Write On! How to Empty your brain to reduce stress

Non-stop writing, stream of consciousness, free writing . . . it doesn’t matter what you call it – it can change your brain, change your day, change your relationships, change your life.

I’m not being overly dramatic as there is a body of research which shows that simply putting pen to paper changes your brain.

Easy Peasy Writing How-to

Write on! by Peggy

Choose a focus – a situation, feeling, thought and create a “topic Sentence”  If you can’t think of a specific begin with “Right this moment I am thinking . . . ” or “I am feeling . . .” or ” “I can’t think of anything . . . “

It can be anything in the past, the present or the future.

  • Use a pen that writes smoothly and comfortable to your hand.  Don’t use a keyboard since the act of writing with your hand is important.  Your small muscle movement is expressive (much like artistic expression, your handwriting is unique to you.  It doesn’t matter if it’s legible or beautiful as the movement registers with your brain in ways that tapping out letters on a keyboard do not).
  • Set a timer for approximately 20 minutes.  It takes that long for your unconscious brain to push through your logical thinking processes.
  • Use a journal, a piece of paper, a brown bag – it doesn’t matter.
  • Start with your “topic sentence”, thought, feeling . . . just start. 
  • Write continuously for 20 minutes, never letting the pen stop.  If your mind goes blank simply makes loop-d-loops with the pen until you have words to put down. Write quickly, spontaneously, intuitively.  It doesn’t matter what you write just put down on paper where your mind takes you.
  • Do not be concerned about spelling, punctuation or grammar.
  • Do not be concerned if it doesn’t make sense.

Read  research How Writing About Past Failures May Help You Succeed In The Present,  click here




The HeART of Spirituality Workshop – Finding Balance

How can we find balance in the chaos that surrounds us?  This was the question at the recent HeART of Spirituality workshops held at Tapestry Unitarian.

“As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance—this is the balance—this is the balance.” – Baha’i World Religion 

The participants picked images that represented spiritual balance and spiritual imbalance and made collaged Contemplation Cards.  Similar to tarot cards or vision boards these cards can be used in many ways.  

Can you tell which cards represent BALANCE and which represent IMBALANCE?

To see all the Contemplation Cards,

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:1-8

  1. 1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;
  3. 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6. 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

How to cook a turkey FAST and painlessly (for you not the bird)

It’s THAT time of year again for “Cooking with Judy”  Here’s my yearly Thanksgiving post — cuz it’s tooooo good not to be shared!  

img_00131 I have a reputation, among those who know me,  to have an “interesting” sense of humor.  Even though How to Cook A Turkey with 500 degree heat sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.

The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.   I’ve done this every year for over three decades and it’s never failed. 
All the people who have tried it do it again and again. . . except for the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey* . . . to see why, keep reading.
10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure
  • Pre Heat oven 500 degrees (this is not a typo)
  • Clean the bird
  • Throw it into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed at 500 degrees FARENHEIT
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed
*WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will join you for dinner after you scrub the black soot from your ceiling.
Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)
  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this because it is more humane . . . for the cook
  • Yes! 500 degrees.  It is not a typo
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound
P.S.  A typical turkey will take a little over 1 hour to bake. The first year I made the turkey this way I had the critter sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven everyone nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.


The HeART of Spirituality – Virtues – Take 2

In case you need a refresher on what a virtue is here are a few:  Patience, Responsibility, Joy, Love, Compassion, Justice, Generosity.

 Can you guess the virtue* I need to work on?

Take a look at the second group of fabulous prayer/contemplation cards!  Here’s the first group – Take 1





“Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. 

Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world.”





” . . . we must endeavor to promulgate and practice the religion of God which has been founded by all the Prophets. And the religion of God is absolute love and unity.” – Abdu’l-BahaThe Promulgation of Universal Peace. p. 32.


Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.

Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till the END.

(Try out the exercise we did after making the cards.  Click here for the entire list of virtues and the worksheet on the TUTORIAL PAGE)

*The Virtue of Moderation 

10 packages, possible trans fats

Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.

Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till  the END.

Chocolate chip cookie – OREO – Brownie recipe!!

I have been Oreo-deprived for years. I don’t buy them because they are potato chips to me – can’t stop with one.  When my good friend Linda sent this recipe I thought I’d die and go to heaven.  AND it seemed toooooo simple.

I have 4 potlucks to go to so I immediately went to the big box store and bought a TUB of cookie dough, enough for more than 80 cookies.

NO trans fat

Healthy, NO trans fat

10 packages, possible trans fats

10 packages, possible trans fats

a 10-package box of Oreo cookies



Triple Chocolate, triple trans fat

and a Box of brownie mix that makes 8 batches of brownies.

First Pot luck:

  • I ate 2 packages of the Oreo cookies to make sure they were fresh. 
  • 1 layer of chocolate chip cookie dough on bottom of 13″ x 9″ pan
  • 1 layer of Oreos.
  • 1 package of brownie mix (per mix instructions) poured over top.  Didn’t seem like enough brownie mix for the 13 x 9 pan so I made 2 packages.
  • Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes it was soup.  After 55 minutes it was congealed enough to remove. (and I was afraid the chocolate chip cookie dough on the bottom would be burnt).  Soft and squishy and any trace of Oreo had been drowned in the brownie batter.  BUT verrrrrrrrrry tasty.

Second Pot luck:

I ate another package of Oreo’s to make sure they were still fresh and this time only made one batch of brownie mix.



2 More Potlucks to go . . . Need to buy more Oreos

Thanks Linda B.  You ARE the best!

Sneak a Peek into my Journal

Visual journaling is more fun for me than written –  I rarely reread my written entries but can look at the visual pages and know instantly what was happening, what I wanted to express (and things I wasn’t consciously aware of expressing!).

I also rarely reread what I write on the blog but the last post on gratitude stuck in my mind.  So here’s my gratitude page AND the process I used . . . in REVERSE ORDER!

Step 3

Added squiggly lines and pastels

This is the finished page – I lost interest in the left side!

Sept 3: Added squiggly lines and pastels

Step 2

Smeared gesso (white paint works too) over the magazine images to blur them

Finished page - I lost interest in the left side! Paint, collage, pastel

Step 2:  Smeared gesso (white) over top of pictures

Step 1

  • I don’t like working on a white page so I spread paint on the blank page. Cut out about 20 pictures
  • Focused on my “gratitude” and picked pictures that caught my attention.
  • Pasted them down.  Didn’t matter they got wrinkled – just adds texture!
pasted magazine pictures

Step 1: pasted magazine pictures onto page that I smeared with paint.

Can you figure out what the focus of my gratitude was?

Healthy OREO LASAGNA (parenthetically speaking)

There are so many recipes for Oreo Lasagna on the internet I taste-tested them all to make sure you, my loyal subscribers, had the healthiest.  Note: If you are allergic to chocolate substitute ingredients that aren’t chocolate.


2 packages Oreo cookies (One package to eat – for energy – while you are making the lasagna and the other for the recipe)
4 tbsp. butter, melted
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (This is good as not only is it reduced fat but it’s softened so it won’t be hard in your arteries)
1/4 cup sugar (An excellent source of energy)
2 tbsp. skim milk (This is good as it’s a major food group)
12 oz fat-free cool whip (This is good as it is low-fat like the cream cheese.) 
6 Snack Pack Fat Free Chocolate Pudding cups  (This is good as there are preservatives in the pudding cups which will help the Oreo Lasagna from going bad before it hits your stomach

2 bags of mini chocolate chips (One bag to eat while you’re waiting for the lasagna to set in the refrigerator)



1.  Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray (Do NOT use butter and add fat to the recipe)
2.  In a zip closed bag, crush the Oreo Cookies (Taste the crushed topping as you go to determine the proper consistency.  Do NOT use a food processor to crush the Oreo’s so you benefit from the exercise of pounding the cookies into submission)
3.  Set aside 1 cup of crushed Oreos for topping
4.  Combine remaining crushed Oreo’s with melted butter
5.  Press Oreo-butter mixture into the bottom of the dish
6.  In a small bowl whip the softened cream cheese using a handheld mixer until light and fluffy (Make sure it’s fluffy as air is a life force)
7.  Mix in sugar, milk and 1 1/4 cups of cool whip
8.  Spread cream cheese layer over the Oreo crust
9.  Layer chocolate pudding in an even layer over the cream cheese (or just mush it all together since it will eventually end up that way)
10.  Spoon remaining cool whip over pudding and gently smooth (It’s important that you are gentle so as not to agitate any existing fat molecules)
11.  Sprinkle on mini chocolate chips
12.  Refrigerate to chill for 4 hours (Eat the remaining chocolate chips while Lasagna is chilling)

Each serving is 8 WW+ points (I’m not sure if this is short-hand for Weight Watchers or 8 out of 10 points on the Wowza Wowza scale)

Nutritional Info
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 127 Total Fat 14.1g Saturated Fat 7.0g Cholesterol 20 mg Sodium 265 mg Potassium 46 mg Carbohydrates 42.9g Dietary Fiber 1.0g Sugars 28.4 g Protein 3.5 g (Obviously a good source of protein – almost 4 grams)
Vitamin A 6% – Vitamin C 0% – Calcium 7% – Iron 6%  (This is good as it’s better to get your vitamins through food than pills)

Nutrition Grade – D (“D” as in DEEEEEElicious . . . of course)



Sneek a Peek inside my PRIVATE Journal

I’m never sure if I just have trouble following “rules”, have attention deficit disorder, or get easily bored.  I’ve decided it’s all three . . . and I’m not joking.

I decided to embrace “my tendencies” for the journal writing class.  Instead of just journal WRITING I’m combining it with doodling, collage, free writing (aka stream of consciousness) and what ever else might amuse me.


  • I do not like starting on blank white pages so I smeared paint on the pages.
  • I do not like doing anything in sequence.  I am just writing, doodling, collaging at random throughout the journal

Old Journal already covered with acrylic paint

Cover of old journal I’m using – already covered with acrylic paint


A free-write with one-line doodles

Prompt "FIVE"

Prompt “FIVE”

In class – randomly pick a word cut out from newspaper.  Free associate a list of words  (The last word written might have significance).  I free associated all over the page and lost track of the last word (which, as you know, is rare for me as I like to get in the last word).

Maybe it unconsciously prompted this next collage?

FIVE Fingers

FIVE Fingers

I might use this collage as a writing prompt to see what my unconscious is saying  . . .  or not


It’s suggested to journal 3 pages every day.  Instead of 3 pages I did 3 sections: Free writing, things-to-do-list and one-line bird doodles

P.S. Since this is my PRIVATE journal don’t tell anyone else.

Art EXPERIMENT Challenge

Challenge yourself to do an art EXPERIMENT for 10 minutes. This is NOT about making anything beautiful, recognizable, realistic.  It’s about giving your inner critic time off, and letting go of inhibition and expectation.  Just jump in and scribble, dribble or smear.

For all of you who say “I can’t draw” – REMEMBER! This is an EXPERIMENT!

Cheap Supplies

  • A box of crayons, or cheap paint or marking pens – anything that you’ve got on hand.
  • Cheap paper – and I mean CHEAP.  Cut up paper grocery bags, junk mail paper  (If you use junk mail just color right on top of the printing), copy paper . . .
  • A timer – kitchen timer, watch alarm or just a clock.
  1. Take a look at the 8 minute demo video that inspired this post OR follow my Negative Space Experiment tutorial below.
  2. Set the timer for 10 minutes and draw, scribble, smush, swipe and color.  When 10 minutes is up stop.  

Here’s the link to the 8 minute demo videohttp://carlasonheim.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/new-tutorial-guest-teacher-diane-culhane/   It’s a quick and EASY way to “make” a picture . . . and learn a bit about positive and negative shapes in the process.

(Diane Culhane, the video teacher, is using expensive acrylic paint. Don’t let that stop you.  Cheap craft paint, crayons, oil pastels, chalk, watercolor – anything works.)

Here’s my Experiment with crayon and copy paper in 5 easy steps (5th is optional):

Color entire sheet of paper w/ different colors

1. Color entire sheet of paper w/ different colors.  Whoops, paper tore middle-top.

Coloring negative space around outline

2. FAST sketch (no thinking) of flowers in a vase. Color negative space around outline. Torn paper ended up on middle flower

Pressing harder with dark colors

3. Pressing harder with dark colors.  Ignoring torn paper on middle flower.

Sorry, just couldn't resist . . .

4. Sorry, just couldn’t resist . . . I SWEAR I sketched “flowers”

Betty Blobfish: "She SHOULD have resisted . . ."

Betty Blobfish: “Hopefully next time she’ll resist” 
5.  Crumble it up and throw it away! or frame it.

5. Crumble it up and throw it away!

 . . .  or frame it.


  • If you use paint: smear paint with your fingers and/or make-up sponges – not brushes.  It’s much freer and stops you from having EXPECTATIONS!
  • Crayons take a bit more elbow grease:  Break them, Peel them and Color with the mostly with the side of the crayon.  Use the lighter colors for the first layer.  For the negative space (second layer) pick dark colors,  press hard to go over the first layer.
  • Continue layering with different colors – as many as you want – just see what happens.
  • For those of you with multiple chemical sensitivity watercolor is the way to goWith water-color, as with crayon, use light colors for your first layer. Use darker/deeper colors for the negative space and splash away!

Thanks Carla and Diane for taking the time to share!

Now YOU share your Experiments – post your pictures on your blog, send your link in the comments.

No blog? Send it to me and I’ll post it here.

We’re all in the same boat.

Origami boats

look good before sinking fast.

Water-proof your life

How to make an Origami boat Icosahedron

How to Make an Origami Canoe

Mask Painting to Express Feelings – Wendy’s Mask

After posting pictures of one of my  mask workshops mask-painting-to-express-feelings Wendy Holcombe commented that she wished she could paint a mask (my words, not hers).  So I sent her a mask form that I use in my Therapeutic Creative Expression Workshops.

Take a look at Wendy’s post on CreateToHeal!  She painted the outside and collaged the inside.  Then take a listen to what she says about her experience and her mask.

Read her last post to really understand  Wendy Holcombe’s life. She’s remarkabe.

P.S.  You can do this exercise without an actual mask form or paint.  There’s a free tutorial and a “processing exercise” on the Tutorial page.  You’ll have to scroll down . . . it’s there.

And let me know what you did.  I’ll share it (with or without your name) to inspire others to try Therapeutic Creative Expression!

Mr Notgoodenuf Shows His Face

Mr Notgoodenuf

Bloodshot eyes, green nose

Don’t let him step on your toes 

It hurts, heaven knows

On the tutorial page (which I will be redoing to make it more “user friendly”) there is an exercise on drawing your own inner critic.  Here’s a fantabulous picture that Wendy Holcomb drew of her inner critic, Mr Notgoodenuf, which I “stole” from her blog . . .CreateToHeal

Wendy has Meniere’s Disease (among many other things) and is having major surgery to help her vertigo GO. It’s on December 1st.  She had the same surgery on her other ear and it helped so keep your toes crossed.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for

a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

Read about Meniere’s Disease, Wendy and her upcoming surgery on

Picnic with Ants.

P.S. To Wendy:  Don’t do Mr Goodenough in!  He might be there to help you but he’s just been doing it in the wrong way.  Talk to him and let him know how he can be helpful and maybe he’ll change his name!  I see it happening every day!  Anyone that colorful has potential.

How to Painlessly Cook a Turkey (painless for you, not the turkey)

It’s that time of year again for “Cooking with Judy”  Here’s a re-post of my yearly Thanksgiving post — cuz it’s tooooo good not to be shared!  

I have a reputation, among those who love me,  to have an “interesting” sense of humor.  Even though this sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.
I read about this and tried it.  The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.
 I’ve done this every year for over two decades and it’s never failed.  (One time I did a 20-plus pounder and parts were not completely cooked so I zapped the parts in the appliance of choice – my microwave)
I’ve shared this with many others and it has failed only once — the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey . . . and has never eaten turkey since. To see why, keep reading.

10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure
  • Pre Heat oven 500 degrees (this is not a typo)
  • Clean the bird
  • Throw it into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed at 500 degrees FARENHEIT
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed
*WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will join you for dinner after you scrub the black soot from your ceiling.
Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)
  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this because it is more humane . . . for the cook
  • Yes! 500 degrees.  It is not a typo
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound
P.S.  A typical turkey will take a little over 1 hour to bake. The first year I made the turkey this way I had the critter sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven everyone nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.

The Mask We Show to the World – In the Face of Pain

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A favorite Therapeutic Creative Expression exercise is mask painting – whether it is on an actual mask or on a 2-dimensional outline

I have participants paint or collage the inside and the outside of their mask representing in color, symbol, design how they experience


what they present to the outside world and what they experience on the inside that no one can see.

There is a worksheet on the TUTORIAL PAGE – click on TUTORIALS in the header and scroll down – that helps PROCESS the exercise.  The processing is as important as creating the mask.

The green mask is the only one that is collaged using torn pieces of magazine as “color”.  All the rest are painted with acrylic paint or drawn on with crayon.

I have three masks hanging in my office waiting room.  I find all the masks beautiful, each in their own way.  

Even if you don’t draw/paint or collage your mask imagine it in your mind’s eye and do the worksheet.

I would love to know what your vision is.

Jumbo Journal GroupShop, Week 4

Spontaneous Poetry was on tap for this week.  It’s easy, relaxing, expressive and turns everyone into a modern poet.

Here’s how:

  1. Cut words, phrases out of newspaper and magazines.
  2. When you’ve gotten a good pile of words focus on a theme, feeling, issue etc.
  3. Arrange the words on a blank sheet of paper to create a NON-rhyming poem (often called “free verse”)
  4. You can cut out individual letters to create plurals, prepositions, change tenses etc or simply write them in.
  5. Paste them down, paint them, outline them or leave them plain and you’re done!
Take a look!

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Peak Preview: SPECIAL Christmas present I’m making for ALL my friends

Grass Head Materials

You will need:

    • Old nylon stockings or pantyhose. Knee highs and pop socks, work great. You can also use regular old socks, but the grass sometimes has trouble poking through.
    • Grass seeds. I bought a small “lawn repair kit” which has seeds pre-mixed with slow release fertiliser, but you can use whatever seeds you’ve got handy. I hear that rye or alfalfa seeds also work well.
    • Sawdust or potting mix for stuffing. Or just some soil from your garden. I got a bag of sawdust for free from a big hardware store – they seemed happy to get rid of it!
    • Small yoghurt pot.
  • Decorations. Goggly eyes and fabric scraps for the heads, coloured paper for the bodies, pipe-cleaners for spectacles… get creative 🙂
  • Water-proof glue. For sticking on the eyes, lips, etc. I used hot glue, but you can use any sort of glue so long as it won’t dissolve in water.


My Gestaltified Brain (no relation to Gefilte fish)

Manny Mo Motivator

Several people have asked me to review some of the info from the Motivation to Beat Procrastination Workshop & Presentation Laurie Miller (www.hypnosisconcepts.com) and I did.  I aim to please.

To review the differences between the Linear and Gestalt  processing brains click on this post:


Basic FACTS about how my gestaltified brain works:

  1. I can make lists but I can’t maintain them.  Just accept that as a fact.  Maintaining a things-to-do list is for Linear thinkers. I  do lists when things are over-whelming or I need clarity.
  2. Out of sight, out of mindMy things-to-do  has to be visible – not filed or put away.
  3. Things-to-do will not be done on a priority, logical basis.  It will look “hodge-podge” to others but I’ll get it done.

Here’s some of the ways I do my TO-DO’s

Go Postal: I write a short list on a large post-it-sheet that I move from day-to-day or week-to-week in my appointment book.   Then RRRRRRRRRRip it up when done

Weak by Week: I write lists in a weekly calendar book that’s just for TO-DO’s.  I don’t write them on the days I want to/should do them, just group them under major topics.  Cross off what I do. What I don’t do that week I rewrite on the next week’s page.  After several weeks if I’ve kept moving from week to week it isn’t a critical to-do and I just cross it off.

Wite-it-out: I write on a white-out board that is in front of me at my desk.  That way it’s always in sight.

Picture-it: Mind-map with pictures which I’ll  describe in  another post.

Back-into-it:  I do a project list instead of a detailed to do list – write project (goal) at the top of the paper; Starting at the bottom I write the steps I need to do to get to my goal, working my way backwards to the project at the top.  As I complete certain steps I often have to rewrite my list to include things I didn’t originally think of.  Kinda like reading a magazine from the back to the front and then going back to reread certain articles.

Kinda like I write posts for this blog!

A Banner First Friday

As the Goddess of the Last Minute I decided on Thursday to hold a First Friday “CraftShop” in my office.   (I think I’ll stop giving out advanced notices since we had a nice sized group).  This First Friday workshop was about making flag banners for July 4th.

Banners that can be hung outside, inside, for holidays, for decoration, for birthdays.  It was about creating, mindlessly and enjoying the relaxation response that comes from no expectation, no right or wrong.

AND if you want to try it yourself it is easy!  Pictures are in reverse order . . .


Fold over twine and staple

Smear paint on cloth with credit card

Twine, paint, cloth, credit card

  1.   We cut out squares (or any shape you want) of fabric.  We used an old sheet, a very old sheet.
  2.   Using our trusty credit card “bushes” we spread acrylic paint all over the fabric.
  3.   With puffy paint, permanent marker and/or colored pencil we drew, outlined, wrote on and decorated the flags. (We dried the paint first using hair dryers to speed up the drying time)
  4.  Folded the flags over twine, Stapled it and voila a banner!

Sharon Originals

Sharon used permanent marker to trace the original sheet pattern. Pretty Clever

Lori Originals!

Lori Method - put paint on fabric, fold fabric, smush and voila! a Lion.

Fariba's Original, in progress

Erin's Innovative Banner, She cut slits in fabric and wove the string through

Kertu's Fourth of July Banner


a touch of glitter

Move Over Butterfly Fish

Random blobs of water color

If you’ve been following my blog you know that fish posts have been good to me in blogland – Butterfly Fish, Glum Fish – I decided to honor them with a picture (and it amuses me).   Easy, Fun and anyone can do it.  

  • Took a child’s watercolor set  (I didn’t take it from a child – it’s my own child’s watercolor set I bought for $1)
  • Wet the paper with water in a random pattern.  (I used a brush but a make-up sponge or q-tip will work)
  • Put some red, orange and yellow watercolor on top of the wet paper and just let it flow.
  • Put some more red, orange and yellow watercolor on top again and let it flow.
  • After it dried I kept turning the paper around and around looking for my fish.

    Rotating the rotate


And there they were!
Took a fine line sharpie and outlined the little suckers (no complaints so I continued)
Gave them eyes so they could see what’s happening.
  • Took out my markers, colored pencils and started putting color on top of color
  • Then I doodled.  They didn’t seem to mind sooooo

The big guy doesn't look too happy with my doodle.

  • I doodled some more.
Lucky for them I’m doodled out today so they have time to acclimate to their current finery.  Can’t decide what to call each of them?  I think they are related to the Butterfly Fish, cousins several times removed.

MORE doodling

She's obviously easily amused . . .

My Pain -Therapeutic Creative Expression Journal, in progress

Collage page from Judy's Journal

In preparation for the next Therapeutic Creative Workshop – a 4 week Mask Painting workshop which focuses on The Face of Pain, The Face of Pleasure – I reviewed some of my past journal pages on pain.

This page is still in progress but it is an example of how to start your own non-verbal expression of feelings.

Here’s what I did and you can too.  It’s easy.

How to:

  1. Cover the page by smearing craft paint on the page with an old credit card.  Let dry.
  2. Pick, quickly, spontaneously and intuitively pictures that represents pain.   I used magazines.                          ( The pictures can be a literal, symbolic or metaphorical representation.)
  3. Cut away the entire back ground of each picture so you have just the basic images.

Processing for Understanding:

Even though my page is not finished I am beginning to see some of the unconscious meaning.

  • 3 Hands:  Only one hand is complete and that is the right hand where the arrows are pointing.  My pain is directed at my whole being
  • THe largest hand has no fingers, only a thumb.  Without opposable finger on that hand I cannot grasp what pain has “handed me” in life.
  • The third hand only has fingers.  Again, without a thumb I cannot grasp.
  • There are 3 round circles that reach between the two hands, almost like “thought bubbles” reaching across the page.  Both hands trying communicate with each other?

I’ll do more on the page and let you know how it progresses.

V is for Victories, Very big and Very small

If it’s Tuesday, it’s  Purposely Positive – the group-shop (part support group, part workshop) I facilitate for people with chronic medical conditions.  It’s a place where we can moan and groan but ultimately focus on the small and large victories we have during the week.

Every member, well almost everyone!, made a victory box.  You can make one too to help you focus on the Victories rather than the failures of daily life.  it’s easy:

  • You can use any box, basket or container.   Paint it, decoupage it, decorate it or leave it as it is.
  • Every day write down 1 (or more) “victories you have for that day on a small slip of paper.  Date it. It can be a small accomplishment (got out of bed before it was time to go back to bed, took a 5 minute walk, remembered how to get back home from my walk . . .)
  • to the really large (Repainted the house, Purchased a jack hammer with money I saved using coupons, I refrained from killing my . . .Sailed around the world solo).It doesn’t matter what your own victories are.
  • Find at least one victory every day.  At the end of the week read all the victories you’ve had to date.
Here’s some examples of Purposely Positive Victory Boxes.
Variations on a theme.
  • Have your child make one and write or read their victory at dinner or before bedtime.
  • Do a couples Victory Box, a family victory box, school . . .
  • Instead of a box use a journal book or a glass jar (to watch them pile up).
  • Find a Victory-Buddy to share Victories with or help discover Victories not recognized.
Use your imagination.  The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll realize how many small victories there are in each and every day.
My Victory for today:  I only waited at the Post Office 3 minutes instead of 30 to mail a Hypnotic Healing CD.

Glumfish and Me

Every heard of a Glumfish?  Neither had I.

The word “Glumfish”  is from Salman Rusdhie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories where the story begins with a super sad city that had forgotten its name and had a mournful sea full of glumfish, which were so miserable to eat that they made people belch with melancholy”.

I love the name – GLUMFISH  – I find it to be quite poetic given my current state of  “fibro-glum”.

Wondering what a Glumfish might look like I did some  Glumfish BLOB-Pictures.

1. Took cheapie water-colors and wet a blob on the paper and droped LOTS of watercolor on the water blob and let it spread and dry.

watercolor blobs

2.  Turned the paper blobs round and round till

I “saw” a Gumfish shape and

outlined it with marker.  Added some glum eyes and mouths.

3.  Cut them out and put them on a piece of tissue paper.

4. Decided my Glumfish needed an aquarium.  Found some tissue paper, added some sea-weed.  Decided not to paste my glumfish down.  They need to swim freely and not be STUCK.

It’s ok to be glum, just not stuck.

Make Max Happy with a Secret-Inside Valentine

Dear All My Best Friends,

I’m so disappointed.  My Human should tell you to put doggie treats inside the valentine and make sure the paste is edible.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about it proves you didn’t read my article What to Send ME MAX for Valentines Day.




You’ll now see why I’m so disappointed in my Humans Tutorial – my comments are in blue

At the last First Friday we made Secret-Inside Valentines.  In case you weren’t able to come, especially for those of you whose plane flight was cancelled because of weather or you weren’t able to dig your car out,  (I dig for treats) here’s how!

Secret Inside Valentine

Suggested Stuff
• Colored Paper or Printed Paper OR
• White paper, painted
• Heart shape
• Scissors
• Paper Towels OR Colored Tissue Paper
• Acrylic Craft Paint
• Staples or glue or needle and thread

  • Small valentine candy pieces (optional)  (Doggie Treats are NOT OPTIONAL)

Pre Prep Preparation – Paper Towel Ruffle

Paint Squirted Paper Towel

Wadded & Wet

Unfold Paper Towel and Dry

1. Squirt 1- 2 paint colors onto one paper towel – try out different colors

2. Layer one towel on each side of paint smeared paper towel.
3. Wet paper towels and smush into a ball
4. Take apart towels and hang to dry

(If you want the less messy, less fun, more expensive route use colored tissue paper instead)

Write a secret message on a slip of paper, smaller than the valentine  (Skip the secret message part and get right to the treats)

HowToDo Valentine

Paint Squirted with Credit Card Scrapper in between

Swipe and Wipe Paint with credit card

Glue Strips of Towel or Tissue to Inside of one heart

1. Cut out 2 identical heart shapes
2. Decorate one side of each heart shape. Paint, Doodle,  Glitter – Glam it up!
3. Tear the dried paper towel or tissue paper into strips
4. Paste strips around the entire perimeter of the inside of one heart
5. Lay secret message and/or candy on the inside of this heart. (Here we go again . . .put doggie treats inside!)
6. Lay the second heart on top of this – inside – to inside. Create a “sandwich” with the secret message inside.
7. Join the front and back hearts using staples or glue or sew around the edge. (Do NOT use staples or sew!- edible glue ONLY please)

You secret message is sandwiched between the front and back hearts. (How many times do I have to remind you?  Skip the secret message and stuff with doggie treats)

Give your Secret-Inside Valentine to your Secret Valentine !

Remember to send it to me c/o Sweetie Girl Judy.

I will LOVE U even more than I already do.

Vida Video Tutorial: Painting Pages in your Journal

Deb's Journal

Deb who is a fiber artist painted her journal cover and added bits of fiber!  Fiberlicious!

Her original question: “Do you have any pointers or tips on what type of paint to use to dry fast, etc?  I get a few pages painted a day and that means it will be hundreds of days for the book to be finished” inspired me to add some tips to the Vida Video I was doing.

Hope this helps shorten your 100-Day-Drying-SEASON Deb!

P.S.  Join CreativitytotheMax Flickr group!

click below It’s EASY!

And you can upload pictures of what you’ve done to share and inspire.


Sketchbook Challenge: Bag Book Bag Lady

MIss Vida Video Presents

Here’s an EASY, fun way to start out your Bag Book (See Tutorial, How to Make a Bag Book

https://judithwesterfield.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/sketchbook-challenge-making-my-bag-book/ )

And as long as I was challenging you to do something creative and different I thought I’d better put my money where my mouth is or at least a mouth where the Book Bag is . . . you’ll see . . .

My first video! Herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre goes! (Tell me what you think.  Unless what you think isn’t what I want to hear, then don’t tell me)


SketchBook Challenge, Making my Bag-Book

I was/am a bit intimidated by the artist sketches and sketching in a SKETCHBOOK.

I decided to make it easier to just have fun and experiment.  The result is making myself a “Bag-Book” (MISTAKE PROOF, BEGINNER FRIENDLY and CHEAP) that frees me from caring if it gets messed up or my sketches are “sketchy”.


  •   A cardboard cracker box for the COVER.  (The size of the box will determine the size of your pages. (The contents of the box will determine the size of your waist.)
  • For my drawing pages, – Paper bags.  Any paper will work but paper bags are doubly good – recycling and no cost .
  • I painted my cracker box cover but you could paste down wrapping, scrap-book paper  or if you like a kitschy look just leave the cover as is!
  • Acrylic, cheap, craft paint and old credit cards to use as “brushes”

I opened the box and

Cut all the end-flaps off, leaving one for a “cover-flap” (optional)

Folded the spine down the middle.

Squirted blobs of PAINT

I painted both inside and outside.  I’m showing the inside of the box so you can see my squirts.

I smeared the paint with my crafty credit card using the widest end to randomly move the paint around.

Squirted more paint  to cover the cardboard.  Acrylic dries fast so if I didn’t like the colors I could have let it dry and start all over.  (If you decide to paint it again, let the first coat dry otherwise the colors will all mix into a muddy-not-very-pretty brown)

Hey, Mine is looking like an expensive abstract painting!

I did speed up the drying with a hair dryer  (I took the end off that’s why it looks like a weapon)

I opened up my paper bag and did exactly the same crafty credit-card painting on the paper bag pages: Squirt, Scrape and dry

Cut the paper bag into slightly smaller sizes than the spread-out cardboard box cover.

I got 4 pieces out of my paper bag. Folded that makes 16 pages.

I folded the bag pages in 1/2 and inserted each page into each other.  (These are called “signatures” in the book making business).

Since I’m not in the bookmaking business I ran tape down the middle of EACH page –  so all pages are connected.

My last step was to insert all my taped pages into the cracker-box cover and tape them to the cover on each side.  (The inside of my cover is painted, the plain brown bag side is my pages)

Here’s my almost finished (Got to decide if I want to keep the flap) bag-book.

Had to trim the edges of my pages to fit inside my cover.

The whole thing, not including eating the crackers, only took about an hour to make.

It was easy and fun messing around with the paint.

Next, I’ll mess around with sketching without having to worry that I’ve ruined a perfectly good sketchbook.

Check out the video I made http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhdk-crubzk

First Friday! I Made a Little Dreidel

It’s FIRST FRIDAY in my office!  You are invited!  Everyone brings journals to work on and/or I provide a “Make-n-Take” to do and/or we do whatever I “feel” inclined to do.  But mostly we LAUGH which is the most healing and fun of all.

Tonight I have a few surprises and . . . in addition . . .to the “Make-‘n-Take activity . . .I’m thinking that we might do a little Dreideling . . . in addition to the few surprises. . .

So if you can’t join us here’s your own FIRST FRIDAY FUN:

The dreidel is a 4-sided top of ancient origin.  Here’s a template and instructions to make your own.  It prints out, I tried it!



The Hebrew letters on the side are nun, gimel, hay, and shin.
They form an acronym in Hebrew which means
“A great miracle happened there.”

How to play Dreidel Game

This game is best played in groups of 4-6. Each player gets an equal number of pennies, nuts, M&Ms, stones or whatever you wish to use.

Each player takes turns spinning the dreidel.

If it lands on:

Nun (“nisht”or “nothing” (in Yiddish)

— the player receives nothing, next player spins.

Gimel (“gantz”or “everything” in Yiddish)

— the player takes all of the pot.

Hay (“halb”or “half” in Yiddish) (In case of an odd number of tokens, round up.)

— the player takes half of the pot.

Shin (“shtel” or “put in” in Yiddish)

— the player puts a playing piece into the pot.

Each time the pot is emptied out, each player puts in a

playing piece (penny, nut, candy) and the game continues until the pot is empty.

While you’re making your dreidel sing along!

I Have a Little Dreidel song!

I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay,
And when it’s dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play.

O dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
I made it out of clay,
And when it’s dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play.

It has a lovely body
With legs so short and thin,
And when my dreidel’s tired
It drops and then I win.


My dreidel’s always playful
It loves to dance and spin,
A happy game of dreidel
Come play now, let’s begin.


OH BABY! Does this taste as deeeeelicious as it looks?

Now here’s a creative expression to sink your teeth into.  I am trying to keep from drrrrrrrrrooooooooling all over the computer.

This looks amazing.  Don’t ask me how I found this site because it found me!  The photography is so incredible (Justin Fox Burks is a photographer)  it makes me want to cook . . .  or at least be a vegetarian.

As I’m still trying to lose weight I am resisting making this because I’m afraid I’ll eat the whole thing.  So let me know if it is as delicious as it looks.

Dutch Baby + Strawberries & Sweetened Ricotta

posted by Justin Fox Burks at The Chubby Vegetarian. http://chubbyvegetarian.blogspot.com/2010/11/dutch-baby-strawberries-sweetened.html

Smoke Alarm Only Went off Once!

13 pound turkey @ 500 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes!

His little leg stuck out of pan, I didn't cover it with foil and end of bone got singed

Golden Brown!

Falling off the bone, JUST RIGHT!

Dark (my favorite) & Light Meat
white meat, juicy and moist, mmmmmmmm.


Hope your Thanksgiving was deeeeeelicious too!

How to Painlessly Cook a Turkey (at least for you, if not the turkey)

Cooking with Judy

I have a reputation, among those who love me,  to have an “interesting” sense of humor.  Even though this sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.
I read about this and tried it.  The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.  I’ve done this every year for over a decade and it’s never failed.  (One time I did a 20-plus pounder and parts were not completely cooked so I zapped the parts in the appliance of choice – my microwave)
I’ve shared this with many others and it has failed only once — the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey . . . and has never eaten turkey since. To see why, keep reading.


10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure
  • Clean the bird
  • Throw it into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • PreHeat oven 500 degrees
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed
WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will be there and you will be scrubbing black soot from your ceiling.
Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)
  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this because it is more humane for the cook
  • Yes, 500 degrees.  It is not a typo
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound
P.S.  The first year I made the turkey this way I had it sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven they nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.

Intentional Acts of Kindness

I have participants periodically decorate Random Acts of Kindness Cards in my workshops.

And when I give away one of my CDs I include a Pass-it-On kindness card.

When I saw Chris Dunmire’s Intentional Acts of Kindness page on her

CreativityPortal Blog Creativity-Portal.com

I said “YESSSSSS”!  That’s exactly what we need —–INTENTIONAL Acts of Kindness.

Here’ what Chris writes: “A kinder world, one thought at a time

Who has the power to make this a kinder world? You do! All it takes is for one person to ‘plant an act of kindness’ and it has the potential to grow and spread for everyone’s benefit.

Creativity Portal’s Kindness section has been visited by people worldwide seeking information about kindness and tools they can use to spread more kindness around in the world. We invite you to download some of our free printables below and visit other kindness Web sites so we can all participate in intentional acts of kindness and make life a little brighter for everyone.”

Chris has invented one fun way to inspire more kind acts to continue from person to person through her printable Kindness Pass-Along Gift Cards. These cards are free for you to download, print, and use to spread more kindness in your home, office, school, or community.  So make sure you check them out on her blog.

Here’s a PDF copy of my card.  It’s printed on Business Card stock, front and back.

Acts of Kindness Cark, Front.jpeg

Acts of Kindness Card, back.jpeg

WHAT  is YOUR INTENTIONAL ACT OF KINDNESS ?  And what intentional act of kindness have you received?

Dr Oz Agrees with Me!

There’s Something Funny Going On (and It’s Making You Healthy)

From July 18, 2009 12:11 PM by RealAge |

“Laugh, and you may keep your arteries healthy. Why? Cracking up relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow — the exact opposite of what happens when you’re tense. When people with normal blood pressure watch a funny movie, their blood flow increases by about 20%. But when they watch an intense, violent film, they get stressed out, their blood vessels constrict, and their blood flow decreases by about 35%. (So much for last year’s grim Oscar winner!)”

“Another reason to laugh all you can: Bum moods increase cortisol levels, the bad-boy stress hormone that increases fat accumulation in your belly and makes your kidneys retain salt and water, which boosts your blood pressure. So whether you’re renting a comedy or TiVo-ing an old episode of The Lucy Show, pay zero attention to anyone who says, “Get serious.”

“If you’ve seen all the humor flicks you can handle for the moment, a funny friend is at least as good — and may even help keep you slim: A good chortle increases the number of calories you burn, according to one study. The researchers estimated that if you spend 10 to 15 minutes a day laughing, you can burn up to 40 extra calories. Not a ton. But, hey, every little waist-shrinking bit adds up.”

First Friday open workshop

“All of which explains one of our favorite health factors: Frequent laughter can make your RealAge (that’s your biological — not your calendar — age) up to 8 years younger.”

Free Therapeutic Lesson! Drawing from the FUN side of your Brain #1


A What'sit Fritter (Fun + Critter = Fritter)


I’ve had many people write and say “I”ve tried to do therapeutic creative expression but everything I do looks like a kindergarten drawing.” (Recognize yourself?)

I have a comment! (when doesn’t she have a comment!  you’re thinking)

#1  Therapeutic Creative Expression is only therapeutic if you DO NOT CARE what the end product looks like!  If you do NOT care your stress response will drop and your functioning improves.  Now if that’s not a reason to NOT CARE I don’t know what is.

#2.  Self criticism, self-doubt, self-deprecation are NOT therapeutic!  They raise your stress level and thus raise your heart rate, your blood pressure and increase muscle tension which increases pain levels.

If you are going to draw like a kindergartener at least have FUN like a kindergartener! And if you are an artist go back to your roots and fumble around having fun!

Enough comments.  You who draw like kindergarteners have inspired me to facilitate a Drawing from the FUN side of your Brain workshop and have decided to give it to you for free! (Please don’t tell anyone who lives in Southern California).  Here GOES . . .

Funsson #1   (Fun + Lesson = Funsson)    (borrowing some silly vocabularly from Carla Sonheim)

Getting Rid of Your INNERTIC (INNER + CRITIC = Innertic)

Why is this lesson #1?  We don’t want your Innertic spoiling your fun for the rest of the Funssons.  So here’s a way to tell your inner critic how to go, if not where to go.

Materials: Piece of paper, minimum size 9″ x 12″,  Crayons or colored markers


Using your black or darkest color crayon or marker:
  • Draw a Great Big Circle on your page.  It can be wobbly or lopsided and should NOT be perfect.  If it’s perfect, start again.
Inside the Great Big Circle:
  • Top third of the circle, draw two more circles, side by side.  They can touch or not.
  • Draw a smaller circle inside each of the two circles.  Fill in the smaller inner circles with a dark color.
  • Bottom third of the Great Big Circle, draw a horizontal (—) shape: an oval, rectangle, half-moon etc.,and fill the shape in with color
  • Middle of the Great Big Circle, draw a vertical  ( / ) shape: a long oval, a banana shape, a rectangular shape etc., and fill in the shape with color.
Outside the Great Big Circle:
  • Top half – draw straight, wavy, curly, spiral, scribbles from the outside of the Great Big Circle to the edge of the page

Finishing TOUCHES to your Innertic:

  • Do whatever you want!   Doodle lines and squiggles, add ears, add a weird body.  Give it a hat, a wart, body piercing jewelry, pimples, a tongue, buck teeth, eyelashes,  an eyepatch, a black eye, draw hair growing out it’s nose, a dimple, rosy cheeks, give it another eye . . .
Color in areas of the page, as much or little as you want.
When you FEEL like your Innertic is complete give it a name and write the name on the picture.

Finishing OFF your Innertic:

  • Write words, phrases and sentences on the front and back of the paper.  “BEGONE”,  Take your criticism and shove it!”  etc. Be as mean and judgemental to your Inner Critic as it is to you. Don’t be shy. Don’t censor yourself. You know what to say.  Write a minimum of 5 things you want to tell your Innertic.
  • Get rid of your symbolic Inner Critic!

scribble over it until it disappears

cut it up

bake it in a batch of brownies

rip it up

bury it in the flower beds

crumble it up and burn it.

You’ll KNOW what to do.

Now don’t tell me that didn’t feel good!

P.S.  If your Inner Critic changes appearance and sneaks back

repeat this lesson until it gets the message!

Send me your pictures before you get rid of them!  I want to see!  Here’s how:

  1. Photograph it

  2. Upload it to your computer

  3. Go to: http://www.flickr.com/groups/creativitytothemax/

  4. Join CreativitytotheMAX and upload your picture.

    It’s EASY and you don’t have to use your real name!

First Friday, September

First Friday of every month I hold an “Open Office”.  We laugh, create and relate.

This First Friday we made stars & flowers, circles and things using muslin, paint, permanent markers and fabric paint.

They can be glued on most anything: clothing, cards, bags, baskets.  Pretty cool!

Coloring Book

Want to reduce stress, pain, anxiety and increase your relaxation and immune responses?

Studies have shown that being engaged in any form of creative expression does good things for the body and the mind.  The worst that happens is you’ll focus away from what “ails you”.

Here’s my version of an adult coloring book.

By Picasso

1.  I photo-copied a Picasso painting (not the real thing – if it were I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now.  I’d be in my Villa in the South of France having a massage)

Black & White photocopy

2.  I traced part of the outline with a marker onto a plain sheet of paper.  (When the copy is B & W it’s easier since you aren’t distracted by the color)

3.  I doodled in a border, JUST like Picasso!  And gave her (mine’s a her) a Picasso inspired hat, flowing hair, and ruffled top. I now had my adult coloring book page.

Judy's Doodle

3. I colored it in using black permanent marker and pastel chalk cuz I like to get my fingers messy.  You can use crayons, paint, colored pencils, markers — whatever you have.

If you don’t have an original Picasso lying around just copy, paste and print my outline and doodle your pain & stress away!   Have fun!

Picasso by Judy

Tutorial, Processing Your Creative Journal Pages

Spontaneous Journaling
1. Find a photo of yourself at your CURRENT age.  (you can photo-copy the face)
2.From a magazine cut out the body of someone you would like to look like
3.  Paste your head/face on the body, pasting both in your journal.
NOW . . .
  • Focus your attention on your portrait picture.
  • Imagine that the portrait is communicating intuitively with you and she’s telling you something about herself
  • Imagine your portrait is dictating and you are writing down what it dictates:
  • Complete each statement below as quickly as possible
  • Do not think or judge, just write.
  • Do NOT edit, even if it makes no sense to you.
(This is what I spontaneously wrote  (in italics) when I looked at my picture)

I want you to know that I look terrible as a blond!
  • I think others will stare at me and not approve
  • I feel like having fun
  • I look like I don’t care what others think
  • I am happy that I don’t care what others think
  • I am sad I don’t have the guts to dress this way more often
  • I am fearful I am too old to ever dress this way
  • I am mad I was so conservative in my youth
  • I want                       to buy a wig and go incognito and listen to what people say about me
  • I look a bit foolish
  • I like to be myself
  • My secret is I shop in stores for teenagers wishing I was young enough to wear the crazy clothes

How do the statements reflect your current attitudes, situations, desires, life, hopes, fears etc.?
I’m a psychotherapist and I am not suppose to look or act crazy — at least not in public.  As my closest friends know I can be a bit, how should I say, whimisical. . . ., creative . . .  I love things that are a little out of the mainstream.  And I ADORE color.  The more colorful the better.   There is a big part of me that would just like to cut loose and wear anything I wanted.  My picture is telling me that not wanting to look foolish and people not approving is still a big enough part that it actually wins out most of the time
I think I need to talk to her more about my wardrobe.