creative Therapy


Catalyst Forty-Six
January 25, 2009, 7:30 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number forty-six:

 

What’s your favorite poem? Why?

 

We’re so delighted to have Ranjini Malhotra as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I first saw Ranjini’s beautiful art when I was researching kit clubs and landed on scrapologie’s web site. I immediately fell in love with her art and I’ve been asking her to guest design for us for over six months, I am so thankful we finally get to have her on.

 

Ranjini’s art is always full of detail and, to me, very lyrical and poetic (so it’s fitting that she chose this catalyst). I love seeing every little thing she puts in her pieces and how she manages to put embellishments I would never think of together in a way where they look like they always belonged together. She is a designer for Jenni Bowlin Studio, Melissa Frances and Tweety Jill. She describes herself as: “fairy godmother, magical glitter dust keeper, story teller, dreamer, and artist.”

 

If you haven’t seen her art before make sure to checkout scrapologie which she owns and the blog where she post free vintage images regularly..

 

 

 

 

Here is Ranjini’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.

 

 

 

Ranjini Says:

I love poetry. I have loved words from the time I was very young – I learned to read early on and devoured books. I remember though being profoundly affected by poetry; Shakespeare, Tennyson, Dickinson, Frost and a host of other poets enchanted me with their works. I was charmed by beautiful words strung together in precisely the right fashion so as to evoke emotion and challenge the intellect. I have loved many poems throughout my life and even keep a notebook of my favorites, however the one that has moved me more than any other poem is one by William Butler Yeats, titled “When You Are Old”. The poem inspired me to create this work that is centered around Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the movie “Roamn Holiday”. In the movie, Audrey plays Princess Ann, a princess of an unnamed country. She is on a European tour but longs to escape the strenuous and tiresome duties of being a royal in the public eye. She decides to leave her country’s embassy to explore Rome for herself. In the course of her adventure, she cuts her hair short, meets Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), an American reporter, and finds herself. Unexpectedly, she falls in love with Joe, and he with her. Eventually she acknowledges that she must return to her royal duties and he bids her adieu. He sees her again at a Press Corps meet and greet with the Princess. During the meeting, he hands her an envelope of photos that could have ruined her dignified reputation. She expresses her love and gratitude in a hidden message to him. In the end, he walks away, wondering what may have been between them. I particularly love this movie, and everytime I read William Butler Yeats’ “When You Are Old”, I think of this movie. It is essentially a poem of unrequited love, and Yeats reminds his love that “one man loved the pilgrim soul in you”.

 

When You are Old, by William Butler Yeats

 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

 

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

 

The poem gives me chills when I read it, and I liken it to Joe’s character and to Princess Ann – who will never forget their love.

 

The poem inspired my project, titled “amore”. I created this piece by gutting out an old vintage book. I then printed a photo of Audrey Hepburn for the cover, on canvas paper. I trimmed it down to size and then applied glue and clear glitter to her bodice and hair ribbon. I added a small clear gemstone to her ring for a bit of three-dimensional bling. I used Seven Gypsies gaffer tape down the spine and sewed on a few vintage paste and rhinestone buttons. I added the words amore (Making Memories stickers) to the bottom right corner and glued the image to the cover. I added crimson seam binding (crushed by wetting and crumpling it and allowing to dry). On the inside of the book – I added a photo of Ann and Joe from Roman Holiday, the poem printed on cardstock on the facing page, and some small embellishments on either page. I took an approach of less being more as the poem and the photo speak for themselves.

 

Technique Highlight:

Printing on canvas. I used plain Office Max brand premium coated canvas, but there are better canvas papers out there if you want extra high quality. I did adjust Audrey’s image in photoshop by applying some artistic filters. I loved the dimensional and glittery look that the addition of glitter and bling added to the piece. I set my printer on a glossy paper setting when I printed the piece.

 

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

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Wendela:

Journaling Reads:

When I follow the Lord, he always walks always with me, and during the most trying periods of my life, He carry me. That’s what I believe, and it’s my strength for every day! So here’s my poem:

 

“One night I dreamed I was walking

Along the beach with the Lord.

 

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

 

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints.

Other times there were one set of footprints.

 

This bothered me because I noticed that

During the low periods of my life when I was

 

Suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat,

I could see only one set of footprints,

 

So I said to the Lord, “You promised me,

Lord, that if I followed You,

You would walk with me always.

 

But I noticed that during the most trying periods

Of my life there have only been

One set of prints in the sand.

Why, When I have needed You most,

You have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,

 

“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints

Is when I carried you.”

 

By Mary Stevenson

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

If I had been asked this question years ago, I think I would have ended up with a Robert Frost poem as for the longest time, he was my favorite poet. I have always loved “Nothing Gold Can Stay” and used to write it in my diaries. But that was all before I was introduced to William Carlos Williams. As soon as I read this poem, I fell completely in love. I can’t even tell you why. I think it’s because it’s so ordinary, so simple. Such a beautiful representation of something that’s a part of regular, married, loving life.

 

this is just to say
i have eaten

the plums
that were in

the icebox

 

and which

you were probably
saving

for breakfast.

 

Forgive me
they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold.

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Fran:

Fran Says::

Asking an English major who focused on poetry what her favorite poem is must be like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite. I struggled with this catalyst. There are so many great female poets out there, contemporary ones, whom I love and respect – Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood… just to name a few. Not to mention all the women and men who provided the foundation of my education in poetry – far too many to list. I thought back to the one poem that continues with me today and regularly reminds me to stand tall, to look at myself proudly and see myself as beautiful when I look in the mirror each day. I chose Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman”, which I have seen her perform with such great gesturing as to make it completely take on new meaning for me each time.

 

 


Christine:

 

Christine Says:

The poem I chose to share for this catalyst is actually a prayer: The Serenity Prayer. I understand that it’s a well-known prayer that has brought comfort to many people seeking peace and direction in their lives. When I was younger, I remember reading it myself many times and thinking what an encouraging poem it was, but I never really sought to understand its meaning any deeper than that.

 

However, during a season when I began to seek a deeper relationship with God, I remember struggling with many very unattractive things in my character that God was revealing to me. He wanted me to see them so that I could choose to deal with them one at a time. This was one of the most challenging seasons in my life! I truly wanted to do His will, but I still had to learn how to surrender to it. I came to a point in my life when I felt that if I wasn’t taking control of what should be done, things wouldn’t turn out the way I wanted.By His grace, God revealed to me at that point the source of my struggles…I was so focused on what I wanted and how I wanted things to be that there was no room for God to have His way in my life.

 

As I was seeking and praying for wisdom and direction in this situation, I happened to be reading a devotional that had a revised version of the Serenity Prayer:

 

God grant me the serenity that comes from knowing You are in control.

 

Courage to follow You no matter how difficult the way.

 

Wisdom to seek Your heart instead of depending on my own.

 

After reading this, I realized why I was struggling and what I needed to do to change. I immediately copied it into my journal, hoping to keep it in mind whenever I struggled. It reminded me to Whom I needed to surrender my desires, my will, and my ways. It gave me hope in knowing that even if things didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I could trust and wait upon God to show me His way (which always resulted in something better and beyond my hopes and desires!). It helped me realize that I couldn’t control everything and to seek wisdom from Him rather than relying on myself.

 

I still struggle in different areas. However, I now know the right place to put my trust: with Him rather than myself. This revised prayer directed me back to the truth of God’s Word:

 

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”

 

~ Proverbs 3:5,6 (KJV)

 

It put me back on the path of following Christ with the right motive, and as a result, I began to experience what true peace really was in my life, a peace that came from Him:

 

“You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.”

 

~ Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

 

This revised Serenity Prayer marked a point in my life when I began to choose to put my life in His hands and accept all that He desired for me rather than pursuing what I wanted for myself. I thought I was going to lose the person I knew myself to be, but in surrendering myself to Him, I actually found a life filled with the abundance of grace from God that He wanted me to have. This verse became true in my life and experience:

 

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

 

~ Matthew 16:24-26

 

For that I will remain truly grateful and thankful to the Lord for the lessons I learned through this prayer, and it will always be a significant part of my life.

 

 


Kimmi:

 

Kimmi Says:

This poem has always caught my attention. I am a strong believer in hope and I believe that hope is there for us at all times, that it never stops coming to us, even in the worst of situations. There is always hope.

 

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune–without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

 

 


Kris:

 

Kris Says:

I love the ‘How Do I Love Thee?’ poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I’m not completely sure why. I remember in Jr. High taking a calligraphy class. We had to choose something to write and I chose this poem. It’s so beautiful, rolls off the tongue. As you read the words you can see her clutching his letters in her hands, writing with a feather pen and inkwell, telling him how much he means to her. You can feel her love for him, it’s complete, it’s whole, it’s unconditional. I like to think it represents my love for my husband and my daughters. I don’t think I could have expressed my love for them any better than Mrs. Browning did.

 

Technique Highligh:

Nothing real special here. All I can say is scraps, scraps, scraps! I keep several bags & a stuffed drawer of scraps and just start pulling pieces out and slowly a combination of colors seem to start going together. Even the stamped pieces were scraps I had saved. I recommend keeping everything, much to my DH’s dismay.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s your favorite poem? Why?” I urge you to give it a try. Being that it’s the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to state your dreams and goals. 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 you will qualify for the next RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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 Forty-One
January 23, 2009, 2:57 pm
Filed under: other

catalyst_rak_winner

With quite a bit of delay, here’s the recipient for catalyst forty-two. The little boy picked your name Francesca Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Scrapbooking from the Inside Out. 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 Forty-Five
January 18, 2009, 7:31 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number forty-five:

 

If you got to write a book/movie/song what would it be about?

 

We’re so excited to have Anne Le Toux as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I found Anne months ago while I was surfling around and looking for some art and loved her page as soon as I stumbled upon it. She was then also recommended to me by one of our team mebers and I am really delighted she agreed to be a guest for us.

 

I find Anne’s work to be lyrical and textured and I can easily spend hours looking at it. She uses so many details in her work that I can look at it over and over again and discover new, tiny details each time. She does weekly art at Dans Ma Maison il ya… where the goal is to create every week a house with the given theme.

 

If you haven’t seen her art before, you’re really missing out. Make sure to check out her blog and flickr gallery. You can also buy some of her beautiful art at her etsy shop.

 

 

 

 

Here is Anne’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.

 

 

Anne Says:

This piece is titled “The fairy.” It’s a dream for me to write and illustrate a childrens’ book… It would be about fairies, where they live, where to find them, how to see them. So to reflect this, I did this canvas with a fairy, and butterflies, how I imagine fairies are…

 

Technique Highlight:

I love to use textured papers for first layer on my canvas. Then I use gesso, acrilyc paint and rubberstamps. I finalize my creation with golden color to higlight textures. I am a perfectionist when I create… I add lots of details to my creations, I even have a hard time stopping working on it!!

 

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

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Wendela:

Journaling Reads:

When I write a song, I write a Love song for you, my love…

 

Technique Highlight:

The flowers I used are handmade of tulle.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

I actually wrote books for a while and this is a poster I made in a design class I took. This poster is for the first book I wrote. It’s about a girl who goes back home to take care of her mother with whom she has some deep issues and reconnects with her highschool love. In the book, the mom has lupus which is called the butterfly disease, hence the butterfly on the cover.

 

I love reading mainstream fiction and about strong characters and their connections to each other and those are the kind of books I’d like to write. I don’t dream of many many things in my life but writing a book and getting published is a lifelong dream. I yearn to write and to write well. Maybe one day…

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Anita:

Journaling Reads::

Unconditional love…it’s not easy! it really isn’t. Whoever says it is is crazy! You know you love your children but sometimes its so hard to love them unconditionally. I think about this alot. With everything we’ve gone through with Erika, she makes it so hard to love her when most everything she has done has been the totally opposite of what we’ve taught her. I want to just turn my head and walk away but I know as her mother I can not do that. I have to be supportive of her. Its hard though knowing that what she’s done is her choices she’s made and being far from what we want for her and have taught her. BUT I’m learning. Its an ongoing process. But I’m learning. I
do love her and want the very best for her. Until she realizes that I have to sit back and love her unconditionally

 

 


Lori:

 

Lori Says:

My favorite movies to watch and books to read are science fiction/fantasy. I LOVE them. When I was very young my Mom gave me a copy of CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia). I read it in one sitting and begged her to take me to the library for more. I was quickly hooked on that genre and continue to be. If I could write a book, it would most definitely include magic, knights, kings, queens, dragons, and all things “Fantasy”.

 

 


Severine:

 

Severine Says:

If I write a book or a song, it would talk about LOVE, LIFE, FREEDOM and LIBERTY.

 

 


Amy:

 

Amy Says:

The book that came to mind for this catalyst is a book that will never
be, but an idea that I nourished within when first my oldest was a toddler and then again when my youngest reached a similar age… park age. Mornings and playdates at the park are seemingly a rite of
passage for both children and parents. Especially for those of us in the city, the park offers spaces to climb, sand to shovel, dandelions to pick, and an easy place to sit and observe the world when sitting is all one can do. For some, time at the park is looked upon as a golden hallmark of toddlerhood. Parents convene, children run free, and there are cheese crackers, cereal, and strawberries to go around.

 

My relationship with the park wasn’t so easy. The backdrop of sand, sun, and open sky was there, and we always had plenty of snacks and quickly learned to take our own bag of sand toys. But the park never felt friendly, open, inviting, or comfortable to me. Little niches of parents I saw always seemed established and closed, the lines in the sand hard to cross. Even for my boys, I often felt like the park was a tough space. Kids push. Kids don’t share. Kids say mean things. There
is a pecking order.

 

Throughout the months of toddler park time, I clung to the kernel of an idea about a book… a year of days at the park. I envisioned a cross between Thoreau’s Walden and Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek. I envisioned daily reflections on moments that captured the tenor of the park, the characters, the moods, the milestones, the discoveries and the epiphanies. When I saw the catalyst, the “park” came to mind. I looked at some of my many park photos, and I saw that time after time I had caught in them my sense of the park… that the park can be a lonely place. Rather than selecting just one photo to work with, I pulled several, with an emphasis on benches, to use as a starting point for a set of graphic novel panels.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “If you got to write a book/movie/song what would it be about?” I urge you to give it a try. Being that it’s the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to state your dreams and goals. 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 you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

This week we’re delighted to have a new sponsor. Here’s a beautiful kit from Scrap for a Cure:

 

 

 

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.

 

 



Catalyst Forty-Four
January 11, 2009, 9:03 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number forty-four:

 

What’s something about the way you live your life that doesn’t align with who you are (or wish you were)?

 

We’re so excited to have Hillary Heidelberg as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I first met Hillary when I took one of her amazing sketch classes. The class propelled me to create layouts I’d never even thought of before and my first published layout was one of the layouts I made in her class.

 

Besides being a talented teacher Hillary is also an amazing scrapper. She was a Memory Makers Master in 2007 and has been published numerous times. I have not only had the luxury of taking several of her classes, but I’ve been honored to teach at nycscraps (now closed) for her as well. Her minimalistic style is something I admire and look up to. You can see so much more of her layouts in her beautiful book Scrap Simple.

 

Hillary has moved to digital scrapbooking and you can find some of her amazing templates at Scrapbookgraphics.

 

 

 

 

Here is Hillary’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.

 

 

Journaling Reads:

There are days when I wonder how in the world I can lose my temper with this sweet boy. I am not one of those moms you read about, endlessly patient, endlessly understanding. I get upset, I am not kind, or understanding, or patient all the time. I wish I was. I read self-help books. I’ve been to therpay, but still, I get angry sometimes. And no matter how many times people tell me “It’s normal” it still feels wrong. The ideal that I strive for, the ideal of the patient, kind, soft mother does not align with how I can sometimes behave. I admit, I get tired. But that’s no excuse. I feel like peacefulness and patience is my Holy Grail, and I will keep seeking it. Jan, 2009.

 

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

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Larissa:

Larissa Says:

I would love to embrace my creative life but the truth is that I’m too reserved. I have the habit of not showing my feelings or thoughts to anyone because I’m afraid of letting people know that behind my strong appearance, I’m fragile. So, I decided to work this theme on my journal book using the metaphor of locked doors and hidden places. In order to make this journey more therapeutic, I decided to investigate a little bit more about the causes of my problem.

 

I entitled my book “Behind closed doors” and I wrote on the internal pages this poem:

 

“Behind closed doors my secret is hidden

Behind closed doors I don’t have to show my feelings or thoughts

Behind closed doors I feel safe &

I can dream

That I’m still a little girl and that you heard and held me when I cried

So I can finally open the door”

 

Technique Highlight:

I created this book using hardback book covers and cardboard for the internal pages. Each page has a painted patchwork collage background made with patterned papers. In one side, I added the text and on the other side, I drew doors or houses that I painted with several colors of acrylic paint and oil pastels. For top color and texture I added stamps and ink and finally, some embellishments or memorabilia.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

Ever since I can remember, I’ve made career and life decisions such that I could stay at home when I had children. Even back when I was 10, I wanted to study computers because I knew it was a career I could pursue from home. And yet, here I am, working at a large company, spending a lot of time in meetings, and not at home with my wonderful boy. With another little one on the way, this is the largest way that my life is out of sync with how I wish it were, so I know I need to find some solutions.

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Fran:

Fran Says::

One of the things that I believe in is the importance of keeping in touch and keeping relationships strong; however, I’m not as good at keeping in touch as I wish I were. I hope in 2009 to be better at this…

 

 


Anita:

 

Anita Says:

If someone would have asked me 20 years ago where I’d be and what I’d be doing, I know the first thing I would say was NO KIDS. I always swore I did not want them. Didn’t want anything to do with them. And God laughed. He blessed me with 5. I just can not believe it. I never would have thought I would be a stay at home mom of 5 children. I have no regrets. I love each and every one of them.

 

 


Wendela:

 

Wendela Says:

When I was a little girl I always played with my dolls, and when grew up I wanted to be a mother. I’m a mother now and I am not always as successful as I wished. I’d turn back time and enjoy the special moments for a long time. And for that great moments I wish that time could stand still.

 

 


Katie:

 

Katie Says:

This completely goes with the “wish” I were. I am an artist…and a have a little bit of a “time management” problem. I wander….I rummage…I think, I create…and I work that all around trying to be a mother, a wife, a sister, a school volunteer , a cook, a housekeeper and a designer with deadlines. I have lots of ideas…some that get finished, some that just get started and others that get “thought” about a lot. The one thing that holds zero interest for me is housecleaning…don’t get me wrong, my house is presentable, well on most days….or at least as long as I have at least a 30 minute notice that you are dropping by.

 

I don’t like that. I really don’t . I want to have the perfect house, the perfect decorations, the perfect life…but like I said, I’m an artist…and our vision of a perfect day doesn’t always include cleaning.

 

But…..I sometimes wish that I wasn’t creative…it’s complicated being creative…it is. Sometimes on days when the house seems to take me over, I wish that I was an organized and dedicated housekeeper. I wish that nothing took my time but taking care of my family. If I hadn’t ever been creative, I wouldn’t know what I was missing and I might have a clean showcase house. In doing my genealogy research, I found all the census records from 1880’s up and all my female relatives stated that they were “housekeepers” except for Mary (gg aunt). She was a “bookbinder”, I think I take after her.

 

One day, I was messing around on the computer (thinking about cleaning, I’m sure) and I came across the coolest site. It’s called Feeding America. It’s a site that is a digital archive of cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century.It contains some of the most important and influential American cookbooks. I love it. I collect old cookbooks and can cook a mean dinner when called upon. I also love history….even though life was hard (can’t imagine not having air conditioning) it seemed simple. Roles were defined and everyone had one. There was no floundering with what you wanted to do, you did what needed to be done. Back breaking labor, I’m sure. I may have been miserable locked into that role, but it just seems so predictable and I’m sure that your expectations were much less.

 

It seems that most cookbooks back then included chapters on housekeeping, child rearing, treating the sick, curing meat, managing servants and a million other topics of interest. One particular cookbook stood out to me, maybe it’s the author, the famous Harriet Beecher Stowe. It’s called “The American Woman’s Home” and it was written in 1869. I printed out the picture from the cover for my layout and also printed out a page from the book. I then chalked the picture for a little color and cut up tiny sentence strips from the text. Makes for an interesting read.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in woman’s rights, I believe in women in the work force etc…and I do not consider my husband my master…but there are days when I wish that I played a more traditional role…my house would be cleaner and my mind more quiet.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s something about the way you live your life that doesn’t align with who you are (or wish you were)?” I urge you to give it a try. Being that it’s the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to state your dreams and goals. 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 you will qualify for the next RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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.

 

 



Catalyst Forty-Three
January 4, 2009, 8:46 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 towards the beginning of the week.

 

Ok! Here’s the very first catalyst of 2009, catalyst number forty-three:

 

Tell us about a BIG dream you want to achieve (aim high!)

 

We’re so excited to have Clair Bremner as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

A few months ago I asked each team member to give me the names of people they would dream to have as guest artists. Clair was one of those dream guests.

 

If you ever visit any of Clair’s sites the first thing you will notice is the absolutely stunning photography. The color in her photos is so full of life that it makes you want to reach out and touch her subjects. Not to mention she has two of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen. Clair is also a truly talented scrapbooker and designs for Ruby St. Designs. I truly love looking at all her art.

 

If you haven’t seen her beautiful photography, you must visit her business blog and you can find out a lot more about Clair on her personal blog.

 

 

 

 

Here is Clair’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.

 

 

Clair Says:

I know it’s cliché but my big dream has always been to own my own home. I’m not into the big modern mansions or anything too extravagant. I would much prefer to purchase an older home with a bit of character, big windows and lots of little nooks, rooms and corners to explore. I can’t wait to be able to sit down with my husband and kids and decorate and fill our own home in the way that reflects us as a family. To be able to just re-paint a wall without getting permission from the landlord or knocking down a wall to let in more space and light. Hopefully we will not have to wait too much longer for this dream but it is still something that seems so far away and unachievable at this stage in our lives.

 

Technique Highlight:

I created this collage/painting a few months back when i was originally approached about this project. It was the first thing that came to mind when given the “big dream” catalyst. It was created on a prestreched canvas with Acrylic paint, and old book page, and a simple fineline pen. The background was painted first, the paper was glued down and painted over. Then finally when everything was dry i hand drew the little row of houses.

 

 

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

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Christine:

Christine Says:

When I consider the dreams that I have had in the past, I have to thank the Lord for the blessing of allowing them to come true. When I think about what I dream about doing now, I know in my heart that I need to surrender it to the will of God as well because, without Him, I know that all that I do will to bring about my desires will not be as fruitful as when He is guiding me. This brings me to the current desire of my heart…having a place where I can retreat, be inspired, and create to my heart’s content and sharing this special place with others as well.

 

Ever since I began scrapbooking, I have wanted to have an area in our home where I could keep my supplies. I have been fortunate to have a bonus room in which I have been able to create many of my projects. However, it continued to be less than inspiring because of the lack of space (and because of the increase of supplies and tools that I have accumulated! LOL!).

 

A few months ago, we purchased another home with the intention of renting it to others. However, after having been landlords for only a short amount of time, and having seen the damage done by the tenants who lived there for only three months, we decided to reconsider what we would do with that home. Before we rented the home to them, I had suggested that we could use it as a scrapbooking retreat home, but I was not ready to pursue such a venture at that time. However, with the house being free to use, and with my husband’s encouragement and support, I believe that this is the next big dream that I have for the near future.

 

Therefore, we are stepping forward in faith and hoping that what we are doing will be meaningful and worthwhile not only for myself but for others who desire to find time to create without interruption. I dream of having a retreat home in which the atmosphere provides them with the inspiration to create as well as providing the tools to encourage them on their creative journey. I would like it to be a place where they are blessed by the ability to spend time working on the projects that are meaningful to them, and to develop and deepen relationships with other artists with whom they share their time there. My hope is that those who decide to stay for a visit will be renewed in their vision to capture the moments that are precious to them and continue to create their works of art from their hearts. Today, this is my dream, and I hope to share it with others as the Lord wills.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

Anyone who really really knows me would know that I am not peaceful. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I’ve always felt different and not in a good way. Like something’s wrong with me. Like I don’t belong. Like I am not good enough. And will never be.

 

This is not tied to any particular achievement. I’ve achieved a lot in my life. I’ve been really lucky and blessed to have a great education, fantastic career, amazing and loving husband and truly the best kid in the world. And that’s just a few of them. But this feeling of not measuring up (to something undefined) doesn’t go away. I compare to others constantly but only in ways where I feel like I am not as good. Not as intelligent. Not as pretty. Not as nice. Not as talented. I can go on and on.

 

So this year I decided to work on the most important concept of all (for me.) Achieving peace and blooming into my own. This is my year to discover and embrace who I am. Be the best of me and love it. Relax and not criticize myself. Not compare myself to anyone. Not worry about being not good enough. Stop and appreciate the truly amazing things in my life. Be thankful. Shed the past and be open and welcoming to the great future. But mostly be in the present.

 

God willing, I will have another baby this year and I want to make sure my kids have a peaceful mom who is happy with who she is (flaws and all). I want to make sure my husband has a wife who is happy. If there’s one thing I’d like to teach my kids, it’s that it’s ok to be whomever they are. And how better to teach it than by example?

 

Why is this in a binder?

 


Fran:

Fran Says::

Well, I’ve achieved so many of my dreams in my life – some dreams that were never even conscious, I think. I feel, sometimes, like I’m living in my dream. I’m happy, we found medication that keeps my health fairly stable, I get to pursue my art, and I spend my life with my best friend in the world. So what could my dream be? Well, if I were to really think far ahead, I’d love for my art to be completely discovered. For someone to find my artwork museum-worthy. I can picture an art student staring at my art and really learning from it. Sort of the way I look at art when I look at the art in a museum. So, I drew a picture of modern art on a museum wall.

 

 


Kris:

 

Kris Says:

I’m sure losing weight has been on everyone’s New Years Resolutions list at one time or another. I don’t tend to put it on mine anymore because I just don’t stick with it. But I was reflecting on this last year. I went from diet to diet, only lasting a couple weeks depending on when the next sweets showed up and I broke my diet. I realize I’m floundering. What do I really want? For over 22 years I’ve struggled consciously with my weight. We even have trouble having children and the only way we were blessed with 2 was when I had stuck to losing some weight. So when I thought about this week’s catalyst my dream would be lose a large amount of weight. I’m happy where I’m at. But I know within the last 20 years I’ve lost that confident, self assured persona I used to have. I don’t put myself out there into the world as much and I want that freedom back. I feel trapped. I don’t want to be trapped anymore. I’m sure there is some psychological mumbo jumbo to explain why I let myself fail at every diet I’ve ever tried. I don’t want to do that anymore. That is the big dream I want to achieve. I want ME back.

 

Technique Highlight:

Watercolor paper with alcohol inks (red/gold) swiped in random areas. White colored pencil circles and drawing. Use painted paper to cut out a house shape. Images by AlteredPages.com. Vintage fabric flower. Gutter guard used for gate. Hand stitches around the house and on the fence. Oil pastels used to write ‘dream’, pen and rubons used for numbers and the rest of the words. Inked the edges. Painted the edges of a canvas and attached the watercolor.

 

 


Lori:

 

Lori Says:

I didn’t create anything for this one. I took a picture of a book that has set my mind off in a big way. It’s a collection of stories of women who followed their dream and opened their own shop. I admire these women and I love reading this book. So, this catalyst is about getting it (my dream) down in writing. My BIG dream, the one I’ve had locked away inside my brain for the last ten years, is to open a craft store. Not just a scrapbook store, but a high-end, little bit of this, little bit of that, craft store. Not a big box store, but a small store, focused on customer service, creativity and the best products out there. Alas, I am not ready to open a store. That’s a plain fact.

 

I will not give up time with my young children to follow this dream. When they are grown and out of the house, I will open my store. It will be a time when I feel I can be there and not be sacrificing anything to do so. This is really important to me. I can never go back and relive moments I missed with my children. I chose to stay at home for a reason and I don’t want to miss any of it.

 

I will, however, start a small at-home business this year with the ultimate goal of affording my dream store when I’m ready and to give me the pleasure of doing something I love, while adding to the family income. Small is the key word here. Small and doable. I think taking action toward realizing a dream is important and, so, I’m jumping in feet first and taking my fear, my experience, my talent, my education, and my love with me into this tiny business. It’s a small step toward achieving the big dream and it’s a journey I’m excited to begin.

 

 


Opal:

 

Opal Says:

I have had many dreams throughout my life. Each one has been replaced by the next, some being achieved, and others not. As I thought about this catalyst, and my dream now, I had some difficulty. Certainly I must have a dream? I tried to narrow a wide range of ideas that came to me. And true, there are many things I would like to do or accomplish, but most of them didn’t qualify as ‘dream’ status. Then it came to me…a moment of recognition and understanding. I grabbed pen and paper, and this is what I wrote?

 

“I want to grow older gracefully..full of color, energy, and life. I want to live each day to its fullest. I want to surround myself with beautiful things. I want to listen to outrageously beautiful music with perfect lyrics. I want to hear the birds singing on my bluff, high in the trees. I want to see colors in all their vibrancy and softness, richness and depth. I want to dance and sing. I want to knit and sew, to create things with my hands. I want to write..words, sentences, paragraphs, letters, journals, books. I want to read endlessly, losing myself in rich descriptive narratives and characters with depth. I want to be silly, to laugh out loud and shout for joy when happy, or weep openly when sad, hurt, or moved by emotions. I want to hold and hug my grandchildren, watching them grow into caring adults. I want to wear orange even when it is not appropriate. I want to grow older gracefully…savoring all there is to be, trying new things, having an open mind, being a good listener, and living each day to its fullest. This is my dream.”

 

Technique Highlight:

My interpretation of my dream is in a quilted journal page format, constructed in three layers as a quilt, with backing, batting, and the top. It measures 8.5″ x 10.” The pieces are layered and appliqued. I looked for images, color and lines in commercial fabrics that would represent a feeling of energy and life. The piece is machine quilted and hand beaded. On the left is the stack of books I’m working through, and along the bottom in the large black dots, I show that 64 is the perfect time to hear the birds . And, as my story unfolds, this one is “to be continued…”

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Tell us about a BIG dream you want to achieve (aim high!)” I urge you to give it a try. Being that it’s the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to state your dreams and goals. 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 you will qualify for the next RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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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