Self-Care, Self-Expression, and Self-Awareness 

  Connect with Your Creative Wisdom!!

Cathy 2   BookCoverImage


Come with me on a journey into your beauty & wisdom into YOUR INNER ART. It takes shape in a visual journal through your personal art practice. Personal art is a practice, an active meditation that uses color, symbols, images, and shapes to express your inner world. It is done in a book for your eyes only. It is your creative diary and a private place to dump your crap or to express your joy. It is different parts of you coming out on a page to tell a story. Learning about yourself from these stories helps you to heal and become more whole.

My name is Cathy Lawson and I have had my hands in crafts and art my whole life. My passion is creating and my purpose is helping others to find the joy that comes from cultivating a personal art practice.

I love altered books, mixed media, and jewelry making. If this peaks your interest – come on in and let’s get acquainted!

What I Offer


Creatively Through Cancer Workbook.  You can buy the Creatively Through Cancer Workbook on Amazon starting June 1, 2018.

My Blogs: The focus of my blogs is making personal art & visual journals. Life can be crazy, happy, sad, and frustrating. Feelings, emotions, and milestones can all be expressed in your visual journal. I do my best to be open and honest about how I use this process as I go through my experiences. There are how to’s and why in every post.

How to videos: I have a YouTube channel where I post my videos. Right now they are starting an altered book.

Traveling Classes & Workshops: I offer beading, altered book, and art as therapy classes for individuals and groups. I will come to your house or other class space if you’re in the Madison WI area. I bring the majority of supplies and you provide the people.

My Art and Jewelry for sale: My jewelry is on my Etsy site and my original designs are now on merchandise from t-shirts to home products to office/tech products on my Society6 site.



My story

I was encouraged by my parents to explore all my artistic interests as a child which gave me the confidence to try, fail, and then try again. I am the Queen of Happy Accidents and have learned to flow with the art materials I’m working with. My love of creating led me to work at several bead stores and have encouraged hundreds of people to make all kinds of projects with beads. My biggest piece of advice I give is to follow your gut and what you are really attracted to.I’ve taught arts & crafts classes in various capacities for the last 20 plus years and I have learned to break down projects into small bite sized steps so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. When I learn something new in the art world, I learn the techniques and practice in my art journal first. An art journal/visual diary is the greatest companion you can have on your creative journey.

Bead weaving & embroidery
Bead weaving & embroidery

As I turned 40, my life was turned upside down and in the worst year of my life, I found the best parts of me and a new passion bloomed. I used my love of collage to process the roller coaster of feelings that I was experiencing. It was then I pulled out a hard cover book and transformed it into a treasury of everything I loved.

Altered Book
Altered Book

Altered Book

As I spent several months with this book and all I loved, I remembered & recognized myself. I dug up my unrealized desire to attend collage so I signed up at the community college not too far from my house. I started out wanting to be an art teacher but then, another detour took me to another path.

Sculpture (1 of 1)

Midway on my college journey I was diagnosed with cancer. I continued to attend Edgewood College while receiving treatment and had a stem cell transplant as well. I dove into my art classes and my Intro to Art Therapy class during this time. I learned first hand how healing art is for any situation in your life. I changed majors to art therapy and found that this is my true calling. My internship was at the UW Hospital in Madison in the Carbone Cancer Center and was inspired and touched by witnessing that art does touch everyone that tries it. I saw it over and over again lift spirits, calm anxieties, and bring joy to the wonderful people I worked with.



My Passion & Mission

My passion is finding my true self through the creative process and learning to love myself fully. My mission is to help people love and understand their whole self. I believe the most nurturing way to do this is through the creative process while listening to our hearts. We have the answers inside us and we can trust them.

Back cover of altered book

I have always known how art touches me but through the classes I have taught and my during my college education, it has been proven to me that art is so much more than a picture on the wall. I want to open the door of creativity to as many people as I can. My mantra is that creativity is self expression not learning the “perfect” techniques for a photo realistic painting. Art is for everybody. Art is for self expression. Art is you and you are your art. I know everyone has a creative voice and I want to be there when you sing!

I want to guide you with the right questions for you to explore your true story and help you to create your pages. We will celebrate who you truly are as you discover that all your parts are valuable and beautiful. What I have found is that we are all touched by not loving all our parts. We repress some of us that we don’t think is socially acceptable – the more we deny those parts, the more they show up. We bring into our lives situations to teach us the lessons we need to learn. Let me help you leave guilt & shame by the side of the road as you travel to loving yourself fully!

Art Journal Page

Baraboo New Republic article about my art exhibition and reception talk about the healing aspects of a creative practice.


Both parents were/are artists

I am a life long artist in many mediums (crafts, quilting, acrylic, photography, collage, trompe l’oeil mural painting, to name a few)

Jewelry artist & instructor for 20 plus years

Worked in 4 bead stores for a total of 20 years experience making beaded jewelry

Teacher & leader for many years

Taught a continuing education class on altered books at U W Sauk Co Extension

Art Leader at Catholic Charities Adult Day Center Madison Wisconsin

Waunakee Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

Art in Health at University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison Wisconsin


BS in Art Therapy Edgewood College

Minors in both Art & Psychology



M’nM birds!!! You know the ones we drew in our pictures as kids. . . Cathy loves those. Why? Because they are YOUR art, YOUR feelings, YOUR expressions! Cathy teaches us that M’nM birds are beautiful because they are from YOUR INNER ART.                                    -Kelli, student

“Hey I just wanted to offer another thank you for our “art therapy” session the other day. It was a welcome relief from years of “I know what’s wrong with you”-type counseling and I felt like it helped me tap into some different places in my my head than a typical sit and talk session.”  -Val

(I am not an art therapist and Val was referring to a guided art project that helped her to understand more of herself)

I have found that using my art in a safe non-threatening environment that Cathy provided was very helpful to me in working through personal issues of grief and loss. Cathy has a unique way of connection with a variety of people and also their individual issues. Some how she was always able to lend an empathic ear and had a way of helping me see things more clearly. Using my art especially in the medium of collage was also very freeing and safe. Art has a way of taking one to a relaxed almost meditative place that is healing.                                                  -Celia