creative Therapy

Catalyst Seventy-Six
August 23, 2009, 6:42 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 seventy-six:


Take the time to create art around something you have been meaning to but haven’t done so yet. (Yes, this is an open topic. Go wild. Make it therapeutic.)


We’re so excited to have Lisa Kettell as this week’s Guest Artist.


From the first moment I started creative therapy, I always intended this to be a place where we had varying mediums of art. Not just scrapbooking. Not just mixed media. Any and all visual forms welcome. I believe in the therapeutic power of art and I wanted a place that shows this can transcend a particular medium.


Lisa’s art, her dolls are perfect example of this. They are stunning, meaningful art. I can look at them over and over again. Not to mention all the other mediums that she also masters. Her amazing site is like a creative well that you fall into and can get lost in for hours. One delightful corner after another. She also has an inspiring book: Altered Art Circus: Techniques for Journals, Paper Dolls, Art Cards, and Assemblages. She writes children’s stories. She teaches. She is the kind of all around amazing artists we are humbled to have here.


Make sure to visit her wonderful blog and you can buy some of her fantastic creations and embellishments at her etsy shop.





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




Lisa Says:

As an artist we all start at different times in our lives, some as children, others as teens, as adults or after we retire. For me, art was introduced at a very young age, through coloring books, crayons, craft kits and paper dolls. As a child in the late 70’s early 80’s the craft industry wasn’t what it is today, so you improvised making your own materials, recycling and a lot of imagination. I had always loved the storybook world, fairytales, old greetings and dolls. I could be found either reading a book, drawing images or making doll clothes (which I still have to this day), I believe this was the start of my creative life.


After discovering altered and paper arts during my early 20’s, I found a whole new love this allowed me to channel my work into another direction, primarily creating in a fantasy theme such as fairies or mermaids through the use of vintage images and other ephemera. As I worked in this medium I started to experiment more, to take risks, and realize there are no mistakes in art, just serendipity accidents, which end up leading to new techniques and help you to advance. If you do not like a piece, walk a way from it, eventually you will come back to it and finish it the way it should be.


With the release of Altered Art Circus, I have been able to give others a glimpse into my magical art world, to see that art comes from within, a release, a tap into our creative muses, and a place where one can explore the imaginary world. In my art world there are no rules, to me rules in art stop your free expression, when starting a piece just go with what is inside and let the art muses take over. This book has helped my inner art muses to evolve as the artist I am today, now I am always on the search for new ideas, and re-visiting those long forgotten techniques from the turn of the century to the 70s, making new ones today.


Since I started with illustration, sewing and sculpting, I wanted to start incorporating those mediums into my art again, for the past year I have re-visited these earlier roots, by illustrating designs and turning them into dolls, which I use in assemblage, collage, jewelry, book arts, just about everything. Lately I am all about dolls in every forms, especially charlottes and storybook characters its bringing me into new directions, the aesthetics of sculpting a new piece are so relaxing, and soothing to me, the embellishing of a piece is exciting. Any new piece brings a challenge that I welcome and can’t wait to find out the end result, I find complete magic in this, there is nothing more gratifying then creating a piece or line that makes others smile, a piece which adds magic to someone’s day, to see a doll or artwork you made on someone’s shelf or blog is pure magic.


If I could leave you with words that can inspire you to find your creative self, I would recommend one quote; “The world is filled with magical things, all you have to do is believe!”


The Charlottes of Storybook Land!


I have been experimenting with creative molding for over a year now, the result is a series of doll molds from vintage dolls which I use to make my Charlottes, China Head Dolls and the Kewpies, these molds serve a variety of purposes in my works, As a store owner I have made these unfinished doll parts available for others to use in their works, the most popular are the Charlottes and the China Head Parts.


Friends of Charlottes are a new line I am currently working on which are hand sculpted without any molds and part of the Charlotte Doll line.


Technique Highlight:

To make a mold I recommend a quick study on doll molding, there are a variety of sites available on this subject throughout the web, I use a latex molding compound available at most art and crafts stores in the clay section. There are a variety of mold compounds on the market, and are easy to use. Once you make your mold, the possibilities are endless you can use a variety of sculpting materials and embellish/finish to your liking.



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



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



Amy Says:

As this catalyst approached, I knew I would be away during the days when I would normally work on it. I brought two projects to work on with this catalyst in mind, both things I’ve been wanting and planning to do but haven’t had time. Both are projects suited to being out of my space, away from my machine, and out of my element in some ways. This summer, I’ve begun exploring hand applique, diving into it and working on small pieces that let me experiment with the concept while retaining my own sense of color and voice. This piece is inspired by a recent book I looked at. The idea of a “vine-like” piece captured my attention. I wasn’t sure how my own vine would evolve, but the line of it haunted my thoughts. After preparing a background, I picked a stem fabric and then pooled a set of fabrics and got them ready to travel. With no predetermined plan, one by one, I began adding the branches and the buds. I see this piece in many ways… there are ways it speaks to me on the surface… and there are ways the shape and organic feel of it (although transformed by the color) speak to things going on in and around me… day by day. Had it not been for this catalyst and the week of travel falling at the same time… I might not have created this piece yet. I’m glad I did.(Note: This panel will be worked into something larger.)




Lori Says:

I have been meaning to make a little wall hanging for my craft room with my favorite quote. This quote could not be more true. I wish I didn’t need a constant reminder of it, but I do. And, now it’s hanging above my desk. Grow. Be Brave. Be You. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss.




Iris Says:

I have always been a softie when it comes to my children. My husband and I love to go to Starbucks for coffee and cake. And our daughter Nicole loves to come with us. She always runs to the counter to get a lemon or cherry lollipop. She never finishes it and only manages a few licks before putting it down, but she just likes the idea of picking a treat for herself. I know I have to start saying no to most of her whims and fancies, but I still keep saying “yes” all the time.





Anita Says:

After seeing this Catalyst I had to think a bit on what I wanted to create. Then it downed on me! I have not scrapped any of my husband and my wedding pictures. Don’t ask me why. Maybe its because I’m such an every day moments type scrapper and have such a hard time with theme type stuff. I really enjoyed pulling the photo out, even got a giggle because this is no where what my husband and I look like now! I weigh a bit more and my husband has A LOT less hair and its GREY! We’ve been married 11 years now. What a joyous day! I’m so glad I took the opportunity to do this and share it with you.





Wilna Says:

I have been contemplating making my own digital papers for the longest time. So with this page, i took pictures of some of my paintings and used it as background paper for this page. Love the process of being creative. And while I made this page i listened to the Apple WWDC 2009 Keynote address. Just a random remark. Thanks for looking!


Journaling Reads:

Dear Kirsitn… you are my little funny face I would not trade you for the world…I totally adore your sweet quirks and your sunny heart. I totally adore you and i hope that you will always to remember it.My goal in education is reaching your heart, filling your emotional cup, teaching you moral foundations, capturing your vision for life for the kingdom of God, teaching you what it looks like to walk through difficult times while holding tight to the hand of God. May God grant me the understanding and faith to follow these paths and to raise up a strong generation for Him. Love Wilna




Karen says:

I started scrapbooking when my first son was born and while I have scrapped a lot of his life and some of my life since then, I have never scrapped my past. Not one page about my childhood. And nothing about my sister so I decided it was time to start.


Journaling Reads:

there are so many memories

so many moments

waiting to be preserved

some of my best memories are with you

so many of my unforgettable moments

summers in burgaz

years of whispering in bed


so much laughter

so much love

one day i will sit down and

i will write them down

and that little book

will be one i cherish forever

i want to remember

even the sad moments


cause i shared them with you

i love you with all my heart

my sister

i love you


Why is this in a binder?





Lia Says:

I’ve felt so desperately helpless. My life seems to be operating on ‘amok’ mode and it’s like I’m slowly but surely losing control. I need to let go of some commitments, some emotional baggage, lots of bad influences and energy. I think it’ll bring some predictability and much-needed peace in my life. I don’t know why I haven’t done any of it. Maybe I’m afraid to. Of suffering any consequences. But perhaps, one day. I just might.





Opal Says:

This crow has been in my head for months. I started one time, and then pushed it aside for other projects. This prompt gave me the nudge I needed to bring my crow into being. I pieced tiny strips for her body and raw edged strips for her tail and wings. The threadplay gives the piece texture and line. The background is pieced randomly, with bits and pieces overlapping and uneven.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Take the time to create art around something you have been meaning to but haven’t done so yet.” 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.



4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

These are all so beautiful and heart felt . thanks for sharing . : )

Comment by mary ann k.

all of the DT work is so stunningly amazing!!! Thanks for sharing.

IDK if I should post here or not…I created a LO using last week’s catalyst.

it can be found here:

thanks so much for looking.

Comment by Arlene C

I have been meaning to scrap these pages for a very long time. I finally did it. Since losing my dad I try to make every effort to commemorate his life. His birthday was this past June 23rd, so this is for him.

These are pics of my dad when he was enlisted in the Italian army in 1955. He’s so young and so very handsome in these pics. It’s no wonder my mom was head over heels for him!

I used packing tape to transfer the image for a b/w photocopy of the pictures. Love the effect. I’m now doing this to every photo i can get my hands on! Yes, I’m a little obsessive!!

Supplies Used: Creative Imaginations pp (Italian map); Prima alphas; Cavallini and Co vintage stamps and ephemera; pom-pom ribbon; Prima lace stamp; Tim Holtz vintage burlap, vintage photo and red brick distress ink; Making Memories tiny alpha stickers.

Thanks for looking,

Dad 1955



Comment by Francesca Di Leo

These are adorable Lisa! Love seeing your smiling face ‘around’, it was such a joy meeting you last spring!

Comment by Pam Carriker

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