creative Therapy

Catalyst Twenty-Nine
September 28, 2008, 7:56 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-nine:


Who’s someone you admire or look up to?


We’re overjoyed to have Lisa Leonard as this week’s Guest Artist.


I first saw Lisa’s work on Ali Edwards’ blog. When I went to visit her site I fell in love with everything I saw. Her simple and elegant style spoke to me immediately. I find her jewelry to be meaningful, elegant, and timeless. And absolutely stunning. I cannot tell you how delighted I was when she agreed to guest-design for us.


You can see more of Lisa’s art on her blog or here and here. I cannot say enough good things about her art.




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




Lisa Says:

I guess I must be blessed because it’s hard for me to choose just ONE person I admire. My mom, sisters and some stand out friends have influenced me in huge ways. But one person I truly admire and look up to in every way is my grandma. She was a gentle, kind and honest woman. She loved her family with her whole heart. And she was creative. She was the kind of person who HAD to create…her hands could not be idle. Even in her 90’s she loved to learn new types of craft and art. She left behind countless sewing projects, from embroidery to clothing. She also made jewelry, wood worked, decorated and entertained.


The ‘full hearts necklace’ is made with two hand wrought, sterling hearts layered together and strung on sterling chain. A full heart is well loved and loves well.


I inherited her love of creating. My main creative outlet these days is hand-crafted jewelry. I use mainly sterling silver and freshwater pearls in my designs. With my raw materials, I hand-stamp, cut, solder, shape, wire wrap, texture and finally string. There are always new techniques to learn and new designs to be discovered. I believe a creative person MUST create. What will you create today?



Thank you so much Lisa; we’re so honored.



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


KL Says::

for me i admire and look up to the women in my life. all of them. they have such different backgrounds and beliefs but each one has inspired me to become someone better.


Journaling Reads::

she is amazing and confident and loves with her whole heart. she gives gives without expecting to receive and yet she always gives more of herself each and everyday. she is beautiful and strong and strives to be good. she is in every woman i meet. every friend, mother, sister and daughter. she is you and she is me.


Technique Highlight::

i have discovered the joy of black gesso. it builds a strong base that lets colors pop, regardless of the surface. it’s a great contrast to build
on and won’t wash out your collage like white gesso.




Hidden Journaling Reads::

I believe that most people would probably choose someone well-known or famous if they were asked who they admired. However, my response would be different because I would choose you. I admire you for your continuing growth in faith and trust in God. I admire you for your growing responsibility and servant’s heart. I admire you for the beauty of your heart and the vision that God has put there for the purpose of your life. You are the type of person I wish I could have been at your age, and I am so very blessed to see you mature into the beautiful young woman that I hoped to raise someday. Always remember that I love you and admire you for who you are…always and forever!


Technique Highlight::

I love to layer flowers on top of one another, and I did so on most of the flowers on this page. I cut scallop circles from vintage dictionary pages and used them as layers in between flowers. I crinkled the scallop circles, smoothed them out and then formed them into flowers. Instead of spraying glimmer mist onto the dictionary paper flowers, I used a paintbrush to add color along edges of the petals. I also cut leaf shapes from the dictionary pages, crinkled and smoothed it out and then sprayed them with olive green glimmer mist.





Fran Says:

The first person I thought of when I thought of inspirational people was Maya Angleou. I had the honor of hearing her speak when I was in college, but prior to that, her autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was an inspirational story that really made a difference in my life. It seems that whenever I needed a pick-me-up, Maya’s words would always do that. This quote about courage is central to who we all are, and it speaks to me on a very personal level.


Journaling Reads:

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” by Maya Angelou


Technique Highlight:

Textured background created with different papers on canvas board. Acrylic paint and glaze used over it to create the texture. Image then photographed and pulled into PhotoShop Elements, where the text was layered onto the background.





Karen Says:

I knew from the first moment I read this catalyst that it would be about my husband. My husband and I met and started dating fourteen years ago. When I first met him, I admired him for his sense of humor, for this confidence and ability to enjoy life every day. He was so much fun to be around and always made me smile. I tend to be a “glass-half-empty” kind of gal most of the time so being around him was pure joy.


As the years passed, I admired him for his intelligence and ability to work hard, make good friends and seamlessly succeed in the “real” world. He still continued to be fun, but now he was much more than that.


And then even more time passed and we got married and we built a life together and we had a baby. And I’ve learned to admire my husband even more. He’s patient. He’s kind. He’s loving. He’s generous. This is not to say we haven’t had rough times or even questioned things over the years. But we’ve always stuck with each other. We’ve always believed in each other and each time I was weak, he was there to be strong for both of us. He’s everything I’ve ever needed in my life from a husband, and even more importantly, from a best friend.





Karan Says:

The person I admire most is my mother. She has gone through so much in her short 62 years. Married at 17, a mother to 3 kids by age 24. She was my everything growing up. My best friend, the one I told all my troubles to, the one who was always there for all my personal triumphs. Like the time she came to see me get an award at a color guard awards ceremony the same day she got out of the hospital after a month in there for major abdominal surgery. She was weak and pale, and I had to make the fruit salad, but she was there, cheering for me and smiling from the crowd with big tears in her eyes.


She is the go to person for many people. She learned in her 40’s that she has the gift of empathy. Before she thought it was a curse, but when she learned that she had the ability to feel other peoples pain, and show them how to heal it, she became a minister and spiritual counselor, and started exploring her psychic gifts. Now she teaches classes and does readings by appointment for people, and really helps them. She is not one of those crystal ball carrying, chime ringing, patchouli wearing hippie psychics. Just a normal lady with an incredibly abnormal gift.


I love this photo of her. She does a lot of inner child work in her classes. This little girl went through a lot, lost a mother to a nervous breakdown for a year, was sent to live with different family members, had all her hair cut off by an aunt who didn’t know how to fix “girl” hair because she only had boys. She didn’t see her parents or siblings for weeks at a time, in fact they had all moved into a new house, and she found out about it from a kid at school who asked her why she wasn’t with her family, and she said because they don’t have a house, (they had lost it in foreclosure) and the kid told her, “Yeah they do, they live next door to me, and your sisters and brothers are there, how come you’re not?” She was molested, and abused, and forgotten so many times by people. Put in the trash can upside down as a freshman and everyone saw her underware. She was picked on and teased for being little, and sensitive… the list goes on and on… Knowing these things about her, and seeing that in spite of all these horrible things, the beautiful look of bliss on her face in this photo. Wearing her older sisters bikini 3 sizes too big, her smile and dimples lighting up her whole face as she beams and radiates pure joy.


The things she experienced turned her into the person she is today. She says they were all gifts. All these experiences have enabled her to help so many people. The mother in me wants to take that little girl and protect her from all those hurts, but I know that like a fine tapestry, all the threads of all our experiences make up the sum of who we are as beings on this planet. She wouldn’t be who she is today without those experiences. I am so proud to call her my mother. I am so proud that she has passed on some of her beautiful gifts to me. Every day I strive to be more like her. I ask every day WWJD? What would Judi do? The answer usually comes to me… loving and gentle, just like my mom… “Just focus on the love. Let the love in, and the rest will work itself out.”





Journaling Reads:


Completely admire people who choose to make a difference despite social pressure






i admire people who love






i admire you


love love love love love

people who love

church leaders pastors faith

martin luther king faith love purpose

hard hardcore believers

faith thru love


Technique Highlight:

Spray paint white paper, let dry, add watercolor splashes and white india ink, then type and sew.





Leena Says:

He has always been someone who I look up to ever since I met him 11 years ago. He’s my hubby, mentor and most of all he’s a friend who always make time to listen. I still remember clearly that while I was doing my undergraduate studies and being pregnant at the same time years ago, I always called him up from my classes, most of the time in the brink of tears, telling him I can’t carry on what I’ve been doing anymore. I was so tired while carrying my child and having to go for night classes. And I still remember him telling me this “Honey, you do what you can, as long as you’re happy. If you think you’ve given your best, I believe it is already the best you could give”. And he would lighten up my mood with of one his silly jokes which never fails to make me laugh.


I admire him most for his never-ending patience, his great sense of humour, never-say-die attitude, his intelligence and most of all, I admire the way he looks at everything in such positive manner. I always feel encouraged by his kind words when I’m down and he has never failed to bring out the best in someone. He is someone you could count on, for better or worse.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Who’s someone you admire or look up to?” 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, October 5th, 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.


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 spot in Hilde Janbroers’ upcoming class at A Million Memories. Hilde’s art journal class will be full of new techniques and absolutely stunning journal pages.




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.




3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

[…] page is also for Creative Therapy Catalyst Twenty Nine. I’m late in putting up my work and I felt really bad. Please stop by and join in the […]

Pingback by If only you could see me right now «

gosh, I’m so glad I found your blog…I whole-heartedly agree that art can be used as healing therapy and I have done this throughout my life… I recently lost a friend and I turned my grief into a loving gift for her 10 yr. old daughter.

I look forward to your next catalyst…


Comment by Jean

I have to say, my mom. Sometimes you don’t realize how wonderful your mother really is, until you get sick and don’t have “mommy” to take care of you. My mom is wonderfully spiritual, kind, and fun-loving. I’m lucky to have her.
Mom in High School

Comment by Abby Lanes

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