creative Therapy

Catalyst Twenty-Two
August 10, 2008, 8:08 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 twenty-two:


What’s your biggest accomplishment?


We’re very excited to have Becky Novacek as this week’s Guest Artist.


I can’t even remember how I found Becky’s blog, but I do know that I was immediately awed by it. Becky inspires me in so many ways. Her photographs are simply stunning and her art is so beautiful, so touching. But I’m not the only one taken by her art.


Becky happens to be a sought-after photographer, whose beautiful shots were recently highlighted in Wedding Essentials magazine. She’s also on the design teams for Autumn Leaves, Melissa Frances, FiskarsCrafts, Scrap in Style TV, and Green Grass Stamps. So her art and talent are widely recognized.


However what I love about reading Becky’s blog is not just her art. I’ve never met her in person but she seems like the kindest and most unassuming person. Her posts are interesting and thought-provoking yet not preachy in any way. I really look forward to reading her insights each time she chooses to share them.


If you haven’t seen Becky’s art, photos, or haven’t read her words before, I would urge you to checkout her blog. I am pretty sure you’ll get hooked just like I did. We’re so thrilled to have her here.




Becky’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version.




Becky Says:

My first thought when i read *what is your biggest accomplishment?* was “that’s easy, my kids”. but as i continued to ponder, i realized that they aren’t an accomplishment. they are a combination of God’s accomplishment and their own. they are people in their own right, and not *mine*. so i pondered some more, and realized that my life right now is my biggest accomplishment. i am doing the things that i was afraid to do ten years ago….afraid of failing at, or afraid i wouldn’t be able to make it financially on. i overcame my fears and took this huge leap of faith, and now i’m living my dream! in a sense, the biggest accomplishment for me, is overcoming my fears..


Thank you so much Becky; 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 Says::

This looks like just any ordinary paper to you and me, but it’s not just a paper, it has a story that tells the struggle, joy and achievement I went through. For 4 long painstaking years, I worked hard, supporting myself to get thru undegrad school while working and on the 3rd year, I got pregnant but I continued to preservere. While working and having to attend classes and taking care of my son at the same time, it was the most trying time for me. But in the end, I managed to graduate with flying colors!





Lori Says:

I truly believe my greatest accomplishment is having and raising my two boys. It took a lot of faith and belief to become a parent. It’s the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done.


Journaling Reads:

Dylan and Brody, The two of you are my greatest accomplishment. You complete me. I feel peace and joy with you in my life. I love you.





Karen Says:

I went through a long thought process for this week’s catalyst. I even created several pieces of art. Like several others, I was going to make it about my son, but, like Becky already mentioned, I don’t think of him as my accomplishment. He is so amazing and special all by himself. I was then going to make it about coming to the United States. Moving here was the beginning of a series of achievements for me and I consider it to be the achievement that allowed all others. But the more I thought the more I knew that wasn’t the right one either. So I finally opened my computer and let my thoughts come together as they always seem to when I’m typing. I think the journaling says the rest. More thoughts on the art itself in the technique section below.


Journaling Reads:

I have accomplished a lot in my life. I got in to the college of my dreams. At seventeen, I moved from Turkey to the United States. I graduated from college in four years with an undergraduate and a masters degree. I worked at a very selective Wall street firm and I got to become a Vice President pretty quickly. I got accepted to a very selective Nonprofit program. I married the man of my dreams. I quit everything and started all over again in California. I started my own photography business. I had an amazing baby who is now an amazing boy. I became an American citizen. I got a job with Google and I’ve been consistently doing well at my job. Just to list a few.


These were all goals I’d set for myself at some point or another. I am good at achieving goals. I always have been. I work hard. I put my mind to it and I get it. And then I quickly forget all about it and set the next goal. the next challenge, the next mountain to climb. While I am very proud of all my achievements and I do take many of them for granted now. I look back upon them and think they were easy. They must have been. I was able to accomplish them, wasn’t I?


Then I look at my achievements and they are all things I do. I am good at work. I work hard. But I am not so good at creative. My very organized, very structured mind doesn’t do so well with the unstructured, big picture oriented art world. I’ve always craved being more artistic. I’ve always wished I had that magical gene that made you creative. The one that meant I could draw. I could see things and imagine things the way other creative people did.


Alas, it appears I wasn’t waiting in that line when they were handing out the genes.


So when I look back upon my life, especially the one I am leading now, I am most proud of this place. Creative therapy. It’s something I created to tell myself that I can be creative too. That creativity is not always about drawing perfectly. It’s not about being the best designer. The most talented artist.


I can create art too. I can even use it to grow. To learn. To reflect. To dream.


This was my way of making myself create every week. It is my way of not letting myself give up (like I did for writing). Letting the conversations in my head go. Allowing myself to experiment. Giving myself a space to create. Recurringly. Holding myself responsible. Putting myself out there.


Sharing my art scares me. I never think I am good enough. I always think people will laugh at me. People will say “who does she think she is to be displaying her art?” It scares me more than any of my work commitments ever did. It scares me more than having a baby did. It’s too raw. It comes from the place of ultimate uncertainty and it’s exposing something deep down that I normally prefer to leave in the dark.


So I am most proud of creative therapy. Proud that I have the guts to do this week after week. That I have kept this commitment to myself. That I have created this space for me and for others. I am proud that it exists.


I am proud that I wasn’t too scared to make it happen. I am still scared. Every week.


But I am proud.


Technique Highlight:

I meant for this piece to feel raw. I used a sheet of old paper, put gesso all over it and stamped it with pink paint. Pink for color of skin. Since the journaling was really really long and personal and about being scared, I made it a tiny font and printed it on a sheet of music that I had also gessoed over. I stamped “ME” on the journaled paper to emphasize the theme of “for me.” I added a few pink pieces to make sure the little piece of paper didn’t get lost on top of the big one of the same color. I put some butterflies to symbolize freedom and a photo of me laughing for happiness. I stamped my title and sprayed some water over it to give the sense of tears. It’s not nearly as beautiful as I wish it were and it didn’t even come close to what I had in my head but none the less, this is what came out.





Journaling Reads:

I’m a mother, that’s my biggest accomplishment and I am proud of it.




Fran Says:

Biggest accomplishment? This was hard to choose. From a professional and educational standpoint, I have accomplished a lot in my 40 years. The first thing that came to my mind was the usual – graduating from college and grad school. I did accomplish all of those things through the usual hurdles and additional ones that my chronic illness created, as well. But that didn’t feel right.


So I kept thinking. And I thought about all of the things that have happened since my education has been completed. I realized that who I am now is really the result of learning to take care of myself. In the past, I have taken care of others and their needs much to the detriment of my own. These days, however, I am mindful of my body, heart, and soul and the needs I have. I have learned self-care and that, I think is the greatest thing I have accomplished to date.


Technique Highlight:

Collaged background on watercolor paper. Doodles over the collage work to create new shapes. Gelly Roll Glaze pens and Pigma Microns for doodling.




KL Says:

there was no other thought as i got ready for this weeks catalyst except my children. i’m not sure i could ever do anything more rewarding or more fulfilling than raising my children. it is a struggle at some moments and a pleasure at others, but what i feel most accomplished about is the beautiful people they are becoming. for that i will always be proud.





Vivian Says:

I believe one of my biggest accomplishments in my life (so far) is being able to allow my creativity to flow through me, without getting blocked by any thing, any thought or any other type of blockage. To simply be able to create without self judgement, without fear of any kind, to let go, accept and simply be with whatever comes up…


Apart from feeling that this is quite an accomplishment in itself I do realize at the same time it is a gift and I feel very blessed, fortunate and grateful to have been given this gift of freedom…”




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “what’s your biggest accomplishment?” 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 art by Sunday night, August 17th, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group. There’s a small change in RAK rules: to qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.


For our RAK for this week, we are thrilled to be giving away a $25 gift certificate to Purple Onion Designs.




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

[…] August , 2008 by Leena This is what Creative Therapy’s Catalyst Twenty is about for this week. And they have none other than the amazingly talented Becky Novacek for this […]

Pingback by What’s your biggest accomplishment? «

Gorgeous work here. This one really struck a cord with me today.


Comment by Melissa in Louisiana

This is my take – I wen’t for my kids (and the fact that I made all 4 of them sit still at the same time *LOL*)

Comment by MH72

Wow ladies! It’s all so gorgeous! This blog is always full of eye-candy! I just love coming here each week to see what everyone has done.

Becky – AMAZING work! Thank you for guest designing this week!

Comment by Lori Gentile

and i adore becky’s!!

Comment by kerry lynn

here’s mine for this catalyst. It’s very dificult for me, to talk about me, about to leave my familly and my friends…

Comment by Aude

[…] Creative Therapy: Catalyst #22 Published August 14, 2008 Albums , Blog Catalysts & Challenges Tags: Albums, American Crafts, catalysts, Creative Therapy, K and Co., layouts, Maya Road, Ranger Creative Therapy asks this week, What is your biggest accomplishment? […]

Pingback by Creative Therapy: Catalyst #22 « Craftylyra’s Crafting Space

This was a difficult, but important, catalyst for me:

Labor of Love

Beautiful and inspiring work from all the ladies, as usual.

Comment by craftylyra

Opps I spelled accomplish wrong. LOL Oh well. Its mroe me this way… Here is mine for the week!

The little envelope has some journaling inside about how technically I’ve never really accomplished anything major, never went to college, never traveled. But these two boys are a great accomplishment. And I am proud of the people they are becoming. (eww hate pictures of myself!)

Comment by Jenni Zmuda

I’m new to your group, and I look forward to getting to know all of you.

Here’s my FIRST “Creative Therapy” entry. I found you all on Flickr. My blog is barren, as this is only my second subject. Like me, it’s a work in progress.

Comment by Abby Lanes

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