creative Therapy

Catalyst Seventeen
July 6, 2008, 8:37 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 seventeen:


What’s the one quality you look for in a romantic partner?


We’re very excited to have Shimelle Laine as this week’s Guest Artist.


I can’t remember how I found Shimelle but I can tell you that I fell in love immediately with her wonderful attitude, her amazing style, and unique personality. She travels all over the world teaching classes and although I’ve never been lucky enough to take one of the ones in person, last Christmas, I took Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas class and I loved every moment of it. I love her attention to journaling. Her emphasis on using what you have and not saving those papers for a special occasion.


She’s now offering another amazing class called “My Freedom” and she now has a new store where you can get goodies! If you haven’t ever read her blog, you must check it out. She has the most amazing and unique personality and her interpretation of this week’s catalyst is no exception. We are so overjoyed to have her here.




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




Shimelle Says:

If anyone picks up my handbag, they instantly make some comment about it being too heavy. ‘What on earth could you have in here?’ Well, the answer is usually pretty simple: I have craft supplies, a scruffy handmade book and a camera. Doesn’t everyone?


In all seriousness, it started with carrying a notebook and grew to this basic set of supplies that I carry pretty much everywhere. Every so often, I make a new book…sometimes with a theme, sometimes without. Always abiding by my own personal rule of stash: use it while you love it. {Because if I save it long enough, I won’t like it any more…so what exactly am I saving it for?} Like I love the Amy Butler papers, but I only found them in a huge tablet set. So now I have made aproximately six million layouts with it and I still have half the tablet left. So I set to chopping up quite a few sheets of that and some odd bits of cardstock to make a very simple stack book that is 4×6 in size. No fancy binding because this book will get beat up in my handbag. And I’m fine with that — the rough-around-the-edges look is quite endearing with these. A bit like a worn old teddy bear. So I just punch a hole in every page and stick a ring through to hold it all together, then I add an extra hole to the front cover so I can tie my pen to the book. Because there may be eight pens in my handbag on any given day and yet when I want one, I won’t be able to find it. Perhaps I should stop with the explanation of my highly disorganized nature.


The rest of my travelling craft kit includes a polaroid camera (I alternate carrying that or my regular camera in my bag…or both if I can’t decide), scissors to cut things from newspapers, maps, ticket stubs or whatever else along with a stapler and glue to attach those things to pages. Then whenever I am sitting on a picnic blanket or sitting on the train or standing in a queue or whenever else, I can jot things down, be they short ideas or extended stories that flow from page to page…some truth, some fiction. Whatever the day may bring. Along with a gathering of photos, drawings and ephemera from the world that day.


Why is this my response to this catalyst? Many reasons…

*Because I can’t narrow it down to one quality.

*Because I am the sort of person who would rather keep those ideas behind the cover.

*Because I’m getting married next month so right now is a rather giddy time when everything is lovely and I’m grateful for everything that exists in the entire world (or so it seems) and it’s a sensation that is pretty unique to the situation (or so I think). So I expect I shall carry this book right through the summer until the big day arrives. Filled with notes for things we need to plan, places we have to go, returned RSVP cards, emails from friends, magazine clippings…and many, many notes on how lovely it feels this summer, as if everything is right in the world.

*Because there is never anything wrong with recording the happy. Somewhere in there will be days of not happy. Days of something not working out, of friends not able to be here, of something that has gone slightly wrong. And recording it all in a book means I can look back and put things in the balance.


And that is my kind of therapy indeed.



Thank you so much Shimelle; 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.


Journaling Reads::

He is…God-fearing, compassionate, loving, tender, accepting, an awesome father, patient, hard working, kind, and he loves ME! I am blessed with such an awesome man. We just celebrated our 10th anniversary and I would take back one year of our marriage. God certainly knew what He was doing when He brought Brad into my life.




Fran Says:

What do I look for in a romantic partner? Well, I haven’t had to look far for over 19 years! But for me the quality I most looked for was a soulmate. And I’ve found that.


Nineteen years ago, I met the man who I now call my husband, Dave. It was an instant connection. We were drawn to each other immediately and I think we both “knew” early on that this was “it”. I don’t think that one quality alone necessarily makes a romantic partner attractive and “the right one”. Rather, it’s the combination of all of those amazing traits – wit, intelligence, compassion, handsome, easy smile, etc. – that makes a person romantically attractive. For me, I searched for a soulmate.


Technique Highlight:

Use fluid acrylics on cold press watercolor paper to create background. Alter a photo in PhotoShop Elements to a “stamp” or “photocopy” style. Print image in black and white on a laser printer (or go and copy at a copy machine). Transfer image onto background using soft gloss gel medium. I added doodling and text with Glaze pens by Sakura.




Journaling Reads:

Maybe it’s weird that a quality I look for in others should be about me, but the more I think, the more I realize that the number one quality I look for in a romantic partner is that they make me want to be a better me. No scratch that. That they make me want to be the best me. What excites me the most is meeting someone I respect. Someone whom I look up to. Someone who inspires me to be better.




Karan Says:

When I was dating in my early 20’s, I had a list of criteria I looked for in a potential boyfriend. A Job was a big priority then. Someone mature, who wanted a serious relationship, leading to marriage and a family. I have always looked for someone a little different from the average guy. My first husband was all of these things. European, raised in England, with a cool British accent, had a great job, and wanted to own his own business. The next time I was single, I wanted to find someone fun. I had spent the past several years with a very serious man who was a workaholic… I wanted someone with a sense of humor, who loved kids, and would be good to my daughter. I chose a man who had the qualities I wanted, as well as some negative ones that ended in me being a single mother with two small children. The next time, I looked for humor, kindness, and a man who would be good to my kids and me. He was funny, and a hard worker, kind and romantic, and wanted to have kids of his own, but adored mine as well, and never treated mine any different from his own once we had them. I realized, at the end of that marriage, that I never really looked at the little things that were important to me. So, single again, I got more specific…


I wanted a man who was kind above all. Someone well liked for his sense of humor, someone everyone loved and admired. I wanted a man who loved children, and would want to be a part of a very unconventional extended family. I wanted someone who was intelligent, who liked to do the same things as me, and actually enjoyed shopping at garage sales and antique stores, and wouldn’t cringe when I asked him to stop to pick something up off the side of the road. I wanted someone who wasn’t a workaholic or a sports fanatic. I really wanted to find someone who was well traveled, and knew a lot about the world, and wanted to travel with me.


It is amazing… when I did my visualization exercises… I thought about all of these things. A month later, he came into my life. He had all the things I was looking for, and so many more I didn’t even know I wanted. He fit so seamlessly into our life, like he had always belonged. I learned after meeting him, that you have to know what you want in a partner. The universe is just waiting to send you the right person, but you have to be very specific… Sometimes the things you think you want, end up being the exact things you hate about your spouse in the end. I like to think I got wiser as I grew older, but often, I just feel lucky. He has brought out all the beauty in me that no one else ever looked deep enough to find. He loves me unconditionally, and thinks I am wonderful. Finding him at almost the half way point in my life, was an incredibly wonderful thing. I am so looking forward to growing with him. Every day is like the first day. I still get goosebumps when I hear his voice on the phone. Building a life and creating a home and family with him, are the best things I have done so far.




Kris Says:

They say laughter is the best medicine. I met my husband while in junior high school and he used to make me laugh all the time. The first time I met him, he came to my house with my then-boyfriend and promptly asked me if I had any eggs. They proceeded to crack the eggs into their mouths and swallow. I guess they thought it would impress me. After that he was unshakable. Always around, always making me laugh. And as we celebrate our 20th anniversary next week, I’m glad I’m able to say I still like him and he still makes me laugh.


Technique Highlight:

On the canvas I added modeling paste with a pallet knife.. Then I dragged red and aqua acrylic paint across with a credit card. I added a heart with fluid acrylics. Stamped with French script. After that I embellished with a picture from a magazine, pieces from a bracelet (the glasses), rubons, stickers and black oil pastel crayon.




Journaling Reads:

It’s not the big gestures that made me fall for you. It is all the small ones. Somehow you always know when I need you, and those small gestures tell me often that you are listening to me and thinking of me. Knowing that I’m loved, thought of, and listened to, is what makes me feel romanced. It’s all I need to feel loved and content. You know me better than anyone and that is the ultimate romantic gesture for me. You never try to change me. You just love me.




Vivian Says:

No second thoughts on this weeks’ catalyst. Honesty is definitely one quality I look for (and have found) in my partner, amongst lots of other things. Without honesty, to me a relationship is not worth very much at all.. Without honesty there is no respect, no self worth, no real valuation of the other. Everything starts at being completely honest with each other…


Technique Highlight:

I scratched this picture lightly with some sandpaper and then rubbed the scratches with some metallic oil pastels. crafty feel. i used strips of pattern paper {october afternoon} with matte gel medium and then painted it with layers of gesso for a white washed look. and of course, i can’t create without little bits of vintage embellishments.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s the one quality you look for in a romantic partner?” 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, July 13th, midnight PST to qualify for the RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.


For our RAK for catalyst #17, we are thrilled to be giving away a $25 gift certificate to our sponsor, Scrap Lovers:




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.




6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

These projects are so inspiring! I love every one of them, and it’s such a blessing to see how you’ve all shared the special qualities that each of you see in your partners in your own, unique ways! Beautiful work, ladies!

Comment by Christine

Ohhh, what beautiful pieces ladies! Great job. I love learning about your lives.

Comment by Kris

Great catalyst this week….and gorgeous, gorgeous work guys!!….off to play right now!!!!

Comment by Deb Godley

Interesting subject!!
Here is mine. My guy has to be tough. LOL So this is a picture of the hubs cutting down a tree in our yard. TFL!

Comment by Jenni

I made a cute little book like Shimelle’s 🙂
It’s in my July 9 blogpost.

Comment by Kim T.

Great topic again this week! Here’s my art journal page:

Comment by Casey

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