Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A little art therapy with my coffee

Well, hello there!

Did anyone else see this news flash about how coloring has been found to help relieve stress in adults? I saw the article from the Guardian posted on Facebook the other day and thought, HECK YEAH IT DOES! This groundbreaking phenomenon could have been revealed years ago if the researchers had been following the papercrafting community. Coloring: It’s Cathartic. (Can I get that made into a bumper sticker?) This morning I took my coffee with a little cream, and a side of stamps and watercolors. I feel better already!

I have a bunch of big deadlines this week and just realized that my kids have the next two days off school for parent-teacher conferences. This gives me a fair bit of worry, just wanting to be sure I get everything to my clients on time, getting your orders filled (I made sure I was all caught up on that first thing, ahem!) along with getting to the soccer game tonight, the grocery store, the bank, swap out loads of laundry, etc, etc. We’re all juggling stuff like mad, and wanting to be present with our families — living in the moment! Girl, it can take it’s toll on the old psyche.

Well, I plan to check a number of items off my to-do list today, I promise. But I wanted to share my “art therapy” from earlier this morning, seizing an opportunity to just COLOR. The image I used is the Chinese Lanterns and Bittersweet stamp from my Sunny Harvest stamp set. The sentiment is from my Farmers Market set. While the leaves are changing outside and we plan to go punkin’ pickin’ this weekend, I thought it was only fitting to color up an image with some fall flair. It will be perfect to give to my mom and step-dad, whose garden is laced with Chinese Lantern (Latin name is Physalis alkekengi, also called Winter Cherry, you’ll see why in a second).

This is an old photo, but I love it so! My mom gathered up armfuls of these puffy pops of color and brought them over to help decorate for Lulu’s first birthday party (11 years ago — ACK!). She even put them in a pinky-red transferware pitcher. (Read here for more about my beloved mom and her transferware.) I had a theme of orange, hot pink, and white, and we had real orange and magenta paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling... bouquets all over the house. I must’ve had more energy back then, because even thinking back to decorating for the party I feel kind of tired. Where’s that coffee again... I might’ve accidentally used it for my water cup when I was painting....

This year my folks’ Chinese Lantern crop wasn’t quite as bountiful (it can be very invasive in a garden, and they had a horticulture/landscaping student come and clear out some overgrown areas), but I popped over recently and my mom and I found several surviving plants. It’s so fascinating to me how they can go through such a wonderful metamorphosis! On this visit, I found examples of some fresh green, papery “lanterns”...

And then another several stalks were that vivid deep orange color that is simply breathtaking! (Seriously, you might need to take a step back from your monitor because it is so awesome.) Look how the orange even bleeds into the bright green stem! I didn’t notice that earlier when I was coloring, and now I wish I’d done the stems that way. Ah well, it was supposed to be cathartic, not botanically correct. :) 

And lastly — and oh baby this is good — the papery “lanterns” dry to reveal the fruit inside! These will last for months and months after the summer, hence the nickname Winter Cherry.

I hope I’ve given you some jolts of color to inspire you today, and maybe just the nudge you needed to have an “art therapy” session of your own.

Have a good one!


  1. Gorgeous girlfriend :) I love when you paint, it is amazing. :) Good luck on finishing more of your to do list!

  2. Your painting is stunning Marcy!! I love your eye for detail. Even in your photography it's evident. I had no idea about the last stage of the chinese lanterns either. Their texture is amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing that info tidbit! Shoot...thanks for taking time out of your crazy schedule to share your gifts PERIOD!!

  3. How lovely to see you watercoloring your Chinese Lanterns, Marcella! It's so interesting to learn more about these colorful plants. I will be on the lookout to see the dried fruit of the 'Winter Cherry.' So glad you took time for some 'art therapy' this morning! ♡ Dawn

  4. Oh, Marcy, what a fun post! Your cute personality just shines through this one!! Hehe!! So you know I love your artwork, and now to see your coloring - wow! I love the photos of these beautiful plants, and to see them in different stages in amazing! AND that they produce a winter cherry! Doesn't get any better! Yes, I truly find coloring very therapeutic! And I agree with Tosh about your photography as well being so artistic! And hope you get all your "gotta-do's" done! Hugs, sweet friend!

  5. Of my goodness! I just picked, and ate, some Ground Cherries (at a Medicinal Foraging Class last Thursday Evening). Here in New England, the Bladders do not turn such a radiantly beautiful orange. There is a great write up, which I found, at: So are yours edible?

  6. BRING ON THE ART THERAPY (and the coffee!) Wanna come over for a coloring session? That would rock more than anything in this world! Hope you are able to breathe today and that yesterday was uber productive! Big hugs my oh-so-talented friend! Your watercoloring is out of this WORLD!!!!

  7. Absolutely breathtaking Marcy! I think my favourite stage of the Chinese Lanterns are their netted, nestled bright berry stage! Isn't nature glorious?!?! <3


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