Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Racktacular event to help individuals with breast cancer

Rock and roll and breasts....what could be better ?

Just heard about an event in MPLS this Friday ....RACKTACULAR .

You can read about more details on this cool blog...(copy and past, can't get my links button to work anymore...arrrggg)....


It was a bit last minute for me, but I threw together a donation box for the auction and thought I would include some pictures that I rushed to make before I got it into the mail .

I don't have any idea what else will be in the auction but can tell you a bit about what I sent...

-An alien pod needle felt necklace
-a "Stop calling people from other countries aliens=one world" necklace
with a metal earth, tiny alien and "homey" on leather cord
-a hand knit pinkish sweater re-purpose as a neck warmer (with fleece lining, vintage button (I think it's wool and mohair but not sure as their was no tag .
-Beaded suede bag for clubbing...can wear around neck, hands free dancing
-Clip on needle felt bag with peacock colors and vintage button
-driftwood look needle felt slip on bracelet
-re-purposed , beaded fringe collar necklace

I sent some of my funkier items because I was told that many of the attendees are
in the fashion business and thought they wouldn't mind some items that aren't exactly "traditional" . I once again did a lousy job being "business minded", as I didn't have time to add any professional looking labels (don't have any...yet), but did throw in a few business cards so maybe someone will come visit my Etsy store. To bad I still don't have any of my felt items listed there for them to look at..... (Gosh...businessy stuff is hard .)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blogging........ why they call it the "web"

First off, I would just like to encourage anyone interested in learning and being inspired by other felters, to check out some of the blogs I follow . You can find them on the right side of this blog and there are some amazing artists listed . There are also a few Asperger related blogs there as well, and I hope to list more when I have the time to separate them from the felting blogs . With the exception of my own blog, most blogs will be easy to categorize as either "aspie or felting related .

Most of these blogs also have other blogs that they follow and are worth checking out as well . Each thread leads to the next and that is what I have become entangeled in...the web is very aptly named . I just trid to organize some of the blogs I have bookmarked and found out I have 377 blogs that I follow...this may take longer then I realized .

Another thing I found out while blogging, is that you can often click on the pictures in the blogs and they will enlarge and show more detail . Try it, it's a great way to get a better idea of the texture of the wool felt .

I hope to eventually create more organized blog rolls, separating them into felting, other crafts, Aspergers related . I will also try and edit out the blogs that are not updated as often, though some I keep because they still contain interesting inspiration and techniques .

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ask Michelle Obama to Meet With Autism Families

Ask Michelle Obama to Meet With Autism Families

Do you have felting madness ?

Just a quick resource for anyone looking for some great looking fiber for spinning or felting . I haven't actually purchased from them yet (already way over my fiber budget this month), but I certainly will be back there next month .


I also copied(hope that was OK) something they had listed on the site that I can certainly relate to....

Do You Have Felting Madness?
Signs and Symptoms of Felting Madness

* You deny that you have felting madness
* You don't understand why everyone doesn't want to felt
* More than 50% of your friends are felters
* You find it difficult to stop felting after only one felting project
* More than once, you have felted until you passed out
* Fiber has taken over the second story of your home
* You have sworn, "I'm never going to felt again", but that only lasts a couple of days - at most
* You have woken up after felting in a strange place, but you don't remember how you got there
* You know the felting handshake
* You have started taking felting projects to work to felt during your workday
* You hide fiber from family
* You regularly complete more than seven major felting projects per week
* You shout, "The hunt was successful!", when you carry bags of fiber out from a fiber festival
* You are an active member of a felters 12-Step program

I would just add to that list....

You regularly find yourself paying rent a week late because you have spent more then allotted in your fiber budget

You have so much fiber that you can't find the one color you want when you need it

(And what is the felting handshake ?)

ADD vs Obsessive focus in Aspergers (part 2)

The previous post was originally meant to begin my self analysis of how someone with ADD and Aspergers functions . They seem, on the surface to be quit contradictory in functioning .....

Aspergers=complete focus .

What the post ended up being, was an example of how my mind goes off on tangents, like trying to unweave a spiderweb . I believe that actually shows an overlap of ADD and Aspergers . The former has a tendency of the brain getting distracted and the latter shows how focusing on the small things makes someone find seeing the whole picture more difficult . So, although I didn't actually "get to" my original question about how ADD and Aspergers work together...I think it is illustrated in the writing style itself .

A further illustration of this would be my experience in college writing research papers .

I was fortunately to have teachers who encouraged us to pick topics we were interested in . I loved learning, researching and reading, so this part was great for me . I would come back from the Library with as many pounds of books I could carry and read them all . Each book would have their own references listed, so I would try and check out these books as well...each thread of the web leading to the next . Sometimes one of those books would perk my interest in something totally unrelated to the paper topic....(like a reference book about the historical use of herbs in healing, when doing a paper on the history of witchcraft in Europe) . This might lead to a few "wasted days" studying plants used in ointments to heal skin infections . Sometimes, this leads to my having to pull my mind away from the distraction which feels a bit like pulling off your skin . I'm exaggerating a bit but I want to make the point that it does hurt in an almost physical way .

Now, I was very fortunate to have a teacher in High school, who actually showed us how to structure a paper.....A)balbalbla

I found this very helpful, except it was not easy for me to decide where each bit of information would fall .

That goes back to why I am having such a difficult time organizing my house and especially crafting supplies . Do "ribbons" go best with other long bits of decoration...lace, yarns, ect. OR Should I put them with the things I will use them for...decorating my small bags or my dolls ? Should my exacto-knives go with my scissors or with my hammer and screwdriver since I use it for crafting and house repairs ?

The other connection to my difficulty writing a paper and organizing my crafting supplies is that I never know when to stop collecting resources . Collecting is actually part of an almost pathological need to have "everything" together before I can start building "the whole picture " . Life feels like a puzzle and you know how frustrating it is to try and but together a puzzle if your missing pieces . So, I have a compulsion to find any piece that might fit . However, the problem is that I often have things I don't need....imagine trying to put together a puzzle when you have not only the pieces from one puzzle but several all mixed together .

This is usually the part where my brain/computer crashes . I have to much information/things but only 1GB of space to store them . I feel stressed and over whelmed and end up returning to a less complicated "interest"...like poking a needle in a bit of wool or reading blogs -> one of my current "interests" . Allowing myself to focus on one thing at a time, feels like being able to take a breath of air after being held underwater for a few minutes .

Which brings me back to the difference of someone who "just" is Asperger and can focus on that one thing without distraction and myself, who can focus on one thing as long as it is an "interest" BUT is also being constantly intruded on by seeing "tangents" and interconnecting webs that I feel pulled to follow .

Before learning about Aspergers and some co-morbids, I often wondered if I had multiple personality disorder because I often felt like I was at battle with myself.
Part of me wanting to focus on a "thing" and another trying to tare me away .

"You think to much" is a refrain I have heard from both therapists and past boyfriends . (That isn't a helpful comment by the way ) . I believe what they really meant is..."You think wrong/different from me" . To that I would concur but also "think" that others don't allows think enough and the world has seen some of the disastrous results of that...(war, global warming, genocide...GW Bush).

So, here I am, trying to focus on writing some logical analysis of "what is wrong with me and how can I fix it" while the voices in my head say...

Go organize your craft supplies so you can finish your items for the store
Get up and clean so you can make a space to wet felt
go clean, so you can have a place to photograph your items

and another voice says.....

Didn't you want to read more about how to dye with natural dyes
Shouldn't you check the internet for places to buy shipping supplies

and another voice says....

Weren't you going to work on the "Eyes of Time" book and dolls ?
Weren't you going to get some addresses to send the book to some other aspies ?

and that is why I am in a perpetual state of scream...(think Edward Munch)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

ADD vs Obsessive focus in Aspergers (part 1)

"I should be cleaning/organizing" is pretty much a constant mantra in my head . One that has very little effect on my actual behavior, but I'm sure it does take some energy to constantly be ignoring it .

This has led me to wonder, as I have most of my life...."what the heck is wrong with me and how can I try and make myself function better ." "Function better" is a very relative term based on each individuals ability, priorities and values . I think, from a logic perspective, it is easiest to reach a goal if you fist define the terms your using to measure the out come....(very sciency stuff so I will try and begin there .


is one of the most difficult for me to define . When I originally went in for DX to see if I was Asperger, I did so because I felt that something was blocking what I felt was my potential . I was a 45 year old women with a BA and considered intelligent and insightful according to others,(unless they were lying ?), and yet I was remained stuck at entry level jobs . I read incessantly and yet could barely spell above a 10th grade level. I had panic attacks while driving an hadn't gotten my license until I was 3 . Co-workers were nice to me but none seemed interested in developing a friendship. I was often told what a hard worker I was but no one ever suggested that I "move up" in the companies I worked for . I know you have to actually seek out and promote your self...."smoozing anyone"...but I did not have this ability . I can lie but I am very bad about it and have to work hard to even say anything misleading. That might not seem like a bad thing but I can assure you, it is a requirement for just about any management level job .

I had hoped that I would be able to take some kind of career development testing as part of the Aspergers DX but they offer nothing in that area . If your a recovering alcoholic, leaving jail, or have other neurological conditions, you often can get such testing, but it's not a resource available if you are able to work even the most menial job . I know in this economy, having any job is a blessing but I do think that there are many Aspies who are a wasted resource to society because their specific abilities are not being tapped . A bit like having a reserve of oil under your feet but deciding the cost of excavation is to high to bother . What I am not saying is that "I" am such an aspie . That is just what I was hoping to find out during the DX . Do I have some abilities that are going unused because I don't know where they would be most useful ? The truth is, I am blind to many of my own abilities and disabilities . Until I begin researching about Aspergers and the most common co-morbids, I had no idea that there where people whose brains seemed to do things that mind did not and vise-versa . I could observe differences but had no language for it so found it difficult to understand the "why" .


This one is a bit easier for my to define as it is personal and knowable to me .
Based on the pyramid of needs , I am with Maslow on basic needs of shelter, food sleep and other biological necessities begin met first . I do not like being dependent on the government or family to meet these needs for me . However even with the intellectual knowledge of these things being most important....I have found times when they took a back seat to my obsessions . I consider myself fortunate that I can stop what I am doing long enough to go to the bathroom though I have waited...until the last second a few times . Food is not often a priority unless I get to the point where I can no longer ignore the burning pain in my stomach . Hygiene is very low on my list of needs perfunctory at best to avoid possible skin infections and further dental problems or offending others if I have to leave the house . It's not something I enjoy and I happen to think that it is less neurotic then some "normal" peoples need to shower everyday or wash clothes they wore for a few hours . My theory is that you are doing your immune system a favor by exposing yourself less to toxic cleaning chemicals and more to some natural bacteria .

Priority two is ...time to engage in my "special interests" . Ideally, I would like to get a job doing them . Unfortunately, I have yet to find a job that allowed me to read only the books that I want and not have to edit or critic it, both of which ruins why I read a book...to learn and to feel and to laugh . No one's going to pay me to laugh . The other problem with this is that my interests change . One day, I just stumble upon something else that catches my interest and the old one goes on the back burner to stew awhile . Why....? That is what I am interested in understanding . It just seems that I reach a peek of understanding and it is as far as I am able to go with it .

After 45 years of such changing interests, I often find myself dipping back into old interests as they relate to a new subject . For example, I had an interest in plants used for healing for several years, collecting books and samples and tried to teach myself how to process them but...my memory (often the culprit of my stopping from going further in an interest), made it difficult for my to identify a plant without carrying a back pack of reference books everywhere I went . Not being able to spell, also made it difficult for me to recall their Latin names . I think I would have gone into the sciences had I not had such a problem reading those words .

in summery...meeting basic bodily needs and time for my interests are highest priority for me .

The next step up on my pyramid would be having things, people, animals to give and receive love from . Some times in my life, that was a cat or a rock or a book . For the past 7 years it has been human, which has the added benefit of something that can communicate back on a different level then I am used to, but that I enjoy . Having met some very cool people on the internet has also opened up this area of my life . I still find it difficult sometimes as animate objects....animals and people often don't understand how "interests" could possibly be listed before "them" . I wish I could make them understand that it is not from lack of love for them but an actual physical need for me . I do my best to compromise but I have often lost "friendships" because of this "need" .

What's not high on my list of priorities is social status...though I would prefer not being invisible ALL the time and like it if someone likes the things I do, make, say . I'm not immune to others opinion of me but if doesn't carry the weight of my own values about who I should be .


I think this is one of the most bothersome issues of my work life . I do not believe I have the right to hold others to my values or opinions and don't think they are bad people if they don't share them . That doesn't mean I want to hang-out with some of them, but I don't spend a lot of time and energy evaluating their life choices . The exception would be "mean people" , "greedy people and "people who have no interest in educating themselves but desire to control others based on their ignorant beliefs" .Yeah, those people do bother me and often make me wish to avoid people all together because they wear such clever camouflage that I often don't recognize them until it's to late to avoid them .

So my personal top value is to avoid doing things that are against my own ethics .
My ethics mostly consist of trying to avoid harming the living things more then necessary for my own survival . There were times when I wanted to die because I felt like just being alive contributed to much pain to the planet and others . I can not eat inert matter and survive . Something must die for me to feed this husk . It seemed to me to be a very bad way of setting up the universe but I will spare you the 10 pages of my thoughts on this topic . Just to say, I have decide that since this is the universe I currently find myself, I have tried to make the best of it .

Values/ethics in practical terms means this to me....

I can not work at a job where I must constantly lie to others
I can not work a job where I must trick, manipulate or mislead others for gain
I can not work at a job that contributes to the harm of animals, earth or humans
I can not work at a company that values cash flow over humans, animals or earth

Have I ever ? Yep, I have worked several jobs in social service that I believed went against my own ethics and I would often speak up....(yes, that may be why I as never advanced above entry level position .) I have justified staying in these jobs based on two factors . One is that I believed that my advocating for the clients had some value to them even if I couldn't get the changes I thought were more ethical . The other is that I believed that abandoning them, just to avoid my own discomfort with a breaking of my ethical values, would be selfish .

How does this all apply to ADD and Aspergers.....? More tomorrow, (unless actually decide to do some cleaning) .

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Learning to felt

I just found a great site for learning methods of felting including wet and nuno and felting around a resist .They are free, but I encourage a donation if you can, because she has obviously put a lot of work into the tutorial videos .

Here's the link and have fun !


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

American Airlines thinks I'm psychotic ? Or Needle felting needles, the new terrorist weapon of choice ?

The above is an example of needles for needle felting, basically they are about the same dimension as a sewing needle, but the ones I was using on the flight are only one inch long (cut off from the base) and loaded into a metal holder so you can hold it easier . The "weapon", I was using was only a one needle holder and I do think the 8 needle holder does look scary, so I packed that on my checked bag . Either way, the needle and holder I had on the plain went through the the security scans without concerns .


Had an interesting occurrence on the flight from MPLS . Right before we took off, the middle aged man sitting next to me..."disappeared" and a stewardess approached me and asked what I was doing . I was needle felting a mostly finished bag to tighten up the fibers, with my small single needle . I showed the whole thing to her and explained the principle of felting . A few minutes later, another stewardess appeared and I went through the whole thing again, letting her hold the needle and see what it was . A few minutes later, first one showed up again and said the pilot wanted to see this "item", as it could be considered a weapon..."if, someone was mentally unbalanced, they could use it to poke someone " . OK, I think it was her term "mentally unbalanced" that set me off, but I was beginning to lose my patience at this point and told her...."Lady, I could do more damage to someone with my teeth then this tiny needle ." Provoking, yes, but the absurdity of this was going from amusing to frustrating . Some guy behind me chipped in that he would be glad to "take me down" if I started attacking people with it . I think several other people listening to all this also thought it absurd, which emboldened me and I held the needle high as I walked to the front and told everyone...."Be careful, deadly needle coming through ."

So, I get up to the pilot and once again, explained what I had and what it was for and he said he needed to confiscate it until after we landed so "could I hand it over to him if that wasn't to much trouble ."

I said it was trouble for me, as I was insulted to be profiled as so psychotic looking that I would start poking people and that there was bound to be many other people here with pins, needles and other objects that "could" be used as a weapon and why was I being singled out . I also told him I had gone to the companies own web-site to check their policies on unacceptable items and this was not only not on the list but it said that someone could bring on scissors, a screw driver and even a knife as long as it was under 4 inches long .

I was angry but I tried to keep my voice under control and be logical about all this and felt like they were not being reasonable . In the end, I did turn over my needles because I didn't want to get kicked off and miss my connecting flight to Kansas . I spent the first hour of the flight facing the window and crying . Absurd of me, I know, but I was already stressed about making the trip, seeing family I hadn't seen in 10 years and just a general change to my normal routine . Not being able to smoke for hours didn't help the situation much either . My thought was just a repeating phrase in my head..."I must look psychotic or they would not have taken away my needle ".

When the plane landed, a stewardess, came up to me and apologized for the "situation" and what she thought was an "over reaction by one customer and one other stewardess" . She also offered me a small bottle of champagne, which I declined . (I didn't want to risk 20 years of sobriety for just some silly over reaction by them or by me .) I did give her one of my needle felted bags for being the only one to speak up in my defense.

As I was leaving the plane, the pilot pulled me aside and also apologized and said he had been trying to contact the company "management" for permission to up-grade my next flight to 1st class . He did seem very kind and I appreciated that he was in a awkward position if I had been crazy and had gone on a "poking frenzy", he would have been held accountable for my felting passengers or at least any lose wool they might be carrying.

On a more cynical note, he could have still believed I was psychotic and didn't want me to try and sue the company for "something" . I've never been a litigious sort of person, that would actually require me to speak to even more strangers and that is not worth the trouble for me but they couldn't have known that .

All's well that ends well, needles were returned and I restrained myself from any further felting on any planes . I gave my father my up-grade, which he said consisted of a few extra inches of room and a real glass for his water..(luckily, they were not concerned he might break it and turn it into a weapon, as evidently, an 80 year old, 6'3" male is of less concern then a 46 year old female..with tattoos and Aspergers ?)

Now, I know there will be a few people who will say..."hey, it's a post 9-11 world, we all have to make sacrifices . " and that is exactly what I would like to address with the following "poorly para-phrased" quotes asking people to look a bit deeper into what they are willing to sacrifice for security .

The first is from "someone smart and famous", ie not me, so having far more influence then anything I could say....

"Those who sacrifice freedom for security, deserve neither ."

I'm personally willing to give up bringing bottled water and hatchets into the airport, but I think we all should decide how far we are willing to go in sacrificing one thing for another . In other words, I'm not personally promoting anarchy...(I don't have enough faith in humans to believe that effective), but I do think that our society has gone past common sense into the realm of self delusion if we believe that such small restrictions are actually going to protect us from the true psychotics who wish to hurt people .

The second quote is actually a poem

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not protest;
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak for me

OK, I'm not claiming that my situation was comparable to being locked into a concentration camp and would hope that people will indulge my using this poem for such a small transgression of my "rights" . My intention is only to make the point that if each of us are silent when we see something we believe to be an absurd infringement of human rights...wither it be water boarding, ease dropping on Americans phone calls or removing an item from them that they could "potentially" use as a weapon even when it does not meet their own criteria of a "potential weapon"
simply because it bothers someone else....that is a problem that we might want to give some thought .

Sorry Dorthy, your not in Kansas any more

(I'm not sure how I managed it but I seem to be unable to "see" the photos when I am editing to write beneath them...Once again, I have been defeated by technology .)
That aside...
The first photo is a delicious birthday cake for my fathers birthday . It was served with some handmade ice-cream and some fresh strawberry and chocolate syrup...a suger overload but well worth it .

Also had my first taste of Gorgonzola cheese which I highly recommend for even the taste conservative as it was mild and creamy .

It was a great party celebrating both my fathers' and my brother Robs' birthdays . I am not including any family photos out of respect for their privacy (as well as having forgotten to turn on my flash...oops) .

The bird is a Dove that hangs out at Rob and his wife Dixies' house . Probably not very exciting to some, but I have never seen one "in the wild" and thought it was pretty neat .

The tan colored dog was just a neighbors' dog, who happened to be out walking and I couldn't resist giving this pony size critter a pet . They were both very nice .

The black lab belongs to my brother Dave and his wife Judy and is quit a clown and sure knows how to relax. We had several hours of playing and some fun walks together

We spent one afternoon walking around a local park where I spotted what I think is a swallowed tail butterfly, which you can see I became quit enamored with . I hope to incorporate into some of my needle felting soon, so I tried to get it a different angels .

Anyway, is was a wonderful trip and it was great to see my family again .

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Will be gone until July 13th

Just a quick note...)since I have to leave for the airport in one hour and am still not packed !)...to say that I will be visiting my family in Kansas until July 13th . Due to a slip back into addictive behavior/obsession of being on-line to much, I have decided not to take my computer . Will see how that goes as I have a feeling I will end up borrowing my parents...just to check my email...and end up getting lost in "google world" as usual . But I am making an effort to restrain myself .

That;s actually some thing I would like to talk about concerning AS and "perseverance/obsessions or what ever you prefer calling it . Prior to the AS DX, I just assumed that I had a "selective" addictive personality disorder . When the behavior got to the point of being self destructive..ie...I was forgetting to eat or sleep, being late for work or avoiding all human contact...I would try and avoid it as long as possible. This would result in an increase in my depression and anxiety and I would eventually find something new to obsess about .

I have yet to find a solution to the anxiety I feel when I restrict myself from my "interests/obsessions" but using RET therapy I believe that I have learned to endure some of the discomfort of stopping my preferred activity to at least attend to the basics of life . Part of this process is "reasoning" with myself . "Denise, do you really want to get nauseous and sick from not eating or sleeping ? " The other is Pavlovian in nature...I tell myself that I will get a reward if I follow through with those horrid things in life...like shopping for food or calling to make a DR's appointment . This is actually less effective as I have not yet over come my own procrastination voice saying...."OK...I will certainly do that later ". I actually mean it when I say this but some how "later" is not an actual "reality" but a vague concept that I don't fully grasp .

SO here I am, blogging away when I should be packing and telling myself..."Look, if you don't get off the computer right now, you are more likely to forget something that you really need and then will feel worse then you do stopping what you are doing now .

Off to pack and screaming inside..."I have more to say !"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Out door photo shoot of needle felt

After procrastinating for the past year on taking out door photos to list items on Etsy, my BF finally "guilted" me into doing it yesterday . The weather was perfect, I didn't have a headache, no pending obligations to use as an excuse . So, I lugged several bags of my felted things out-side, set down my little decorative "tree stump" and white dollies and realized I had forgotten my camera tri-pod . I didn't want to leave everything there where some dog could run off with something wooly or carry it all back inside, so I went with out . That was probably why I only got a few usable shots out of the 123 I took . Many are a bit out of focus or blurry and will have to be retaken .

Besides learning that tri=pods are important, I also have looked at the out-door and "in-door by a window" shots and decided that they really aren't any better out side. I think the best shots I have gotten are...using a tri-pod by a window on a semi cloudy day .



Anyone who stumbles here with an interest in aspergers rather then fuzzy wooly obsessions, will find the above site much more interesting and well written then any thing I can say about it . Not to say that I wont occasionally "wax philosophical" on the topic, as it is an important part of my life .

The specific topic that I googled,was co-morbids and there importance in AS . I was a bit disgusted how many adds for "aspergers cures" came up in the search . My personal opinion is the cure for aspergers is the same as the cure for being human.....death . That isn't to say that some of the more limiting co-morbids can not be made easier to deal with with some medications and cognitive therapy...(what I have found most helpful is avoiding alcohol and most social interactions and excepting that different IS OK as well as....75mg of Effexor, treatment for a low thyroid RET ) .

If people are genuinely concerned with helping aspies, they can begin by broadening their expectations of "acceptable" human experience, behavior,function and stop defining "optimal" as how "they/majority" experience/behave/function . Evidently, my belief is one that could fit the definition of "developmentally delayed" because I have believed it since I was about 5 . Yet here I remain, 40 years later, still believing that "different" does not equal "bad" .

One of these things doesn't look like the others"
seems to me to be propaganda designed by some very judgmental people trying to force children into putting everything into neat little boxes . That might be Ok when organizing your food cabinet so you can find the baked beans, but it doesn't work for human cognitive function. Here is something else to consider when looking into "curing aspergers" . How do you know that once you have changed the target behavior/belief, that you are not also going to lose what gives there life joy and meaning or any special "gifts" they may have .

A simple personal example is....suppose someone had made me better at socializing . I would have spent more time sitting around and chatting with friends about what a slut Paris Hilton is or how rude Jane was last Thursday . (yeah, I know, not all human interactions are so mundane but I have sat through more mindless chatter in my life then intellectually stimulating conversations ) . I don't think that is bad, talking about "nothing" with people you generally like . My point is that all those hours socializing would have robbed me of the hours of joy and satisfaction I get from reading and crafting and exploring the woods .

Obsessions go against the current social bias towards "balance" . Let me point out that "balance" is a current belief, probably invented by people with short attention spans...(judging by some of their inability for critacal thinking in general ...ohhh "snap" : ) It wasn't that long ago that humans seemed to be OK with being obsessed . The boy who was obsessed with "how things fly" became the expert in aerodynamics .
The women obsessed with plants healng properties became a witch(and was subsequently burned at the stack...uhm, guess it didn't always work out to well..but I degress) .

OK. I have to go cook dinner so I wont go through all the 8 criteria and the plethora of common co-morbids found in Aspergers to show how each negative has a positive side...(see how balanced my life is and how it gets in the way of my being more intellectually dedicated ? Some one with more "extreme" aspergers would forget to eat and delve deeper into the web of connections in human cognition and historical and social implications of it . That basically is my point . I'm glad that I can break away, it allows me to not have to rely on others to make sure that I am not going to starve to death and that is something that independence is something that I personally value in my life . But society needs those who do not break away . We need to nurture them because they have something valuable that should not be "cured"....at least with out their consent and desire and understanding of what they are sacrificing and in return for what

Note about Aspergers

The following is something I wrote today to someone I met on line . I'm including it in my blog because there are some issues I bring up that I have always wanted to talk about . I'm certainly no "expert" on Aspergers but I think that each of us having a voice is important in defining what "AS" is for us and if we don't speak up....there will be "others" who are more then willing to speak for us...(you know who you are, you sneaky money hungry lunatics) . When I began learning about AS, I did so by reading both the "experts" research and theories and reading blogs by other aspies . I also communicated for several years, for hours at a time, with other aspies on Wrong Planet . I think doing both was very helpful for my own understanding of AS .

One of the issues I have with bios on Aspergers is that some people might mistakenly believe that is all inclusive . That if they don't completely relate to the author, they must not be aspie . While it is true that many of us do find a lot of over-lap with some aspie bios and a few quirks that we never realized other humans had , people with as are no more "clones" the neurotypicals . My experience of being AS is NOT going to be the same as everyone elses experience of it .

So here is the letter I wrote to someone wondering if they are AS .....

Thanks for acknowledging my comment on your blog . I don't actually "talk" to many people on their blogs . Still getting used to the whole concept of talking to strangers but think it's good for me, as before computers, I could never talk to people at all . In school, this gave me the reputation of being "stuck up" but I was interested in people, just had no idea what to say and the racing heart from social anxiety, was just to painful to endure for long .

Why do I think it's important to talk to you about Aspergers ? Well, that's a bit complicated but comes down to my own life time of confusion about "what's wrong with me ?" I have felt like that from at least the age of 5 . That was about the time that I first developed the theory that I must be from another planet...(that was probably because I watched to much Star Trek, lol ). Humans just confused the heck out of me . Kids seemed so mean, my mother was always mad at me for "things" and I didn't understand why . I couldn't find other girls who liked the same things I did....spending hours in the woods looking at trees, bugs, rocks and animals .

Anyway, don't really mean to bore you with my own bio, just wanted to explain a bit about why I felt "alien" . I know there are other books from female aspies and I plan on reading them but haven't been able to find them in my library and am to "cheap" to buy them . Instead, I looked for information about Aspergers by goggeling it and reading everything I could about it . I also joined the web site "Wrong Planet. com" and just about lived there for a few years . The conclusion I came to was that there are some very important differences in how females with Aspergers navigate and experience the world . It actually make a alot of sense if you consider how hormones and social expectations effect females in general .

Aspergers has been described by some theorists as being "extrema male brain" . Many of the stereotypical traits of men are part of the DX of Aspergers but just seen as being more obvious in AS . I think they are not referring to the "loving sports, being aggressive, ect ." They are talking about...

men are more logical and less emotional..."Spock syndrome"
less interested in social communication, (don't need to chat as much)
less likely to understand other peoples feelings and how their behavior/words effects them
have "obsessive interests" more then females

I personally think that there is "some" validity in these stereotypes but I don't know if they are genetic of socialized differences . (I do think that there are some gender biases because males tend to be doing more research then females and their subjects often are more likely to be males). Logically , it would seem that if the "male brain" thing were true about AS...females with AS would stand out more and be more likely to be DXed but the opposite seems to be true . My theory is that "experts" tend to find what they are looking for and are influenced by their own biases . Females who have eventually beed Dxed with AS, have often first been DXed with....depression, social anxiety. ADD/ADHD,
border-line personality disorder, OCD or bi-polar disorder . Sometimes having multiple DXes to cover all the same traits that a male with AS has .

My current problem with AS DX and psychology in general, is how subject it is when it comes to DXing . Behavior and beliefs, are judged by another person and are completely influenced by interpretation . I will never be completely comfortable with the DX and research of Aspergers until there is a more scientific way of DXing it . I am pathologically logical person and the lack of science behind much of the current research is very frustrating to me .
I just realized that I am getting rather...abstract here and some of what I'm writing would only make sense to some one who has read some of the research I'm talking about...sorry about that . I guess if you are really interested in AS, you could do a search on my blog, I don't talk about it much but I think I have tagged some of my own experiences of AS . Mostly my blog is about my obsessions which change every few years .

I think the one thing that is most obvious in people who have AS is the obsessions but there are also AS people who have learned to control these obsessions or have months were they are between obsessions when they often experience increase in anxiety or depression . I think that our obsessions are often very calming to us because they put the world into"order" . They lend focus to us and keep us from being over whelmed with sensory stimuli . I know that when I am involved in one of my sessions I feel much more focused in general .

"When you have met one aspie, you have met one aspie"...is something often quoted in our "community" . Although there are obviously some traits that make us AS....how those traits are expressed are influenced by....gender, life experiences, physical health and the many other co-morbids of AS . My personal experience is that it's the weird combination of the co-morbids that have influenced me the most . These are not part of the DX of AS but are very common among us . The strange thing about them is that until you read about them, you may not realize that you actually have them because your so used to "being" the way you are and don't realize that other peoples brains don't work the same way . A bit like a child who is color blind never really understands why other people can tell the difference between blue and green because they see those colors as shades of brown .

My "issue" with John's books on AS, current and future, is that to many people will read them and think...I am not like "that" so must not have AS . He is only one way of experiencing AS . AS is just as diverse as the rest of human experience . There are obviously some over laps in experience or we would not be able to identify AS but to really understand it, you need to try and interact with as many other people with AS as you can .
That is what I found so helpful about Wrong Planet...(my name is Krex< there ) . I don't go there very often any more because needle felting has replaced my obsession with AS,but it is like all my past obsessions...they never really go away but hide in the shadows waiting for a spark .

Uhmm, well, I hope there was something in my blathering that you will find helpful and if you have any questions or want me to try and explain something better, please feel free to email me . Aspergers happens to be something I feel very passionately about and have given a lot of thought to because it was the first time when all my "weirdness" started to fall into place . One thing you may find if you visit the aspie community is that most of the people there are surprisingly nice . Some of us are more abrasive then others but most have suffered and suffering tends to make people more empathetic . I find that very ironic because supposedly aspies are not empathetic and I find that absurd . Isn't it the "Neurotypicals " who run the world and haven't they been responsible for slavery, witch burning, exploitation of humans, wars, rape, ect ? How much empathy do they really have that they can torture other humans and animals ? My not being able to hug someone or read their facial expressions when they are distressed or not what to say to them,,,,,is not the same thing as not caring about their being hurt .

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Nature is copying wet felted look !

Totally unrelated but isn't this a cute mink bear . I am considering buying the pattern to make these from a seller on Etsy . I have several rescued fur coats that I want to do "something" with...just can't stand the idea of them going into land fills and certainly wouldn't wear one . I am planning incorporating them and some of my other leather and vintage fabrics into vessels but still have more then I will ever need for that project .

I was also innocently on Etsy today, to answer a friends email there, and low and behold....was possessed by evil shopping spirits that forced me to spend ...(to much) on some stones to decorate my felting items . I think this is going to be one of my new "favorite stones because it reminds me of some of the beautiful effects of wet felting . It's called * rainforest jasper or ryholit, I think....(*refer to post on bad memory)

I have no other word for this, then organic, but there is something in the blends of colors and patterns in stones that that just seems to feed my eyes . I can't walk past a pile of rocks with out spending a few minutes or hours picking through them for shape, color and texture . I had once thought I would find a way to incorporate them into a scuplture but couldn't fingure out how without using glue . Now, I'm wondering how I can do so with felting . Another motivator to learn wet-felting .

Happy 4th to all .

Friday, July 3, 2009

economic felting supplies and great instructions


The above book mark is another of my recent on-line hunting that I wanted to share . Although there are great sellers of felting fiber on Etsy, that is where I get the majority of my supplies, I also need a price break sometimes....like when I have experienced a fit of fiber frenzy and my bank account is getting low . This place doesn't have the beautiful blended rovings that I have bought on Etsy, but it is a great place to buy solid and pre-blend colors that are very nice . They also have some great PDFs on wet felting that I found very clear and helpful . I think I will try the ball technique to make a vessel some time soon .

I also found, yet another inspiration for making wet felted vessels that I want to share .


not only are her vessels fantastic but she makes some of the most beautiful glass beads I have ever seen . They are full of shimmer, color and texture . I think they would even put most cut gems to shame . Check her out...she's amazing !

Selling on Etsy, Aspergers and executive dysfunction

Funny how the small things are often the ones that keep me from moving forward . One of them has been being able to "name colors" when listing items on Etsy...and so I avoid listing . I had a similar problem with naming the stones I used in jewelry or the fabrics I used in sewing . Inspite of my constant reading and researching, my mind is like a sieve . I know aspies have a reputation for being great memorizers of information but I am on the opposite side of that spectrum . I can't even blame it on old age as I have had the issue since childhood . Am I not concentrating while reading ? On the contrary, I am complete and utter focus when it comes to reading about my "special interests" but language/words just do not stick . (note to self...ask DR is there is a test for "Teflon brain disease ") I think this is actually a contributing factor in my in ability to spell . I am not seeing the individual letters but the general shape of words and "guessing" at them based on their context in the sentence . Yea, it's hard to explain but I'm sure some neurologist some where could explain it....I just wouldn't remember what he called it .

Anyway, I'm not meaning to moan . I know that most of the human race has some form of cognitive disability...(How else to explain 8 year of GW Bush as president or to explain GW Bush period .) I just think that the majority appear to suffer from the "lack of intellectual curiosity" gene and the "lack of ability to use any form of logical analysis gene" . I'm just trying to understand what my weaknesses are to better map a plan of "highest functioning" . Unlike Aspergers, I don't yet have a name for why I can't recall words or spell the ones I can recall . I do know that it has kept me from going into biological sciences....those Latin names can be a bit challenging to recall or spell . Maybe you can think of some other potential jobs that might be difficult when you can't even remember your co-workers names or constantly call the "dishwasher" a washing machine ?

This I know for sure . I am not alone in my blight . I believe my genetic ancestors where the first to come up with some of their own language, for example..."thingamabobby" "thingamajiggy' "dudad" and "whatchamacallit" .

Once upon a time, I requested some form of neurological testing to see if there might be something wrong with my..."whatmacallit...... grey skull animal" but the DR insisted that they should just increase my anti-depressants for me . Kind as that is, I know the result of that is not an improvement in cognitive function but an even further decline in memory...(shhh, big secret on how anti-depressants work) . It is effective, in that you will no longer recall that you are semi-retarded and are thus less likely to be depressed about it . It doesn't actually help you function better nor make you less likely to end up in low paying, redundant manual labor job because you are unable to recall if you...... gave the patient the saline IV or an enema .

Now, the few times I have been able to recall the above issue long enough to try and discuss it with professionals, they appear to be very confused . They say comforting things like...."but you are so intelligent" I am assuming that their concept of intelligences begins and ends in the ability to form a coherent and complex thought . Uhm...it's not and I know this because of how damn smart I am . Intelligence is based on function as a whole . A car with a perfect engine is not going to take you any where with out tires . (I have a flat tire right now, so very ironic analogy) .

Anyway, just thought I would share a peak into the grey animal that sits mutely in my skull while I am trying to retrieve valuable information, like what is another word for "light brown" ? Which is why I have posted a little color chart here for myself and anyone else who struggles with "names of colors" .

(And just for Eileen)...what am I grateful for...

spell check .

merino_swatches.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A few more projects in needle felting

Probably my least favorite result but very economical and may still have some function . I hate to waste anything and always am lured to a cheap buy, so I recently purchased a few pounds of merino "dye stoppers" . What are they ? Listed by the seller as just some extra roving bits used at the end of the dying process...why, I have no clue, not being a dyer, but they are mostly nice pastel colors and semi-felted so not as soft as the fluffy combed top I have been using . Being semi-prefelted, they are not as easy to separate into thin wisps of fiber and don't blend as well .

However, I still think that they will make some sturdy projects like dryer balls or organic "nerf like" balls for children and pets . For every fiber there is some use if we are willing to look for it .

Yummy...some of the 50% merino 50% tencel(natural fiber made from Eucalyptus wood that has the hand and shine of silk) . The yarn is a bit of hand-spun I bought on Etsy and has a lovely sparkle to it .

Tencel deserves it's own paragraph . A month ago, I had never heard of this stuff but now I want it in everything . It's a renewable resource...(no silk worms were traumatized in it's producation) but it gives the felting a beautiful texture and shine . It has it's own wave that really shows up better in person . It resists dye a bit more then the fiber it's dyed with, so it gives it a natural "high-light" when felted . I think it felts much easier then the some other non-wool fibers but I have no idea why since I assume it doesn't have scales ?
Just a bit of close up to show the wave of the tencel high lights .

Here is another larger clutch purse of the tencel and merino blend . I need to figure out how to capture the shine with my camara and hope that some out-side pctures tomorrow will do the trick . This is actually very soft and shimmery . One of the things that I don't know about wet felting...since I have seen very little of it it how soft it is, how thick or how shiney . It just dosn't show those features on the computer screen and I have seen very little in person . I know the needle felting has these qualities but am wondering if you can get the same effects in wet felting and if so, is it harder or easier .
Color is a bit washed out here but shows the thickness and extra pocket I needle felted into the bag .
Again, color is lighter then in person . I need to decide on what kind of handle and closure to use with this bag . That is always one of the hardest things for me because I hate having anything in my hands but I know some women do use clutch bags or wrist straps .
Just a quick fun project using some of the "dye sopping" wool . It's about the size of a traditional nerf ball and I thought it would make a nice gift for my parents or brothers dog . I am interested to see if the dogs try and chew it up or like the wool texture and smell . My cats love the smaller ones but I'm not sure how these will survive with dogs . I will get to find out next week at the family reunion . I also plan on sending a few to my sisters dogs and cats, along with some other needle felting as she has never heard of it before and I think it will be interesting to get a newbies perspective .

Wet felting artist that inspire me


You have to check out her organic forms . I am blown away with her style and colors and I don't "blow away" easily ...(probably those extra 30 pds I put on in the past few years ?)

In spite of my absolute distaste for the feel of wet wool, hot water and soap, not to mention the rashes I seem to get from touching it...I really want to learn how to work with wet wool . Perhaps it will take me a few years to get up the nerve to actually attempt it, but with inspiration like Andrea Graham...I hope to some day venture there .

Another great artist who has me inspired by color and shape is....


I can't read a word of her blog but the pictures are amazing and do speak a thousand words .

Besides hunting out other fiber artists, I have also just spent the past 8 hours looking up information about using plants and natural dyes . I bookmarked another 40 sites that I wont be able to access because I can never recall their names to find them in my book marks..(there must be an easier way of keeping organized ) but it alludes me .

If you don;t have time to check their blogs today, I also have them in the blogs I follow on the right of this blog .

This is the artist that first interested me in natural plants used for dying....


She makes the most beautiful organic wool fabric using Eucalyptus leaves to dye it . I think I would love to try this project because I am in love the smell of Eucalyptus and the patterns she gets are eye candy...full of shapes and shadows .


Related Posts with Thumbnails