Thank you for your interest in the Apples For AS. The Art Apple A Day project was created by Jennifer Dye Visscher to help raise awareness of a disease she has called Ankylosing Spondylitis.
The apples are posted in blog format so you will see the last apple first. To start from Apple ONE please visit here. Each apple is posted with thoughts, ideas, and in a blog or diary format. If you are looking for specific information related to this project or about spondylitis you will find a search box in the top black bar for your convenience.
To stay up to date on the latest happenings with Jenna, please stop by her current website JenniferVisscher.com
All my best, and thank you for learning a bit about my apples and their significance!
I love tastes – textures – exotic flavors. And, I love Sushi! But probably not as much as my brother Jason does and today is his birthday so he is the inspiration behind today’s art apple and post.
I’m a lucky gal – I’m friends with my brothers and especially close to my younger brother Jason. We think the same way and are so head strong and passionate that it gets us in trouble sometimes but we’ve always been each others champions and supporters. I’m the godmother to his two beautiful children Parker and Beckett – I just wish I could live in Maine to be near all of them. On birthdays and holidays I feel especially far away. If I lived near my family, Jason and I would have gone for Sushi today. So – hopefully this sushi apple will take my place for now. I also want to share a post my fellow AS blogger Maya wrote recently for her brother. It’s wonderful and touching and includes a poem that I adore. I wish I could have written something like this for Jay Jay but since I have no idea how she does this – she has given me permission to share it with you.
Stepping on a Nest with my Brother
in Lovell, Maine: Summer of ‘91
It just takes one bee
to remind me of your heel
that pregnant nest,
the petite army filing out
until the air looked
just like rain falling
upwards. I remember
all of it: the wing-buzz
on my earlobe, my fat knees
made fatter with venom
and your Velcro sandals
breaded in the angry things.
I’ve said it was the spice
of the stingers I remember
most when really
it’s the piggybacked topple
into Lake Kezar, the tallying
our wounds, licking them
like postage. Even now,
years later I remember you
this way: some odd superhero,
cape of hornets blazing behind.
Day 144 was created in mixed media. I’ve been loving using watercolor over acrylic!
Not the good kind of webs – not the kind that interconnect and tell a story, but the kind that fog up your thinking. It happens to me when I stretch out my infusion dates (an attempt to save money) and go from my usual and effective 5 weeks to 6 or even 7 weeks.
I find it interesting that it isn’t only my body that is affected by waiting for the Remicade but it is my ability to think straight, concentrate, and feel creative. Of those three things, the most important for me to draw on right now is the ability to be creative and I’m struggling. It drives me crazy really, but it is part of my once upon a time. My story is a web of so many disparate pieces that have come together to bring my art and my passion and my need to share Ankylosing Spondylitis with you. So even when I don’t feel like I can think straight or create anything – as long as I focus on my mission, my passion, I can have faith that I’ll come up with something to share with you and have my… once upon a time.
I’ve had a wonderful time with Mom – it was quite a road trip. We decided that we were a mother/daughter Thelma & Louise but without the illegal activity or bad ending and unfortunately we came across no hitchhikers who looked like Brad Pitt! And my time with my brothers and their kids and Amy was so precious to me. But, it will be nice to be home and back to a regular schedule.
Day 106 was created with watercolor crayons, water, and graphite.
I flew to Florida yesterday to join my Mom and drive her car back to Maine. We had a really nice afternoon sitting on the beach chatting and catching up but the wind has now picked up and it’s down right chilly! And, the internet only works out by the pool so I think I’ll cut my post rantings short today. Hope you have a great day tomorrow Alison – Happy Birthday to you!
We used to tease him endlessly by singing “Michael, Michael, Motorcyle.” I guess in retrospect it was at least a cool motorcycle and not a “Michael, Michael, Micky Mouse” or “Michael, Michael, Mashed Banana.” Here’s to you Michael for putting up with your little sister all these years and supporting me in my endeavors and my art. Love you.
We adopted a family with the Volunteers of America this year. Four friends and I bought for a family of five – it was really a wonderful experience for us to come together and Stacey coordinated the whole thing and who would get what gift. I drove them in to the facility in downtown Denver to drop them off. I just wish I could see the little boys rip off the paper to see the remote control airplane or the 2yr old girl put the baby doll in the stroller. I know that the idea is to help the families provide for their kids and not feel like they’ve received charity (a very good thing) but my favorite part of giving is watching the reaction of someone seeing a gift that you’ve given. I haven’t been blessed with motherhood – well traditional motherhood anyway (I have a beautiful, amazing, and grown up step-daughter Amanda) but giving birth unfortunately wasn’t an experience that will be a part of my life. A part of my AS story but not a story for today.
I’m a bit sad this Christmas because my whole family (the New England side) will be together – well, except for Doug and me. I had a tough day today thinking about not being with them. Thank goodness for Skype!
My favorite Christmas show is Rudolf the Red Nosed Raindeer – and it’s because of the land of misfit toys and Charlie-in-the-Box was the misfit in chief.
Growing up I always felt like I didn’t fit in. I was too tall, too skinny (then not now – lol), the new girl (constantly the new girl), sports were riddled with injuries, and the list to me went on and on. And then in my mid-twenties I met a great group of friends and we were inseparable until we all started getting married and I became sick. After living in California for a couple years we moved back to Colorado – I was not the same life of the party person they expected – again the misfit. This was right before I was diagnosed and I was distraught about what was happening. I thought I was going crazy – what was happening to me? Those friends didn’t stand by me so I haven’t spoken with any of them for over 6 years because it was earth shattering at the time to have them doubt me right when I needed their support the most. There wasn’t as much information available then so I didn’t have a Facebook page or blog to point them to and say “SEE!”
For anyone in their 20’s (this is making me tear up) just starting to deal with a diagnosis of AS – here is what I need you to know: You are not alone, you are not crazy – the pain is real and there is a reason for it that is not your fault. There are people in many places out here who will stand by you and help you get to a better place with the disease. It will get better – maybe not because of a remission or a cure – but it will get better because you will find ways to incrementally deal with it and accept it. It will get better and believe it or not, you will become a stronger, more empathetic, and loving person. And…. AS teaches you to fight and persevere. Without the experience of dealing with this disease I would never have had the courage to attempt my journey to create 365 daily art apples. For that I am truly grateful – and feeling a little bit less like Charlie-in-the-Box.
Day Seventy eight was created with pen, ink, watercolor and a touch of acrylic ink.
A story by a 5th grader by the name of Katherine and her dad Jeff, about a a dog named Henri who dreams of travels across the country and through the seasons in search of a sweet treat. Helped by a friendly bee, Henri savors life’s moments. This charming story is illustrated with lovely, vivid designs and is available as a book or calendar and the proceeds will be donated to various non-profit organizations. One of the featured charities is the Spondylitis Association of America! Please take a look – it’s a great way to support the SAA. I’m thrilled to have been able to introduce Jeff Lea, the CEO of Rev Pay Solutions, to the folks at the SAA and he was kind enough to include The Feeding Edge.com on their blogroll as well!