A blog to share about Adrenal insufficiency, Addison's Disease, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, Music, Inspiration, Scrapbooking and other elements viewed through the lens of my life. I'm hoping that others who are traveling this journey may find some commonality, and maybe some information and inspiration.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Big Idea Festival

I participated recently (in fits and starts) in the Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Classes. I get busy during the week and don't always get to class assignments, but I managed to catch up over the weekend and got the project done.

Here are the photos from my project:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Fixing" Autism

My friend Trish recently posted this video link on her Facebook page:

"Fixing" Autism

Please watch it before you read my comments.

I personally was very effected by this video. Here's why.

I have an autistic granddaughter. She isn't a typical autistic child, in that the doctors are pretty sure that her autistic behaviors stem from her double-whammy: optic nerve hypoplasia/septic-optic dysplasia and brain complications from a metabolic disorder.

But she behaves like an autistic child, including extremely delayed verbal functioning, perseverating, melt-downs, etc. She is is a very wonderful special education program at a public school, and has lately been making strides with her verbal communication skills that are amazing us all. Not that she is anywhere near a typical seven year old. But we are thrilled with any progress that comes our way. And she is an amazing little person, full of the joy of life, excitement, enthusiasm, and energy.

I loved almost all of this video. I think that he did a great job making it. But I was, initially, put off my his last card. Because I don't think that there is a way to "fix" autism, as if it were an infection that needs an antibiotic, or some other quick fix.

Even if my granddaughter could wake up tomorrow morning with a completely normal functioning brain, she would still have the effects of all these years she has lost to her disability. I do hope that some day we will have a much much better understanding of autism, its causes and best treatments. But for those who have lost years to autism, there would be long lasting effects. Hopefully ones that could be overcome, but the struggle would not be over.

And in one sense, "fix" implies that they are broken, like a clock that has stopped working and can be repaired. Autistic people are certainly different, and they certainly have special needs. I just don't think they are broken. A disability that effects the brain just requires different accommodations and treatments than one that effects the joints, or the connective tissue. Many of us have a disability of one kind or another, to one degree or another. And often there is no cure, only treatments and work-arounds and dealing with what is.

I did take the time to check out the blog written by the video's creator, and after reading comments and responses, I understand that he doesn't mean to imply that autistic children are broken, either. Which is why he has it in quotes.

The video and the blog both brought up a lot of thinking and a lot of discussion about autism, and I think that's a very good thing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big Idea Festival

I've been enjoying The Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Classes.

I have decided not to use any pictures, but rather to use quotes and lists to explore the word of the day. I'm using the kit that Big Picture offered. While I'm 99% a digital scrapbooker, every once in awhile I like to make mini books using traditional supplies.

I added Diamond Glaze here and there to make some of my circles cut from patterned paper "pop" off the page.

Big Idea Festival

I've been enjoying The Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Classes.

I have decided not to use any pictures, but rather to use quotes and lists to explore the word of the day. I'm using the kit that Big Picture offered. While I'm 99% a digital scrapbooker, every once in awhile I like to make mini books using traditional supplies.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Katie the Scrapbook Lady recently announced Power Scrap It, a set of actions for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Having recently taken her Digi Power Scrapping class at Big Picture Classes, I was sure this would be good, so I bought them.

I've been playing around with them a bit since I purchased them last night, and I know I'm going to use these actions all the time. They make is so fast and easy to put a layout together, especially using templates, which I do much of the time.

I did this layout in about 15 minutes, from start to finish, including locating the photo and converting it to black and white:

Papers and embellishments are from this lovely kit by Lynn Grievson

Granted, I didn't do any journaling, which would have taken a few more minutes.

My favorite actions are for batch adding files to the layout. They bring in entire folders of files, and I used them to bring in the whole digit kit I had chosen. I wasn't sure this was going to be terribly helpful to me, having so many layers to sort through. But after watching Wendy's video that comes with the actions, I was blown away with how quick and easy it is to try various papers and embellishments and place them on the page.

There is one action I wish was included, which would be to delete the hidden layers. I already have an action from someone else that does this, but it would be nice to have in the set.

I also wish that the action to begin with a template closed the original file. As it is now, it opens the template but also leave the original file open.

The conclusion is that this action set is so completely worth the $9.99 price (currently on special at that price).

Week in the Life

I'm happy to report that I took the plunge and participated in Ali Edwards' Week in the Life project this year. Anything that requires me to be somewhat consistent over a stretch of days leaves me with sweaty palms, but I've taken enough classes with Ali to believe what she says, and she said it was very doable, so I did it.

And she was right. It helps that while the focus is on one week, the project can stretch out longer than that. Last week was focused on photography and journaling the everyday and otherwise. It was a pretty routine week around here, so most of my photographs are everyday things. But I did manage to get some photos I really love and the rest are fine for this project.

Trishn and I are working on this project together, and we decided not to use Ali's templates, so I spent an evening creating some 8x8 templates on a basic grid to use for my project. Trishn and I both decided to do it extremely simply, with a big focus on pictures, so only minimal journaling space was required. I used Ali's The Story of This Day and The Story of Today brushes/overlays. Ali's brushes are available at Designer Digitals.

Since I'm making an 8x8 album, and I didn't want to be bothered with trimming pages from Costco, and Persnickety Prints was having a special so the price was approximately the same, I ordered online. They haven't arrived yet, but should today.

I'm happy with how the pages turned out, happy I did the project. I plan on participating again next year and adding pages to my album. I'm using an American Crafts D-ring album, so adding pages next year will be easy.

This is the kind of project that you can do any week you want, so if you didn't join in last week, just pick a week and do it!