Thursday, November 28, 2013

Holiday spirit

Some photos to share and to keep for myself to look back on ... memories.

Ripley (bad boy) and Asa good boy - Lab and Border Collie pals. Looking happy after breadstick treats! 

Waiting for the turkey to finish its cooking cycle!  Smells yummy! 

Happy Holiday, 

cate :)

Enjoying the simple pleasures - getting busy for the holidays

We have been working hard in the shop - We have a small team of helpers for Andrew  as he requires assistance and redirection to work - but work he does and it seems quite enjoyable lately.

We have holiday tunes in the background and we have determined Frosty the Snowman is the #1 hit.  We also baked a tray of cookies last week that Andrew helped us put on the cookie sheet.  We try every day to make each day productive and enjoyable.

We have been working very hard on Holiday products. We were approached by a local special services school to put some of our flower arrangements in the school for sale - our helper Andrew M attends this school and I would be proud to show off some of his work.

Christmas trees have been assembled this past week for a trip up to Hoboken - there is a  tiny forest of trees ready to make the journey and I hope that our customers enjoy these little harbingers of the holidays to come.

They are one of a kind and each one is a little different.  Both Andrew and Andrew M help to punch the circles for the trees and assist with some of the assembly.

We also have been making gift tags, holiday glass balls, vintage ornaments and I hope interesting items for our friends in Hoboken.



The finished products - our woodland tags with hand punched snowflakes.

Creating is sometimes messy, but fun as the glass stones sparkle across the table. 


I cannot help but be grateful for the beautiful day we have in front of us - family stopping by and sun shining brightly. I call them GTBAD - Good to be alive days - when you just cherish the simple things and pause to be happy and idle - in the very best of ways - eating, relaxing and laughing.

I treated my girls (chickens) to a half of a butternut squash and they chowed down to the point where their beaks were covered with orange left overs. Quite a funny sight and well worth the effort to bake it up for them.  Yes, they like their squash cooked!

Simple pleasures to me are the best... and I enjoyed their enjoyment... funny birds..

We have a helper here in the  barn, actually two - first we have our newest member Papercatz beetle  and of course we have our other  member Andrew M. who regales me with tales of Sponge Bob and Mickey Mouse while he  works at helping us get products ready.   Andrew is a young adult with autism and an utter delight to add him to our helpers.  He requires assistance and some direction, but once he gets started - he is the best helper I could ever ask for.  I enjoy every second he stops by and he is becoming a really good helper here as he learns new things.

When he ages out of the educational system (this year) he will be hard pressed to find a job, as he requires a low anxiety environment, and some assistance and redirection,  but I hope that we can keep him  working here at Papercatz as the entire premise of our company is to help young adults with autism be creatively employed.

On the other front our  studio bug helper arrived last night. As I was working through foam and moss and pots creating little Christmas trees, I spotted him walking along, very slowly and methodically, as these insects tend to do... and I curiously noted green feet  and green antennae - it had tediously walked through a forest of green foam to rise up on the top of the pot in my direct line of vision.  He appeared to be stopping periodically to try to clean off his feet. They appeared to be covered in green snow.  I thought it was hilarious and stopped to get a picture of  him/her/it.  Soon, thereafter, our newest helper was treated to a little outside enjoyment as I let it go into the night to figure out how it might remove all of the moss it had picked up walking across my pots.

I thought I might share some of those simple moments, but very spontaneous  and uplifting.

Andre M helping to make our Christmas trees!

Papercatz helper
Merry Bug ! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Andrew and the fine art of being outdoors

I always wonder why the universe at large feels that kids with disabilities need to work harder to get nowhere than the general population....

They should work every day when the rest of the world takes vacations, time off and just goofs off. I have had this ongoing and frustrating conversation more so later than usual.

Very hard for me to support that type of thinking, when I feel it is so important to program time for positive experiences and happiness - all of us should take time off for happiness.

We often go weeks without giving ourselves that special time to exhale and take in the world around us - we are so busy with work work work and the daily grind of life. It is no different for kids with disabilities  and it seems we are all missing bigger picture of how important it is to make "memories."  You will remember your worst day on vacation before you will ever remember your BEST day at work..

So we played hooky yesterday and went bike riding - Andrew is especially fond of clouds of all shapes and sizes and the windier it is the more he likes to cloud gaze. I too, am drawn upward for a peak at the heavens - fascinated the smallness of us in the vastness of the universe.

Yesterday was an especially good cloud day with formations of all shapes and sizes! I enjoyed them as much as he did!

HO HO HO - MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS - The forest through the trees

We have been busy here - and andrew more so - putting together all things Christmas in a fast a pace as we can imagine.

Glitter is everywhere, "buffalo snow" is my favorite accessory and it's feeling festive, albeit a bit early. We are chasing Halloween down with a bit of HO HO HO.

Thought I'd post some pictures of the forest we have created - getting ready for Hoboken - there are also snowflakes coming (vintage music) snowflakes, vintage music balls and vintage map ornamenents... I have not even started the flowers yet!...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hoboken Christmas Show

Heading up to Hoboken again for their annual Christmas show.  I really love that little city - lots of verve- and pizzazz - lots of really nice people and great diversity in shopping styles.

Getting busy making ornaments and decorations for the Christmas/Holiday season - lots of little trees - garlands and ornaments.  Lots of glitter and mess from my need to "snow" everything up a bit.   I am a bit obsessed with the glitter of it all and have made a real effort to give everything that frosty effect.

I love the way light glistens off newly fallen snow - sparkles in the moonight like little diamonds, so I have no hesitation recreating that effect.

Also working on some vintage ornaments in old papers circa 1890's.

Newly minted are some Christmas balls with vintage maps and music paper - my favorite activity yesterday and spent most of the day putting them together. Quite a few steps to get it just right, but worth it and hope my customers love them as much as I do.


Christmas Holiday balls - with vintage music paper and "snow." 

Lots of fun to find special papers - this was Twas the Night Before Christmas