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 sixty-eight:
Did your life turn out how you imagined?
We are thrilled to announce that this week’s art will be a part of a feature scrapstreet.com magazine will be doing on creative therapy. You can see the feature and more information about these pieces of art and some of our team members on their site on July 1. Make sure to visit them and a big thank you to scrapstreet.com magazine for the honor.
We’re so excited to have Iris Babao Uy as this week’s Guest Artist.
I have been a fan of Iris’s art for a long long time. Her layouts are absolutely stunning. The attention to detail and the elegance in each piece always takes my breath away. Here is some information from Iris’s own words:
I’m am a scrapbooker residing in the Philippines . I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and two precious girls. Nicole is 4 and Cheska is 5 months old. I am privileged to be designing for Prima Marketing, Webster’s Pages, and October Afternoon. I am also part of the Memory Makers Masters of 2008. You can find more about me and my craft at www.irisbabaouy.blogspot.com I am so honored to be a guest at this wonderful site and I will be among your frequent visitors. The art I found here is amazing and I am just so thrilled to be part of this all.
We are so honored to have Iris here and if you haven’t seen her amazing art, make sure to check out her blog.
Here is Iris’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.
When I was a teenager, I would spend so much time reading books on romance and happy ever after endings. I read and read and daydreamed of that kind of life. The dream was sugar coated, but my life was far from sweet. I been through tough times but I have also been given a second chance. Through God’s grace, I met my husband and we began our own adventure. Now that I am married with two children – my life is just as I would have wanted it to be. We are not rich but we are comfortable. We are blessed and we are thankful. Life will always have its ups and downs but I now have a family who has made the journey worth taking, and the trip more interesting
I distressed the fabric and created a hole in one corner as a pocket for embellishments. I first covered the canvass with gesso then I painted and stamped over it. I hid a library card for my journaling in the upper pocket.
Thank you so much Iris; we’re so very very honored.
Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. We have quite a few pieces for you this week. And, as you’ll notice, we have a new team member: Rachel. Welcome Rachel!
Archaeologist. History teacher. Writer. Lifelong student. Single. These are a few of the things that I thought that I would be, what I would do with my life. Never once did the words wife, mother, stay at home, homebody or scrapbooker enter my thoughts or plans. I thought that what I wanted was a life that I thought was calling ‘my own’… I always joked that my plan was to just live in sin and see the world.
But you know that saying… life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans? Yeah… that happened.
Married at 17. Mama at 24. A stay at home Mama, in fact. Scrapbooker. Still living in Prescott and actually loving it?
That’s my life now. It’s delightfully ordinary in a way that is so extraordinary to me that I find myself often times wondering when I will wake up and learn that this has just been a magical dream.
Being a wife, a mother, and living for my family is a dream that I never knew I had and I am so glad that it happened while I was busy making other plans. There’s still time to travel, further my education, find my career and write… now I just get to include something greater in that picture, my ordinary life and greatest treasure, my family.
Oh yes…life is good! I’m so happy with my husband, my 4 lovely kids…my house….my friends..I’m a very blessed girl! No matter how my life turns out, my life is in His hands, Thank You Lord!
Even in my wildest dreams and biggest hopes, I could never have predicted such an amazing life. Such incredible children. Such a loving husband. So much success. So much luck. I am so so so thankful and so blessed.
When I thought about this catalyst, I thought about plans and blueprints made throughout the years. I thought about the milestones and markers that might fall in line on a map of living. Has my life turned out as I expected? Maybe not. But from this vantage, it’s sometimes hard to look back and see clearly what I expected. Day by day life has unfolded and shifted and changed. Focusing on the moment by moment of living, the changes just get folded in, smoothed out, absorbed. Directions change. Detours are taken and made. We adjust. There is no yellow brick road. There is no pre-determined palette with which my life is to be painted. Instead, it’s ongoing. It’s a canvas started and yet not completed. It’s a cycle, a spiral, and a constant exercise in flow.
Although there have been many ups and downs in my life, it turned out to be more than I ever could have hoped and wished for.
Is my life right now how I imagined it to be 10 years ago? Of course not! I had the best of dreams and hopes for my future back then, from the simplest dream of being a world traveler to a hope that I would find the love of my life. Through the years, many dreams were lost, hopes dashed and compromises made. But there were many dreams (both mine and those my loved ones had for me) were fulfilled – most significant ones were my late mom’s last wish to have me graduate from University, and yes, me finding the love of my life. There were even some surprises in my life, from working in Finance in a Shipping company and opportunities to share my love of creative handiwork with the scrapbooking community. So would I trade my life right now for the one I imagined 10 years ago? Well we are all allowed to dream, but I so love my life right now. And that is good for me.
Recently, I traveled to Tuscany, in Italy.
All I wanted from this trip was seeing the flower fields, specially, the sunflower fields which are the main postcard from the region. However, after some days traveling through artless roads permeated with olive trees and grapevines, there was no way to see one single sunflower!
Since the first day in that country, I tasted delicious, sweet and juicy cherries that I’ve never had in my own country before. They were present in any dessert, snack or picnic during the trip. Oh, how delicious the Italian berries are!
0ne beautiful day I realized what those cherries meant, because I’ve had the opportunity to see this beautiful musical which tells the story of Saint Clare’s life.
In one of the first scenes, close to her death, she asks for a single cherry as her last wish. At the end of the show, the one who gives her the cherry is God. Anyway, in that tragic moment, I understood that there was no sense in continue looking for sunflowers if I already had such fabulous cherries! That same idea got me to the movie “Under the Tuscan sun” on which there is a message related to search for happiness: “Stop looking desperately for ladybugs. They will, out of the blue, appear in your life, or better, you’ll notice they are already present there”.
When I think about what I have transformed my life into, there are many times I question myself if I chose the right path to happiness, because, even though I live today exactly the life I planed for myself years ago when I wished for financial stability and having enough time to dedicate myself to a creative hobby or something which would bring me personal fulfillment, I don’t find it easy living with no passion or dedicating myself daily to an activity whose objectives I no longer believe in.
Anyway, the ladybugs, the sunflowers and the cherries are actually what make me understand that, in order to be happy, I just have to discover the formula to content myself with my conquests.
In this context I feel completely satisfied with the ladybugs and the cherries around me and, living without searching for what I cannot find, I hope my life turns into a beautiful flower field!
My life is as I had imagined: small, with a family that I love, a house, a cat and lot of happiness and the time to appreciate the little pleasures of everyday.
Ma vie est comme je l’avais imaginée petite, avec une famille que j’aime, une maison, un chat et surtout beaucoup de bonheur et le temps d’apprécier les petits bonheurs de tous les jours.
I don’t even remember what I thought my life would turn out like. I think I focused so much on getting out of where I was that I never really thought about it. I never had a good role model to show me what the possibilities are.
I suppose I thought I’d be a scientist, a business person, a professional. I never pictured myself anything but struggling and working hard. I didn’t ever think that I would be a person who could relax and enjoy life and enjoy just being with someone. As a kid, I don’t think I ever really believed I’d be in love and that there was a true soulmate out there for me. But that was so long ago and such a hard time. I have come so far from that scared child running away into something else – safety, I suppose – but not knowing what it was or how it would look.
For the past 20 years – nearly half of my life – I’ve been with Dave and we’ve been together and happy and in love. And everything else has become secondary. I worked for a while and I pushed myself hard. But when I developed chronic illness problems, I had to slow down. And, when I really slowed down and agreed to just find out who I am and where I am, I think I finally started to dream about what my life could be.
Now, I take time to relax. To explore. To just be. I take photos; I draw; I paint. I take care of myself and my husband. I don’t run any longer. I have made peace with who I am today and I don’t wonder who I would be. I am who I am and I am constantly growing.
I grew up a Navy brat and moved around the country as a kid a lot. It was hard, very hard. When I dreamed about how my life would be, it always revolved around a “forever house”. The house symbolized security, comfort, success and family. I grew up and married a Navy man. The moving continued and it was still just as hard. It’s even harder in a way because now I have to see my kids try to deal with the loss of friends and the nervousness of new schools. I have so much pinned on my “forever house”. I have most everything I want, kids, great husband, being a stay at home mom, dependable cars etc….but have been waiting for the stability of our “forever house”. Well, my husband retires from the military in 4 years, so we are finally in a window where we can buy our last house. And…we are in escrow…and are supposed to close TODAY! Finally after a lifetime of moving (15 moves to be exact) we will hopefully be moving into our “forever house” very soon. The house is a symbol to me of everything that is right in my life.
When I was twenty I decided I would be a career woman. I would easily be a Vice President by thirty and I would never choose to stay home when I was ready to have children. I just knew I would marry a man who was career driven, wanted four children and a huge home filled with stuff. In fact, I had a laundry list of wants for that male partner. After much heart break, I threw that list out. I decided not to date and to allow myself to just focus on my own self growth. That’s when he walked in. He, who changed my ultimate want list. He, who showed me what love truly is. He, who understood that life was meant to be lived/experienced and not purchased. If I had not learned early on that change and open–mindedness were worthwhile, I would have missed finding my true love. I would have missed having all I have now; love, romance, laughter, tears, joy, passion. I have a fabulous and real life that is driven by the things that cannot be purchased. I am so grateful that my youthful self was able to see the error of my intended plans.
My twenty-year-old self never imagined my forty-year-old self a stay-at-home Mom with two kids. I am grateful to God, my Parents and my twenty-year-old self for allowing me to embrace change and arrive exactly where I want to be. For I love my life now, so full of laughter and joy.
Life has had many twis ts and turns for me. There have been many defining moments that have shaped the woman I am today. When I was growing up if you would have asked me I would have said: “Yes, I want to marry raise a family. Be a great Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister and Friend”. As far as a career: “Doing something I was passionate about.” Having a family was always a big part of my plan. I have always wanted to travel, especially with someone I love to share the experiences with.
Reflecting on my life thus far: I married my first husband and I received the best part of him and that was you, Shelby. I had a Corporate Career. I met you Jon and you are the love of my life. I truly believe you are my angel! If it was not for your persistence the doctors would not have found my Cancer and you did it just in the nick of time. Stage III, you saved me and helped with me through it all. This was a BIG wake up call for me. I see life in a completely different way. You, Shelby were five and I was constantly thinking about you. How would you ever know how much I love you. What a wonderful person you are. I wanted to witness the beautiful young lady you would grow up to become. The funny things we do together, our life. Documenting these things was still not something I did quite yet.
The day we married Jon, was one of the best days of my life. My heart is full. I was starting the next chapter of my life with my best friend. You have always treated Shelby like your own. I could not have asked for a better man to enter her life as a father figure. Ellie, you were born and our is family complete. You make the silliest faces. Your personality is so bright and fun. Both of you make me laugh, you sing with me in the car. We take walks, play basketball, swing, everything. Both of you girls and Jon complete me.
So, I did marry the love of my life. Have a family. I’m a Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister and enjoy Friendships. I have found a passion for documenting our lives.
On my journey through life I will continue to learn what I can from the twists and turns that are in the future. Growing and evolving into the best women I can be.
Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Did your life turn out how you imagined?” I urge you to give it a try. 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.
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