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🍁We have entered the season of thanks!🍂


As we prepare our hearts & stomachs for Thanksgiving, we are reminded to reflect and give thanks to all those who are special in our lives. In every Hallmark movie, Home Goods commercial, and grocery store turkey section, Thanksgiving is the holiday where everyone sits around a huge table with a gorgeous feast laid out, and everyone is smiling & laughing in slow motion: a picture-perfect family on the holidays. And who wouldn't want that?

But, what these marketing ploys tend to leave out (unless you like watching really good living room dramas) is that *most* families during the holidays don't have it so picture perfect. There usually has to be some tension, with an uncle cracking uncomfortable jokes, a sibling stirring the pot, and a random relative asking, "So, do you have a special someone in your life, yet?" *insert eye roll*

I do think the beauty of Thanksgiving is that we are forced to find graciousness even in the most challenging of seasons. 


And, as we know, artists can craft their best work during the most fraught times. That said, we at Carolina Muse wanted to inspire you by providing some fun & helpful art therapy techniques if you find yourself needing your creative outlet to let out some of the steam from long days with family. 


So, what is art therapy exactly?


"Art therapy is a blended field of therapeutic practice that combines art and psychology, utilizing the creative process, artistic techniques, and external artwork to support individuals to develop self-awareness, explore emotions, and address unresolved conflict or trauma." 


Art therapy is an incredible way to positively channel your emotions and can be a healthy way to process the emotions that come with going home for the holidays.

Color Wall: Get out your colored pencils, markers, paint, watercolor- whichever color medium you prefer on whatever pad, easel, or paper you prefer. Start by letting yourself really sink into whatever it is you are feeling, such as anger, joy, or anxiety. When you're ready, pick up your creative utensil and start creating. Choose colors that represent how you may be feeling, and let your hand be guided by your heart. The point of this is NOT to make your greatest work. You are aiming to make a visual representation of what you are feeling. It is also best if you do not pause too long between colors or techniques; you don't need to think too hard, just get the feeling out. The beauty of this is that by the time you feel as though you are finished, you will have an amazing representation of what the feeling looks like to you! Plus, one benefit of art therapy is that feeling of instant gratification when your piece is complete. 

Words to Live By Collage: Take some time to reflect upon your core values: what means most to you? This Thanksgiving season, focus on what you are grateful for! Then, gather your old magazines, glue, scissors, coloring utensil, cardboard or thicker paper for your base, and any other materials you'd like! Then, start cutting out and pasting down anything from your magazines and scrap paper that you find reflects your core values or things you are grateful for. Collaging can be done as a solo mindfulness practice or as a fun group activity.

Create a Self-Care Box: We could all use a little self-care, and this is a great therapeutic technique that involves building a box that represents your self-care needs and can be used to store your self-care items! First, you'll need to either craft a box out of cardboard (or maybe you have an empty shoebox laying around) or grab a cute wooden box from your local arts & crafts store. Then, gather your scissors, glue, coloring utensils, paint, glitter, feathers, buttons, sequins, newspapers, lace, fabric, basically anything that brings your heart joy. Now, before you begin, take a moment to reflect upon what self-care means to you and what you type of self-care you need most at the moment. Start to visualize what self-care might look like in a visual form. The, you are ready to start decorating! Remember, these boxes can store trinkets, quotes, notes, pictures of loved ones, pressed flowers, etc. You can even leave yourself gift cards to a massage or a movie that you can use if you are feeling particularly down or upset. 

These are just some ideas to help you get through the holidays in a creative & healthy way! There are art therapy ideas for every creative endeavor as well- like writing, poetry, dance, music- not just visual art. Here is a great site for a good overview of what art therapy is, its history, and some creative exercises. There are so many different types of art therapy, so make sure to check out different kinds to help personalize your therapy to your interests!


If you find yourself letting out some of that steam and making something you're proud of, here's some info on how to submit (or flip through all our issues🤗):

  • Visit our submission guidelines and submit your creative work (poetry, dance, music, visual art & photography, short stories & scripts) for our next issue by December 14th!

  • Check out our latest issue!

  • Take a look at our amazing Team Edition for a special look at some of the art we like to do here at Carolina Muse 😊

  • We have a very limited supply of our stickers left for sale:

    • Purchase one sticker for $3, and each additional sticker is just $1 as supplies last!

  • Keep an eye out for our 12 Days of Carolina Muse announcement this upcoming month of our Instagram page...

NC Events🍁

  • If you live near Raleigh and like crafty things, attend Eva Ford's Free Crochet Class at Lorraine's Coffee House and Music in Garner, NC every Tuesday from 1-3pm. All you need is your crochet hook, some yarn, and a desire to learn! 

  • On December 10, check out Concord, NC's Art Walk on Union for a day full of handmade art & music downtown. 

  • Engage in some Big Craft Energy at Asheville's The Big Crafty at the Harrah's Cherokee Center from December 3-4th for some holiday art themed fun. 

SC Events🍂

  • Visit Myrtle Beach for the 50th Annual South Carolina Bluegrass Festival! Head to the beach on November 26th for some good tunes. 

  •  From now 'til New Year's Eve, witness the beautiful Holiday Festival of Lights in Charleston. Experience the three-mile driving tour and see a wide array of dazzling designs for the holidays.

  • Enjoy the beauty of the season at the 37th Annual Bon Secours Festival of Trees in Greenville, SC November 18th-December 26th. All proceeds will support the purchase of a second mammography coach for the prevention of breast cancer in the community. 



from our team

Füssen by Ashley Pratt.jpg
sunflowers by Amanda Conover.JPG

Ashley Pratt


Amanda Conover


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