The one thing you have that nobody else has is your story

Posts tagged “Birmingham

Magazine Heads

Posted on May 4, 2016


Made by seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s a great exercise in creativity and story telling. This project is also a good assessment to see where an individual is at in regards to constructing a figure and remembering body parts.

City Scene fabric collage

Posted on April 13, 2016

Birmingham’s Iron Man, Vulcan, overlooks the city at night.  Made with loving hands by some of my seniors with Alzheimer’s in Alabama. They all participated with their abilities; ripping fabric, painting, gluing, cutting… this is truly a collaborative piece. Participants had so many stories to share about the city they call home and love. I am honored to listen.

Q & A: prospective Art Therapy students

Posted on April 30, 2013

I often get calls and emails from prospective art therapy students. And, I love the occasional coffee meeting with an individual who wants to know more about what I do and the field of art therapy. So, here I am with my cup of tea; I’ve compiled a list of common questions that I am asked and I’m including my answers! Take a peak and see what you think. My hope is that this will bring additional clarity to the work that I do and prompt more questions for those interested in art therapy.  Feel free to leave a comment and ask more questions!  Where did you attend graduate school? University of Louisville How long was your program? 2 years What certificate(s)/degree(s) did you receive?  I…

Audrey Hepburn Pop Art made easy.

Posted on March 5, 2013

Last Saturday, I had the experience of leading an art activity with several members of a local church. It was fun! While not an art therapy activity, the therapeutic value of making art was experienced by everyone that came. Many people mentioned how good it felt to create; that they don’t have an outlet or  make time to create at home, and how the experience of creating was enjoyable because they could see the end product of their time and effort. Another therapeutic element to the activity was that all the art was being created for someone in the church who had recently lost all of their belongings. Often, the simplicity of helping others has therapeutic value in and of itself– as it actually makes you feel better!


IMG_3915The technique to create the Audrey Hebpurn Pop Art is quite simple. Simply print off a picture from the computer (adjust it’s size as needed) and then trace the image with a sharpie in each of the window panes. Once the tracing is completed, FLIP THE WINDOW OVER and paint on the OPPOSITE side. The side that you paint on is the back of the artwork. Once it is lifted up, you’ll still see the lines that were made by the sharpie when you were tracing the image so your design stays in tact even if when painting, brushes went outside of the lines (See finished product below).




The finished Aubrey Hepburn piece is fantastic!!

IMG_3925Same technique but with flower images. This time we used other media as well– combining both paint and various papers.


Hope Tree Mural

Posted on February 10, 2013

JanFeb13- Amelia Center Hope Tree Article copy

To read the full article that I wrote on grief, click here: Amelia Center Article

During the summer, I frequented the Amelia Center to work on a mural I began in the playroom. Occasionally I’d be painting for several hours, while other times I’d go for a short 45 minutes. Eventually, I completed it and was asked to write up the story about the mural’s development and it’s meaning for me personally. Below are images that show progress from start to finish:

Hope tree stage 1

Hope tree 2

Hope tree 3



Finished Hope Tree

Grief Monsters at the Amelia Center

Posted on February 8, 2013


To make a grief monster, save your cereal boxes! With recycled materials such as boxes, bottle tops, google eyes, pipe-cleaners, feathers, cotton balls, craft sticks, and anything else you can find around the house, you and your child can create a unique grief monster that might just be as unique as the grief you’re experiencing. The message that this activity gives is that we all have  grief and we all grieve differently.

Think about grief. What is it? Is it ugly? Is it good or bad? then ask your child: “what do you think a grief monster is?” There is no wrong answer to this question. This activity will help to externalize grief into a tangible format. Grief can be unpredictable and overwhelming. By turning such a thing that we have little control over into a tangible grief monster, there is room for gaining a sense of control and understanding about the process of personal grief.

I recently created this activity with a group of families at the Amelia Center in mind (Amelia Center is an organization under the umbrella of Childrens of Alabama Hospital for grieving children and families). I encouraged the children and parents alike to make a grief monster (any size, shape and color). The activity opened the door for conversation about how we each experience grief following loss. Many of the monsters had characteristic of the lost family member and during our processing time, the children were able to talk about what those things were. See pictures below:

IMG_3737 IMG_3736

Does grief ever feel like a monster to you?