Filed under: catalyst
As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us. We will do a drawing for the RAK and announce the name mid-week. And if you didn’t join us before, we hope you do this time.
Ok! I Here’s catalyst number ten:
Tell us about someone you miss.
We’re very excited to have Becky Fleck as this week’s Guest Artist.
If you’re into sketches at all, it’s not possible that you haven’t heard of Becky Fleck. She’s the artist behind the amazing sketch site Pagemaps. I had never used sketches until I bought her new book Scrapbook PageMaps: Sketches for Creative Layouts and I immediately got hooked. If you’ve never used a sketch or haven’t seen Becky’s amazing site, I would highly recommend you visit her site and, as if you needed more incentive, there’s a special second anniversary sketch contest going on right now. When you see Becky’s catalyst art for this week and read her journaling, you will see that she embodies all of what creative Therapy is about. Her art moved me to tears.
Becky’s exclusive creativeTherapy sketch and her art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see the larger versions.
My husband and I were not able to have children, though it wasn’t for lack of trying. When we realized we’d reached the end of the road in the kid-making department, we put all of our energy into starting a furry family instead. We started off with littermate yellow labs, Jackson and Hannah, then added Darby, a golden retriever, five years later. Any of you who have large breed dogs know that’s a lot of dogs running around! When Creative Therapy asked me to guest design this week’s catalyst, at the time I was contacted, we had just lost Darby to a tragic accident on our ranch. She was only 15 months old. I felt so cheated and robbed, angrily thinking to myself, “I wasn’t finished with her yet!” Naturally, I gravitated to the “I Miss You” catalyst and had every intention of creating a page about this crazy, red-as-a-copper-penny golden who had infused our lives with such love and joy.
I’m a firm believer that nothing in life is random. Everything happens for a reason and in time, the rationale is revealed to us. Just two weeks ago, we had to put our seven-year-old lab Hannah to sleep. Now if you had told me that I would lose two of my precious pups (my version of kids) in just two short months, I’d have bought a lottery ticket and told you to pack sand. Is this fair? No. Am I hurting and angry? I can’t even begin to describe this profound grief. But at the end of the day, I would not have traded those 15 months with Darby and seven years with Hannah for anything in the world. While our pets cannot “say” how much they love us, it is abundantly evident that they do. And that love is immeasurable above all else.
When it came time to create this layout, I found myself struggling with an internal debate. Do I honor Darby like I had intended, or do I create a page about Hannah? Then I saw these photos I had taken during Hannah’s last day with us. I had avoided looking at them until now. The moment I saw the one of my husband Chris saying good bye to his little girl, the deal was sealed. Whether your loved ones have four legs and fur or stand upright, capture every photo. Record every memory, both good and bad. Document every little detail. Life is precious and you’ll never regret all that you remember about the ones you love, especially when the time comes to miss them.
Thank you so much Becky; we’re truly honored.
Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.
I miss my Grandma Marie… or Grammaree as I called her. She was my hero. She had the biggest heart and a wonderful, bawdy sense of humor. She was the oldest of seven kids. She had six children of her own. One baby died shortly after birth of what is now known as SIDS. I was her favorite grandchild and She loved me unconditionally. She called me doll, or dolly… She taught me to sing and dance the Charleston and how to recite poetry. She taught me to cook and clean and sew. I learned to babysit and take care of little kids from her. We had tea parties with her leaky teapot and fancy teacups, and sometimes we would have 7up in champagne glasses she got as a wedding present. She always had a purse full of coins for me. She loved the color orange. She was very smart and self taught. She quit school after 8th grade and got a job working as a nanny for a rich family to help her parents during the depression. She said they didn’t really mind being poor, because everyone they knew was poor too. She said she may have been poor in the wallet, but she never had poverty in her heart. As a child of the depression, she saved everything. I remember many times going down to her house and looking through her cedar chest for something to make a craft project.
She was a very large woman, what you would call morbidly obese now. This was back in the day when the world was not made to accommodate fat people. I never saw her as fat, I just saw her love for me. Her body became her prison. She rarely went anywhere, and when she did, we had to make sure it was a car she could get into, with no stairs to go up and down into the house or building. She had a chair we brought for her everywhere. It was her “throne” she called it. She had us bring it because she was never sure the place would have a chair strong enough to hold her without breaking. Once we went to dinner, and she sat in a booth seat. After dinner, she couldn’t get out. She was humiliated when the manager of the restaurant had to come and climb under the table with tools to unbolt the table from the floor. I remember sitting there, feeling so sad for her. She had her hands across her face and she was crying. I remember thinking to myself how hard it must be for her, to be trapped like a prisoner in her body and her house. She was so lively and funny. Her radio and her phone were her connection to the world. She would call me and tell me about her program she was listening to, or about something she heard on the talk radio show. I miss her funny jokes, and her big squishy hugs. I miss the way she would say SH%# for everything. I miss her old lady red lipstick, and her muu muu dresses, and helping her tug on her girdle. I miss her stories of the old days. She comes to me in my dreams a lot. The other nite she came and sat beside the bed, and stroked my hair and told me she loves me. Those are the times I miss her most. Those quiet times when I am between sleep and waking, when she comes and reminds me she is still here with me, loving me, and watching over me.
I made this assemblage piece to remind me of her. When I look at it, it makes me think of all the things I loved about her. It makes me feel closer to her, and I can just hear her saying “How appropriate that you took a bunch of crap and hung it on the wall to remind you of me.”
My journey with this weeks’ catalyst was a very interesting one and took quite an unexpected turn. As I live far (very far) away from my closest family and long time friends it was quite obvious to me my journal page would be about either my mum, my dad, my brother or my best friends because I miss them all dearly. But as I was working within my journal and thinking back of the times I used to spend with them, some other feeling kept popping up. After being still for a while I realized it was really important to actually listen to this feeling who kept telling me “I miss my centered self.”
This page is dedicated to the memory of my “Lola” (which is the Filipino word for grandmother). She lived a long and memorable life and passed away shortly after our fifth child, whom she never saw in person, was born. She was 93 years old.
The journaling for the page is hidden in the pocket behind the photo and says:
When you left for the Philippines many years ago, your last words to me were that you feared that it would be the last time we would see each other. I said, “I hope not,” and in my heart I truly wished that I would have another chance to see you again…to go to the Philippines and enjoy your company once more.
When I was a teenager, you came to live with us in America. I never fully appreciated your presence with us because I was away at school most of the time. However, I will always remember your devotion to your family and your faith and how it made a great impression on me.
I miss you so much now, Lola, and I wish that I could hear more stories of our family that only you could share with us. However, my greatest hope now is that we really will see one another again in eternity, when we can be reunited in the presence of the Lord, because then my tears will not be ones of sadness for missing you, but tears of joy for the blessing of being with you again…I love you, Lola!
You were the only one who really understood me. The one who truly supported me. The one who made me feel less alone in the world. I love you each and every single day and miss you with all my heart.
It’s hasn’t been easy with you gone. I have never really gotten over losing you to cancer so quickly. I didn’t believe it would take your life, and as a result I didn’t spend enough time with you. I miss you. We all miss you. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do. The family is slowly bouncing back and I know how happy that would make you. I hope you know how much you are loved.
I feel that in life many people touch our lives in their own special way! Sometimes a small and simple piece that has meaningful embellishments is all that is needed. I created this mini shadow box of my Oma Anna (Oma is German for grandma). She passed away when i was pregnant with my oldest daughter who’s middle name is after her. Oma Taught me so many crafts and how to sew when we would have to chance to fly over to Germany to visit all of my family there. She meant so much to me. As i was looking through my stash of pictures of her, it brought back so many fond memories and tears to my eyes. Memories of sitting in her living room, at the table, with her teaching my brothers and me various crafts and projects. She would always have some sort of sweet treat for us, too..and sometimes would even let us taste her schnapps…We thought that was the coolest! Ha ha~ and She always gave the most wonderful Oma hugs~ I think of her often and i know she would be so proud of my accomplishments and the art I create. I really do miss her and wish that she could have gotten to see all of my 6 children. She would have loved them so much.
I miss my Nonie! My Grandmother was the most constant, most loving person in my life. I miss her tickling my back and telling me stories before we went to sleep. I miss her running down the street with me to catch the ice cream man. I miss her t-bone steaks. And cutting flowers from her garden and wrapping them in wet paper towel and foil and taking them to my teacher..and walking to Compton’s to get Pepsi!
I miss my grandparents so much! I miss
my grandma’s soup and her constant asking if I’m hungry. I miss sitting on the porch and listening to their stories. I miss playing cards and how grandma always had to play for money. I really loved them and miss them so much!
Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “someone you miss.” I urge you to give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you. Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. You’ll have to link your work by Sunday night, May 25th, midnight PST to qualify for the RAK.
For our RAK for catalyst #10, we thought it’s only fitting that we give away a copy of Becky’s amazing book:
Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.
Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.
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