Loving Letters & Caring Cards

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hi Everyone,

Since April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, I want to devote this week’s blog to the wonderful and meaningful art of written correspondence. I started out my career as a greeting card designer, and of all the different products I design, greeting cards hold a special place in my heart. I love the variety of imagery, color and sentiment, but most of all I love knowing that I’m creating a tangible way for people to show they care. 

One of the advantages of being a greeting card designer is that I get samples of the cards I design… as you’ll see from this photo of the card wall in my office, I never have an excuse for not having a card on-hand!

And yet, even though I have a studio full of greeting cards, and even though I know how a card can touch the heart of someone I care about, I don’t always remember to send them. That’s why I love National Lettering Writing and Card Sending month… because it reminds me to reach out and connect with family, friends and others who have made a difference in my life.

If this appeals to you, you might want to check out Write_On (http://www.writeoncampaign.com/), which is a campaign to promote joy, creativity, expression and connection through hand-written correspondence. This year they gave away 5,000 letter-writing kits (which included one of Sakura’s awesome Gelly Roll pens!). They have also posted some wonderful reasons to write a letter: http://www.writeoncampaign.com/reasons-to-write/. I hope you’ll join me in writing letters and sending cards this month… I plan to send out notes thanking people for the unexpected kindness they have shown. 

Although they won’t be ready until next month, I’m getting really excited about notecard collections that I’ve been working on. Thank you again for sharing your ideas about this new series; I listened and hope you like the finished designs. They will be launching at the National Stationery Show in NY next month. Here is a ‘sneak peak’ at the “Written in Stone” collection…

And here are a few close ups:

Those of you who are on Instagram may have seen the first collection I finished: Swirls. Below is a photo of the printouts I made when I was trying to narrow 12 designs down to 10. If you are on Instagram, and would like to connect, my user name is Zenspirations. Here is the link: https://instagram.com/zenspirations/.

I hope I’ve ‘Zenspired’ you to put pen to paper and write to someone you love… or someone you just met… or someone you’d like to get to know better… or someone you miss… or someone who is going through a rough time… or someone you haven’t seen in a long time… or someone, well, I think you get the idea. I’d love to know who you write to… so please leave a comment to let me know. 

Speaking of comments, WOW! I am totally overwhelmed by the wonderful response to last week’s blog post! I guess you guys must like to color because there are more than 120 comments (which is more than double the number I usually get). I’ve read each and every one, but haven’t had a chance to finish tabulating the results yet, so I won’t be able to announce the winner until next week. But as a thank you for your patience, I’m going to draw two names instead of one– so when they are printed I’ll be sending out two sets of the new Zenspirations(R) coloring books… and I’ll let you know next week who the lucky winners are.

Stay Zenspired,


15 thoughts on “Loving Letters & Caring Cards”

  1. It does seem like writing letters to people are a thing of the past for some people with all the different ways of communicating on the computer and our phones these days. But I still like to write a good old fashion letter and send in the post. My most memorable letters were written and received to my Grandma, who passed away almost 30 years ago. I still have her letters and pull them out frequently to read them. I will accept the letter writing challenge and maybe someone will keep my letters for 30 years and pull them out to read and smile at the memory!! Your written in stone collection is fantastic and I will be looking for them when they come out.

  2. I still love to send letters and cards to people. I think having something to hold and touch is very powerful. Calls are important but you can't pull them out to re-reenjoy. I love the creativity of making my cards and people have told me that they treasure them. I did the 30 days of thankfulness by sending a card a day telling people why I was thankful for them in my life. It was amazing to look on the positive and live with gratitude. I love your work because it is so inspirational and encouraging. God bless you!

  3. I love the crafting outlet – and even with all the different types of creative things I do, nothing gives me more joy than sending one of my creative cards to someone. It is a little piece of me that I can share with others. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement to be grateful and to share it with others. You are very loved

  4. Joann, I just love your art style! These note cards would be sure to brighten anyone's day, even the person sending them. I look forward to your newest book and these cards.

  5. Oh I LOVE the swirl design said, they're just beautiful. But then again all your art is.

  6. I love writing notes and sending cards! Receiving them is wonderful too! There is something sweet when anyone takes the time to send a note or card! Besides, I find it so much easier to express sentiments in writing versus face-to-face….I trip all over my tongue and anything that falls out seems inadequate! Thank you for your inspiration and talent!

  7. Wow Joanne, I love all your designs. As a quilt designer I am so inspired by your colorful line drawings and would someday love to transfer your designs to fabric and embroider them. They would be really beautiful colored with crayons on fabric. When I finish all my unfinished quilt projects I will do that and share the results with you. Currently I am working on 3 Memorial quilts made from the plaid shirts of a father who passed away in our church last December. One for the mom and each grown child. It has been a real help to the wife to be able to let go of his shirts this way and yet still keep them. I know you can relate. Thanks for all you do and share. God Bless

  8. I have a hard time writing some days due to arthritis ….. so I think it is wonderful to be able to make a card and enclose a computer generated note with it. That way the receiver can read my note because it is legible and I do not have to deal with the frustration of trying to write a clear, readable note. Thank goodness for this option.

  9. Joanne I just love your cards and will definitely check out the Write On Campaign. I have been sending out letters and mostly cards, for many years. I haven't been doing as often, lately, but you have encouraged me to get on the ball again. I mostly send out thank you's, miss you, and encouragement type cards and/or letters. Thank you so much for the encouragement and inspiration you always give……..Linda E.

  10. Your designs are lovely! I'm just learning how to do patterning from your book. I'm working on a butterfly that I will send to my best friend in South Africa for her birthday! I don't have the gellyroll pens yet so it will just be black and white, but I hope to get some soon:). Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  11. Hi Joanne, l love the swirls and stones, l hope you are going to put them in a book one day soon, and also the biggest thankyou ever, l joined up on your instagram today and was so honoured when l saw that you have followed me back, it really meant the world to me, user name – ktayelredda………..kate
    P.S – to Jill, l loved the idea of making a quilt out of the husbands shirts for your friend, l sure she will be very grateful to still have a little bit of him still by she side.

  12. Hi Joanne,
    I love writing notes and sending cards to my friend. I few months ago I started to draw and I found a hudge fun and happines of it. I have a special notebook (my magic book 😉 I'm trying new designes in it. You inspire me to get the marker and to draw, draw,draw… I love this moment when I'm sitting in my comfortable chair, turn on the radio with my favourite music… Today I'm going to draw card for someone I miss (my fusbad)… and someone who is going through a rough time -me.
    My English is still rough but I'm trying all the time. Thank you very mouch for your colorful world. Iwa (Iwona)

  13. The "Written in Stone" cards are just beautiful!!! And the swirls too, of course…..

    I'm a postcard swapper – no long letters, but hand made and hand written cards go out all over the world. And I get wonderful ones back!

    I do miss real letters, but am also happy to have more emails than the letters I would receive if my friends had to sit down to write the actual snail mail kind. Such is "progress"…. There is one friend I do write real letters to because he doesn't have email and only recently got a computer,but those folks are in the minority these days.

  14. I love how this work just flows out of you. In trying to do some zenspirations I think too much and it doesn't just flow and I end up frustrated. I need to just relax and let it be my interpretation of your work instead of a copy…right?

Comments are closed.

SIGN UP TODAY For the Zenspirations Blog