creative Therapy


RAK Recipient for Catalyst Thirty-Two
October 31, 2008, 8:51 am
Filed under: catalyst

catalyst_rak_winner

 

The little boy picked your name Sandra Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Sakura of America. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

 

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

 

Thank you.



Catalyst Thirty-Three
October 26, 2008, 9:06 am
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! Here’s catalyst number thirty-three:

 

If you had unlimited money to buy someone you know something, what would you buy and for whom?

 

We’re delighted to have Stephanie Lee as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

The minute I saw Stephanie’s jewelry, I fell in love. Her art is so emotional and so stunning that I immediately asked her if she’d be willing to guest design for us. The more I explored her site and her store, the more I fell in love with the art. Items like this Red Egg of Possibility Necklace just spoke to me.

 

Stephanie teaches in many locations as well as at Art and Soul. You can also see her beautiful work in her book: Semiprecious Salvage: Creating Found Art Jewelry which, along with beautiful art, also shows some of her great techniques.

 

If you haven’t seen Stephanie’s art before, I’d urge you to visit her blog and her etsy store to see some of her amazing art.

 

 

 

 

Stephanie’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version.

 

 

 

Stephanie Says:

I love this game and play it often with my husband when we drive by the powerball billboard by the off ramp – the only off ramp to our small town. We see the big, lit numbers and play “what would you do with that if you won it”. Never mind we’ve never bought a ticket, but the game is fun just the same.

 

I ask myself this question and the first thoughts go towards wanting for others what money can’t buy. The usual inner peace, respect for nature and all life, and solid sense of self. That kind of thing. From that place all actions in life are beautiful. Enriching, clear, expanding. And, though I truly do want those things for others more than anything else in the world I’m certainly not one to pass up the opportunity to pretend about money. (Pretending is where it all starts, you know…) So, if we’re talking money – dollars and cents – this is easy. I’d buy things or experiences that might facilitate someone finding the inner peace, respect for nature and all life, and a solid sense of self.

 

First up, dad. Dad would get all his houses paid for. All the houses he bought with grand visions of fixing up beautifully with his own, skilled hands and then found himself barely treading water. I’d pay off those houses so that his money would be free to be used to bring about the creative vision he has. Next up, vacations. Vacations for the whole family. Together. Dad, mom (and their respective spouses) siblings and nieces and nephews, Mothers-in-law…all of us. We’d go on vacation. Not a swanky cruise ship or resort style escape to paradise, but rather a service mission. Yup, you heard me right. Good old fashioned service. Maybe that would find us in Mexico building homes side by side with the locals in need of housing. Maybe it would find us instead teaching farming to a village in Africa (and learning much ourselves from them, I’m sure). Who knows. The bills would all have to be paid while we were gone so that we could fully relax into the experience knowing all was well on the home front. We would spend a good month or two living and loving and working with people who are grateful, innocent, and full of skill and knowledge we have no idea about. The money that would buy us this experience would be money very well spent. We just might find a little inner peace sitting there with a child whose language we don’t speak but who can sing and clap just the same. We might find a little more respect for nature as we work with the soil and the land to build a home literally from the ground. Best of all, we might even gain a clearer sense of self from stepping out of our own “hard” lives to offer up a helping hand – seeds of service. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my dollars.

 

Technique Highlight:

Sketching on tissue layered over collage and acrylic on stretched canvas.

 

 

Thank you so much Stephanie; we’re very honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.

 

Debee:

Journaling Reads:

I’d first buy a plane ticket to see you. Meet you and your family.

Finally meet you.

I’d bring my favorite candy to share.

New comfy clothes, maybe some new adidas for you.

I’d give you the money.

I have no needs compared to yours.

Stable home. Provision for your table. Your body. Your health. Your spirit.

You are loved dear boy.

My friend. My reality check. A model of God’s love and truth.

 

M, I’d buy you peace. Rest. Hope. Love.

 

Technique Highlight:

Get crazy with the spray paints! Use stencils. Use every day objects. I added magazine and paper clippings before I spray painted over them. I even punched holes in some of my scrap paper from left over projects and put a layer of glue down and sprinkled the confetti over the paper. Completely random but I loved the look. To finish the look I also added some stamps and of course, my favorite crazy sewing lines.

 

 


Severine:

Severine Says:

I want to buy freedom for my girl !!! To be free to say what she wants. To be free to make what she wants. To be free to live free … The problem is that even if I have this money, I can’t by her this freedom

 

In French:

J’achèterais la liberté pour ma fille. la liberté de choix, d’expression, de vie tout simplement … malheureusement même avec beaucoup d’argent c’est quelque chose que je ne pourrais pas lui acheter.

 

 


Fran:

Fran Says:

What would I buy for someone if I had unlimited money? Well, what I want for my friends and family are things that are not at all something you can buy.

 

Journaling Reads:

If only it were as easy as buying love, safety, health and friendship… but it’s not. And, try as I might, these are the only things that I can truly want for my friends. And, if I’m completely honest, I can’t give any of these things to my friends and family. Only they can.

 

Technique Highlight:

Collage on watercolor paper. Added doodling with Sakura Glaze, Souffle, and Permapaque pens.

 

 


Kris:

 

Journaling Reads:

World Class Education: Sometimes I wish I had all the money I needed to take my children around the world. To travel to all sorts of countries as part of our homeschooling. I’d like to show them the world instead of just reading about it all..

 

This catalyst was in my head for awhile. Being that we homeschool our kids, I’ve always wanted to take them around the world. To help them experience life first hand instead of out of a book. To show them India, France, Scotland, Fiji, Argentina, Russia and Australia. To see the Eiffel Tower, Stone Henge, the Panama Canal. I want them to surf in Hawaii, float in a boat in Venice, ski in Switzerland. To experience the cultures, the exquisite foods and gorgeous architecture. I want them to learn languages, help others who are less fortunate and find their purpose in life. I hope someday we might be able to expand their horizons and show them the world.

 

 


Karen:

 

Karen Says:

This is one of the few catalysts that had me thinking for a long time. For some reason, I couldn’t come up with an answer. I thought and thought. Finally, as I was driving to work one morning, the answer hit me. I wanted to buy a bookstore, for me. Was it too selfish to use this money for myself? Maybe. But I decided that’s what my catalyst was going to be about anyway. Even if others think it’s selfish.

 

Years ago, I volunteered at this amazing bookstore in New York City. This store looked the way bookstores should look. It has wooden, spiral staircases. Tables everywhere for people to sit and browse. A little coffee shop in the back to relax and enjoy. Fantastic, knowledgeable staff. And some of the best speakers and authors came to read at the store. The best part was that the bookstore was completely non-profit. All the books were donated and all the proceeds went to this organization that provided shelter and aid to people who were affected by AIDS.

 

Ever since my years at that store, I’ve always wanted to have a nonprofit bookstore of my own. One full of used, donated books. One with a little coffee shop of its own. One with volunteers who love books as much as I do. One where people love to visit and where great authors come to read from their masterpieces. One where all the proceeds are donated across nonprofits. My passion is education so I would start by donating to nonprofits that favor education but my hope is that we can affect change in some way. Even if it’s a tiny one.

 

 


Vivian:

 

Vivian says:

When I think of having an unrestricted amount of money and being able to do whatever I wish with that money, I can think of lots of things I would choose to do. To pick just one person to give something to is difficult, however I do feel that one of the things I would do is buy a brand new car for my Buddy. He has always just done with what he’s got and that makes me happy but also makes me want to give him something which is bigger, newer, nicer and more comfortable.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “If you had unlimited money to buy someone you know something, what would you buy and for whom?” 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 art by Sunday night, November 2nd, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

To qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.

 

For our RAK for this week, we are thrilled to be giving away an incredible set of products from Luminarte Inc. The recipient will receive 4 heart ornaments, double fired art glass, and a Starter Holiday Kit of primary elements and mica. This paint line, Primary Elements, can be applied on many surfaces and is great for altered work. It is very high quality pigments in powder form with an acrylic solution and extra mica for more shimmer. If you haven’t seen their incredible shimmery paints before, you will be awed by their beauty.

 

 

 

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.

 

 



RAK Recipient for Catalyst Thirty-One
October 24, 2008, 7:42 am
Filed under: other

catalyst_rak_winner

The little boy picked your name Anna-Karin Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Coordinates Collections. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

 

 

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

 

Thank you.



Catalyst Thirty-Two
October 19, 2008, 8:01 am
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! Here’s catalyst number thirty-two:

 

What’s your most prized possession?

 

We’re overjoyed to have Melody Ross as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Ordinarily I like to write these bio sections because I don’t want them to read like a magazine byline. I want them to sound authentic and I want it to be about why that particular artist was asked to be on our site and why she’s a perfect fit. But Melody’s words are so eloquent and so touching that I want to give them to you untouched. The only thing I will add is that after you read her words and see her art, you will easily realize that Melody is the essence of what creative therapy is all about. Her words, her art, and her authenticity brought tears to my eyes. I cannot tell you what an honor it is to have her here. And now in her own words:

 

I am just a girl who loves art. Art has completely saved my whole entire life, and I don’t mean that in some annoying cliché way. When I have no words, I can dig all of my feelings out in a painting or a collage or even a doodle. When I am searching far and wide for answers, or for comfort, or for understanding, they often come out in my journal, through a pen…through some creative combination of words or maybe a little picture that’s been in my mind, swirling around in confusion. Art helps me make sense of everything, and the art of others helps me make sense of everything, it helps us see into each other’s souls, it helps us connect on a deep level that neither requires nor contains any explanation. I love that there are no rules, each of us get to make our very own rules when we are doing our art.

 

I am starting a whole new, really raw and authentic and still in baby-steps chapter of my life, so it feels strange to write a bio. But, in the days before today, I have loved deeply and I have watched my dreams come true, felt deeply of joy and friendship and the loves of my life, as well as feeling lots of pain, confusion, exhaustion, devastation. Those are all fruits of a life lived BIG, and I have always believed in doing that. I was a little girl, then I fell in love, my love Marq and I have a family…5 children…we have been married for almost 19 years and we’ve seen and experienced lots and lots together. I planted a seed and grew a huge international business, called Chatterbox, following a dream to share my art all over the world. I have been on T.V. and in magazines and put together lots of kajillion dollar deals, I have led an organization and traveled all over the world….now it’s time to mark some other stuff off of my checklist! Life is just a bundle of dreams and they are always beginning and ending, and today, I am ready to look in my bag and start on some new ones.

 

I still design all of the products and lead the vision at Chatterbox though I do not own or run the company. I would LOVE to have you come visit me on my blog and at my Etsy shop that I will be opening soon. I would LOVE for you to come be a student at one of my classes and I would REALLY love even more to learn from you.

 

 

 

Melody’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version and much more detail.

 

 

 

Melody Says:

My favorite possession turns out to be a simple lightbulb.

 

I was thrilled to get this assignment and there wasn’t a question in my mind about what my favorite possession was….my precious i-Pod….it was filled with music that got me through every sort of day, and permanently imprinted scads of good times and hard times and all different moods and relationships and lessons through the decades of my life. It was my constant companion, it helped me run faster, paint better and love deeper.

 

Then my i-pod broke, just like the last 3 i-Pods I have had, about a week after I accepted this assignment. Maybe I over-use them…I don’t know, maybe it’s my over abundant energy field that shorts them out, like my friend told me it was, I certainly don’t have an answer and my love for i-Pods has not waned because of it. But I’ve found myself i-Pod-less again, without the extra funds to replace it yet another time. And, I’ve found myself really exploring my relationship with material possessions.

 

Over the last nearly 20 years since I have been a bona-fide adult, I have lived a wildly contradictory life, on many sides of the fence when it comes to “stuff”. I married dangerously young and passionate, to the love of my life, and we had nothing but a little old trailer house behind his parent’s place and big dreams and individual ideas. We shopped at thrift stores and made our own curtains and crafted the life we wanted out of almost nothing. We were extraordinarily happy. I started to paint then, due to his sincere encouragement, and we both worked really hard to save enough money to buy a real house, and then, I painted more, and he worked more, and we saved more money and got a bigger house, and then we put some of our collaborative ideas to use and started our own business and became millionaires in our twenties. THAT’S when things took a turn that only now am I beginning to see was not quite right for us.

 

I look back on those 10 years of “prosperity” and we had everything we ever thought we wanted in terms of material possessions. We had cars and toys and beautiful furniture and amazing vacations and our dream house, a 100 year old stone house that we restored together. We had the best gadgets and the most innovative technology and the most beautiful clothes.. We had exciting friends and fancy parties. My children had incredible nannies and we had fabulous housekeepers. What were we thinking?

 

We did not need to be resourceful any longer, we were not desperate and hungry and looking for answers. We hired people to make our art and we stopped talking about big ideas. We were quite comfortable.

 

Then my husband had an accident and traumatically injured his brain. That was 4 years ago. It turned our life and our reality and our piggy bank upside down and shook it…it shattered things, it burned things, it blew things into oblivion.

 

I spent the next four years having to make a choice of which glass orbs I could juggle. I made mistakes a lot, but I almost always chose my husband. His care and rehabilitation was intense and way too much for most people to handle. I knew him, I loved him, and I fought for him. Most days he was all I could handle. Our life, our love, our family, our 5 children, was the crystal orb that I held on tightly to. Most other things fell to the floor and shattered into nondescript, sometimes sharp and cutting pieces.

 

My husband has made a 100% recovery and I will never regret doing my best to hold on to him and letting everything else go.

 

But, we lost the cars and the house and the boats and the toys and the comfortable-ness. So much of what we traded our time and life and soul for has rusted or disintegrated or has been taken. We lost the business that we worked so hard to build together. We clean our own house and we shop at thrift stores and we drive our children to school and we help them with their homework. We are back to crafting the life that we want together out of almost nothing.

 

We are talking big ideas.
We are looking for answers.

 

So if I am very truthful with myself, my favorite possession is my mind, the light-bulb above my head that’s filled with ideas and experiences and memories and endless possibility. Everything else rusts, decays, goes out of style and stops satisfying us, everything else can be taken.

 

Our ideas can never be taken from us. Our thoughts and our perceptions and the way we see things are ours alone. (that’s why it’s so important that we document them) Our ideas will get us through the rough patches and pave the way for the next journey. Each of our individual ideas, since the beginning of humanity, are truly where the credit goes for every great discovery, invention and relationship in history.

 

I wanted to portray this in my painting/collage. It is called “Her Ideas Light Her Way” and it symbolizes my yearning to not only embrace the truth that everything you need is already inside of you, but to lead my daughters towards their own individual light and power. There are always other “birds” in life who will fly beside you. The pile of stringy rubble in the corner is all of the trappings in life that eventually end up as a pile of rusted metal, outdated microchips, last year’s fabric…

 

Art always takes on its own life, this painting/collage was no different.. When I was finished, I looked to see that it’s not apparent whether my daughters are leading me, like I am a kite in the sky, or whether I am leading them. I could not have explained my every day wonder of being a mother better.

 

Hooray for the lightbulb above our head. I am so glad mine has been switched back on.

 

Technique Highlight:

I did do one new thing here…I used embroidery floss…it worked really great for the look I wanted. I simply used some Gloss acrylic glazing liquid (and because the power was out…and it was so cold in my house..you can see that it did not completely dry and harden….but it will be transparent and shiny when it does) anyway…I just used that with embroidery floss…used it for the kite strings, the butterfly bodies and for the pile of trappings….

 

 

Thank you so much Melody; we’re so so thrilled.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.

 

Fran:

Fran Says::

This catalyst brought up some interesting things for me. When I went away to college, I only had the clothes and some bedding that I could ship. While I was away at college, my parents moved out of our house and put everything in storage, where all was lost to a fire. For much of my life, I’ve had few possessions that mean much and I’m ok with that. I learned a long time that most important are the relationships. You can’t possess relationships, but you can own them by actively participating in them. For me, the most important relationship I have is with my husband. His love and our friendship are the most important things in my life.

 

I created this abstract painting as a representation of our love and closeness.

 

 


 

Christine:

Christine Says:

Many people realize exactly what something means to them when they are threatened with its loss. I’ve come to that realization at one event when the likelihood of losing my life occurred. I found out that the most precious thing I possessed is my life, and it happened on a night two days before Christmas.

 

After experiencing severe chest pains that morning, I was taken to the emergency room. I was pregnant with our fifth child, and Ron had left with our children to get something to eat for dinner. After finding out that my blood pressure was found to be extremely high, I was admitted to the hospital and taken to the maternity ward. During the time my family was away, they didn’t know that I was being prepped for an emergency cesarean section, and my doctor was called in to be prepared to deliver our baby.

 

I was told that my life, and the life of our unborn son, was in danger. Did I worry about what was happening? Surprisingly, no, I wasn’t worried. For a few moments I thought about what life would be like for Ron and our children if something happened to me. I wondered whether they would be able to go on without me, and the thought saddened me…not because I cared what happened to me, but because of the thought of them mourning over the loss of my life. Then I remembered that I had a merciful God taking care of me, and if anything did happen to me, He would take care of my family as well. Knowing in my heart that if I should die that night, I would be in God’s presence gave me so much comfort, and an overwhelming sense of peace flooded my heart.

 

The nurse who prepared me for surgery wondered at why I was so calm. With tears in her eyes, she asked whether I understood the gravity of my situation, and I smiled at her and said, “Yes.” However, I could not express to her at that moment the peace I felt knowing that I would be all right whether I woke up in a hospital recovery room or in the arms of God. The next day, I woke up to see my dear husband’s face and to hear the news that our baby was delivered the night before and was being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital. When he was asked what he would like to name our son, Ron said Christian Emmanuel. What a fitting name for him because we desired that our child would be a follower of Christ (a Christian not only in name but at heart), and on the night of his birth God was truly with us (which is the meaning of the name Emmanuel)!.

 

I share this story because on that night, almost eight years ago, I found out the most precious possession I have today. It isn’t something that I’ve bought or earned in order to possess. It’s a gift that has been given to me by the love and grace of God, and each day that I possess it, I am all the more thankful to Him for it. It is life…mine and my son’s lives. But it is not just the life that I live each day on this earth. It includes all the days that I will live with God even after I take my last breath here. God has graciously given me eternal life through faith in the sacrificial and redeeming work of His son, Jesus Christ. That night I experienced the peace of knowing that I no longer had to fear death because I truly possess eternal life with Him. Knowing that is the most precious possession that I could ever have today!

 

Technique Highlight:

To create the background of this project, I used a large die to cut the piece of cardboard into a scalloped circle. The patterned paper was cut using the same die, distressed and inked around the edges, and then adhered onto the cardboard piece. On the right half of the cardboard, I peeled away portions of the top layer of cardboard to expose the corrugated section of cardboard and then painted it with white acrylic paint.

 

 


Vivian:

Vivian Says::

this catalyst was a bit hard for me as i don’t really feel like i have any prized possessions.. certainly not any material stuff i could not be without.. possessions don’t really mean all that much to me. and of course i could think of the most loved things and people in my life or precious stuff like my life itself but they are not possessions at all… so instead of focusing on my most prized possession i wrote down the stuff in life i am grateful for and thoughts on how i really don’t ‘own’ very much at all in the larger picture..

 

 


Anita:

 

Anita Says:

When I seen this catalyst, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I would HAVE to say my camera is my most prized possession. I love it so much. I love photography and everything having to do with it. I hope to some day do my camera justice.

 

Journaling Reads:

I love my camera. Totally smitten. I want to learn more and more! I guess it is a good thing. My family will benefit from it.

 

 


Karen:

 

Karen Says:

When I read this catalyst, the first thing that came to my mind were my diaries. From nine to nineteen I wrote diaries every day. And I mean every single day. I was the girl who never shared her secrets with anyone but the dairies. I took them everywhere with me and all my friends joked about reading them. But nothing deterred me. I never shared my secrets and I loved having my diaries, knowing they never betrayed me or shared my secrets with anyone.

 

After a while, I just stopped. I am not sure what did it but I didn’t have the need or the will to write anymore. Maybe I finally started to trust people or maybe I realized I like to share, I’m not sure. But I haven’t successfully kept a diary since my Freshman year in college and I don’t really miss it anymore. But I still cherish my diaries from those years. The memories of the girl I was. The girl with the diaries.

 

 


Lori:

 

Lori says:

This was really obvious to me. My wedding rings are my most prized possession. I’m not a collector and have never had family heirlooms passed down to me. My wedding rings signify my faith and love of my husband. Our love is the foundation of our family and those rings remind me of this every day. It’s a foundation worth nurturing and solidifying daily.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s your most prized posession?” 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 art by Sunday night, October 26th, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

To qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.

 

For our RAK for this week, we are delighted to be giving away a beautiful Metallic Gel pen collection from Sakura of America:

 

 

 

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.

 

 



RAK Recipient for Catalyst Thirty
October 17, 2008, 10:25 am
Filed under: catalyst

catalyst_rak_winner

The little boy picked your name Cammy Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Tarisota Collections. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

 

 

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

 

Thank you.



Catalyst Thirty-One
October 12, 2008, 8:33 am
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! Here’s catalyst number thirty-one:

 

What’s a novel that has impacted your life and why?

 

We’re delighted to have Stephanie DosReis as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Stephanie says “I enjoy channeling my inner 8-year-old when I paint and wish I could do more of that in my everyday life. I am most comfortable sitting on the floor in front of a canvas, surrounded by numerous tubes of paint, messy stacks of paper and vintage fabric. I am inspired by tree-houses, vintage linens, holding my son’s hand and finding beauty in life’s everyday simplicities.” and you can clearly see all of her passions in the whimsical and absolutely stunning art she creates. Looking at her pieces always makes me happy and I am so glad to have her here, sharing her art with us.

 

Scrapbookers who love Daisy D’s as much as I do will have seen the line of papers and products Stephanie designed for them. She’s also been on many design blogs like CRAFT, Decor8, Cookie Magazine, and Real Simple Magazine among many others.

 

You can see more of Stephanie’s art on her blog and her etsy shop, you will be glad you did.

 

 

 

Stephanie’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version.

 

 

 

Stephanie Says:

I just recently finished two books that have me positively BURSTING with inspiration and creative juices. The first is “Calm and Compassionate Children : A Handbook” by Susan Usha Dermond and the second is called “Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves” by Alison McKee. They have opened my mind and heart to alternatives to both how you raise your child and how you will support their scholastic journey.

 

My painting is not so much a direct expression of those books but more of an abstract way of expressing my innermost feelings on the subjects. I feel like there are no limits, only those we impose on ourselves and to come to that recognition has been so utterly amazing and freeing it takes my breath away. The emotions I feel right now are translating into how I want to paint. My color palette and my desire to create new kinds of texture are directly being influenced by these two amazing books. It amazes my that even exposure to a seemingly unrelated subject matter would have some much affect on me artistically!

 

Technique Highlight:

I like to create a lot of texture and layering in my work. I started by painting my canvas and adding collage elements. I then apply a heavy coat of super heavy gel medium over my painting and collage work. I wait for that to dry completely and then I layer on coats of gesso and more paint.

 

 

Thank you so much Stephanie; we’re so honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.

 

Lori:

Lori Says:

I discovered The Alchemist about a year ago through my book club. I remember reading the description and thinking it sounded horrible. It took me a long time to finally sit down and start reading it. From the very beginning, I was hooked. This little book about a shepherd boy was so wonderful and so simple, it made me think about my life and my own missed paths to my dream. It’s such a brilliant novel. I recommend it to everyone.

 

Journaling Reads:

I wish I had known about this book when it was first published in 1993. This simple story is about not giving up on our dreams and how to find what we really want by faith. Paulo Coelho says there are four obstacles that prevent us from having the courage to confront our own dream, our own personal calling. After I read each of these, I realized how right he really is. I’ve spent a lot of time sorting our my dream. Fear has always held me back from doing those things my soul would rejoice in. I don’t feel worthy. After reading this sweet simple story of a courageous shepherd boy, my heart sang and my eyes opened. I have found my intended path and am working on overcoming my fear. Thank you, Paulo, for such a beautiful book.

 

 


Amélie:

Amélie Says::

The little angel and his lantern symbolize the light that this book has brought me and others. I understood and learned many things through him. For me it is a guide. The little guardian angel is a perfect representation of the capacity of this book to get back in the real to improve its relations with others and with ourselves. The lock is for all that was a mystery for me that no longer is. This book is titled ‘Finding your own way’ by Isabelle Fiolliazat, a writer whom I adore.

 

In French::

Le petit ange et sa lanterne symbolisent la lumière que ce livre m’a apporté sur moi même et sur les autres. J’ai compris et appris beaucoup de choses grâce à lui. Pour moi c’est un guide. Le petit ange gardien représente très bien la capacité de ce livre à nous remettre dans le vrai pour améliorer ses relations avec les autres et avec nous même. La serrure représente tout ce qui pour moi été un mystére et qui maintenant ne l’est plus. Ce livre s’intitule ‘Trouver son propre chemin’ d’Isabelle Fiolliazat, une écrivain que j’adore.’

 

 


Fran:

Fran Says::

I don’t remember how old I was when I first read Death Be Not Proud. I know now that it’s not a novel, but at the time, I had no idea. The book is filled with wisdom about living your life with courage and with purpose, taking every advantage you can in the limited time we all have. It’s part of how I personally have lived my life with chronic illness.

 

Technique Highlight::

Background: 140# CP Watercolor paper sprayed with Color Mists. Scrapbook paper cut up and doodled on; text written by hand of a quote from John Gunther’s book, Death Be No Proud.

 

 


KL:

 

KL Says:

for me it has and will always be anne of green gables. this book changed me when i was nine years old. it was so rich with a little red haired girl who was firey and spoke her mind. she had good friends and unconditional love from matthew cuthbert, he fell in love with her from the first time he saw her, just as i did the first time i read this book.

 

i have numerous copies but this one, a first edidtion that i found last year at the thrift store will always be special to me. slightly worn it was obviously loved by its previous owner.

 

Journaling Reads:

constant companion ever since i was 9. i’ve read it a million times, most likely more, but each time is like the first. lovely, exciting, beautiful. i adore the friendships. the time period. the love between anne & matthew. every time.

 

 


Severine:

 

Severine Says:

“la nuit des temps” by René Barjavel: It’s the first book that I all read. He made dream and it made me see reading differently.

 

In French:

“la nuit des temps” de René Barjavel : c’est le premier livre que j’ai lu d’une seule traite et en entier surtout. C’est lui qui m’a donné envie d’en lire d’autre et qui m’a permis de m’évader et de rêver, et de voir la lecture comme un évasion et non comme un devoir.

 

 


Leena:

 

Leena says:

I used to worry about a lot of things in life. In fact, I worried about almost everything. So, when I came upon this book by Dale Carnegie, How To Stop Worrying and Start Living, I knew I had to read this. And it certainly changed the way I look at things in a different light. It didn’t take long for me to realize that all these years that I have spent most of my time worrying, I should have spent it enjoying life instead. The journey of breaking this habit hasn’t been easy but through each passing day, I begin to start living and enjoying my life more. I believe it’ll make me a much happier person.

 

 


Karen:

 

Karen Says:

I read a lot and there are many books that have changed my life. To Kill a Mockingbird, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Great Expectations and The Little Prince just to name a few. Each of these books gave me permanent lessons and made my life different. But Jonathan Livingston Seagull stands above all of them for mostly one reason. It’s the first book I read that changed me. It’s the first book that taught me that books can change you. Change how you look at the world. Change how you look at yourself. Change the possibilities of your future.

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull taught me that it was ok to be different. To have differing dreams and hopes than the people around you. How it feels to be judged, but more significantly how it’s ok to be an individual. To be different. It might even be at that moment that I decided to leave Turkey one day and find more people like me in the world.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s a novel that has impacted your life and why?” 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 art by Sunday night, October 12th, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

To qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.

 

For our RAK for this week, we are delighted to be giving away a kit from Coordinates Collections. You can see this beautiful kit below.

 

 

 

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.

 

 



RAK Recipient for Catalyst Twenty-Nine
October 11, 2008, 8:22 pm
Filed under: catalyst

catalyst_rak_winner

The little boy picked your name Angie Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: A Million Memories. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

 

It’s been pretty quiet here lately. I can see that many of you are still visiting us so I hope you choose to share your art, too.

 

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

nbsp;

Thank you.



Catalyst Thirty
October 5, 2008, 10:12 am
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! Here’s catalyst number thirty:

 

What’s a decision you made that ended up determining the direction of your life? (or at least it had a strong effect on how your life turned out.)

 

We’re delighted to have Ngaire Bartlam as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I found out about Ngaire from the wonderful Vivian and I was instantly hooked on her art. Her pieces are bold, with bright colors and many fantastic details everywhere. The first time I look at her pieces, I smile from the explosion of color. The next time I look, I am intrigued by all the detail she put on one page. I can look at them over and over and discover something new each time.

 

Ngaire creates for Tarisota Collections (who is also our sponsor this week), writes for Aussie Scrapbooking, and is an Australian Ambassador for Fiskars. She also teaches many amazing classes and she says: “I am also a freelance teacher and love teaching as a way of encouraging women to see themselves as they truely are: gorgeous .. and talented.” Isn’t she wonderful?

 

You can see more of Ngaire’s art on her blog, you will be glad you did.

 

 

 

Ngaire’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version and some more detail.

 

 

 

Ngaire Says:

This was actually an interesting question… and when i really thought about it.. i realised the biggest decision i have EVER made .. was to be me. NOT what i thought everyone else expected of me. I realised that it had been that way for a very long time.. and i can totally recommend letting yourself free a little ( or a lot??) more.. Its easier, and more fun.. and frankly , the only way to really get the most from the time we have. Yes?

 

Technique Highlight:

Not really a techniquey ( is that a word?) kinda girl.. but i did slap a squeeze of black paint around the edges of the piece.. and the dragged it all towards my photo with a ridged ink tool. I like the jagged look it gave to the paint.

 

 

Thank you so much Ngaire; we’re so honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.

 

Christine:

Christine Says:

One of the greatest blessings I enjoy today is the closeness that we share with each of our children. I don’t think that this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the decision my husband and I made over sixteen years ago for me to stay at home with them. Our journey has not always been easy, especially in the beginning when we began living on one income, but God has proven to be the One who has provided for all our needs above and beyond anything we could have imagined at the time we made that choice! How thankful I am to the Lord to have the privilege to still be a mother who is at home with my children! It is one of the sweetest blessings in my life, and seeing the fruit of that decision, I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

 

Journaling Reads:

When Ron and I decided that I would become a stay-at-home Mom, we never imagined just how much we would be blessed. We just knew in our hearts that it was the right decision for us to make at that time. Now, sixteen years later, we can say that we don’t regret it a bit! We have been blessed with so much more that we could have thought! God has been so good in providing for all our needs with every step of faith that we took together with our family. We thank the Lord for His wisdom and grace! We wouldn’t be blessed with the loving relationships we have today if it wasn’t for the privilege He has given to me to be able to stay at home with our children!

 

Technique Highlight:

For this digital layout, I used a ready-to-use photo mat created by Rhonna Farrer (Single Photo Phun Mat Kit). Most of the layering is all done, and I simply added digital background paper, my photos, and journaling to the page! A simple, easy, and beautiful page can be created in a short amount of time! :-D

 

 


Anita:

Journaling Reads::

I accepted Christ when I was 16 years old. Even then I really didn’t understand what it meant. I wasn’t going to church. Wasn’t brought up in the church so I had nothing really to base it off of. I had no foundation, no mentor to help guide my way. I continued to teater on the fence for a long time. I’d go to church and live in the world. It wasn’t until I had Erika, when I was baptized and learn more about what it means to live for God. I still walked that fence until I met my truly wonderful husband. He and I have grown together and towards living that Godly life that I have desired all my life. I feel truly blessed that God brought Brad into my life. If it wasn’t for him, and his love for God, I don’t know where I’d be. I can’t say its been easy but having him gives me a reason to keep moving forward. Praise God!!

 

 


Fran:

Fran Says::

This one was easy for me to choose. The decision I made that shaped the rest of my life happened 23 years ago. I decided to leave Florida and attend Brandeis University, in Waltham, MA. I had only seen pictures of Brandeis. I had never been on campus, and I had an alumni interview in Miami. The day I arrived at Brandeis was the first time I had actually seen it. It was magical. From the beginning, the first thing I saw was the Usen Castle. It is a remnant of Middlesex college, which the property originally came from. Another important symbol for me at Brandeis was the Chapel Pond. It is a reflection pond, surrounded by three chapels. They were constructed so that at no time does one chapel overshadow another. The chapels are a symbol of the unity of all religions and tolerance. For me, they were a place of peace. I would often sit on the wall around the reflection pool and write or think.

 

Attending Brandeis really did shape the rest of my life. I met some of my best friends there. I felt safe, I grew as a person, and I found my voice through writing. It was because of my decision to go to Brandeis and to be involved in campus activities that I landed my first job out of college, I had the skills to get a second job, and I met my husband. The greatest joys of my life are the result of this decision.

 

 


Kris:

 

Kris Says:

I think the biggest decision I made that impacted my life was made when I had no idea what I was doing. At 18, I married a boy from high school. A friend, and boyfriend. Someone who had been around my family since I was 13. I thought I loved him, and nothing else mattered. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Sure, I had no business getting married so young but God used my young life decision and turned it into his plan. We had the hardest time in the first couple years, probably because we’re first borns and stubborn and had no clue what we were doing. But we’ve weathered many a marriage storm and just celebrated 20 years of marriage. I remember some of my teenage years. I wanted to go to college, travel the world, speak many languages, be a translator at the UN. But I chose to be with my sweetheart. I did return to college and probably could go for more but that’s in the future. In the meantime, we’re raising our girls, homeschooling them, trying to figure out and do what God has in mind for us. I’ll brush up on my spanish, my daughter is teaching me french and we’ll travel someday. I do not regret my decision in the least.

 

Technique Highlight:

This is made on mat board. I plan to use it as the cover for a ‘Married With Children’ journal about fun stuff that goes on in my life. I want to celebrate my marriage and kids. Background is over painted, with acrylics, oil pastels, stenciled with cheesecloth, gel pens, ink, glitter, paints, stickers. I painted a matchbox, painted and attached a wooden heart inside. Strung book binding string through eyelet holes inside. Used a rusty U-hook for the matchbox pull. The painted cheesecloth on top of the box is leftover from a previous project. Images are by AlteredPages.com.

 

 


Karen:

 

Karen Says:

While this is not my favorite piece of art, I find it very intriguing that all the big events of my life trace back to the moment I decided to leave Turkey and move to the United States to attend college at Carnegie Mellon. On a personal level, that’s where I met my boyfriend, whom I then married and had a child with. On a professional note, CMU got me my Wall Street job which I then quit to do Teach For America and finally Google. It all started with that one decision to go to college in the United States. A decision I will forever cherish.

 

 


Severine:

 

Severine Says:

For me it was to have a children. Having children wasn’t not a prioriy for me but I coulnd’t see my life without a child. So one day we decided to have a baby and that day changed my life.

 

In French:

Pour moi c’est “Avoir un enfant”. Avoir un enfant n’était pas pour moi une priorité, mais je ne me voyais pas sans non plus jusqu’à la fin de mes jours. Aussi un jour nous avons pris la décision d’avoir un enfant, et ce jour là à changé ma vie.

 

 


KL:

 

KL says:

this one was hard. the hardest catalyst to write. the hardest one to process. the most difficult to share. it’s such a sensitive memory for me and one that still conflicts my heart, even after getting it out.

 

Journaling Reads:

it hurt. i won’t deny that when you didn’t show up to my wedding i was crushed. even then, after all of the years, you could still only think of yourself first, just like you always had. i waited for over an hour, sitting in my sweet summer dress, listening to our guests in the garden, knowing that the man i was made for was there, waiting for me. and even though deep inside my heart my instincts had told me you would do something like this, something that cut so deep, i still hoped you, my father, would finally show. you would come and be there and be happy for me. but you didn’t and looking back now i know it was a gift. because finally, i knew it wasn’t about me and finally i let you go.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s a decision you made that ended up determining the direction of your life?” 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 art by Sunday night, October 12th, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

To qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.

 

For our RAK for this week, we are overjoyed to be giving away a kit from Tarisota Collections. You can see more of this beautiful and generous kit by clicking on the photo below.

 

 

 

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.

 

 



RAK Recipient for Catalyst Twenty-Eight
October 2, 2008, 8:31 pm
Filed under: catalyst

catalyst_rak_winner

The little boy picked your name trisha too Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Ruby Street Designs. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

Thank you.




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