creative Therapy

Giveaway Recipients!
July 28, 2010, 8:47 pm
Filed under: other


Thank you so much for all the comments you left on our giveaway.


Our two recipients are:


I love Sakura pens! They are simply the BEST … but I don’t have these particular sets … oh I would love to win them!

Comment by Melanie K.




I love their pens. THey really do work better than any other gel pen I”ve ever tried!

Comment by Jenifer L Higgins


I will contact you with further details. And once again a big thank you to all of you who visit us regularly and to Sakura of America for their generosity.

Catalyst One Hundred and Sixteen
July 21, 2010, 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 one hundred and sixteen:


What’s one present you’ve always wanted?


We’re thrilled to have Tracie Huskamp as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Tracie:


I am proud to say that I live a life I always dreamed of, filled with passion and purpose. I have over seven years experience working as a Product Designer/Illustrator creating mass-market products. A number of my designs sold in retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s Hardware, and Walgreen Drugs, and they were featured on the television show Extreme Home Makeover.


In 2007, I left my corporate designer position to focus full-time on my own art. My passion for mixed-media, painting, and nature fuels the fires of my creative spirit and continues to lead me on a wondrous journey. I have experienced incredible opportunities to share my love of art and nature by teaching workshops at some of the most prestigious national and international retreats/conferences and with the release of my new book, Nature Inspired (Quarry 2009).


My mixed-media work has received national recognition. I have appeared on in an Associated Press Interview, on the cover of Somerset Studio Magazine, along with feature articles in Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine, Stampington & Company’s Artful Blogging Magazine, Art Quilting Studio, and Quilting Arts GiftsSpecial Publications. I have contributed to a number of artist’s books, such as 1000 Artist Journal Pages by Dawn Sokol, True Vision by L.K. Ludwig, The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam, Creative Wildfire by L.K. Ludwig, 1000 Artisan Textile by Sandra Salamony, and Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim. And I am actively pursuing my dream of licensing artworks, starting with the debut of a new cotton quilting fabric line with Windham Fabrics in fall 2010, and more soon-to-be-announced licensing news.


Make sure to check out Tracie’s blog.




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




Tracie Says:

Sometimes the one thing the heart most wants, or that special dream you long for, doesn’t fit into a box which can be wrapped in pretty paper and tied with ribbon. Instead the ideal present is a place or experience you seek, precious moments tucked away forever, and readily available to make you smile when remembered.


Since early childhood, I have been in love with Britain. Everything about this country from it’s fairy tale weddings, and a princess finding her prince, royal palaces, the pomp and circumstance formalities, and the rambling natural beauty of the landscape, captured my imagination. Often times, I would daydream of being in the English countryside, seeing myself sipping tea, and eating cakes in a picturesque garden overflowing with flowers and birds, outside a quaint little cottage.


In 2009, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit London and Birmingham, as I was invited to teach at the Festival of Quilts. My day spent touring the royal gardens and walking the winding path to Buckingham palace was heaven. All of those years of daydreaming rolled into that perfect reality.


My artwork is a remembrance of this day, and how I felt, finally receiving that present I longed for all these years.


The poetic prose I wrote to describe my feelings goes like this….

“Oh heavenly garden


in the sunlight. Bejeweled

and dazzling like a precious

gem, all glittered and

shiny with colors of the

rainbow to entertain.


Each flora and fauna.

dancing in the breezes.

of these hot summer days, .

swaying to the rhythms of.

the wind.


You beguiled

us with your chorus.”


Technique Highlight:

The technique used to create this piece is one I developed and wrote about in my new book, Nature Inspired. You start with a piece of muslin fabric (300 thread count) and a copy right free photograph. Trace the image on the muslin fabric via a light box or lighted window.


Once you have the outline of your subject you can use acrylic paints to bring this drawing to life. Nature can be very complicated when it comes to capturing all the colors in a particular subject, so I like to simplify the object into four or five main colors. I use these main colors to paint the entire object, then once the paint is dry, fill in with additional colors to help make the piece look three dimensional.


I invite your to check out Nature Inspired, pages 32 to 47 for more detail instructions.



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




Shelley Says:

My wish has always been more of an event than a physical present. I am such a romantic and have always loved those scenes in movies where the man is at the airport, with flowers in hand, waiting for the woman he loves. He has missed her so much that when he sees her he runs to her and picks her up and twirls her around while he is kissing and hugging her. Just two people totally in love oblivious to others! Sappy….I know but that is my dream gift. To have someone…waiting for me..ready to sweep me off of my feet and love me.





Dina Says:

You know, I was pretty lucky in childhood that I had everything I needed and most of what I wanted. I couldn’t think of one specific thing that I have always wanted–I’m pretty easy to please, I guess. My journal page is about how I loved dolls as a kid, and my parents gave me many wonderful dolls over the years.




Karen Says:

I am fortunate enough to have all the belongings I desire in life. The one and only thing I always crave is being loved. The biggest present I ever got was and is the love of my husband, my kids, my family, and friends. It’s the best present I could ever have.




Lia Says:

The one gift that I’d like to have right now, more than anything in the world is ‘freedom’. I feel overwhelmed with my day-to-day responsibilities, all that comes with being an ‘adult’. I just want to be free. To pursue my dreams, to not have to decide which to sacrifice. I want to be free to be all that I can be, to do all that I can do.





Anna Says:

The gift I’ve always wanted … I think for me it is just someone who is there for you, always, someone who cheers you me in the saddest moments of mylife, someone who gives me love and support. My husband. The one and only. Wonderful man – the best gift in my life 🙂





Karola Says:

The only one present that I always wanted to get is eternal health. I always had health problems, and for several years struggling with asthma. Uncertainty whether we will survive his life in good health is difficult to accept. This time I made acrylic tag with the wishes of health for my friend.





Severine Says:

I love Books, really really love books and if you want to make me smile, you can give me a book. It’s the present that i’ve always wanted and that make me always happy.





Rachel Says:

Club 33 is a private club located in the heart of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland. Officially maintained as a secret feature of the theme park, the entrance of the club is located next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant at “33 Royal Street” with the entrance recognizable by an ornate address plate with the number 33 engraved on it. (from Wikepedia)


Like any true Disneyland fan, I have always wanted to be a member, or at least a guest to Club 33. Drew and I were fortunate enough to get to see the bottom hostess area where you go to check in if you are lucky enough to get to dine there. It holds true Disney beauty and history and I hope to someday at least get the chance to dine there. It would make a perfect gift for not only me, but Drew as well.





Wendela Says:

KIDS for sure!! And I’m so very blessed with 3 boys and 1 beautiful girl!! On the picture you can see my 2 youngest boys …5 years ago..I think the my little baby was maybe 3 days old….so sweet…


Wendela Says:

First I smeared a bit crackle paint on the edges of the photo, and when it’s dried…I stamped with gesso on it!!





Larissa Says:

As I live for traveling, I would love a surprise trip.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s one present you’ve always wanted?” 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.



Giveaway Time!
July 15, 2010, 10:02 am
Filed under: other

Our very generous donor Sakura of America is giving away not one but TWO prizes to creative therapy readers.


You can win these amazing set of metallic pens:



And these beautiful moonlight pens. (they glow in the dark!)



All you have to do is leave us a comment here and we will pick TWO winners. I apologize for the inconvenience but this particular giveaway is open to only United States and Canada residents. We will pick the recipients on July 28.


Thank you so much to Sakura of America and if you’ve never visited their site, you really should, they make the most amazing pens.

Catalyst One Hundred and Fifteen
July 7, 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.


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


What was the saddest moment of your life?


We’re thrilled to have Mary Beth Shaw as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Mary Beth:


Mary Beth Shaw is a Mixed Media artist who teaches workshops nationally and exhibits at Fine Art Fairs and galleries in the greater Midwest. She has recently become a partner in a retail operation/workshop space, Wood Icing at Chesterfield Mall. She is in the final stages of her upcoming book for North Light Publishing, Flavor for Mixed Media, which will be released early in 2011. She and her husband moved from San Francisco, CA back to Wildwood, MO to live near family and they enjoy being active participants in the lives of their two grandsons. They share their home with two cats, or perhaps its the other way around.



Make sure to check out Mary Beth’s blog.




Here is Mary Beth’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.




Mary Beth Says:

The saddest moment of my life was April 24, 1991. With my usual sick humor, I tell myself its good I got it out of the way early cause now I’ve been through the worst that life has to offer. Although I have written about this moment many times, oddly, I have never made any art using it as inspiration. To say that I struggled with this piece is a mild understatement. It was extremely difficult, more than I might have expected as I just could not find a way to visually depict my thoughts. I actually ended up making several pieces before making one that felt right. The piece shown is Plexiglass with alcohol ink and foil. The transparent nature of this piece is symbolic for me because in the days following the saddest moment, I felt like I was walking around with my skin turned inside out. I was convinced that people could see right thru me. The phrase ‘state of grace’ is also pertinent because I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me because my kid died. Having him was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me and I cherish the year and a half he was part of my life. So please, don’t let this make you sad, ok? As I see it, the lesson here is to love absolutely every single moment of life. Nathan taught me that.



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




Opal Says:

It has been two years since my mom passed away, and still, that one moment when I said good-bye to her, holding her hand, and kissing her cheek, feeling the warmth of her skin, will forever be the saddest moment of my life.


I wanted my piece to reflect the sorrow of that moment. Yet, even in the profound darkness of death, there are unexpected wisps of light. The heart started out as a nest, and moving the bits and pieces around, I saw a heart, incomplete and seemingly growing out of the foundation.





Shelley Says:

The saddest moment of my life was the first holiday I spent without my children. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would be divorced and alone with three small children. Holidays are always time for family and this was the first time I had ever felt truly alone and incomplete without my children. My heart was broken! I remember keeping it together as they left the house and drove off but shortly after I completely lost it and sat on the stairs and cried for a very long time. That was 15 years ago and it has not gotten easier but I have my little cry and then tuck it away and look forward to their return.




Karen Says:

I thought about this one for a long long time. I know I’ve written about this before but (besides the deaths in my family) the saddest moment in my life was when I walked away from my commitment to Teach For America. I really believe in following my commitments to the end and quitting this one was the hardest, saddest thing I ever did. It’s something I still think of all the time and feel bad about, despite knowing it was the right thing to do. Quitting is not what I do.




Lia Says:

I lost my mum in 2004. She had been hospitalised for 6 weeks and on the night she left us, she kept asking to ‘go home’. I remember all of us – my dad, brother, sister and I – huddled around her, and my dad had his arm around my mum telling her ‘yes, Daddy’s bringing you home’. The signs were there the entire day, but I just refused to believe that she was leaving us. When she finally did, she was surrounded by those who loved her. Family friends, relatives, even my school friends. To this day, it’s difficult to think of that night without crying and feeling like my heart’s getting broken all over again. Although I know God loves her more, and that she was released from her earthly pains, I don’t want to remember my mum from that night. I can’t accept that we had to let her go.





Katie Says:

My husband’s little brother Ian was killed by a drunk driver during the Summer of 2008. It’s not been 2 years yet. He was only 19. I met him when he was 8.


Coincidentally, my own brother also died at age 19. How could that day have not been the saddest day of my life, you ask? Time has soothed the pain. Also once I got through the shock of losing my brother, I felt comforted with the feeling that “it was his time”. I had a feeling that the Lord called him home. Ben had blossomed and taught his lessons here on Earth. My brother Ben died of natural causes.


That is a much different type of ending then losing my brother-in-law Ian to a drunk driver. I don’t believe that it was his time yet. I don’t believe that he was supposed to leave us yet. Ian was just beginning. He never even got a chance. I’ll never ever forget that phone call, I’ll never forget the news reports, I’ll never forget the Memorial Service or the Funeral. I’ll never forget the plastic bag from the Coroner’s office with Ian’s belt buckle in it saying that they cleaned it the best they could. I’ll never forget picking my husband up at the airport, home mid-deployment to bury his baby brother. All are as sad as the last.


I hope to never have a sadder moment in my life, never. I’m not sure that my heart could handle anymore.





Karola Says:

Saddest moment in my life was when I was pregnant and my doctor told me that I have a serious infection of toxoplasmosis and that the pregnancy was high risk. Despair, rage, grief, depression – I remember these feelings very well! However, it soon was treated, the risk has not changed, but we had a big hope that we found the strength to survive this difficult and very sad time. Finally, I gave birth to a fully healthy daughter – and then we started to believe in miracles and the power of love. My layout is not sad, gloomy, because these difficult emotions were also associated with a great love for the child, for whom we waited so much and with great hope that all would end happily.


Technique Highlight:

I’ve made this layout without photos, but I put on it the result of my toxoplasmosis and I don’t want to destroy the precious document, so I put it in the pocket made from transparencies, at any time can remove it, or add something else.





Severine Says:

For me the saddest moments in my life were when i listen by phone that two persons that I love were died. It’s a bad remember because the die of course but also because it’s the end, the end of a part of my life, the end of a life, the end of goods moments with these persons, the end of enough things and the beginning of missing, the beginning of sorrow and because one day life is taking is course.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What was the saddest moment of your life?” 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.