Faith, Friends & Family Fun!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hi Everyone,

This weekend my children and I got to celebrate two very special events with friends & chosen family: a baby shower for my friend Gladys’s grandson, and the Bar Mitzvah of family friend Sam Fender.

While the events were very different, they were similar in core ways. Both united friends & family in the timeless traditions of their respective faiths; both overflowed with love and pride. I wanted to share a sketch I did which illustrates how faith, friends, and family are the roots which allow us to grow in love.

Since I love to give hand-lettered gifts, I also thought I’d share what I made to commemorate these two special events. The piece I did for Sam in honor of his Bar Mitzvah incorporates two of his greatest loves– the violin and Jerusalem. All the elements were hand drawn and/or painted, and then scanned. I composed the finished design in PhotoShop. 

Since I never leave home without a pocketbook full of pens, it was easy to make a quick hand-lettered gift at the baby shower. Since I didn’t know the baby’s name, I hand-lettered the parents’ names while they were opening their gifts (lots and lots of diapers!).

I started by writing the names on black paper with a silver Gelly roll. I like to use silver for what I call the ‘skeletal structure’ of the letter, because it blends so nicely with all the other colors.

Next I started adding weight with Sakura’s amazing metallic Gelly roll pens. I wanted a rainbow effect, so I switched colors every couple letters. 

I finished just as they were opening the last gift… and took a quick photo to share before giving the parents-to-be their name-sign. The metallic on black is very dramatic– and shimmers when you hold it in the light.

If you know someone who likes to letter or draw, please share this with them. There is something extra special about commemorating a lifecycle event with a hand-made gift… and that’s the love with which it is made. 

Until next time…

Stay Zenspired,


5 thoughts on “Faith, Friends & Family Fun!”

  1. I LOVE seeing your process ….. And your colorful, happy letters and drawings. Thank you for your inspiration!

  2. Beautiful as always! I love that you give handmade gifts! I'd love to have something like this to frame for my first grandchild due in December to put on his/her wall. I wish I had your steady hand and "flourish"!

    Thank you so much for sharing your art with us. I never get tired of looking at what you've done and can never wait to see what you'll do next!

  3. Hi Joanne, thanks for sharing how you create your letters. I too, carry pens and markers everywhere! I find this is where I do my best creations, without the 'pressure' 🙂 I am starting to look at suitable courses so I can learn calligraphy to enhance my lettering skills. Thanks, I love to see what you are up to! regards, Danielle

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