My Autism Spectrum Quotient

Well it seems I’m exactly average. Interesting.

The Autism Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, is a questionnaire consisting of fifty questions, it aims to investigate whether adults of normal intelligence have symptoms of autism or one of the other autism spectrum conditions.


The average score for the original control group of the test was 16.4. 80% of adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders scored 32 or more, compared with only 2% of the control group.

The test is not a diagnostic tool and higher scores do not necessarily indicate either Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism.

The test is more often used to assess milder variants of autistic-like traits in typically developing individuals to investigate the continuum hypothesis of autism spectrum condition.

You can read more about the test on Wikipedia.

I’ve calculated my Autism Spectrum Quotient as 15, which is average. Most women score about 15 and most men about 17.

Most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 35.

However, many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s have no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.



I Had Been Hungry All the Years

Emily Dickinson

A Naiad by Waterhouse

My noon had come, to dine-
I, trembling, drew the table near
I had been hungry all the years

And touched the curious wine.

‘T was this on tables I had seen
When turning, hungry, lone,
I looked in windows, for the wealth
I could not hope to own.

I did not know the ample bread,
‘T was so unlike the crumb
The birds and I had often shared
In Nature’s dining-room.

The plenty hurt me, ‘t was so new,–
Myself felt ill and odd,
As berry of a mountain bush
Transplanted to the road.

Nor was I hungry; so I found
That hunger was a way
Of persons outside windows,
The entering takes away.

DIY Ideas for bed heads

Bedheads – BHG

Just something I’ve thought about making – if I keep the info here there’s less chance of me losing it…

Bed Headboards

Bedheads – Better Homes and Gardens

Video link for September 17 TV Program
November 2010 Magazine

Security Door Bedhead

The combination of white and gold on this bedhead gives the room a sense of sophistication.

Here’s how to make it:

Gather your supplies Sheet of 1800 x 1530 x 12mm MDF (for queen-size bed); 3 strips of 18 x 70mm MDF: 1 x 1530mm (top), 2 x 1730mm (sides), and 2 x 18 x 70 x 1330mm cut at 45° along 1 long edge (to be used as split battens); tape measure; pencil; PVA wood glue; 25mm screws; calico (to cover MDF sheet plus 15cm extra all round); fabric (same size as the calico); wadding (same size as calico, or double for extra cushioning); staple gun; scissors

STEP 1 Glue the 3 strips of MDF to the top and sides of the back of the MDF sheet, flush with the edges. Use 25mm screws to secure the MDF strips in place.

STEP 2 Lay wadding flat on the floor and position the MDF sheet over it. Mark out 15cm extra around all sides and cut out the wadding. For extra cushioning, cut out 2 pieces. Reposition bedhead in the middle of the wadding with the right side down. Turn over 15cm allowance on 1 side and staple to the back of the bedhead. Pull the opposite side of the wadding tight, then staple it in place. Repeat for the remaining 2 sides.

STEP 3 Spread the calico flat on the floor, then lay bedhead on top. Cut out calico with a 15cm seam allowance on all sides. Reposition bedhead on calico, turn over 15cm allowance, then staple in place. Repeat for remaining sides.

STEP 4 Iron fabric, if necessary. Lay the bedhead covered with wadding over the fabric, then mark out a 15cm allowance around all sides. Cut out fabric and reposition MDF in the middle of the fabric. Turn over the 15cm allowance on 1 side and staple to the back of the bedhead. Keeping fabric firmly stretched, turn over the 15cm allowance on opposite side, then staple in place. Repeat for other 2 sides. If you’re using striped fabric, make sure you keep the lines straight.

STEP 5 To hang the bedhead, glue and then screw the top half of the split batten 400mm down from the top of the back of the bedhead. For maximum strength, screw lower edge of bottom batten to the wall, 1280mm from the top of the skirting, screwing into wall studs

December 8, 2006, 2:38 pm
Simple slip cover

1 Cut a 1200mm wide sheet of 15mm particleboard to the width of your bed and glue 20mm thick foam sheets to the front using contact adhesive. Overlap the top edge and glue excess foam to the back. When glue is dry, trim the foam at the sides to give a neat finish and cover the lot with calico, fixing in place with a staple gun. The calico will ensure the fabric slip cover sits better over the foam and, unless you are using a lightweight fabric, there is no need for a lining.You can use any fabric for the cover but, if the fabric you love is expensive, a complementary cheaper fabric for the back will reduce your costs.

2 Make a simple rectangular cover to fold in half over the board – it should be about 100mm wider than the board after you’ve sewn deep hems all around.
3 To secure the cover to the board, sew buttons along both edges of the back piece of fabric – the buttons should face towards the front of the bed. Mark the positions of the buttons on the front flap and make buttonholes on the front piece. Fit the cover by slipping it over and buttoning up the sides. Fasten the headboard to the base with universal brackets as for lattice bedhead.

Sleek modern

An oversized headboard gives a sleek modern look, perfect for contemporary or apartment living.Choose a pre-finished timber laminate in a colour and grain which appeals to you. Here Italian Yew laminate was used – visit a kitchen showroom or board factory to see the range and find a laminate you love. (If you’re on a tight budget, try timber veneered boards or MDF board and polyurethane them yourself).

To create the oversized look, use two standard sheets of 15mm particleboard, 900 x 1800mm. Contact-glue the laminate to the front of each sheet of board, smooth it into position using a soft cloth or roller, working from the centre outwards to force out any air bubbles trapped underneath. After the glue is dry file the laminate edges to give a neat finish.To add a modern sophisticated detail to complete the look use aluminium edging to hide the edges of the particleboard and join the two boards. Fix an aluminium L section, cut to length to the top and the outside edges of the board then join the two the boards vertically with an aluminium T section. The edging is fixed from the rear with short screws at 200mm intervals.Once the headboard is complete, position and fix to your ensemble using universal brackets (available form bedding and hardware stores, about $20 a pair). Fix as for lattice headboard.

What is a lap joint?Where two pieces of timber do not have to finish flush with one another, this basic lap joint will suffice. It is vital that you locate screws or nails diagonally across the joint as this gives the joint its strength.For more ideas see Better Homes and Gardens The Complete Home Improvement Book (Murdoch Books)

Veiled In Sleep

February 26, 2008, 4:42 pm

beds black
Here are three very different and inexpensive ways to veil your bed with a swathe of fabric.

CONTEMPORARY STYLE The clean lines of the black-and-white colour scheme are brought to life with the addition of a patterned half-canopy.

Here’s how: Rig up a half-canopy using three extendable curtain rods fitted with elbow joiners at the front corners.Thread an equal number of rings with clips, about 30, on each side of the canopy. To do this, use toggle fasteners to secure three rod brackets to the ceiling. They need to correspond with the centre front and sides, 40cm in from wall, of the canopy frame. Hook the frame onto the brackets, then attach the curtains.

As a standard pair of curtains may fall short, run up a pair of curtains using reversible fabric which drapes well. You’ll need four drops of about 3m each. For each side, stitch two drops together. Measure the hanging length (from curtain ring to floor), and allowing 22cm for hems, cut the length. Stitch 2.5cm side hems, then a 2.5cm double hem at the top. For the lower hem, turn under 2cm, then stitch a 15cm hem. Press. Attach curtains to clip rings, bringing them part of the way around the front of canopy. Gather curtains, at about bed height, with a tie-back.Give the bed opulence with luxurious bedding.


Here’s how: to make the canopy frame, purchase four long 2.5cm-diameter bamboo stakes (lengths to suit your bed size). Trim each rod to size, then sand lightly. Stain the rods with a coat of Feast Watson Black Japan and allow to dry. Slip a pair of transparent tab-top curtains onto each rod. Crossing the ends, put side rods on and across the head and base rods. Using lacing cord, diagonally lash the rods together at each corner. Then tie the loose ends to the chains (aligned with the four corners of the bed) that are suspended from the ceiling. For plasterboard ceilings, use toggle hooks on which to hang the chain.Decorate with traditional Asian-style objects, organic shapes, dark timber furniture, wall-hangings, screens and lamps.


Making white the common denominator, layer the room with crisp bed linen, scrolled ironwork and pretty bedroom accessories. Painted ironwork on the bed makes the perfect foil for a softly draped mosquito net or curtain.

DIY Bedhead of Roses

December 14, 2006,3:50 pm
This design reduces roses to their bare, basic petals, which when stained in a dark colour look stunning against a pale wall.

Construction is easy as it is based on a few pieces of MDF that can be pre-cut by the board supplier if there is one close to you. Even if you need to cut it yourself there is nothing complicated in the design. The floral pattern can be drawn on the board using a grid, but an even easier way is to use a full-sized blown-up pattern straight from a copying service (see below).Construction is with glue and screws and the backing behind the design is opal acrylic. This can be lit at night by simply resting a small fluorescent light fitting on the internal shelf. The total cost of the project should come in under $300.

Gather your supplies

  • A Rose panel 1550 x 1200 x 18mm MDF
  • B Sides (2) 150 x 1200 x 25mm MDF
  • C Top 150 x 1600 x 25mm MDF
  • D Internal shelf/bottom (2) 1550 x 114 x 18mm MDF
  • E Centre upright 114 x 514 x 18mm MDF
  • F Back panel 1550 x 550 x 18mm MDF
  • G Translucent panel 645 x 1545 x 3mm Opal acrylic
  • H Beading (3, cut to suit) 1550 x 25 x 18mm MDF offcuts

You’ll also need

Stencil (photocopied to exact size wanted); fluorescent light (eg. IKEA Liesta); walnut timber stain; satin polyurethane.

Here’s how

STEP 1 Obtain a photocopy of the pattern in actual size (1500mm wide – it cost just under $20 from an instant print shop), or use a 100mm grid to copy the pattern from the diagram onto the top of the main MDF panel (A). Shapes are not critical and probably benefit from not being too accurate.

STEP 2 Transfer stencil to MDF by taping the paper in position on the top section of the panel, leaving a 25mm border at top and sides. Hold firmly then trace around the pattern with a sharp knife to cut out all the petals.

STEP 3 Use a pencil to mark the petals on the MDF using the cutouts as a guide. Carefully pull the pattern or template away, trying to keep it intact in case you have forgotten a petal here or there.

STEP 4 Rout a 6mm wide by 4mm deep shadow line rebate around top and sides, plus a groove across the middle 25mm down from the pattern with 6mm straight bit fitted to a router. This gives a border effect. Edges are easy to do using the router fitted with a fence, but to run the groove across the centre of the sheet, set up a straight edge and run the router along that.

STEP 5 Drill 10mm holes in the sections to be cut out so you can start the jigsaw. Drill close to the drawn edge of each petal to keep cutting to a minimum.

STEP 6 Use a jigsaw fitted with a scroll blade (2 packs for under $10) to cut out design, following the pattern and cutting into sharp corners from 2 directions. Scroll blades are skinnier and make it easy to cut around tight corners. Don’t be too careful. You can go outside the lines (artistic licence and all that)- Just make sure you leave enough material between petals so the panel is not too weak.

STEP 7 Once done, turn the rose panel face down and screw on the 2 sides (B), predrilling and countersinking as mentioned in the box, below. When aligning, don’t forget to allow for the shadow groove. The face of the main part of the boards should be flush with edge of the sides, not the bottom of the rebate.

STEP 8 Add top (C) by screwing to the panel and into the top of the sides, again taking care to align the face of the panels with the edge of the top.

STEP 9 Glue and screw the internal shelf and bottom (D) to centre upright (E), and in turn screw them in position at the bottom of the panel. Then add the back (F). Fill all screw holes with a fast-drying filler such as a 2-part filler. As these do not shrink, fill to exactly the level of the board, making a second application if necessary for a perfectly smooth surface.

STEP 10 Sand all the edges to roughly round them using approximately 25mm-wide strips of sanding belts. You can buy narrow strips or rip or cut them to the width you want. Have the opal acrylic (G) cut to size and test-fit behind the rose motif. Cut beads of MDF (H) and screw them to the sides, top and internal shelf to hold the acrylic to the back of the panel. Remove ready for finishing.

STEP 11 Stain the MDF with turpentine-based walnut stain (or any other colour you like). If you want a deeper colour, apply stain a second time. Finish with 2 coats of satin polyurethane for a durable finish. Reinstall the acrylic. For other interesting effects, try adding a coloured acrylic to the opal acrylic. Add a fluorescent light fitting that is already wired with a plug and hold it on the internal shelf with velcro to avoid having to open the fitting. Ahhh – life’s a bed of roses after all. Source: Better Homes and Gardens magazine, April 2006



Beautiful photos and quotes on friendship. Solo piano music is titled Together from the album At Peace…

Unending Love: Love Through Time

I dedicate this to Shaun, gone these past 7 years

In my heart and mind always

Thank you for all the wonderful memories  ♥

For you a quote…

Unending Love: Love Through Time

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