Patti Edmon Altered Attic: September 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Flea Market Arrived

A couple of weeks ago, Trina at the The Paper Flea Market, had a water-damage related sale - the deal was $10 for a Priority Mail box. I love surprises and have done business with her before so I didn't hesitate. The biggest surprise was when I realized just how many treasures were jam packed in the box...

I can't imagine the value of the amazing stuff she sent me, but I suspect it would fetch quite a bit more than $10!! Game pieces, fabrics, tons of papers, post cards, playing cards, photographs, an entire book...

I love the vintage school work - who doesn't remember practicing the alphabet on ruled sheets (that were white at the time:), or the visual method for learning vocabulary - always my favorite.

These days every credit card comes with a reward or point system which has done away with the exquisite paper trail of old. The stamp books are a fave - I remember a really, really long time ago when my mom collected Green Stamps. She redeemed them for counter-top appliances, a barbeque grill and a canister set that my Dad said was nice but would never last. I just check to be sure, but they are still in use!

Game pieces, Monopoly money, playing cards and a birthday card that must have its roots in the Southeast, perhaps close to home?

The fabric was an unexpected treat - along with the wallpaper strips are two large pieces of old fabric and a couple of samples that are transparent, and quite lovely!

There hasn't been time or energy for working in the studio lately, so I've decided that I'm going to use this enormous stash for prompts. Journal pages, a collage, who knows? Trina was cleaned out of treasure boxes but the sale was so popular that she plans more in the future. Well worth checking out!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stacks and Gifts

Seth Apter's latest collaboration on The Altered Page, is the admission of our proclivity to stack. Hop on over to his blog to check out the myriad ways creativity can be piled! I immediately thought of the paper I use to protect the drawing table. Once a project is done I add the paper to the pile accumulating on a side shelf and tear off a new piece.

Yes, it's brown kraft paper, but, the sheets are also a journal in a sense. I can leaf through them and see what I was working on, sketches and doodles, stamped images, holes sliced out, lists, color experiments and a host of other information - phone numbers, names, dates - because having two teenagers necessitates the answering of the phone while working in the studio.

It also serves as alternative, readily-available gift wrap - what's better than recycling?! After I finished the box (below) I wrapped it with the paper I'd used and tied it with recycled sari ribbon. It may look a bit odd, but people who know me expect something a bit out of the ordinary. And, usually spotted with paint.

I gave this box to friends who had a baby several weeks ago. The one I'd made before was a deep earthy color and my daughter, though she loved it, pointed out that it didn't exactly look very 'baby gifty.' I agreed and made another that complemented the color scheme they used in the nursery.

I love lace and bits of trim and the myriad ways they can be layered to create subtle depth. And, fibers have to come into play somewhere, so, though you can't see them without enlarging the photo, there are charms tied and dangling at the back of the box.

I hope you are having a meaningful week with enough bursts of joy to fuel your creative process!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mildly Creative - and Then Some!

by Ken, August, 2011

Somewhere along my search for inspiration I ran across Mildly Creative. The proprietor, Ken, may or may not have a chronic illness, but his insights as a 'Quirk in Progress' run parallel to my own thoughts and beliefs. What is better than affirmations from a like-minded creative??

Two of his recent posts hit home in a particularly relevant manner.
The Courage to be Boring speaks to those of us who don't lead socially exciting or outwardly adventurous lives, but derive our meaning and happiness from our internal passions... such as writing and art. One of my favorite quotes: "The best thing I ever realized is that I’d rather be boring than bored." Limits on energy and resources due to chronic illness often force this practice though it's considering it a choice is a fine idea.

My other recent fave,
Doing and Failing is Better than Wishing and Waiting may sound logical and fairly obvious; however, I wonder how many creatives, aside from myself, might benefit from this practice. I highly recommend checking out Ken's brilliant site!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On the brighter side

A big challenge when blogging about National Invisible Illness Week is avoiding rerun mode when discussing life with chronic illness. As in, wow, I was going to post every other day but suddenly it's Thursday! Oh well, a crazy barometer and the crazier schedules of the mom-taxi passengers, and so on...
I decided to focus instead on a couple of CI folks who chose to contribute to the positivity flowing in cyber world. The first is Michael Nobbs, a British artist, writer and tea drinker diagnosed in the late 1990s with ME/CFS/PVFS (otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome).

The debilitating fatigue that derails many a creative endeavor is Michael's daily existence; his philosophy, however, is about sustaining creativity in blocks of time based on available energy. He counsels that devoting even fragments of time to one's art leads to a collective body of work. He focuses on prioritizing, or as he says in his free email newsletter, "Getting Your Important Work Done."

His career as a creative despite a lack of resources is an inspiring reminder to me. Through his daily podcasts, drawings, newsletters and e-books his encouraging generosity can surmount the most wicked flare.

Many thanks to Michael! I hope you will check out his site, and find a way to support his important work!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Invisible Illness (Next) Week

Though the national Invisible Illness Week doesn't officially launch until September 12th, I decided to post today because, well, I'm having a flare, probably like half the population. Yes, it's a stat; nearly 50% of us suffer from a chronic condition. It is very difficult to remain still when my dreams are so alive and energized. And when there are dirty dishes, laundry and chores that seem higher on the priority list than working in the studio, though usually not!
The IIW website is a wealth of information for those of us dealing with the myriad conditions that may go unnoticed, unless of course you happen to play tennis like Venus Williams (Sjogren's Syndrome) or golf like Phil Mickelson (Psoriatic Arthritis - both just like me!). In one of my favorite articles , founder Lisa Copen writes about the fact that living with illness doesn't mean choosing giving in! Next week I'll be writing more about this year's theme, Deep Breath, Fresh Start, the modus operandi for staying out of a funk.
Writing about feeling yucky seems trite given the multiple hurricanes and flooding, the fires in Texas, the impending 10th anniversary of 9/11, protests, war and unrest and, well, world hunger, the economy and politics and....
As in so many situations, I wonder how, as one person, I can possibly impact the lives of those suffering, so many far worse than I. But in preparation for the upcoming week I recalled a comment received several weeks ago.
A woman (who, unfortunately I wasn't able to contact/thank) wrote about my thoughts during last September's Invisible Illness Week. The realization that 10-month old words spoke aloud was very rewarding indeed.

Comment received in July from Smokey's Mom:
Ah, the silent chronic illnesses...I suffer from severe Fibromyalgia as a result of two separate traumatic injuries to my neck and lower back. I take so many medications, I've lost count. I cannot sleep at night without my Trazodone...I take 100 mg. of Morphine three times a day just so I can move and function. I am considered "disabled" (and I have the car plaque to prove it! Ha!) So, I really do hear you, and feel your pain. I am now experiencing rheumatoid arthritis in my left hand and fingers - good thing I'm right handed, lol. My life has changed so much over the last 15 years. You mentioned planning and then missing out on events - me too. Through all of this my savior has been my art. I'm certainly no pro, but being able to create art that other people want to trade me for or buy has been a blessing and it's what keeps me going. I don't get frustrated or angry any more, even when I lose time...Fibromyalgia is what I have, it's not who I am:) Your art is incredible. You are an extraordinary woman. How can you expect anything ordinary to happen to you. (Louisa May Alcott). I'm following your blog now:)
My lack of posting, due to my lack of arting, is very frustrating indeed but with this post I affirm that, like my friend states so well, though I have an illness I am not my illness. Thanks for sharing your eloquence Smokey's Mom, I hope you're able to create today!


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