creative Therapy

Catalyst One Hundred and Thirty-Two
June 15, 2011, 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 thirty-two:


What’s one lesson you would give a married couple? Or if you’re not married, what’s an advice someone gave you?


We’re thrilled to have Suzy Plantamura as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Suzy:


Suzy Plantamura is a scrapbooking and photography addict. She has been on the Creating Keepsakes Dream Team for the past three years which gives her the opportunity to complete lots of challenging assignments, write some articles, and do video tutorials. She also designs for American Crafts and MAMBI. She loves to take photos of her two girls who are 9 and 11 and her cockapoo puppy. Suzy lives close to the beach and spends much of her free time hanging out there with the kids. Her blog is titled LIVING MY DREAM as she is truly living her dream by being a full time mommy and a part time scrapper!


Make sure to check out Suzy’s blog.




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




Journaling Reads:

“Love” is a DECISION. A marriage counselor told me this while I was married to Thane’s dad and I didn’t believe him. I figured if I was no longer feeling it, the relationship was over – that you couldn’t make yourself love someone. But after two divorces and thirteen years of marriage to Tom, I have learned a few things about the feeling of love! All marriages are going to have happy times and hard times. All men will disappoint you at some point. No one is perfect. And love may ebb and flow. If you are truly committed to your relationship, you will learn to love “the one you’re with”. Because loving someone with all their imperfections in an unconditional way IS a decision.! You have to be 100% committed. You have to embrace and appreciate your differences. You have to work on improving yourself, not your partner. You have to realize love is not a fairy tale and no man is going to be your perfect prince charming. If you are in love at one time, you can usually feel that emotion again if you allow yourself. But you have to decide to and focus on the good in the other – the things you fell in love with. If you want to have one of those wonderful relationships you believe exist in your heart, it takes work. And when you give your heart and let disappointments go and love your spouse for who they are, you will find the “true love” you are looking or. It starts within YOU! And it can last a life time and beyond. Make the decision to love!.


Suzy Says:

I wanted to document the things I have learned about love over the past 30 years! As a teenager, I believed that I would meet the perfect man, know he was my soul mate and we would live happily ever after! I had NO idea that relationships were hard and that I would get hurt and disappointed. I ended up going through two divorces by the age of 30! But I turned my mistakes into wisdom and knowledge and vowed I would learn how to have a successful relationship. And I do. Because I have changed. Not because I found the perfect person (although he is pretty close)!!!


Technique Highlight:

For my title I wanted the word LOVE to really stand out. I used the biggest chipboard letters I have and outlined them with baker’s twine. I layered paper and stickers along the top and bottom of the layout and stitched some in place to “frame” the page.I used a piece of patterned paper that resembled notebook paper and used a Fiskars border punch along the edge so it appeared to be torn from a notebook. I wanted the journaling to be the focus of the layout, so I kept the photos small.



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




Amy Says:

Make time. Be careful.





Carole Says:

The most important thing I can pass onto my daughter and son would be to trust your future partner, and to love and respect them, for me this is something that is so important to Mike and I in our marriage together, 24 years in October.





Fran Says:

My husband and I have been happily married for 19 years this month. We attribute it to having a true partnership based on friendship and respect. The most important and smartest thing I ever did was to marry my best friend. There is no one in the world I”d rather tell news to, talk to, sit quietly with, and share life experiences with. We encourage each other to reach for our dreams and to be the best we can be.





Julie Says:

My sweet husband and I have been together since 1996 when we met in college. Fourteen years together and I think our relationship is stronger than it has ever been. Someone once told me: Be kinder than you feel. And it has really worked for us!


Like any two people we have bad days that follow us home. But being kind and being met with kindness ensures that no bad mood lingers. And even a simple trip to the grocery store can be made sweeter with kindess. For instance, John always carries the heavy grocery bags home and allows me to simply stroll beside him. Or I know that he hates cleaning up after he cooks, so I’ll offer to wash the dishes, even though it’s certainly not my favorite thing either. And in the end, we usually end up doing them together!


Every time your partner meets you with kindness, you remember exactly why you fell in love with that person in the first place! It’s so nice to know that someone cares enough about you to take the time to be kind. So that’s my message in a nutshell: be kind.





Karen Says:

Many people I’ve met over the years have given me relationship and marriage advice but I think it too often depends on the dynamics of each couple. The one thing I’ve learned from my personal experience is that it’s never about 50/50. Sometimes one person needs more help or attention and sometimes it’s the other. you go with the flow and always give 100% without keeping score. If each of you do that, it’s a good path for happiness.





Opal Says:

My advice would be to “Bloom where(ever) you are planted” – a quote made famous by Mary Engelbreit. As I shared with others my response to this catalyst, I was amazed at the different interpretations of that quote. And so I leave it open to you …and let my artwork speak for itself. My piece is a tiny quilt, stripped pieced around the unfolding petals of a flower…tendrils of gold loops and swirls twist and turn upwards as the flower is connected, yet free to bloom in its space.





Wendela Says:

Listen to each other, and you become closer at heart …



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s one lesson you would give a married couple? Or if you’re not married, what’s an advice someone gave 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 month, enjoy each and every moment.




6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Love this topic and the advice given especially that love is a decision. I, too, learned that after two divorces that you make the decision and stick with it through the ups and downs. Thanks for this great catalyst!

Comment by Lynda

Great Catalyst! I am blessed to have married my best friend as well…and with parents who have divorced multiple times, we made decisions very early on to work through any differences. Thats not easy when life changes, My husband came back from a tour in Iraq as a different man…that along with a newborn baby gave us a lot of struggles, but we loved each other through it (by choice) and we’ve learned to change together!

Sorry I’m so windy on this subject…something I’m very passionate about I guess. I am hoping to get to play along this month!!!

Comment by misty

Great suggestions all. Julie’s really speaks to me. I am saddened that I had never thought about it in that way at the time.Yes, Be Kinder Than You Feel.
I would give just about anything for the opportunity for me to replay that part of our very long term marriage. My heart will always ache for not seeing / understanding the wisdom inherent in those words .

Comment by KraftyKarol

Wonderful prompt with many thoughtful and thought provoking comments.

Comment by Johnina Young

LOVED reading all the journaling!! Suzy’s really spoke to me! Thank for sharing!

Comment by Nathalie

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