My Treasure Chest – Part 1: Beads

Image Description: Purple box with rows of coloured tape decorating the outside of it. In front of the purple box is a collection of homemade stim toys (I'll go into greater detail within the post).

Before I begin, I would like readers to check out these links first as I’ll be using these posts as references:

~Eldritch Esoterica: I had a little birthday money.
~Eldritch Esoterica: Bead Ring Necklaces
~Eldritch Esoterica: This is my on-the-go stim toy collection
~Eldritch Esoterica: ‘Fuzzy Coin Purse’ and ‘Fuzzy Pencil Case’ made by Yoobi

Image Description: One jar of fake kinetic pink sand
Fake kinetic sand looks fascinating, so I’m eager to get this out have a play with it, although I do hesitate because of the “mess + super clumsy = bad” factor.

Image Descrption: left to right, three balloons (pink-yellow-pink), two of them filled with flour (pink) and one of them filled with rice (yellow)
I’ve had rice balloons before but not flour balloons and I must confess, while I enjoy the rice, I like flour better

Image Description: a small yellow container of play-do with a pink lid.
Play-do is great, I loved play-do as a kid as my mum would hand make us some for my sister and I, but I hated the play-do at school because the fact that so many other kids had played with it, so my own special collection should be great.

Image Description: A plastic container with bubble-making solution
I loved blowing bubbles as a kid, in fact one of the few family moments I have with my older brother, my younger sister and both my parents before they divorced (I had to be about four or five) all having fun together involved blowing bubbles. I went into the kitchen and somehow knew to combine the detergent with water, whisk it about and use a small wire molded into the shape of a circle to blow bubbles. The solution was okay, but after my father improved it by adding more detergent, the bubbles were significantly better. Much fun was had by all.

Image Description: Left to right, a plastic tube filled with liquid pink glitter and silver stars with a pink ribbon on top, as well as a plastic tube filled with liquid green glitter and silver stars with a green ribbon on top.
I do enjoy watching the silver stars shift from one end to another, but it’s easily distracting/time consuming as it takes a while for the stars to shift from end to another.

Image Description: a pink plastic bag with a small make-up/blush brush inside
I loved playing with my mother’s make-up brushes as a kid, not so much the make up though, I can’t stand the feel of foundation on my skin

Image Description: A small yellow container filled with rice.
I’m assuming this is to shake around. I haven’t really used this one.

Image Description: There's a necklace with a black cord and a pink-yellow peace symbol
It does indeed make a nice thwap sound when you bend it back. I was thinking of attaching it to my bag, but not sure how yet.

Image Description: Left to right, four telephone-cord hair ties. The first three telephone cord hair-ties are transparent pink, yellow and orange. The fourth one is opaque pink telephone cord.
I wear these on my wrists all the time now (three transparent pink-orange-yellow on one wrist and the opaque pink telephone cord on the other wrist), in fact, I’ve had customers ask me where I got them from (you can get them from K-Mart). The pink is a little more stretched the orange and yellow, but I’ll work on it.

Image Description: There is a thick textured pink rope object that functions clip
I like the texture of this one, I like to run my hands over the woven fabric and it feels really satisfying

Image Description: small purple bean bag with white stars all over it, scented with lavender oil.
I love the smell of lavender, but I keep this in a separate bag to retain it’s smell.

While I’m aware I’m an allistic (non-autistic) person, I wanted to write a few blog-posts about Stim Toys, specifically these Handmade Stim Toys that Kim made for me to help with novel research. Now, there’s actually pretty valid reason for Kim to have made all of these Stim Toys by hand, it may sound obvious but handmade Stim Toys are a lot cheaper and it turns out it that store-bought Stim Toys are rather expensive, and there’s the problem with accessibility. For example: if an autistic Australia wanted to purchase an item such as this:

Item Description: metal bracelet that resembles a bike chair with blue on the outside of the bracelet.
In Pushing Boundaries, Beth and Mary have a matching pair of stim-bracelets like these, Beth’s bracelet is blue while Mary’s bracelet is red

From a website like StimTastic, if the item was $25 to purchase, the autistic Australian would most likely be paying $25 in postage and handling as well, so that’s roughly $50 all together. It’s one of the reasons I rarely use Amazon (that I have no idea how to use their E-Book system, I find it confusing as fuck but perhaps it’s designed for kindles only, IDK, clearly another post for another time).

In comparison, Kim’s Homemade Treasure Chest probably cost (all together) most likely $20 to $25 (at a rough estimate) with Contessa (a weighted plushie filled with beans and rice and scented with lavender) being the most expensive item.

Image Description: weighted plushie that possibly looks like a bear, a dog, a bear-dog, or a cat. Light pink in colour with a yellow crown on her head, with yellow blush circles on both sides of her cheeks and little yellow circles on her stomach and a little tail
This is Contessa

The collection is rather large and fascinating, but the ones I wanted to focus on today were my beaded items.
Image Description: a white cord with three chrome-coloured loops, within those three loops is a small metal loop one might use to store keys on, on the loop are five beads with the colour scheme of red-brown-amber-brown-red
The first item, the beaded necklace on a white chord, I enjoy using all the time, I tend to place my thumb in the metal loop and roll the beads across my thumb. But I also like to hold the loop in my hands and roll the beads with my fingers. Unfortunately, I’ve developed the bad habit of ripping out my hair, I find it difficult to stop, however I find my beaded necklace is a good distraction.

Image Description: There are two items in this picture. Left to right, Item One is a chrome metal object that functions as a metal clip, sometimes used for keys or attaching to bags. It has a metal loop one might use to store keys on. It has six beads on the metal loop, the colour scheme is dark pink-light pink-light pink-yellow-yellow-dark pink. Item Two is a small metal loop, one might confuse it for a child's bracelet, it has eleven beads, the colours are a variant mixture of pink and yellow but the beads are also a mixture of solid plastic and transparent plastic
I like to roll the beads on the bead bracelet as well, in fact I’ve been able to use both the bracelet and the necklace as anti-distraction/focus tools, like when my partner was lining up at the RACV store to receive an International Driver’s Permit (for our upcoming trip to Slovenia), I was able to sit down in a waiting chair and play with my bracelet, it was rather soothing (especially since it took ages for the RACV store to serve my partner).

Also, just before I left for Slovenia, I was visiting my sister and mother at my sister’s place and my six month old niece required a distraction, cue the bracelet! I was then able to use the bracelet as a distraction/focus tool (“Look over here, look at the pretty bracelet.”). I was able to use the bracelet like an abacus, shifting the beads from one side to the other, something my niece seemed to enjoy watching while my mother fed her.

While I was in Slovenia, we had friends take us around and look at touristy stuff (more on this later), but our guides also wanted to catch up with friends that they hadn’t seen in a while. I didn’t really know these friends of friends, I was also unable to speak Slovenian (though a couple of them could speak English, although we were often in a group situation were only one or two members of the group could speak English).

So in order to keep myself awake at the dinner table (which was often a problem), or when I had no one to talk to, I would either play with my necklace or bracelet and that helped with my social anxiety, I felt calmer when I had something to focus on.

Also when I was frustrated with how the day was progressing or perhaps not progressing, I had something to help calm me down. When on holiday, I need to know what we’re doing at the beginning of each day, as in “Today we’re going to a see a church and visit a nearby playground for children”.

I don’t mind doing these things just as long as I know that’s what we’re doing (maybe that’s just me, my partner is the exact opposite, he’s quite happy not having an itinerary or a schedule). So yeah, I’m quiet happy with the beaded necklace and bracelet, would definitely recommend.

Then there’s my weighted plushie Contessa. I rather fond of her, I enjoy carrying her around the house (though I’m careful to keep her away from my cat and water), I also love the way she smells like lavender and although the smell has slightly worn off, lavender is very soothing for me. I often have Contessa either on my lap as I’m typing or on my laptop-support table that I got from IKEA.

However, Kim did mention in one their Stim Toy posts that they don’t take scented objects outside the house because of people with chemical sensitivities or chemical allergies (which is super important to remember).

So, if readers would like to talk about what type stim toys they enjoy (homemade or otherwise) and how they use them, please feel free to leave a comment in the section. Or if there’s a particular stim toy people would like to mention, feel free to leave a link in the comment section.

One comment

  1. I don’t even think that stuff cost me $20, actually. Like a bag of rice is split between three plushies. I already own essential oils. I bought the Play Doh on sale at 8 tubs for $7. I bought bags of beads and I’ve used them on all sorts of different craft projects, so the cost per item is minimal at best. The big rings come five to a pack from Daiso, but I was already buying them for me. (I made a necklace with the big ring on it! I call it my “I don’t give a fuck what people think” necklace.) Finding stuff for cheap is absolutely my very minor super power (although it requires enduring shopping centres, alas) but stores like K-Mart and Daiso make it a lot easier if one is able to spend the time poking around. That and a willingness to look at items and use them for purposes not intended by the manufacturer. The fact that all the stim blogs on Tumblr post collections of things makes it easy for a crafty person to go “Oooh, I can make that”.

    But yes, the shipping to anywhere not America for websites like Stimtastic or any of the etsy stores owned by autistic crafters is utterly prohibitive for we international folk. It’s sad, because I’d love to support them.

    I’m flattered, though, that you’re doing a post on the stuff I made, and that you’ve been trying it out and making it work for you. Seriously, a creator can have no higher praise than someone using the stuff they make. Thank you.

    My favourite stim toys at the moment are my Tangles. Love them. So twisty and coily (shut up Firefox, that’s so a word). I also really like the chenille bean bags I made (running my hands through the nubby bits) and I also bought a Simba Disney Tsum Tsum (the mini size) during Target’s recent sale. It’s the most squishy of the mini Tsum Tsums available at my local store and the fabric feels really nice. I just run my fingers over it while reading; it makes my hands happy. And I always wear a bead ring necklace, these days, because I can fidget with it even in front of people who don’t know/understand.

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