Monday, October 29, 2007


It's Halloween time again and I have decided to include here some educational information about food allergies. As the parent of a child with a truly life threatening food allergy this topic is of the utmost importance to me, and a part of our lives here every single day.

Kiddo will be trick-or-treating for Halloween just like many other kids in our area. However she will not be out to collect candy but rather to raise funds for food allergy education and research. When she received her collection box from The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network she made the decision, all on her own, that her goal again this year for Halloween was to only collect money for this organization. Actually this will be her third year doing this. We are members of FAAN because my daughter has a life-threatening food allergy to peanut. As stated in a recent FAAN press release, for many kids, ghosts and goblins are the spooky stuff of Halloween, but for the 1 in 25 or 3.1 million American children with food allergies, the “treat” can be the scariest part of all.
“Many of the most common food allergens are found in candy,” says Anne Muñoz-Furlong, founder and CEO of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). “For some children, just one bite of the wrong food can bring on anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction that can cause death.”

Eight foods account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions in the U.S.: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. Of these, only the last two are not likely to be found in candy.

The incidence of food allergy has doubled in the last 10 years, and scientists aren’t sure why. More
than 12 million Americans – one in 25 – are caught up in this life-altering epidemic, which results in
150-200 deaths and more than 30,000 emergency room visits each year. There is no known cure;
strict avoidance is the only way to prevent a reaction.

The majority of Halloween treats do not have ingredient labels, and for kids like my daughter who have food allergies, reading ingredient labels is essential to avoiding a deadly allergic reaction. Just one bite of the harmful candy can be life-threatening.

Many of our friends, neighbors and my daughter's teachers have generously contributed to
my daughter’s collection box for FAAN. I know for many this is an unfamiliar organization and perhaps some folks had never heard of food allergies. For more information about food allergies and The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) you can visit The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), at Proceeds from their Trick-or-Treat for Food Allergy Coin Collection Campaign will go toward food allergy education and research.

If you would like to help support food allergy awareness through education and research towards a cure you can make a donation to FAAN at their website, or click here to go directly to their donation page.

Founded in 1991, The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) is the world leader in food allergy information. FAAN, a nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, VA, is dedicated to increasing public awareness about food allergy and anaphylaxis, to providing education, and to advancing research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies. The organization has just under 30,000 members in the United States, Canada, and 62 other countries.
FAAN provides information about food allergy and educational resources to patients, their families, schools, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, and government officials. Educational materials published by FAAN are reviewed for medical accuracy by the FAAN Medical Advisory Board, which is comprised of 11 of the country’s leaders in food allergy science and medicine. In addition to printed materials, FAAN also sponsors awareness programs such as Food Allergy Awareness Week, Food Allergy Conferences, and the Mariel C. Furlong Awards for Making a Difference as well as fundraising walks across the country. Educational materials and information about special programs are also available online at,, and

Saturday, October 27, 2007

At The Water's Edge, a Work In Progress

I know, I know, I have been slack about posting here lately. But not without good reason. After our little beach break we were with house guests for a few days.

Just to show that I have been working, however slowly, I thought I'd post what I am working on now, as is, in progress. This drawing is 6 x 6 inches on pastel board. I began with an underpainting using Neocolor II watersoluble crayons and have now begun working my way from the top left corner outward using colored pencils. I am finding that I really like the strong intensity of color the Neocolors provide for an underpainting. And that when coming back over with the colored pencils, which are somewhat translucent, the colors seem to sing. I am having fun with this little piece. I intend to do a small series of these, what I am calling 'macro-landscapes'.

At The Water's Edge, WIP copyright 2007 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nothing Could Be Finer

No, I haven't disappeared entirely. We just took a quick trip to the beautiful South Carolina coast for a few days. The weather was gloriously stunning, the water was warm and we all had such a wonderful time even though our time there was much too short.

We stayed at the enchanted Edisto Beach, on Edisto Island, South Carolina. This is a charming little beach community that has not given way to the commercialism that seem to plague so many other east coast beaches. As much as I wanted to, I didn't take time for sketches (a little hard to do with a kiddo and two dogs running around). I did, however, take tons of photos and spent some time thinking about future projects. The break from my usual routine was very welcome and good for recharging my energy for art. And of course we all, dogs included, greatly enjoyed ourselves.

And although I came home wishing we could still be at Edisto, I am trying to remember what was important to me during our short stay at the beach and carry those things with me through my routines here at home. Here is my list of what really matters when on vacation and otherwise:

~Always eat a big breakfast
~Take lots of walks
~Set aside a little time each day to sit and do nothing
~Pay attention to the details and little moments that make up your day
~Take plenty of photos to help with those memories

*All photographs copyright 2007 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky and may not be reproduced without permission

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Autumn Begins

Autumn Begins
original photograph
copyright 2007 by Ann Thompson Nemcosky

I love this time of year. In fact, autumn is my favorite season. The turning of the seasons inspires me toward starting something new, refreshing my routines. Where spring expands, autumn brings things inward for reflection.

I had intended to post earlier this week, really, but general life busy-ness plus a little graphic design work has completely consumed me this week. We did enjoy a lovely hike last Sunday, where glimpses of autumn were found at every turn. I am missing making art this week and hoping things settle down soon so I can get back to drawing!


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