Monday, April 19, 2010

More than you can see

This is for the Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge. Click on the picture to see the details.

The sketch for this past week was this:
Stamps: Pieces of the Puzzle by Technique Tuesday
Ink: Green Galore
Paper: Glossy ink jet paper, green cardstock (gable green & green from my stash)
More: computer generated picture, 3-d "pop dots," photoshop elements

My Story: As soon as I saw the sketch I knew I wanted to do something with Autism Awareness. April is Austism Awareness Month and my 13 year old dd has Asperger Syndrome, or high functioning autism. We have autism awareness on a daily basis here. The symbol for Autism Awareness is a puzzle with pieces colored in the primary colors. Solving Autism is a puzzle. I thought I was going to borrow a friend's Cuttlebug puzzle die for this, then I decided to look up puzzle outlines on the Internet. I stumbled on a tutorial for making a puzzle at this website. I decided to give it a try. Though, by the time I got to the end where I wanted to make the edges look like a puzzle, I just could not go around each and every little piece of puzzle again, so I went for the large puzzle look. I love how you can take pieces out and move them around. My PS Elements doesn't have the pen feature, so I had to use the lasso. It wasn't as easy as the pen would be, I'm sure, but I zoomed in enough that it was manageable & then when I zoomed out, any mistakes weren't noticeable. I chose this image and this design for several reasons. First, the sketch was of a puzzle. LOL! Next, this picture is of our autistic child (another obvious choice!). This image caught her in motion. She loves to be in motion. She loves to twirl, swing, run, climb, and more. As a tiny baby she had "colic." I am not convinced it was truly colic, but the dr. said it was. She slept about 30 minutes at a time on a good day. She screamed almost non-stop. This was NOT in the What to Expect Book, not even the "Your baby might even" categories. No one told me this could happen. Babies are supposed to sleep. Colic is supposed to be a few hours in the evening. She would only nurse, would not take a bottle no matter if it was my milk or formula, and did NOT want to be in a crib. She did not want to be held or rocked. What she DID want to do was be bounced. We (anyone we could find to take a shift) would hold her against us on our shoulder and bounce up & down with her. My dad liked to just sit on the side of his bed & do this. Cheater. LOL! About 1 week into this I headed to the store and found a bouncy seat with a vibrator on it. That was a true gift from God. We could set her in that and make that thing bounce and vibrate to keep her calm. She still screamed a lot, but for parts of the day, this would soothe her. So, you can see why a moving picture of her is appropriate it! This picture is also interesting because the camera focused on the tree limb and the bell tied to the tree limb. And, yes, our girls can ring that bell quite easily now with their foot! But, Bethany is out of focus. That's the way life is with autism. The autistic person never is really in focus with the rest of their surroundings. What seems crystal clear to most is often blurry, at best, to the autistic person, or to those caring for the person with autism. I took pieces out of the puzzle for effect, but it has a meaning, too. The symbol for autism, as I mentioned, is a puzzle with colorful pieces. I have decided that isn't a true picture of autism. You see, in the symbol, the puzzle pieces fit nicely together. There are no missing pieces. It all lines up (in rainbow order, no doubt) and fits nicely into a pretty symbol. Life isn't like that for us. Sometimes we have the pieces we need, but they aren't quite fitting into place. Some people will try to take pieces that they THINK fit in certain places, and might even force those pieces in, but the piece really doesn't belong. Then, there are times when there is a big gaping hole that we can not fill because the piece is missing. Yet, the pieces we do have make a beautiful picture full of life and color.

If you can't see the words around the page, they say: speak, listen, connection, believe, joy, learn, voice, courage, hope, strive. The title stamp reads, "There is more to me than you can see."

Thank you for stopping by my blog and sharing a piece of my world.


Lisa Lara said...

This is fantastic Lori. Thank you for sharing this story. Wow. Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Love it!

Priscilla said...

Hi Lori, what a wonderful way to create. Thank you for sharing. Great colors and of course GREAT take on the sketch. Thank you for playing the Midnight Madness sketch challenge.
p.s. how are your "OTHER" projects coming? :)

Gunn (MsPlum) said...

This is so great! I love all the caring love for your daughter you have put into this. I have to stepchildren with ADHD and some autismrelated diagnosis, and to compare life with them with a puzzel is so right and a perfect description.

I wich you and your family the best of luck! You seems to me to be able to remember the small, but good moments.

Take care!


Carol said...

Mama Lori you have touched my heart with your beautiful story on how and why you created this and all the pieces of how you fit this puzzle together. I just had lunch with a friend recently and we discussed autism at length. She was telling me of some discoveries they are making on how and why this occurs. You have certainly put your heart and soul into this and if shows. It is gorgeous. Blessings on you and your family.
Thanks for playing along with us at the Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge.
Bear Hugs,
Carol :o}
Midnight Madness Design Team

Miss Iowa said...

Loribelle, you need to submit this essay to a magazine. I am not joking. It is AWESOME! Your writing is so eloquent and you do a great job of trying to describe autism to people who have no clue what it is like. Combined with your artwork, this would make a lovely published piece.

Lovely Linda said...

Hi Lori - this is so touching - I can relate to your story - my DS went in 20 minute cycles for years and is borderline Asperger - he also loved to bounce as a have captured it so well with your art and your words - this is truly beautiful Lori - thank you for sharing, it touche smy heart! {{{hugs}}}
Oh and LOVE this work of the heart, I love the blurring and the words - it is all good!
Linda MMSC Design Team