creative Therapy

Catalyst Forty-One
December 21, 2008, 9:46 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 towards the end of the week. (Apologies for the slight delay in last week’s recipient; it’s coming soon.) And if you didn’t join us before, we hope you do this time.


Ok! Here’s catalyst number forty-one:


What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?


We’re so delighted to have Danielle Quarmby as this week’s Guest Artist.


DQ was originally recommended to me by Vivian and I loved her art the first time I looked at it.


DQ’s art has a magical quality that had a special effect on me: it made me happy. Her pieces always put a smile on my face. I love the colors, the fact that she hand-writes, and the way she mixes elements I’d never think to put together. She’s so talented and she’s a previous sponsor for us. She’s always been so kind and generous and we’re very happy to have her here. She’s also a regular contributor to an Australian scrapbooking magazine, Scrapbook Creations.


Check out one of her unique kits. And you can see so much more of DQ beautiful art on her blog.





Here is DQ’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.



DQ Says:

When I first read the prompt, I thought about it for quite awhile before I could decide what to do. I can’t recall any particular advice I’ve received from other people, so I was really stuck. Then I realised that the only advice that I really hold close is scripture – after I decided to use a bible verse, the only problem I had was deciding which one to highlight! I don’t often scrap or journal about my spirituality, so it felt good to dedicate a piece of art to just a few of the words that mean so much to me.


Journaling Reads:

‘Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need’ – Matthew 5:3. The only meaningful advice I can remember having an impact is from the Bible – then it’s hard to decide on just one.


Technique Highlight:

I based this piece on the cardboard cover of a sketchbook. It was already white, and I used a Luminarte radiant dauber to cover the base in lime green. Other colour was added with water-soluble crayons, a favourite new addition to my art supplies inspired by my friend Vivian Bonder! The vintage lamp was cut out from a photo taken at my favourite cafe, and a mix of letter stickers and handwriting created the text.



Thank you so much DQ; we’re so very honored.



Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. As you’ll see, we have a new team member this week: Opal. I will make a big announcement with all of our team members once we post the last catalyst for this year but since her art is first I wanted to welcome her now. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.



Opal Says:

“Measure Twice – Cut Once” Words of advice from my mom.


As it is coming up to the one year since I lost my mom, I find that I hear her voice in my head at the times when she would have gladly given me advice on this or that. She, my mom, was generous with her advice and had many ‘mom-isms’ – most of them I heard and remember from an early age. When thinking about this catalyst, two of her ‘mom-isms’ came to mind. I choose the second one: Measure twice, cut once. I can hear her voice saying this as if she were standing right here next to me – that little bit of a knowing look on her face. She was a quilter, a knitter, a crocheter, a seamstress, a goddess of any hand craft or household task. She could do anything with her hands. She knew well the importance of those words. She was frugal and practical. It wouldn’t do to have something cut wrong, to waste, to waste time, and on and on. The impact of this advice spilled over into other areas: when cooking – measure twice; when knitting – count twice; when leaving the house – check twice; when waiting for the bus to town – count (the coins) twice, just to be sure. I hear her voice always, ” Check twice, just to be sure.”


I miss my mom so much, and found as I worked on this piece, her words have become such a part of me. I really do measure twice, and count, and check more than once just to be sure. And as simple as the concept is, it does apply to everything I do.


The piece itself is constructed as a quilt. It is sandwiched with a layer of batting. It measures 8-1/2″ x 10″. Free form quilting holds the layers together. I used a block from a quilt I made recently, removed one of the segments, and cut three new segments. One of them was measured twice and fits; the other two do not fit. The quilted swirl on the block is the echo of my mom’s voice, and the little bird at the bottom is her spirit, holding a thread of me in her beak, a thread that will always connect us.


And the first piece of advice that I always hear her say, with a serious tone in her voice, although I can hardly repeat it without smiling, was this: “Opal Jean…always wear clean underwear when you leave the house…you never know when you will be in an accident.”


Mama, I hope you are listening.




Karen Says:

This might sound funny but the best piece of advice I ever got was from husband. Before I met him, if the phone rang, I had to get it immediately. It didn’t feel like a choice, more like something I was required to do. He taught me that just because it’s ringing, I don’t have to get it right now. It sounds silly, but it’s actually a statement about priorities and owning my own life. Deciding when to do what and not letting others dictate it for me, not even a telephone. It might sound silly but, for me, it was profound.




Fran Says::

When I was in 12th Grade, my Psychology teacher, “Mr. T” gave me the best advice I have ever received. We were doing a unit on relationships and marriage and we had to pretend we were married to another member of the class. We were discussing the unit after we finished. We all learned that it is difficult it is to be married with all the challenges of growing up and changing as you grow. And, when we finished giving our findings after the experiment, Mr. T said, “You all know each other from going to school together for a few years. There’s a history there. You have friendships. I want you to remember this. When you get married, marry your best friend.


And, I have. I married my best friend.





Lori Says:

The best advice I’ve ever received was from my bridesmaid, Barbara. The night before my wedding she presented me with a card full of advice. She told me to be present for my wedding. She didn’t mean be there physically, she meant be there mentally. She suggested I let every detail go and to let the day be what it will, to stand in front of the mirror and really see myself, to stop and enjoy the presence of my family and friends. It sounds like obvious advice, but it was something I was grateful for when things went crazy at my wedding. I remembered that I’m the only who cares or even knows that the coordinator forgot something and that I was there, at my own wedding, celebrating a major day in my life. I remember every detail like it was yesterday because of that advice. My day did not fly by in a big blur because of that advice. I know who was there and who was not because of that advice. Being present at my wedding was the best advice I’ve ever received and I am eternally grateful for it.


Technique Highlight::

I love Lisa Guerin’s, art. She decorated a dress in Stampington and Co. magazine and it inspired my wedding dress here.





Anita Says:

“Take life in best way” and always see glass half full and not half empty. Living is so easy with that attitude.


In French:

Le meilleur conseil que l’on m’est donné est de prendre la vie du bon côté, et d’essayer de toujours voir le verre à moitié plein et non à moitié vide. Effectivement, comme ça la vie est beaucoup plu facile.





Vivian Says:

Throughout the years different people have offered all sorts of advice to me. Some very helpful indeed, however some not needed and some only wise in hindsight. One of the best advice a friend gave me some time ago, he said: “simply change your perception”. This has literally changed a lot of my life.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?” 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, December 28th, 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, I am so so excited to give a beautiful piece of jewelry from our sponsor Lisa Leonard. I absolutely adore her jewelry and wear one of her beautiful necklaces every day.




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.



7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The necklace is stunning… I will have to see what I can come up with.

Comment by Stefanie

I made this one, but can’t show it yet, after januari 1 I will put it on my blog. But however, I loved to do this one, it gave me special memories and I loved the page I made with this catalist!

Comment by Sanderijn

Looovveee these takes on the prompt and loovveee adding to my art journal!! Here is mine

and that necklace is gorgeous!!!!

Comment by Glenda Tkalac

Don’t worry about what other people think.

Here’s mine.

Comment by Amy Lighthall

Here’s my entry:

Comment by Scrupulousscrapper

omigollygosh. Lisa Leonard AND DQ using my BEST green colour, with spiritual message – just fainted! Way to get the new year going gals. LOVE this challenge …

Comment by caro

Found your blog by way of Ali Edwards blog – so many creative people and ideas!! I was recently inspired by Ali to do a December daily album. Here’s my entry,
just really getting started but enjoying the notion of doing something with all my many photographs!

Comment by gnubee

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