Patti Edmon Altered Attic: April 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My girl

I'm posting because, well, I made a commitment to myself that once a week can't be too overwhelming. And, I write this because, well, I am a writer and have the need to express and share. I'm not sure how many people read this but I'm so entirely grateful for every single one of you!

This past week wasn't as much about art as it was creating a beautiful event for my precious daughter who went to her first prom. 

And why, you might wonder, would we go through all of this when Alice couldn't go inside the ballroom? Strobe lights are not her friends and cause fairly severe reactions and what's a prom without strobe lights (grrr).

Because it's about the preparation, really, as anyone who has planned an event knows; the details, the bonding, the dozens of moments that create a gallery of memories that will live on for quite some time. 
They had dinner with two couples, hung out at the Marriott for a while then topped it off with a late-night bonfire. A trooper, my girl is, one who is learning to balance expectations with reality, understanding that hope really is stronger than fear, and disappointment happens, life isn't always fair. But, if we try, don't lose faith, look for the grace and opportunity that inevitably comes from the hard parts, it's always a fascinating adventure. I couldn't be prouder... and if this has given me a slight taste of wedding planning? Well, that will be a different story! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Can you say recycled art?

Several months ago, my daughter was introduced to chronic illness. Nothing life threatening or terminal, just enough to alter her life stuffed with school, dance, competitions, boyfriend and social life to one punctuated by ambulance rides, ER visits, tests, and enough doctor's appointments that I've come to regard myself a certified waiting room consultant. Yes, we try to keep it light, in its spot in the big picture. Having been on that journey myself, I'm deeply grateful for my own illness - well, the experience, wisdom and perspective it has allowed me. The more expansive, empathetic, philosophical, aware self I have become - not the pains and annoyances of the illness itself. 

A blog pal, Annie, otherwise known as Bohemiannie Art, commented on recent posts about the low-tech style (thanks Seth Apter!) projects I've been diving into with creative glee (yes, I said it, the word glee, wow) with a note saying I might enjoy watching some of Jennibellie's tutorials. I've never conversed with Jennie but from her studio in England she has been generous enough to take viewers through the steps of a variety of projects. After watching her turn greeting cards into a book I couldn't resist. Yes, I admit to it. Having, well, a lot of cards saved over the years, way too cool to throw away but not quite useful, so tucked in a box in my cozy (crowded) studio. And since my daughter has received a number of cards wishing her well, can you say 'new project?'

After a coat of gesso, leaving a few key elements showing, I chose a palette based on her favorite colors and did washes on both sides of all the cards. Then, I pulled from my stash of papers - mostly used, like the fuzzy paper bag my daughter's ballet shoes came in, tissue paper from Juicy Couture and imprinted with Free Gift, wrapping paper and my favorite textures. 

I didn't really plan for signatures because my brain doesn't work that way (can you say ADD?), so I left a few cards out to compensate. I want to have half the spread a colorful art page where I'll attach my thoughts, like, "I am not my illness." Then the other side will be painted and I'll add an overlay of paper, an envelope or, who knows, different ways my daughter can add her own words to the pages. Hopefully, the end result will not only be a keepsake, but an inspiring chronicle of her journey that began with fresh lemons and is creating some fine lemonade!

Neurocardiogenic Syncope has wreaked havoc on our lives but she is stabilizing thanks to a fabulous cardiologist and medication. Though she's out of school for the remainder of the semester, she has started dancing again, dealing with school work and (finally!) going out to have fun with her boyfriend and friends. My hope is that by her 16th birthday (in a few months), she'll be cleared for getting her driver's permit. Wait, did I just say that?? 

Chronic illness touches many, perhaps most every person's life, at some point. It isn't so much about what happens to us, it's what we do with it, the person we become with enhanced creativity, insight, and an expanded world-view. If art has influenced your life with chronic illness, I'd sure like to hear from you!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Art + Spring = Joy

I left for a quick spring break trip with a project on the table, believing that my most-patient demeanor would keep the creative urges at bay. Nope. Fortunately I had some fabulous reading and a tutorial all about Ice Resin, a new toy that had been in the package far too long.

So, the day after we returned I made my first batch of Ice Resin paper!  My pal Rachel - jewelry and mixed-media artist extraordinaire - said it's fairly easy to use as long as you mix properly and in the right proportions.  Who knew it could be so much fun - with fabulous results! Um, maybe I need a bit more excitement in my life? Just sayin.'

I went to the mountains with DH, kids, 1 boyfriend and 2 band mates - and all 7 of us had a great time in spite of below-normal temperatures. And no rain until Thursday morning,just in time for the drive home. Our cabin was accessorized with a pool table, air hockey and the customary hot tub. We took a guitar and several movies that we didn't find time to watch, and I'm proud to say that I'm the air hockey champ (playing with all 4 pucks at once is waaaay fun) and my DH, Jim, cleared the room during the pool tournament. 

Even more exciting was returning home to a package of incredible goodies from Flights of Fancy Boutique - bits of lace, fabric, metal clips, leaves and some mesh-like stuff that I can't wait to play with! A bit of trim and some fabric ended up in my latest book project, a gift for my lovely daughter.

And this, after a minor eBay incident... didn't think I'd win this lot but for the price it was a steal! Like most artists, I can't possibly need any more 'stuff' but there are some really cool brass pieces to add to my mostly-silver collection. 

Spent the considerable part of the past two days in the studio working on the project I'd sadly left behind... ahh, the joy of being in flow: that state of consciousness that eliminates time, worry, chores and other distractions and just opens up the creative vein for hours of pure joy.

And did I mention that after a record-setting late winter that gave new meaning to grey, snow and cold, the trees are starting to bud? Yes, it's finally here, chirping birds and all. Wherever you are, whatever you're creating, I hope you feel spring in your soul and happiness in your heart!


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