Grace & Gratitude

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hi Everyone,
I know I’ve been talking about this for weeks… but I’m delighted to report that my new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play books are finally here!!!

I got my sample copies last week, and Amazon pre-orders have already started to ship.  I’m so excited about the new coloring books— and my new Kickstarter book When You Lose Someone You Love— that I’m planning to have a Book Launch Party to celebrate! If you will be in the Orlando area Sunday afternoon, September 27th, please save the date and join the fun. I’ll post the details next week.
One of the things I plan to do at the Book Launch Party is have a coloring station where people can create their own interpretation of a design. It’s amazing how many different ways one design can be depicted… and tonight I wanted to do an Artist Spotlight on Helga Cuypers, a talented calligrapher and crafter from Belgium. Helga created three different versions of the Believe Dove design that I posted a couple weeks ago. If they hadn’t all been by the same artist I would have included all three versions in my next book… but since I’m only allowed to feature one version of a design per artist, and I love them all, I’d appreciate knowing which is your favorite.
The first is a Christmas theme, which I like because it shows a holiday interpretation of the design.

The second is a globe theme with beautiful mountains in the background, and a hand-lettered quote in the border.

The third also has an inspiring quote framing the design, with an awesome sky and shell.

You can see Helga’s wonderful work, and also how other Color & Creativity enthusiasts interpreted this design in the photos section of the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play FB group. Here is the link:

I’ve been so impressed with the incredible imagery people are sharing, I started doodling while wondering where all the members lived. I posted my question to the group, and have been delighted that more than 240 people have responded!

Special thanks to Ardis Ferdig, who volunteered to create a map showing where everyone lives… so far we know there are members in at least 20 countries!!! And I got a surprise overseas call this afternoon which totally made my day. Grace Bower, one of our New Zealand members, took the time to call and tell me how much she enjoyed reading the blog… and mentioned that last week’s blog post was especially meaningful to her because it arrived on her 70th birthday. Grace, it was great to hear from you, and I’m sorry I wasn’t able to talk longer… but this is for you, with gratitude. Hope this is the start of a wonderful, creatively inspiring year for you.

I have discovered that Grace and Gratitude are often intertwined. When you are grounded in gratitude it is much easier to achieve a state of grace. I have often written about this in my morning journals, and thought I’d share an example with you:

I was dismayed to discover that there was a problem leaving comments on last week’s blog, because I really want to know your thoughts on the pages I shared from my morning journals. Tech support has (hopefully!) fixed the problem… and if you have a few extra minutes I’d be grateful if you would leave a comment letting me know which of the ‘morning journal’ posts touched you… I’d also love to know if you journal… You should be able to leave a comment on either last week’s post or this week’s post… and I look forward to reading them.

Stay Zenspired,

21 thoughts on “Grace & Gratitude”

  1. Joanne, I truly want to tell you how much I appreciate your generosity, encouragement and inspiration through your words and art….I treasure the gifts you so willingly share with so many. You are a beautiful light in the world today and a blessing to me. ❤️

    Thank you,


  2. Congratulations again on the books Joanne! Your loving heart, kind spirit and generosity shine thru in your books and continue to inspire us all! Of Helga's three designs, I like her Christmas picture! It reminds us of the goodness of man, peace, and the reason we are all here!
    A very happy birthday to Grace, and I hope you have a wonderful time at your launch party! Would love to see the attendees coloring pages.

    All the best,


  3. Hey Joanne, I love it every time you say it "it helps me stay grounded" and many such quotes that you use in your journals/ art work…they are meaningful and leave me with a thought. i had read your last week's blog as well. As always the designs and calligraphic handwritten messages were beauty to my eyes.
    And out of the above three art pieces by Helga, I like the second one the most though all three are fabulous.

    thanks for inspiring so many including me!

  4. Joanne, I can't wait to get my new books! They should arrive this week. Your kindness and generosity knows no bounds! I feel truly blessed to be a part of this group.

    I love all 3 of Helga's pages, but I think my favorite is the second one.

    Grace and gratitude go hand in hand, so it's a perfect title for todays blog!

    Staying Zenspired!!!

  5. All 3 designs are lovely; prefer the Christmas theme because it inspires a different way to use the designs. Love all your art,Joanne!

  6. Hi Joanne,
    I do keep a journal and today's post begins with your quote on staying grounded in gratitude. At the end of each day's entry, I write those things for which i feel grateful and a blessing for the day. I am curious as to what medium Helga used to color her pieces. I like all of Helga's designs and am impresses with how she has such different interpretations. It's useful to me to see the same artist work three distinct pieces from the same base.

    I have another question. Sometimes I can see a Facebook post and other times I am asked to sign in. Is the page you linked to private in some way?

    Thank you for brightening each of my days. Jane

  7. Joanne, thanks to you for your inspirations and all your sharing. You have truly inspired me to color more and I am even trying my hand at doodles and tangles and dangles! Of the Believe designs above – I really like #1 and how she turned it into a Christmas themed page. Thanks again for sharing your grace with us!

  8. @ Joanne, thank you so much for incorporating my thingies in your post, I am really honored.
    I liked your journal entry about change best (leaves-snail) as I think change is inevitable in our lives and how we deal with that of major importance. I try to keep a journal myself. I make little projects in it that I surely can finish even when I have little time. Once more thank you for sharing !!!!!!!!!!!!
    @Jane Hi Jane, the first I did with copics, the others with colored pencils. Copic multiliners are always on my desk and I use them for lettering/patterning. Glad you like my thingies and find them interesting. Happy coloring!

  9. Hi Joanne, I'm going to try to both remember what I said about last weeks blog because it really hit home for me and comment on this weeks. First about last weeks. Your journal entry " I am incredibly blessed" had special meaning to me although I at this time should have to add "and I NEED to try to remember it…" The reason it had special meaning is Mon night we found out my dad who has stage 4 cancer now has days to weeks left to live. I'm blessed because both he and my mother are in their 80's and up until a couple of months ago has been in good health – truly a blessing to have my loving parents around that long. In all of the chaos and drama of a blended family and at this time of the High Holy Days it's a reminder I need to give myself. A question for you – when you share a picture like that is it okay to print and color/create from it?
    Now for this weeks, I like the 2nd one because I love the saying she used on it, again a good reminder for me right now.
    I love both your sharing others creations on your blog and being a part of your FB page which I've been since it started. It gives me ideas of how others are creative with your wonderful work. One thing I wish people would do on the FB page is share some of their coloring techniques. It's something I'd love to learn.
    L'Shanah Tova, may this coming year find you receiveing many blessings you give others.

  10. Hi Joanne,
    Congrats for your books and best of luck for the future! I am eagerly waiting for them!
    I wish I could be in Orlando and attend the party.
    I really like the second design by Helga, though all three are wonderful.

  11. Joanne:

    So happy your books have finally arrived! Wishing you all the best and cannot wait to see your designs for Rosh Hashana.
    Debra H.

  12. Your work is such a blessing! My favorite is #2 but the words on #3 really resonate with me. I vote for #2. Thank you for sharing and happy birthday to Grace!

  13. Congrats to you, job well done, bask in the joy.
    I like the artist' spot light-pushes the envelope on creativity.
    I am, however insane, drueling over your two "g" letters.
    They are so beautiful.

  14. I like the third one of Helga's three. I like the quote best. i like the coloring to have the touch of humanity, not all digitized and void of the work of the hand. I love that your work is expanding and involving the interest of more and more people.
    May your coming year be filled with grace and divine guidance.

  15. Joanne, I must have missed your Blog asking about our whereabouts!! So I will enter here… I am in GRASS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA which is in the No.Calif. Sierra Mtn Foothills at an elev of 2500 ft…. on the way to beautiful Lake Tahoe basin and surrounds. So much beauty in the natural world around us here. My creative journey began in sorrow, I believe my brain was trying to heal/save me from a dive into deep depression. And, it worked! The door opened and I can't seem to stop it!! I could draw, doodle, paint, color, create, all day every day!!! Thank you for opening up this new avenue for all the creative souls out here!!!!

  16. All 3 of Helga's designs are beautiful, but my favorite is number 3. I like the message it gives and the strong and vibrant colors, especially the blue. Also, congratulations on your books being published. They're all wonderful, and I'm sure will touch many people……Linda E.

  17. As always Your work inspires and lifts the heart. I too turned 70 last week and in two days I will be celebrating my first Bat mitzvah.

    I wish you a L'shanah Tovah !

    Thank you and have a wonderful day.


  18. Joanne,
    I plan to come to Orlando for your signing and to pick up my copy of When You Lose Someone You Love (I participated in the kickstarted). Looking forward to the event!

  19. Hello Joanne,

    Wow you are a very gifted artist and I love your artistry. I have recently been following you on Face Book and then came across your blog tonight. I am so glad to hear that you are soon too release a couple of new books. So I've signed up to receive your blog, so I can keep track of your creative ability and everything that you care to share.

    After reading through your blog, I have now decided to ordered your book: Birds and Butterflies via Amazon plus an earlier book on your zenndangles too! I just can't believe I hadn't done this sooner. I'm sure I will be update to date with everything as soon as it's humanly possible.

    I hope you don't mind me leaving you a comment and saying hello from a land down under. I live in Adelaide, Australia. Once I start getting my skills up to date as I recently have returned back to doing my zentangles and drawing to help me sleep at night. It is my hope to share some of my artistry with you and others at some stage.

    Until next time, I can't wait until my package comes from Amazon. Thank you and god bless Julie Beard

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