Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
Navigation

 

Tuesday
Sep012015

Challenges & Blessings

Hi Everyone,

This is a season of introspection for me… when I take time to reflect on my life’s journey, and try to figure out what my soul needs to grow. I often ask myself these questions: 

How can I live my life with intention, so that it will be meaningful? 

How can I use the talents I’ve been blessed with to make a difference in the world?                                           
Is what I'm devoting my life to worthwhile?

I seldom come up with concrete answers, but often the pure stream-of-conscience doodles and things I write in my morning journals help me glimpse what is really inside my heart.                                                            
Tonight I wanted to share a few pages from my morning journals. They are ‘raw’, unretouched scans, but the words relate to the introspection I’ve been doing.                                                                                              

 

The piece below says “Challenges force our souls to grow in a new direction.” It’s the trials we face which often cause our perspective to shift... and once that happens, the road ahead is full of possibility. 

Here's what this design looks like from a different perspective:

Finding a few minutes each day to put pen to paper and write positive, encouraging messages, helps me stay grounded in gratitude. I make a practice of looking for the blessing in every situation, especially the most difficult ones. 

 

 

Sometimes one of my morning journals entries or doodles evolves into a finished design. I drew the piece below several years ago, and recently decided to use the flower in one of my new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play books.
Here’s the finished page from the Birds & Butterflies book.
I wrote the quote about being a masterpiece in progress for my daughter, and was delighted that she had time to paint the design before heading back to school.
I’m thinking about including some of my morning journal messages in one of new books I’m working on, and would appreciate your leaving a comment to let me know which of the messages I’ve included tonight resonates with you.                                                                                                                                                                          
And now, let me share the results of the Coloring & Creativity Contest (drum roll please!): Ardis Ferdig won a set of the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play booksand Cindy Hanna Davis Therkildsen won the Sakura Goody Basket! Congratulations to you both! Ladies, please send me your addresses so I can get you the prizes. Special thanks to Fox Chapel and Sakura of America for donating the prizes, and to my friend Gina who carefully counted every entry, put the appropriate number of names in a hat, and pulled the winners.                                                                                                                                                                               
But I think that I'm the real winner... the team of Color & Creativity Enthusiasts posted more than 100 images in the Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play Facebook group this past week, and they are collectively extraordinary. If you havent had a chance to look through the photo albums, I strongly encourage you to do so. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1471158256528576/.
After you see all the fabulous designs, you'll appreciate what an incredible challenge it was to select which pieces to include in the next book. My editor and I spent hours this afternoon trying to reach a consensus, and tonight she sent out more than a dozen permission to publish forms... and plans to send the rest out tomorrow. The press deadline was moved up, and the book is going to press this week instead of next week, so we went ahead and picked a few 'back-up' options in case one of our first choices can’t get a scan done in time. I can't wait to see the finished pages for this new mini book. I also can't wait to see the new

                                                                                                                
       
which have been printed, and are on their way to me! I’m told that Amazon should be shipping the books next week, and that Michaels will put up the endcap in October. If you have pre-ordered (or plan to order) a book on Amazon, I’d really appreciate your writing a short review to let everyone (myself included!), know how you like it. And, of course, I’d love to see what you do with the pages… if you like to color, pattern and draw, please join the FB group and post your work. It’s a warm and welcoming community.
I was deeply touched that Ranae Davidson, whose work I really like, made a special design for me tonight to celebrate that the group now has more than 1,000 members. THANK YOU Ranae! Your work is beautiful, and it means a lot to me that you created this special image in honor of the group surpassing 1,000 members. The best part about the group is the sharing spirit and creative commaraderie. I feel blessed to be part of the special community.
        
Stay Zenspired,
Joanne

 

 

Tuesday
Aug252015

Color & Creativity CONTEST!!

Hi Everyone,
My publisher shared some exciting news this week… they have recently started a ‘Perfectly Portable Pages’ series for people who want to color and create on the go, and my soon-to-be-released Expressions of Faith book has been selected to be part of the new ‘mini’ series! In addition to being smaller, the proportions of the pages are different, so I’m busy reformatting the designs to fit into the narrower template. Both versions of the book will begin with a colorful section of coloring & patterning tips and inspiration samples. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is a picture of the cover:

 

And here is one of the inspiration spreads from the full sized book. It’s designed to showcase the variety of ways one image can be interpreted.

 

Special thanks to the five talented artists who created these samples:                                                             
LEFT PAGE:
Tracey Lyon (top left),
Gail Beck (top right),
Terri Brown (bottom left),
Ardis Ferdig (bottom right).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
RIGHT PAGE:
Jennifer Priest                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Below are five designs for you to download, print, color & create. I have set up albums in our new Facebook Group where you can share your interpretation of the designs.


Check out the other albums if you'd like ideas on different ways to embellish your pages.                                   
You’ll have to join the group in order to post, and it sometimes takes me 24 + hours to respond to requests to join the group, so if you plan to submit and aren’t a member yet, please join the group now, and then you’ll be able to post your designs when you finish them. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1471158256528576/
 
CONTEST RULES:
For every design you post (and yes, you may post more than one version of the same page) your name will be entered into a random drawing for one of the following prizes:                                                                  
1. A Sakura Goody Basket!

2. A set of the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play books: Birds & Butterflies, Expressions of Faithand the mini Perfectly Portable Pages” Expressions of Faith

The mini book isn’t available for pre-order yet, but here are links to the others if you'd like to check them out:

                                                                                                                
                                                                                           
If you post two designs, you’ll have two chances to win; if you post five designs, you’ll have five chances to win. The prizes winners will be selected at random; the pieces to include in the new book will be selected by my editor and me.

Although it is fine to simply color, what sets Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern & Play apart from all of the other coloring books on the market is that there is room on each page to add your own patterns and special touches before coloring. Therefore I’m looking for people who can add patterning (and/or other enhancements) as well as applying color.  
                                                                                                   
IMPORTANT STUFF TO KNOW:

 

1.      You will need to post your creations by end of day Sunday, August 30th. This date is not flexible, as the book is going to press the following week! 

 

2.      We will be only be able to include three of the five downloadable designs, and will select the three designs which show the most variety of coloring and patterning techniques, so don't be afraid to try different things. The more you do the better your chance to be included in the book or win a prize!                         

3.     VERY IMPORTANT: PUT YOUR NAME, e-dress and phone number on each design before you scan or photograph it!

 

4. Post your images in the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play Facebook Group and after you post them please add them to the appropriate photo album (Yes, this means you'll be posting the same thing twice; once on the wall and once in the album). You can get to the albums by clicking the Photos button underneath the imagine banner (see image above).

5.      If your art is selected, you’ll need to send my publisher a high-res scan (300 dpi) or be able to overnight the original art so they can scan it, and you'll need to sign a Permission-to-Publish form.

 

6.      Because the books will not be printed on paper which accepts wet media, please DO NOT use watercolors or any other type of wet media. Color pencils, gel pens, markers and crayons are all fine. 

7.     Submitting pages is not a guarantee that they will be selected for inclusion.

8. Artists whose work is selected will be given credit in the book, and will receive two free copies of the book when it is published. 

9.  Since I always like opening doors for young talent, I’d be happy for you to share this info with any promising art students (or fellow artists) you know who would like to have their work published. 

10. You can e-mail me (joanne@zenspirations.com) if you have any questions: please put  “ZENSPIRATIONS® COLORING ENTHUSIAST QUESTIONS” in the subject line.

Here are the five designs:
REJOICE Trio:
Click here to download your free copy of the REJOICE Trio.
BELIEVE Dove:

Click here to download your free copy of the BELIEVE Dove:

 

BLESS Hearts:

Click here to download your free copy of the BLESS Hearts:

 

RAINBOW Promise:

Click here to download your free copy of the RAINBOW Promise:

 

FAITH Candle:


Click here to download your free copy of the FAITH Candle:

 

While I suspect that these pages will keep you busy for a while, if you are looking for more opportunities to Color, Create, Pattern & Play, Amazon is having a sale on Zenspirations® Inspirations. It's usually $9.99, but is selling right now for $6.77.

 


 

Happy Coloring... I am really looking forward to seeing your creativity in action! 

 

Stay Zenspired,

Joanne

 

 

Tuesday
Aug182015

Creativity Abounds!

Hi Everyone,

I had a nice surprise this week… a box arrived from Impression Obsession with samples of some of my new rubber stamp designs, and there are a few I REALLY love. The photo below shows some of the craft themed stamps, and I’m sure you can guess which ones are my favorites. 

As a calligrapher I’m naturally drawn to the quills, pens & brushes… below is the original drawing of the pen & brush stamp.
Here is a painted version of two of the brushes. 
I love color, and have been delighted to see the vibrant and varied colors, and the creative designs, which are being shared in our new Facebook Group, Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play. As promised, there are now albums of the four free downloadable pages I posted in the blog the past two weeks, which makes it easy to see how different artists use color and pattern to create a unique design. THANK YOU to everyone who has shared their work, and to those who have ‘liked’ their designs and left supportive and encouraging comments. I’m honored and inspired to be part of this growing community.                                                      
Here’s a screen shot of some of the images in the Architectural Flowers album. 

And here is a screenshot of the 'Beauty restores Faith' page from my soon-to-be-released Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play: Expressions of Faith book:

You can get a better look at these wonderful designs, and see who did them, by visiting the group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1471158256528576/ and scrolling through the albums. Hope you’ll all join the fun, and please invite other creativity and color enthusiasts to join the group and post their work. And if you haven't been bitten by the coloring bug, or aren't quite ready to share yet, please take a few minutes to encourage those who are posting-- especially those who are sharing their art for the first time. Kind comments can really make someone's day!

Although I haven’t made a rubber stamp out of Beauty restores Faith (yet!), quite a number of the new stamps are scripture/faith based. As you can see, some scriptures are designed in long vertical strips so they can be used for Bible Journaling. 

The new Zenspirations® Expressions of Faith book also has scriptures in long skinny columns that you can color & pattern, then cut and paste into your bible. I don’t know how many of you are interested in Bible journaling, but if you’d like to see the Bible journaling designs I drew, please leave a comment letting me know. If a lot of people are interested I’ll ask my editor if I can post another free download next week. If you’d rather see a full page illustration from Expressions of Faith, or something from Birds & Butterflies, please leave that as a comment. I'll ask to post whatever gets the most votes.                                                                        

In case you missed last week’s blog, the new books are available for pre-order on Amazon. I'd be grateful if you could help me spread the word. Here are the links:                                                                                                                                                         
Zenspirations Expressions of Faith
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1574219014/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1574219014&linkCode=as2&tag=zenspirations-20&linkId=XZB4LZX5SEDRLSEX                                                                                                                     
Zenspirations Birds and Butterflies
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1574218700/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1574218700&linkCode=as2&tag=zenspirations-20&linkId=BZSBZRCZTJKYXVL7                                                                                                                     
Before closing tonight, I wanted to share a note I got today from Erica McPhee, founder of The Flourish Forum, and editor of the awesome Dasherie Magazine. 
Congratulations Judy! And thank you Erica! The magazine is GORGEOUS, and I’m thrilled to be featured in the summer issue, and know that Judy will enjoy getting a copy.                                                                        
Until next week,                                                                                                                                             
Stay Zenspired,
Joanne

 

 

 

Tuesday
Aug112015

Greet Each Day with a Hopeful Heart

Hi Everyone,

I want to share some exciting news… my new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play books are going to press today! It’s been a race to the finish line, because Thursday night I got word that we could add four instructional pages and two more coloring pages to each book— but we had to move quickly, since the books are going to press TODAY!!! Since I always have things to share, I was delighted to have the opportunity to expand that section. I was able to include an extra instructional spread, and an extra ’inspiration sample’ spread. Although this isn’t the final layout, here’s a sneak peak at some of the material I added. The idea is to show different stages and ways to embellish and color a design... the top left is the original page, the bottom left is the embellished page, and the right is embellished and colored page.                                                                  

Given the quick turn-around time needed, I asked my daughter to help me paint the Greet Each Day image. She's a wonderful watercolor painter (yes, that's my totally biased opinion as her Mom!).

 

I used some of the additional pages to feature five different interpretations of the same design. 
In case you can't read the small type, the five talented artists are:
LEFT PAGE:
Puneet Sekhon (top left),
Jennifer Priest (top right),
Gail Beck (bottom left),
Tracey Lyon (bottom right).
RIGHT PAGE:
Adele Bruno.
Please visit the new Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play group if you’d like to see (and post!) additional inspiration examples. Here is the link to the group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1471158256528576/. Hope you’ll join the fun!                                               
The group has grown to almost 600 members in less than a month… and I’m in total awe of the wonderful work which is being posted. It’s great to have a forum where we can all share what we love to do. I’m working on setting up albums so you’ll be able to scroll through different versions of the same design all in one place, rather than needing to scroll back through all the posts to find designs to compare. Unfortunately I got sidetracked adding pages to the new books, but I’ll try to have the albums set up by the end of the week. 

A lot of the content which is being posted comes from the contest we've been running, so let me take a moment to recap the contest for you. There were a total of 53 entries from 22 different participants. I’m not sure where everyone lives, but I believe there are at least six countries represented. I have a summer intern who is a whiz at Excel, and he made this great graph for us.

 

As you can see, of the four free downloadable designs I shared, the heart rope was by far the most popular. Since I needed to add pages to each of the books, I decided to create another heart-ribbon design. So image that will be on the very last page of the Expressions of Faith book is below.



And now (drum roll please!), I’m delighted to announce that the winner of the contest is Susan Stairs Rems! Sue, please let me know where you want me to send your package. You won’t have long to wait because the books will be printed this week, and copies should be available by the end of the month. If you’d like to pre-order the new books on Amazon, here are the links:


These are called Affiliate Links’, which means that I get a small percentage of anything someone orders on Amazon IF they get to Amazon via the Zenspirations website. The really good news is that it doesn’t cost the shopper anything extra, and it’s a great way for me to help pay for my art supplies and books. I’d consider it a personal favor, if the next time you are planning to shop on Amazon, you would go to Zenspirations, and then scroll down the side menu and click on the Amazon button, which is right below the ‘favorite links’ button on the left. If you click the button, then shop on Amazon, I’ll get the small percentage on ANYTHING you buy— not just Zenspirations products. So if you are not already supporting a different Amazon Affiliate, I’d be very grateful if you would support me, especially if you are planning a major purchase.

I want to close tonight by saying WELCOME to all the new members, and THANK YOU to all of the Color & Creativity Enthusiasts who have been sharing their work this week. Please check out the new group, and let me know what kinds of pieces you’d be interested in working on. If there is enough of a consensus, I’ll try to post another free download for everyone to color and embellish.

Stay Zenspired,
Joanne

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Aug042015

Create, Color, Pattern & Play!

Hi Everyone,

Last week I drove back to South Florida to attend the press run for the reprinting of my Kickstarter book, When You Lose Someone You Love. (In case you missed the last update, the first printing went well but the books were ruined in the bindery, so we had to reprint). I'm pleased to report that the press run went well the second time… and even happier to report that the printer has agreed to out-source the binding to the company which did an excellent job binding the prototypes. I'm hoping it will be smoother sailing from here. I know some of you are awaiting their arrival as eagerly as I am… and I will let you know when they arrive.

While I was on the road I had some internet challenges, and discovered (much to my dismay!) late Tuesday night that the pdf links for the pages I tried to post weren't working. Since I wasn't able to get that fixed until Wednesday, I posted an update saying that I was going to extend the contest deadline until Saturday, August 8th, to make sure that everyone had time to Create, Color, Pattern & Play with their designs. I know some of you didn't see the update, and posted your designs already... no worries, they will be entered into the drawing. And, for those who either didn't get to participate, or who did both pages and want more... keep reading-- I'm sharing two more designs in tonight's blog!

I also wanted to share the title page for the new Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern & Play series. I had fun adding color into the counterspaces of the letters. Hope to see some of you try the technique.

As it turns out, I'm not sure that extending the deadline was necessary, because the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play" Facebook Group has had a LOT of activity in the past week. In two short weeks we have grown to more than 400 members, representing at least 10 different countries! This is a dream-come-true for me, because I've been longing for a community of people who are drawn to incorporate inspiration into their creative endeavors. I feel blessed to be collaborating with so many talented artists… thank you to everyone who has been sharing designs! I'd love to see this group become a forum where people can share their work, their hearts, and where we can support and inspire each other. 

While there are many people who shared work this week, there is one person who has totally blown me away both by the number, and by the beauty of the designs she shared. Terri Byrket Brown and I both gravitate towards a bright color palette, and I love her work (and all the sharing she's done) so much that I made her a Dangle Thank You as a surprise:                                                                                                                                         
 
Terri kindly gave me permission to share some of her incredible work. These are just a few of the designs she has posted:                                                                                                                                                           
If you are interested in seeing more of the truly awesome work that Terri and other Color & Creative Enthusiasts are posting, please take a few minutes to check out the new Facebook grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1471158256528576/ Hope you will want to join the fun.

For those of you who have already downloaded the designs I posted last week and would like something new to work on, my editor has once again given me permission to share two more designs. This one is from the new Zenspirations® Birds & Butterflies book, which will be released in October:
You can download it by clicking the link HERE:
For those who prefer pages without words, or who would prefer to add their own, here is one of my favorite pages from Zenspirations® Flowers.

You can download it by clicking the link HERE:                                                                                                  
That gives you four different designs to choose from-- two from last week's blog and two from this week's blog. Every time you post one of these four designs, your name will be entered into a random drawing to win a set of the first three Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play books, PLUS pens from Sakura and paper from Strathmore. (There are photos of the prizes in last week's blog). The more pieces you enter, the better your chance to win. Please make sure that your pieces are posted by midnight Eastern time on Saturday, August 8th.                                                                                                                                                                    
I look forward to seeing what you create!                                                                                                             
Stay Zenspired,
Joanne