Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grey Frog Has Moved to Orlando

I'm back home! I'm a 5th generation FL native and it's good to be home. I grew up on the gulf coast and have been living in Phoenix the past 7 years due to my Husband's job. But we finally got a transfer to Orlando and it's so beautiful here. We live on the East side where there is still more woods than neighborhoods and we're blessed with deer and bunnies right in our backyard. Living 30 minutes away from Disney and Cocoa Beach is not too shabby either! My shop is open again, so please stop by and take a look. I'm so happy to be home that I'm offering free shipping until November 19th!

Friday, September 12, 2008

To Infinity and Beyond

This is an amazing story of a Father and Autistic Son lost at sea. They were swimming at the Ponce Inlet, just south of Daytona, when they were swept out by a current. Christopher, Walter Marino's son, is 12 years old and has autism. He is mostly non-verbal, but says a few phrases from Disney movies that he watches. Walter called out "To Infinity and Beyond" to his son throughout the late afternoon and night until they drifted so far apart, that he could not hear him anymore. He feared for the worse. But after 14 hours in the water, they were both rescued by the Coast Guard. This child is truly amazing to be able to tread water for that long all alone in the dark. I can't imagine this happening to my own son. This is such an amazing testament of the strength and determination of this special little boy and his father. I'm a FL native and my husband is a Coast Guard veteran, and my son has Aspergers, so this story is incredibly inspirational to me. Here is the link to the entire article and video:
Really worth reading!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Can't Wait For Halloween!!!

So, it's the beginning of September. I don't care, I can't wait for Halloween! It's always a HUGE holiday for us. We have 9 x-large plastic tubs in the garage full of decor and not counting our inflatable graveyard, huge snowglobe and monsters. We have an annual Halloween party especially for the kids that is always a huge success. Last year was the only year we haven't had one because the baby was too young. Our son isn't scared of the scary stuff, so we are able to go all out. Our house is not for the faint of heart come October! It's just such a magical time to me. I love the smell of the air and the feeling that the season has. I love to go to the local pumkin patch, load up our treasures, and let my Husband, the amazing carver, carve a truly horrific masterpiece! Hopefully this year will be better than ever!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Before and After

So, I've been working with my photo cube and then uploading and editing the pics on Picnik. Picnik is free and has very simple, easy to use editing. It makes a huge difference in brightness and quality.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Photo Shop 101

No, I'm not going to teach it, I'm still learning! I just got this wonderful portable photo light box kit and I really think it will help. My pics are dark and less than stellar whether they are taken indoors or out. I've been practicing with the light box indoors and I feel they are still a bit dark. If I can ever get my youngest into a good nap schedule, I will try it outdoors in natural light. These sets can cost upwards of $300, but I found a wonderful selection on Ebay in the $50 to $99 range. I think it's definitely worth the money for jewelry photography.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Aspergers Syndrome

My 5 year old was diagnosed with AS and Severe Anxiety Disorder at the tender age of 3. He was the youngest that the center had ever diagnosed. There is a wonderful description of AS by
Barbara L Kirby as follows,
"Asperger Syndrome or (Asperger's Disorder) is a neurobiological disorder named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, who in 1944 published a paper which described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills. In spite of the publication of his paper in the 1940's, it wasn't until 1994 that Asperger Syndrome was added to the DSM IV and only in the past few years has AS been recognized by professionals and parents.
Individuals with AS can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with AS has difficulty determining proper body space. Often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights, the person with AS may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. It's important to remember that the person with AS perceives the world very differently. Therefore, many behaviors that seem odd or unusual are due to those neurological differences and not the result of intentional rudeness or bad behavior, and most certainly not the result of "improper parenting".
By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area. Because of their high degree of functionality and their naiveté, those with AS are often viewed as eccentric or odd and can easily become victims of teasing and bullying. While language development seems, on the surface, normal, individuals with AS often have deficits in pragmatics and prosody. Vocabularies may be extraordinarily rich and some children sound like "little professors." However, persons with AS can be extremely literal and have difficulty using language in a social context.
At this time there is a great deal of debate as to exactly where AS fits. It is presently described as an autism spectrum disorder and Uta Frith, in her book AUTISM AND ASPERGER'S SYNDROME, described AS individuals as "having a dash of Autism". Some professionals feel that AS is the same as High Functioning Autism, while others feel that it is better described as a Nonverbal Learning Disability. AS shares many of the characteristics of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder; Not otherwise specified), HFA, and NLD and because it was virtually unknown until a few years ago, many individuals either received an incorrect diagnosis or remained undiagnosed. For example, it is not at all uncommon for a child who was initially diagnosed with ADD or ADHD be re-diagnosed with AS. In addition, some individuals who were originally diagnosed with HFA or PDD-NOS are now being given the AS diagnosis and many individuals have a dual diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism."

My boy is very shy and sweet and has a very scientific mind. As soon as we got the diagnosis, we sold our house and everything we owned and moved to a bigger city with more resources for therapy for him. He went through counseling and occupational therapy and lots of school. He is in an amazing private school that really nurtures him. He has come such a long way in the past 2 years, that he hardly seems like the same child! I encourage anyone encountering the AS diagnosis to research and take advantage of all the resources that are available because it truly makes all the difference.

Different Direction

I have discovered that I just cannot settle on one style of jewelry designs. I unfortunately like everything! I was trying to concentrate on just kid's jewelry and got distracted by the beautiful vintage inspired antique brass findings. I also love the halloween and vintage scrabble block designs. I LOVE Halloween! And pirates, and sci fi, and vintage, and fairies, and dragons, and of course frogs. So you see my problem here. As much as I would like to have a simple shop with one style, it's just not going to happen. I am in the process of changing everything up and hopefully all will turn out well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cotton Candy

Welcome to GreyFrogDesigns! I specialize in beautiful handcrafted jewelry for the whole family! I've been beading for 4 years now and opened my store on Etsy a few months ago. I've been working with swarovski crystal a lot lately and stumbled upon these gorgeous "cotton candy" bicones. They are actually called Comet Argent Light finish swarovski crystals, but they look like cotton candy to me! They have a shiny silver finish on one side of the bicone and a beautiful light color on the other. This bracelet features light rose, aqua, violet, and peach 5mm bicones.

Cotton Candy
Originally uploaded by greyfrogdesigns