Prepare. Intent. Create. Transform. 2023 Creative Offering

As many of my creative friends & followers know, in 2008 I started an annual end-of-the-year creative practice where I would create an altered book or art journal identifying intentions I wanted to focus on, invite in, and give to others during the new year ahead.

Last year, I launched an updated ebook and virtual workshop & group opportunity to inspire and discover the hopes and aspirations of intention through this creative practice. It was fun and inspiring to gather together in this special way to artfully work on this process together. It is hard to believe another year and another book has transformed. It is that time of year I begin to do a final look at my year through the lens of my intentions.

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Shortly, though it will be time for this artful process to begin anew – Preparing, intending, creating, and transforming a fresh book, a new space and art for a new year ahead. Year 15 of this awesome creative practice.

For 2023, I am excited to offer the workshop again!

I hope you will join in if it interests you:

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  • 1 copy of my Prepare, Intent, Create, & Transform eBook. 10 full-color pages describing how to engage in this creative practice.
  • 3 live virtual eWorkshops focused on developing, making, and reflecting on your 2023 altered book & intentions. January 8, 15, & 22, 2023 7-9 pm EST
  • 4 additional quarterly, live virtual eWorkshops throughout the year to check in about our 2023 intentions & make art together for further exploration & insight. March 5, June 4, September 3, & December 3, 2023 7-9 pm EST
  • Recorded slide presentations of the eWorkshop content in case you cannot attend one of the events or want to save the information for your future reference.
  • Access to the eWorkshop’s private 2023 FB group to stay connected to Prepare, Intent, Create, & Transform participants and creative motivation all year long!

$74.99 USD

Purchase Link

or Scan the QR Code below:

Those who purchased my 2022 eBook or attended 2022 eWorkshops, are eligible for a $25 discount off this year’s package. Look for more information about this in the 2022 FB group and in email communication to past participants.

Please note: eBook purchases are automatically sent to the email used to make your purchase. Please check your junk/spam folder if you do not receive your eBook once your purchase has been fully completed. All sales final. Email gretchenmiller@cox.net with any questions.

THANK YOU!

Wishing you an artful 2023!!

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Make & Do 365

Happy 2017!   I hope your year has gotten off on a creative start!

I wanted to introduce the 365 project I decided to work on this year: Make&Do 365.  Right now I am using a journal I have had for awhile now, Things to Make and Do by Nikki McClure.  My intention is to work in it everyday through art journaling, altered art, doodling, and whatever other creative inspiration happens.

The journal is divided into several themes: plan, wish, dream, build, explore, learn, make, grow, give, and find. Great prompts to help guide me this year. Since January 1 I have been working on the pages dedicated to planning.  Seems super appropriate with the beginning of a new year ahead and thinking about & getting ready for what the next 12 months hold!  Enjoy!

Make & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motion

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New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain

When I was a senior in college (1994), I joined the American Art Therapy Association. As a member, one of my favorite benefits was receiving Art Therapy: The Journal of The American Art Therapy Association. As a young student getting to know this profession, reading the literature inside was always inspiring. I also really enjoyed seeing what art graced the cover. Often the very first thing I would do was open the issue and look for the masthead about the art and what art therapist created it.

So a few months ago, it was a huge surprise and honor to have the opportunity to contribute my own art for the last issue of 2015 (Volume 32, Number 4). In particular, an image from 2012 My Beautiful, Altered Brain series, which is super dear to my heart.

This week, I was able to see and hold this issue in actual print while mine is still in route- a copy I received from the current President of the Buckeye Art Therapy Association (thanks Molly!).

Wow! A very surreal moment on lots of different levels!

Volume 32, Number 4 (2015) | Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association
Volume 32, Number 4 (2015) | Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association

Artist Statement: My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain (2012) | A few years ago I came across the art and story of Elizabeth Jameson and was so very moved by her work, research, and interpretation of taking her own medical imaging and brain scans as a personal expression and inquiry to understanding and coping with her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, as well as help others with the disease and educate the medical community through her art. Jameson put a call out for people living with brain inflicted illnesses to “feel how ugly it is and how beautiful it is”, and this invitation, in addition to personal communication with Elizabeth inspired me to explore my own experience with the same disease. In 2012 I started to use my own MRI films & brain imaging collected over the last 13 years to create digital art, mixed media, and altered book art as a way to process, manage, and share this health related journey.

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I have been working on some new digital art, after having another MRI done this summer of my brain and spinal cord. While standing barefoot in my thin medical gown after my testing was over, I enthusiastically explained how I make art with my imaging, its purpose, showed some examples on my phone, and inquired about how to get these new images. The radiology staff was super helpful and eager to supply me with a CD on the way out of my appointment!

I was excited to start working on some new images and taking control of my illness again through this form of art making. So empowering and affirming to do in response to such an unpredictable and frustrating disease. I first converted my MRI imaging into JPGs.  Then I did some digital painting using ArtRage and photo editing with PicMonkey:

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

 

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

 

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

My experiences with this chronic illness in the last couple of years has taught me new lessons & gifts around patience, vulnerability, openness, and to respect/listen to my body’s voice. I’m also so thankful for the kind support I’ve received in response to this series and the loving presence and understanding that surrounds me everyday.  🙂

Trauma, Transformation & Growth

This past week here in NE Ohio at Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus’ Gallery was the Exhibit Opening for The Transformative Image: Post Traumatic Growth & Art Therapy.

This exhibit featured a strong range of creative expressions (paintings, installations, drawing, textiles, ceramics, mixed media, photography & more) inspired by personal experiences and the concept of Post Traumatic Growth (PTG).  PTG filled the gallery everywhere with images & artistic representations that transformed extreme struggle, adversity, or trauma into positive, internal growth deep with re-connection to purpose, attachment, and empowerment:

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion
Exhibit Opening: The Transformative Image- Post Traumatic Growth & Art Therapy

 

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion
Butterfly Art Installation for adding hopes, dreams, & wishes

 

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion
My Own Beautiful, Altered Brain

Here are a few interesting reads to check out & learn more about PTG:

  • Resilience and Post Traumatic Growth: Learn some creative tips via Lani Gerity’s blog on how to cultivate and practice resilience in when faced with stressful life circumstances.

If you’re going to be/in the NE Ohio area, The Transformative Image: Post Traumatic Growth & Art Therapy Exhibit is on display until March 6 at the Tri-C East Campus Gallery:

Trauma, Transformation, & Growth | creativity in motion

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Related Posts:

Journey to Resilience: Takeaways & Creative Offerings

The Art of Emotional Resilience

Everyday Courage: Artist Challenge Coins

twentyfourteen revo’lution lookback

twentytwelve revo'lution review | creativity in motion
The end of year calls for an annual revo’lution reflection!  ‘Tis the season!

The 6 intentions I choose for 2014 were grace, tranquility, mercy, blithe, soul, and openness… and with the help of the revo’lution altered book I created at the beginning of this year and inspirations from my revo’lution making Pinterest board, here’s a lil’ twentyfourteen lookback:

“To accept grace is to accept the vow to give it…”  ~Max Lucado

Grace | creativity in motion
i believe in grace & choice

Finding calmness in creativity….

Tranquility | creativity in motion
Tranquility and Creativity

“Let our hearts be led by mercy….”

Mercy | creativity in motion
Mercy FTW

“Openness is a virtue, and this virtue will set you free.” ~ A Flourishing Life

Blithe | creativity in motion
Fresh Air

“Whatever is good for your soul… Do that.”

Soul | creativity in motion
reclamation

“Carry a sense of openness and wholeness within you.” ~Barbara Ann Kipfer

Openness | creativity in motion
Open <3’d

I continue to find this creative ritual so very valuable… and year #6 is no different…  I treasure what each intention has taught me & inspired throughout 2014 with life affirming lessons in hope, renewal, choice, and acceptance.

What were some of your 2014 intentions and how did they inspire your year?

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Related Posts:

Prepare > Intent > Create > Transform: ready for revo’lution [2014]

2014 Creative Planning

Creative Chain Reaction

Hot Chocolate Savoring & Creative Pausing

As fall gives way to winter and the year begins to finish out its final month, I find myself wanting to slow down while I adjust to colder weather, holiday anticipation, thinking ahead to planning for 2015, and reflecting on the adventures of 2014.

Here are a few things from this past week helping me take time out for some pausing….

I’ve embarked on a hot chocolate challenge 🙂 :

Hot Chocolate Savoring & Creative Pausing | creativity in motion
Fear’s Confections Hot Chocolate

My friend Lori and I have decided to enjoy this list of Top 10 Hot Chocolates in Cleveland by attempting to try each one throughout the winter.  It’s a great reason to get together, warm up from the cold, and savor some chocolate. Win, win, win! Our first stop on this hot chocolate tour was Fear’s Confections. I recommend splurging for the gourmet homemade cinnamon marshmallow to accompany the drink- Yum!

I also started prepping the children’s board book I’ve chosen for creating a new revo’lution altered book, one of the creative rituals I enjoy taking time to reflect on as the New Year approaches…  2015 will be year/book #7 in the series…. Yay!  If you’re in the NE Ohio area, I’ll be hosting a cozy Ready for Revo’lution art-making gathering (with hot chocolate available!) on January 7 that you can check out here.

Hot Chocolate Savoring & Creative Pausing | creativity in motion
Beginning a new revo’lution

Things are also winding down with this year’s 365 project, as my 3×5 art journey moves forward into its last month.  Incredible that 11 months and have already gone by, with only one more to go…. It’s an ongoing reminder time and time again to slow down in each creative moment.

Hot Chocolate Savoring & Creative Pausing | creativity in motion
3×5 art filing (2014 365)

Hot Chocolate Savoring & Creative Pausing | creativity in motion
Day 331

Here’s also a few blog posts to help embrace your pausing spirit & manage this time of year:

14 Tidbits to Stir in your Coffee (or Tea) when the Sloth Visits | Rebelle Society

Go Out and Have a Free Adventure: #104 of 1,000 Ways to have a Happy Artist’s Life | Lani Puppetmaker’s Blogspot

Be Still. Distill. | A Big Creative Yes

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Related Posts:

Prepare > Intent > Create > Transform: ready for revo’lution [2014]

In the Presence of Now: Creating One 3×5 At a Time

Ringing in the New Year with Revolution Art Making

Values, Virtues & Vision: Creative Exploration into Covenant Caregiving Continues

I’ve slowly been working on the altered book I started for exploring the theme of covenant based care giving.  Here are some work in progress photos:

Values, Virtues & Vision: Creative Exploration into Covenant Caregiving Continues | creativity in motion

Values, Virtues & Vision: Creative Exploration into Covenant Caregiving Continues | creativity in motion

Values, Virtues & Vision: Creative Exploration into Covenant Caregiving Continues | creativity in motion

Values, Virtues & Vision: Creative Exploration into Covenant Caregiving Continues | creativity in motion

Values, Virtues & Vision: Creative Exploration into Covenant Caregiving Continues | creativity in motion

I’ve been using a lot of acrylic paint on the raw surface of the chipboard page that I’ve stripped of its glossy coating and its former life of a children’s board book. Over the dried acrylic paint I’ve also been using some white colored pencil.  It’s been a super liberating process.

Each of these beginning pages are forming a visual pledge connected to my professional and creative work… to instill, engage with, and honor.

Live creatively.

Continue the journey.

Believe in art.

Be resilient.

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Related Posts:

Journey to Resilience: Takeaways & Creative Offerings

Exploring Covenant Based Caregiving with a Creative Twist

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Vulnerability

 

 

 

The Art of Emotional Resilience

 Last week I had some art therapy fun while visiting Wisconsin again.  My first stop was a return to Edgewood College in Madison to spend some creative time with Janice Havlena and her students (ECATS- Edgewood College Art Therapy Students). Since my last visit to Edgewood’s campus in 2011, the art therapy department is now part of a brand new building (The Stream!), which includes an amazing papermaking and mixed media studio inside and a beautiful view of Lake Wingra outside.

edgewoodbuilding

During this visit, I facilitated an art-making workshop with the ECATS focused on making a mini book of strengths.  Janice had a great stash of abandoned art slides, which we re-purposed into an accordion style book. The plastic slide mount surface was also perfect to introduce the joy of playing with alcohol inks!  🙂

edgewood1

edgewood2

If you want to learn more about how to create your own accordion slide mount book, check out this past post.

slidebook4

Identifying a variety of strengths were explored on the altered “pages” of the slide mounts , inspired by these Signature Strengths.  Remembering and activating our strengths can be a helpful way to empower us in times of challenge and distress.

It was awesome to witness the student’s books take form with these positive reminders.  Many thanks to Janice and all the students for hanging out and making art together!

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After my visit at Edgewood College, I headed to Milwaukee to attend this year’s Spring Art Therapy Symposium, The Image Has It: Art, Practice, and the Brain at Mount Mary University, also sponsored by the Wisconsin Art Therapy Association.  The Symposium’s keynote featured Lukasz Konopka, MD & Chris Belkofer PhD, ATR-BC who spoke about their neuroscience research and its implications for art therapy.

I also attended a variety of other inspiring art therapy presentations from Noel L’Esperance, Lori Mackey, Lynn Kapitan, and Bruce Moon…

mmusymposium

I was excited to be able to offer a workshop introducing trauma-informed themes, prompts, and the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for nurturing and strengthening emotional resilience.  We made mini-art journals (also an accordion book style!) to safely contain inside a matchbox to explore the importance of social support and community:

SafePassageArtJournal

groupSafePassage

If you want to create your own mini matchbox art journal, here’s a simple how to PDF that you can download and print out:

artjournalmatchox

I really had a nice time while in Wisconsin on these art therapy adventures!  I’ve returned with new inspiration and energy, which is always a great win-win!

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More Inspiration & Resources!

On Resilience, Strengths and Gratitude [Art Journal Pages]

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

Happy Artist’s Life Art Journaling and More Creative Goodness

Prepare > Intent > Create > Transform: ready for revo’lution [2014]

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion
ready for revo’lution 2014
 

[prepare…intent…create…transform]

I’ve spent the first few days of January working on the pages of my 2014 revo’lution book, transformed & altered from a small children’s board book.

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion

My 2014 intentions for this year are Grace, Tranquility, Mercy, Blithe, Soul, and Openness:

[Inward grace calls me here….]

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion
Grace
 

[That tranquility you call peace… lives in my heart]

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion
Tranquility
 

[Your mercies are new + begin again everyday…]

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion
Mercy
 

[Boundless + Free…]

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion
Blithe
 

[Listen to + trust the voice of your own soul…]

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion
Soul
 

[Abundance everyday…]

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion
Openness

Revo’lution making for the past 6 years has taught me how important intentions are for new beginnings, change, growth, challenge, and transformation.

ready for revo'lution [2014] | creativity in motion

I want to share another annual revo’lution making tradition that always inspires me–this year Lani created a Create Happiness Revo’lution and transformed her board book pages into a downloadable PDF that you can find here. I am also excited to read that AJ who was an active participant in my 2011 21 SECRETS revo’lution workshop continues to engage in this creative practice and will be working on her revo’lution book throughout this year. Having just finished my 365 revo’lution and taking time throughout the year to focus on this intention manifesting process, I love that AJ will be spreading out her 2014 revo’lution love this way!

If you’re interested in creating your own revo’lution, check out my ready to revo’lution e-book or consider joining in on this year’s 6 Degrees of Creativity where I’ll be offering an art journaling workshop dedicated to revo’lution making (includes the e-book!) as one of 6 online workshops dedicated to concepts of connecting, collaboration, art-making, and creativity into an engaged community of artists exploring transformation and using art for good. Registration goes on sale in a couple of weeks (stay tuned!) and will be open until July 31.

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Related Posts:

Heart Space: 365 Days of revo’lution making

A Simple Reflection on 5 Years of Revo’lution Making

Handmade Revolution Making Continues @ 21 SECRETS Art Journaling Workshop

In Words & Images: Self Expression and Healing

This past Friday & Saturday, I attended Ohio’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association Annual Symposium, Self Expression and Healing. Since I’ve returned home, I continue to work on art that I started over these two days:

DreamChest
Sacred Chest of Dreams

One is a small wooden chest that was given to our group after the paper, Grace, Creativity and Breakthrough: Saint Hildegard of Bingen, presented by Ursuline College’s Master of Art Therapy Program Founder Sister Kathleen Burke Ph.D, OSU, as a takeaway art-making experience to celebrate awakening moments, our creative gifts, and honor our dreams. I painted and stained my treasure chest with lots of green: a color symbolizing life, growth, and vitality that St. Hildegard defined with the word viriditas. Inside the chest I added tissue paper with a variety of gems, seaglass, and some of my previously created fragments.  We were prompted to write down/about our own dreams and awakenings to also include inside this special chest.

Another art-making experience from the Symposium I am continuing to work on is inspired by Art Therapist and Author Dr. Harriet Wadeson‘s keynote. Dr. Wadeson’s keynote address and workshop focused on using creative self-expression in the face of illness.  Her own personal experience and journey with cancer and described in her book  Journaling Cancer in Words and Images: Caught in the Clutch of the Crab, was the foundation for what she presented over the Symposium’s two days.  It was very powerful to see and learn more about the altered book pages and emotional expression Dr. Wadeson created in response to and cope with her cancer.

During Dr. Wadeson’s workshop, we were prompted to reflect on illness or a major crisis/time in our life and how this experience impacted or perhaps changed our sense of who we are.  The suggested prompt was to create a “before” and “after” self image to represent this reflection.

NewSenseOfSelf
From my Smashbook

As I worked in my smashbook in response to this art directive, I was humbled by the power of art (again) to help sustain us through difficult and challenging times.  The making of altered books or working within a journal has been a particularly safe space for me to do this, using both written words and images, to provide a container for those emotions, thoughts, and moments hard to put into verbal language.

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“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe

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Related Posts:

My Beautiful, Altered Brain: Altered Book

MRI Digital Art for My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain

My Beautiful, but Altered Brain