Celebration Journaling

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hi Everyone,
I really appreciate the enthusiastic response to last week’s blog “Joanne’s Journals“. For those of you who inquired about the Moleskin journal with the pre-printed boxes, they are called ‘Art plus Storyboard Notebooks’, and are available in two sizes: 3.5″ x 5.5″ and 5″ x 8.25”. If you would like to buy them on Amazon, here are the links:

Since there were so many enthusiastic comments about my meditative journals, I will work on planning a Zenspirations Guided Journal project for everyone who expressed interest. It may take a little time, because I need to finish the last few pages of my Kickstarter book (When You Lose Someone You Love) before tackling another project. Since I’m not sure about the timeframe, if you are interested please send an e-mail with the subject line Zenspirations® Guided Journal Project to me at [email protected], and I’ll let you know when I have the first project ready. In the meantime, I hope you’ll do some meditative journaling on your own.
Tonight I wanted to share another type of journaling that I really enjoy; I call it ‘Celebration Journaling’. It’s my way of helping celebrate and commemorate special occasions. Unlike my meditative journals, my Celebration Journals are usually quite colorful.

After I letter a celebratory message, I photograph it and either e-mail it to the person I made it for, or post it on their Facebook wall.

I made the piece below to help my friend Peggy Whalen celebrate her birthday last year. I wrote in one of Strathmore’s ArtAgain black journals using Sakura’s awesome Metallic and Moonlight Gelly Roll pens.

Sometimes instead of Celebration Journal Pages, I create Celebratory Messages such as the ones below, which I made for my friend Greg Minuskin. Greg is a world reknowned pen-man, who specializes in restoring and re-tipping fountain pens for the calligraphic and collector communities, so I decided to add a pen into his birthday greeting.

The next design I created for my cousin to give to her roommate… which gave me the idea of what to write about this week (thanks, Ashley!). I used a frame I drew when I first started doing Zenspirations a few years ago, and added the text digitally.

Celebration journaling and messaging is a great way of connecting with those you love, and even if you aren’t a lettering artist it’s fun to create custom messages for friends and family. Something I’ve been having a lot of fun with recently is Instagram. I have been enjoying looking at all the colorful and creative images that people post. The ‘Happy 1st Day of Spring’ message was my Friday morning journal entry, created specifically to share with my Instagram friends. I liked it so much I decided to share it with my blog followers, too.

Below is what I posted on Instagram. I’m finding it challenging to work within the square format that all Instagram photos are cropped to… but I’m starting to learn what works. My Instagram name is Zenspirations: https://instagram.com/zenspirations/. If you are on Instagram too, let’s connect!

Before signing off this week, I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their favorite scripture verses… I’m planning to base some of the designs on the ones which get the most requests… which leads me to an apology and another request. The apology is  because I forgot to ask a VERY important question– which bible version do you use? NIV, ESV, King James, something else? And the request is– if you are interested in having me use one (or more!) of your favorite scriptures as part of my new line of notecards, it would be REALLY helpful if would you please write out the exact wording (with punctuation and reference) of each scripture you’d like me to consider. It doesn’t have to be five… just share the ones you really love (could be two, could be ten).
In terms of the giveaway, I will still draw a name from those who commented last week, and will draw a second name from those who leave a comment this week. This week’s prize will be a box of the scripture notecards (once they are printed) and a personalized Celebratory Message of your choice– it can be for you or someone you love.

So thank you in advance for sharing your favorite scriptures… and you can still win this week’s prize even if you didn’t leave a comment last week.

Stay Zenspired,


28 thoughts on “Celebration Journaling”

  1. Hi Joanne, l really love all the celebration messages you have made for all your friends, your work is so beautiful, l love all your zenpirations and doodles , but l am so on love with the way you do your letters, l know you are a very busy lady, but do you think that you could do another book on the way you do all your letters for all these beautiful cards, l already have your 2 books on zenspirations with the versal letters, but would be interested to know how you make all your other decorative letter and all the fancy flourishes that go with them, No pressure Joanne, but PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, BRING OUT ANOTHER LETTERING BOOK, ……….Love Kate xxx

  2. Hi Joanne, l really love all the celebration messages you have made for all your friends, your work is so beautiful, l love all your zenpirations and doodles , but l am so on love with the way you do your letters, l know you are a very busy lady, but do you think that you could do another book on the way you do all your letters for all these beautiful cards, l already have your 2 books on zenspirations with the versal letters, but would be interested to know how you make all your other decorative letter and all the fancy flourishes that go with them, No pressure Joanne, but PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, BRING OUT ANOTHER LETTERING BOOK, ……….Love Kate xxx

  3. Hi Joanne! Thank you for another wonderful post of inspiring works of art! I really love your style and it was your work that encouraged me to get back to doodling / painting after a long hiatus.

    I'm just curious on your process in making the Celebration Journal pages. Did I understand it correctly? Do you paint the background separately then add the letters / design digitally?

    Thank you so much!


  4. love the celebration journal! i wish i had your talent- i have to ask- have you always had nice and neat penmanship?

  5. Joanne, I am in total agreement with Kate, another lettering book would be absolutely invaluable, especially for those of us with no calligraphic skills. I know you can learn by practicing, but some of us (a lot of us?) need to have inspiration in front of us as our experience has not provided us with the inspiration from within.
    I would be very happy to support another Kickstarter so you could produce the book! Hint, hint! 🙂

  6. Joanne, these are some of my favorite verses:

    Jeremiah 29:11 NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Romans 15:13 NIV May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Psalm 46:10a ESV Be still, and know that I am God.

    Isaiah 4110 ESV Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    John 14:27 ESV Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

    Thank you for sharing your work. I really love it.

  7. I do have a favorite scripture from the bible version GNT: Your will not have to fight this battle. Just take up your positions and wait; you will see the LORD give you victory. 2 CHRONICLES 17

  8. I love your work and it has inspired me so in my own path.The Celebration Books are so wonderful and a great idea. Please keep sharing your wonderful ideas with us, so we can truly make a difference in the world by the message we send out. Grateful.

  9. It is amazing that you can keep up with all of your wonderful journals. Love the idea of the celebration journal. Like the other posts, I would love to have more lettering instructions. I use the King James version of the Bible. I am not picky about subject, I just love the word of God. Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. I always look forward to my Zenspirations email! Your art is so elegant, beautiful and inspiring! The celebration journal is a wonderful idea!

    When times are stressful, I think of your work and then I take a deep breath and relax.

    Thank you!!

  11. Love the Celebration Journaling!
    Favorite verse: 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind.

  12. I have just gotten introduced to journaling with scripture, thanks to a clas I am taking with Ronda Wade. I would love to have a set of your scripture note-cards to use for this purpose. It would be great to win; but if I don't – I defintiely want to purchase a set when they become available. Thanks for your beautiful work.

  13. Your Celebration Journals are just joyous to see! You are so gifted and you inspire all of us to not only be better artists, but also to become more thoughtful and generous human beings. I hope you feel all the love.

  14. I have recently discovered the Common English Bible (CEB). I have really enjoyed this version. One of my favorite verses is:

    Matthew 5:5

    Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.

    I love the idea of doing an art page and taking a picture to send to someone!
    Great idea!!

    Thank you, Cindi

  15. Wow ! I really love how vibrant the colors are and your beautiful penmanship just enhances it all even more. (T_T) Wish I could afford to buy Sakura products but they're really outside my budget zone. But hopefully someday I'll have the spare $$$ to purchase some Metallic, Moonlight, and Koi Brush pens.

  16. I love the King James Version. This is my favorite verse

    Psalms 27:1 (KJV) The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

  17. I agree with Deb, Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 15:13 are favorites.

    But my all time favorite verse is Deuteronomy 14:2b (NIV) "out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has CHOSEN you to be his TREASURED possession."

    I love all of your work. Thank you for generously sharing your gift.

  18. Joanne, I love the idea of having separate journals, celebratory, gratitude, scripture, etc. Somedays I will be pulled to write in one or another. This is so encouraging. Mary Ann

  19. Here's a bible verse for you.

    7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
    Psalm 31:7 NIV
    New International Version

    Lisa Hoesing

  20. Joanne,

    From Isaiah 40:31 NIV – "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

    This has gotten me through more than one personal crisis!

    Can only echo what others have said and thank you again for being YOU!!

  21. One of my favorite bible verses (there are many) is: With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

  22. These are just stunning! Thanks so much for the links to the Storyboard Notebooks.

  23. Yes, I am interest in your guided journal. What wonderful things you come up with.
    Hugs. Carla

  24. Theme is PRAYER…The scriptures come from The Living Bible.

    MY FAVORITE verse is…Philippians 4: 6 Don't worry about anything: instead, pray about everything: tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers.

    Matthew 18: 20 "For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I will be right there among them."

    Romans 12: 12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always.

    Colossians 4: 2 Don't be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God's answers and remember to be thankful when they come.

    1 Thessalonians 5: 16-17 16 Always be joyful. 17 Always keep on praying.

    Another theme I had is LIGHT, which was my 1st choice.

    Matthew 5 :14 -16 14 You are the world's light— a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. 15,16 Don't hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.

    John 8: 12 "I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path."

    John 3: 16 For God so loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Psalms 119: 105 Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me, and keep me from stumbling.

    Psalms 27: 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; he protects me from danger—whom shall I fear?

    The Celebration Journaling is great!

    God bless you Joanne!
    Gail Beck

  25. I just started following you and sent invites to my friends as well. I love the beautiful and whimsical style you have and it IS inspiring!! My mom was an artist and master calligrapher and belonged to the guild here in San Antonio for many years before Alzheimer's took her art (and heart) away. She wasn't able to share her gift with me,but I think she would be happy to know that I'm interested in learning! Looking forward to your Zenspirations on Tuesdays!

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