“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” – Elizabeth Taylor
Good plan. Will do!
I’m headed to the mall to shop at Nordstrom’s Rack in the hopes of finding just the right outfit for my t.v. appearance.
Oops – did I let that slip out?
Yes indeedy folks – I will be interviewed on a morning show in NYC the day before the Apple Paint-A-Thon and I need to make Liz and all of you proud. I will pull myself together!
One of my dear and best friends, Stacey is meeting me there tonight to help me come up with something that looks a bit more cosmopolitan and a bit less Colorado dusty back roads. I may even put on a bra! Special times call for special circumstances.
Love to you all for your continued and much needed cheering on. My thoughts with Betsy and her family tonight.
My mom always said, “Don’t go to the supermarket on an empty stomach.” Maybe not her most thought provoking piece of advice but words to live by for sure.
I think tonight I could have listened to that advice when making my apple. All I’ve been able to think about for the last hour and a half is Bangkok Tokyo. Crazy name but that’s what you get in Aurora, Colorado. The glorious thing about it is that it is AWESOME and has Thai food and sushi and I adore their Basil Eggplant and Tofu Green Curry. I don’t eat meat much anymore and definitely don’t eat gluten so Thai is my go to favorite food.
But there are a few problems with getting Bangkok Tokyo. The first is that Doug isn’t a fan, it’s not that he doesn’t like it but he doesn’t love it the way I do either. The second is that we live 20 miles from much of anything so delivery is out of the question (probably a good thing for my waist line) and running up the street takes a concerted effort and about $7 round trip in gas. When Doug said he was making a run into town, I could think of nothing but the pages of items on their menu – but got my standard fare.
Gotta run – food’s calling!
Day 349 was created with a Bangkok Toyko take out menu, and a splash of paint.
*** Apple-A-Thon Update – we have a wonderful location near Times Square – For a printable schedule check in tomorrow here or on The Facebook Page
Great question! I hope the answers I have will lead to things just as great. Here are a few areas I have outlined. I hope you all continue to follow me as my journey switches focus a bit this fall and in the years ahead.
Here are my plans – we shall see.
1. I’m not going anywhere! I will continue to blog here at The Feeding Edge and work for AS awareness and other health and social issues. My scope will just widen a bit. I’d love to also continue to create occasional “Apples For AS” and support the SAA in any way I can. I believe in what they do and I don’t think anyone does it better!
2. For the last year I have been an artist, blogger, and health activist. I did not focus on making a living. That was not where I wanted to put my energies. I decided to spend the year raising AS Awareness and that took all of my energy – well, along with making apples! Moving forward, The Feeding Edge will become a Social Enterprise. What’s that you ask? From Wikipedia (I know) “A social enterprise is an organization that applies capitalistic strategies to achieving philanthropic goals. Social enterprises can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit.” Additionally the primary purpose of the company is a social aim.
3. So what is my social aim? I will work to assist and learn from other artists who suffer from chronic disease and who wish to establish an entrepreneurial social enterprise for their emotional and financial well being.
4. To the moon and beyond… my loftiest goal is to strive to develop a non-profit organization – The Art For Good Foundation – with artists and social activists everywhere to support issues for the common good. I reserved the domain name months ago – we’ll see where this goes. The Art For Good Foundation will be a vehicle to find ways to do good things for the world through art. It broadens the scope – includes any and all social programs and artists.
Big dreams? You bet!
Day 345 was created with watercolor, ink, black thread, and pastels.
***A big thank you to my Mom, Susan Dye, who is helping me organize my thoughts and reining me in when necessary. She will be joining me as my path switches to the above endeavors and helping me administer and manage while attempting to stay retired at the same time! You’ll meet her on Monday – she’s written a post that we will share with you all. When Doug read it a few minutes ago his comment was, “Your Mom is wonderful!” He’s very right on this one – she absolutely is!
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island. – Walt Disney
Today’s apple, post, and quote are for my friend Holly. First and foremost because she is a treasure. She is a sparkly, shiny box of valuable goodies. She is passionate, creative, and funny and she has AS. I’ve been awed by her positive and happy nature despite some very difficult times she’s going through right now. I created this apple with her in mind, you see she creates beautiful treasures out of trash!
She makes amazing vases that she covers in chewing gum wrappers and other objects. They are beautiful and interesting and creative.
The quote – was just a lovely coincidence. I searched for quotes on treasure and found a quote that talks about one of Holly’s biggest treasures – books!
So today, I was thinking about Holly and all that she is going through. I was thinking of her creations, and her art she makes out of recycled objects and I wanted to create one for her today so that she knows we are all with her. Big love to you – hang in there my friend!
Day 339 was created in a piece of plastic shopping bag from my hair salon yesterday that I painted on top of, a collaged apple made from a yellow Southwest Airlines Ad & a used Safeway tissue box. The leaf came from a milk ad that featured The Green Hornet (because Holly is on MY superhero list), and the stem and beads are made of chewing gum wrappers. The “beads” are attached to the piece with a pretty strand of yarn.
If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun. Katharine Hepburn
I set some rules upon myself on Day One of Art Apple A Day. They were:
A 5” x 5” image – no other restrictions except that it could not be photographs or digital art. It had to be done by hand. My marks and hands interacting with the page.
There were two thoughts in my mind in regards to the above. One, I needed a small manageable size (anything much bigger would have become too much to continue to produce everyday) in hindsight I think 6″x6″ might have given me just a bit more freedom in the creative process but I was also thinking that you can buy a pre-made frame and mat with a 5″x5″ opening. The second thing I had in mind with this was that I had a vision of all 365 pieces lined up like calendar groupings in an eventual exhibit. Calendar days are square and with the art being square all of the apples could be framed and hung like the months they are a part of. I can see it – hopefully it will happen one day.
This “rule” has given the apples a certain continuity and added purpose but many days or nights when I went to create, I would feel an urge to do something far beyond the limits of these constraints. Sometimes creativity gets very overwhelming and the feeling to let that energy get out can take up a lot of energy in just the thinking about it. This is a feeling that I missed about myself for many years when I was so sick. I would try to force myself to create but it didn’t lead to art that felt good or I liked. It was interesting to observe this and extremely frustrating to experience it. Another aspect to my lack of creativity in those years was that I did not get excited by the colors. The use of vibrant color is what jazzes me when I create. For me to make art with a lack of color is a practice and exploration. Using bold beautiful color combinations is what naturally comes out of me. I was very sick for a number of years and the changes to me were huge. My vibrancy and joie de vivre were gone and along with that I could not see the colors. They were dull and muted and sparkle-less. Finally I found a doctor who believed me and worked with me until we found a diagnosis and a course of treatment that finally started to give me my life and self back. And one day thankfully I really believed that the colors returned in their full splendor – and with them so did I!
Tomorrow marks my last month of Apples. I’m feeling excitement and melancholy in extremes and with these emotions and reflections has come a decision about what I’d like to do for these last 30 days.
When I announced to my friends and family that I would be endeavoring on this project, many thought “she’s doing what?” And proceeded to place bets on my failure. I don’t blame anyone for that feeling. I doubted myself too but there was something in me that knew so deeply that I would accomplish what I set out to do. There have been two days in this process that I thought I might not make my daily apple. Day Eight – right at the beginning when it would have been so easy to walk away, thankfully Doug & Elizabeth encouraged me that night and I created “Spiraling Out of Control” – not very good but it honored where I was in my head that day and I got it done. And much more recently, Day 324. The emotions and exhaustion of the day seemed too much to create anything – I eeked one out and wrote about the feeling of that night a few days later on Day 326 – Brain Freeze. Those are the only two days I felt at a real risk of failing although Doug might have a different observation. I’m hoping that my last month is smooth sailing but to be honest, I know that it will be just as challenging so I’ve decided to break my self imposed rules and let my creativity take me anywhere it wants to go!
So tonight I post a 5″x5″ piece. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring when I can do whatever my heart desires! When I told Doug of my plan he said “noooooo!” Not quite the reaction I expected and then I explained why I want to do this and he understood a bit more. But because oh his strong reaction, I’ve decided to ask all of you.
What do you think? Should I do this or finish out the year as I laid out originally? You guys vote and I’ll do whatever you want because these apples are for you! Let me know what you think – and be honest!
Day 335 was created in watercolor drips, collage apple made from a page out of my old dictionary, a piece of origami mesh, my little stamp letters. All stitched together on my $100 sewing machine!
Is it home? Food? Maybe it’s the sound of the ocean.
I find comfort in all of these things but for physical comfort I have a few items of clothing that will never be seen past the doors of my home. YES – they are that dreadful! I have a cardigan sweater that my Mom gave me – she didn’t like it… and thought I might be able to get some wear out of it. It is sinfully ugly. I have no idea what she was thinking but, it gives me comfort. Mostly because it came from my Mom so it is like being wrapped in her – talk about comfort. For me comfort equals my Mom. Because of this, it has become a safety sweater of sorts. I know I’m way too old for these things at 42 but honestly I don’t care one little bit. In fact, I’ll tell you more…
When I started having so much trouble with AS, a few years before my diagnosis actually, my ribcage stopped being able to handle sleeping on my side. The stiffness would build up as I slept and when I moved I would come brutally (truly) awake by the pain of moving. It was insanely intense so I had to learn to sleep on my back propped up with pillows. I did this for a very long time to help alleviate this issue a bit. But AS didn’t want me to ignore her so she took up in my ankles and did the same thing. Sleeping on my side – I got it in my sternum, sleeping on my back – my ankles. It was truly unbelievable.
But, I’ve digressed. The reason I brought up the side sleeping issue is that I’ve found even now with so much relief from my meds that it really helps to support my body in any position I sleep in. I use pillows under my knees and I sleep with a soft fluffy object that I cling to my chest. A brown bear shaped fluffy object. It really could have been something much more my station and age but it was given to me one year by my sweet hubby for Valentine’s Day and – it works. When I go on vacation a pillow takes the place but not well because that safety & comfort feeling isn’t there.
Comfort comes in so many shapes and forms. Some aren’t good for us but mostly they are!
What do you find comfort with?
Day 333 was created with a scan of a summer dress I have. That’s being kind, it’s actually more like a muumuu. An Old Navy kind of muumuu but not flattering at all but I love it because – it gives me comfort. I scanned the fabric and used two different tones of the scan that I printed out and pieced together. I then painted the color in – the original dress fabric is very purple. Once I added some gold dots with a gold gel pen, I then stitched around the edges in a hot pink thread – a nod to the fact that the piece was inspired by my muumuu fabric!
Well, you know the rest. I definitely feel this way driving in city traffic, watching Jersey Shore (I may be one of the only people on the face of the planet who’s watched it only once), and when dealing with health insurance billing issues!
I continue to love making the fabric apples and I think I’ll do one more tomorrow although I go for my infusion tomorrow so we’ll see how much uumph I have tomorrow afternoon!
I created this piece and loved the simple graphic nature of the shapes but I felt it needed something more so I pulled out my beads thinking I’d put some around the edges and then the creative beast took over and decided that this apple had to have a seed bead in every juncture of the checkerboard fabric. Which took forever but I’m glad I followed through and did what I saw it needed regardless of the time it took. The hand sewing of putting the tiny beads on the apple was almost meditative and definitely relaxing but ambitious for the day before my infusion when my energy is waning.
I was thinking at one point when I was only half way through that if Captain Kirk had transported into my living room and seen what I was up to he would have undoubtedly uttered those famous words – “Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life down here!”
Day 328 was created in fabric, seed beads, silky thread, and yellow fabric paint.
I’m a pack rat – I admit it and I could use a 12 step program.
I have a very difficult time throwing things out. I’m not a hoarder – I hate to buy things, but I collect everything. Yes, it is a fine line but I think it has to do with the artist in me. I might need that scrap of paper/found object/supply someday for my masterpiece (yet to be thought of or ever to happen.)
What would happen if I threw something out and it was the perfect “thing” to make my latest art piece exactly what it is meant to be?
Then what? Well, in reality… there is always something else. Always. But in my pack rat mind – I may need that paint color that has a smidgen left in its tube.
At least I know I have a problem. But! Look what I created with a vintage kitchen curtain I bought years ago and placed in my tubs of fabrics. Ha, Ha! I love this vintage – exactly the right year for this piece.
Day 327 was created with – are you ready? With, a scrap of vintage fabric, a few pieces of “new” fabric, yellow silky thread, gesso (used to stencil on a handmade apple shape and border so that I could paint on top of the fabric), acrylic paints, metallic paint, and a touch of hot pink marker. I quilted the entire piece using – yes, a scrap of fleece instead of batting – in a checked pattern. Ah – life is good.
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!
The 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!
Day 325 was created in scrap fabrics, a $100 sewing machine, and some really pretty shiny thread!
I 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.
Day 318 was created in wool fiber and felted together.
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!