creative Therapy

Curating at Crescendoh
May 23, 2010, 8:59 pm
Filed under: other

The creative therapy team is curating all week at crescendoh. We hope you come visit us and the other amazing artists.

Catalyst One Hundred and Twelve
May 19, 2010, 8:00 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. This week, we have an extra special catalyst. Starting Monday, Creative Therapy team members will be curating at CRESCENDOh and in the honor of it, we chose a special catalyst and we’re honored to have, the founder, Jenny Doh as our guest.


Ok! Here’s catalyst number one hundred and twelve:


How has art saved you?


We’re thrilled to have Jenny Doh as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Jenny:


Jenny Doh is Founder & President of CRESCENDOh, LLC — a brand new business that inspires creative passion, authentic community, and focused compassion. One facet of the business is an online media center that features fresh and creative content from artists within all genres, coupled with their uniquely heartfelt ART SAVES stories that highlight the power of art in our lives. CRESCENDOh also works with publishers to create books about art, crafting, and inspiration.


Prior to CRESCENDOh, Jenny worked for six years as Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing for Somerset Studio, Belle Armoire, and its many sister publications.


Prior to publishing, Jenny worked for seven years as a social worker in child protective services, where she witnessed some of the most radical life stories imaginable. CRESCENDOh’s mission leverages the lessons that Jenny has learned within the arenas of social work and art.


Jenny was born in Seoul, Korea and at the age of 7, moved to Bakersfield, California. She and her husband raise their two children, Monica and Andrew, in Santa Ana, California. She loves to knit, stay fit, and volunteer for her alma mater, UC Irvine.


To learn more, visit





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




Jenny Says:

I love small embroidery projects that can be worked on away from my studio. Like this little mini art quilt made with a sweet rubber stamp design by Pam Garrison.


Technique Highlight:

Using a black inkpad, stamp image (Pam Garrison for CRESCENDOh) onto a piece of fabric scrap. Use red embroidery floss to outline the image and then a light blue floss to add French knots and additional detail stitches. Layer with batting and backing fabric (Lily & Will by Moda) and secure all layers with a straight machine stitch.



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




Larissa Says:

If it wasn’t for art, I’d be resigned to live with the life others expected from me, to fulfill the expectations from the society, family, with boring tasks and obligations, driving a mediocre life. At the moment, however, I find myself in a paintbrush, feeling the water adding color to my works of art as if the color were added to my life. It’s like if I let my imagination and all that I keep under lock and key inside myself take its free and beautiful flight.


Technique Highlight:

To assemble this work, as there wasn’t anything on the market that I could express my feelings, first I drew and painted with watercolor some papers which served as base to a work in a small easel. I painted the small canvas and added a transparency and next, I cut and added elements from my papers, flowers and a paintbrush.





Wendela Says:

Making art, is a real way of life!! I LOVE to create everyday! When I’ve not much time to create, I’m feeling sad, sometimes I NEED to create, to scrapbook, crochet, knitting or other things, it’s real therapy… Creating makes me happy and makes me a strong person! This time a made a heart…crochet with Zpagetti, Dutch designer thread, made of fabric (jersey) waste. Cool to work with!! Embellished with flower, paper ruler, feathers..etc..




Karen Says:

Art has saved me so many times. It has led me to create this wonderful place, creative therapy, where I get to be inspired by some of the most amazing artists and people I know. I criticize myself all the time. I worry about not being good enough, not creating pieces as beautiful as I see others create. Not being able to bring to life what I can see in my mind’s eye, what I can feel in my heart. Not being able to express all the emotions, all the colors. I put myself down and beat myself up all the time. I tell myself I will quit. I am not good enough. I cannot do this. I will never be good enough.


And yet, I don’t stop.


I keep making more and more art. I take pictures. I write my words. I touch the fabric. I scrap. I cannot stop myself. Good or not, art gives me joy. It gives me wings to fly. It helps me recreate my joys, capture the moments and the magic. It frees me from the world. From my worries. From my sorrows.


From myself.




Rachel Says:

Art has unlocked my heart & released my voice so that I can speak, feel, love and heal. I created this piece as a reminder of how through art, I am finally able to release all of the secrets, thoughts, and emotions that I carry around with me. I am a bottler of emotions and prefer to think that the world sees that as me being strong and just fine. Art is how I process and release all of those emotions and thoughts. It’s made my life infinitely better and has in fact, SAVED it, and saved me from myself.





Lori Says:

Art is my sanity. To say that it saves me would be completely accurate. When I am able to spend time creating art, I am able to turn off every other part of my brain. I am able to really relax and enjoy the process of working with my hands to create something for myself or for others. Even if I create and others do not appreciate it, I do. I get joy out of every little creative thing I do. Art really does save me. It’s my reset button.


Technique Highlight:

I am very inspired by Julie Collings’ Artful Thursdays. It’s pure eye candy and I want to try each and every one. I fell in love immediately with the tiny books. I decided to do one for Father’s Day. My boys love to make cards for Dad and I plan to add this to the pile on top of his present.





Dina Says:

Art has saved me in every way possible…through art I have celebrated, mourned, experimented, and lived! Art is a nonjudgmental friend who always listens, who knows how to heal even the deepest of hurts. Even the mere act of putting brush on paper sends healing vibrations into my soul.





Amy Says:

In the past few years, art has saved me time and again. I’ve come to realize that I have to honor the need in my life to make art, and in turn I am grounded even when most adrift, there is light even in darkness, and there are glimmers of possibility when all seems lost. When I started this piece and envisioned creating this fiber grid, I saw it as a retrospective statement: Art has saved me. As I worked on the piece, however, I found myself at a point in my life where it was important to hold onto the process and symbolism involved in creating these small squares, day by day, scrap by scrap, and layer by layer–even when it seemed impossible. Alone, each is just a random square. Taken as a whole, they say something both about the past, the present, and the future.


Technique Highlight:

Each square in this grid of 40 is a 2 1/2″ collage pieced and layered from scraps and trimmings. (The piece will be quilted.)





Christine Says:

Art has been the catalyst that brings to life the memories, emotions, and events that I have experienced in my life. I remember art classes as being one of my favorite subjects at school. However, I was discouraged from pursuing it more deeply, and for many years I didn’t do anything creative to express what I had in my heart.


It wasn’t until after my children were introduced to card making by a relative that I thought we could do creative activities with them. Once I began creating again, I found that it brought me so much pleasure and satisfaction to use different media and produce something that could bless my family and others. However, in the process of creating art, I found that it was actually blessing me even more. I was able to express my joy and excitement as well as my fears and discouragement through the creations that made. My art began to breathe life into the memories that I captured in my projects, and I loved the process even more.


Now, as I see the projects that I’ve created, I remember with fondness and thankfulness the memories that are encapsulated into each creation, and I remember that this is my life as reflected in my art. I am so blessed to be able to do what I love and re-experience life through each of my creations! Art has truly brought life into my days!





Shelley Says:

Art has always been a part of my life in some way or another. I loved taking photography classes in high school and I appreciated my mother’s ability to paint. But it wasn’t until my Freshman year in college that art saved me. I was on track to be a nurse and decided to take an Art History class to fulfill a requirement. Little did I know that one class would change me. I had not done very well on my first Organic Chem. test but aced my Northern Renaissance art test. I called my parents and said I wanted to change my major to art history instead of nursing. The answer was…no! I was devastated! I had discovered this part of me I didn’t really know existed but to pursue it seemed out of the question. To make a long story short, I became a nurse with an art history minor! Ever since that time I have taken in art whenever I can. I have see the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the National Gallery of Art and many others. More importantly what I learned is that art is a huge part of who I am.Whether it be in photography, scrapbooking, project making, or visiting museums I can not escape this passion I have to take it all in! It moves me, it inspires me, it is me! “Art found me and has forever changed the way I see life”. That is the phrase I stitched on my project. I am so grateful it did find me and I that I found a way to hold on to it!





Anna Says:

Art. saves… it’s hard to not agree with this statement. It saved me in my past and still saves me everyday – creating is my great escape from reality, my way to freedom, my possibility to express myself and develop new areas, experiment and play. It keeps my mind calm. It gives me rason to push myself a bit further, to try, fall, get up and try again.


It all started not so long ago, in 2008, when after a short romance with decoupage I found first information about scrapbooking. Some of my friends showed me their works and I really wanted to try although I thought in the first moment it may be not for me… I’ve never taken any art classes, the only thing I could do was gluing paper and painting the background…but I got hooked and tried to do my first albums and notebooks. It was pretty interesting and rewarding and soon it occurred to me that my creations weren’t so bad 😉


Everything changed in my life one day of early July, when my husband and I had a car crash – not a serious one, but I got 2 ribs and 4 toes broken and I was sitting at home for almost two months unable to go outside. I suffered from pain – and I was bored terribly at the same time. Only few friends visited me as it was holiday season and the whole situation was pretty depressing. Then, one day my husband, seeing me in very bad shape gave me a laptop with net connection – and I started to surf the net. That was the time when I found more about scrapbooking and I discovered altered art and mixed media… and that was my love from the first sight! Mixed media creations – especially the ones including found objects and clocks elements inspired me so much that when Only I could stand on my feet I started my first experiments.


I got better, went to work again, but gears were turning in my head all the time. I didn’t care that what I was doing wasn’t understood by my friends in the first time – I just knew that I had to learn more and more about mediums and try new techniques that attract me. I felt as if I didn’t have much time given and there was so much to see… and that’s how I still think. Today it’s still hard to call myself an artist, but I have to admit I’d love to be one when I grow up.


I just can’t stop creating new things and yes…art saves me everyday from madness 😉 I come home after 8 hours of work, I kiss my great and supportive husband and I go to my desk to relax with inks, papers and tons of rubbish I keep collecting. Nothing can’t stop me now from doing it – it’s integral part of me.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “How has art saved you?” 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.




April RAK Recipient
May 10, 2010, 9:16 am
Filed under: other

Those of you who’ve been with us for a while know that we used to give regular RAKs here. One of our sponsors decided to continue donating to those of you who are practicing creative therapy. So we will give away a RAK every other month for as long as they support us. The RAKs will be chosen from participants to leave a comment to any of our catalysts. Here’s the RAK for April:



The April recipient is Rowen. Huge thanks to Sakura of America who is such a big supporter of us. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.


As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic.


Thank you.

Catalyst One Hundred and Eleven
May 5, 2010, 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 one hundred and eleven:


Did you ever get into trouble?


We’re thrilled to have Penelope Dullaghan as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Penelope:


Penelope Dullaghan is an illustrator and fine artist who started her freelance career after a five-year stint as an art director. She currently lives in the teensy town of Winona Lake, Indiana with her writer husband, 12 month old daughter, dog and two cats. She chronicles her artistic development at her website, Penelope Illustration. She also heads up and contributes to a weekly creative outlet and participatory art exhibit: IllustrationFriday. Penelope’s clients include Starbucks, Target, United Airlines, and Oprah Magazine.





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




Penelope Says:

I loved this topic of “Did you ever get into trouble?” because I think it can bend in so many directions. And because yes, I have gotten into plenty of trouble in my life. So this piece is a personal memory of mine from when I was about 10. We lived on a small lake, and one winter afternoon my brother and I were outside playing on the dock. I lied to him and said that I thought the ice was thick enough to walk on… and when he was leaning over to check with a toe, I pushed him off the dock and he plunged into the icy cold water! (It’s true!) Luckily, my mom was watching us from the window and came out immediately to save my brother and kick my hiney. (Since then I have reformed my evil ways. I swear.)


Technique Highlight:

The technique I used for this piece was a bit of a walk from my normal work (this is Creative Therapy after all right?!). I studied Picasso’s “Guernica” for inspiration because that piece is so strong and raw (understatement of the year) and has such great movement. I wanted to mimic Picasso’s simple drawing style (which is actually very difficult to get right) to suit this childhood memory. The medium was cut paper, oil, charcoal, and tape on paper.



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




Opal Says:

The first time I got into trouble, serious trouble, was in high school. I broke a rule…”You shall not be absent from school without…” And as I thought about that time, I knew I wanted to explore the ‘frayed’ edges between right and wrong, and good and bad. As we see in our children, the world is black and white. There are things that are true, and those that are not. There is good and bad. There is no in between or gray area. As our kids grow older, and their world view widens, they learn that the lines between good and bad become less distinct and defined, in fact, a bit frayed and sometimes unclear. Well, it was good to think this through, and know now, as I did many years ago, that what I did was clearly wrong, and I was knowingly breaking a rule. Skipping school to go surfing in no way fit into a gray area of that rule. Being in trouble meant that I lied, got caught, and was punished with more hours of detention than were left in the school year.


“Trouble” is composed of many torn strips of different off-white fabrics to represent the overlapping layers of good. Tied and braided into the white strips are bits of gray threads and frayed black and white fabrics and threads. All the edges are frayed and raveling. The bird is pieced from my scraps bin. All the stitching has been done by hand in very off-white thread.





Shelley Says:

I have only gotten in trouble a couple of times in my life and I can honestly say the key to coming out of it unscathed was….telling the truth! This is something I stress strongly with my children. No one is perfect, we are going to make mistakes….but ALWAYS tell the truth. If you don’t…it has a way of finding itself back to you…100 fold!




Karen Says:

I have always been the girl who follows the rules. Predictable and boring and never really did anything to get myself in trouble. Sometimes I wonder how it would have been if I weren’t but in the end I love the predictable, the safe, the reliable. Those are me.




Severine Says:

I do not get into trouble, or if I did, it was not terrible because I managed to get out without a trace or very small. For me life is beautiful, There are so many beautiful things to remember.





Lia Says:

After a month of working at my current job, my boss gave me the responsibility of compiling a report for the top management. I was of course, nervous but proud of the responsibility given to me. I went over the finished report over and over again, to make sure that all the information was accurate. When I was sure everything was compiled properly, I printed out copies and distributed them accordingly. The next day I had an urge to look over the report again, and imagine how horrified I was when I saw that one of the figures in the report was wrong! I didn’t know how that could happen, how I could have overlooked that despite my numerous checks the day before. I was so ashamed of my mistake. I dreaded disappointing my boss more than getting into trouble. But there was no avoiding it, I had to face up to my mistake and inform my boss about it.


With ice-cold hands and a thudding heart, I told my boss about what I discovered. Her response: “oh don’t worry about it! Just be careful next time.” I could have hugged her there and then! I escaped getting into trouble, and I knew then that Siew (my boss) would always have my back.





Iris Says:

When I was a child, I would always sneak outside our gate to be able to play with the kids on the village street. My parents were very strict and rarely allowed me to go outside without a guardian. Now that I am a mother, I understand how they felt. I try to be a little more relaxed with my 5 year old daughter but I guess it is always hard for a mother to watch her child go further than the gate of their home.





Kathryn Says:

I’ve always been the good girl. Really, that just means I was scared of getting into trouble; scared to take risks. Now, looking back, I regret that I didn’t get into trouble more! I don’t have those stories from high school about all the “stupid” things I did. I feel like I missed out on an important part of growing up.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Did you ever get into trouble?” 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.



A Schedule Change
May 4, 2010, 8:00 am
Filed under: other


In case you’re wondering, there wasn’t a catalyst posted last week. We’re making slight changes here and for the rest of 2010, we’ll be posting catalysts twice a month instead of every week. Just making sure we keep bringing you honest and our best art.


See you tomorrow with a new catalyst.