Shabby Miss Jenn

Friday, 13 April 2012


recently i've had the opportunity to share my story with a local newspaper regarding living life with autism. for those new to me and my blog i have 4 older kids and 3 of them have autism amongst other disorders and life here at times can be full on.

however and sorry if i offend anyone by mentioning this, life isn't always about autism. before anyone gets upset let me explain my thoughts behind why life isn't always about autism. as a family we have been through hell and back with our support, no help and when it was in it was rather unproductive, caused more harm then good and we asked of what little support we had to stop and no longer step in believing they could change our world in an instant when all they were doing was creating a mess. now if your still with me reading thank you....i'll continue.

we've had service providers and agencies in our home over the past 3 or so years (not for all that time but about 10/12 months on and off maybe) trying to offer the help and support a family needed but they weren't able to deliver the small things our family needed to move on and move forward and they cause a great deal of difficulty because many of the workers really didn't get it at all. it cause more distress, anxiety and harm to our kids and therefore us so we let them all go and told them to stop. now we still deal with the medical profession because they do actually know what they are doing but that's it...nothing more and we are able to breathe because of it.

as some of you may be aware we also deal with other disabilities/disorders whatever you wish to call them and i'm talking about depression, anxiety disorders and best's vitelliform dystrophy!

best's vitelliform dystrophy is not connected, linked or associated with autism in anyway like some people have thought it too be so and have told me that it is. it can't possibly be so.

best's vitelliform is a rarer genetic eye disease allowing for progressive blindness and there is no cure. my husband has it, both steph and isaac have it and steph and isaac have autism as well. but today we're talking the eye disease. they are both case studies, their eyes are famous here at least in australia with one paper already written about their eyes and the condition and the intervention needed. apparently a 2nd paper has been started and they are constantly monitored. now i'm not going into the nitty gritty of their eye sight because it's just far too difficult but what my kids deal with aside from the best's vitelliform dystrophy is torn retinas, leaking fluid and bleeds to the back of the eyes and what the specialists are not sure if all of the conditions are linked or whether they are completely separate conditions...thus and therefore the written work, case study papers etc etc.

so sometimes for our family it isn't always about autism...sometimes there are other major issues going on that can't be controlled and when you know that it's a matter of when and not if...that your kids are going to loose their sight then that to us as parents and major.

let me tell you why else it's not always about autism...through my business chris turnbull photography, i've been supporting a gorgeous little girl by the name of ruby. i'm not the only one but ruby has touched the hearts of many of us as she has cystic fibrosis. ruby now needs a nebuliser and all the treatment that goes with that twice a day and for the rest of her life. i've had the opportunity to help ruby before by donating to an auction supporting and raising funds for cystic fibrosis and i'm helping and supporting again but this time to raise the much needed funds to purchase a new nebuliser for a little girl that needs it. they cost too much for any family to be able to purchase so i'm helping in a small way but still able to provide. you can read more about ruby's story here and here

there are families out there that have children with disorders and disabilities everywhere...their child doesn't have an autism spectrum disorder but they do have a serious life long illness or disability that they need support with as well. not every child or teenager or adult with a disability is misconception there. not every family dealing with these issues are able to purchase the items needed for their child no matter how life threatening their condition is.

the more and more i venture into the world of all abilities the more and more i have realised that just like me... a parent with a child or 2 or 3 with disorders or disabilities isn't funded...there are so many more families out there in the same situation and this breaks my heart to think that the aides and or tools one needs is usually left up to the parents to raise the funds for. i hear and read heartbreaking story after story galore. i know the families that have had to sell their family home to pay for the medical expenses, equipment, tools and aides for their loved ones. i know the families that have to pawn another precious item to make ends meet because their child needs another prescription filled or assessment done. i know the families where parents can no longer work or have had to take long term leave to help raise their child/ren because it takes 2 parents to support and look after. i've spoken to many face to face or over the phone or through email...this is their reality, this is the stuff the service providers or agencies may or may not know and this is stuff that the government has no idea about and even if they do they bury their heads in the sand!

i am blessed...i haven't lost a child although we have come close more times then i wish to reveal. we've dealt with crisis after crisis, medical expenses galore, financial hardship, lack of support and help in the areas we've needed it, mental and emotional strain and stress, we've dealt with situations that if you knew what they were it would break your heart as it has mine. but today is a good my children are all here, safe, living life to the very best they can with all the support tim and i can give them.

today it isn't always about autism, today it is about cherishing life, no longer taking it for granted, supporting and helping others anyway we can and constantly finding inspiration all around us. we have gone without and we have sacrificed so much but today it's about moving forward and moving on and finding a place in our heart and soul for others because we all need to refocus and reprioritise and give a little to help alot.

chris xxx

if you can support this anyway you can little ruby roo and her family would truly be grateful ♥

Sunday, 18 March 2012

the latest sample of my new lace crown or tiara (either name suits because this could be for a boy or girl). anyway i think it's just gorgeous and of course custom orders are being taken for this one if anyone is interested. head on over to my facebook page here and check them all out with details including price, size and postage information. i've also just popped together a teeny weeny little red one with glitter to add too my collection. i just couldn't help myself as i love red....but just a splash. it's drying on the clothes horse and then tomorrow i'll add the finishing touches and upload a pic to facebook and eventually here. oh and i have another few i'm working on moss green, sapphire and amethyst. they all look gorgeous and can't wait too take pics and show them off as well.

i'm starting to take on maternity and newborn sessions with my photography work and i've already booked in my very first shoot. bubs is not due until the 1st of may however the maternity shoot will be april and pre session is already booked in with mum and dad to be for the 30th of march. as much as i'm really excited and can't wait...i'm a little nervous as well.

anyhoo just a quick blog update tonight. it's getting a wee bit chilly now and i think it's way past my bed time.
until next update stay safe, well and healthy.

chris xxx

Sunday, 11 March 2012

lace crowns and tiara's...

what's a lace crown without a tiara? of course you can't have one without the other so i'm creating both. call them a lace crown, call them a tiara however they are pretty unique and i just love creating <------ there i go using that word again 'creating', them all. the images i upload are of individual crowns/tiara's and no two are really the same. each one is customised, created uniquely and are made to order. 

if you're looking for something unique as a gift, child's birthday, wedding, christening, other event, part of a collection or as a photography can't go past one of these. just remember they are not intended as toys and as much as i put a little love and uniqueness into each one...they are special.

i have a couple new ones on the i'm typing this blog post they are indeed drying, different lace, different colours with more too come. at the moment the sizes are usually 8" and or 11" circumference however any size is possible, any colour is possible but remember my take on all things creativity may be a little different to yours but definitely by working together achievable.

here are the latest images.

head on over to chris turnbull photography's facebook page here to view them in the album here and to place an order email me at

chris xxx

Friday, 9 March 2012

photography props - lace crowns

i've been dabbling in creativity this past week dabbling in lace crowns (or tiara's) for photography props, little girl gifts, big girl gifts or for any other special event or happening. i've loved working on and creating...filling in my time in between visiting my mother up at the hospital this week daily. my dear old mum had a heart attack this week and although it was only a minor's a tad scary. she is also battling pneumonia and is on a concoction of antibiotics, fluid tablets and steroids to help where it's needed. she'll be in for a few more days and then when they finally discharge her next week some time...there is the outpatient clinics and cardiac stuff she will be working through. so to help with the focus and what's taken place i needed to take a step back from my other priorities and just create...something i need to do when things aren't always okay in my world. 

yep that's what i've been busy creating and i have a few more to add to the collection. i've already had other photographers and mum's purchase some and although there is a limited range and amount of each...i am busy creating extra stock and taking custom orders as well.

price starts from $12 per crown/tiara plus $5 flat rate or $8 registered postage within australia only. for overseas orders please contact me and i'll organise a quote on shipping to your destination. i don't have a store just yet so for any orders please pop on over to my facebook page here or email me at

these are all created individually and uniquely and no 2 crowns/tiara's may be the same. today i hope to add a couple more images to my facebook page chris turnbull photography of a couple of different colours. please note that many of these are OOAK at present, if sold i can certainly create more upon order. 

it's a long weekend here and i'm looking forward to it. hubby and i are planning to head down to daylesford for lunch on monday just to take some much needed time out and for me to take photos. we planned to head that way this week on wednesday however due to my mum having a heart attack and in hospital i didn't want to risk being too far away just in case. for those of you here in australia sharing the long weekend with me...enjoy every minute of it.

chris xxx

Sunday, 4 March 2012

bendigo special needs photographer...

for those that may not know i am an on location natural light photographer specialising in children and loved ones with special and additional needs such as autism spectrum disorders. however i also work with families and children who don't have any of these issues. recently a photography client of mine was asked if i did photo sessions for and of 'normal' families and of course the answer was yes i sure do much to the relief of the family that would like to book a session.

now before i go any further i have a special for the month of march which is pretty darn awesome so you'd best get in quick to book a session before all the time slots are filled up and you miss out.

$130 march madness deal includes:
  • photographers time and talent
  • pre session and custom editing of 15 full resolution digital images
  • permission to print anywhere 
  • a set of low res watermarked images for web
  • up to 1.5 hours and 5 people
  • $25 for each additional family member of friend
look below at the little ad i popped together and contact me at or head on over to my website here and submit a contact form spots are already filling fast so before you miss out book a session.

now before i love ya and leave ya i thought i might share an image of my daughter steph below.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

heading too fast...

yep the year that's heading way too fast down the road and i'm barely able to keep up. today is the 1st of march for those of us living in not so sunny victoria australia today. at the time of writing this blog i'm babysitting...yup 2 cute bunnies that belong to my daughter stephanie who has autism. buzz and fatty! buzz is a doe mini and fatty the is a mini lop and just like any other 'toddlers' in the animal kingdom they are into everything. they've just worked out they can sit on my printer, drag poor raggedy andy (my rag doll and poor raggedy ann's partner) onto the floor from the chair in the front window and which of course they love to look out the window.

i'm sitting here while i have some time before the rush of the school morning run blogging. it's been too long since the last one and that wasn't suppose to be the way it worked. i was suppose to find time this year to blog at least once a week and it hasn't happened. i'm still hopeful that things will change and i will manage to keep this blog updated frequently enough for those that stop by and keep up with everything, well maybe not everything, but alot of what's going on in our family.

in the mean time i've started a new photography blog kinda bloggy thing over on my photography website here mainly for my photography work and images and of course keep this one here for the day to day going's on.

oh and guess what? i scrapped...oh yeah baby!!! seriously after what seems like an eternity of not scrapping i created a page a couple of nights ago and loved it so much that i really haven't forgotten anything. i'm slowly getting back into things now that hubby has gone back to work.


photo's by Chris Turnbull Photography
background paper - sophie papers - digi chick
brushes - selina brushes - digi chick
b&w bow, stitches, cherish tab, vintage button clip and eiffel tower - perfect day - paint the moon
striped knot, bunch of horsetail, paper (strips) - naturally - paint the moon
heart chipboard alphas - amber clegg
font - birch

journaling reads: follow your dreams, be who you are, not what others want you to be and never give up.

may as well share some photos or 2 while i'm here as well. the photos are of my daughter stephanie.

well i'll leave it there for today. happy reading and please feel free to leave some ♥


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

happy new year...

wow...i feel i've fallen off the planet in full when it comes to blogging. this is the longest stretch ever i have not posted a blog update and i look at the last time i did so back in october 2011 and realise in those few months how things have moved forward for my family and i in such a positive direction sometimes i need to pinch myself. i'm not dreaming this is real!!!

now let's see if i can catch all my followers up to speed with everything.
  • grace got her p's and is so independent we rarely see her it feels
  • our family is moving forward well and all is stable so because of this tim is able to go back to work full time and has
  • tim started back to work full time after a nine year spell helping me raise our 4 kids - 3 with autism, other disorders, our 2 youngest asd kids also visually impaired and losing their sight to a rare genetic disorder called Best's Vitelliform Dystrophy
  • grace was accepted for her diploma of nursing and cert iv in disability and has chosen to do the cert iv in disability first then work her way up and through her diploma of nursing. grace starts her course next monday
  • steph enrolled into yr 12 and will be doing her vce over a 2 yr period. pretty awesome seeing as it took all of 2011 with additional support to settle into a new school (bendigo senior is for yr 11 and 12) and a completely new everything
  • isaac is managing so much better and we did actually enrol him into homeschooling and he was accepted. however now that tim is back at work full time and was isaac's mentor and tutor we may have to leave that option and just wait till he is older for another school option as a mature aged student
  • the 1st case study and notes on steph and isaac and their eyes and treatment has been published and we have a copy. apparently they are still case studies and a 2nd paper is being written
  • lance bought his 1st car - a vt holden commodore and is very quickly becoming mr.independent
  • my photography is now a business with the name chris turnbull photography registered and my abn being reinstated
  • service providers and agencies throughout victoria have either heard of me or have me listed in their own directories or both after families who have booked photo sessions with me (these are families that have children with autism and other additional and special needs) were so stoked with the entire process that they've let their early intervention workers know, teachers at playgroups, kinder, creche, school etc know, their autism advisor's from autism victoria (now trading as amaze) know , other specialists and the list just goes on and on and on. all impressed and all excited to let families and others know about chris turnbull photography and i am completely overwhelmed by it all
i think that may just do it for the 1st post of 2012 so until next blog update and i will make sure it won't be so long inbetween...take care. hugs chris xoxo