creative Therapy

Catalyst Fifty-Seven
April 12, 2009, 7:38 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 fifty-seven:


What makes you laugh?


We’re so thrilled to have Karen Russell as this week’s Guest Artist.


Karen inspires me in so many ways that I am not even sure exactly where to begin. While I have never had the privilege of meeting Karen in person, I did have a chance to be in a live chat with her and the one thing I remember above all others is her straight-forwardness, humbleness, and kindness. She embodies so much of what I respect and cherish in others and I am truly honored to have her here as a guest designer.


If you’ve ever used the elegant and beautiful Narratives papers from Creative Imaginations, you might already know that Karen designed for them for years. She designed paper, stamps, transparencies, stickers and many other embellishments. Recently, she has put the design work on what we hope is a temporary hiatus to focus more on her famous and phenomenal Photographers’ Workshops. Even though I haven’t had the good fortune to take this class, I know several people who have and I have heard nothing but rave reviews about the quality of the class and the quality of Karen’s teaching skills. If you want to improve or learn photography skills, I would highly recommend you get on the waiting list because her classes sell out in a matter of seconds.


If you’ve never seen her art, her photography, or her designs, make sure to visit her wonderfully thought-provoking blog.





PLEASE NOTE: This week I made a terrible mistake. While the rest of our team did the art for this week’s catalyst, when I emailed Karen her reminder for the art a month ago, I told her that the catalyst was “Create art around a mistake. The bigger the more therapeutic.” which as you’ll remember was last week’s catalyst. Even when she sent me her art early I didn’t realize my mistake until this morning. And as luck would have it further, last week’s topic was as somber as this week’s is light hearted. So when you read Karen’s art and realize it doesn’t match this week’s catalyst, please realize that it was my mistake and I apologize profusely from both Karen and you. Having said all that, here is Karen’s beautiful art with last week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.




Journaling Reads:

My teenage years hurt. I made a lot of mistakes. I sold myself short. I let other people determine my self-worth. I wasn’t true to myself. I hurt people. I let people hurt me. I didn’t stand for the things I believed in. I wasted my potential. And at the time, it felt as if it all played out for the whole wide world to see.


I just turned 36. But it’s all still there, playing over and over again in both my waking thoughts and in the worst of my dreams. Fresh like it just happened.


I’ve heard woman say that their forties are the best years of their lives. That in their forties, they finally had a sense of their true worth and that they finally came to peace with all those past hurts. And maybe that is why my late thirties are proving to be so uncomfortable. Maybe taking a microscope to all those tender things is the only way to finally recognize them for what they are.


I’ve always been quick to forgive – maybe too quick at times. I just never realized that forgiveness could be extended to myself.


I couldn’t ignore it if I wanted to. This sort of painful evolution going on in me. And though my gut instinct is to try to keep it at bay, there’s this part of me that understands why I have to see it through. Because this whole process was what God had intended all along.


All of it.


Technique Highligh:


No real special techniques though here’s a bit of info: The butterflies were made using old books, documents and butterfly punches. The edges are inked just a bit with light blue ink. The flower paper is also from an old book.



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



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



Wendela Says:

What makes me laugh is…SPRING!!! The young animals, flowers, spring green leaves, my chickens with eggs…I love spring, and it makes me laugh, and
it warms my heart!




Karen Says:

Family is the one thing that makes me laugh more than anything else in my life. One of the original reasons I picked my husband was his great sense of humor and ability to make me laugh. I am not that easily amused and don’t tend to have a good sense of humor so any man who can make me laugh is a keeper in my book. Not to mention the little boy who is so funny, so sweet and cute that the wonderful man and I managed to bring to this world…


Why is this in a binder?


Technique highlight:


This is inspired by an old art journal page by Ali Edwards. It uses two chipboard pieces that I put down before I painted the whole page and then the white and silver sections are created by melting wax. Of course it doesn’t do justice to the original but it was fun to play with and it did make me smile.





Severine Says:

Life makes me laugh, it can also make me cry. Sometimes the situations are so funny that I find them hilarious.


In French:

La vie me fait rire, comme elle peut aussi me faire pleurer. Des fois les situations sont tellement cocasses que s’en ai hilarant.




Lia Says::

My nephews bring so much joy in my life. Durrani at almost-3 years, is a cheeky boy in all sense of the word. He’s got such a cute face with twinkling mischievous eyes that melt my heart in an instant! Ordinary going-ons that he does, from singing along to his favorite youtube videos, reciting his ABCs and even how he bullies his younger brother make me laugh. This cutie tries hard to make us happy by continuing doing what we think is hilarious, but really, he doesn’t have to. Just seeing him makes my heart soar.





Journaling Reads:

The two of you always know how to make me laugh.





Opal Says:

My grandchildren make me laugh: seven boys and one girl, each with a unique sense of humor. I can be in the worst mood ever, and yet, any one of them can make me laugh with a funny story, a ‘knock-knock’ joke, or any number of other little things that they do.





Lucy Says:

My daughter has the most infectious laugh that always makes me want to join her. She has brought so much joy to my life. In this layout, I think the photo captures her hilarity perfectly!! I have journaled some of the jokes that she loves to tell around the layers and edge of the page.





Journaling Reads:

the funny things you do Shelby….makes your sister laugh…. the silly faces you make Ellie….before I know what’s happening you both are making me laugh with you…. 4.2009




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What makes you laugh?” I urge you to give it a try. This was a particularly healing catalyst for our team, I hope it will prove to be that way for you, too. 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 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.




7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Here is mine:

It´s about a Dutch quote.
Try to translate it: a day without laughing is a day without living.

Comment by Petra Coolen

I stumbled onto this site several weeks ago and I’ve been having so much fun doing different catalysts. It’s really made me think about myself.

Here is my take for this catalyst.

Comment by Christine

Wonderful layouts! This was such a great topic! I needed to do a cheerful layout, since I spent the whole of Easter sick in bed, and still isn’t really well. Here’s my layout for this week:

Thanks so much for the challenge!


Comment by Anna-Karin

great catalyst, an easy one for me 😉
here’s my take:

Comment by Fiona Yeoh

Love this week’s catalyst.
Here is mine:

Comment by Tagnia Clark

This was fun…it did make me feel better. I remember why they say laughter is the best medicine!

Comment by Nan

[…] Laughter […]

Pingback by Art Therapy and Creative Healing Projects 7 « Kate1975's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: