creative Therapy

Catalyst Forty-Four
January 11, 2009, 9:03 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.


Ok! Here’s catalyst number forty-four:


What’s something about the way you live your life that doesn’t align with who you are (or wish you were)?


We’re so excited to have Hillary Heidelberg as this week’s Guest Artist.


I first met Hillary when I took one of her amazing sketch classes. The class propelled me to create layouts I’d never even thought of before and my first published layout was one of the layouts I made in her class.


Besides being a talented teacher Hillary is also an amazing scrapper. She was a Memory Makers Master in 2007 and has been published numerous times. I have not only had the luxury of taking several of her classes, but I’ve been honored to teach at nycscraps (now closed) for her as well. Her minimalistic style is something I admire and look up to. You can see so much more of her layouts in her beautiful book Scrap Simple.


Hillary has moved to digital scrapbooking and you can find some of her amazing templates at Scrapbookgraphics.





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



Journaling Reads:

There are days when I wonder how in the world I can lose my temper with this sweet boy. I am not one of those moms you read about, endlessly patient, endlessly understanding. I get upset, I am not kind, or understanding, or patient all the time. I wish I was. I read self-help books. I’ve been to therpay, but still, I get angry sometimes. And no matter how many times people tell me “It’s normal” it still feels wrong. The ideal that I strive for, the ideal of the patient, kind, soft mother does not align with how I can sometimes behave. I admit, I get tired. But that’s no excuse. I feel like peacefulness and patience is my Holy Grail, and I will keep seeking it. Jan, 2009.


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



Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.



Larissa Says:

I would love to embrace my creative life but the truth is that I’m too reserved. I have the habit of not showing my feelings or thoughts to anyone because I’m afraid of letting people know that behind my strong appearance, I’m fragile. So, I decided to work this theme on my journal book using the metaphor of locked doors and hidden places. In order to make this journey more therapeutic, I decided to investigate a little bit more about the causes of my problem.


I entitled my book “Behind closed doors” and I wrote on the internal pages this poem:


“Behind closed doors my secret is hidden

Behind closed doors I don’t have to show my feelings or thoughts

Behind closed doors I feel safe &

I can dream

That I’m still a little girl and that you heard and held me when I cried

So I can finally open the door”


Technique Highlight:

I created this book using hardback book covers and cardboard for the internal pages. Each page has a painted patchwork collage background made with patterned papers. In one side, I added the text and on the other side, I drew doors or houses that I painted with several colors of acrylic paint and oil pastels. For top color and texture I added stamps and ink and finally, some embellishments or memorabilia.




Karen Says:

Ever since I can remember, I’ve made career and life decisions such that I could stay at home when I had children. Even back when I was 10, I wanted to study computers because I knew it was a career I could pursue from home. And yet, here I am, working at a large company, spending a lot of time in meetings, and not at home with my wonderful boy. With another little one on the way, this is the largest way that my life is out of sync with how I wish it were, so I know I need to find some solutions.


Why is this in a binder?




Fran Says::

One of the things that I believe in is the importance of keeping in touch and keeping relationships strong; however, I’m not as good at keeping in touch as I wish I were. I hope in 2009 to be better at this…





Anita Says:

If someone would have asked me 20 years ago where I’d be and what I’d be doing, I know the first thing I would say was NO KIDS. I always swore I did not want them. Didn’t want anything to do with them. And God laughed. He blessed me with 5. I just can not believe it. I never would have thought I would be a stay at home mom of 5 children. I have no regrets. I love each and every one of them.





Wendela Says:

When I was a little girl I always played with my dolls, and when grew up I wanted to be a mother. I’m a mother now and I am not always as successful as I wished. I’d turn back time and enjoy the special moments for a long time. And for that great moments I wish that time could stand still.





Katie Says:

This completely goes with the “wish” I were. I am an artist…and a have a little bit of a “time management” problem. I wander….I rummage…I think, I create…and I work that all around trying to be a mother, a wife, a sister, a school volunteer , a cook, a housekeeper and a designer with deadlines. I have lots of ideas…some that get finished, some that just get started and others that get “thought” about a lot. The one thing that holds zero interest for me is housecleaning…don’t get me wrong, my house is presentable, well on most days….or at least as long as I have at least a 30 minute notice that you are dropping by.


I don’t like that. I really don’t . I want to have the perfect house, the perfect decorations, the perfect life…but like I said, I’m an artist…and our vision of a perfect day doesn’t always include cleaning.


But…..I sometimes wish that I wasn’t creative…it’s complicated being creative…it is. Sometimes on days when the house seems to take me over, I wish that I was an organized and dedicated housekeeper. I wish that nothing took my time but taking care of my family. If I hadn’t ever been creative, I wouldn’t know what I was missing and I might have a clean showcase house. In doing my genealogy research, I found all the census records from 1880’s up and all my female relatives stated that they were “housekeepers” except for Mary (gg aunt). She was a “bookbinder”, I think I take after her.


One day, I was messing around on the computer (thinking about cleaning, I’m sure) and I came across the coolest site. It’s called Feeding America. It’s a site that is a digital archive of cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century.It contains some of the most important and influential American cookbooks. I love it. I collect old cookbooks and can cook a mean dinner when called upon. I also love history….even though life was hard (can’t imagine not having air conditioning) it seemed simple. Roles were defined and everyone had one. There was no floundering with what you wanted to do, you did what needed to be done. Back breaking labor, I’m sure. I may have been miserable locked into that role, but it just seems so predictable and I’m sure that your expectations were much less.


It seems that most cookbooks back then included chapters on housekeeping, child rearing, treating the sick, curing meat, managing servants and a million other topics of interest. One particular cookbook stood out to me, maybe it’s the author, the famous Harriet Beecher Stowe. It’s called “The American Woman’s Home” and it was written in 1869. I printed out the picture from the cover for my layout and also printed out a page from the book. I then chalked the picture for a little color and cut up tiny sentence strips from the text. Makes for an interesting read.


Don’t get me wrong, I believe in woman’s rights, I believe in women in the work force etc…and I do not consider my husband my master…but there are days when I wish that I played a more traditional role…my house would be cleaner and my mind more quiet.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s something about the way you live your life that doesn’t align with who you are (or wish you were)?” I urge you to give it a try. Being that it’s the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to state your dreams and goals. 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 you will qualify for the next RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.



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.




4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Larissa’s Behind Closed Doors is extraordinary!
Vivid and vital, as if all that is need is for
her to open the doors and find a rainbow.

Comment by Cynthia

Here is my response to catalyst #44:


Comment by Francesca

First off let me just say woooowwweeeeee to the DT projects!!! Simply stunning! Looovveee that behind closed doors!! This challenge really inspired me to do a page for my art journal, here it is:

Comment by Glenda Tkalac

[…] Catalyst 44What’s something about the way you live your life that doesn’t align with who you are (or wish you were)? […]

Pingback by Wow, my 100th post….how is that possible? Creative Therapy project also! » Katie Bee Creative

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