creative Therapy

Catalyst Ninety-Four
December 27, 2009, 7:00 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-four:


What’s something you swore you would never do? Why? Did you do it?


We’re excited to have Nichole Duenke as this week’s Guest Artist.


I’ve never met Nichole but she is one of those people who exudes love and joy. She seems like she’d be the nicest person to know and I hope that, one day, I can meet her in person. Her layouts are so colorful and joyful that it makes me happy just to look at them. Here’s a little bio from Nichole:


I’m 25, live in a small town in Ohio & am happily married to a great guy, Nate. We have no kids, but are praying that the Lord blesses us with a family soon! I’ve been scrapping for 10 years & am currently on the design team for American Crafts.


If you’ve never seen Nichole’s art, make sure to visit her blog.





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




Nichole Says:

always said I would never be that person who marries someone just shortly after meeting them. I was dead-set on keeping my word. Until I met my now husband. 🙂 I couldn’t believe the true feeling of love & the power it has over everything else! I ate my words just 2 short months after Nate & I started dating…we met, got engaged & married all within 13 months!



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



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



Karen Says:

When I had my first son, David, I was working from home. Even though it was hard at times, I loved watching him grow and being there to see it all. And when he turned eighteen months or so, I took a job with Google and was working in an office for the first time since he was born. Although his dad was home with him, I missed him everyday and regretted not being there with him. And then I got pregnant with Nathaniel. I told myself that there was no way I was going back to work once the little baby came. My job at Google wasn’t something I could do from home and I was determined not to miss Nathaniel’s childhood which meant I had to quit my job.


Then, a month before my maternity ran out, I went into work and told my manager I would be happy to stay at work but only if they would let me work from home. I would be willing to do any job, as long as it meant I didn’t have to come into the office. As it turned out, they were very wonderful and helped me move into another job in the same group. One that I could do (and have been doing) from home. As it turned out, I got the best of both worlds: I get to see Nathaniel (and David) grow up and I get to work at a wonderful company, with a product I am proud to be a part of.


Technique Highlight:

I wanted to hand-stitch the Google logo, so I did and image search for the logo and then opened it in Photoshop and flipped it horizontally. I then taped that to the back of my cardstock and ta-da, I had a stencil.




Lori Says:

I have sworn I will never allow my kids to bail out of a commitment. If they tell me they want to play the trumpet and the lessons are for one year, then I expect them to take the lessons for the full year. If at the end of the year, they truly do not want to take more lessons, they don’t have to. It’s important to me that the learn to honor their word and the commitments they make when they are old enough to understand them. I have a feeling this will be very hard for me to stick with, but I think it’s important that I do.


Journaling Reads:

I have promised myself that I will teach my boys to honor the commitments they make. If they choose to do a thing, whether, sport, music or other activity, and if they give their word, they will honor it. If they start taking lessons and decide they do not enjoy it, I intend to make them stick it out until the end of their commitment. Then if they decide they really didn’t like it, they never have to do it, again. I know this will be hard for me to do, but it’s important, so I will.




Anita Says:

When I saw this catalyst it made me think back of when I was younger. I swore I would never have children. I didn’t want any at all but God had another plan for me. He has blessed me with 5 wonderful children and now 1 granddaughter that makes my world! I love each and everyone of them. I am so glad God though otherwise. I am truly blessed.



Severine Says:

I vowed never to cut a pine forest to do my Christmas tree as it did when I was little, we must preserve the nature around us, and do whatever it takes for it to develop properly. That’s why I buy trees “farmed” for my Christmas tree.


In French:

J’ai juré de ne jamais couper un pin dans la forêt pour faire mon sapin de noël comme c’était le cas quand j’étais petite, il faut préserver la nature qui nous entoure, et ne faire que ce qu’il faut pour qu’elle puisse se développer correctement. C’est pourquoi j’achète des sapins “d’élevage” pour faire mon arbre de noël.





Lia Says:

I never wanted to teach scrapbook classes, even though there were many requests from my scrapper friends. I was too shy to face strangers, too afraid of BIG personalities in my classes, insecure about my capabilities and didn’t think I had any skills to impart, I didn’t want to face the pressure of meeting expectations. It was only in 2008 when a LSS in Brunei which I was designing for approached me (honestly, they pushed me to a corner. lol!) to come and teach a couple of classes in Brunei that I took the first step in teaching. Even after those classes, I swore ‘Never again!’


A few months after that, I became jaded with scrapbooking and was very sure nobody in the community wanted anything to do with me. But no, the Brunei LSS came again to my rescue. They amazingly wanted me back to teach! More requests for private classes in Singapore came after that, and I decided to rejuvenate my love of the craft by teaching small classes at home. The response was amazing! I realised that I love scrapbooking, and more importantly sharing this craft with others.


I was sure that I had to view scrapbooking as a ‘business’ that required ‘networking’ – words that I wasn’t interested in participating in. But because of the urges and confidence from Shabby Chic Brunei in me, and also the love from the many scrappers I’ve met since I began teaching, I have rediscovered the love of scrapbooking. And I now know with certainty that it’s perfectly fine to keep scrapbooking to a personal level, that small ambitions can still take me far, and people can still love me even when I’m being me.





Larissa Says:

I swore I would never live my life without passion. My piece is a reflection on Oscar Wilde´s quote: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that´s all.”





Rachel Says:

I try to never say that I will never do something because at least in my case, that usually determines that that is what I will do or not do. When I sat down to create this week, I realized that what I swore I never would do turned out to be something it never occurred to me that I would ever stop. Writing. I used to write all the time, obsessively and thought that I always would. Gradually through the years, the journals became less and less important until now, where there are none. I am not sure why this has happened… I blog online but I share very little of anything truly personal, the things that filled volumes of journals once upon a time. I think it’s partly my growing sense of privacy as I grow older and the ease of the online world to document our lives on a surface level. I think my journals are held more in my heart than in a book these days.


Journaling Reads:

I used to spend hours upon hours writing my thoughts, stories, poems, experiences & more down in my journals. It was a passion that I truly thought would be with me forever, but somewhere along the line I just stopped…


Technique Highlight:

To create the masked stamp collage area on the vintage school paper I used this technique from Heidi Swapp featured on Ali Edwards blog and stitched around it.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s something you swore you would never do? Why? Did you do 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.




3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

LOVE this, nicole! but i always love your stuff. and i did the exact same thing! 🙂

Comment by Cheryl (Manz) Ametewee

I haven’t done an actual LO, but I have chosen a photo and done the journaling…so let’s call it half done.

Comment by Stefanie

beautiful ladies! and great prompt.

Comment by Francesca Di Leo

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