Tag Archives: work

Ten Tips… An Autistic’s Advice

5 Dec
Tomato Tomato.  It's only different if you say it aloud.

Tomato Tomato. Lets Call The Whole Thing Off....Doesn't work so well when typed.

A fantastic list of 10 tips for teachers, that really should read:  Ten Tips for Everyone.    Every person that interacts with the world, in any way, shape, or form will come in contact with a person with autism at some point and probably more frequently than just once or twice.  For that matter, every person does come in contact with people with various disabilities, some of them “invisible disabilities”… So yes, everyone should read this and mentally slather it onto their brains as “Ten Tips to Mindfully Communicate With Your Fellow Humans, Especially the Ones Who Seem To Be A Little (or a lot) Off Center In What You Consider To Be ‘Normal'”. 

My apologies for using that “N” word.  Most of you know that I find that N word to be outdated, on an even keel day, and mythical on the other 364.

Clickety click the link below, and check out the tips.

Please comment below if there is anything you would add and if you have examples of people doing the opposite… Me thinks it helps to bridge the gap between us and them when we can share examples.  Too many of the folks not living with disability or a difference that impacts every single morsel of their lives, think that discrimination and just plain douchey behavior doesn’t happen anymore because “people know better” and “there are laws” and when we do share our stories with others we are often told that we just misunderstood or worse, that clearly we have a chip on our shoulder.  Gee. Thanks made-for-cable-TV movies and sitcoms. Stereotyping us as bitter-because-of-our-physical challenges or extra-sweet and gullible because of mental and emotional ones, either keeps folks away or lets them feel no guilt whatsoever when they slip on in and take advantage of us.

Those of us who live with “it” everyday know that the treatment of people with differences and disabilities is like Betty Crocker’s iconic female face.  The clothes have changed.  Makeup and hair have been updated.  But it’s still a box of cake mix.  Capisce?

Here, as promised way back in the beginnings of this post, is the link:

An Autistic’s Advice: Ten Tips for Teachers.

xo

B

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ADDitudes…

14 Sep

It’s ADHD awareness week… (ADD is grouped in with ADD…Even for those of you that definitely lack the “H”)..

There are many, many fabulous resources in cyberspace covering many different aspects of ADHD…From many different angles…

One of the best jumping off points for info on living (as a person with it, or a person with ADHD kids, or spouse, etc) with it can be found at ADDitude

Another great resource is CHADD but for me ADDitude is much more anecdotal, accessible, and informative for my learning style and our family issues (all three of us have ADHD/ADD…You probably knew that about me just by reading my blog- even the non-ADD specific entries!)…    I do use any and all resources I can get my hot little hands on though…

Oh and ADDitude has some wonderful printables to help with organization/scheduling/practical stuff as well as fact/suggestion sheets on many topics within the scope of ADHD/ADD…

Scottie…

15 Apr

Scottie…

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Finally finished this piece….

This spirited little guy took awhile- I made the setting (which was a bit more challenging than simple round settings, I admit) and then let him run about my computer for a bit (he has been resting against the screen)… Finally, eureka!

Vintage bakelite/catalin in a sterling silver setting (bezel and solid backing)….

Two types of chain (one for the collar, one for the leash/chain for your neck)….

Every few pieces I wind up with one that I don’t finish and share right away…. Usually, to someone else’s eye, the piece appears done and usually just needs some sort of length of chain to finish it….But not for me. When pieces are truly complete I get this amazing feeling inside- this sparkle… I feel like I’m sitting on one of those carnival attractions- where the person (or teacher-sometimes they are rented to schools) is sitting above a vat of water and the participants throw baseballs at a target-when they hit it just right the person plunges into the water….But in my version the water is a slightly cool temperature, and it’s seltzer water.

That’s how I feel when I piece is reaching completion and then ready to really share with the world.

There’s a little nervous anticipation, a little bit of a panic, and I feel so joyful- like I’m surrounded by millions of tiny little bubbles and laughter.

Ok. Now I sound a little more nuts than usual.

But that really is the only way I can describe it….

Hugs all around,

B

Mama’s Brand New Drawers!

29 Mar

*swoon*

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Ok. I finally did it. I finally had enough of my little small parts boxes stacked high in their bright orange Black & Decker caddies…
So I took some measurements and did some research…

It’s a pretty obvious solution to my small-parts storage needs (in this case my bead collection) but it took awhile to get here….

My wants (wishes) were:
-able to keep dust out
-mobile within our home (casters, or overall portability)
-easily transportable outside the home (in case of emergency, but not a “you have 5 minutes to get out of the house and have to spend a week in a shelter” sort of emergency…. I do have my priorities straight.)

I researched a few options, and eventually decided to invest in a steel literature sorter- like the ones used in schools as mailboxes for the teachers… Sheesh, again with the old office stuff floating my boat…..

I already had all of these (ok. 30 of them, 24 are being used, 6 are just waiting for occupants) small parts boxes with lids… I figured I could put them in my (rather large considering I’m not a clothes junkie) closet and give each box a bin….Nicer and easier and less noisy (and frankly, hard on my old bones and muscles these days which really don’t take kindly to much lately) than pulling them in and out of the plastic caddies they came with.

Well, earlier this week I took another look at topdeq.com’s offerings (I have been getting their catalog since way back when) and my brain just decided to do the math…. I realized I could fit 2 tackle container things in each drawer- totally releasing the concept of buying the Bisley brand drawer dividers (at $10-$18 a pop and still not enough spaces per drawer for my liking)….

So I ordered…

I wound up with this beauty…. This is a Bisley unit, purchased from Topdeq.com, and delivered yesterday by freight. It has 15 drawers…Each drawer measures 2″ x 12″ x 16″…. Each drawer fits two of my little small part tackle boxes with a little wiggle room- just enough to put that hank or two, or bag of beads, where I can have a visual reminder of it (hugely important with my ADD and creating- I tend to have stuff everywhere because with me out of sight out of mind holds so true) when I open up the drawer of similar beads….

Anyway, this came with a plinth (steel riser) and I bought the caster attachment to go with the unit… So off came the plinth and on went the casters….

I busted the hinged lids off the little divided containers -with some success…. On some I had to cut a hinge, but the lids still fit on top, and if and when we do move and I need to transport everything I can just use some of those fabulous “h” rubber bands to hold everything secure….

So now I have a unit that holds all of my beads (I don’t like to buy more than a strand or two at a time as I get bored easily, so most beads fit in here)… And is organized…

And mobile….
And easily stashable (fits in the hall closet/linen closet…. Also tucks under my elevated kitchen bar area (43″ tall….Bisley unit is around 36″ I believe)….
Dust free…
Quiet….
and of course easy enough to use for a quick bead sort that I won’t put it off until I have a gallon bucket of loose beads (like now. *gulp*)….

It was delivered super fast- I ordered Monday night and got the call about delivery on Wednesday… Pretty awesome. And for the amount of space and comfort and peace of mind this creates, it was totally worth it, and no more expensive than the various other solutions I was looking at. Actually, as the drawers are such a great size, and not too deep, I wound up saving money and space…Yay!

I just need to pen some pretty labels for the drawers….

Oh and here is a picture of one of the drawers (with a freshly started small parts, tackle bin/thing, hence it has space to add more yippee!)….

drawers

My only cons about this purchase:  I was instantly aware upon unpacking that I have many more spaces in my studio and home for rolling steel units and I have a pretty clear idea of what drawer sizes I need and hey, add a sturdy top to these badboys and I have a nice packing table…. Woohoo!

Also- the drawers don’t have stops. *gasp* So I will have to rig some up… Boyo has been warned that the drawers are not to play with, and I told him a dramatic bedtime story about what would happen if a drawer was pulled too far…. It involved beads, the shortcomings of our vacuum, and the dynamics of hard round things on tile flooring and tender little foot-soles….

I’ll list some of the other options I looked at shortly…. Some cool things for storing for folks like me that are combining family and work and art and then taming them into a happy and less frustrated ball of goodness.

I’m back from outerspace…

20 Jun

Ok. So not *actually* outerspace, more like innerspace (and no, Dennis Quaid was not there and I was not stuck in the 80’s :-)

June 14th, Flag Day here in the US, is always a “holiday” in our home. It is the anniversary of my diagnosis with Type 1 (“juvenile”) diabetes and each year we celebrate (Jeff takes the day off and there is usually cake or chocolate involved- kind of a way to safely give the big D the ol’ stinkeye….) . Some folks just don’t understand and think it’s sick that we’d celebrate another year of such a shitty, all consuming disease. We call it D-Day in our home and we definitely celebrate- we aren’t trying to make light of such a serious disease (although I do make plenty of corny diabetes jokes) -we are actually celebrating another year of my hard work to keep this disease from maiming or killing me. It’s a big Hip-hip-horray! for another year without complications.

This year was different.

Despite a lot of hard work after 14 years of ups and downs and strange happenings this was the first D-Day where I couldn’t celebrate another year being complication-free. In the past couple of weeks my docs have all agreed that it seems that I have autonomic neuropathy. Basically it means that the nerves that regulate my heart rate, breathing, digestion, balance, etc are crapping out. Actually, it’s not just my autonomic nervous system either. My hands shake and detailed work is a challenge- a challenge I happily take on but yeah, there are tears and a lot of frustration. I’m glad this didn’t happen when I was younger. I’m more levelheaded now. I’m also more bullheaded- but it’s a focused bullheadedness. I don’t just lower my head and strike whatever is in front of me, these days I aim and focus all that energy at appropriate (most of the time) targets.

With creating/crafting/metalwork/jewelrymaking this means that I’m modifying tools and techniques where I can. I’m using a pistol grip rotary tool instead of a traditional flex shaft. I’m learning to push myself less physically – I can no longer work until the muscles in my hands and wrists go numb or cramp up because that means I can’t even pick up a pencil for at least a week. So I’m pushing myself more creatively. I’m reading a lot more. I’m languidly playing with materials and discovering as many of their possibilities as possible – sometimes without the intention of actually making anything with a largish scrap of silver- sometimes I just hammer and play. Melt and play. It’s meditative. It keeps me out of trouble. And I’m writing down everything and instead of spending hours figuring out a new piece I’m actually keeping a sketchbook fairly regularly. That way I’m being smarter with the little time I have to fabricate. I’m learning to take baby steps again and once the initial frustration passes (and the little patches of residual frustration!) I’m finding it to be calming and centering. It’s like I’m letting go of the material (the finished product to introduce to the public…keeping up with listing new stuff on venues such as Etsy) and just enjoying the process, the experience…. The interesting thing is that by reaching this meditative point of creating I’ve also found myself to be more productive than before I got my big news… I’m also finding the materials to be more malleable and creating with metal is less a recollection of what I’ve learned in the past (I’m self-taught and learn by doing and experimentation, if I don’t do it that way everything escapes me) and more of a natural motion- as natural as breathing in and out. As natural as the rhythmic pumping of a heart. As natural as standing up without blacking out. I’m focusing on my creations to work through this but also as a reminded of what I do still have control over.

Ok now a little poll/survey question thingy:

If you have arthritis/carpal tunnel/hand tremors/structural issues- what mods have you made to your crafting tools/equipment or are there any tools and/or accessories you have found particularly helpful?  Thanks in advance!

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