Day 325 – So… Sew!

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred Twenty FiveThe sewing machine joins what the scissors have cut asunder, plus whatever else comes in its path.  ~Mason Cooley

This quote pretty much sums up what I do when I get my sewing gear out. I have no skill or knowledge of sewing – I just sort of do it and whatever I cut asunder become my paints. I think that I will do more sewing – there is something about pulling the fabrics and patterns and textures together that feels very different than painting or drawing. My pieces are a bit chaotic since I’m just winging it but… boy did I have fun today!

You can pick up a sewing machine for about $100 and I guarantee you’ll love trying it out. I think because so much of sewing comes with instructions  and patterns we forget that you can just forget about all of that and just play. If you think you can’t do it because you don’t know how, think again – don’t listen to the “rules” of sewing or if the stitches are straight or secure or proper. Just have fun – who cares if what you end up with.

So… SEW, even if you are “so so” at it – you’ll have a great time in the doing!

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 325 was created in scrap fabrics, a $100 sewing machine, and some really pretty shiny thread!

 

Day 323 – That’ll Do

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred Twenty Three“That’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do.”
-Shrek

It’s Fairy Tale Friday!

What an amazing modern day fairy tale Shrek is. An ogre who finds true love with a princess who is beautiful on the inside. Shrek goes on quite an adventure all in the hopes of getting his quiet, lonely life back to normal and having his swamp ousted of all the fairy tale creatures.

What Shrek finds much to his surprise is friends and love. It’s an irreverent tale of happiness and life lessons! One of my favorite scenes is when Shrek helps Donkey face his fears – a scene when his heart starts to truly soften.

Shrek helps Donkey over a rickety bridge and says…

“Come on, Donkey. I’m right here beside ya, okay? For emotional support, we’ll just tackle this thing together one little baby step at a time.”

Shrek gets Donkey distracted – he says “That’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do.” His way of saying each step Donkey takes is one more that will get them there together.

All this and the return of “I’m a Believer!” Quite a tale – one that’ll do for sure!

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 323 was created in ink and watercolor.

In The Studio

1. Countdown – 42 days to The Big Apple Paint-A-Thon!

2. Apple Recipe of the Day – Apple Maple French Toast – on Mad Hungry on the Hallmark Channel!

3. Process Photo of the Day – Send me your Apple Photos – here’s Marisa with an Apple Basket she found at HomeGoods!

4. Check out the new and improved emails from – The Daily Apple! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to receive apples in your inbox. The New Daily Apple will include information that I don’t post on my blog including art, health, and of course… apples!

 

Day 322 – Bella Bluebird

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred Twenty TwoHow shall we adjust to the morning silence that does not belong
In the empty space left by the absence of our bluebirds song?
– Wendell Long

Yesterday I got a phone call. A friend had passed away unexpectedly.

I had only met Nicolle in the end of June but the news came very hard for me. You see, Nicolle lived with chronic illness. She and I bonded very quickly over a few mornings of coffee. We discussed the things we had in common; years looking for a diagnosis, stories of dealing with the health care system, our love of animals, our mutual sadness of never having been able to conceive a child, and intimate details of a difficult road.

Although I hadn’t known Nicolle long, I felt I had found someone I could call at any time and find understanding. I had found someone who I could make plans with and cancel at the last minute with no worries about being judged. In fact we were all going to go hear a local cover band last month and Nicolle called a couple of hours before and said she wasn’t up to it. I was disappointed – I wanted her to have an evening away – to be in a “safe” circle of understanding friends and just let the music absorb her. I wanted it for her because I wanted it for me and I thought it might be good for her. I’m glad she didn’t go – I’m so very glad she listened to her body and knew that I would understand. I didn’t think she was looking like she felt too well but she was beautiful and spunky and seemed to have energy and light.

I don’t know why people come into and out of our lives. I believe all encounters are meant to be and have life lessons attached. Nicolle and I met by chance. A phone number I had taken off a bulletin board at the local store a year earlier for pet sitting was still on my refrigerator when I needed to find someone to watch our home and pets when we went to Maine over the July 4th holiday. What if I had called that number last August when I first needed it? We would have had almost a year to know and love and share and support one another. What if I had tossed it away long ago and never met her?

What if?

I’m feeling so many mixed emotions right now. I should have seen something. I should have called last week when my gut said I needed to – it had been too long. I should have been there for her more.

We sat here on my deck a few weeks ago and she was telling me how unwell she was feeling and I asked her why she didn’t go to the doctor and she said she was tired of being in the hospital; she was tired of them not knowing what was wrong with her and she just wanted to be at home. What if I could have done something…

Nicolle, Bella Bluebird, passed away Monday morning. She laid down and went to sleep in her home. Rest in peace sweet friend – I will miss you and hold you in my heart. Thank you for coming into my life if even for a moment. True to you’re name your were beautiful happiness.

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 322 was created in mixed media of collage and paint – and a touch of gold.

 

 

 

 

Day 321 – Lovey Dovey

“Really love your… apples, want to shake your tree” – Steve Miller Band, with a slight improvisation.

This song takes me back and makes me sing it in the goofiest of ways, swaying my hips and hearing the tune in my head. If fact, since I decided to post this apple and topic today, I can’t stop singing “waaaaan wooooow” and “oooee Baby.” I can’t carry a tune so… I sing anyway!

This is the exact thing I love repeating over and over to bug the beegezus out of my sweet husband Doug until I get him to laugh or scream (yeah, I perform until I get a reaction – childish but oh so fun.)

Today I’m actually feeling sorry for the poor guy. I’m a bit giddy silly for some reason this afternoon and since he has a home office he is lucky that he has zero commute but unfortunate in that he has to put up with my antics all day long. “Lovey, dovey… lovey dovey…. lovey, dovey – all the time

Honey – “You’re the cutest thing that I ever did see!” LOL!  Even when you don’t put the Salt & Pepper away – humph.

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 321 was created in mixed media collage and acrylic paints.

In The Studio

1. Countdown – 44 days to The Big Apple Paint-A-Thon!

2. Apple Recipe of the Day – Acorn Squash with Apple Cornbread Stuffing

3. Process Photo of the Day – The cat kept me from painting!

4. Check out the new and improved emails from – The Daily Apple! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to receive apples in your inbox. The New Daily Apple will include information that I don’t post on my blog including art, health, and of course… apples and whatever strikes my fancy 🙂 Take a look at a sample and sign up!

 

Day 320 – Goodness Gracious

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred TwentyOh my goodness gracious.

I love to say that – maybe because it is so needed at times or maybe it is to counter balance the occasional cuss that slips out. It probably just makes me officially old but what pretty and polite way of saying… “seriously?”

Funny how the two words taken separately mean something so very different than the combo.

When you’ve had a “seriously?” kind of day – give it a try. If nothing else, you’ll get to giggle at yourself for giving it a go!

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 320 was created in acrylics.

Day 319 – Leap And The Net Will Appear

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred Nineteen“Leap and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs

I first saw this quote a few years ago on my step-daughter Amanda’s facebook page and I was thrilled. Thrilled because I loved the quote but thrilled mostly because I felt so proud of the woman she had become. Leaping isn’t an easy concept, in fact it is darned hard every single time we do it. But, believing in leaping did allow for Amanda to move across the country in hopes of a job and something a bit different, it did allow her to persist in her pursuit of her MBA despite the challenges with financing an advanced degree, and it did allow her to make it the 9 miles she hiked this past weekend in preparation for a trip out to Colorado to climb her first 14’er.

Fourteeners, or 14,000 foot peaks as they are most affectionately known and of which Colorado has 53 or 55 depending on who you ask.  Reaching the top of one allows for boasting and bragging rights when “bagged” and adoration if all of them are successfully summited. Thankfully am allowed to continue living in the state of Colorado because I did in fact “bag” one.  Amanda and her boyfriend Tony have been training for their visit over Labor Day weekend to hike with Doug up either Evans(14,265) or Grays(14,278).  Hopefully they will have better weather than she and Tony had this last weekend because they were miles from their car and it started to downpour and then hail! And, the last few miles back were uphill to the trail head. All in all, it sounded miserable but Amanda spoke like a true Visscher and emailed that “at least our new hiking boots are broken in” and “I felt like this hike was a little out of my skill level, but I made it, (of course, at some point you don’t really have a choice, you have to finish if you want to get out) it was a good challenge, though.”

And isn’t that it with most difficult situations in life. We can leap, face adversity and unknowing head on, and finish because that is what we have to do.

My step-momish reply… “You did it! I love these kinds of stories – you will tell it over and over… and it show that we can do whatever we set our minds to. And this way… we know when we do have to surrender – then our minds and bodies truly mean it.”

I loved to push myself before being diagnosed with AS. I did some crazy things to prove to myself that I could do physical things. I think I knew quite young and many years before I got very sick that things with my body weren’t quite right so I pushed and climbed, and skied, and jumped. And I’m grateful for every insane thing I did because now I know that my mind and my body really mean it that I can only do so much. I will still push myself only it will be in a different way.

Just leap!

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 319 was created in pen & ink.

In The Studio

1. Countdown – 47 days to The Big Apple Paint-A-Thon to raise money for AS Education!

2. Apple Recipe of the Day – Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup

3. “AS” the World Turns – Fellow AS Blogger launched a new site today!

4. Apple Update – tattoos anyone?

5. Check out the new and improved emails from – The Daily Apple! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to receive apples in your inbox. The New Daily Apple will include information that I don’t post on my blog including art, health, and of course… apples and whatever strikes my fancy 🙂 Take a look at a sample and sign up!

 

Day 318 – How Does It Felt?

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred EighteenI bought the supplies to attempt my first ever felted art piece.

Two months ago!

Yup, I’m a procrastinator extraordinaire which might make you laugh considering that at this point making an apple everyday has become such a habit that when October rolls around I’m afraid I won’t adjust too well.

I can feel it already; my mind is preparing – separation anxiety perhaps? I’ll be looking around and behind me or thinking I’ve forgotten something when in fact it will just be the loss I’ll feel of not needing to do something that has become such a big part of me. I can feel the let-down building but I wouldn’t have expected it even a few weeks ago.

I expected to feel the way my pretty little felted apple image must have felt this afternoon when I stopped agitating the fibers over and over – relief! But what I’m really wondering is what happens next. I could predict the 365 days starting last October 1st – at least I could predict that I would accomplish the goal – I had to in order to prove something to myself. I needed to prove to myself that I wouldn’t stop despite a natural tendency to procrastination and a disease called spondylitis and that I could accomplish a large task that meant so much to me. That is how I felt at the beginning – it was because I had something to prove and in short order it wasn’t about me anymore, it became about not letting you all down. I hope to honor all of you with this project and this last year by finding the right next step. There are so many directions I can go – which way will it be?

I’ve become quite fond of all things apple – they will always be a part of me.

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 318 was created in wool fiber and felted together.

In The Studio

1. Countdown – 47 days to The Big Apple Paint-A-Thon to raise money for AS Education!

2. Process Photo from today.

4. Apple Recipe of the Day – Apple Blueberry Chutney

3. “AS” the World Turns – The NASS (National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society) in the UK is looking for signatures – please sign the petition for better care for patients with AS.

4. Apple Update – New Apple Campus 2 to break ground in Cupertino, CA in 2015!

5. Check out the new and improved emails from – The Daily Apple! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to receive apples in your inbox. The New Daily Apple will include information that I don’t post on my blog including art, health, and of course… apples and whatever strikes my fancy 🙂 Take a look at a sample and sign up!

 

 

Day 317 – Hang On Snoopy!

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred SeventeenIt was a difficult decision…

The Red Baron, Snoopy with the typewriter, I even considered the image of Snoopy hugging the heart and switching it for a red apple (that would have been cute) but in the end I went with classic Snoopy konked out on top of his now apple shaped dog house hanging on to the stem to keep from falling off the curved top! Doesn’t seem to have bother Woodstock one bit!

Snoopy and I are hanging on – heading down the home stretch.

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 317 was created in pen & ink and illustrator markers by Letraset.

In The Studio

1. Countdown – 48 days to The Big Apple Paint-A-Thon to raise money for AS Education!

2. Apple Recipe of the Day – Apple-Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup

3. AS’er Blogger Maya – Loving With Chronic Illness. Maya is a truly gifted young lady, she wrote a poem about her brother that I adore and posted here on my brother Jason’s Birthday. Maya’s blog was voted Top Chronic Illness Blog of 2010 – boy did they get that right!

4. Art For Good Spotlight – Program for homeless men in Philly

5. Check out the new and improved emails from – The Daily Apple! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to receive apples in your inbox. The New Daily Apple will include information that I don’t post on my blog including art, health, and of course… apples and whatever strikes my fancy 🙂

 

 

Day 316 – An Apple Carriage Awaits Midnight!

Art Apple - Day Three Hundred SixteenAbout a month ago I posed a question on my Facebook page asking people what their favorite fairy tale was because I was looking for ideas for The Daily Apple and I received some amazing suggestions. Initially I was thinking of doing a week of Fairy Tale Apples but I decided that I would go insane and good ideas might start to get blurred together so…

I will be doing a Friday Fairy Tale apple each Friday from now to the end of my year and I have been really wanting to do Cinderella’s Carriage as an apple instead of a pumpkin.

Doug says I should have made the carriage red or green or yellow even – I can’t win! But to me it was always going to be a golden apple carriage.

A few updates:

1. The Daily Apple will be coming in your emails again soon – I’m working on changing the service so I can get you better information.

2. The Apple-A-Thon plans are coming along. Please make sure to mark your calendars for September 29th & 30th and sign up under separately with the “Contact” tab to receive information specific to the event.

3. Send me your apple ideas! I’ve got another 50 days to go and ideas are greatly appreciated at this point. Feel free to be as creative as possible and don’t worry if you think I have already done your idea – I got an idea from someone the other day and it was awesome and I hadn’t done it yet!

4. If you haven’t joined my Facebook page – I post The Daily Apple there too as well as things about art and health. I’d love to have you *like* me.

5. You guys are all so fantastic – thank you for supporting me through this year.

Until tomorrow.

Jenna

Day 316 was created in inks and watercolor – and gold metallic!

If you like this apple – you might also like these days too!  Day 29, Day45, and Day 127