Patti Edmon Altered Attic: September 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Everyone whose blogs I visit show so much activity. art-making that is; and now, National Invisible Illness Week has passed, and believe it or not, I have been making art! Having such limited time to spend in the studio certainly takes away from blogging, commenting and visiting all the wonderful artists who stop by, laundry, cooking, all that good stuff.



Most everything, aside from the frame and wings, which came from ArtChix Studios, is found. However, in keeping with the no copy policy, I snipped out a lovely photo for the frame and now cannot recall from which sheet it came. The inside of this box was a piece of cake compared the one on which I am now working.



Working on the cardboard cigarillo boxes proved very helpful, as a learning curve; however, the real wood has proven an entirely different, well, cigar. Hinges that can't be removed and reinstalled, rough, nearly shredded wood along the inside edges and corners that are too rough for sandpaper alone, not sturdy enough for heavy duty, so that's when trim comes in very handy. Like vintage lace and ribbon from Random Arts. I learned a lot while finishing off the inside of the box and I'm currently using that to hopefully have another done this week, before the opening of Gridworks at New Editions Gallery.

Gridworks Opening Reception!
Please join us in welcoming 17 local and national artists.
This Thursday September 30th, 5pm - 8pm



The gallery show was planned to coincide with the World Equestrian Games. The Alltech FEI Games officially opened Saturday night (I watched the ceremony on television, too much walking, but being there would have been amazing; I'm not certain just how many visitors we have but just considering the number of athletes, from countries that make me, well, Kentuckians proud to host, from Great Britain, Israel, Dubai (where the Federation's President, Princess Haya, beautiful, savvy and controversial - imagine that), China, Denmark and Guatemala. A choir of angelic children were flown in from Haiti to perform. That worries me a bit, but that's another story and, as usual, I digress.




This piece is an 'experiment' and that means deviating from my style, if I have one, and rethinking my approach to a mixed media collage. Again, mostly found objects, pieces from old books, a few small embellishments, a suspender clip from Nathalie Thompson's fabulous Etsy shop and an elongated X from the amazing Seth Apter, I used a face I cannot place. I guess I'll have to start writing down as soon as I cut. I cannot decide if the piece is finished or needs more... how does one decide? Helpful suggestions from art buds of course. I never tire of making journals, for fun, for sale, for friends who have unfortunate incidents or circumstances. In my next post I'm going to say thank you to a lot of people who commented on my blog during National Invisible Illness Week and others who have made my life more blessing than illness.
Ciao.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here we are, September 19th, the last day of National Invisible Illness Week.
I end the week filled with joy at the comments to my posts, the messages from friends and the dialog that I hope will continue until next September. I have learned so much from reading the blog posts of others.


Lani Gerity Glanville, mentor, friend, moderator of online art group I am proud to belong to, read my post and wrote an amazingly powerful piece. An Art Therapist, Lanie has a wealth of experience and uses her incredible creative talents to live, learn, share and teach. She has continued the conversation by delving a little deeper into resilience, one of her favorite topics. Well worth reading. Also, a post by a young, too young, gal who has Lyme's Disease (and a host of others) but who uses her illness to spread good. Victoria is her name and I was heartened by her words.



The bottom line is, for every person dealing with an Invisible Chronic Illness, there are countless others involved in their lives as caretakers, friends, partners, family... and I am more blessed than many. If you know someone who is suffering, take a moment and reach out. Oh, and the photos below? Aside from my email and blog pals these two are my daily entertainment!


Lance and Tony, both of whom I know personally aside from their excellent porch replacing skills, are two of the funniest people I know. Stepping outside with my morning protein drink, and sitting on the steps is often the highlight of my day!
Ciao and blessings to all!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

the invisibleness of invisibility



Here it is Friday and my goal was to post every other day during the National Invisible Illness Week. So much to say... about what it causes my family, especially my husband to endure, the guilt that flickers in my brain at the drop of a piece of laundry - that I can't wash at the moment, the lack of social life... If not for art and writing, I think I would be, well, a mess.



I did have a few hours this past week, after having been in a major flare for nearly two months, of self pity. Or, is it grief? When something of value ends, be it a life, dream, career, there is a natural cycle of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance (Kubler-Ross model). But when it doesn't end once but loss is felt over and over again? Though not in order, I do reruns now and again.



It is autumn, a season I love but one that, second only to spring, triggers more flares with each dip of the barometric roller coaster. And, since Medicare doesn't pay for my meds, to the tune of $4000 per month I'm relying on prednisone - woohoo. The good news is that I've begun consulting a very wise and educated clinical herbalist - Andrew Bentley. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience; I've begun taking pure plant extracts, the natural version with the anti-inflammatory properties I so desperately need. They will take longer to be fully effective, but side effects like lymphoma, no more red blood cells, etc. are not an issue.



So, in spite of spending too much time stationary, I am lucky! I have a good friend with Lyme's Disease and sides of fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression. She is a single mother and her daughter has also been whacked with the ICI stick. Doctors in Kentucky, or most of the ones I know, don't believe there is Lyme's in Kentucky, though I had it in 2004, before the onset of PsA. Like many other invisible illness, Lyme's often hides from traditional tests.
For every person like me, who knows exactly what I have and which battles to fight, there are dozens who are suffering with no answers. I have a wonderful book, Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired (Living with Invisible Chronic Illness) that is very validating and I highly recommend it to those with illness - or their families. Statistics show that half the population suffers from a form of chronic mental and physical illness, mostly invisible, which might be one reason there is a new edition of a book that was first published in 1994 and after ten printings has been updated with a host of invaluable info for, well, 1 of every 2 people:)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life is a Merry Go-Round

I'm lying on the sofa while my mother-in-law is cleaning out the refrigerator, cutting up the fruit she brought, along with the rest of my grocery list. Wow, I really have it made. Except, no bon bons, no soap operas. Nausea, swollen painful joints and the kind of fatigue that kicks you flat.
September 13 - 19th is National Chronic Invisible Illness Week. I wrote a post last year and now, here it is again. The biggest difference is that, along with the disability came Medicare. A donut hole?? What that means is that if I want the same medications that allowed me a better quality of life than this - I have to cough up several thousand dollars every year. Hopefully, my empathetic, fabulously wonderful rheumatologist, a word unrecognized by my spell check, will succeed in procuring a supply from the drug companies that, until their patents expire (my theory, opinion, not fact) gouge $1750 for the two injections I need every month. Forget the very costly eye drops that prevent the blurred vision. Well, sometimes.
I am lucky though. I know my illness - it's name is Psoriatic Arthritis with a side of Sjorgren's Syndrome; all part of the vast world of auto-immune disorders. There are so many out there who don't get diagnosed, go for years in pain, confusion, isolation, in other words, a silent hell. Those are the people I am speaking for; I know why I wake up so many mornings dreading the exit from bed after a not-quite deep enough sleep, to find that I feel like one does when the flu attacks. Minus the fever.
Just a few years ago, I was on the merry-go-round like most everyone around me, though it had begun to spin a bit too fast. Lean, running two businesses and competing in horse shows, life was at full tilt. Only then I got tossed, and I sat on the ground watching everyone else go by, oblivious, laughing or crying, living in the moment or dreaming. And doing.
We are all raised to be human doings rather than beings. Our net worth, accomplishments, trophies, medals, private success, whatever title we carry, real estate we own, car we drive, we are known for all that exists outside of reality, in other words, outside of ourselves. Outside of being. Human being. I matter, I am important just because I'm me. Well, that's what I try to focus on during the hours I lose to this chronic, yet not fatal, illness, that pretty much rules my existence. Those days when I look back at photos of me doing.
Don't get me wrong, I do art, but in reality, my reality, art is in me, my being. As is writing, which chose me early in life. And art is my therapy, my saving grace and for that I am most grateful. It brings to mind the countless chronically ill who have far worse battles than I, fewer opportunities to channel their grief and pain into a mixed media piece. So, if you're still reading, click the button to the right.
Oh, and thank you Janet.
I hope nothing too gross was growing on the unidentifiable mess you found in my fridge. I am eternally thankful for your help and support. And, while I'm in a moment of gratitude I'd like to say that having family that understands chronic illness, like my mother and father do, is a blessing, albeit very much in disguise. I am blessed with friends, artists and bloggers, who have one or another form of illness. Right Karin?
If you are one of them, please leave me a post! Thanks from the ground, watching the merry - or not - go round.

note: these photos were before ICI... when I was a doing:)



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thanks Patti (Digh)



Patti Digh is an amazingly gifted writer, creator, coach, mom, person, all extraordinaire. I've had the privilege of participating in one of her coaching classes.

Today, she spoke for me, and I would imagine, a great many others. Click on the title below the photo and read her amazing article. Thank you Patti.



each one a story, a life, a family, an overwhelming desire to live, to love, to survive.

(Isobel's) Pearl Dreams

The last of my three canvases for the New Editions Show is (Isobel's) Pearl Dreams. I saved it for last because it's my favorite... maybe it will sell and that will make me happy - I suppose. Selling art is a goal, a dream and I dearly wish I could sell enough to at least pay for my art supplies. But I've gotten attached to Isobel, though she's not here but safely tucked away at the gallery.



The cool thing about cradled canvases is being able to continue the art on the sides, if that's what you call them. I think it makes for a nice presentation and it's fun continuing the theme...



Another two of Jim's (hubby) pieces. He has four pieces in the show and, though I tease him about it, his work has been shown and sold for years, while I'm the newbie:) The post cards/invitations have gone out though I haven't yet gotten my stash yet.

The titles of his are Safe In My Place and Introduction (below). Cool, huh?



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

(Evangeline's) Autumn Cloud

Evangeline's Autumn Cloud was a bear to finish... don't know if it was because I wanted to do something totally different flower wise, or if the colors were hinky or precisely what the problem was. But, I worked and worked and layered and kept layering and finally was mostly pleased. I have an abundant stash of vintage buttons and I decided that adding them did change the look of the petals. The center is an antique coaster over gold mesh with a bazillion tiny crystals and such glued on the image - once again, I need to keep better track of which drawer the 'girls' come from and to whom to give credit...



The 12 x 12 below is Jim's (my hubby) piece; as you can see our styles are a bit different:) He has been showing (and selling!) for years now and it can be a bit intimidating working alongside him. He has actually been inspired a bit by a couple of my techniques though, so, YaY! I hope to have all of them photographed by my friend Jeff, the pro, because I don't have the lighting to get an accurate rendering.





Thanks for looking! More photos to come!

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