creative Therapy

Catalyst Nineteen
July 20, 2008, 9:16 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 nineteen:


Create art around one of your quirks/idiosyncrasies.


We’re very excited to have Loretta Grayson as this week’s Guest Artist.


I first saw Loretta’s art at Two Peas in a Bucket. I had done a search for mini albums and this was one of the ones that came back. I loved her work in that instant. It’s so unique and stunning. The way she creates scenes with her paper and sewing machine is just amazing to me. Loretta designs for Two Peas in a Bucket and Cherry Arte, and she writes a regular feature for Australian magazine, Scrapbook Creations. She also does various other freelance teaching and designing.


As you’ll see, this week’s catalyst is no exception to Loretta’s unique style and her versatility of medium. If you haven’t seen Loretta’s art before, make sure to visit her blog. We are thrilled to have her here.




Loretta’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see much more detail and a few photos of the full piece.




Loretta Says:

My Creative Therapy catalyst came at a particularly busy time of year for me, but it was also a perfect time to show one of my quirks/idiosyncrasies. Or to be more accurate, a whole town’s quirks and idiosyncrasies!


I work at an art gallery in a town in regional Queensland, Australia. Each year at the gallery we organise a “Tree Jumper” exhibition for our Jumpers and Jazz in July festival. To give you a little background, July is the middle of winter for us, and “jumpers” is an Australian word for sweaters. So essenially, the main aim of our festival is to create textile art jumpers to warm the deciduous trees in the main street of our town for a couple of weeks – and while the trees are warm in their jumpers, we warm ourselves at a large selection of social events, listening to great jazz bands. Other events include markets, textile art workshops and exhibitions, a sculpture symposium, and this year we added a “wearable art” parade.


I created two tree jumpers for this year’s festival, and this is my favourite of the two. Apart from the fact that to spend large amounts of time on the creation of a garment for a tree is quirky in itself, the process of making “Tree Hugger” says quite a lot about my quirks and idiosyncrasies.


1. Don’t tell me I can’t do something. I can’t really crochet. I’ve dabbled in the textile arts over the years, but I’m a papercrafter, essentially. I couldn’t tell you if I used a double or treble or quadruple or whatever stitch here. I’ve been told I hold the crochet hook in the wrong way. But when it came to this project, I made up my mind that I would crochet it, and that’s what I did – even if I had to make it up as I went along, while occasionally consulting a “Teach yourself crochet” book borrowed from my local library.


2. I need a certain amount of chaos. A little bit of stress in the form of a deadline is helpful to my creativity process, even though I may complain about it at the time. When my life is chaotic, I long for order. But too much order inevitably has me wishing for more chaos, and taking on yet another project.


3. I discovered that I would be very content to be in the business of creating made-to-measure tree couture. I might possibly leave my day job to do that. If anyone is interested in commissioning work, call me 🙂


Technique Highlight:

I tried to translate my papercraft style into yarn, and ended up with an odd kind of fusion. The jumper was created with individually crocheted circles, joined together to show a dark to light transition from the bottom to the top. The back of the garment is finished with a complex wavy line of clear buttons, a common inclusion in my paper projects. Final touches were borders of Hambly woodgrain overlay (one of my favourite products), and the “Tree Hugger” logo on the front, using plastic lettering and rub-ons.



Thank you so much Loretta; 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::

I never learned how to really drive until I was thirty. I left Turkey before the legal age to get a license (eighteen) and then went to college where I didn’t need a car. And then I lived in New York for seven years, where, again, you didn’t need a car. So I was almost thirty by the time we moved to San Diego where you couldn’t do anything without a car. Let me be the first to say that learning to drive at thirty is not the same as when you’re sixteen and dying to have some freedom. It’s scary.


So here we are, four years later, and now I can drive. Well, just barely. I still don’t get on the freeway. I am still pretty nervous. But, I can go to work, to the library, and grocery store. I can also go to David’s doctor’s and mine. That’s about all I need. For now at least. OH, have I mentioned I can’t ride a bike either? Yes, I know. I am transportation-challenged. Then again, I can walk just fine.


Most of the time.


Technique Highlight::

For this catalyst, I just picked a bunch of ribbons I liked and a piece of swirly chipboard. I painted the chipboard with stickles and edged around everything with ink. That’s about it.





Severine Says:

Chocolate is my idiosyncrasies, i’ll be able to eat anything made with chocolate … 🙂


Technique Highlight:

The background was made with gesso and orange/brown paint. Stamped with bubble wrap and gesso (for white) and distress age mahogany (for the red.)





Fran Says:

I have so many quirks, as my husband reminded me when I told him what I was creating this journal page for… It was easy, though, for me to pick one. I have been spending a lot of time reading in preparation for our trip, and I noticed something about myself – I am unable to read anything, especially on the Internet or email, without editing it in my head.


I know what it’s from. It’s from years of being an editor. It’s from my love of English grammar and punctuation. It’s from my love of words. Even when I’m reading for pleasure, I catch myself re-reading certain sentences that sound “off” to me. I ask questions, like, “What is wrong with that sentence?” And, unfortunately, I am unable to move on to the next sentence until I figure out what is wrong.


It’s a quirk. It’s part of who I am, and, well, I can’t imagine it changing!


Technique Highlight:

Watercolor crayons used for the background. Text written with Pigma Micron. Drawing done with Pigma Micron and watercolor pencils.




Anita Says:

Yep! That’s me! Nervous Nelly! I’m a nail full fledged nail biter. Been doing it as long as I can remember. I’ve tried everything to stop. I guess its just a part of me that will always be.





Kris Says:

After I looked up what ‘idiosyncrasies’ and ‘quirks’ meant (so I could be clear), I explained to my children and asked them mine. The very first thing they both said was ‘you make lots of faces.’ I said ‘What?’ ‘Like that!’ they laughed.


Okay, so I do. I’m an expressive person. I use my eyes, mouth and gesturing hands to convey what I’m saying. I don’t do it on purpose, its just how I’m built. My teen says I can change my persona just by making a new face. I guess I’m creating myself over and over again. I see some of the same expressions in my mother and now my littlest daughter is becoming a carbon copy of me. Both my kids and I are big eyerollers, grimacers (is that a word) and exaggerated shock face showers. It’s just how we roll.


I wouldn’t want to be any other way.


Technique Highlight:

My favorite little trick on this piece I learned from Corey Moortgat’s book ‘The Art of Personal Imagery’. I swipe painted the background aqua, around my head. Let it dry. Then I randomly dry brushed olive green over that paint. Then I took a big paintbrush, dipped in water and flicked it onto the paint. I waited until the paint was dry and then wiped off the water, removing the top layer of paint where the drops were, revealing the bottom color. Love that.





Lori Says:

I have to do this same routine every night before going upstairs. If I don’t do it, I cannot sleep. Maybe I’ve seen too many horror films in my day, but I need to check the closets to make sure no one is in there. I have no idea what I’d do if I actually found someone hiding. I shudder at the thought. I have no idea why I need to open the bathroom door, either. It’s odd, but I need it open. After I’ve done my little routine, I can finally turn off the lights and head upstairs for the night.


Journaling Reads:

A. Lock the front door.

B. Check the hall closet for the Boogeyman.

C. Check the playroom closet for the Boogeyman and shut the door.

D. Lock the garage door.

E. Open the bathroom door.

F. Turn the lights off.


Technique Highlight:

Sometimes the best looking embellishments are cut outs of patterned paper. This new October Afternoon paper is so yummy, I had to embellish using the little orange flowers from one paper and the brown brocade from another. It’s quick and saves money, too.





Amélie Says:

I chose to represent a girl dreamer like me. A girl whose head is often in the clouds. The table has a writing ‘dreams’ in the context and ‘in my head the birds sing.’ I wanted to make this creation in soft and colorful tones close to nature that I love. My great quirk is that I dream a lot, I forget a lot of things because of my daydreams.


In French:

“J’ai fait un tableau à mon image. Je suis quelqu’un de très étourdie, toujours la tête dans les nuages. J’oublie tout à cause de mes rêveries. C’est vraiment une de mes particularité. J’ai choisi des couleurs douces et coloré et une décoration nature que j’aime. Sur le tableau on peut lire dans le cadre “Songes” et la phrases dit : “dans ma tête les oiseaux chantent”.


Pour les techniques utilisées : collage, acryliques, peintures 3D, transferts, papiers déchirés, pochoir, mouchoir, pâte à structure, glimmer mist, tampons”


Technique Highlight:

I used collage, transfer, pochoire, acrylics, 3D paint, tearing paper, glimmer mist, and stamps. Pochoire is a process of using a very dry soft brush and the tiniest bit of gouche with a stencil. It creates almost an airbrushed look.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “One of your quirks/idiosyncrasies.” 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 27th, 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 #19, we are thrilled to be giving away a $25 gift certificate to sponsor, Ma Vinci’s Reliquary:




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.



11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This week is amazing! I love reading everyone’s quirks! My mom has a TON of little idiosyncrasies that I tease her about! I know I must have some, I guess I will have to sit and think about it for awhile!

Beautiful job ladies!

Comment by beckyh1

Oh gosh. Everyone’s work is gorgeous! I have to agree with Fran’s piece. I correct grammar and spelling in my head when reading too! lol Must be my love of grammar/spelling and my roll as homeschool mom. Always grading someone’s work. lol

Comment by Kris

I have such a long list….too many choices.
Beautiful work ladies !!

Comment by Kas

These are fabulous! I had a ball reading them. Thanks everyone for another great catalyst!

Comment by Fran

hi ladies, here’s my take 🙂

Comment by fiona yeoh

I LOVE LORETTA!!! I have been a huge fan of her work…forever!!! LOL….and I LOVE that all of you lovely ladies have these quirky little things youll admit to!!! LOL..Thanks for sharing…. it was fun thinking about this one this week….and fun to play!!!Thanks!!

Comment by Deb Godley

Loretta! Thank you so much! You work is amazing. I loved reading about everyone’s quirks. The work is outstanding this week!

Comment by Lori Gentile

Only one quirk? Sheesh, I could start a whole new album dedicated to my quirks! Ok, here’s a page about one of my quirks:

Comment by MarieP

A big thank you to all the creative therapy girls for having me as your guest artist. I enjoyed seeing what you all came up with, and reading about your quirks. Great work!

Comment by Rett

Marie!!! I love your page! Thank you for sharing it. I couldn’t figure out how to comment there, so I’m commenting here. 😉

Comment by Lori Gentile

I needed inspiration and I found it here 🙂 I have had this blog bookmarked for a while and just happened to click on it yesterday 🙂 Totally inspiring and I will definetly be coming back for more.
Here is a link to my blog so you can check out my project for catalyst nineteen.
thanks for taking a look and also for inspiring me to think “out of the box”

Comment by Kerry R

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