Thursday, November 29, 2012

When your CEO has autism

When I first started this little venture it was for the sole purpose of saving my son's life.  Coming from a place of deep despair it was necessary to think outside the box and reinvent a reason for him to get up - to engage in the world - and to want to live in a world that for him is astoundingly confusing, loud, and frustrating. He is nonverbal and severely autistic.  There is no really nice way to say it, except to say he is one of those hard hit kids from the beginning of this epidemic who has struggled through every phase of his life.

This phase has proven to be the most difficult. Whatever came before at ages 8 or 9 or 10 pale in comparison. 

So to say the business has been successful in pulling him up and out of a very dark place would be accurate, and I think for many people with autism being meaningfully engaged is the key to getting through the day.

The idiosyncracies that accompany autism make it nearly impossible to hold down a job of any kind or to interact with the typical features of the world we live in,.

Noises, lights, demands are too much for many and Andrew is no exception.

We reinvent the wheel daily sometimes, creating jobs, refining jobs and modifying jobs. He has proven that he is pretty good at most that is presented despite his level of disability. Creative arts are interesting to him and because they are he stays engaged for the time he is devoting himself to his job.

But having a CEO with autism presenets its challenges.  At one point we made a bunch of pretty cool paperclips, complete with an autism puzzle piece on the back - hand stamped by Andrew. He willingly placed them in envelopes and assisted with the packaging ---- until one day all of the decorations needed to come off and they needed to be returned to their naked metal selves.  So much for that endeavor. So that job is not his anymore we found him a new one...

So here's to coloring outside the lines and a bravo to those who do!

cate : )

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas birds & Penny the Chicken

Today in the barn we decided to work on birds, birds and more birds.

Tiny hand cut paper birds adorned with gold and silver strings. 

Fun to make and Andrew is learning to cut his own birds for his own brand of festive cheer!

At the same time we worked on birds in the barn outside the barn in the coop one of our sweet little hens had escaped into the rain and cold.

I found her outside and shivering and soaked to the bone. Little fluffy black hen was a drenched, cold, flattened chicken.  She ran to me, and I picked her up and put her inside under the heat lamp.

I decided that was not enough so in she came into the studio for a bit sitting embarrassingly in a dog crate.

She made the best of it though clicking and talking and complaining temporarily about her small quarters.

She got a treat of warm bread and the time flew by :) and soon enough she was refluffed, and rejoined her friends in the coop. 

So for tonight she is basking in the glow of the heat lamp and I hope no ill effects from her chill!

Yay for Penny !


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Andrew learns to make flowers - YAY

We have turned a lot of our attention to making flowers. We have had some success with our little floral arrangements and bouquets so we continue to push the envelope as to what kids with autism can do and might learn to do.

So.... we thought perhaps Andrew could make the flowers as well, assembling them one petal at a time on their stems.

To our suprise he did  it, and he seemed intent on doing it well.  So we will continue to push that envelope and see if he can choose his own color combinations and make some real "autism" flowers of his own color combinations. 

threading the wire through a very small hole!

Andrew handing off his finished flower to Amanda

the finished flowers

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Going to Hoboken - We hope

Hurricane Sandy did a job on our coastline, and Hoboken was hard hit with flooding.  The Hudson had no end to its fury. We had intended to attend the Hoboken Craft Fair for the Holidays and feared it was a wash out.

We found out yesterday it is a go. So perhaps we will go!

Pictures sent - check in the mail - so we will see. Apparently our paper flowers are a bit "different" and a welcome surprise from the usual craft fair fare, soaps, jewelry and toilet paper holders shaped liked Santa... ho ho ho.

We are woking on roses, flowers, Holiday bunches and bouquets.  A little tempest in a teapot with a cobalt tea pot overflowing with flowers of silver, reds, and blues. Quite a little show stopper.

Tea roses are coming together in elegant shades and will soon be ready for the vase. 

We are growing our flower business bloom by bloom by bloom, and we hope you enjoy what we have to offer. The flowers have been popular at our shows and it gives us confidence to create more  flowers in every changing colors and patterns. 

Andrew has been busy shredding muslin for our home made ribbons and we have holdiay stamped ribbons ready for package wrapping! Add your own special touch to each present!

Cate  and the Papercatz gang