creative Therapy

Catalyst Three
March 30, 2008, 6:12 pm
Filed under: catalyst


Like last week, 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! It’s time for catalyst number three:


The best part of your day, today.


We’re incredibly honored to have Linda Woods as this week’s Guest Designer.


Linda and her sister, Karen, are co-authors of two of my favorite books of all time: Visual Chronicles and Journal Revolution. Linda’s work and her messages about art and journaling are very inspiring to me. Their art aligns perfectly with the ideas behind creativeTherapy and I cannot encourage you enough to read their books.


If you want to know more about Linda, Karen, and their art, you can visit their website: Journal Revolution * the daily adventures of two sisters.

linda woods

Linda’s work with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see the larger version.




Linda says:

This is my “fauxto strip” (a project from Journal Revolution) inspired by the Best Part of Today prompt. My best moment was making wishes and this year it was different because I just really wanted chips instead of cake and because it was my birthday, chips won! Tortilla chip wishes do come true, too! I let the photos tell the story instead of using words.


Thank you very much Linda, we’re truly honored.


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. It’s interesting to see how many of us chose family as our topic. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.





Kris Says:

Thinking about this week’s challenge, the first thoughts that came to mind were Family & Home. But I thought, how cheesy is that? Doesn’t everyone think of that as the ‘Best Part of Today’? But I decided that I don’t care if I’m cliche’. I am blessed to be able to be home with my girls everyday, homeschooling and interacting with them, and doing art whenever I have a moment. Being with my family is the best part of my ‘today.’




Anita Says:

I had to think on this one and it turned out to be so obvious.  My kids are always my best part of the day.  With this particular picture we had gone to the zoo and the best part of THAT day was the fact that I was able to get all 5 of them in a photo.  Now THAT’S an accomplishment.  I love being a mother of 5 children!





Journaling Reads:

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been taking daily photos of David. It guarantees that we spend some quality time together every day.


In the last month, we’ve also started taking walks when I come home and it’s our time together. Now when I walk through the door, David says, “Go for walk, Mommy?” I grab my camera and we run out the door. We hold hands, we talk, we look at the flowers, we laugh, and I cherish each and every moment.


What started as a fun little project has become the best part of my day. 






Leena Says:

My Birthdays have often passed quietly for the past few years but this year has been exceptional. My family and my best friends have made this year extra special for me, probably because I have reached 35 years of age! They probably thought that I need a bit of cheering up because everyone has been calling me an “old” girl! LOL! And they have truly made this part of the day, the best day of my life.





Journaling Says:
The best part of Saturday was attending a sketchcrawl – an international drawing event. I attended with my best friend, Angie and the best part of the day was sitting in the Phoenix Botanical Gardens and sketching with her. It was calm and peaceful. Drawing helps me to find my center. I really do enjoy it. 

Journaling Reads:

I was having a pretty bad day and was attempting to wallow alone, when my 4-year-old walked in. “Mommy, look what I made!” Sigh. I was not in the mood for show and tell, but what’s a Mom to do? So, I answered, “Wow, Dylan. That’s fantastic.” It was pretty cool, after all, to see a glitter glue drawing on a paper towel! But, I’m still in a rotten mood! “Do you know what it is?” Ugh! Not fifty questions! Not now! “A fish?” “No silly, it’s a Rhinoceros bone!” “Ah, of course it is!” Grrr! He made me smile; slightly. I’m supposed to be in a bad mood! ” Yes, and see the red?” “Um hum.” “That’s the blood in the bone”. Ok, he got me! What could I do, but laugh and leave my bad mood behind? My day is filled with these little moments of pure innocence and imagination. I could have snapped at my son and asked him to leave me alone, but even when I’m in a bad mood, I know better. The best part of today is being old enough to embrace the fact that the best things in life are small and freely given and that family really is everything. 


Lori’s note:

I decided to scrap “Rhinoceros Bone” because it is the perfect example of my life, today. I want to flip through my Book of Me and see this page and be reminded that I can laugh when I’m in a bad mood and that I am loved. Though I decided to do this for me, it’s turned out to be a huge deal for Dylan. I’ve made him feel so special. He can’t wait to see HIS page up on the internet! Again, the best things are small and freely given. 





Journaling Reads:

Our little Kayleigh brings magic into our lives every day. One day while we were gardening, she was looking for fairies.  She had been digging in the dirt and decided to go in and change.  Shecame out wearing an ankle length tulle dress.  When I told her she couldn’t garden in it, she said “ But Mommy, I have to wear a pretty dress or the fairies won’t come.  Laughing, I figured she’d already torn it in several places, and what would it hurt to let her wear it in the garden.  She kept getting in my way, so I had her lay on her tummy on a skateboard and watch the flowers for fairies. 

She looked so cute, sitting there so intently watching, that I grabbed my camera to snap a coupleof photos.  Just as I snapped thisphoto a little white gnat came and landed on the flowers.  She was so tickled that a “real” fairy had come to visit, and I was able to get this adorable picture of her with such joy on her face.  In those moments, I remembered what it was like to “truly believe” in something with all your heart and soul. 

She just KNEW that dress would attract a fairy, and she sat there believing and watching until one did.  I had forgotten about the magic of childhood.  The wonder that is found in such little things. She touched me that day with her special magic.  Her love of life, and belief that all things are possible, if you just wish hard and wear a tulle dress. 


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “the best part of your day.” Give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you. Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. You’ll have to link your work by Sunday night, April 6th, midnight PST to qualify for the RAK.


For our RAK for catalyst #3, we decided it would only be fitting that we give away one of Linda and Karen’s books to the lucky winner. Visual Chronicles is the first of the two books and a fantastic way to start your journey into art journaling. 





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.



Last Week’s RAK Recipient
March 26, 2008, 9:54 am
Filed under: other

yey janet

Janet, my little boy picked your name out of the bowl! Please email me your address so I can send the SEI papers your way. My email is at the upper left corner where it says “Email Me.”


I also wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. creativeTherapy is a very personal project for me and one that I am incredibly proud of and thankful for. Your participation and encouragement takes this journey to the next level and I cannot tell you what a strong impact that has in my life and my art.


Thank you.

Catalyst Two
March 23, 2008, 5:19 pm
Filed under: catalyst


First of all, 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 last time, we hope you do this time. 


Ok! It’s time for catalyst number two:


A place you go to find your center. It can be imaginary or real or anything in between.


We’re incredibly thrilled to have Kristina Contes as our first Guest Designer.  Kristina’s work is bold, personal, and absolutely stunning. Her art and honesty is always inspiring to me and I hope you find it inspiring too. You can read much more about Kristina and see more of her art at her blog: sounds of science.



Kristina’s work with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see the larger version.




Kristina says:

When things get a little crazy and I need to reel in my emotions, I always go back to my roots: paint. there is nothing like mixing the gorgeous colors, creating texture on canvas, and just feeling free.  painting always helps me de-stress, focus on the core and just get in touch with my heart. There are many physical places that I visit, people I go to or things I like to do to find my center, but painting is always my surefire way to regain my sanity.


Thank you very much Kristina, we’re honored. 


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





Journaling Reads:

Sometimes, I lose sight of what’s important. I may over react to little things, or be impatient with my family or friends. When I begin to complain, gossip, or just act ungrateful I know that I can take my daily sins to the foot of the cross and leave them there and be forgiven. That is the beauty of the Christian life. I’m not perfect, not even close, but I have a Savior who died to save me from my sins. What could be better than knowing that at the end of the day, after all life’s daily garbage you can go to Him, lay those burdens down and be renewed and refreshed and best of all forgiven? With my Lord as my center, what could ever be that bad in life? Nothing will ever be as bad as what HE endured for ME, to save me from my sins. Everything else in life pales by comparison. The reminder of what he did for me is what keeps me centered and focused on what is good and important in my life.




Journaling Reads:

When I am stressed, I long for water.  Especially the beach.  Something about sitting on the beach and watching the waves crash.  Maybe it is my past lives in Hawaii, but the beach takes me deeper.  It cleanses and refreshes my soul. It grounds me and it also helps me feel lighter.  If I can’t get to the beach, (which is silly because I live 30 minutes from one) I will take a bath.  Bathing or swimming, immersing myself in water, helps me to wash all the negative energy off and out of myself.  When I am upset, or have a stressful problem, a bath, or shower will really shift my energy and give me a new perspective.  Just the act of cleansing with water.  In old days, it was used for purification in many pagan rituals.  It is used now to avoid contamination and infection. If cleaning can do that to the physical body, it only makes sense that it would do the same for the spiritual body.  That reminds me, I am long overdue for a trip to the beach. The battery needs recharging.





Journaling Reads:

when i feel like my problems are huge

and about to swallow me

i visit nature

i look at the towering trees

the endless ocean

and it reminds me 

that i am a very small part of this earth


and my problems, i realize

are not so big.





Journaling Reads:

Nothing compares to the peace I feel knowing that the God who created everything  from the smallest insect to the grandest mountain has His heart set on me knowing Him and the wonders of His grace. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the trials I face in this life, I remember the awe and wonder that I feel when I am surrounded by God’s creation.  It reminds me that what I’m going through is only temporary that it will pass, and by His grace I know that the One who made these wonderful things cares about me and my struggles. Being among the things He has created reassures me of His love and that He continues to be mindful of me. What an awesome God He is to have given me this peace and to glory in His love. He reminds me that He is always with me, and that I am truly blessed by Him! My help truly comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.



Brenda Says:
This is definitely where I go to find my center.  Two fold….The Beach and The Ocean…  What a wonderful place!  Home of some of the most beautiful creatures that ever lived.  Dolphins, seahorses, starfish… Every color of the rainbow is found in these waters.  And salt water-ahhhhhhhh… healing….and waves..crashing waves, mesmerizing, calming, peace-filled.  The smell………………..YES!   The smell………….. Seashells…I love to collect seashells. Often I go to this place in my mind to fill up on energy and peace, as I am landlocked in Tennessee.  When I lived in Southern California a stroll on the beach was a joy and easy to accomplish.  Now,  once in a while we are able to physically go to “the beach” and it recharges my spirit.


I made this necklace to remind me of the bliss that the beach brings to me, with abalone, coral, a dolphin, a starfish…The turquoise stones represent some of the beautiful turquoise waters that I have witnessed Florida, Hawaii. Mexico… to the beach in my mind….  


Journaling Reads:

Someone had to point it out to me.  I don’t always see the obvious.  It was right under my nose. 



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “a place you go to find your center.” Give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you. Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. You’ll have to link your work by Sunday night, March 30th, midnight PST to qualify for the RAK.


For our RAK for catalyst #2, we’re incredibly thrilled to announce that A Million Memories generously donated one of their April kits to the lucky winner. These kits are packed with amazing papers, a ton of beautiful embellishments, ribbons, a minibook, and so much more. Here’s a photo of the kit and you can go here for more detailed pictures.




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.



Our Team
March 20, 2008, 3:17 pm
Filed under: about

Now that I have the photos and bios of the full team up on the site, I wanted to introduce the wonderful, amazing and awe-inspiring women that I am privileged to have on our team.  


As I explained in the very long post that gave you the backstory, the intent was to have a large team so that we could rotate and each person didn’t have to create every week, so that each piece of art could be fully authentic and so that this never felt like a burden to the team but always something that was healing and empowering. This is why we have a team of twelve of us.


For each catalyst, you will see the work of some of us. Some weeks we may have a lot and other weeks only a few. You will see the work of each of the ladies a few times each month. We also hope to have some guest appearances by people we admire. At least, that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes….


Here are the amazing women on our team (sorted alphabetically by first name just like their photos are on the side):


Angela Hoffman

Anita Letts

Becky Heisler

Brenda Bliss Delaney

Christine Penaflor

Fran Saperstein

Karan Simoni

Karen Grünberg (me)

Kris Tuey

Leena Loh

Lori Gentile

Ruth Akers 


Collectively, they have more experience and talent than I could have ever dreamt when my little idea developed. I am so delighted to be in their company and I hope their work inspires you as much as it inspires me.

Our first RAK
March 19, 2008, 1:49 pm
Filed under: other

As promised, here is the RAK for Week#1. It’s 15 papers that make up the absolutely stunning SEI Jolie Chocolat line. On Sunday, we will draw a random name from all the participants.


Thank you to those of you who’ve already shared your work, please continue to do so. I am so inspired and moved by what you’ve done.

rak for catalyst one 

Comments Off on Our first RAK

Catalyst One
March 16, 2008, 10:51 am
Filed under: catalyst


Ok! We’re ready to get started. Here’s catalyst number one:


Something that you lost. It could be something good like weightloss, or terrible like a person, or heartbreaking like a friendship.


Here’s some work from the amazing women in our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.



 Lori Catalyst One 

Journaling Says:

Just like that…Poof! My sense of femininity gone! My left leg has chronic swelling, which means the every day things I took for granted; flip flops, skirts, high heals, dresses, are no longer part of my life. And, though I feel a keen sense of loss, there is, also, healing and love.  




Journaling Says:

Mine is not something I just recently lost. It’s something I lost over 20 years ago. The drawing is of a scale. It’s   a tongue-in-cheek drawing of balance. I journaled around it about how I lost my balance in 1986 and still have not completely regained it. It’s a constant struggle. And, though my loss of balance is literal and physical, I know that I constantly struggle with different kinds of balance in my life –  balance between family and work, balance between my husband and myself, balance with friends, and balance of self-care vs. caring for others, to name a few.  



karen one

Journaling Says:

I am the girl behind the camera. I am the one who takes photos I capture the moments I preserve the memories. There was a time when I was in front of the lens. When I let people take my photo, but now when I see a photo of me I cringe. I see all the flaws all the fat all the ugliness. I lost the ability to see myself clearly. I can’t remember what it felt like to look at the photo and see me. I miss that.




Journaling Says:

I can still remember very clearly 3 years ago when Rainer came home one fine day, looking dejected and I feared for the worst. When he finally said “We lost everything!”, I felt a sharp pain tearing through my heart. We actually lost everything we had. I lost everything, everything that I have worked so hard for. I just felt my tears pouring down my face, crying silently. He hugged me and said “We still have each other and our son. All are not lost.”. That actually stopped me crying. Yes, I still have my family. Even though Rainer’s business failed badly, we lost all of our money but the thought of what was left, my son and my family was what comforted me. After 3 years, our lives couldn’t have been better now. We took a little step each day, we stood by each other and we re-build our lives again. We have weathered the worst and it makes us stronger each day. As for now, we are grateful and thankful we have one another.



Angela Says:
I created this mini book about my little puppy Oscar. He will be 1 March 1st.  This summer i had to put my beagle of 18 years to sleep and he replaced her in a hurry…not an intended hurry but i think divine intervention had it’s hand. It was by one of the serendipitous moments that we found him and I brought him home.  He has been part of our family ever since.
I didn’t realize how much of my heart he stole until i actually lost him. He escaped from our backyard through a malfunctioning gate and was lost for half a day. I cried and cried. I searched in the 22 degree weather for over 2 hours..wandering the neighborhood and knocking on doors. It got dark so i had to stop. I then made posters offering a reward for his return and went to several places nearby to hang on bulletin boards. I came home and sunk into the couch in despair and defeat..there was nothing else i could do until Monday..a whole 36 hours away. It was so sad and I cried so many tears. 
Around 9:30 that evening the phone heart skipped a beat..the boys echoed my thoughts as i ran to the phone…”maybe it is some one calling about the dog” ans sure enough it was..he came home safe and sound~  I cried again..this time tears of joy! this book is the result of this love that i have for my precious little puppy! I ‘lost” my heart to him! 


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “something you lost.” Give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. 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. 



So here’s the story….
March 4, 2008, 12:34 am
Filed under: about


When I was little, I hung out with this group of kids who were my parents’ friends’ children. They were really mean to me and didn’t really want me around. So, I’ve always had this idea that I didn’t belong and people didn’t like being around me. Even though, over the years, a lot happened to show me otherwise, I was just stuck with those ideas in my head.


About two weeks ago, I found a box of photos from my childhood and teenage years. I looked at the photos over and over again and realized that I was smiling in all of them. Even laughing in some. I had people around me, with their arms on my shoulder. Suddenly it hit me that I was all wrong. I had belonged and I was loved. I had hundreds of photos to prove it. (I can’t really put into words the fundamental shift this caused.)


So I grabbed a minibook I had, glued the photos all over it and journaled all around it. I journaled for 7 hours. I wanted to capture this moment of revelation and have something for my future self to revisit if I got delusional again. It was energizing and life-changing.


I wanted to couple that experience with my wish to create more often and to have more fun with creating, so I thought….why not do a weekly challenge? Yes, I know there are thousands of them. But the idea of this one would be using art, scrapbooking, photography, or whatever your creative outlet is as a form of self-therapy. It doesn’t have to be revealing. It can be with colors, a specific technique, lots of journaling, or very few words. It can be art journaling. It can be anything you want as long as it’s therapeutic to you. Creative therapy.


My hope was to have a team of scrappers and mixed media artists. Many of us, so that we don’t all have to do one each week. Since this is emotional at the core, I want to make sure it’s authentic. 


I hope you’re as excited about this idea as we are. I am honored and humbled to be in the company of these amazing artists and I hope that their work will inspire you as much as it awes me. 


I don’t want to call this a challenge site since challenge and creative therapy don’t go together in my opinion. So, we’re going to call them catalysts, since our goal is for the work to be the catalyst for our life and a catalyst for you to feel inspired to create your own piece of creative therapy. 


So, come on over. Pull up a chair and create your own therapeutic art.