creative Therapy

Catalyst Fifteen
June 22, 2008, 10:32 am
Filed under: catalyst


As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us. We will do a drawing for the RAK and announce the name mid-week. And if you didn’t join us before, we hope you do this time.


Ok! Here’s catalyst number fifteen:


What’s your happiest memory?


We’re very excited to have Kathy Wasilewski as this week’s Guest Artist.


I found Kathy’s art through my friend Kris. When I looked through her site, I couldn’t get enough of it! I loved the dimension, the diversity, and the texture in all her work. I found myself drawn to each piece. Her art has the special quality that many great pieces of art have: the more you look, the more you see. There are so many details to be discovered in each piece. You’ll see that this week’s catalyst’s art is no exception. Here’s a tiny bio from Kathy in her own words:


Kathy is a self-taught mixed media artist and national instructor residing in Richmond, Virginia. After owning a retail scrapbook store for 3 years, her love for creativity and self-expression soon expanded into altered books, assemblage, collage, and fabric art. Her greatest love is in teaching others and in helping them to expand in creating their own pieces of self-expression.


I am so delighted that Kathy agreed to create a piece of art for creative therapy. If you haven’t seen her art before, I highly recommend you visit her blog.



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



Kathy Says:

My happiest memory would be the birth of my 2 sons. Although every mother is joyous over the birth of her children, it was additionally a true blessing for me. Having suffered with various female disorders during my teens, I had been diagnosed as never being able to have children. Thus, holding my firstborn for the first time was an experience that I will never forget.


I created this piece as a tribute to Spring and to the birth of new life. It is this time of the year when mother birds nest and give birth to their own young. Thus, regardless of the species, a mother will nurture and guide her young in learning how to spread their wings and fly.


Technique highlight:

This piece was created by the cutting and manipulation of both stretched and flat canvases. The canvas roof was painted and collaged, then attached with a metal insert containing a quote embossed into the metal. The birds nest was made with wire and natural materials.


Thank you so much Kathy; we’re truly honored.


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


Karen Says:

There are so many happy memories to choose from and some really obvious ones like the day I got into the college of my dreams, the day my husband proposed, the day our son was born, or the day I became an American citizen. But for this week what kept coming to me was a seemingly small memory that always warms my heart when I think about it.


So I decided to write about a car trip my husband and I took to Joshua Tree National Park. It was our first time at the park and we were awed by its uniqueness. We walked around and then sat down at a bench and talked for hours until it got dark. On the way home, we put the windows down, put on some music and sang at the top of our lungs.


It was just another ordinary day, but knowing that I can still spend a whole day talking with my husband after having been together nine years (at the time) and just having returned from a 3-month cross-country trip where it was just the two of us, made me feel so happy. He has always been and will always be my best friend. If I ever doubt that, all I have to do is remember the day we spent at Joshua Tree.


Technique highlight:

I took a tiny minibook and covered its pages with vintage music sheet to represent the music we listened to on the way home. I took several chipboard pieces that represented bits and pieces of my story and sprayed all of them with different colors of Glimmer Mist to get the shimmery effect. That’s it!



Severine Says:

It is a feeling that I can never feel again. For 9 months we cohabited on and I imagined the day I would meet this little being. It was such a happiness when our eyes met that I still get tears in my eyes just thinking of it.


In French:

C’est un sentiment que je n’éprouverais plus jamais comme ça, une délivrance parce que cela fait 9 mois je l’on cohabite et que j’imagine la rencontre avec ce petit être et un tel bonheur lorsque nos regards ce croisent que ça m’en fait encore arriver les larmes aux yeux rien qu’en y repensant.


Technique Highlight:

I printed photo in a slide. I made the background with two different papers and applied gesso on it with a credit card then I put my photo and some paper on top of the photo. The chipboard colored with distress and gesso. I heated the gesso with the heatgun for make some bubbles and apply distress with the cut’n dry. Some rubons and the title and here we go!!!



Fran Says:

It was difficult to choose just one memory. I am, for the most part, a happy person. I’m happily married to a fabulous man. I have a studio in my home where I can work at my leisure. And, despite my chronic illness, I do love my life.


But when I thought about my happiest moment, the one that immediately came to mind was a day in February 1991 when Dave and I were sitting in the bedroom of my apartment in Brighton, MA. I was working a new job that replaced the two jobs I had worked at before. Dave was in medical school. We were both on tight budgets with very little money at the time, but we were in love and we were happy. Dave was living in Quincy in a terrible little apartment. He’d spend the weekends at my place in Brighton.


Anyway, we had just picked up the mail and I was looking at a catalog that came addressed to me. It was a jewelry catalog. I turned the page and saw that they had cubic zirconia rings for very little. Dave, unbeknownst to me, was looking over my shoulder. He said something like, “Diamonds are really expensive.” I responded, “But these CZ’s look the same and are very cheap. I don’t care about diamonds.” Dave appeared relieved.


We talked about it that day and decided that we would get married. Much like our entire relationship, it was a decision we made together. No ceremony and fancy getting on his knee. We just decided and chose a date and the next weekend, we went to his family’s jeweler and picked out our simple ring. The entire process is one of my greatest memories. I knew we were meant to be together and we’ve been just as happy ever since. Our lives have changed a lot since then, but I’ve never replaced the CZ on that ring. It is a great memento of that day.


Technique Highlight:

I used my Pigma Micron 05 to draw the figures and to outline the room. I added watercolor pencils to create the colors and then added water to complete the design.




Karan Says:

When I think of happy memories… I usually think of the births of my four children. They are my top happiest memories… But I can’t pick one birth over another, because they were all unique, like my kids, and special in their own way… I have many happy memories over the past 44 years, and I actually remember a lot of them even back to when I was a baby. I really thought about one that I was really truly happy… It would be my wedding day to Pascual. November 22, 2004 on the beach in Maui.


It was just the two of us. We eloped. We were married by a Hawaiian minister at sunset. We giggled and laughed through the whole ceremony, so much so that the minister even started to laugh hysterically, and told Pascual not to say anything else, or he would never finish and we would end up not getting married. In between his high pitched feminine hoots, so funny coming from a big Hawaiian man, he told us it was the best wedding he had done all year. When he had Pascual repeat after him, “Karan, I vow to you,” Pascual was so nervous, he said “I BOW to you…” with his Spanish accent, and I lost it. I laughed so hard, I cried. Then the video guy and the photographer and the guitarist and the minister started laughing, and we couldn’t stop for 10 minutes.


Every time I sobered up and tried to say my vows, I would look at him and start cracking up all over again… Then the minister said a blessing in Ancient Hawaiian, and I started to cry. I have such an affinity with the Hawaiian culture. I have always loved Hawaii and dreamed of being married on the beach at sunset. All my dreams came true that day. I married my soul mate with the waves crashing behind us, with a Hawaiian ceremony and a blessing by a Hawaiian chieftan minister. I laughed till I cried, and cried till I laughed again. The full range of emotions and feelings. We finished the night with photos at sunset and a dinner cooked by a private chef on the beach just for the two of us.


I don’t know if we will ever be able to top the beauty and romance of that day.


Technique Highlight:

The photo was transferred on to Sculpy clay using the iron on transfer method. I assembled the whole thing in a shadowbox purchased from Michaels, using clear stickers and some shells I bought in Hawaii.


The Sculpy transfer technique is to print the photo in mirror image on to t-shirt Iron-On transfer paper. I printed spare copies to allow for mistakes. Roll sculpy thru pasta maker to desired size of photo. Cut photo out, leaving small edge of white around image, and press face down into clay. I pressed the photo into the clay by rubbing a spoon over it. Image must be well stuck to clay to transfer. Bake 10 minutes at temperature on clay package instructions. Peel paper off photo while still hot. Image should transfer well if it was stuck down properly. This takes some practice, It took me 4 tries to get it right. But it is worth the effort. I used white sculpy clay for the brightest images.




Becky Says:

My Happiest memory is really the day I married my husband. It’s been almost 10 years and I love him even more than the day I married him. We’ve been through so much already and by the Grace of God we are truly stronger for it. Our love will stand the test of time because, not only is he wrapped up in the happiest memories I have, he continues to make up new happy memories, every single day. I love this country song by Phil Vassar. (lyrics below)


Journaling Reads:

“Love is a Beautiful Thing”.


Looks like everybody’s here

Had to put some foldin’ chairs in the vestibule

Yeah, it’s gettin’ full

Even old Aunt Ruby came

Her first time on an airplane

It’s her sister’s girl

She wouldn’t miss it for the world


And all them kids jumpin’ in the pews

And Mr. Charlie in his lime-green suit

‘Is a handsome man’

Remarks Widow Callahan

Uncle Joe and Uncle Jake

Haven’t spoken since ’98

Just said, ‘Hello’

It’s a good day to let it go


So let the angels gather

Let the music play

Let the preacher get to preachin’ all the “do you take”‘s

Love is a beautiful thing

Throw the rice in the air

Let the church bells ring

Tie the cans to the back of that limosine

Love is a beautiful thing


Daddy’s waitin’ with the bride

Yeah, she helps him with his tie

She sees a tear

He says, ‘Man, it’s hot in here’ hmm

He hugs his little girl and asks,

‘How did you grow up so fast?

God, I wish your Momma could be here for this’


And everybody stands and smiles
As she goes walkin’ down the aisle

In her Momma’s gown

And Daddy breaks on down

Gran and Gramps in the second row

Stood right there fifty years ago

And said their vows

Yeah, I guess it’s workin’ out


A little table full’a gifts

Catering’s covered dish

And the wedding band

Well, that’s on her hand

And Tommy’s teasin’ Lorelei

He pushed her down and made her cry

And neither one knows

A day will come


When the angels gather
And the music plays

And the preacher gets to preachin’ all the “do you take”‘s

Love is a beautiful thing

Throw the rice in the air

Let the church bells ring

Tie the cans to the back of that limosine


Two people in love is a beautiful thing





Christine Says:

When I consider many moments that have made me happy, I realize that they are a result of a change of perspective in my life. It happened during the very early morning hours in October, 1993, as I stayed up late reading my Bible. This ATC (artist trading card) is a reminder of that moment when God revealed His will for me through this Bible verse.


All my life until that moment I had been seeking to live for my own pleasure and desires. I am ashamed to admit that I lived a very self-centered life for over half of my life. My thoughts centered on what I wanted, and if I didn’t have my way, I felt miserable. I never seemed to be happy because I was always wanting something more that seemed out of my reach. I had not learned what it meant to be truly content.


Technique Highlight:

For this project, I used a number of digital brushes which, in concept, are like rubber stamps. The intensity of color is varied by changing the opacity of the layer on which the the brush is “stamped”. This creates an effect similar to stamping off ink on a rubber stamp to obtain a lighter image. By varying the opacity levels, you can create more depth, dimension, and texture on a project through the use of different brushes, color hues, and layer modes and intensities.


Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s your happiest memory?” I urge you to give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you. Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. You’ll have to link your work by Sunday night, June 29th, midnight PST to qualify for the RAK.

For our RAK for catalyst #15, we are thrilled to be giving away a $25 gift certificate to our sponsor: Happy N Scrappin’.




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.



10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

[…] is Sunday, which means that the catalyst for CreativeTherapy is posted on the blog with our design team submissions. This week’s catalyst is […]

Pingback by artsyfran

I’ve been trying to scrap these pictures since they were taken. Thanks for giving me the inspiration 🙂

Comment by Heather H.

Another great week of beautiful creativity from the DT and guest. Well, mine will be something recent, now I just have to find the supplies for it. I’m so glad to work on this one. I’ll post when I’m done and can’t wait to see what everyone else creates.

Comment by Melissa in Louisiana

These are awesome!!! This is a layout of a trip I guided that I didn’t want to ever forget because they were my favorite group of all my trips I ever guided…..

Comment by JoEllyn Steele

Ok here is mine that is if this link works. My happiest moement of corse was when my two sons were born. But the journaling basically says that I am thankful for all the happy moments they have given me since and will give me in the future! TFL!

Comment by Jenni

This week blew me away! I love everything!

Comment by Lori Gentile

I haven’t played in a while, and I’m glad I got this one, here’s my sweet, sweet memory!!

Comment by Teri Finally got it finished. I’m sidelined right now from running, so it felt really good to scrap such a wonderful moment in my life. TFL.

Comment by Melissa in Louisiana

I couldn’t pick just one, so they’re all smushed together in a collage–just like in my brain!

Comment by trisha too

collage! 🙂

Comment by trisha too

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