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!
Not the kind that you get from drinking a slurpee too quickly; the kind you get from having a chronic illness and for me it is an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I hate it when this happens and I really can’t stand admitting it. I’d like to wish it away and tell you that it never happens to me. But it does happen, so let me try to explain what it’s like.
It usually comes with a flare (that is what we call a period of heightened symptoms) or towards the end of my cycle of biologic intravenous medications that I get on a monthly basis. My infusion are typically 4-5 weeks apart and most months I manage quite well but what is really interesting is that if I have extra stress especially of the emotional kind, the level of fatigue can cause me to feel this shutting down of my ability to think clearly and at times it can be especially strong. For those of you who follow along with my blog on a fairly consistent basis, you know that last week I had a shock of a friend passing away unexpectedly. Doug and I went to the services on Saturday and they were beautiful but of course very emotional and on the way home I felt “it” hit me – like a ton of bricks as the saying goes. I could feel the fatigue and “brain freeze” overcome me.
I knew we had a few stops to make on the way home and in years past when this state came over me I had an almost uncontrollable urge to just get home as quickly as possible but as the years have passed and these events have happened, I do know that I can push myself – and survive them. So, although I did say to Doug “can’t we do these later?” and told him how I was doing, he knows I’ll survive too and is extremely in tune with my illness and he said “let’s just get them done” and he was right. But, by the time we got home it was almost 6 pm and I had no apple and my brain freeze was so intense at that point that I knew if I didn’t just immediately come up with something, I was in the biggest danger I’d ever been in of missing my first apple in 324 days. I eked out an apple – that is truly how it felt – and I was actually feeling confused. You see, after I create my apple, my tasks don’t end. I need to do all of the technical things that go along with my blog and daily emails. The process has become almost second nature since I’ve done it so many times and on Saturday I didn’t write anything or add anything extra to The Daily Apple but I had to ask Doug to make sure I had posted them. That is how intense the mental fatigue felt – that although I could see that I had pressed publish on the blog and submit on the email system, I needed him to confirm it for me. That is a very scary and overwhelming feeling but as soon as I was able to shut down and stop thinking and recline my body, I started to slowly recover. And by slowly, I mean I’m still dealing with the current AS fatigue but I’m resting and doing the things necessary to lessen the effects. I also know that my infusion is in a few days and I know it will help me immensely.
I wanted to relay this to you all because I have a tendency to say that I’m fine and wonderful and everything is fabulous. I have a powerful positive psychology that works for me and keeps me going through difficult times but I need people to try to understand that although I receive an amazing medication that puts me back in the game of life at a level that allows me to work and create, as well as a wonderful support system, and a blessed glass half full approach to life, that I still get overcome with times when I cannot function. The pain and exhaustion of this disease rears its ugly head and I slow waaaayyy down. At these times, I adjust my normal routine because I have no choice but to get through until I can get enough rest or medication and most times both.
This brain freeze is really fatigue but its the way I feel it manifest the most in my body. I don’t like it but I’ll survive it and keep going and working to fulfill my dreams and hopes. If you have a friend who lives with a chronic illness please be kind when they tell you they are tired – that doesn’t even begin to explain it. We’ll do our best to bounce back – that’s what we want because we may have AS but it doesn’t have us!
3. 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!
4. New Guest Apples from Artists in Marguerite Jill Dye’s classes at the Killington Summerfest, Killington, Vermont.
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!
Every great inspiration is but an experiment. – Charles Ives
Lately on Saturdays I’ve been creating a “Saturday Apple” – an apple that is pretty but simply painted and that doesn’t include any post. It was a bit of a compromise with Doug because I was spending a lot of time on the weekends on my blog. And, it was a way to get a little break for myself too. Today I sat down around noon and instead of just pulling out the paint I was dying to try a technique I’ve been researching. It is a method to transfer printed images onto a surface. It allows the artist to incorporate images into the piece without using a college technique that can lead to deterioration (ha in about 100 years or so) but…
I have really wanted to try it – but when you experiment you have to be prepared for failure even when it is accompanied with inspiration. I knew it was going to take a lot more time than a Saturday Apple but it was really hot out today and after planting a couple of new $2 Lowe’s special salvias, I was ready to cool off.
I had a lot of fun making today’s apple. I used fabric, gesso, thread, paint, scrap paper, and the image of the apple you see is my Zentangle Apple from Day 151. Is that cheating??? I used my own apple to make another apple. Anyway – I used this transfer technique and then stitched and painted and beaded – oh my!
I’m lovin’ making art. And honestly I cannot wait to create without constraint!
Day 303 was created in a bunch of stuff! See above 🙂