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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happiness Books

Happiness Books

There are many things that can make us happy, but when you are depressed it can be hard to remember those things. This directive is designed to help people remember once more.

Deborah R. Davis, ATR-BC, LPC, "Creativity Matters: Art and Therapy, LLC"


Create a book that reminds you of what makes you happy. You can either brainstorm ideas first, writing them down on a separate piece of paper, or just come up with them as you go along. The book can be one you create, or you can choose an old book that you would like to "alter" (painting the pages, collaging over the pages, putting Gesso down and then writing or painting on the white canvas). This blog entry will talk about the different ways you can create a Happiness Book.



Creating a Book = If you are making a book from scratch, choose paper (can be of whatever width you may have handy, or what you prefer - the thicker the paper, the more it will withstand normal use), glue sticks, scissors, markers, ribbon, and a hole-punch.

Altering a Book = If you are making a Happiness Book by altering an existing book, choose a book that may be old or one that the library is giving away or selling. Get gesso to put on the pages if you want to make new pages, or leave the gesso off the page and simply add to what is already there (this can be fun with books that already have a lot of pictures). Get magazines that you like, to cut out images of what makes you happy. Also, use scissors, glue, stickers, ribbon, feathers, glitter, or any other items you think would be fun to put in to your altered book.

Step 1 = Clear a space to set your materials. Cut out the size that you want your book to be, and the number of pages. Then, choose which side of your book will have the holes for the ribbon or string to go through in order to bind your book together, then punch the holes in each piece of paper. Before you tie the book together go do step 2 first.
Step 2 = Start with your front page. Design it how you would like. Make sure it says somewhere on the front "My Happiness Book". Use the markers to write and put designs on the page, or print out words or images, then cut and paste them on the front page.
Step 3 = For page 1, choose one of the items that you have precut out from a magazine or printed out from a computer, or draw an image that represents what makes you happy. Continue this for page 2, 3, 4, and so on.

Step 4 = Once you have filled up all the pages with images, words, and designs that you like, put all the pages together and bind your book. Take the ribbon or string and put it through the holes that you hole punched out first. Tie it up in a bow or a knot.
Step 5 = Take your Happiness Book and go show it to someone important to you that you trust will appreciate what you have created. Read it to them, and share about what makes you happiest. The more we share about what is positive in our lives and that makes us happy, the more we will experience being happy ourselves.

Go Make Something: Altered Books http://gomakesomething.com/category/ht/ab/

Spirit Dolls

Spirit Dolls
A Representation of What Is Needed or Wanted
By Maureen Murdock, LMFT
Presented in “The Heroine’s Journey Workbook”

 "Recently, I began a 10 session Women's Group, based off of Maureen Murdock's workbook "A Heroine's Journey". She uses a great deal of art therapy in her workbook (which I'm thrilled about), and the women in the group have taken it on, completing the directives and coming to group to share about what they have created. This particular activity, the "Spirit Dolls", was incredibly impactful for them. These figures took on a great deal of meaning for each woman that created them, and in some cases the women would make more than one doll. They took all different shapes and forms, each unique and special. It's a very impactful tool to use when embracing a certain aspect about Self, or role created for self in the world."

                               - Deborah R. Davis, ATR-BC, LPC,
                                           "Creativity Matters: Art and Therapy, LLC"


          Define your purpose for the Spirit Doll…what does she represent?

          Gather Materials…

          Once you decide that you’re going to make a spirit doll, the materials will begin to present themselves to you.

          You may wish to make her body out of canvas, fabric, gauze, rusted metal, bones, shells, gourds, or cactus scabs (to name a few).

          Her body can be made from sticks and bones and dressed with symbols and objects from nature or you may choose to make a soft body from canvas or fabric and stuff it with fiberfill.

          You can then paint it with mud, or sew objects on it.



Gather paints, brushes, glitter, sequins, feathers, buttons, glue, scissors, yarn, raffia, needles, thread, and any other desired materials.


Creating Your Spirit Doll

          Once you have all the materials you would like for your doll, begin by establishing a basic structure or frame of your doll.

          Add pieces as you feel they are needed on the doll frame.

          Incorporate objects you find in nature as well as from your personal collection.

          You can sew photographs or poetry or journal entries directly on to the doll, or hide prayers and intentions within the doll.

          The making of the Spirit Doll is a deeply personal ritual to bring to form a part of yourself that is emerging from your unconscious.

          Trust the process; let go of your preconceived notions of how your doll should look and assist the form it wishes to take.



          Work on turning off the inner critic.

          Start the doll only when you feel ready.

          Relax and “allow” it to come.

          Have fun with this process, rather than “make” it happen.

          Let it flow out of you without filtering.



          Bohemian Spirit Art Dolls http://www.etsy.com/shop/awesomeart

          Spirit Doll Wisdom http://spiritdollwisdom.com/





Before you begin making your spirit doll, take five minutes or more and walk outside. Find a place, preferably in nature, where you can be by yourself and relax your mind and focus inward. Ask yourself the following questions:

            What do I need from my Spirit Doll?

            What color is she?

            What does she feel like?

            What does she smell like?

            What is her sound?

            What is my intention for birthing her at this time?


            Prepare a sacred space in which to make your doll. You may wish to burn sage, light a candle, play inspiring music. Give yourself at least two or three uninterrupted hours to begin your process. Let your doll evolve at her own pace.