Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. ~Charles Richards
Every day is made use of even the ones where we rest, reflect, and chill! I remember the days on end when all I wanted was some relief of my symptoms. I know many of you are still in that place and I so wish it weren’t so. I still have those days although they are fewer between. I am feeling a huge responsibility to make sure that I express correctly how difficult most of the days with Spondylitis can be.
Please know I will do my best in my upcoming interviews. If you can express for me how you would say it – it would help me.
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!
Listen to the Mustn’ts, child, Listen to the Don’ts Listen to the Shouldn’ts The Impossibles, the Won’ts Listen to the Never Haves, Then listen close to me — Anything can happen, child, Anything can be. – Shel Silverstein
I’m being drawn to the words and images of the great children’s writers. I wish we could keep being told the lessons we teach our children; the lessons of love and persistence and of starry eyed dreams of childhood.
As an adult it is so difficult to keep going after your dreams and to continue to believe that anything can happen, anything can be.
Do not listen to naysayers. We sure as heck wouldn’t let our children listen to them. Hold on to your dreams and don’t listen to anyone who insists on telling you what you can’t do.
Dig up those stories and listen to their messages…
And sprinkle in some pixie dust for good measure!
Day 342 was created in pen & ink in the style of Shel Silverstein with a twist – a little girl instead of a boy and a blue apple for spondylitis instead of a yellow star.
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.
I weighed all of the options, listened to all of your comments, support, and opinions (which were so wonderful!) and in the end, I’ve decided to keep with the rules I placed on this endeavor all of those days ago.
Perhaps this means I’m not as courageous as I thought. But… in the end, I’ve decided to listen to the same counsel that got me past day eight when I almost quit before I had really even begun. That night, my husband Doug and my friend Elizabeth were there for me; they didn’t let me quit.
I received an email from Elizabeth this morning and she said
If you are good with it, and it can make you be freer with the process, than go for it and enjoy yourself in the doing. But if at the end of the month you start dissing yourself because you didn’t do what you said, and you are disappointed in you, then stay with the 5×5.
I read Elizabeth’s email to Doug we discussed the fact that if I don’t change the rules I won’t regret it because I will have completed exactly what I set out to do but if I do change the rules, it is possible that I will be disappointed. Which got me thinking about about regret and regret stinks. So, although I would adore to break out and go crazy and play and “break all of the rules” and go to the place my imagination would like to go – to go where the wild things are, I will instead turn towards home – to what I know, to a place of safety. I do think creativity takes courage – courage to break from convention, to explore but I do not want to regret my decision and hopefully I will create courageously even if I’m taking a step that seems a bit less so.
AND… as Sabrina mentioned, I can break out at the same time I keep to the rules. So, look out for some extra apples this month!
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!
Well, you know the rest. I definitely feel this way driving in city traffic, watching Jersey Shore (I may be one of the only people on the face of the planet who’s watched it only once), and when dealing with health insurance billing issues!
I continue to love making the fabric apples and I think I’ll do one more tomorrow although I go for my infusion tomorrow so we’ll see how much uumph I have tomorrow afternoon!
I created this piece and loved the simple graphic nature of the shapes but I felt it needed something more so I pulled out my beads thinking I’d put some around the edges and then the creative beast took over and decided that this apple had to have a seed bead in every juncture of the checkerboard fabric. Which took forever but I’m glad I followed through and did what I saw it needed regardless of the time it took. The hand sewing of putting the tiny beads on the apple was almost meditative and definitely relaxing but ambitious for the day before my infusion when my energy is waning.
I was thinking at one point when I was only half way through that if Captain Kirk had transported into my living room and seen what I was up to he would have undoubtedly uttered those famous words – “Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life down here!”
Day 328 was created in fabric, seed beads, silky thread, and yellow fabric paint.
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!