Patti Edmon Altered Attic: January 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One World One Heart


When I started this blog in the spring of 2008, I wondered who would read it... and why? Did I have anything to say that would be of interest or invoke a reaction? Offer hope, inspiration, a laugh, maybe the realization that someone else really does know how you feel?
Little did I know that I would meet such an incredible wealth of amazing, warm, welcoming creatives, some of whom have become very close friends. I don't like to imagine life without them. I visit some artists who post new work nearly every day. Wow, how I wish. Then there are those, like me, who try to post weekly in the hopes that friends and a few new readers will keep showing up.
I get personal and often deviate from art, technique, workshops and such; I guess that comes from being a lifelong writer. There is the occasional trip to the soapbox, dealing with a chronic illness, raising kids, rationalizing the creative endeavors that supersede chores on the to-do list, a bit of poetry... One of the most popular posts I wrote was about Frog and Toad coming to visit on my birthday.
I have always written to keep the words from piling up in my head and I make art because I can't help it, can't imagine how else I'd balance the hopes and disappointments of living in such an incredible, imperfect world.
So, when I saw that it was time for One World One Heart I decided to join. I'm posting day late, of course. But the intention is good; I sincerely wish to meet even more diverse, eclectic people who, like me, don't know a stranger here in bloglandia. I can't think of a better way to connect; I also can't think of a way to weave the magic carpet into my giveaway, but maybe the magic is in the showing up.
Many thanks to Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian for organizing this event and blessings to you. Thanks for stopping by!

Giveaway #1
Now, for the important part:)... mixed media journals are a specialty of mine (the covers only - blank pages inside), so I'm going to offer a 3-1/2" x 4" mini that comes with a pen. It might not be this exact piece but will be comparable in complexity, etc.

Giveaway #2

A few weeks ago I wrote about going on a junk jewelry buying bender, adding to my already considerable stash of fun, weird, amazing and oh-so-perfect objects for mixed media pieces. So, the winner will also receive a collection of vintage buttons and an assortment like those shown below, along with fibers and papers.

Don't forget to reply to THIS post and leave your contact (hopefully blog) info. The winner will be chosen at 8:00 p.m. EST on February 15th (I go to bed early:). Click on the One World link above if you have questions or want more info on the project. One entry please and good luck!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bloggers Unite for Haiti

I wish I could call myself an activist, striving for social justice and reform... but I can't, it wouldn't be true. I'm so weary of the political landscape, the Republican barbs and Democratic mixed messages, that I don't even keep up with current affairs the way I should. I mean, isn't that what we are supposed to do as citizens with voting rights that are enviable in many parts of the world? I am guilty, one of those who feel like one small, solo voice that, no matter how loudly I cry would not reach beyond these four walls.

But when I saw the Bloggers Unite for Haiti campaign, a graphic that I could post along with this message and links to various ways to help, I signed on. What prompted me was a photograph on the front page of our newspaper, of a young girl sitting at her brother's feet, the rest of his body crushed by the school they had been attending. Her expression wrenched my heart... the grief on her face so vivid I might have reached out and touched the tears on her cheek.

I also read an AP article that covered the social media aspect of creating awareness on a larger scale, about celebrities leveraging their 'brands' to encourage donations. Haitian American singer/producer Wyclef Jean put the word out on Twitter and raised more than $1 million in one day." Wow. I wish I could do that, though I'm not certain that I'd do well living in the fishbowl with the celebrities and politicians and powerful people whose lives are scrutinized to the point of absurdity.

According to the article - "Some activists have criticized this use of online resources.... 'slacktivism,' a way for overly connected couch potatoes to shift the money they might spend on a Starbucks latte to a charitable cause with no sweat required. But in the case of Haiti relief, such efforts allowed charities to raise much-needed funds quickly."

So I guess in this case it's OK. I shook my head when I read that, I mean, could that be a case of fund-envy? Should Wyclef Jean instead be putting together a crew and heading down to volunteer in Haiti instead of sending massive amounts of aid? If I sold every piece of art I ever made it obviously wouldn't approach the celebrity level. Mission is an enormous priority at our church (Maxwell Street Presbyterian). Several groups went to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina; I haven't heard any news about a trip to Haiti but if they go I won't be with them. I offer what I can - financial support and my time/talents for photography, writing and strategic planning. So I guess I fall into the category of 'slactivist.'

Today is the day that those of us who signed on are to post about Bloggers supporting those devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. How many people will read this... ten? twenty? But I am an activist in my heart and I believe that love is a verb; I do what I am able to and I'll have to be content with that for now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

wholey moly

If you haven't discovered wholey paper, you don't know what you're missing! I have been using it in almost every project for the past couple of years, not in it's natural state, as shown above, but painted, distressed, stapled, stamped, grunged, in small pieces or strips, as stems, branches, petals, a fence, a layering element in collage and a million other uses I haven't thought of yet.
My spring break trip to Saluda, NC a couple of years ago led me straight to Random Arts, where I spent quite a bit of time with Jane Powell and her pals. Jane recently turned her retail business into a workshop venue but she still maintains a mail order business. I came home with lots of really unique goodies, including a lot of wholey paper, which I've never seen anywhere but her shop (now on Artfire). She sells it in sheets and huge variety of die cut formations - buildings, birds, people, flourishes and card stock pieces.
One afternoon when I didn't have a project on the table and not enough time to start anything major, I had a surge of creative frustration that unfortunately hits me all too often. So, I grabbed a wholy cityscape and went to town. Literally. As I started to emboss, sprinkle and paint, I realized how seldom I cut loose, turn my brain off and play. Without worrying about messing up. Making the wrong choice. The more color and scraps and paper bits I added, the more seemed to fit.
It's a bit crowded in my little town, but hey, there's always something happening. I hope to incorporate it into a larger piece (soon!!!), or maybe it will stay parked on the table to remind me that there is never enough time to do all, create all or be all, but seizing a moment or half an hour can yield much personal satisfaction.

I've seen so much fabulous work popping up in blogland... and I'm still having trouble getting caught up after winter break. Sigh. I have a very bad habit of surfing ebay and etsy when I don't get enough studio time. Substituting buying supplies for using them; I'll bet I'm not the only one? Needless to say, I wanted to 'watch' three lots of jewelry findings and pieces but I clicked on bid instead knowing I might get one, for fun (I already have quite a large stash).
The third box arrived the other day and I must say I now possess the most amazing assortment of earrings, pins, beads and baubles one could ever imagine. Maybe not the best money spent but it is green, like all found objects, they've already served one useful purpose and now they wait, wondering what the next life holds.

I thought I'd share a few 'gems' that came in along with a lot of incredibly useful jewelry parts. My Etsy store isn't up yet but along with art I'll be selling a very interesting array of findings for mixed media.

Not that there's anything wrong with these pieces (not my taste, but hey, somebody wore these once). What I wouldn't give to know the history and stories behind them, makes me long for a window...

This is a real jewel - I can't say I've ever seen gems quite this large... hey is that the Hope diamond??

This one is really kinda cool, very tribal- I already have some projects in mind.

As I said, I do have quite a stash and will be sorting it soon to explore my investments and prepare some for resale. In the meantime, if you're looking for anything in particular, email me and I'll see if I have what you need!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

beautiful bird house

I'm terribly remiss.... before the holidays (long before, like early November!) I participated in an art exchange of a different sort. I altered a small calendar and sent it to my pal Jill at Jazworks, and then invited six others to play. The result was an influx of beautiful pieces from around the globe. Most of the players displayed their treasures long ago, but, well, my life just doesn't seem to operate the way I want it to - events in order, when they are supposed to occur... oh well.

I don't want any more time to pass without showing off my treasures. I've been having issues with my camera, but Cynkowe Poletko, a prolific, fabulous artist from Poland took this wonderful photograph of the birdhouse she sent me, so I downloaded from her blog (with permission of course:). In her blog she shows the process she used to create this incredible piece and I feel very fortunate to display it for her. Take a peek and enjoy.

My kids are back in school and this was the week to resume. But then my daughter got sick, my son hurt is leg, my husband had an outpatient procedure and needed a responsible person to accompany him and chauffeur him home. Today is our first snow day. sigh.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What's Right with the World

During my rounds I'm finding that a lot of fellow bloggers are tossing resolution lists in favor of creative new ideas for enhancing life and art.
Patti Digh author extraordinaire of Life is a Verb, said that along with taking on, she also thinks about letting go... a negative that is weighting her buoyancy.
This afternoon I read
Jen Worden's fabulous post about her selection of a word that will serve as a theme for the coming year.
In December, Lani Puppetmaker started pairing her morning pages (delightful, amazing collages) with a series of Rev O' Lutions, qualities she wants to focus on in the coming year. While on her blog yesterday I watched a powerful video that captured my attention and underscores my beliefs for the coming year, for every day, for life.
I made a list of the values that I want to enhance, strengthen in my art, family and life. Then, when I watched the video I knew I was on the right track. I believe in doing whatever possible to make a difference in this world; I often get frustrated when I poke my head in the media and feel instantly overwhelmed by the problems, issues and wrongs on this planet. So I was delighted to accompany National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones on a global journey as he talks about Celebrating What is Right with the World. Such power. I asked Lani if she minded my borrowing her post, which came to her from Adela, and she said of course - the more who see it the better.
My 'A' words for the year are certainly aligned with Dewitt Jones' philosophy; they are:
Awe (the list is abbreviated of course:)

I'd love your thoughts on the video and any plans you have (or not!) for enjoying the launch of 2010.


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