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
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!
There was quite a symphony going on this morning while Doug and I were lazily waking up.
The Russian Olive Trees are starting to ripen; the birds are in celebration mode and woke happily to feast but that was a mere background beat. The dog was stirring, shaking her body awake and Bitty Kitty was chasing after the reflection that scooted across the floor as the sun came in through the window and hit the fan oscillating back and forth. Tagger was persistently voicing his disapproval of our sleeping in by meowing away that it was in fact time for breakfast. And, the crescendo (I can’t help it) was the alpacas next door mating.
Those were the sounds of our lazy Saturday morning – gotta love the country!
Day 331 was created in fabric, mesh screen, gesso, graphite, thread, and acrylic paints.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. – Albert Einstein
I have learned so much in the last 10 months.
I had no idea what an amazing ride this was going to be. I had no idea that I would experience so many joys as well as some deep sadnesses that would travel along with me. I’ve felt so much joy in seeing the determination and strength of others and I’ve made some wonderful friendships that I cherish and will always carry with me. But, I also didn’t expect how much I would be affected by the fact that there are so many wonderful people suffering. I know what spondylitis can do to a life – I just didn’t realize that by actively being in the community I would be faced with living the suffering through the stories I would hear every day and that these stories would stop being something that I could keep at arms length or turn off – these stories were now my friends. I live their pain with my pain now and the toll it has taken on my emotions has been immense. It has been overwhelming at times but I am truly grateful for it. I am so blessed to know and love and feel the support of so many people. I thank each and every one of you for helping me get this far!
Even with the ups and downs of the last 10 months, I wouldn’t change – much. I can’t say I wouldn’t change anything – there are many things I would but I have learned so much about myself, I’ve learned about twitter and social media which has been an education that I will always have, and I have learned a lot about human nature and what chronic pain and illness can do to a person.
I have lived the lives of so many and re-lived some moments in my life that I would have rather left behind. I pledge to live for today because today my AS is managed. I will live for today in the hope that I can help make a bit of difference. I live for today because tomorrow I make another apple – in the hopes that tomorrow we will have a cure!
Day 300 was something very new – something I’ve been wanting to experiment with – my sewing machine! Paper, acrylic paint, ink, fabric, thread, a leaf made from a yen of some sort that my Dad brought back from China.
“Arrange whatever pieces come your way” – Virginia Wolfe
Take the miscellany of life and put it together into something interesting. I can’t decide my favorite way to talk about the conglomeration of the pieces of my life. Bits and bobs, hodgepodge, and Doug’s favorite (he’s a crossword buff) – olio!
Collage your miscellany together – they may seem disparate but in fact the pieces that come our way – are meant to.
Rejoice in diversity!
Day 269 was created in ink and magazine scraps. Can you tell who’s “eye” has been included in this apple?
My Dad is one of the most remarkable people I know.
You may think it’s strange of me to name a post about my Dad – “Sparkle and Shine” – but that is what he does.
His goodness shines out of him, his smile sparkles and his laugh is contagious. My Dad makes friends of strangers and is interested in who people are – what their life story is about. I look forward to our phone calls and hearing of his travels because I never know if I’ll hear about a man & his family bakery, a woman traveling to Africa for safari, or the missionary working with an adoption center in Ethiopia. He is earnest in his interest and concern for others and his ability to connect with people in such a genuine way is truly unique.
I could tell you so much more about him like how he tackles a problem, big or small, with determination and a stamina that is unmatched. He and my Mom bought a big old Mansard roof victorian home on an island off the coast of Maine that was in dismal shape and he has worked on it and worked on it ignoring the people who said it was too big a job, too much of a task. Dad has taken it one day and one step at a time and now he has a jewel and although he’s had some help – it was his vision and tenacity that have made it what it is.
This image shows some of the ancient wall paper that covered room after room of the walls. He’s scraped, sanded, painted, polished and now tirelessly creates the gardens. He has turned a dilapidated neglected structure into a place like him – it sparkles and shines and glows. It matches the happiness in his heart – a truly special place.
I love you Daddy.
Day 262 was created in 40 year old wallpaper sent to me by my Dad for a day I might be inspired by it. Oh, and some sparkly metallic paints.
*** My Mom has made our island house a home – and she’s worked her tail off too!
I love juxtaposition – the act of placing side by side.
I generally think of a juxtaposition as being two ideas or images that because of their great difference highlight the other due to their diversity and contradiction. Toile & Polka dots are both patterns that I love and could not be more different.
Hopefully by placing them together you can see each in them in their glory and individuality.
Winter – it’s time to release your hold – just cut that out mother nature!
My friend Christine sent me an instant message on Facebook last night after she saw the photo I had taken and posted of the snow falling here. She said, “Now you have to do a snow apple!” to which I replied – “Where were you an hour ago when I couldn’t think of a thing to do?” But she had a good idea – do a white apple on a white background. Normally after a long day I would jump at a simple and yes, easy apple. After all of these apples, I will admit that the ideas that are a bit more “easy” are a glorious relief some days. But it was too late to take the easy route – I had already finished yesterday’s apple.
When we woke up this morning in a winter wonderland with at least 5 inches of snow, I decided that Christine was right! I needed to do a white on white apple. So as usual I procrastinated and mulled it over and thought of all the different ways I could paint or draw a white on white apple. When the idea struck! Oh, the glorious feeling of an idea!
What if I took the concept but did a cut out? Yummy… and, FUN!
So here we are – cut out of white paper in honor of mother nature cutting out her fury!
Thank you Christine for all of your ideas!
Day 224 was created in white paper.
*** Birthday shout outs to Jennifer and Brandy ***