Patti Edmon Altered Attic: July 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Door Hangers can be Fun!

My best friend's daughter is 22 and she came to my rescue a couple of weeks ago - my studio went from the bomb/shrapnel decor to being sorted, mostly de-cluttered and while still messy, slowly but surely each category has its place.
Marina is also moving into a new apartment with new roommates, one a long-time friend and the other a newer acquaintance. I decided it would be fun to make a door hanger for her room so one side is inviting - today I am a princess. The two square images are from a Debrina Pratt inchie sheet - it's fabulous fun.

The other side is still fun but suggests that a little solo time is in order. When she and Hannah disagree on something their catch phrase is "Never Everything." How cool is that?! And the best part is the fun I had making it - I've had a few hotel door hangers for, well, a long time:)

I so enjoyed a small, fairly quick project as well. I've been so focused on the 12" x 12" canvases that are to be at New Editions Gallery on August 8th that I haven't done much playing. I shouldn't say I haven't been experimenting - I have pushed myself creatively on these pieces and I'm even proud of the results. I'll post photos when I'm done.

For now, though, it's time to squeeze one last lake trip in before school starts. My daughter has dance intensive all next week and then, well, no more sleeping until 9 or 10:00!

I hope you are all enjoying the last of your summer - if your locale is anything like mine you haven't had to turn your oven on to feel the blast of heat! Ahhhh, my cove awaits:)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Haven in the Country

Some people have the knack. I don't, but wish I did. My husband's aunt, a former New York jazz singer, definitely has it in spades. When she moved here to be closer to her sister (my mother-in-law), two sons and one grandchild (and us:), she found a one room house for rent on a farm in the middle of lots of other farms. What might look like a big empty space took on an aura of charm once she took over. She's managed to create one of the most fabulous homes I've seen.

I'm always amazed by the many faces of creativity - music, art, writing, cooking and decorating. Before Gail this was a concrete walk with a plain door (which she stained). She transformed the entrance, where my son hung out, into a quaint garden laden with flowers... they're everywhere you look - planted in the ground, in pots, on vines, and window boxes, a talent I wish I had; unfortunately, I have a brown thumb (raw umber:)

Along with the lake - my absolute favorite place - I love being in the country; even when it's hot and muggy, it's like dipping into a poem, resting on metaphor and the vivid color, scent and absence of sound. I've already written two poems since our visit and hope to revive that part of my old writing life, as a way of not taking it all for granted, seeing beneath and beyond the surface.

My beautiful daughter, stunning in the sunset, was the inspiration for the poem, maybe when it's cleaned up a bit I'll be brave enough to post it with the photo that, like a seed, blossomed in my head one evening, late, so near sleep and the words came like a gift...

Gail has made dozens of trips to Goodwill, estate and yard sales and is very handy with a paint brush and tool box. And, being the kind of person who never meets a stranger and always makes a friend, has received an eclectic array of gifts - pieces, from lamp shades, to carvings, fabrics, signs... all the treasures that make her place the one of a kind you don't want to leave.

I am a total sucker for old barns and this one, weathered and black, took on a sheen of pure gold in the waning sunlight.

The Queen Anne's lace is stunning. Actually the uncultivated form of the carrot, it falls in the weed category. I don't know why or who decided that one but it's obviously one of mother nature's finer offerings.

She made her famous pasta salad and dinner quite a feast. We also had pies, of course, and sweet tea and coffee for later when we had our percussion session.

The light was low and my flash doesn't have a good reach, so I wasn't able to capture the inside like I'd have wanted. The bathroom has a door, but the other 'rooms' are sectioned off with screens and other partitions.
I'd like to see our local magazine do a piece on her house and photograph it in a way that does the detail justice. I managed a few close ups that give a sense of her style.

I don't know about you, but I shove pots and pans in cupboards; when you lack storage space, the obvious solution is to choose well and display your wares on shelves, hanging from the ceiling, in window sills and counter tops.

A beautiful lace shawl with crystal beading looks like it belongs draped over the chair. She has used black and white patterns to lend unity to the space so that you'd never know it wasn't supposed to have four distinct living areas.

gotta love horses...

The jam session started after we'd cleaned up the pie. Jim's cousin is a renowned percussionist who teaches and plays with some of the most noted musicians across the globe. He started teaching my son to play the djembe, or African drum, years ago and we have one in the house. Tripp usually has three or four in his car, along with a collection of exotic noise making devices, all of which are great fun. I'm certainly no pro, but I can hold my own when the room starts vibrating.

right Henry??

Monday, July 19, 2010

Collage from a Box - Finally

I posted this photo a few weeks ago, my selections from the collage box, another fabulous project from Lawendula at Woven Letters. Aside from a challenge in 2008 by Jane at Random Arts I don't recall ever taking specific ingredients and making a collage with them.
The rule for Collage Box was that all pieces didn't have to be used (phew, though I only left out a couple of papers) and other elements could be added.

I decided to use a 9x12 canvas board and started by layering every shade of brown and dark yellow I have, which is about 10 - 12 shades from burnt umber to ochre to bronze Lumiere. As I started pasting a few things down, adding some old newsprint, tissue paper and rub-ons, I realized I had no clue what I wanted to do. The next two photos were taken with my phone, which is good, but not great. I love the way everything is distorted at the top:)

I began to commit, pasting down a little house I drew on newsprint and a couple other paper scraps, but mostly sticking to my assignment. It was then that I realized that while I had chosen pieces complementary in color, the themes couldn't be more different - bingo cards, African totem-like pieces, a clown, heart, a swatch of French architectural wrapping paper and old, tiny film strip. Then I realized that it isn't any different from starting a new background with a rainbow of colors to choose from. So I loosened up and started placing and gluing.

Backgrounds are my favorite and while I wanted the elements to show through (a few did get buried) I still wanted more variation and texture. I pasted on a strip of lace trim and tissue paper and the piece of wholey paper that goes into every project I make, then more washes of color - quinacrinidone nickel azo gold, sepia, titanium buff to lighten up a few spots. Then I continued gluing and looked for my focal point. I'd started with the owl but the color, faded but rich nonetheless on the card was more inspiring. And what do clowns have? Balloons. Vintage buttons and wire and yes, I was ready, laid it on the scanner and when the image popped up I saw two eyes looking back at me. Funny how different viewpoint changes everything.

So I popped another button on and I think I solved that problem...

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Summer Day in the Country

(please scroll down for the Buried Treasure post)

A Summer day in the country

When the ordinary ceases to amaze…

the unblemished coreopsis

fanned out in perfection alongside the old black barn;

when I tire of the honeysuckle, lush, fragrant still

beneath the withering July sun;

when I no longer notice

the checkered flight of a startled

butterfly, or a female cardinal

paused in the sanctum of fallen branches

as though hiding, for a moment,

from the duties of her nest, that

to an uninterested eye, might appear casual,

dull even;

when weathered wood

Isn’t poised for the click of my shutter,

just peeling paint, curling away from the knotted grain;

Then I will know that, even on an otherwise

remarkable day

I will have forgotten how to see.

dedicated to Jilly

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Buried Treasure - post #1

This Post, entitled, Polymer Clay Not my Forte, originally aired in September 09; I think it's one of my favorites because I had such a great time - close friends, art community, creating using a new process... hope to read your buried treasure soon! Click on the Buried Treasure icon in the right-hand column for more details!

(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!

Collage in a Box

Lawendula was kind enough to enroll me in the second collage in a box swap - in June. I think one day I'll post the events of this past June, now mostly a blur but time consuming nonetheless. I did faithfully take the photograph of the elements I picked out of the box, but just yesterday sat down to see what I could make with the eclectic assortment of goodies that caught my eye...
Anyone else doing this one??

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hot Fun in the Summertime

This canvas, which there doesn't seem to be a decent way to photograph, is the second in a series of flowers (the fourth of which is nearly complete). I've spent most of my free (ha) time working on these 10 x 10's and haven't had much else in the way of projects to post.
Wow, the weeks have zoomed by faster than I can say "blog post." As soon as I vowed to post more often the world began to turn (hey, good name for a TV show); from having our upstairs bathroom ripped out, collapsed sewer lines (out in the street:), Alice's recital, birthdays and an anniversary (20 years!), a visit from my best friend... and did I mention ten days at the lake? And now it's July.
My father asked me why I blog (oh yeah, Father's Day too:) and I thought a minute and told him that I do it for my self. Sure, I like to share art and ramble but the biggest benefit comes from the other bloggers out there - yes, you. If you are reading this then chances are I've visited your blog (if not, please leave a comment so I can!). I benefit so much from the new techniques, different world views - and locations - anecdotes, writings and sense of community that I find necessary, rather than luxury. I don't often suffer from creative blocks, usually it's a lack of time, but they feel the same - they both stink and feel very, very icky. When I log on and visit a pal or two I remember the artist in me, that the voice I hear screaming in my head is the same one that sings with joy with paint brush in hand.

I usually take an art kit when we head to the lake, but for some reason this time I made do with a cheapo watercolor set, tape, scissors and a couple of magazines. I may be brave enough to post those pages later.
We are really fortunate to have a place on Lake Cumberland, which is enormous and very clean, making isolated coves the ideal place to swim, float, skip rocks, and enjoy the natural beauty that sometimes outshines our best efforts.

My loveliest creation to date, my daughter, who 13-years old today (can you tell??)

Adorable son on the skis

And handsome husband at the wheel

We came back from the lake in time for our favorite holiday, the Fourth of July, a day of much tradition - from a post-10K race brunch, to the downtown festivities and fireworks. I'm sure our parade reflects the size of our fair city, but while relatively short there's no lack of variety.

the drag queens were afloat; interspersed with the waving beauty queens and politicians there were some funky and colorful floats, like the people powered piano float. It’s a bike. A piano. A recycling project. A work of art.

and, um, these guys, one of whom was kind enough to provide a photo-op

Last, but not least, my son on his board (white t and jean shorts closest to camera) with his crew from the Void Skate Shop.

By then, hungry and parched, we paraded up to Third Street Stuff for a late lunch. The owner, Pat Gerhard, is one of the most creative people I know and the outside is as fun and funky - and welcoming - as the inside.

there isn't a good way to do justice to this decorated pole, but if you click on it for a larger view, you'll find all sorts of unique works of art.

Speaking of art, the fact that our graphic design and advertising business is located on the second floor makes it even cooler.

I hope you are all enjoying creative, fun and interesting summer days!


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