I for one will celebrating and thinking about the glorious apple.
They have come to mean so much to me and hopefully to you all as well. Maybe I had apples on the brain all those months ago because it is simply the time of the year for the apple harvests. Perhaps it was that the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” was so meaningful at the time but for sure the idea sparked in me for a reason.
What do you think Johnny Appleseed would think of blue spondylitis apples? I have a feeling he’d approve!
Day 361 was created with a few separate images of an old Johnny Appleseed $.05 postage stamp pieced together to make into a square instead of a rectangle as the original stamp was created. Ink and watercolors to give it a bit of paint and color!
*** My Mom asked me to add a note to today’s post that she plans on responding to every comment that you all made on her guest blog post from Day 350 – My Mom’s Perspective. She was so touched by your comments that she wanted to have the time to respond thoughtfully to each of you. I will post here once she’s done in the next week or so. In the mean time she’s says she’s looking forward to the Apple-A-Thon!
Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. – Cherokee Proverb
Oh, how difficult this is. I find it amazing what my mind goes back to. I love the idea of living in the moment and not dwelling on the past but what an incredibly difficult practice this is. I think this proverb is a realistic approach don’t you? As long as we don’t spent too much of today in yesterday then it’s been a good day!
Day 351 was created in acrylic, watercolor, white gel pen, red spray paint.
***Thank you Rita for gathering Apples For AS at your art class on Sept 24th. The Apples In The Orchard class will be taught in oil pastels – Rita will have a table set up in the middle of an orchard in Beemerville, NJ! For more information on Rita’s classes and Art Camps please visit her website! Thank you so much Rita – we can’t wait to see the beautiful apple creations that are inspired by such a great setting!
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!
Hadn’t figured that one out yet? I know – of course you have!
But sometimes I am blindly optimistic. Is that naive or is it living in hope and faith? I haven’t figured that one out either but, I plan on retaining my rose-colored glasses at all costs. Rose colored, blindly and ludicrously optimistic apples all around!
Day 340 was created in acrylic with a new find – a stabilo aquarellable pencil – and watercolor on top to create the interesting blending effects.
In order to attempt to have a life that went beyond apple making, I instituted the “Saturday Apple.” These apples have often times been simpler images with almost no post. The decision to reel in my apple life on Saturdays may have saved not only my husband’s sanity but mine as well and I have come to look forward to them as much as I’m sure Doug has.
But today, after completing my apple I saw a post on Facebook about the risks of taking biologic medications. These are fairly frequent conversations – as they should be. Taking biologic medications are a serious decision to make and everyone has to decide for themselves what choice is best for them. I have people ask me about how I decided to start on them quite often since I speak on this blog about how effective they have been in my case. For me, it was a choice to do anything to stop the suffering I was in regardless of consequences. Luckily and fortunately – it has worked for me and I feel blessed everyday I’m better. If tomorrow it isn’t or I become ill – I will never regret that I have been given these last 5 years back.
What struck me about the question tonight that was so different than usual discussions was that a physician told this person that they would absolutely not prescribe them unless the patient insisted because of increased risk of getting cancer. Here is a report about this exact topic that came out a few months ago at the yearly EULAR conference. EULAR is the European League Against Rheumatism. The report shows no increased risk.
Yes, I was a bit stunned by this too.
I’ve decided to not pass judgement or write a commentary on this. I’ll just report what I heard. But what I would like to say is that there are risks to everything in life and most certainly in this crazy world bad things unfortunately happen all of the time. I choose to live for today and not worry for tomorrow – it is my personal decision – I’m not advocating my choices for anyone else. People unfortunately get cancer, we get AS, we have heart attacks and life is difficult – I’m stunned everyday by the tragedy and difficulties that people have to endure. I just don’t want people to suffer needlessly – for any reason. Naive and idealistic, I know but that is what I wish for as a person working to raise awareness of a painful and often times debilitating disease.
Day 338 was created in watercolor, pastel, mesh origami “paper”, polka-dot paper, thread, ribbon, and a stick pin.
*** I encourage and appreciate debate – please feel free to comment and disagree. Our shared views only help one another and increase understanding of how difficult it is to live with a chronic illness.
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!