Day Eight three – He’s loaded all the Toys and Apples….

Santa has his goodies on his Sleigh!

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!

Until tomorrow.


Day 83 was made with pen & ink and watercolor.

Day Eighty one – Pointillism is like Community

Pointillism is like community – many disparate points coming together to make a whole.

I started this apple today thinking not only about playing with paint but also about my Call for Apples! I’d love to have guest Art Apples for AS Awareness to post here on The Feeding Edge.  Check this link for details.

Many times when an artist sits down to create, it is difficult to make the piece not feel precious – we hear that little inner voice say “what if I mess it up?” or “this will never be good enough.”  So, the piece not only becomes difficult to – just make – but the paint and the paper end up feeling like you can’t waste it which leads you to the feeling that you can’t play or experiment. I continue to struggle with this in my art but – I urge you to PLAY and make an apple – it’s not a huge endeavor, really – only a small 5″ x 5″ piece of paper.  I knew that if I made my daily Art Apples too big an endeavor it would be too much to complete everyday.  Some of my other pieces are up to 4′ x 6′ (there is no way to create those every day 🙂

I’d love for you to be one dot in our community of many; making a difference for Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness and research for a cure!

Until tomorrow.


Day 81 was created with Acrylic paints – one dot at a time.

Day Eighty – Metallic Mosaic Apple!

Metallics paints are glorious.

Shoot, metallic anything is glorious!  I have a hot pink metallic DKNY purse that I adore, a gold crocheted Banana Republic scarf that I will never stop wearing, and the Nordstrom suit I recently bought to wear to interviews – before I said ‘phooey’ to corporate America – has a metallic thread running through the fabric that gives it attitude!

I think one of the most liberating things for me in recent years (maybe it happens when you turn 40) is that I don’t care what the hottest fashion trend happens to be.  I’ve become comfortable wearing what works for me – I loved skinny jeans the last time they were in style – this time, not so much.  And the shoe thing…. heels are a terror for AS or RA ankles and my sensible shoes and Dr. Martens are just more me anyway although they just don’t work with that suit.

Until tomorrow.


Day 80 was created with Pearlescent Liquid Acrylics – it’s all sparkly and shiny in person 🙂

Day Seventy nine – Pastel No. 3

I love color – and I love pastels!

By the end of the 365 days of apples, I’d like to use every color of pastel paper that I can find!  It’s so much fun to see how the color of the background comes through the image and I have so much fun doing the pastels that I’m surprised that this is only my third pastel apple.  I hope you all enjoy it.

Until tomorrow.


Day 79 was created with chalk pastels on red pastel paper.

Day Seventy eight – Pop goes the Apple!

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.

Until tomorrow.


Day Seventy eight was created with pen, ink, watercolor and a touch of acrylic ink.

Day Seventy seven – Wrapping Paper Collage Apple

Care packages to Maine and Maryland are in the mail!

We have a tradition in our family to write clues about the present on the gift tag – we may ask for one or two specific gifts but additional small presents are a surprise and the clues make for great fun when opening the big boxes that arrive a few days before Christmas.  Growing up my brothers and I looked forward to the box from my Dad’s mother.  We called her Gammy (no ‘r’) and she was queen of the clue.  My parents have done a spectacular job carrying on the tradition and now generation number four is getting into the swing of it! My step-daughter Amanda, has the bug and the gift clue tradition continues – there is some of the Dye side of the family in her regardless of genes!

I’ve loved seeing all the new visitors today – welcome and please stop by as often as you can – one apple a day for AS!

Until tomorrow.


Day 77 was created with scraps of wrapping paper and a few small pieces from Country Living Magazine 🙂

Day Seventy six – Bee Hive Apple

I am so excited to tell you about Henri & the Bee!

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 Art Apple A Day on their blogroll as well!

Until tomorrow.


Day 76 was created with pen & ink and watercolor.

Day Seventy five – Blue for Spondylitis

I’ve made it through 75 days today!

I have to admit that I wouldn’t have made it this far without the encouragement and support of so many people.  As time goes on, I will be talking about how my support team and some new friends have kept me going.  I will fulfill my pledge and create my 365 days of apples and we will have all done it together.  Since I live with AS, there have been some difficult times but I refuse to give up or give in and AS has taught me that this is the only way to live our lives no matter what challenges we face.

I’d like to thank the Spondylitis Association of America who helped me a few years back when I really needed a connection and a community and then again this year with their support of Art Apple A Day.  Their dedication to fighting AS and related diseases and those of us living with AS is truly amazing – I feel hopeful and confident with them at the helm.

For any new visitors who found your way here from the SAA Holiday Card – I’d like to thank you as well.  Your support of the SAA means more research for a cure as well as continued programs, seminars, and outreach.   Please follow my progress as I work to raise awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis with my Art Apple A Day.  You can sign up to get the daily Apple emailed to you each morning – there is a sign up box in the upper right hand corner of my blog page.  Also – apple ideas are welcome and truly appreciated!  I’d love to hear from you – your comments and feedback keep me on my path 🙂

Until tomorrow and a big announcement……


Email me:

Day 75 was created in acrylic paint.

Day Seventy four – Argyle Wrap!

I have wrapping paper on the brain!

I’m furiously finishing up my Christmas shopping to get care packages in the mail by Wednesday.  Every year I think I’ll get it all done ahead of time so that I don’t put the added stress and strain on myself during the holidays – and every year I end up making a mad dash to the stores for the one item to finish off the care packages.  Maybe one day I’ll figure it out.

Until tomorrow.


Day 74 was created in ink and colored prismacolor pencils.