shop australia

Right donut is the “Special” which was a chocolate coated donut with secret custard inside, and the left donut is brown sugar and almond glazed. 🍩🎉

Donut Shop
Fitzroy - Melbourne - Australia


I found more cheap stimmy things at the magical Yen Huot Gift Shop in Footscray, Melbourne! Please note that these are likely available at other shops (I’ve seen Durmaz-branded products in every second dollar shop) but this store is the cheapest dollar shop I’ve ever seen, so expect to pay a little more elsewhere.

Mini Stress Balls: $1.50 AUD for four.

These I like least out of the haul. They’re not too firm, which is good for my hands, but they have a musty, chemical odour that I can’t get past. It’s the first time I’ve found stress balls that smell bad, so I’ll know now to do a sniff test before purchasing. The tennis ball is softest, the soccer ball hardest.

Glitter Bouncy Balls: $1.50 AUD for six.

I hadn’t seen the glitter-infused bouncy balls here in Australia before, so I was glad to find these. They’re the middle ball size (I see these in K-Mart selling at 6 for $2 AUD) so this is a really good price. Other than looking pretty, they’re bouncy balls. I don’t have too much to say other than that they bounce and have glitter!

Plastic Spinner: $2 AUD.

You know how you buy something thinking it’s going to be dodgy, bring it home and kick yourself for not buying more? It happened to me with this spinner. I should have bought a few more. I want a few more!

It’s a little wobbly and doesn’t spin as long as my best spinners (the green and silver bearing and red camo spinners in the collection photo) but it cost $2. It works better than my market spinners and spins just as well as my most expensive spinner. The best thing about this is that it’s light. I can spin it easily without tiring my hands, and I can stow it in my satchel (along with a Tangle and a couple of hedge balls) without weighting down my bag. If you’re like me and can’t take much weight on your arms or shoulders, this is an ideal carry-about-with-you spinner. Plus it’s so inexpensive. I have no idea how long this will last, but it’s absolutely worth the price. Also available in yellow and orange, for people who don’t love the colour green!

(I’ve a couple more spinners to review; I bought the metal spinner and Mum gave me the glow in the dark emoji spinner.)

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This is is a bit of an update to my original spinner post, because in the week and a half since, the spinner landscape has changed no end. So I want to discuss my experiences, prices and quality, now there’s so many options!

The first is this: almost all the dollar shops are selling plastic spinners now. I’ve seen them priced at $6, $7.95 and $8 (AUD). The Saturday market near my house is selling the plain-coloured spinners for $5 AUD each; I saw a stall set up in Highpoint yesterday selling the plain plastic spinners (the same as mine, in the same box) for $15 AUD each. I’d say that if you’re paying more than $8 for these cheap, plastic spinners, you’re truly overpaying.

In this spinner category, I’ve seen flat coloured spinners, glow in the dark spinners, batman logo spinners and patterned spinners. Some stores are differentiating in prices with these (plain spinners a little cheaper than patterned spinners) but some price them the same. My local dollar shop, Cutprice Variety, is doing a 2 for $15 AUD deal, and since they’re also stocking fidget cubes (and let you do the deal for one spinner and one fidget cube) I think that’s the best way to get a couple of the more interesting (batman, GITD, patterned) spinners.

I got the red camo and yellow batman spinners above, as well as the packaged black batman and patterned blue spinner for @ambiguouspieces, in the 2 for $15 AUD ($30 AUD total) deal from Cutprice Variety. The blue spinner cost $5 AUD from my local Saturday market.

I’ve also seen LED light spinners (where the bearings are replaced with white LED lights) and metal spinners, which are retailing around the $15 AUD dollar mark, but these are less common.

The second is this: while I probably overpaid for my original $8 AUD green spinner, it is far and away the best spinner I own. It’s smooth, quiet and so well balanced. I’d gladly pay that money again knowing I’d get a really good spinner - I consider this one comparable to the ceramic bearing spinner I handled at Sensory Oasis for Kids and absolutely worth what I paid.

The $5 AUD market spinners (and I’ve handled a few because Dad acquired one of mine) are far and away the worst spinners I own. They rattle, they’re noisy, they don’t spin quite as long and the bearings aren’t sitting evenly in the plastic casing, resulting in sharper edges for snagging fingers. (They work! They work absolutely fine. They’re just not as nice as the green one.) I’d get these for young kids or as a spare, but they’re just not as nice to handle. Yet I’ve seen my local dollar store sell these same less-nice spinners for the same price in the same basket as the better spinners - they’re all jumbled in together, and I didn’t know until I handled the market spinners that they weren’t the same.

The other spinners (red camo and yellow batman) are in the middle - not as quiet and smooth as the green one, much nicer than the blue one. Yet, as you can see with the red batman spinner in the last photo, sometimes they’re still not well-made - I had to return this one for the yellow one in the first photo because the cap wasn’t properly set over the bearing.

To make this even harder, while many of these spinners have the white boxes seen above, the text has “fidget”, “hand” or “finger” spinner. I don’t know how well this holds true, but the ones with “fidget” on the box have been better than the ones with “hand” or “finger”. Yet my green spinner and the red camo spinner both came in boxes with “fidget” and while the red camo is better than the blue market and yellow batman spinners, it’s not as good as the green spinner.

So … how do you get a good spinner? The spinners I like best tend to have silver rather than black bearings, so I’d take that as some indication. I’d check too to see if the bearing rests flush in the plastic housing. If they’re in the white boxes, ask if you can open it and spin it in store. (This way, too, you don’t have to take the spinner back to the store the way I did with the red batman spinner.) A good spinner shouldn’t rattle or wobble, and if you plan to use them for stimming around others, it’s good to get the quieter, smoothest spinners possible.

Lastly, the batman spinners just don’t spin as long as the normal spinners. (They’re by far more awesome, though.) They’re not harder to spin, but they don’t have that sense of near perpetual motion I have with the tri-shaped spinners.

Basically: getting a really good dollar shop spinner is possible, but I either got very lucky in my first spinner or quality has decreased with more spinners becoming available. I was told that rainbow spinners will be arriving at Cutprice Variety on Friday, which I will need to go and check out…

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Look at these beauties! My mom went to Perth recently to celebrate my grandma’s 80th birthday (I couldn’t go because it’s the middle of the school term, sadly). She came back last Saturday and surprised me with a haul of cuttings and little succulents! The colours are simply marvellous! Thank you so much, mom!

P.S. A small garden snail hitched a plane ride all the way from Australia to Singapore on one of the Aeoniums (in the hand-carry bag)! I’m giving the little fella a home in a little snail-habitat fashioned from an old but unused fish tank. Hope he likes it!

anonymous asked:

I have a tendency to hold my pencil super tight (slightly alleviated by using thinner lead which forces me to not push hard/be more cognizant to not break the lead) and this causes me to have a veryyy large callous on my hand. Which I compulsively pick at all the time. So I guess this a 2 pt question. I know you've talked about struggling with picking and posted resources, but maybe one of the mods would know of some grippy thing I can put on the pencils I already I have. Thank you.

On pencil grips:

Huh. In researching this, anon, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve spent my entire life holding a pen wrong and nobody has once remarked upon it. I surely do not hold pens the way the people in all the stock images for the below grips hold pens and, having tried this in light of experimentation, don’t know how they do it that way, since I have zero control over said pen when I do. Oh, well, my chronic hand pain means I now seldom use my pens or pencils anyway…

Ironically, perhaps, I have a little experience with this, because I do need to bulk up the pens and pencils I do use, thanks to said chronic hand pain - thin pencils and pens are terrible for my hands. But do filter everything I discuss through the lens of my handwriting wrong, okay? Please note, too, you may be able to find local versions of some of the things below in stationery shops, office shops, art stores and even, sometimes, the stationery sections of department stores.

If you purchase these in person, especially if you’re going for the cheaper sort of grip only to cushion the pencil/pen, take the pencils intended for the grip shopping with you. I say this because I bought a pack of cheap-ish pencil grips and discovered that they don’t fit my standard student-grade-sized colour pencils, or my Derwents … or any pen/pencil I own, in fact. As someone who needs pencil grips to enlarge the size of my pencils (when I can use a pencil, that is), I was very disappointed to discover that something marketed for “any pencil” was too oversized to be useful for anything I needed to bulk up.

You may also need to look at grips that are as long as possible or can be stacked up the pencil: most of them are (given the wrong way I hold a pencil) just so short that my thumb and pointer finger rest on it but it isn’t long enough to cushion where the pen or pencil rubs hard against my fourth finger (where I have my big, annoying callous, in point of fact). Depending on the size of your hand and how you hold the pencil, be prepared to buy enough grips to stack them.

There’s quite a wide selection of grips on The Therapy Shoppe, so much so it’s worth browsing their entire handwriting section. Note that most of these are short grips.

(Aussies will find much the same selection on Skillbuilders and Pencil Grips Plus. UK folks might like to check out The Dyslexia Shop.)

If you’re like me and your callouses are coming from your inability to correctly hold the pen, and you actually have a need to use a pen or pencil on a regular basis, you might want to look at the Solo or Grotto pencil grips, as they’re designed to put your fingers in the right position.

If your grip isn’t the problem, and you’re just after cushioning, the first thing you might want to try is wrapping the lower third of your pencil in a kneadable eraser. (I’ve seen them in Officeworks, the art sections of good dollar shops, art stores.) They’re soft, they’re not too sticky and you can make it long enough and as thin or thick as you like. Even if this isn’t long-term workable, moulding the eraser to suit your hand should teach you something about the kind of shape and length you’re looking for in your grips, so I consider it worth doing for this reason alone. I do this when I really have to use a regular-size pen or pencil (thin pens and pencils are so bad on my hands) and it does help.

If the callous is on your thumb or pointer finger, you might wish to look at the cushioning Jumbo Pencil Grip (will also help with correcting grip).

Ribbed Grips and Cushy Foam Grips are listed as designed to help folks with tight grips, so you might want to check these ones out, anon. Speaking from personal experience, holding things tightly, while a necessity for me to function, has wrecked hell on my hands. It might be better for you if you can learn to work the pencil with a less-tight grip.

Massager Grips are designed to be stacked as well as providing texture, and should be good for people like me who need a good third or half of the pencil covered.

I’m going to ask Mod Rainbow to chime in if they have suggestions that can more accurately fit your needs, anon, because they’re better than I am on the disability-aid side of this blog. If our followers can add their experiences and recommendations, I’d also be grateful, as it seems I have a lot to learn about this myself! I hope, though, anon, that this gives you somewhere, at least, to begin.

On picking:

Yesterday, I ended up coating a couple of $1 AUD K-Mart snake puzzles in two layers of PVA glue. You can use any cheap glue, just applied with a triangular makeup sponge (as this results in fewer strokes to get a good coverage over the plastic) with time for the layers to dry between coats. This took a few hours to finish, between various other goings on. Once the first puzzle had dried, I promptly peeled all the glue off one end because it was there crying out to be picked off the puzzle:

[image description: a black and white plastic snake puzzle made from alternating black and white plastic triangles interlocked together and string on a clear elastic cord. The snake is bent on a right angle halfway across and has three pieces tilted up at the left-hand end, one white piece bearing the upside-down number 08/16 in black type. Pieces of glue, forming a clear plastic membrane, are peeling away from the numbered pieces like a snake shedding its skin.]

It takes effort to prepare them all, so it’s best to do a few at once, but they are wonderful to pick at. Wonderful. The glue catches in the puzzle’s joints, so there’s large expanses to peel away over the flat sides of each connecting piece and the little shreds to scrape away in the joints. If you want something to pick that isn’t you and you’re not comfortable with putting glue or liquid latex directly on your own skin, I really cannot recommend this enough. It’s so stimmy, and for folks with dermatitis or other skin issues, better than painting glue or liquid latex directly on the skin.

It’d be easy to do this to Tangles, snake puzzles, serpent puzzles, massage balls - anything hard plastic that isn’t designed for going into one’s mouth. Picking away at the shreds of glue on the snake is one of the best stim experiences I’ve had in a while. Better than the spinner, even!

- Mod K.A.