creative Therapy

Catalyst Eighty
September 20, 2009, 9:29 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 eighty:


Tell us about something you cherished as a child. It can be a toy or anything else.


We’re so excited to have Pam Carriker as this week’s Guest Artist.


Pam is one of those artists whose art touches my soul. When I look at her paintings I get completely lost in them and just want to look at them forever. Her portraits are so soft, so meaningful, and so very elegant.


I’m not alone in my awe of Pam as she’s been published widely in magazines like Somerset Studios, The Stampers’ Sampler, Art Journaling, Somerset Apprentice, and Cloth Paper Scissors. She also teaches workshops in real life and online.


If you haven’t seen Pam’s art, make sure to visit her her blog or her shop.





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




Pam Says:

As a child I cherished the times spent with my grandmother all by myself. I suppose it had a little bit to do with the ‘middle child syndrome’ but those times made me feel so special, and in a family with three children, the ‘squeaky wheels’ often got oiled first and I just wasn’t very ‘squeaky’.


Grandmas are a very special type of person to a child. You can really do no wrong in their eyes. Things that would have sent Mom over the edge, do not appear to have any affect on Grandma. They have a seemingly limitless supply of patience, teaching everything from how to make a perfect Pineapple Upside down Cake, to tedious French Knots or how to save lots of money by clipping coupons.


My mom had ‘special’ dishes and things that we never used to my knowledge. She wouldn’t dream of letting one of us eat off the good china! But grandma, would on occasion, take out her very special dishes. I was especially enamored of her lovely teacup collection. Each one different, delicate, and beautiful. Sometimes on a visit she would let me pick which one I wanted to use and she would fill it with tea, sugar and a little milk. We would sip our tea and have important discussions just like two grown up ladies. She even let me sit at her dressing table and try on lipstick and perfume. She nurtured the girl in me right from the start.


Today I work in my studio, surrounded by some of the beautiful things from grandma’s house. I sit writing this from her lovely secretary desk, filled with lovely pieces from her home. I cherish my grandma for helping me to appreciate the beauty in the things around me and for making the little girl inside me still, feel very special.


Technique Highlight:

I created this journal page on 110lb hot press watercolor paper. Sketch the cups, first in pencil, then in XS Black Pitt Artist Pen. Shade with Shades of Grey Pitt Brush Tipped Pens. Journal some thoughts with XS Pitt Pen. Add some more design elements (scrolls) with the Pitt Pens. ‘Paint’ in the teacups with PanPastel and colored pencil. Fill in the background with Caran d’Ache water soluble crayons. Shade with charcoal. Transfer images and text using ink jet transparencies and hand sanitizer.



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



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



Kimmi Says:

Stuffed animals were my favorite toys as a child. I can remember my most favorites that I had and every single one had a well thought out name… One being Chubbles in the far left of this picture. I never was really sure what exactly he was but I just called him Chubbles by the name on his little robe. Now I’m thinking he’s some sort of ewok (?) Either way, he was one of my favorites. I hunted and hunted for a picture that I have from when I was about three of me holding Chubbles, but couldn’t locate it, so I snapped a quick picture of Chubbles in his new home… a shelf in Brayden’s room with a few of Brayden’s first stuff animals, an Elmo that was his first gift from Travis, and a squirrel that we eventually realized was a squeaky dog toy…(ha)…among others. It’s strange to think that this little stuffed toy actually still works… even after twenty years… with a little wiggling of his wires. He chuckles and his eyes light up when you run your hand over his face, or hide under the covers with him, just as I used to as a kid.




Wendela Says:

What I cherished when I’m a child…going to the beach near our home, to make sandcastles and go for a swim, and especially seeking treasures…like a message in a bottle!


Technique Highlight:

I painted the bottle with alcohol ink, with a pearly alcohol ink too. It looks like ancient glass.




Larissa Says:

I cherish the time I used to spend with my brother… I kindly remember the time when we used to share the same room, listened from mommy the same child story before bedtime, had pillow fights, argued with each other…all these moments and everything related to the 80´s are special.





Wilna Says:

I loved this teddy-bear. As far as my memory goes, it was always with me and provided comfort and joy. It’s name is simply Teddie and sometime and somehow along the road it lost an eye. But never the less, i loved it wit all my heart. To this day I love teddy bears.





Lia Says:

I loved being the youngest in the family. I was Daddy’s little girl, Mummy’s favorite and my siblings especially my sis always did whatever they could to make me happy. I always felt loved … and while others might get spoilt by all the attention the youngest child gets, I’m thankful that my family taught me to be respectful and affectionate to others through them loving me.




Journaling Reads:

i remember asking my parents for this computer for my tenth birthday. “you just want to play games,” they said. “no” i insisted, “i will learn how to program, I will use it all the time, I swear.” they were reluctant, I could tell. everyone else just used theirs as a fancy toy but i wanted one. I knew I wasn’t going to use mine as a toy, mine was a keeper. I don’t know what finally convinced them but I still remember the day my commodore 64 arrived. i fulfilled my promises, I took lessons, I worked, I played, I tinkered with that thing all the time. As it turned out, that was the beginning of a lifelong love of computers a career in programming and the internet. now i help build browsers. and it all started with one little machine. a present that changed my whole life.


Karen Says:

The Commodore 64 my parents bought me when I was a little girl was the very first computer I ever loved. Today, I have eight computers and I love them all. I made a career out of working with computers. I cannot thank them enough for believing in me, supporting me, and of course giving me my first computer.


Why is this in a binder?





Lori Says:

I know I cherished my parents and brother and spending time with our extended family. I certainly remember wanting things. The only toy I had that made me feel special was a green bear. He was my best friend for many years, but I don’t even have a photo with him. This catalyst just reinforces why I scrapbook for my family.


Journaling Reads:

I remember having a little green stuffed bear with me all the time. I named him “greenie” and he was my constant companion. I loved this little green bear so much, he never left my side. Soon he had no fur left and was really nubby instead. I wish I still had him. This is one of the few toys I would love to have kept.





Iris Says:

I have always been fascinated with water fountains as a child. Be it am architectural wonder, or a table top decor, I would stare at it in amazement. It was such a pleasant surprise when I noticed that my daughter Nicole also has that same fascination with fountains.


Technique Highlight:

Use a favorite felt shape or die-cut as a mask for misting and get to use it in several more projects.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Tell us about something you cherished as a child. It can be a toy or anything else.” 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.



11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Pam, what a wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing and for your beautiful art!

Comment by Nancy Lefko

Thank you for asking me to share on your wonderful site, it’s great to see what you all came up with:-)

Comment by Pam Carriker

Pam-love your interpretation and your technique is out of this world! Wonderful work! Everyone’s is so unique 🙂

Comment by jodi

Pam, such sweet reminiscing. Similar in many ways to my memory of my great grandma. The journal entry is just stunning.

Comment by Laurie Blau-Marshall

I absolutely loved board games, as a child, and now I collect and hang them as art in my studio. My mixed media painting has elements from an antique Chinese checker tin that I found at a flea market this summer.

Comment by Alberta

What sweet memories of times with your grandmother! Your words bring back some wonderful memories of my own.

My memories surround bike rides, and some of the experiences along the way. You can see my collage HERE

Comment by Barbara Hagerty

Beautiful work all around. Thanks for showcasing Pam and her brilliant art!!

Comment by Seth

What do you use the hand sanitizer for? Cleaning up or is it something you use as a medium??

Comment by Beth

Beautiful layouts and memories! Here’s is my layout for this week’s theme:

Thanks so much for the inspiration!


Comment by Anna-Karin

Beth, the hand sanitizer can be used as a medium to transfer images from an inkjet copy much the same as using gel medium but much less messy and quicker:-)

Comment by Pam Carriker

Pam, reading your story and looking at the journal page was just like coming home. You are such a seeker, making meaning as you go along. Those three cups of tea are SO evocative!

Comment by quinncreative

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