This is part of an occasional series highlighting artists and crafters who make stim toys or stim jewelry available at Stimtastic.
Annie makes weighted lap pads for Stimtastic.
Can you tell us a little about how you got started making the weighted rice bunnies?
I saw on Stimtastic's tumblr that they were willing to offer weighted lap pads if they were made by an autistic or otherwise ND individual. At the time I was a very poor college student paying for my own tuition and bills, and I had a love of sewing as well as a sewing machine, so I spoke to the shop owner and it all went uphill from there!
Why did you choose this particular shape?
I was thinking of what animal silhouettes would be bulky enough to hold a good amount of rice. It took some thinking to figure out which animal would hold up to slight wear and tear, would still be recognizable, and hold a decent amount of weight.
(Photo description: rabbit shaped lap pad in magenta fabric with darker purple geometric pattern)
What led you to offer them at Stimtastic?
The fact Stimtastic was interested in selling them! I want to start an Etsy for some of my sewing work, but I definitely got my start on Stimtastic instead of the other way around.
What do you enjoy most about making them?
Picking out the fabric! Once I get to the fabric store, theres a whole wall of colors to pick from. It's definitely the best part about making them.
Does being autistic/ND factor into your work?
It definitely does. Making the rice bunnies actually takes a lot of energy, and I work full time, which is why the rice bunnies aren't in stock most of the time. Other than that, it takes a lot of energy and focus to sit down for a few hours to make them, but it's very rewarding!
What is your relationship to stimming or alternatively what role does/has stimming played in your life?
Stimming is something I've suppressed most of my life unfortunately. I wasn't diagnosed until later in my life so it's interesting looking back and seeing everything through the lens of "I do this because I'm autistic." I always associated it with just needing to be a mover, or having anxiety, but looking back I realize that most of what I do and have always done was related to stimming!
Where can people learn more about your work? Do you have an Etsy shop, Tumblr, Facebook page, etc?
I don't have a dedicated tumblr or Etsy yet, but I hope to make something for my work within a year or so. It's just a matter of having the time and energy and trying to build a clientele for commissions and products. Once I create something, I'll be sure to share more information! Until then, feel free to follow me on tumblr: clamperls.tumblr.com (I used to be theannieplanet but have since moved!)