Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring

After some time away from working in my self-care art journal, I’ve worked on a couple of new pages:

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion
Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Art Journal

As mentioned in my last post, I was inspired by Cherie Spehar‘s reminder at this year’s National Institute for Trauma in Loss in Children’s Assembly about anchoring– and its role in journaling & trauma informed practice. In Cherie’s workshop, she mindfully highlighted that the process of journaling in connection to inner thoughts, strong emotions, intense memories, and painful experiences can trigger overwhelming responses for trauma survivors.  Part of proceeding with emotional caution includes anchoring, which involves creating a mini safety plan (before starting to journal) about what the client can do or go to, to help re-establish safety and ground themselves to the here and now if needed.

This resource (Reconnecting to the Present-Anchoring PDF) provides a really good overview about the process, benefits, and tips about anchoring from SASC. Another great reference is Babette Rothschild’s “applying the brakes” content in relationship to trauma intervention.

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring | creativity in motion

One anchoring consideration is to re-connect to a positive past image.  A sensory based symbol (a smell, sound, taste, feeling, something you see) can be chosen for recall when feeling out of control and overwhelmed. This can help re-establish a sense of safety and well-being in the present.

For this art journal, I created an Anchoring Artist Trading Card that helps ground and re-connect me to the here and now.  The sensation, feeling, and reflection of light often does this me.

You could also create a Portable Safe Place Artist Trading Card as another form of your personal anchor!

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Mind Mapping | creativity in motion
Some self care mind mapping

I also did some mind mapping for my art journal in the form of a tri-fold to help expand on my self care plan and anchoring related to my professional self. I identified 4 important areas in honoring my own self care: Safety, Creativity, Support, and Well-being.

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion
Tri fold notes to myself

This was an easy and fun way to create a visual self care plan!

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion
Self-care plan made visible

Prompt: What would your personal anchor and self-care mind map look like?


Related Posts:

I Care for Me: Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation


5 months,151 days: my 365 revol’ution project

I’m honoring today’s creative milestone of five months | 151 days of revo’lution art making for my 365 project with these images and reflections:

May 2013 |  revo'lution artmaking
150 days of revo’lution making

To keep creating this tiny art everyday is an important blessing.

Days 121-132 | 365 revo'lution making

During this month my six intentions: service, simplicity, stillness, trust, honor, and light became stronger on a deeper level of awareness, as well as in the act of giving & receiving… I am grateful for this new layer of connection, energy, vulnerability, and teaching.

Days 133-144 | 365 revo'lution

I also believe sharing and releasing these intentions and images strengthens their essence and meaning.

Days 145-150 | my 365 revo'lution

I continue to be so very thankful and humbled for what I am learning and discovering from these little pieces, as well as from this process of daily creating.

Day 151 | my 365 revo'lution
Breathing in Day 151 of my 365 revo’lution

I can’t believe this project will be heading towards the half way mark soon- wow!

You can check out past posts and see how this project has grown here:

31 Days

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

This past week-end I was inspired by Susanna (thank you!) to finally put the brown paper wine size bag she gifted me to good use for a new art journaling project. I wanted to discover how re-purposing this type of bag for creating an art journal would be different from the common paper bag technique I usually use.

Brown Paper Wine Bag Journal

Susanna graciously sent one paper bag already gessoed…which made starting this mini art journal even easier. (step 1 done!) I gathered some handmade paper, a bone folder, some twine, my SMASH cutter & scissors, as well as a paper punch to put it together.

Brown Paper Wine Bag Journal Opened

With the paper bag flat on the table, I folded an insert of the handmade pages to place in the center. Then I folded the sides of the bag towards the middle and over top one another, which created the book’s cover.  The open edges of the bag (on the right side I used my SMASH cutter to open the bottom of the bag) create cool pockets for discreetly stashing stuff in.

Brown Paper Wine Bag Journal Front

I used a paper punch and twine to bind the pages and book together. To start, my paper insert has enough pages for 5 spreads, but lots of room to add more. The concept of this art journal is dedicated to my self-care, especially in relationship to my trauma work as an art therapist.

This miniature book will provide a safe space to explore important considerations to keep myself grounded and refreshed in my work through intention, mindfulness, gratitude, positive affirmation, and of course: creative practice.

Gratitude: Self Care Journal Page
Trauma Stewardship- Page 223: Finding Balance | Gratitude

It was very cool to see this week’s 14 Secrets Challenge focused on gratitude, which was on my brain for a spread in this journal. Check out Lani’s post for lots of “focus-shifting for our peace of mind” encouragement and helpful prompts. Practicing gratitude is definitely part of my self-care to help me keep centered.

After reading Lani’s post I quickly cracked open Laura van Dernoot Lipsky‘s book Trauma Stewardship, headed for the index to look up gratitude and promptly flipped to page 223 to re-read Laura’s reflections about how this practice is an important part of creating balance in our life and work.  I included a copy of page 223’s text in my art journal and then created this image:

Gratitude Journal Page 2
I am grateful for painfully beautiful things (in people, moments, choices, changes) that help us all discover what truly matters

I started with an “I AM” SMASH cookie note to visually inspire me to think about what I am grateful for, especially in context to this quote from page 223 about the pain that exists in this world: “Remind yourself that while the suffering may seem endless, so is what we have to be grateful for…“. Struggles can become reframed with intention to discover moments of thankfulness within the experience and help us grow.

My response to this quote and the image I created above was to be grateful for the painfully beautiful things (in people, moments, choices, changes) that help us all discover what truly matters. I am also grateful for co-workers, friends, significant others, & family in my life that help support me in discovering this, as well as the women and children I work with.


I enjoyed using this kind of paper bag to begin this new art journal- especially with the inclusion of pages and how the bag serves as a comforting cover wrapping around them. I’ll continue to add to this self care art journal, its pages, and cover with additional content and inspiration to keep sharing with you!

My 365 Project: 90 days of revo’lution Art Bits

90 days of revo'lution art bits

So here I am with 90 days of revo’lution art bits done for my 365 project— wow!  My revo’lution ring of creative goodness keeps growing…

On the Flipslide: March revo'lution art bits

Here’s a peek at the flipside of March’s revo’lution art bits…I continue to label each one with the day’s number/date, the bit’s core intention in that moment, as well as an inspiring quote, phrase, or words related to the expression.  I found this month’s practice especially valuable: sometimes it was challenging to find time to stop and work on this project, but when I did… the expression for that day surfaced as an important reminder to pay attention to.

Here is a collection of  revo’lution art bits completed this month for Days 60-90:

March 2013 revo'lution bits : Days 60-90

A lookback at previous months:

February revo’lution art bits:  Days 32-59

January revo’lution art bits: Days 1-31

Twentytwelve On the Go Adventure Gluebook

Earlier this year I started an adventure gluebook to visually document some of my travels from this year and as part of the 6 Degrees of Creativity e-workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks.  I’m super excited that I’ve finally finished this book, which is made from four repurposed file folders.

#twentytwelve #onthego

The contents of the pages (as well as for the page’s fun pockets!) are collaged of mostly items I collected on the go which included, but was not limited to: receipts, maps, stickers, stamps, flight stuff (boarding passes, baggage tags, etc.), ticket stubs, business cards, food wrappers, thank you cards, mini art I created, pins, and print materials from local tourist magazines, brochures, or related to the events I was attending.

I also used my SMASH stamp to date most of the pages, distressed ink for some of the page edges, added a little hand stitching, as well as used the wonderful collection of paper and creative goodness I received in the 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 Paper Stash Swap.

Sometimes I took this gluebook with me while I was traveling to work on in the hotel, on the plane, or to stash stuff. I always had a quart size plastic bag (or two!) with me full of goodies and supplies.  Other times I worked on the pages when I returned.  Working on each page was a great way to process the experience and events.

May: Arts, Military + Healing Conference : Washington DC

I think my favorite gluebooking material for this spread was all the maps I collected from around the Washington DC area featuring the city, landmarks, and public transportation.

July- TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly: Michigan

In the pockets for this spread, I added mini art that I created at the conference or inspired by the program.

September- Ohio’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association Conference

I started to use some of my paper stash swap goodies I received in September for this spread.

September- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Just before I left for my visit to SIUE, I received a portion of an Illinois map in another paper stash exchange that fit perfectly for this page!

October- Kansas’ Art Therapy Association Conference

I probably collected the most things while visiting Emporia!  My favorite gluebook addition here is probably the fortune cookie wrapper and fortune that I saved from the Chinese Buffet!

Birthday in Vegas

This page is dedicated to the week-end getaway we took to Vegas for my birthday and the various keepsakes I saved from this trip: stuff from our adventure to In and Out Burger, the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum, my filet mignon birthday steak, and fun fortune telling encounters.

October- Florida State University, Tallahassee

This spread pays tribute to FSU’s campus, which was so beautiful!

Gluebooking fun continues in a different form this week: it is the deadline for completed gluebook pages to be received for our exchange @ 6 Degrees of Creativity 2!  Stay tuned for photos and more sharing about this soon… go, gluebooking, go!

More Gluebook Goings On @ 6 Degrees of Creativity 2

 It’s time for another gluebook round-up and inspiring happenings from my 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 e-workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks!

I am excited to share only a sampling of the books, pages, and ideas being created from workshop participants (!) :

Nancy’s Gluebook

Nancy Lautenbach facilitated a file folder gluebook project with a workshop she offered for Arts at Smith student orientation with the theme of managing the upcoming year.  The gluebook above is Nancy’s example that she made for students. You can see more of Nancy’s pictures from this gluebook workshop on her Flickr Set


Janet’s Gluebook

Janet McLeod has also been busy with file folder gluebooking in New Zealand!  On her blog Positive Art Therapy, Janet posted how she has used her file folder gluebook to explore her Ikigai and the intentions Create, Inspire, Share, Care and Be. Learn more about this gluebook’s theme by reading Janet’s post My Ikigai: What gets me up in the mornings.


Hannah’s Gluebook Spread

After receiving some inspiration from a NY Times Arts article, Hannah Klaus Hunter decided to dedicate her gluebook theme to all the art exhibitions around the country she wants to visit in 2013.  Read more on her blog and post Gluebooks on the Move.


Emma’s Gluebook

Emma Parker continues her pages in her gluebook created from envelopes at Stitch Therapy Headquarters in the UK.  On this spread above , Emma uses a page from an old nurse’s dictionary combined with fiber art.  Follow Emma’s gluebook happenings and stories on her blog here.


Gluebooks from Natalya

Natalya Garden-Thompson was inspired by the brown paper bag gluebook idea to start experimenting with it in her adult art group for storytelling.  Check out this beautiful pic of Natayla’s embellished brown paper shopping bags drying in the sun in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Jolie & Sandhya Digital Smashbooking

Inspired by the Paper Stash Swap we had in September, Jolie Buchanan and Sandhya Artique have taken this activity to a new and virtual level!  They have both been collaborating on & exchanging “digital paper images” with one another to use in their smashbooking.


Susanna’s Gluebook Pages

Another upcoming collaboration within the Creative Goodness with Gluebooks Workshop is a gluebook page exchange this November.  The photo above is a batch of gluebook pages received from Susanna Suchak this week from Ontario, Canada.  Participants in this exchange are creating a series of 5 x 7 gluebook pages that will be swapped with other community members next month!

I’m excited to see what continues to develop over the last few months of this workshop. Thank you to all the workshop participants for sharing their art, inspirations, & ideas!

Getting Ready: Gluebooking, Paper Swapping, Page Exchanging & More

I just finished up my video tutorials and PDF download  for my 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks.  It was a lot of fun to put all the content together and get it ready for its July 1st debut.   This online workshop not only includes an introduction to making gluebooks &  gluebook prompts to work on, but also an August paper stash swap and November gluebook page exchange with other workshop participants.

Gluebooking Fun Begins in July!

In preparation for this workshop I’ve been collecting even more paper stuff to use as a way of documenting my activities, interests, plans, and inspirations through the concept of gluebooking.  I’ve been a lot more mindful of the paper around me (even the most mundane and ordinary scraps, notes, & clippings) and how I can transform these into sharing an experience, memory, feeling,or something special I want to remember through gluebooking.

One of the gluebook spreads I worked on yesterday included a lot of the findings I brought back home from my travels last week such as local maps, a farecard ticket, baggage tags, images from a visitor guide, handmade paper, and more.   It was a creative way for me to continue to process the experience, as well as create a meaningful representation through all the various things I saved.

Stash Swapping & Page Exchanging!

I am so looking forward to seeing what gluebooks & gluebook spreads are created by others involved in this workshop, as well as exchanging some gluebook pages and stuff from our paper stash!    Lots of creative goodness!

The creative goodness doesn’t stop with this workshop either: there are five additional workshops and instructors part of the 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 experience!    Yay!  Join us starting in July for our 6 month virtual art making adventure & creative community.   Registration is open until June 30, 2012.

Revolution Making Begins @ 21 SECRETS

Last week Dirty Footprints Studio’s 21 SECRETS opened with lots of interest and creative energy! Throughout the last seven days, it has been a lot of fun to see the 21 SECRETS community building, members joining, and many starting to take in what this art journal playground has to offer.

My 21 SECRETS class ready for revolution has started to have some activity with art journalers beginning to create their own revolutions with words, intentions, and images that they want to invite and attract into their life. Witnessing participants’ processes, shared reflections, comments, and art journal pages has been very inspiring!

Below are some revolutions created this week @ 21 SECRETS:

Jeniffer Hutchins-Light

Jeniffer Hutchins (Fayetteville, North Carolina) created her revolution to focus around the intention LIGHT and included one of her favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love.  Jeniffer is also an instructor for 21 SECRETS teaching the class Emotional Evolution, where she encourages your art journaling as a space to “turn fear into opportunity, doubt into joy, and frustration into anticipation”.

Eva Miller's Revolution Cover

Eva Miller (Raleigh, North Carolina) picked up a children’s board book at a local Goodwill this week to deconstruct it for making her revolution book. Great!  Stripping board books is something I looove to do as part of my own revolution making process. In the class, I make mention of this as an altered book technique idea for participants to experiment with as an art journal. Above is Eva’s finished book cover ready for more revolution making inside!

Janet McLeod- Hope

Janet McLeod (Auckland, New Zealand) is finishing her post graduate studies in art therapy and dedicated her first revolution page to the intention HOPE as a means to invite and add more positive emotion into her life.

I thank Jeniffer, Eva, and Janet for allowing me share their awesome revolution making here- I look forward to seeing the many other intentions and images that develop from this community of art journalers ready for some revolution!  The creativity, ideas, and and connection happening all around 21 SECRETS is something I am proud and excited to be a part of. Thank you again to Dirty Footprints Studio’s Connie Hozvicka for inviting me to be part of this experience!

If you are interested in joining us, you can still check out 21 SECRETS and learn how to register here:

Registration is open until May 31