creative Therapy

Catalyst Ninety-Five
January 6, 2010, 8:00 am
Filed under: catalyst


Welcome to the first catalyst of 2010! 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-five:


What’s something you struggle with?


We’re excited to have Cheryl Ametewee as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Cheryl:


i’m just a very simple girl blessed enough to be living out my dream in the DC area…loving my new role as a stay-at-home wife to nathan, my african born husband of 5 months, and mama to london, the orneriest 1 year on the planet. we are also so excited about the little girl who will be joining our little family mid-march. i spend my days taking care of my family and immersing myself in colorful art that reflects the deep emotions i feel towards the people i care about, my passion for living and the way i deal with the good AND bad that life throws at me. i hope that one day my children and grandchildren will know their legacy and how very much they were loved through my words and art. and even if no-one else ever opens the pages of my albums, they will still always mean something to me because my artwork has given me an outlet to deal with so many things over the years that would have been so much harder without this creative escape.


If you’ve never seen Cheryl’s art, make sure to visit her 2peas gallery and her blog where she also has awesome challenges weekly!





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




Cheryl Says:

i decided to go with my struggle to do too much physically despite the chronic intense pain i deal with 24/7 (caused by an automobile accident when i was 17) because it has been my biggest struggle lately. and while in the journaling i talked about wishing i could do more going out, doing things for others and keeping up with friends, it extends to many other parts of my life as well. but i’m trying to take this new cheryl one step at a time. if i would have had more room, i could have probably written 5-10 pages on how hard this is for me and how much my husband has made me realize just in the 5 months we’ve been married that it’s ok to be different and just accept who i am and my own limitations. it actually helped so much to get this all in writing and i’m hoping that reading it in the future will be a good reminder to stay strong and not give in to my own pride and continue to pay for something that i can prevent by standing up for myself and my family.



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



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




Journaling Reads:

I never feel at peace within myself… constantly thinking, wondering, worrying, doubting and analyzing every little thing to the point of near madness inside my own head. Outwardly I am usually pretty calm, quiet and by all appearances, peaceful person, but that is rarely the case on the inside. It’s my daily, sometimes minute-ly struggle… to find my peace.


Technique Highlight:

To create some custom peace sign elements to my page, I used a reverse applique technique using pattern paper. I sketched and cut away the negative elements in the peace signs and sticthed around them. This technique is seen often on clothing and other household decorative elements so I wanted to try to incorporate it into my piece this week.




Severine Says:

I constantly struggle against my weight to try to keep it stable, which is not easy for me, and chocolate is my worst enemy in this struggle.


In French:

Je lutte constamment contre mon poids pour essayer de le maintenir stable, ce qui n’est pas chose facile pour moi, et le chocolat est mon pire ennemi dans cette lutte.




Karen Says:

I made a list of all the things I would like to do. I constantly struggle with choosing which thing to do, to learn. I want them all. I made a list and printed it as my background.


Here’s what’s in the list: Teach David how to read. Learn Russian. Get a PhD. Study Mathematics. Learn to sew. Learn to crochet. Drive fearlessly. Visit Antarctica. Ride on a hot air ballon. Write a novel. Write another novel. Learn to ballroom dance. Learn to draw. Really well. Play the saxophone. Read. read. read. a lot. Learn Hebrew. Visit New Zealand, Australia, and Africa. Pet a penguin. Master web design. Teach Nathaniel to read. Teach both my kids math. Spend oodles of family time together laughing and hugging and playing. See the Northern Lights in Alaska. Drive across the country again. See all of the states. Go camping. Write a product that I am really proud of and one that becomes popular. Learn to quilt and make a huge quilt for our bed. Get my coaching license. Learn to ride a bike. Make beautiful art journals. Teach courses. Let go. Journal every day. Run a marathon. Cook more and better. Start my own non-profit. Run a non-profit bookstore. Embrace imperfection. Publish a book with my photography. Take a lot more photographs. Master post-processing. Master photography. Become fluent in Japanese, Italian and French. And Sign Language. Go to an art retreat. Let go. Stop seeking validation. Embrace joy. Make a movie. Create art products. Affect the education system. Let go. Learn to paint. Acrylic. Oil. Learn wood carving and metal smithing. Learn more about physics. Chemistry. Statistics. Become a therapist. Learn to decorate a cake. Master design principles. Have a photo shoot with my family. Read all the classics. Go to the movies. Take daily photos. Make more scrapbook pages. Tell our stories. Tell my parents’ stories. Tell my grandparents’ stories. Collect family photos. Find my own style. Let go. Embrace myself and the way I look. Make lifelong friends. Spend regular time with good friends. Apologize from people I’ve hurt. Donate to charity. Volunteer. Learn to knit in the round and to knit a cable. Change a tire. Make wreaths. Make bread. Take photos of myself everyday for a year. Reach out to family more and connect. Take a trip alone. Watch the sun rise and the sun set on the same day. Bake a pie. Let go. Make a really complicated dish. Walk across the Brooklyn bridge and the Golden Gate bridge. Declutter. Practice kindness towards others and myself. Let go.




Lori Says:

My biggest struggle is with time. I tend to underestimate how much time I need and end up without enough. I’m learning to say “no” and to manage my time better these days, but it is still a constant struggle for me.


Journaling Reads:

I struggle with time. I always think I have more of it than I really do. Before I know it I’ve run out of time.





Larissa Says:

I have two difficult steps to take. I struggle.I know I need to get it done. I know it´s not over until I overcome these obstacles.




Opal Says:

My struggle is with time….there is never enough … it is elusive … and it never stops. I wish I could savor and enjoy the moments, and hold them in my hands for just a bit longer. The fish in my piece seems to be gasping for time….and not quite getting it. Machine quilted with gold thread.



Kimmi Says:

I’ve constantly struggled with acceptance. I’ve always felt like I didn’t fit in… that I didn’t belong.. not anywhere. I tired to find my place, but it always felt wrong. After graduating high school, going through a difficult divorce, and having a child, I’ve learned that it’s okay to stop trying. It’s okay to not fit in. It’s okay to not be someone that others expect of you. I’m a much happier person now that I can be who I want to be.





Wendela Says:

TIME!! Time for my kids. Time for my husband. Time for my family. Time for reading my Bible. Time for praying. Time for friends. Time for cleaning my house. Time for my garden. Time for my work. Time for scrapbooking. Time for knitting and crocheting. Time for….But I always know….My time is in His Mighty Hands, Thank you Lord!!


Technique Highlight:

A little piece of a puzzle painted with paint and crackle medium….so lovely to do!





Wilna Says:

I have always struggled with my weight. It’s just always been those horrible 10 or 15 pounds. What amazes me of stories like the greatest loser, is that people can lose 100s of pounds and I struggle with 15. So, I made a decision this time to join weight watchers and start to lose the weight. I am so proud of myself for doing this and I hope that 2010 will be my butterfly year.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s something you struggle with?” 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.




14 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love this so much! i have constant struggles even though I try to stay positive…hope to have time to do this. I’m struggling right now to get better from this stupid sickness LOL. Love, Jess Beautiful art from everyone by the way!

Comment by jessicaw2930

One of my plans for this year is to take part in more challenges…I have been watching you all for almost a year and have been so inspired. 🙂 Now i just need to take part…what a GREAT catalyst! 🙂 Thanks! 🙂

Comment by Kathy Floen

I struggle with all of these same things. This is beautiful and insightful and almost comforting to see that other women struggle with the same things that I struggle with. Thanks so much for sharing.

Comment by Michelle QUinn

How wonderful and open all the DT was!!! How inspiring! Great catalyst I’m going to think about!

Comment by Rhonda Steed

Beautiful creations & great catalyst, really like this one. Is there a deadline for this please?

Comment by creativestarr

Nope, there is no deadline. We post a new one every week but you can do them anytime 🙂

Comment by karen grünberg

thanks so much for asking me to be a part of this…it was a nice challenge to work with a tough topic and i’m so glad i have it down on paper now! 🙂

Comment by Cheryl

Great post. I thought it is interesting that more than one person focused on time…something that I would definitely like more of!!

Comment by Seth

This is my first post. It helps to put thoughts on paper and doing it with art is fun and theraputic.

Comment by Teresa Murray

I put my layout on the Flickr page and on my blog with the journaling and everything! 🙂 Thanks for doing this type of thing,it was a wonderful experience. 🙂

Comment by Kathy Floen


Comment by Sasha "sweet thang" Holloway

What a wonderful topic!! Actually, I struggle from LOTS of larger things than what I chose to post about, but amid the greater struggles, it’s often the smaller ones that somehow remain, as if they’re not big enough to be validated. So I chose a smaller, but no less persistent struggle. It’s on my blog, HERE

Comment by Barbara Hagerty

What a wonderful challenge this week. Due to defenses I built up as a child, change is something I struggle with. The unexpected, however, has brought me everything good in my life: my job, my husband, my children. Nothing happened as I planned and thank heavens for that! so, here’s my new journal page.

Comment by Alberta

This is a little late, but here is my take:

Comment by Amanda Berens

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