A House Filled with Love

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hi Everyone,

One of the very first greeting card sentiments I ever wrote– just after I graduated from college– was for my parents: “I love coming home because you are there“. My parents still live in the house we moved to when I was in second grade, and I was thrilled to be able to go home to visit them while I was in Pennsylvania last month. The home where I grew up is more than a house filled with art, books, music and memories– it’s a tangible symbol of the love which lives inside.

When my Zenspirations® journey began in 2009, I didn’t really know how to draw, so I looked for easy icons– like houses– which didn’t have to be realistic. Here are a couple of early examples:

I often incorporate hearts into my house art to symbolize the love which makes a house a home.

Our Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play FB Group will be two years old on July 21st, and I’d love some help planning our 2nd Anniversary Celebration. Like last year there will be a variety of prizes, contests and a webstore sale. We’ll officially kick things off in next week’s blog, and the celebration will continue until the end of July. I’m not announcing the first prize yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s something most people will really like. I’ll pick a name at random from those who leave comments on this week’s blog letting me know what kind of prize(s) you’d prefer. Here are some prize possibilities: a collection of tools and materials from some of my favorite manufacturers, a piece of Zenspirations art; a subscription to DO magazine; a private art lesson (in person at my studio, or via Skype); having me letter a word of your choice; free coloring downloads; a set of signed books; or something else. I’d really like to know what would inspire YOU to participate in the festivities. I’d also like to know if there is a theme you are interested in, and if you’d prefer one or two huge, awesome prizes, or several nice prizes? Thanks, in advance, for sharing your thoughts.

One of the things we’ll do this year is have our first drawing challenge… and it will be of a house! It could be any kind of house– a birdhouse, doghouse, lighthouse or Zenspirations Dangle Design house. To get your creative juices flowing I thought I’d share a step-by-step drawing showing how to create a Dangle house. The drawings are from the how-to section of my new book, Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your FaithIf you have the book, the text is on page 17.

Once you’ve practiced drawing the house and adding perimeter patterns and dangles, you can take it to the next level. Below are three examples showing different ways you can use Dangles and text to embellish a house design.

As you can see, a house drawing is a great way to frame your text. I often include prayers and wishes in my morning journal pages, and wanted to share this simple house along with the heartfelt wish: May your home be filled with laughter, love and light.

Before closing tonight I have a favor to ask. Today, Tuesday, July 11th, is Amazon’s annual Prime Day (which is a wild sale exclusively for Prime members), and seems like a good time to remind you that I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that I get a small percentage of anything which is purchased when you go to Amazon from Zenspirations.com. The link will take you to a page of my books, but you don’t have to buy anything Zenspirations… anything you buy will help me pay for some of the supplies I use to create all my blog posts– and it won’t cost you anything more than you’d already be spending. It doesn’t have to be something you do today– in fact, I’d be very grateful if whenever you want to buy something on Amazon, you would start at Zenspirations.com, and click the Amazon button underneath my photo. I’d be especially grateful if you would ask your friends and family to the same. Happy Shopping!

Stay Zenspired,



32 thoughts on “A House Filled with Love”

  1. I love your little houses, they’re so cute. I can’t believe the FB group is 2 years old!! Time has flown and so many people have been ‘zenspired’ to create beautiful artwork. Thank you from the bottom oy heart Joanne. The idea of an art lesson is awesome!!

  2. Happy anniversary! Any prize you select would be great I’m sure. From those mentioned the tools, autographed books and class with you are my top picks.

  3. This will spur me into action with my Bible Journaling Book. I have not been brave enough to try many of the items or pages in the book. I think a number of smaller things, including a free download would be better for our group. Maybe one or two winners a day for say 6 days, and then a larger prize for day 7.

  4. Good morning Joanne. Two years! Congratulations. Time has gone by quickly and so much love, energy, and support has been passed by the community. Anything you offer as a prize would be awesome, however , a prize of art tools and a personal class with you would be my preference. One or two large prizes sounds good, but I like the idea of smaller prizes so more people could be treated to your kindness.

  5. Hi Joanne–I love the house dangles!! The prizes that appeal to me are the products (like Koi brush marker sets) and the private art lesson! Everything you do is amazingly creative!

  6. Good morning my friend. You have my creative juices flowing and they haven’t been for a while when you said dog house!
    I can’t believe our group is 2 years old. It’s been so filled with love from you and so many of the other members, thanks to everyone!
    As for a special prize – you taking a trip to VA for a private art lesson! LOL Actually I love the idea of a private art lesson from you as you are such an awesome teacher when you do the blogs! I also like the ideas of a collection of your favorite supplies (as if I need any more) and / or a subscription to DO magazine.
    I didn’t realize going to Amazon from your page helps you no matter what I buy. Since I’m on there very often purchasing things for Bud, consider it done!
    ((Hugs)) Toni and Bud

  7. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 2 years for your FB group. I’ve loved being a part of it and all the inspiration shared there. I think any prizes would be appreciated. For me I love the drawings, coloring pages, anything with a zenspiration design on it. I think it would be fun for smaller prizes. I can’t wait to join in the celebration.

  8. I love your blog! I think several nice prizes is best. That way more people can participate!! I would love a piece of Zenspirations art! I love what you do with names. Anything with my name has been hard to find!

    Have fun!! Jamie Caywood-Miller

  9. Hi Joanne! Is this where I leave a message for your contest? Well, I’d love to have a Skype lesson from you! You are probably my most inspirational artist right now. I’ve always been into fantasy, whimsy, and imagination, and you are the ultimate! Praying blessings on you and your family and team.

  10. Joanne,
    You are so gifted and careing. Thank you so much for sharing. I think you should give away card size drawings that could be used in making and coloring cards.
    Thank you.

  11. HI Joanne!
    Glad you had a wonderful time visiting your family and PA. I think it is heartwarming that they’re still in the same house you grew up in. My parents still live in the house I grew up in too, since I was 5 yrs. old. <3
    WOW I can't believe it has been 2 yrs already! Looking forward to the giveaways as usual! I LOVE anything Sakura <3 , your new Strathmore water coloring books (LOVE THEM!!) and also your new stamp collection, which I still need to buy them! Maybe give out some of your individual watercolor flowers and butterflies too. They are a favorite of mine too!
    Anything you would suggest inspires me to participate, but not sure of a theme though. I am terrible at figuring these kind of things out, which I have told you before…HA
    I think several small prizes is a nice gesture. It gives more people a chance to win something awesome from you.. Maybe one nice big prize as well at the end of the celebration to go out with a bang!! .
    I like the house idea too!!!. I have taken pictures of all the homes I have lived in and want to eventually make a Zenspiration Dangle art piece with them all part of it and put something memorable within each house that had made it a home to me. <3 "Maybe" this will get the ball rolling for me to start it!!
    Your biggest fan always, XO
    Gail. .

  12. Hi Joanne!
    Two years already! Wow! Time does fly when we are having fun in this group! Congratulations!!! I really like the house challenge, and have already thought up some ideas! For prizes, an assortment of your favorite supplies is great, because after all, you can never have too many pens, etc. I also like the signed Zenspirations art and the one on one lesson with you! That would be too much fun!
    Love and hugs,

  13. I love shopping Amazon but had no idea I could help you through your blog. I will be using it in the future.

  14. What I would prefer for the prizes are some of the tools. I’m still at the point where I don’t have a large collection of tools and various colored pens to work with. I hesitate to buy too many feeling that I am being extravagent! So receiving some additional tools would be a real treat for me. This would also include some of the various more expensive papers. Again, these always feel like a luxury item to me. As far as how many prizes, I would prefer smaller prizes that go to more people as opposed to several really big ones. I know you have a lot of followers, so the smaller gifts would reach more of the group.
    Thanks for all you do,
    Judy Klein
    P.S. I totally enjoyed attending one of your workshops where we drew butterflies in Orange Park several years ago!

  15. I think that the more peopple you can impact, the better. So… many small prizes will accomplish that. I love everything you have listed as examples. I love art supplies and books personally but everything is appreciated.

  16. Happy Birthday Month Joanne with all my love and best wishes daily!!!!!!

    You, Joanne, are a gift to me and so many other people. I don’t need presents or prizes. You are the best present of all .

    Much love and gratitude always,

  17. Joanne –
    Happy almost Anniversary! The Facebook site has been such a blessing for me and I’ve met so many incredible friends through it – including you! As far as the prizes – all the ones you listed sounded great! A lesson with you would be so great and supplies are always fantastic. I’ve been blessed to get extra copies of some of your books and it’s so wonderful to share them with others. I think it would be great to offer a few nice prizes instead of one big one. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be awesome and appreciated by all! Hope you are enjoying your summer! Blessings!

  18. I would appreciate any of the following as prizes: a collection of tools and materials from some of my favorite manufacturers, a piece of Zenspirations art; a private art lesson (in person at my studio, or via Skype); having me letter a word of your choice; free coloring downloads; or a set of signed books. As for a theme, I have no ideas but like the idea of several nice prizes instead of just 1 or 2. That gives more people a chance to win. Thanks for all you do to make this a success!!

  19. Joanne – Love seeing your process to develop houses. Thank you.

    Regarding the upcoming contest, I would be delighted to have a private session with you. I may bring some Zentangle inspiration! It works nicely with your book on Bible Journaling.

    Linda Dochter, CZT

  20. I would love either the supplies from different manufacturers or the private lesson via Skype. The lesson would be so awesome…i love your work!!!

  21. I am grateful to be part of this amazing group! I would be thrilled to win any of the suggested prizes. I wish I lived close enough to see you work in person! Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary Thanks again for all your inspiration and encouragement.

  22. Oh I love a challenge. Sounds like fun. So happy you re celebrating anniversary #2. I can’t wait to participate. As far as your prize question goes, I like to idea of more smaller prizes rather then 1 big one so that more people get a chance. I think your new stencils, stamps, or other art supplies would be a great idea. Happy Anniversary.

  23. Joanne, Just want to comment on your offer of gifts — when you are sending along your gifts of talent to us every week, I don’t know how you can keep up your generous offers. I just loved the decorated letters of my initials last year. Along with the inspiration your work always generates. I would love to try a house drawing, even though I’m not one for Bible journaling much (but I have told numbers of people where to find your Bible journaling which is just wonderful!) if you have surplus supplies, and want to give some away, I’d be pleased with anything you have mentioned. You have opened many new doors for me, and I so appreciate that.Congratulations on your second year of doing this.

  24. Joanne,you inspire me so much!!! I spend as much time as possible learning from you! I fell in love with the products you sold through Michaels last spring..I wish I could get more! Could they reissue them? Thanks for your caring! You are a wonderful woman!!!

  25. Congratulations on 2 years, what a great reason to celebrate! I enjoy your comments and tips very much and that you are faithbased too. I’d be happy with any prize if I were the lucky one. The tools sounds entrancing though.

  26. Hi Joanne, that’s so cool that your parents still live in the house in which you grew up! My parents sold my childhood home in 1996 and I still miss it! But now, home is where ever my parents live. I think all the prize options sound great, but tools and a DO magazine subscription are my top picks. I think several smaller prizes would be nice so more people can win something.Happy 2 years!!

  27. Thank you so much for the drawing lesson. You are so kind to keep doing this for us. There aren’t many out there in internetland willing to be so generous with their talents. Since the only things we can take with us to heaven are the things we’ve given, you will have many crates and trunks full. Thank you!

  28. Personal instruction with you would be my favorite prize. But I’d rather a lot of prizes bring a lot more smiles. Since I’m not on Facebook, it limits my participation .

  29. I love your beautiful projects and watching your instructional videos on YouTube. I think art supplies like the Zentangle Michron pens and good sketchbook paper would be nice gifts. Also your autographed books would be fun to win and of course a private lesson on Skype would be a super grand prize.

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