Thank you + Jot is out now

Saturday, March 29, 2014

(This morning.  Awesome Autumn day.)
A couple of lovely things happened this week which put a big smile on my face. I want to give a big shout out and thank you to the lovely Caylee for including me in a post about her favourite bloggers.  It's rather surreal to read about yourself through the eyes of someone else!  I was literally humbled to read this and so honoured to be listed among the other people; some I have been following for their awesome blogs/work and some I have added to my favourites now.

I also had an email from Kim at Jot magazine to say one of my project life spreads will be in Issue 5, which I think is due out today.  I'll update here when it is live. (Edited: Yes it's live online now  through the above link). So honoured to have had my work in 3 issues now:)

I'm also (im)patiently waiting for a message to collect my photos so I can finish a series of project life pages. Seriously hoping for these in the next couple of days.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy your weekend.  It's an absolutely gorgeous day here.  Anna has gone on an overnight tramp for her Duke of Edinburgh Award out to one of the islands in the harbour.  She is having some amazing adventures.  I'm off to the garden centre and later out to dinner with hubby so Nicholas can have a few hours of peace and quiet to watch a special movie. Love Saturdays.

Thank you, I'm doing pretty good...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I just realised how many times I've been asked in the last few weeks "How are you doing?" Those people include my mum, my doctor and friends.  What they are meaning is "How are you coping as the mum of a fairly newly diagnosed Aspie teen?".
completely unrelated photo but I like a photo in the post!
It's something I had decided I would never write about here because the last thing I want to do is upset my ASD son if he should stumble across this.  What made me stop and rethink was that my daughter is volunteering at Riding for the Disabled on Saturdays and a few weeks ago she had a training session.  They learned about the different disabilities the children have and how riding horses helps them.  One of the disabilities discussed was autism. The question was asked.  Has anyone had experience with this, so she raised her hand and found herself answering questions about having a brother with Asperger's Syndrome (or ASD as it is now known... Autism Spectrum Disorder).

She was asked if she, or her mum, would like to come to a future training session to talk about ASD.  She asked if I would do it.  At first I thought, I'm no expert... how could I give advice to anyone?  But on thinking, in the last year I've researched a lot online, read most of this book by Australian Tony Attwood (which I can recommend highly), worked my way through New Zealand's health system trying to get answers and as much help as we can, I've had some great advice from a couple of other ASD mums and I've learned to take one day at a time - actually one minute, one hour sometimes - such can be the fickle nature of things.

I've shed way too many tears, harboured too much anxiety, learned that I have to be strong, and that I will make it my mission to help him find the best life he can have.

I can advise the volunteers that those with ASD frequently need information up front and in small bite size pieces. Too much at once creates overload and that equals stress. Stress is to avoided! I can advise them they may not engage in much conversation and to think of asking questions requiring a one word or short answer.  I can advise them their minds may wander to their topic of interest and they may have difficulty focusing on the topic at hand. I can advise them not to judge them by their style/clothes.  They may not be dressed as expected.  They may like certain comfortable clothes and be completely unconcerned about the weather or fashion. I can advise them not to be offended if spoken to in an offensive way as that is usually triggered by stress and usually not meant. I can advise them that they may have noise and other sensitivities. And the list goes on.

It's overwhelming at times and bewildering. I'm certainly no expert but I have a year's experience behind me now. What people need to know is that people with ASD are usually very bright, intelligent individuals.  I've learned so much from my son. I love him to bits and wish the rest of the world could get to know the real young man behind the quiet facade outside of home.

If I can help tell the world about my experience with ASD, then I'm going to embrace the opportunity.

I repeat that I'm no expert in this area, and any opinion is entirely my own.

PS - I just read this to my hubby before posting, just to make sure I was doing the right thing...and I burst into tears, such is the emotion that goes with this life of mine. I also wanted to say that I'm careful how I record this in my PL pages.  After advice from other mums, I have eluded sometimes to difficult times, and written on the back of cards, so the story is recorded but not for all eyes looking through the albums.  I'd love to hear from others how you record your story.

Project Life - An evening in the life!

Monday, March 24, 2014

These days it's a miracle to get my family together, let alone get a family photo!  During week 10, both children ended up in the lounge with me for a while with the usual type of conversation going... lead by Nicholas - rate these in order, who's your favourite, can you guess, can you name 10... etc. Tiring as these conversations can be, I relish the opportunity to talk with him, and have him engage in a family conversation.

I also try to get some sort of photo of him, even if it does include the usual 'prop' aka Shelby, the dog.  I managed to get everyone photographed and it was a fun evening, so I decided to make page for just that evening.  I'm already liking looking back at a small snapshot in time.  I must do more of these. It sits alongside a single week 10 page.

Supplies used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Design A and 8.5x11 pages
Becky Higgins "It's a Man's World" and Midnight Edition filler cards
Paislee Press digital cards
Ali Edwards digital elements

Heidi Swapp freebie - choose happy

I've posted these weeks out of order.  Week 11 is in my previous post.  Thanks for stopping by.

Project Life - Week 11

Saturday, March 22, 2014

After much {too much} deliberation + messing about with different sized pages for weeks, I have decided to trial 8.5 x 11 for a while.
(which Ali Edwards word art to use?  This photo called for a word scramble:)

It wasn't an easy decision.  There were so many negatives running through my head - the logistics of this size is not so simple in NZ.  We work in A4 which is narrower and longer than US letter size.  Printing larger collages is expensive here and it's much harder and more expensive to source divided plastics and albums this size here.

So why do it?  I've had a vision of this portrait orientation and size for ages. I used to scrap this size the last few years I scrapbooked in traditional style.  I like the smaller format.  I like a design challenge!  I decided if I could list 5 good reasons, then I'd go with it.  I did, so I am:)  The rest will sort itself out as I go.

I'm just annoyed that I didn't bite the bullet at the start of the year. If it doesn't work out, I'll just revert to 12x12.

So far I'm loving it.  I'm looking forward to completing the next few weeks.  I have ideas for some weeks more photos, sometimes extra stories added in, some collages, some divided pages..My divided page protectors have arrived from USA.  Thanks for a great service Looking forward to experimenting.  I think for now I'll keep a weekly format plus extras where I can group the photos in what I feel is a more logical way, if that makes sense?

During this week there was much hype about Tropical Cyclone Lusi hitting NZ Friday night after causing havoc in Vanuatu. We woke up to an amazing sunrise Friday. This was honestly the most amazing sunrise I've ever seen.  The reality was so much more dramatic than the photos I took.  The sky was on fire.  But 'red in the morning, shepherd's warning'... we were worried about what was coming! However, it was all a bit of an anti climax - thankfully.  There was damage elsewhere.  It was a wild and windy day with some rain, but nothing like we expected.

So far, I love the clean simplicity.  I'm sure I will mix things up in the weeks to come!

Supplies used:
Becky Higgins page protectors
Ali Edwards digital words
Paislee Press digital elements

One Little Word 2014 update

Saturday, March 8, 2014

This is my second year doing One Little Word.  Last year I felt my way along with it, if that makes sense.  I let it guide my process with everything and felt so much satisfaction.  My word was simplicity and it gives me such a clear head space when I have that in my life.

This year my word moment has come racing at me in every direction.  It got so overwhelming that I had to try and narrow down my focus and how I would approach this word.  I talked about this process here.

I have to say that after January I decided to just go along with however this word impacted my life.  This was possible because of the intentions Ali had us create in January and the Action Plan I set.

It's strange and so cool how, with a class like this which gives you the focus to put things in place, that one word can direct you... if you want it to and if you let it.

I notice so many things I would call a moment.  I strive to be more present in the moment.  Probably one of the things I've actively put in place is taking a moment - time out where I can think, write down ideas, clear my head.  Whatever is needed at the time.  Some days I sit at the beach down the road and just stare out at the sea for a minute.
And then there are the projects.  I created this vision board from a prompt and with inspiration from Ali Edwards.  It came together really quickly and I absolutely loved the process and I love the result.  It's now hanging above my desk so it can impact on me each day and I'm in the process of creating something for the adjacent wall.  So many ideas.  I'm very conscious of one of my intentions - seize the moment.  I need to focus and run with some of that inspiration!

You can read all my previous posts about my OLW here.

One Little Word is a class run by Ali Edwards.

Project Life - Week 9

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A cool change has definitely arrived with March.  It's still mild and pretty warm but the mornings are much cooler these last few days and we're reaching for another layer.  I even dragged out my slippers!  I think we'll still get some really hot days though.  Summer can't be over yet!

Not many photos this week so I chose to enlarge this gorgeous hibiscus flower I snapped with my iphone on my walk.  I'm glad I managed to get a few school uniform photos even if one child refused to face me for a photo!

I was ecstatic to find that Tip Top reintroduced the Strawberry Toppa for summer.  I should start the campaign to bring them back for good.  They have always been a favourite.  Yum!
All in all, simple and done...

Supplies used:
Becky Higgins page protectors
Becky Higgins Midnight Edition journaling card
Paislee Press digital cards and elements
Ali Edwards digital words

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