creative Therapy


Catalyst One Hundred and Seven
March 31, 2010, 6:00 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 one hundred and seven:

 

Honor a family member.

 

We’re thrilled to have Colette Copeland as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Here’s a quickie self-bio for Colette:

 

Mixed media artist, living in Toronto, Canada. A frequent contributor to the Stamping group of magazine, and creator of a new rubber stamp line for Stampington & Company.

 

If you’ve never seen Colette’s art, make sure to visit her blog.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Colette Says:

This piece honors my late father-in-law, a quiet, gentle man whom I loved and respected. When his eldest son, my husband, died before his time and in a terrible way, he wore a black tie for the rest of his days. He was a dairy farmer in Co. Wexford, Ireland.

 

Technique Highlight:

Mixed media painting on canvas, titled “Da”. Created with an original photograph, acrylics and oil pastels. The photo was lightly sanded in the areas I wanted to paint on (otherwise the paint will not “take” on the shiny photo paper).

 

 


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

 

Lori:

 

Lori Says:

I chose to honor my husband. He does so much for us and I know I don’t tell him how much we appreciate him often enough. So, this layout serves as a permanent reminder.

 

Journaling Reads:

You Should Know…

1. I appreciate who you are and all you do.

2. I think you are an amazing Father to our boys.

3. You have the other half of my heart. I love you.

 

 


Shelley:

 

Shelley Says:

For this project I wanted to honor my mother. This is a little album I made for her to let her know what a wonderful mother she is to me. My mother is the kindest, most loving, and sweetest person I have ever known. She was an elementary teacher for 20+ years and she was loved and adored by all. Parents requested that their children have her as their teacher. The reason why….she cared. She loved every single child as if they were her own and she taught them so much more than what was in a book. She displays her faith and love of God in everything she does. Over the years I have come to realize that my mother is one of the most brilliant people I know. I love her for all her quirky sayings, for her committment to God, her husband, and her family, and for her pureness,sweetness and humor. I know that her childhood and young adulthood was not easy ones but it shaped who she is and she is a beautiful treasure. I love my mom and I love her for always loving me no matter what.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

My grandmother, Maya, was a magnificent human being. We lost her on February 16, 2010 (I wrote a long entry here.) and I will never ever forget her. I love you Omama.

 

 


Rachel:

Rachel Saya:

My grandmother was the epitome of class and poise. Silent strength and will, compassion and forgiveness. She showed me what it was to create a safe and comfortable home and to appreciate the beauty in the handmade. She personified faith and hope in all that she did and is the little voice inside my head that I need so often to tell me that everything will be okay if I just believe. There was never a time I felt more content and safe than hiding behind my grandmothers easy chair on a Sunday afternoon. I miss her everyday.

 

 


Lia:

 

Lia Says:

Each of my family members is important to me, I couldn’t honor just one of them. I planned on talking about my late mother or my dad but talking about them would just bring too much pain as I regret how much better of a daughter I could have been to them. So I decided to create this frame using a family picture we took recently. All of us are in this picture, including our youngest member – my 2nd nephew. My mother’s not in the picture but she’s always with us in spirit. She’s in our carbon copied faces – my siblings and I, and she’s in dad’s love and memories. My family is important to me, without any of them I wouldn’t be who I am today, I love them oh so much.

 

 


Severine:

 

Severine Says:

She left without warning, even before I could say goodbye … Grandma I love you …

 

In French:

Elle est partie sans prévenir, sans même que je puisse lui dire au revoir … Mamie je t’aime très fort …

 

 


Wendela:

 

Wendela Says:

My family member is Noa, my sweet darling daughter! It’s real hard for her between 3 boys!! So I made this hanger for her, for her new room!

 

 


Dina:

Dina Says:

I adore my Grandma Maxfield. She died when I was nine years old, but my memories of her are so rich and vibrant. She always made me feel loved and important. Now as an adult, I look back at her life history and am amazed by the challenges she overcame, but the kind of woman she was. I miss her.

 

 


Larissa:

Larissa Says:

I’d especially like to pay a tribute to the artistic heritage I’ve got from my maternal grandmother, my aunt Ligia and my mother. Ever since I was little I saw them making art crafts, painting canvas and testing every new technique. And the message they transmitted me was that everything they expressed on their artistic works had the power of setting them free and bringing magic to their lives! This is my tribute to my favorite artists, who gave special colors to my life!

 

Technique Highlight:

I mixed some watercolors of mine with patterned paper. I also added a small easel and painted everything.

 

 


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Honor a family member.” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work so we can share in your creative therapy, too. 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 One Hundred and Six
March 24, 2010, 5:00 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 one hundred and six:

 

Where did you grow up?

 

We’re thrilled to have Rhian Cooksey Quinton as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Here’s a quickie self-bio for Rhian:

 

I am an English Literature graduate currently living in a tiny Welsh village with a boy and a Scottie dog. I like to encorporate all kinds of skills in my work, embroidery, collage, crochet, illustration, with quite a strong focus of words and sounds. I create because it is necessary for me to get my thoughts out and keep my hands busy. A lot of my journals and art are a type of investigation into life; the point of it, the pain of it, and how I as a female can fit into it.

 

If you’ve never seen Rhian’s art, make sure to visit her blog.

 

 

 

 

Here is Rhian’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail. You can also see the full book in her flickr account.

 

 

 

Rhian Says:

The easiest way for me to put together just a few of the memories that come with my home was to create this mini art journal. It is all made out of found items/scraps of paper/london epehmera. This journal was particularly therapeutic for me as my parents actually moved out of our home last January. I have been putting off creating about this subject because I still feel such a connection and deep loss over never walking the floors I grew up in again, this prompt was a perfect kick in the butt.

 

Technique Highlights:

I experimented with crocheting into cardboard on the cover of this journal. It is exactly the same as typical crochet, only you have to make sure to punch the holes in your material first. I did a standard shell stictch, (half double crochet in one hole, 7 double crochet in next, repeat until finished, for you crocheters!) Alongside that I made my cover a little more interactive by making my quick door sketch into a flap. I glued my image to the front, then cut around three sides of the image to create the openable ‘door’. I pasted a subtitle for the journal on the other side of the cover, but pictures, photos, fabric would work just as well.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. You’ll notice we have two new team members this week, please welcome Karola and Shelley.

 

Karola:

 

Karola Says:

I grew up in a city where I live now. But not always been so …When I was 20 years I took from their parents and started life on their own account, then I went in the far corner of the country. Later many times was moving, I lived in different cities, and I collected life experience.

 

In the meantime I went back for 2 years to my hometown, but still I could not stay in my life journey, and I left again, this time to the capital of Poland, where I met my beloved, with whom we assumed the family, gave birth to our daughter.

 

Over the years, I saw in different places my special place on earth, but that was false, wrong. Only in July 2009 we conducted a spontaneous decision which change our life. We moved to my hometown to live here quietly, slowly, and happier than in the Warsaw.

 

And it turned out that this was one of the best decisions in my life. Now I am among family, places and people that I know well, I feel safe and I’m happy. I think that my life journey has ended. A town where I grew up and where I hope my daughter will grow up it’s: Gorzow Wielkopolski (GW) in western Poland, near the border with Germany.

 

 


Shelley:

 

Shelley Says:

I grew up in the state of Iowa. And in Iowa there is a LOT of corn. I have never lived on a farm (I was a town girl) but I spent many of my Summers amidst the corn detassling and working for local farmers. My experience growing up in Iowa was a wonderful one. My folks were both teachers in the schools I attended and everyone knew everyone! I use to think it was so uncool to live in such a rural place but now after traveling to many places I really appreciate the work ethic and the way of living that I experienced here in Iowa. I am now raising my children in a much larger Iowa town but I am proud to call it my home and the place that made me who I am. I hope my children will look back fondly on their life here in Iowa too!

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

I’ve had the luxury of having an idyllic childhood experience. As a child, I spent my summers on this island called Burgaz. It’s in the middle of the Marmara Sea in Turkey. It’s tiny and can be walked in two hours. It has no cars, only horse carriages and some of the best memories I’ve ever had were created there. A truly wonderful place to grow up.

 

 


Lia:

 

Lia Says:

This is not the most perfect picture, but looking at this I still remember to this day which part of my apartment building this was taken. This is the place where I grew up and still live today. The trees and seats aren’t there anymore, and the floors and walls have a fresh coat of paint but each time I come back home, I sit for a minute or two in the car and face this building … and think to myself, ‘I’m home’.

 

 


Severine:

 

Severine Says:

I grew up in a family Love, in a big family Love.

 

In French:

J’ai grandi dans une famille remplie d’amour, dans une grande famille remplie d’amour …

 

 


Wendela:

 

Wendela Says:

I made ATC’s this time. Used a map of the place where I lived when I was young.

 

 


Rachel:

Journaling Reads:

This is the town I was born, raised and still reside in. Good ol’ Prescott, Arizona. The place that I wanted to leave so badly all through my childhood and teen years, the place I felt offered so little.

 

It’s only been in my adult years that I grew to appreciate, love, and respect the charm, the safety, the beauty and the quaint unique traits that make Prescott special and a great place to raise our daughter. The rest of the journaling can be found here in wikipedia.

 

Technique Highlight:

I used postcards and a map from a tourist section in a local store to create the pages for my book. Each postcard is backed using a street map of my town. I cut out 2 of the map pieces to include the streets I have lived on throughout my life and used gemstones to make them.

 

 


Dina:

Dina Says:

I really feel like I grew up in the world…not just in one specific place. We moved to England when I was 12, and being there opened up the world to my mind. I started understanding my place in the world, being grateful for what I had, and appreciating people and cultures that are different than me. It truly was life-changing!

 

 


Opal:

Opal Says:

I grew up in a house that was one of hundreds just like it in a post war housing tract 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. There had been orange groves where the streets lined with ‘same but different’ houses stood. Some of these trees were left, and one was in our backyard. It was the perfect tree for climbing. The smell of orange blossoms and the taste of those sweet oranges picked off the tree came to me in a rush as I thought about this prompt. Within a few years, this newly created housing development would be surrounded by busy freeways and would acquire a zip code.

 

My piece reflects the grid and perspective of those streets. The orange is central and is composed of hundreds of tiny orange bits of fabric. The little rubber gaskets were found in one of my dad’s tool boxes. It is a simple piece for a simpler time.

 

 


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Where did you grow up?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work so we can share in your creative therapy, too. 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 One Hundred and Five
March 17, 2010, 7:00 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 one hundred and five:

 

Tell a random childhood memory.

 

We’re overjoyed to have Pam Garrison as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Here’s a quickie self-bio for Pam:

 

Pam Garrison is a mixed media artist who is passionate about creating and inspiring others to create. She shares her talents by teaching at paper arts and mixed media events in the U.S. and abroad. She currently serves as a Director’s Circle Artist for Stampington & Co. You may have seen her work in various art books and magazines, or HGTV’s “That’s Clever.” She is currently licensing designs with Papaya Inc. Pam resides in Southern California with her husband and two young children where she strives to incorporate creativity into her life every day.

 

If you’ve never seen Pam’s art, make sure to visit her blog.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Pam Says:

When I was young, my family and I would travel each summer from Michigan to Florida to visit my Grandfather. While there, we would spend endless hours searching the beach for special shells. My Mother and I were particularly fond of the treasure hunt. This is a memory I cherish to this day. I lost my Mom at an early age, and so the shells we found, and the memory of the joyful time spent finding them, are extra special to me. I find that I often connect to my Mom through an art piece. Not because she was creative, which she was, but because when making art, it is a time my feelings about her and love of remembering her flow through me most easily.

 

I have, as you might expect, continued to be a treasure hunter, especially when at the beach. My children and husband join me in the hunt and take great pleasure in finding a prize piece with me. A tradition that brings the big circle of life home to me. Last year I made a few shadow boxes from the treasures we have found, and even included some of the special finds from my childhood as well. When given the journal prompt, “tell a random childhood memory”, this journal spread is what came out. A nice trip down memory lane and a story behind the creation for my children.

 

Technique Highlights:

I started with a blank water color page and stitched on a close-up photo of a piece I made with shells found. I made some notes on the photo of where and with whom certain pieces were found. On the left side of the spread I drew a very loose picture of my daughter (or is it me as a little girl?) using a paintbrush and calligraphy ink. I wrote with a dip pen and a graphite pencil too. Lastly, I scanned a photo of my mom, brother and I searching through the amazing pile of shells that washed up on the shore in Florida. I stapled it on and doodled on top of it.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. You’ll notice we have a new team member this week, please welcome Kathyrn.

 

Kathryn:

 

Kathryn Says:

I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood-most are just bits and pieces. One of the few memories of my early childhood is watching the annual balloon races. We would climb up on the roof of our house, and watch all the novelty balloons take to the sky. When I look back on it, it seemed as though the sky just filled with color-like a make believe world. It was magical.

 

 


Iris:

 

Iris Says:

A random childhood memory that came back to me when I saw my two sweethearts fighting over a toy. As the younger child, I have been bullied by my older brother. The same thing is happening with Nicole and Cheska. Nicole would always get the best toys and refuse to share it with her baby sister. I was so proud of my little Cheska who at 14 months has learned to fight back! She was playing with her toy and Nicole suddenly came in the room and kept getting the balls she was playing with. Cheska would grab the balls from her sister only to have her older sister take it away from her again. When she got fed up of the situation, she bravely went up to her sister and bit her arm! Such a brave feisty little one!:)

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

My sister and I fought pretty much all the time as kids. One day, I got really mad at her and banged her door on my way out. Within seconds, I heard this really loud crashing sound and when I opened the door, I saw that her window had broken. Since we were both much more afraid of our mom finding out than anything else, we immediately forgot about our fight and collaborated on a solution. With the help of our dad, the window was replaced without a trace of what happened, before my mom came home.

 

 


Larissa:

 

Larissa Says:

When I was a little girl, I used to giggle a lot, looking for daisies, angel wings, fairies and butterflies. I also used to play with paper dolls at my granny’s house, having a great time with all her treasure boxes. She used to have boxes for everything: buttons, sewing, laces and knitting.

 

 


Amy:

 

Amy Says:

This piece represents the shimmer of a childhood memory, something I’d forgotten until suddenly it appeared again as I considered this catalyst. I had been thinking of my grandparent’s house and visualizing several elements there… fig tree, tire swing, neighbor with gum in his pocket and the apple tree on his side of the fence. And suddenly I remembered having “tea” with the neighbor right next door. It was such an unexpected moment of memory that I checked with my mom to make sure. Indeed, my grandmother and I were frequent guests for (weak) tea.

 

 


Rachel:

Journaling Reads:

My whole childhood, my mother would sew. I can remember her clearing off the dining table to cut out patterns as clearly as if it were yesterday. When she was done cutting, she would iron and carefully fold all of the cut fabric and pattern pieces just so and begin to sew the most beautiful clothing. It was always my job to pick up all of the stray straight pins that would fall to the floor. I loved that job. I would sit under the table for hours listening to the sewing machine running along and catch pins that fell. I think that it was those moments where my love of all things handmade was born. -Journaling: March 2010, 28 years old.

 

 


Christine:

Christine Says:

I still remember how much I disliked wearing dresses. They were just something that I couldn’t stand to wear when I was younger. Well, my aunt was thoughtful enough to sew a long dress for me as a gift, and my mother wanted me to wear it to church. I still remember arguing with my mom about having to wear it. Unfortunately, there was nothing that I could do about the ruffles. However, we came to a compromise. I would wear it to church as long as I could wear my shorts underneath.

 

As I look at this photo, I’m reminded of that moment and now laugh at how much I disliked wearing dresses as a child. Now I will wear dresses for special occasions, and I don’t dislike them as passionately as I did then.

 

 


Opal:

Opal Says:

As I thought about this catalyst, many random memories came to mind. I wanted to do this one, and then that one, and soon, there was one other that seemed even better. But when my thoughts turned to my grandmother, and the memories I have of her when i was a little girl, I knew that this was the one to celebrate with art. My Grandma Jackson cooked with an apron on. Now, women of that day had a Sunday best dress, and then for the rest of the week they wore a “house dress.” An apron was always worn over the house dress. The aprons worn by the women in my family were the type that went over the head and covered the front of the dress, tying in the back. I don’t think I ever saw my grandmother without her apron.

 

This piece is mixed media. I sketched the type of apron I remembered on vellum. The background is a pieced log cabin using fabrics of the 30’s. The vellum is stitched to the center, and the apron stitched on top. Machine and hand quilted.

 

 


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Tell a random childhood memory.” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work so we can share in your creative therapy, too. 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.

 

 



Happy Second Birthday Creative Therapy!
March 16, 2010, 8:00 am
Filed under: catalyst

Today’s Creative Therapy’s second birthday. We put up our first catalyst on March 16 2008. Thank you for taking this journey along with us.



February RAK Recipient
March 12, 2010, 12:48 pm
Filed under: other

Those of you who’ve been with us for a while know that we used to give regular RAKs here. One of our sponsors decided to continue donating to those of you who are practicing creative therapy. So we will give away a RAK every other month for as long as they support us. The RAKs will be chosen from participants to leave a comment to any of our catalysts. Here’s the RAK for February:

 

 

The February recipient is Mary Ann K. Huge thanks to Sakura of America who is such a big supporter of us. 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.

 

Thank you.



Catalyst One Hundred and Four
March 10, 2010, 10:17 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 one hundred and four:

 

What advice do you have for other couples?

 

We’re delighted to have Jenni Bowlin as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Here’s a quickie self-bio for Jenni:

 

Jenni Bowlin resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and two young sons. She is the owner and the creative force behind Jenni Bowlin Studio – a boutique papercrafting manufacturer with a “Vintage Fresh” attitude. Everything she creates has a vintage edge and a general “re-invention” theme. She is also the owner of Mercantile, a web-based company offering monthly papercrafting, project and jewelry kits. A published designer, Jenni’s work has landed on the pages of Creating Keepsakes, Autumn Leaves Publications, Family Circle, Country Living and Mary Engelbreit Home Companion. Jenni is also an accomplished teacher, offering classes at stores and conventions across the country and the web.

 

If you’ve never seen Jenni’s art, make sure to visit her blog. And make sure to visit JBS Mercantile to see her beautiful products and art.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jenni Says:

My husband and I both feel as though we have a responsibility to share our story with, well, anyone that will listen! When I saw the “what advice . ..” option I knew it was the perfect catalyst for me. So here goes, my short story and my advice (without writing a book):

 

I spent almost 9 years in a marriage full of anger, sadness and frustration. Frustration because I knew he was my soulmate, sadness because I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Truth is, although it took a lot of counseling and a lot of tears, it came down to one simple principle: be humble. When I stopped keeping score and holding on to anger over the third night of doing the dishes alone it caused a chain reaction. The “big” things didn’t seem so big anymore and the small things are just that, small. I realize it’s not always this simple and you certainly have to have two willing parties, but over time wounds can heal. We now work together every day, side by side, and do so brilliantly (with a few strong “discussions” here and there)! I miss him if he goes out to lunch. He is my best friend and the greatest father. Truly a dream and one I had to be dragged through the mud to realize (but isn’t that when you appreciate something even more)?

 

(and P.S. – he is actually the one doing the dishes and always the laundry. I can always pick the place to eat dinner though)!

 

 


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

 

Kimmi:

 

Journaling Reads:

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams

 

Kimmi Says:

The photo I used here is one that I snapped on a recent weekend trip to the beach with my husband. It was impossible to snap a photo of the two of us, and I don’t have any recent ones, so I decided to use this one for this project. To me, patience is the number one key to a relationship. You have to be patient with each other… with the obstacles.. the hardships.. and all the things that life throws at you. Be patient. That’s the best advice I know to give.

 

 


Iris:

 

Iris Says:

There are so many pointers on keeping a relationship that I receive from couples and so many that I can pass on as well. Among these are : 1. Get away from it all a few times a month and enjoy yourselves as a couple 2. Get involved in at least one activity or sport you both enjoy. 3. Never never let a fight or argument go unsettled. 4. Give little gifts and surprises every now and then. 5. Be the girlfriend or boyfriend you were to your partner. The list goes on and on… but there is ONE advice that my husband and I both hold on to – and that is to keep our focus on God. Our family and our marriage stands strong on his promise and his love. That alone will strengthen any relationship.

 

 


Severine:

Severine Says:

My advice : “Keep the Spark”

 

In French:

Mon conseil : “Garder l’étincelle” …

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

I am a firm believer that if you want to be with some one and have a solid, growing relationship it’s best not to play any games. You need to be straightforward and be your true self. Only then can you see if this person is a good fit for you, for who you really are. I’ve always found games to be deceiving, childish and detrimental to the health of the relationship. So that’s my biggest advice: Be yourself.

 

 


Wendela:

 

Wendela Says:

My best advice is…. Listen to each other!! Learn more about the other lovely person….by listening…

 

 


Amy:

 

Amy Says:

In thinking about the catalyst, I found myself looking at the triangles in a Here2There quilt pattern. Triangles are considered the strongest of shapes, and as I considered the way the triangles “grow” in this design, I saw my response. It struck me that the concentric triangles which grow larger ring by ring by ring symbolize and summarize the ways in which you have to be prepared to hold on to the essence and the core of a relationship even as you each grow (together and independently, in ways expected and in ways unforeseen). Change and growth are inevitable. For a relationship to be strong and healthy and lasting, there has to be room to grow, respect for growth, and the awareness, always, of what remains at the center.

 

 


Rachel:

Journaling Reads:

1.) Make the decision to fall in love all over again every day.

2.) Go on adventures together.

3.) Respect and value each others passions.

4.) Be each others best friend.

5.) Speak with kindness and honesty.

 

Rachel Says:

I decided to make a mini album with the tips and secrets that I have learned work after 11 years of being married to my husband Drew. We are often told what a great couple and a family we are and when I think about it, these 5 simple statements are our secret. They are what makes us work and what will keep us working for years and years to come.

 

 


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What advice do you have for other couples?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work so we can share in your creative therapy, too. 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 One Hundred and Three
March 3, 2010, 8:26 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 one hundred and three:

 

When did you first fall in love?

 

We’re delighted to have Tara Whitney as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Here’s a quickie self-bio for Tara:

 

I am a mother of four and a photographer of families living as close to the beach as I can afford in southern CA. I spend a lot of time with my husband and kiddos – they are my favorite people in the whole entire world. And, the camera is never far from my reach. I love to photograph families. I love to make people feel beautiful. I love to laugh. I really love when I get to do all three at the same time.

 

If you’ve never seen Tara’s photography, make sure to visit her blog. And prepare to be awed and inspired when you look at her portfolio.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Tara Says:

I met my husband when I was just 8 years old. I hunted earthworms back then, and dug holes into the clay dirt of our playground. Homes for the worms. Sometimes keeping an eye on Jeff Whitney. There was something about him I liked, even then. That blonde hair and those midnight blue eyes. The sound of his voice.

 

And then I moved away.

 

And it could have happened that we were never to meet again.

 

But there was something that pulled us back together.

 

I walked into the auditorium for Drama in ninth grade and there he was.

 

We danced a shy little dance for almost three years. It took him that long to get up the courage to ask me out.

 

He was the first boy I was allowed to go on a date with at the romantically hopeful age of 16.

 

And he is still the only boy I am allowed to go on a date with at the romantically wise age of 33.

 

This photo I am sharing was taken at almost a year into our relationship, in Hawaii, while on vacation with his family.

 

I thought I was in love with him then. I know I am in love with him now.

 

But really?

 

I have been in love with him since I was eight years old.

 

 

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

 

 


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

 

Opal:

 

Opal Says:

I was sure I was in love. It was in fourth grade. His name was Mark E. and he wore braces on his teeth. He was in love with her…the first girl in our class to wear a bra. She had long dark hair and curves that I wasn’t even aware happened yet. He didn’t seem to notice me, right there across from him, watching his every move. I remember his eyes were blue. I wrote him a letter in which I told him my feelings. The words are long forgotten, but I remember clearly the squeak of hinges on the handle of the blue mailbox on the corner of my street, and the whispered thump as my letter dropped to the bottom. It was in that moment that I understood cause and effect. My mother assured me that once dropped in the box, a letter could not be retrieved. I watched the mailman open that blue mailbox, reach inside and gather and pack those envelopes in his big floppy leather bag. I waited. I thought of every possible way to get that letter back before it was read. Days later, his mom called my mom, and they had a little talk. I wish I knew what was said between them. Did my mom smile? And bless her heart, she never mentioned it, saving me from further embarrassment. He never mentioned it. And life went on.

 

 


Lori:

 

Journaling Reads:

He was a few years older than me. We would hang out while our brothers practiced soccer. He would constantly threaten to kiss me. This used to thrill and scare me all at the same time, for I had never kissed a boy. He never did. And, maybe, that is why he will always be my first love. He’s the one who never was, but it was close and I still have fond memories.

 

 


Severine:

Severine Says:

I believe I fell in love oh his the first time I saw you, when our eyes met …

 

In French:

Je crois que je suis tombée amoureuse de lui la première fois que je l’ai vu, quand nos regards ce sont croisés …

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

I’ve had many crushes in my youth but my first love was Levent who was, at the time, also my best friend. We loved each other dearly and twenty-two years later he’s still one of my favorite people in the world.

 

 


Wendela:

 

Wendela Says:

When I was 8 years old, I had a girlfriend…when I was playing with her, I saw her big brother..and I wish that he was MY brother, he was tall, brown hair, blue eyes..very handsome….I Think..it was love at the first sight…After 12 years we married…and now we are married for almost 18 years!! How Romantic is that! And yes..I still LOVE him!

 

 


Larissa:

 

Larissa Says:

It was for a boy named Tito. I was in 5th grade and he sent me a ripped paper note asking if I wanted to be his girlfriend… Of course I did!!!

 

 


Rachel:

Journaling Reads:

July 6th, 1998 was the most important day of my life. The day I walked into a music store & walked out in love for the very first time. That day my breath was taken away by the most handsome & talented boy I had ever met & I was smitten. I played giddily in puddles with a smile on my face & dreamed my school girl dreams that would in fact come true. July 6th, 1998 changed my life. It was the day that my dreams started coming true. I fell in love with the boy & have been falling again every day since.

 

Technique Highlight:

I created a banner inspired by the patterned paper by misting some small doilies with glimmer mist and folding them in half over thick bakers twine. I then adhered it to my page.

 

 


Christine:

Christine Says:

When I consider the first time I fell in love, my initial response would be after I first met my husband. I was completely enamored with him! He truly captured my heart and I was head-over-heels infatuated with him! However, many years later, I would realize that I didn’t really love him in truest way that I could. After coming to know God and His definition of love shared in I Corinthians 13:4-8, I came to see that my understanding of love was truly flawed and self-centered. Through seasons of personal struggles trying to understand why I often felt disappointed by the lack of love that I felt from my husband and in the way I lacked in expressing my love to him, I finally realized that I couldn’t truly love him without having God’s love overflow in my own heart first.

 

As I came to know just how much God loved and cared for me, His grace allowed me to experience what true love really was like: sacrificial, long-suffering, gracious, forgiving, hopeful, persevering, never failing. Knowing this, I could then express God’s love to my husband in a way that made our relationship even better than before. I no longer had expectations for how I hoped he would treat me because I could now freely accept love from the One who could fulfill that need in my heart. What I received from my husband was then a blessing that I could accept, with contentment, as a gift from his heart. It took many seasons of surrendering my selfish desires, letting go of past offenses, learning to be patient, and having trust and hope in the redeeming work of God in my heart. I am still challenged very often to love in this way, but it has made a world of difference!

 

So…when did I first truly fall in love? It was when I fell in love with my God – my creator and Savior. When my heart was fully enamored with His, I could then love my husband in the best way I ever could. This project is simply a reminder of God’s love for me which I can, in turn, express towards my husband.

 

 


Lia:

Lia Says:

I didn’t know what love was until I fell in it with you. I’ve never basked in the now like I do with you, never wanted the future more than with you, never loved myself until you taught me how. You found me at my best, and seen me at my worst. And you still tell me that I’m the best person for you and you wouldn’t want me in any other way. I waited 21 years to find love in you, and it was oh-so worth the wait.

 

 


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “When did you first fall in love?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work so we can share in your creative therapy, too. 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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