Create Joy!

Anna Joy Tambourine 1What a handful modern life has become; it’s so easy to feel out of balance.

Taking care of our emotional health is more important than ever as the stress of every day living increases. It’s a good time for adults to get together and enjoy the pleasure and renewal of creative pursuits. Collaborative art activities, like those presented here, are an engaging and affordable way to create community, have fun, and take active steps towards regaining the balance we all crave.Anna Joy Tambourine 2Anna Joy Tambourine 3

These photographs are from a colorful workshop held last month at “A Window Between Worlds,” a resource agency for domestic violence shelters. Every year I lead a workshop at AWBW for their “Train the Trainer” series. Those who attend are therapists and staff who run therapeutic art programs at battered women’s shelters throughout Southern California. Feedback on the training was very positive and I hope you enjoy these delightful photos.Anna Joy Tambourine 4Anna Joy Tambourine 5Anna Joy Tambourine 6Working with AWBW’s program directors, we focused the training on self-renewal. Our idea was to create a safe, nurturing environment and encourage participants to re-connect to their own happiness and experience a real sense of joy. To achieve this goal, the art supplies had to be colorful, inviting and abundant. I wrote a lesson plan based on our papier mâché tambourines and some of my favorite collage materials. We called the lesson plan “Creating Joy,” and I recommend you try it for staff development (download here). The results were beautiful, the participants had loads of fun, and the process was both relaxing and energizing (one of the paradoxes of art-making).Anna Joy Tambourine 7Anna Joy Tambourine 8Anna Joy Tambourine 9My favorite part in preparing the lesson was finding “clip art quotes” to use as focal points. I found these color quotes on Sherri Bishop’s website. (download here) and also revamped my Values Clarification Worksheet. (download here). Feel free to use them both for this and other paper crafts. Remember, art and language go hand in hand.

Anna Joy Tambourine 10Anna Joy Tambourine 11Anna Joy Tambourine 12Adults relax and unwind with open-ended art activities when the instructor presents easy, success oriented art techniques. I hope you have someone on staff that truly enjoys leading art activities, and that you’ll try some ideas like these with your own staff soon.

Materials Used:
Make Your Own Tambourine Kit for 12 (JINGLEKIT)
Colorations® Washable Glitter Paints – 16 oz, Set of 11 (GLPA)
Stubby Chubby Brushes, Set of 12 (SPIFFY)
Tissue Paper Circles, 4″ – 480 pieces (TCIR)
Mini Tissue Squares – 5000 pieces (TINYTIS)
Spotted Feathers – 1 oz (SPOTTED)
Colorations® Premium Glue Sticks – Set of 12 (PRETRAY)
Colorations® Tacky Glue (GLUEIT)
Metallic Pony Beads – 1 lb (PONYMET)
400 feet of Satin Ribbon – 16 spools (SATIN)
Iridescent Fabric Shapes – 500 pieces (SHINYFAB)

* Brought to you by Discount School Supply®

Want to know more about A Window Between Worlds? 

The AWBW Program is available to any agency or organization seeking to implement art as healing tool for survivors of domestic violence. For further information on AWBW, please call (310) 396-0317, e-mail, or visit

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