creative Therapy

Catalyst Ninety-Two
December 13, 2009, 7:20 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 ninety-two:


If you had to pick one single thing you wanted to do or accomplish before your next birthday, what would it be? What’s stopping you from doing it?


We’re overjoyed to have Rebecca Sower as this week’s Guest Artist.


When Rebecca agreed to guest with us, I couldn’t contain my joy. There’s no artist right now who inspires me more than she does. Her stitching, sewing, beads, intertwined with the wood, linen and twigs that she incorporates into her work and not to mention the words and symbols she uses speak to me and touch my soul.


Rebecca is well-known in the scrapbooking world and her beatiful products can still be found in many places including Michael’s stores. She has written two great books and has been published countless times. Today, she focuses on art and is also regularly published in Somerset publications and she teaches at several art events.


If you haven’t seen Rebecca’s amazing art, make sure to visit her blog and her store.





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




Rebecca Says:

My catalyst question “What would I like to do before my next birthday?” is any easy one for me. Go to Haiti. Go to Haiti and meet those beautiful women who have so little. So little of everything except air. No clean water, no home, no school, no art supplies. But I can help with that. I am not able to help them medically. I can do little to meet their financial needs. But I can teach them to stitch and bead and quilt and create


And that is just what I am going to do. My daughter, Madeline, and I (along with our fearless leader, Matthew) are traveling to Port au Prince on December 27. Taking suitcases fully loaded with all types of art and craft supplies, we are traveling to a mission where a group of ladies are ready and waiting. I am so excited!! Traveling to Haiti with the hopes of beginning an artisan group is something that has been on my heart for almost two years. And now I want to pinch myself that it is really happening. With some basic skills and a few materials, these precious ladies have a glimmer of hope that they can do something to bring in an income to feed their children and possibly even provide them with an education.


This piece, “Be Glad of Life”, is a reminder that life is to be loved, embraced and cherished. A gentle nudge toward focusing on what is good and beautiful about each day.


About the Art:

“Be Glad of Life” shadowbox art collage. Many of my art pieces include words. I am a devoted lover of words. I read poetry, quotes, thoughts and scripture voraciously. There is so much guidance and wisdom in words. I’m a big believer in good words. Good words can encourage, motivate, console and counsel, so I’m all about keeping them out in the open where they can work their magic.


This piece, “Be Glad of Life”, is a reminder that life is to be loved, embraced and cherished. A gentle nudge toward focusing on what is good and beautiful about each day.


I use a lot of antique keys in my artwork, and people often ask why. I think they are expecting me to tell them about cryptic messages and symbolism, but that’s not why I love old keys. I love them for the journey they have traveled. I love to imagine how many different hands have held them, what they unlocked, and how they survived the years. And I think they are beautiful.



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



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



Karen Says:

The one thing I’d like to accomplish before my next birthday is to find a way to feel more peaceful inside. To choose peace and joy. To let go of worry and feel a little lighter, look at the world in a more positive manner. My life is really full and beautiful and I would like to be peacefully blissful. So I stitched this dove and created a little olive branch out of wire and beads. This would, by far, be the greatest gift I can give myself.




Kimmi Says:

One single thing. Before 25. Hmm. This is a tough question. What one thing would I like to accomplish before my next birthday? There are many things that I would love to do within the next year, but the one thing that means most to me right now is expanding our family. I would love to have another child in the near future. Brayden will be four in January and the time between is already more than I had hoped for. I just keep telling myself that it will happen when the time is right.




Lia Says:

I really want to live a simple life. Not to be weighed down by ‘stuff’. While I just celebrated a birthday, I’d like to see myself celebrating my 30th as someone who lives with less, who is happy with less. I don’t know why I’ve amassed and hoarded so much through the years, the shopping and attaining was fun. Perhaps I felt at the time that all that stuff could help improve my life. Yes, a new scented candle in my room will help to relax me in my downtime. But not when I have 10 other candles in my cupboard!


I can’t keep up with the stuff I have and continue to get so I definitely want to cut down on all this material baggage and perhaps continue on working on releasing the other baggage I have hanging on my back!




Wendela Says:

I would love to buy jewelry , some beads for my bracelet!! I love some new colors, What’s stopping me from doing it? The money: the beads are expensive! For now, 4 months before my birthday, I made this, a box to save my beads and my bracelet…I can only dream of new beads for now.





Amy Says:

My response to this question is probably the same as it has been every year for a number of years, which makes it feel fairly disheartening. I want a book. That seems simple enough in concept. I am and have always been a writer. A “book” has always been a driving goal. What I realized in trying to figure out how I wanted to approach this piece is that it is not simple… and “what I want” is not “simply” a book. In searching for what the image was… what sketch would capture the feeling of accomplishment before the coming birthday, I realized that the drawing I ended up with suggests more than “just” a book. The drawing brings full circle my recent thoughts on living a more simple and creative life. The book is, however, the focus of my response for the catalyst. What is stopping me? In part, I’m not good about red tape and putting myself out there and “selling” myself. In part, it’s a function of time. What I saw though in creating this set of drawings is that the other part may be an issue of focus. Which book do I want? I’ve put out 140 episodes of the Creative Mom Podcast, many of which contain essays or essay-like introductions. My goal and wish and desire has been and remains… a collection… a bundling of all those words… a book. That content exists. Last year, I did a near-daily year-long project with someone… both letters and drawings… for a book. That content exists. This year, I’ve collaboratively produced and designed and collected and envisioned the materials for a book of quilting patterns. That content exists. But where do I focus? The one I want most, I think, is the one that seems most inaccessible. Beyond that, I haven’t stopped creating new material. How do I find time to go back and work retrospectively? How do I fit that in? When I started drawing the panels, I realized that it’s more complicated than it seems. The drawing shows all the content that I’ve worked so hard to produce, all spiraling and twisting and turning and finally… finding a home… in a book. Do I believe it will happen before my birthday? No. Will it be my wish again next year? Probably.





Severine Says:

The thing that I want to have before my next birthday is a “pinassotte” is a typical wooden boat in Cap Ferret, and I know especially the surf. What can help to achieve this : it’s money because these vessels typically very expensive and unless I win the lottery, I would never have enough money to pay me to get this boat.


In French:

La chose que j’aimerais avoir avant mon prochain anniversaire est une pinassotte, c’est un bâteau en bois typique du Cap Ferret, et j’aimerais surtout savoir la naviguer. De qui peut m’empêcher d’y arriver : c’est l’argent car ces bateaux typiques coûtent très cher et à moins de gagner à la loterie, je n’aurais jamais assez d’argent pour arriver à me payer ce bateau.





Journaling Reads:

Every year its the same… I wish to find my true passion in life & live for it. I want the passion that I see in Leonard Knights Salvation Mountain. He lives simply, content & so passionate about his art & his message. This year I hope to vist his Salvation Mountain to help inspire me in my search for my passion & message.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “If you had to pick one single thing you wanted to do or accomplish before your next birthday, what would it be? What’s stopping you from doing it?” 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 so we can share in your creative therapy, too. 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.




8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Rebecca’s work is fabulous. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Great job, again!

Comment by Linda Cain

ohh I love Rebecca! the first time I fell in love with the idea of scrapbooking was when I bought her book.

I love this catalyst and I can relate to Lia. I too am bogged down with stuff

Comment by mariam

Wow, beautiful work!!! I love this catalyst, already something in my head, now all I need to do is find the time to put it in action……

Comment by elvira

I posted mine on my blog..

Thanks for looking 🙂

Comment by Amy Lighthall

The one thing I am striving toward for next year is embracing. Embracing my story, my past, my present with a hopeful eye to the future. To embrace fully what I bring to who I am living in the moment that is.

I am trying to do this with my newer art and if you want to take a peek, here’s my blog page link.

Thank you for sharing Rebecca’s work and the work of those who posted their creative answers- all so inspiring!! ((hugs))

Comment by Eileen

I posted mine on my blog….What I would love to accomplish before my next birthday is…..sell some of my “art”…. This is what my brain came up with…’s a picture of myself, dreaming of my wish coming true….or something like that 😉

Comment by elvira

Mine is on my blog I really loved this project, I would love to sell some of my work before my next birthday, my brain came up with this canvas….it’s a picture of me…only dreaming of my wish to come true…..

Comment by elvira

[…] One Goal […]

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