice, of peace.

~ Rafael Jesus Gonzalez ~


(In Praise of Fertile Land, edited by Claudia Mauro)


This photograph and poem is but one of the examples offered daily (with occasional holiday breaks) by Joe and his Yahoo venture Panhala, a one-man deal, with a mission to make our days more lyrical, beautiful, hopeful and most of all thankful. Thanks Joe and Happy Thanksgiving to YOU.

Click the Panhala link to subscribe and add blessings to your day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

An Experimental Approach to the Shifting Landscape of the Face...


This isn't a new photo, one like this is hard to come by. I'm taking the fabulous Susan Tuttle's Visual Poetry class and I wanted to make a statement about Fall, so I thought I'd accomplish both with one image. I like the original photo and was a bit perplexed about how to improve it, so in experimenting I went warmer, more vivid. I'd love to know what you think!

I took the original (below) last year while trekking through the neighborhood. It cracked me up because, being the Queen of Procrastination (thanks to arthritis and habit) it looked like something I would call an experimental approach to the shifting landscape of the face, rather than simply saying I'd left my pumpkins out too long!



Maybe it's because I am a procrastinator But this year, I think it happened even earlier!! I heard it while still picking Halloween candy out of the dog's fur and pulling the fake cobwebs out of the bushes - a Christmas jingle. Two days after the ghouls and little witches and zombie parades ceased it suddenly became Christmas. Now that it's nearly Thanksgiving, it's everywhere of course. I even participated in a Holiday Gift Market last evening, my table garnished with beaded garland and all things Merry.
I certainly don't mean to offend anyone who cannot wait to get into the spirit. I don't know if it's my tendency to put things off, or my wish to enjoy what is happening now, at the moment, beautiful leaves still drifting from our trees, bold blue afternoon skies and the preparation of small pumpkins for their transformation into pies. Giving Thanks with family and friends.
I did have to think about the season a bit early, since I wrote three devotionals for our churches' Advent Devotional Book - I may even post them here, on the corresponding dates. I loved researching, reading, trying to find a new angle on annual-favorite scriptures. But, an early Christmas? No thanks, oh, except for the Peeps. Yes, I was shopping for festive goodies to adorn my table at last night's show and I saw them. I bought 3 boxes and they were great conversation starters. Christmas tree Peeps with little dots for ornaments! The first I've ever seen! No longer a ritual at Easter, they are now part of the beginning of it all.
Oops, I think I just found another Nerd in Henry's fur...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Waiting...



Waiting seems to be a very popular pastime these days, though it wasn't the motivation for this piece... I keep saying I'm going to change my 'look' and here is another in that series of color and style. I do, though, feel as though I'm evolving. Maybe waiting to evolve?
It's one of my favorite collages and Cassie likes it too because when I showed it to her she said, "I have to have this - let's go to the frame shop as soon as I get back." That, of course, was before the back stuff with Jim; I hope she still wishes to purchase it, I'll wait and see.
Nothing like a kink in the works to put your priorities in order. I'm so far behind in every area, sadly with my Life is a Verb coaching class, although I feel the effects profoundly. Prior to this, very deep and life-altering work, I would not have gotten through the past couple of weeks without anxiety, fear, maybe a bit of depression, and definitely feeling overwhelmed.
Always being in choice, letting go of what I can't control, focusing on what is really true... those are among the many earlier lessons that created a foundation for the work we're doing now, which is the transformative, path-finding work.
But still, it's not fun to look around at the extraordinarily high mountains of unfolded laundry, all the projects I hadn't finished before Jim hurt his back and now the calendar... yikes! I have a few more journals to make for the client who ordered 8 way back in October at that Gallery Hop.
I'm having great fun with them. And enjoying the rewards of the art exchange I entered. It seemed very hectic at the time, but it's amazing, beyond words to receive art from across the world, artists I don't know, some that I do... Nothing better than art mail! In a few days I'll start posting some of my goodies.
So I'll wait for some more to arrive... come to think of it, how many times and occasions are we in that stasis, limbo, sliver of time between the now and what is going to be, what we're hoping for... I think I'll forget about the laundry, do my coaching assignment and go to bed! There's no waiting for sleep:)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Meet Wendy



Meet Wendy Burton, the winner of my Fall Giveaway, from Saskatchewan, a hauntingly beautiful place. Like me, she's an artist, photographer, writer and mother. Kentucky and Canada don't have much in common aside from an amazing landscape (check out her photos!)being home to art loving women on the day to day journey of life:)but we sure seem to share plenty, and we've only started! And, fortunately, she's infinitely patient - my husband's back problems have waylaid so many projects... sigh. But it's coming, not to worry!


Here's what Wendy has to say in her bio:

Creativity allows my voice to float up in echoing reverberations from that place in my soul where emotions thrive. It gives wings to my words, flight to my thoughts. Creativity allows my hands to share a piece of my heart with those who take time to see. Nature brings inspiration ~ colours and sounds, taste and touch. I thank God for this gift ~ this wonderful gift of creativity, the wind in my wings.

Check out her blog and her Flickr page - fabuloso!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy the Clown Saves the Day!



What do you do when life throws you a curve? Create, console, consult, make a clown? Lately I haven't had to go far to see how many of my art/blog and other buds are dodging so much... stuff. Pain - from the life threatening to moderate discomfort is, of course, part of life. My prayer list grows, though fortunately my gratitude list is longer.

I've been away from the computer (and behind, again, on swaps, projects and sending a package to my new friend Wendy in Saskatchewan) tending to my own DH, who is weathering a back trauma unlike any he's ever experienced. Several bulging disks and one herniated disk that triggered sciatica have, until today, rendered him completely immobile, except for the writhing pain of trying to find a position that hurts a little less. We are hopeful that the relief granted by a fabulous, tiny Indian woman (physician:) who administered a guided injection/epidural yesterday, is the beginning of his recovery and that our appointment tomorrow with the neurosurgeon will be for treatment protocol only.



One of the only things I had completely finished was my polymer clay workshop project. A week or so ago, Debbie and I got together in her cozy, warm studio and stitched on arms and wings and things that looked like feet, and adorned our 'creatures' with baubles and beads. I had no problem, well, not a big one:) anyway, when I finished my scrappy, happy little clown; being the ace sculptor that she is, Debbie didn't benefit from her ideas about the perfection of limbs and such. I had to make her repaint on the loud, clangy oranges and reds; we realized her clay clown was evolving into one of her amazing raku princesses and we had a good laugh.


The imperfect and the perfect are really just ideas after all, and life is still what happens when we're making other plans. Hopefully we remember the important, stay
connected and our circles widen, open into the universe and our prayers are all heard and answered as they are meant to be.

So hugs and blessings to all who are waiting for test results, new treatments to work, hearts to mend, business to pick up, or just having a lonely day. Thanks be to God for clowns and the creative process that keeps us all sane.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And the Winner Is...

After a bit of technical difficulty earlier in the week, Random.org selected the winn-er of my Fall Giveaway; I'm happy to announce that it is Winn's Angels.
Why am I so excited?? Well, I've never 'met' her before; but, we're the same age, we're both taking Susan Tuttle's Visual Poetry class, and, while I haven't written as much about my philosophy - aside from my Art Angels - we both have strong views on the presence and guidance of angels on our creative journey. Could that be any cooler??
I have spent a great deal of time perusing Wendy's blog and I'm in love with her art and photos and, did I mention, she lives in Saskatchewan? Please take time to check out her amazing blog and art displayed on her Flickr page



Her favorite season?? She has published a book entitled Autumn Richness! Here's her winning post:

Ahhh, my favourite season. In truth there is so much beauty in every season. If I pause to contemplate for any content of time, this is a very difficult question to answer. I love Christmas and the hoarfrost, heavy mistiness of some winter days and yet cool crisp chill of others. Summer brings so much beauty in the multi hues of green as well as flowers both tame and wild. Spring, brave spring is all about new life, birth, rebirth. So hard to decide. But as we are in the richness of autumn - for this moment I will choose autumn. I love the smells of apples and cinnamon. I love the textures and colours of warm woolen sweaters and mittens. I love the patterns and layers. Yes, for this moment in time, I will say my favourite season is autumn.
Thank you for the autumn pictures.
Thank you for offering this lovely give away... you are giving of your heart to each and every one of us. Angels be with you.

Thank you Wendy - I hope you'll send me a photo or two to post here... enjoy Autumn in Saskatchewan!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Thrilling Night



I don't ordinarily post photos of myself, particularly one that is hideous beyond belief, even though it was deliberate - I didn't want to stand out after all. It is a bit disconcerting to walk downtown and step over and around hundreds of zombies, (and I'm talking movie set realistic) on Main Street, still as corpses strewn everywhere - on the sidewalk, slumped over benches and garbage cans, in stairwells.









As a faint rift of Thriller rose from the silence, 'Michael Jackson' appeared... the zombies slowly rose into formation and the procession began. Michael led the ghouls, swaying and lurching, shoulders and legs stomping in unison toward the courthouse, followed by a shrine to the late king of the Halloween fest and us! The March Madness marching band - ghostly glam dancers in vintage wedding and ball gowns, nurses uniforms and an amazing array of slips, shawls, veils and boots, followed by four of us playing cymbals, moroccos, and tambourines. Behind us, the full percussion and horn section (including my son, Dylan, on the snare). Oh what a night.

more pics to follow, along with the winner of the October giveaway!

March Madness Marching Band

marching to the beat of a different drummer...


I know where to sit - back row, third from the right:)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prayer for a friend



waiting

deeper than spoken
word, prayer rises from the
well of silent hope...


What is more difficult than dealing with illness? Waiting... those interminable days or hours between test and result. The slivers of time that no matter how thin are sharply painful, as we hover between the not knowing and the finding out.

I have a friend who is waiting right now, to find out exactly what is in that tiny lump. She has hovered longer than her share of time between hope and sanity. You probably know a handful of co-workers, acquaintances, friends and family members that are enduring those elongated moments, in similar situations.

The hardest 'waiting' I ever did was in the late '90s. I had a great deal of trouble getting, rather, staying pregnant. After two losses, the third time was charm. Weeks went by until finally, the third trimester. Then a routine blood test indicated that the fetus had an 80% chance of being a Downs' Syndrome baby. I was 38 years old after all, though I passed for a decade younger and still lived in that bullet-proof zone... life before any real bad stuff. It was also the beginning of my faith journey, which didn't erase the pain, or make me forget, it was just there.Not that we wouldn't have loved and cherished a child with Downs, it was the not knowing, the waiting. Fortunately the specialist, kind enough to appreciate the suffering, called on Saturday morning to tell us our baby would be fine, genetically perfect.

If we've reached our 40s and 50s relatively unscathed, we begin to experience the loss and/or illness of family and friends, our own burdens, those life changing events that nudge us into paying a bit more attention to our priorities, how we spend our time, communicate to those we care about and open our circles and hearts a bit wider. I've traveled quite a distance on my own path to spiritual fulfillment, gaining wisdom with every test of strength and endurance.


So once again, I say a prayer for a friend who waits. Hoping not only that the news is good, but timely, not delayed by human or technical error. That in the murky depth beneath our conscious thought, the prayers will be answered.


I took the photo last Sunday at church - Maxwell Street Presbyterian - where the light always shines bright.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Polymer Clay - not my forte?

(Sorry, no intent to dis myself, the title just rhymed:)
Still drenched in the flavors and sights at Hotel 21C, we ventured across the street to the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft for our afternoon with Polymer Clay. Our wonderfully talented and gregarious instructor, Lisa Simon, began by talking about the basics and showing us a few of her wonderful creations. Yes. She's the kind of teacher that makes you feel like any and everything is possible, if not in a four-hour window! Looking at the variety and complexity of her dolls was quite daunting for me though, a newcomer to clay, as well as Cassie, who is enormously creative but says she doesn't 'make art.'



We started unwrapping colorful blocks of clay without a clue about the shape, appearance, personality of our creations. Rolling shapes, making beaks, bulging eyes, crazy appendages, the time passed all too quickly. Especially for Debbie (on the right, glasses on her head) who creates and exhibits Raku sculpture women that are to die for (her finest to date graces my living room mantel:)
I'm not sure about the expression on instructor-Lisa's face, we thought we were off to a fine start; the head for mine, cut off below the eyes, is at the very bottom of the frame. Wasn't what I'd hoped for but there's no perfection, second chances even, in a four-hour class.



The class description said that all materials would be provided, and they were. Some of the more experienced gals arrived with a plan - and gorgeous embellishments like felt pieces and jewels, designs sketched out in detail - and finishing their pieces while ours came home in body bags.



Like Clarissa, a fellow Lexingtonian, the only one to create a round doll - quite fabulous!




And Ellen Yunker, who was wearing a doll-pin that she'd made in an earlier class (gee, I really wanted that pin!!). I didn't get a photo of her doll - it was fabulous!



But we hung in there, cut out little bodies and sewed cloth pieces together on machines with tension 'issues' and a bit of our own:) I'm ashamed to say that I haven't used a machine since senior-year home ec class when I made a skirt big enough for the school's quarterback.



Debbie made great progress, her creativity and talent shining through; Cassie and I are learning to love our little clowns... the class was finished before we were so we grabbed bits of embroidery floss, extra clay and fabric, bagged up and drove back home, with plans to gather at Deb's studio on the 30th and finish. I can't wait!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Stop - Hotel 21C

My friend, aka art angel Debbie Westerfield, invited me to join her on a trek to Louisville for a polymer clay class, with Cassie Harpel, one of the most fabulous, sparkly women I've ever met. So incredibly in need of fun, companionship with kindred spirits, adventure and creative play, I jumped at the chance.
After the hour and a half drive we started at Hotel 21C, recently in the news for being voted number one hotel in the country by Conde Naste readers (November issue). Click on the link and check out the MSNBC video with Matt Lauer. It's not hard to imagine why, though Kentucky doesn't generally top the list when it comes to vacation destinations.



The first clue that you're there is the red penguin on the roof, one of the many that appear in random - often changing - locations throughout the hotel. We considered a spin in the hotel's limo, covered in red shiny dots, but got busted. Cassie is so gorgeous and charming, we were off with a warning and went in for brunch.



Just inside the lobby, there are glass cases filled with, well, interestingly busy little people doing lots of different thing, a modern spin on the dollhouse - as you can see in the middle there's a guy standing outside with his luggage...



Here's a close up...



No need for a closeup here, the statues against the wall behind the front desk...



More engaging than fun house mirrors, the giant screen that, when you stand, then change positions, the letters surround your outline and make words, at least I think there are some real ones in there somewhere...




It would take pages and pages to begin a fitting description for the place - take a virtual tour or stop by if you're in the area. Our brunch was delish and not expensive at all, just filling enough to prime us for the workshop!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Giveaway!

What's your favorite season? Read on, leave a comment and on October 31st I'll pick (randomly, of course) the winner of a seasonal box of goodies.



took a walk the other day and yep, the air had that unmistakable chill, unlike a random cold snap in the summer. the leaves turning, bulbs waiting to be planted and roots going dormant for the winter that are felt more than smelled. unlike the triumphant scents of blossoms carried in the limbs of honeysuckle and rose bushes, mimosas and lilies in spring.



Cats curled in nooks and tight against porch railings; I believe they, too, know it will soon be time to go inside, aside from the daily foray into the bright slant of sun that is another sign of fall.



the pumpkins laugh, already, at the thought of Halloween, a wild night of surprise and celebration in our neighborhood.



the mums almost look out of place, the bright color alongside the browning grass...



autumn and spring are my favorite seasons, though they are the hardest on those of us with auto-immune and other illnesses susceptible to changes in the weather - the thick gauzy summer air and the steady, gray cold of winter mean a more stable barometer and that makes my joints happy. But in spite of the difficulties presented by warm, sun toasted afternoons followed by a crisp plummet into the cold, rainy nights, the sheer beauty of fall is enough. crisp apples, roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, hiking in the bounty of color, cozy afternoon, cup of tea in the window seat and yes, the pumpkins, a reminder to bake three small 2 pound pumpkins for Thanksgiving pie.



I smile every day at the sight of a neighbor's enormous pumpkin, marvel at its sheer size, smooth even color... and know that my kids, although in middle school, will insist that we put out a few of our own. We used to trek to the pumpkin patch in the fall when Alice and Dylan were young enough to marvel at scarecrows, the cider stand and the bumpy ride on the hay wagon out to the field to pick out the exact right ones. This year I'll pick up a few at the corner market... sigh.

So, what is your favorite season? Is it tied in with a holiday or celebration? Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, the 4th of July? Leave a comment with the season and the reason (not entirely necessary) and you'll be entered in the drawing. I'll post the prize in the next couple of weeks, but it will be worthy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Old Friends



changing seasons

old friends consider
another morning, same says
one, the other nods...

I've been writing haiku since summer, for the first time in years (and years?). I wrote one for a challenge in Life is a Verb and it hit a nerve. I wrote a few more after completing the exercise and then a few more and the floodgates opened. I've been scribbling them in church (after the sermon of course), at traffic lights, the grocery store, in meditation and prayer for friends whose deep, troubling needs fill me with anguish.
So neat, so compact, like an ATC, a small collage, a photograph... an entire story conveyed in a glance. Or, in 17 syllables. Probably for the same reason that, when I wrote fiction, I focused on the short story. Not because it's easier; anyone familiar with the mechanics of a good short story knows that it has to do the job of an entire novel in a fraction of the space.
In my teens and early twenties I spent a great deal of time writing poetry and it was deeply meaningful as self-care; however, I must admit, it was quelled by my longing is to read a good poem. Now, every morning I scan my inbox for an email from
Joe Riley, who under the Yahoo group name Panhala, pairs an amazing photograph with an equally compelling poem. Ahh, Joe, where were you twenty-some years ago?!
I do appreciate the fact that I created this collage using one of my photographs and a haiku I wrote, so I'm satisfied with what feels like an integrated expression.

In early days the challenge was to fit words that sounded good together into 3 short lines; now my goal is deeper. It's an attempt to phrase an emotion, maybe even cause a reader to stop and consider. Two old chairs that, upon closer inspection reveal coats of paint too numerous to count. A metaphor for the most sacred kind of friendship, one that endures an equal number of changing seasons, cycles of sun and snow, witnessing the passage of joys and sorrow, life stages and journeys that are not always predictable and never the same but weathered with the peace of kindred spirit. And, often without the need to speak.



Technical note: This haiku doesn't include a seasonal reference so I suppose it's not technically correct, but I did include the kireji, (no translation in English) the dash, or ellipsis placed at the end designed to bring the reader back to the beginning, forming a complete circle. Asleep yet?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009



Beauty in Strength


In honor of her step mom, the lovely Pam Carriker is offering limited edition fine art prints from this gorgeous painting through the end of October. The buyer can then choose a second print from her print shop at a fabulous 50% off. Proceeds from this special sale will benefit the Susan G Komen Foundation. Visit her blog for more details - she said she hopes to write a generous check on November 1st! I think I'll go shopping...

Monday, October 5, 2009

haiku



Lord make me a prism
come, shatter the darkness and
shine your light through me






Happy Monday, hope your week is filled with meaning, creativity and light!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Dish on the Divas... (what's the red dot?!)

Hard to believe a week has flown by since the opening of the Dishy Divas show, and a fabulous event it was... wine and hors d'oeuvres, photographers from Skirt Magazine and a great turnout. Jim was proud of me for not being nervous or piling stuffed mushrooms on a plate for ammo; we stayed for half an hour and the kids were hungry so we walked a couple of blocks to a restaurant and enjoyed a family dinner... no adolescent bickering, and the kids did great too!


At the opening, I only spent 5 minutes back in the area where my collage and journals were displayed; they are in very good company, surrounded by several of Rodney Hatfield's paintings - I urge you to click on the link and take a look at his amazing art. Sold and exhibited nationally, we've followed his career for years. I was fortunate (smart:) enough to purchase a small sculpture of his about ten years ago, a Christmas gift (and inspiration) for my talented artist-husband Jim!


My mother was disappointed that she couldn't come, so the next day I stopped back by the gallery to take a few photos. I clicked away, waiting for Frankie and Laura to finish with a client, without noticing the red dot on the card by my journals. Then they told me that a woman had bought both journals (the tall, narrow ones), and ORDERED SIX MORE. I'm still in shock, since I hadn't really expected to sell anything, thankful just to be included in a show with such amazing and talented artists. So, off to Michaels' - hopefully they still have those journals in the dollar bin:) and time to get to work!


The above paintings, by my good friend and art angel Debbie Westerfield, were finished just in time for the opening. They are fabulous and the light/photograph just doesn't do them justice!



New Editions Gallery owner Frankie (right) and manager Laura (left), dressed for clean up, were embarrassed that I was taking their photo sans heels and arty clothes they'd worn the night before. I assured them of their stunning beauty 24-7.


The sculpture on the right is one Rodney Hatfield constructed using river wood... to die for! Makes me glad that Jim and I dragged all those pieces of wood back from the lake:) The number of artists represented in the show and the myriad interpretations of figurative are amazing. And, so are all of you, who laughed with me at my last post and wrote kind words of support. What an incredible beginning!

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