"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Friday, May 27, 2011

105% funded and then some...

Yesterday was the final day to donate on Kickstarter.  I made $6825 on the Kickstarter website, plus what I made at the 2 fundraisers.  I can't believe it is over.  I'm excited for the next step though.  It will take two weeks for all the money to transfer over to the amazon account and I have to completely pay off my printmaking press before they will ship it, so in the next few weeks I guess I will do my best to prepare.  I need to clean out the area I'm going to use as my studio, set stuff up, order more art supplies, and start working on the "rewards" for my donors.  I am going to get t-shirts designed at The Buckle Screenprinting today. 

Yesterday I was reminded once again that my challenges with Derek have only just begun.  I took Tyler and Derek to the 1st day of the library's summer reading program.  They had a magic show.  A bunch of kids were there and a handful of parents.  All the kids sat on the ground in front of the magician.  Except mine.  Tyler is definitely a Momma's Boy.  He wanted to sit right next to me.  And then there was Derek.  He ran back and forth and spun in circles at the back of the room.  He had a big grin on his face and every once in a while tried to make a mad dash toward the front where the magician was.  I had to jump up and grab him before he got in the way.  I tried to get him to sit with me, and I even tried to pin him between my legs when he got really antsy, but he ended up screaming.  I am quickly learning that when Derek doesn't want to do something, I am not strong enough to control him.  That scares the crap out of me.  I also wondered what the other parents thought of me.  I don't think many of them knew Derek was autistic.  They must have thought I was one of those awful parents...the kind who have no control over her own kids. 

Derek also had his photos taken by Katie Arndt yesterday.  He won a package a few months ago from Time for Baby because he won a Cutest Kid Contest.  :)  So we went out to Cottonmill Park and took a bunch of pictures.  Hopefully a few will turn out good.  He was not overly cooperative.  Neither was Tyler.  The only thing that really made Derek smile was when Katie pulled out the bubbles.  Derek was much more interested in exploring the trees, looking at the lake, and staring at the birds flying in the sky. 

The picture that won Derek the Cutest Kid Contest at Time for Baby!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Axtell Pancake Feed

"Your life is defined by its opportunities... even the ones you miss."  --Benjamin Button (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

There are moments in life that you look back upon and say, "Why didn't I do this?"  or "If only I had done something different..."   We all have those moments.  What we don't realize is how many near disasters we have avoided because of the RIGHT decisions we made.  Sometimes missed opportunities are blessings.  Sometimes saying no is the right thing to do.  Other times, you have to take a chance.  Don't be afraid to fail.  Don't be afraid to reach for your dreams.  Go out on a limb and TRY.  What's the worst thing that can happen?  I have 65 hours left on the Kickstarter website.  65 hours left before my project is fully funded.  I am sitting here in utter disbelief.  43 days have passed.  It has been 43 days of emotional turmoil.  I've never been so nervous, excited, terrified, frustrated or HAPPY in my entire life.  But what if I had listened to the voice in my head that said that this was impossible?  That I could never raise $6500?  What if I had never taken the chance?  You only have one life...live it to the fullest.

Yesterday the town of Axtell threw a pancake feed/silent auction to help me raise money.  They had a bunch of things donated, like a NU football signed by Suh, Tom Osborne, and both Pelini coaches.  They also had a grill, a bunch of giftcards to places, a 3 month membership to a gym, rounds of golf, and baked goods.  It was awesome.  Over 90 people came and there were a TON of donations.  I have a lot of thank you notes to write!  :)  Here is the link to yet another NTV interview.  Hopefully the last for a while


Friday, May 20, 2011

NTV link Part 1

I was on the news AGAIN today.  My 15 minutes of fame is almost over.  I have to say I'm glad...I would much rather do the artwork than be on the news.  It's just not my thing.  I was on the air today because the town of Axtell is throwing a pancake feed for me on Sunday to help me raise money for the art supplies.  They wanted to make sure I was going to meet the Kickstarter goal before May 26.  I was really, really touched that they wanted to do this.  Not only are they having the pancake feed, they are having a bake sale and a silent auction.  One of the things they are auctioning is a football signed by Suh, Tom Osborne, and Bo Pelini.  Wow.


NTV link Part 2


Monday, May 16, 2011

100% BABY!!!

Fully funded as of May 16th, 2011 at 12:56 p.m.!!!  Woohoo!!!  (If you still want to donate, you have until May 26th at 2:28 p.m.)  I have never been so excited about something in my entire life!  I talked to Takach Press today and placed my order for my very own printmaking press.  It won't be ready for 4-6 weeks and I have to pay off the balance before it will be shipped, but I am officially the owner of an etching press!  I'm a REAL ARTIST!  :)  Time to get to WORK!   

Table Top Etching Press from Takach Press

JUMP! JUMP! 81% up to 97%!

Last night I was 81% funded, this morning I woke up and BOOM--97%!  Someone donated $1000!!!!  HOLY TOLEDO!!!  Happy Monday to me!  :) 

The Fundraiser was a success!  I got to see a lot of my friends, meet new people, HAVE FUN, and raise money all at the same time!  Not too shabby a night in my world.  Hah!  I met one couple that really inspired me.  They think their son has autism too.  In the short amount of time I talked to the mom, I was reminded just how painful it is to suspect that your child has autism.  You have no idea what is going on or how to help your child.  I was there two years ago, and looking at her was like looking at a reflection of myself.  Whenever I think back to that time I almost have to put invisible "shields" up around my heart so that I don't break down...it is impossible to describe to someone who hasn't been there how hard it is to watch your child slowly stop responding to everything, your voice.  I wish there was something I could do to reassure her that everything will be ok.  But the truth is, I can't even convince myself of that some days.  I just focus on the day-to-day and pray that therapy will continue to help my son.  Once in a while, like when Dustin and I changed our wills last week, I am reminded that when Derek is older he may need special care.  I don't like to think that he will have to live with us all of his life, but that very well may be the case.  Or if something happens to us, Tyler may have to be put in charge of his finances if Derek is not capable of controlling his own.  Strange to think about at this point in time, but it has to be done.  I wish he could stay 3 forever sometimes.  :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


As of right now, I am 78% funded for the Autism Art Project!!!!  Unbelievable.  I never thought it would get this far.  I have absolutely AMAZING friends and relatives.  Most of the donations have come from them and they have been helping me with so many different things along the way.  I never could have done this without their support.  There are some donations from complete strangers too, and that warms my heart.  :) 

Tonight is the fundraiser at the Party Cove!  I'm pretty excited.  I will get to see friends I haven't seen in about 10 years.  I'll get to have some much needed fun, too.  This has been a pretty stressful month...11 days left to go.  Think I can make it? 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Power of Words

The video below moved me to tears.  This is why I'm doing the project.  My son is not blind like this man is, but he cannot speak.  He cannot tell the world what is in his heart.  Words are powerful.  Words can cut like a knife.  Or they can make someone believe in miracles.  :)

"If ye have faith as the grain as a mustard seed, than nothing shall be impossible unto you." 


Monday, May 2, 2011


Derek is a "flapper."  When he gets excited about something, he jumps up and down and flaps his hands.  Sometimes he runs back and forth or around in circles too.  I like to think it's because he just can't contain his excitement.  Maybe someday I will find out.  Anyway, he usually does this when he sees something with wheels--such as a lawnmower, or a cement mixer, or a garbage truck. 

Here is a video I took of him watching his father mow the lawn.  Every time the mower went by, Derek was thrilled.