Several years ago, Isabel Heubl, a German studying design in the UK, got feedback from the Show Us Your Hands! community on a project she was doing for her degree in 3D design. She was designing utensils for people with dexterity problems and now, the result of her hard work has been released on the market in Europe.

3010_Integrale_NEW-b4000-2006
We were astonished at the beauty and functionality of these utensils and asked Isabel if she would consider donating a set as a prize for our Picture Project and she said yes! They haven’t reached our mailbox yet, but when they do, will be sending them onto the winner of the March-April Picture Project.

The theme of this latest Picture Project was tools. When it inflammatory arthritis affects your hands, you find different ways of doing tasks of everyday living. Sometimes, you can use tools especially designed to help people with arthritis and sometimes, you come up with your own trick. This month, our communities shared both kinds of tools.

Opening soda cans was a big theme.

Kath showed off her ringpull

Kath Hodgkins
We received two other entries on soda cans that used improvised tools. Rebecca uses a key

Rebecca Miner

and Lene, our Director of Community Outreach, shared a video for about how to use a fork to open a soda can

Moving on to personal grooming, April said “This is one of my favorite tools. I have a hard time, sometimes, with brushes, handles, and brushing my hair. I discovered, quite by accident, that many dog brushes are similar to the horse brushes we used when I was a kid to brush out the horses. Those come with a strap around the back of your hand to hold them on (no fingers, just the wide part of your palm). This brush (this set of brushes… they have a couple bristle choices… ) though is much lighter and smaller. The “handle” fits between two fingers, down where they connect to your hand and you can just pet your hair into place. Way less pain on stiff mornings.” Thanks for sharing this nifty idea, as well as memories of your childhood, April!

April Wells
Technology can be a huge help for people with inflammatory arthritis, but sometimes we need help using it. Annette shared this split she uses for typing, explaining “”this is a working splint and supports my knuckles when I type a lot. It does help, and makes me feel more secure because I am protecting the joint and keeping it in a better position.” Thanks, Annette! And it also thanks for the tip that if someone is interested in getting a splint like Annette’s, they should ask their doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. They can also help you with finding tools for all sorts of other tasks of daily living.

Annette McKinnon

Can someone do a drumroll, please? The winner of the TOOLS Picture Project and recipient of the beautiful Integrale cutlery is Cheryl, who shared some of her favourite tools

Cheryl Shergold
Congratulations, Cheryl! Send us an email with contact details to infoATsuyhDOTorg and we will mail you cutlery just as soon as we receive it.

Are you a craftsperson, and author, or an artist? If you have created something related to inflammatory arthritis or chronic illness and would like to donate it as a prize in our Picture Project, please email us at infoATsuyhDOTorg.

The new Our Hands Can Picture Project theme is CHANGE and it runs through May and June. Change is perpetual. Whether it’s the seasons, a life event —planning a wedding, saying goodbye to someone, moving, or graduating — or changing your health (experiencing a flare, or maybe doing better). Share how change is affecting your life with the Show Us Your Hands! community.

To participate in the Picture Project, take a photo of your hand(s) with something related to change and post it on our Facebook page or on Twitter, tagging us with @showusyourhands.

Remember that by submitting a photo, you give Show Us Your Hands! permission to use the photo and your name in our community programs, such as the monthly Our Hands Can Picture Project.

To see more Our Hands Can Picture Project entries, check out our website at www.suyh.org.