Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our family experienced a simply enjoyable Christmas being together as a family. Sara came down from New York City and stayed for a few days. She and Nick decorated cookies together and whipped up some delicious holiday snacks. The bruschetta was the best!

Artism by Nick screeched to a halt for 4 or 5 days for the holiday, so if you are awaiting an order, it will be arriving soon as we are now up and running!

Enjoy these photos of Sara and Nick, and a few scenes from the back yard of a peaceful winter moon rising.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kindness Comes in All Kinds of Packages!

When the family arrived home from our Thanksgiving trip, Nick had a nice surprise waiting for him...three packages addressed to Artism! Nick and I were vendors at a fall craft show, and in the booth next to us was a really nice person, Laura, who was displaying beautiful quilted items. As we chatted throughout the day, she told us that she was a member of a quilting group that had lots of scraps that she could donate to Artism. I told her we'd love it and gave her our business card, not expecting her to make good on it! Well, make good she did, and we now have fabric scraps of every imaginable color and design. Here is the letter she enclosed:

Dear Lucy and Nick, I hope you find all these fabrics (and some yarn) useful. All the Guild ladies wish you well and good luck in your budding business. Please don't hesitate to ask for more. Happy Thanksgiving.

We are going to have so much fun using these scraps, and we can't thank Laura enough for her kindness. Like our friend Cheryl in Mississippi, Laura and her fellow quilters send blankets overseas to our troops. Guess who is getting someTo Honor Our Heroes cards to send along to soldiers along with our thanks for her time and generosity?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Fall!

Autumn is here and we couldn't be happier about it here at Artism by Nick! It is so nice and cool in our upstairs studio with the window open and the breeze coming in! There is a corner window that displays all the colors of fall in the treetops and in the woods beyond.... We always take a moment at this time of year to reflect and to be thankful for the bounty of blessings in our lives. We hope you find many as you count yours! Here are a few shots of Nick enjoying the yard this fall.

Monday, October 6, 2008

DuPont Country Club Fall Craft Show!

We had a fun time selling Artism at a fall craft show in our area! It was so much fun setting up, chatting with the vendors nearby, and walking around to see all the beautiful crafts for sale. There are so many talented people out there!

As you can see by the photos, Nick was very proud of his wares and he really enjoyed "chatting it up" with our customers by flashing that trademark smile and shaking hands with everyone.

Our next show is November 8, and in the meantime, we are busy filling orders for our customers who will be looking in their mailbox very soon to find the most original and unique Christmas cards they have ever sent!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Holiday Workshop is Busy!

We have been very busy at Artism by Nick preparing for the holidays. We are creating beautiful greetings with personalized messages. As you can see by the photos, Nick has been prepping materials in anticipation of our workload.

Our customers are able to select their own personal greeting, font style, card stock color, ribbon color, and design scheme (green and red or blue and white). These will make for truly unique and memorable holiday cards! Nick's artist profile and logo will be on the back of each card.

The deadline for ordering your personalized holiday cards is October 1, and you will receive your cards by November 30 for mailing.

If you are interested and did not receive information about this unique offer in the mail, please email us and place your order!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Proud of My Sister Sara

Nick's sister Sara has been inspiring him his whole life. He has looked up to her and even though she didn't always notice it, he was watching her and learning from her all the time. (Because of her tutelage, video games are still one of Nick's favorite pasttimes...and boy, is he good!)

Unlike a lot of kids with autism, Nick loved the hustle-bustle of errands, outings, going to her school functions, and hanging with her friends when they came over. To say the least, there is a void in our house, but never in our hearts, for our Sara.

When she left for New York 3 years ago, I gave her a silver locket with a white feather inside. Engraved on the back was my wish for her - "fly". She certainly did - she is creating a fantastic career for herself in publishing.

She was hired as Assistant Editor for a beautiful startup magazine, Crochet Today (www.crochettoday.com). After 2 years there, she made a very brave and bold move recently to an Assistant Music Editor position at BUST magazine (www.bust.com), along with her ongoing freelance and web magazine work.

We are so proud of Sara! It's hard to have a blog starring Nick without talking a little bit about Sara. She is the apple of her parents' OTHER eye.

So please, right now, go to www.crochet today.com and click on the Editor's Letter - for a warm, wonderful tribute to Sara from Editor-in-Chief Brett Bara.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our Art Keeps Getting More Fun, More Exciting, and More Beautiful!

Here is another card we made - six of these to go with the 6 black ones previously mentioned, for our customer Betsy who wanted understated cards for condolences.

We were pretty stunned by their beauty once they were painted, cured and trimmed! This is a shot of them on the table before curing or trimming. We REALLY like this border thing - it's simple for Nick to do because he just has to follow the outline of the card. (He still gets to select each piece as he goes!)

Our customer Cheryl made a good point in our comments section...these are NOT just for condolences!! We think people would like these among our selections, so we're going to offer them! Look for a sample to appear on the slide show at the top of the blog, and on the bottom of the blog in the card shop.

We can do them in ANY color scheme for you! What would you like? Purple border on white card stock with brushed gold? Green border on cream card stock with brushed silver? The possibilities are endless! We're waiting for your order!

Our customers have inspired SO many great cards - Betsy, this time, thanks go to you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our Sympathy...

We had another request for a card that was initially a challenge but proved to be a beautiful card! A lovely customer, Betsy, wished to have personal, hand-made sympathy cards on hand when the need arose for her to send one. She wanted something with a black border on cream card stock - something quietly stated.

We scratched our heads for a bit, because "border" means straight lines, and we don't do any straight lines! Our collage is done in very irregular lines.

We think our final product is rustic yet very elegant. We used black wallpaper with gold print, brushed gold around that, and added a simple, organic gold leaf.

While we won't be doing these in mass production or adding it to our sample book, we wanted to show you that we can take any request for a special style or color theme!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thank You, Thank You!

Our first "Thank You" design is here! It was created out of necessity AND inspiration. We needed a cute Thank You card to express our gratitude to those who attended Nick's pool party and gifted him so generously. Our inspiration came from a wonderful art teacher, Katie Goedde (affectionately known as S'ghetti) who gifted Nick with a great array of supplies with which to make cards! There was "bubbly" tissue paper, polka-dot ribbon, and other beautiful colors of tissue. We added some "Thank You" text and turqoise embroidery yarn and voila! Our Thank You card was born! We hope you love sending this card as much as we love making it! Enjoy!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Artism by Nick Has Traveled Halfway Around the World - to Afghanistan!

We are so pleased and proud to announce that Nick's cards are arriving at mail call and being opened by soldiers in Afghanistan!

This is Anthony, a soldier who is showing just how far the cards had come at his barracks in Afghanistan. It's one of Nick's earliest cards, the Autism Awareness card, from when we were making them on colored paper and using only a large sticker on the back. (See samples for how the Autism Awareness card has evolved.

Cheryl B., a very dear customer in Mississippi, is putting our cards in the hands of brave servicemen and women serving our country abroad. Cheryl makes quilts for the soldiers, and each quilt gets a lucky person to be designated as the sender. Cheryl has asked Nick to sign one of his Heroes cards in preparation for her to send it, along with a quilt from Nick, to a lucky member of our troops. We feel so honored to be a part of this selfless effort!

Cheryl is a loyal Artism repeat customer, and you can be sure that she will be receiving several complimentary Heroes cards in her next order, so that they may travel to our troops along with her quilts.

Looking at these photos gave me chills and happy goosebumps! Thanks also to Chase, who was the photographer who made sure that Cheryl got the photos into our hands to share with you on the blog. Along with the photos of Anthony holding the cards is the American flag flying over the Bagram Air Base.

Cheryl, your work is making so many people smile...Nick, while he is making his cards, and the troops,who are getting Artism greetings and cozy quilts made with love. Get ready to be well-stocked with Heroes cards for your next several quilt deliveries to our dedicated troops! We so admire YOUR dedication, too!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from a Birthday Trip to St Louis

We've returned from a wonderful, fun-filled week and a half in our native St. Louis. It was great to be back home and see friends and relatives alike.

Nick celebrated his 21st birthday with a pool party blowout - we rented an entire swim club and filled it with reggae music, fun people, lots of pizza and hot wings, and pure happiness! Happiest of all was Nick.

He was in heaven, holding court in a lounge chair as people came up to wish him well, hopping in and out of the pool with the kids, and downing countless slices of pizza, wings, and cans of Pepsi!!

Even though we were celebrating the legal drinking age, he didn't indulge at the pool for safety reasons, and because he is on so much darn medication for his Crohn's Disease. He did toast the big weekend with a half beer with Dad at dinner the following night.

Our dear friends and family members came from all over, including California, Texas, Illinois, Iowa and New York! To them and to all who attended the party, we say that we could never repay you for all the love and support you've shown Nick. I know he truly felt loved...I know I did. Enjoy viewing these fun party pics!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Graduation Night!

Nick's Special Night

Our Nick made us proud at graduation! The event was so elegant, simple, and heartwarming. Nick walked across the stage, received his certificate, and shook hands with the many administrators on stage. His sister Sara came all the way from New York for the day in the midst of many work deadlines, and we were so proud and happy to have the family together for this very special occasion.

After the ceremony, there was a reception where many of Nick's teachers from his years at the program were in attendance to wish the graduates well. It was great to see and be able to thank teachers going back 10 years in his education - each one a part of his achievements and successes.

After the reception, it was off to a wonderful dinner in the historic district with our family and our good friend Katina, who will be a big part of Nick's future as the director of the POW&R program (Productive Opportunities for Work and Recreation). This is a new adult services program that is creative, individualized, and very exciting for Nick to start!~

Enjoy these photos from the evening!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

He'll Never Walk Alone

Tomorrow is one of the most important milestones Nick will have in his life. He is graduating from school and starting his life as an adult.

We hope and pray for good things to come to him in his life - that he will always be surrounded by people who love him; that he will know the joy of hard work and restful leisure; and that he will always be treated with dignity and respect.

Nicks life has been a winding road - challenging and full of joys as well as deep sorrows for the people closest to him. But on a personal level, I believe in my heart that Nick himself is a happy individual and will continue to be so. All it takes is a look into those sparkling eyes to know he is happy on this earth.

He has taught us so many lessons about love, kindness, tenacity, patience, tolerance, hope, and courage.

Our friends and family have given so much of themselves and been so important in his life, and we know he will never walk alone. We dedicate this graduation scene from my favorite musical of all time, Carousel, to our Nick.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Our Day At The Races

Nick had a wonderful time at his first NASCAR race, the Best Buy Autism Speaks 400 in Dover, Delaware. The racecar drivers that we had schmoozed with at the golf tourney were all racing, and unfortunately, at the beginning of the race Hermie Sadler, driver of the Best Buy Autism Speaks car, went out early in a 10-car crash. No drivers were seriously injured, thank heavens, and as a mom I can say I'm glad that neither Sara nor Nick is a racecar driver!

There were over 100,000 people in attendance that day, and NASCAR fans are CRAZY about their races. People were camped out all over in tents, RVs, campers and vans, grilling out, blasting stereos, sunbathing, playing cards and horseshoes, and buying LOTS of souvenirs. It was quite a spectacle! Dad's favorite part was after the cars had taken their first few "slow" laps, and the checkered flag waved and sent the cars screaming around the track at full throttle. He looked like he was a kid again, grinning and saying, "cool!" The noise was deafening, but we all had earplugs and even with them on, it was so loud that you could not even speak to the person sitting next to you.

Nick enjoyed a full day of walking amidst the throngs of fans, walking through the casino, visiting the souvenir tents, and basking in the sun in the grandstands as the cars whizzed by. We thank Autism Speaks for this very special opportunity to experience NASCAR racing!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Our Local Golf Tournament - "The Drive For Autism"

We thought our readers would like some news on our SUPER and very successful golf tournament benefiting our Autism Society of Delaware, held at the Du Pont Country Club. The weather was great, the food and drinks were plentiful, the whole place was bustling with staff, volunteers, golfers, military people and celebs, and a great time was had by all! We had at least 20 NASCAR drivers including the great Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kane, Darrel Waltrip, and many Eagles football stars!

Our organizer, whose blog name is MI and who posts here regularly, is due a huge debt of gratitude and thanks from me and all the kids and adults in our organization for being such a big part of making this event successful. Half a million dollars was raised for our local chapter, and I am proud and happy to say that some of those proceeds will be going to contribute to our adult program called POW&R (Productive Opportunities for Work and Recreation.) I will be a direct recipient and client of this program as of the beginning of June, when I turn 21! Hopefully I will have a volunteer job with regular part-time hours, possibly leading to paid employment, as well as some fun things to do in my spare time with a support person and maybe some of my friends and fellow POW&R clients.

If you are watching TV tomorrow (Sunday), please tune in to the Best Buy-Autism Speaks 400 NASCAR race on Fox.

It is being held here in Delaware at Dover Downs and Mom, Dad and I will be in the stands! Look for the big mass of blue t-shirts - that will be our section (families in the autism community). This race is for US and we are very excited! What a big weekend for our cause!~

Photo 1: Nick with Big John Runyon (Nick is six feel tall - that guy must be 6'7"!!)

Photo 2: Shaking hands with Anthony Federoff of American Idol fame. He sang the national anthem beautifully to kick off the festivities.

Caption 3: With the Philly Soul cheerleaders (that's Jon Bon Jovi's team) I guess gentlemen DO prefer blondes...

Photo 4: Hundreds of golf carts, ready to take to the courses!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Artism by Nick Can Create Custom Invitations and Announcements For You!

We wanted to show you the beautiful baby shower invitations that Nick's grandmother ordered for the event she is hosting. She gave us the details (time, place, etc) and we took it from there. We created centered text on paper in an elegant font, printed it and cut it with deckle-edged scissors, tied it to the inside of the invitation with a color-coordinated bow. This transforms our blank notecards to a party invite, grad announcement, or whatever you please! THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS SERVICE - so get your orders in for your next big event! Just email us with the specifics, and we will work with you to create a very special and personal card for you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nick Goes Hawaiian!

Nick has created a card for our friend Bev's sweet sixteen Hawaiian birthday party this summer. Her mom gave us a very cool 60's sleeveless dress with a wild pattern, and we tore that up (reluctantly...I have a certain very stylish daughter who loves vintage and who would have looked fabulous in that dress!!)

We followed suit by adding orange, hot pink and yellow tissue and some yellow string. Here is a shot of some of the cards ready to go to the presses. Before they are pressed, they look curly and I'm always scared that they won't flatten, but the awesome presses that Dad created always do the job!

Bev, we wish you a very happy sixteenth birthday - you have been a sweetheart and a wonderful friend to Nick!