Real Life 101

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I got the first proof of my new book, Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith— and have spent most of this week reviewing, revising and rewriting. This is the ‘almost’ final cover:


Of all the projects I’ve undertaken this year, the Bible Journaling book is closest to my heart. I have especially enjoyed working on the art and craft techniques section, which includes everything from stamps, stencils, stickers, washi tape, color pencils, and brush markers to drawing, patterning, and painting tutorials. But I’ve put the most time (and soul!) into the Lettering & Layout section, which features several different alphabets along with ways of combining them to create eye-catching messages. The book goes to press this month, which is both exciting and terrifying… please wish me luck getting all the edits done.

Although it won’t be out in time for Christmas, you can pre-order Complete Guide to Bible Journaling on Amazon, which is scheduled to ship March 7th. While I was on Amazon, I noticed that one of the books I wrote last year, Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play Birds & Butterflies, is on sale for $6.32! Since books make great holiday gifts, I thought I’d share the description with you:


If you are an Amazon shopper, I’d be grateful if you would click the Amazon button on the home page of my website to start your shopping adventure. If you do, I will get a small percentage of anything you buy… which helps me buy art supplies! It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and would be a big help to me, especially if you are making a major purchase. Thank you in advance!

If you’ve ever wondered what my studio looks like, check out this short interview I filmed for Real Life 101, a nationally syndicated television show which gives high school and college students the opportunity to explore new professions.

Real Life 101 has been on the air for almost 20 years. The episode with my interview originally aired the week of October 3rd, but that was the week Orlando was prepping for hurricane Matthew, and I missed it! The producers just sent me a tape, and said I could share it on my blog. Hope you enjoy! If you’d like to see the entire episode, it will be broadcast again the week of February 20-26, 2017. You can find out which station to watch in your area on the Real Life 101 website.

Since one of the things I talk about in the interview are the cards I design, I thought I’d share a few of the new card samples I’ve gotten recently. This one, which I designed for Leanin’ Tree, just came today!


The black linework is raised, and printed with a shiny ink… it looks really cool. Here’s a close up photo:


Also on the Love theme, is a ‘foilux’ card I created for Design Design. ‘Foilux’ cards are actually printed on a foil base, and then embossed so the foil areas catch the light. I love the way they shimmer!


As many of you know, I come from a musical family, and was delighted when Design Design asked me to create a new music-themed birthday card:


And while I’m on the subject of birthdays, Color & Creativity Enthusiast Fay Hall is celebrating her birthday today, so I made her a Zenspirational birthday card:


And my good friend, Jill Goldsmith, will be celebrating her birthday on Saturday:


The small ‘stones’ at the bottom of Jill’s card are similar to the ones I used in the background of the Valentine I shared above. It’s an easy pattern to incorporate into any design, because you can change the size of the ‘stones’ to fit into different spaces.

Before closing tonight, I wanted to ask for your help selecting a meaningful ‘word of the year’ for 2017. This past year, which was the first time I chose a word of the year, I had a short list (read the blog about it here), and ultimately chose the word ‘clarity’. This coming year, in addition to choosing a word for myself personally, I’d also like to choose a word for the Zenspirations® community, and would appreciate suggestions. I’d like it to be a word which will inspire us to grow creatively as a community. Please leave a comment letting me know any words that come to mind, and I will pick the ones which resonate, and ask the group to vote on which one we should use. As an incentive, I’ll letter the personal word of the year of whoever suggests the word the group ultimately selects. As always, I look forward to your thoughts!

Stay Zenspired,




30 thoughts on “Real Life 101”

  1. Oh wow, Joanne!! I am SO excited to see the new book….I can’t wait! All your hard work is really paying off! This book is going to raise the bar, for anything out there, in this genre!!
    I love the new cards! I have to get the musical one for my son, it was MADE for him!

    Praying the final editing goes beautifully! I know you will do a sensational job!
    Looking forward to chatting soon!
    Love and blessings! XOXO
    Mary Anne

  2. “Inspire” would be a great word for this Zenspirations community! You inspire us with all of your beautiful creations!

  3. Bloom together,grow together.

  4. “forgive” or “forgiveness” would be my word of choice – to learn not only to forgive others, but to forgive yourself: for not being perfect, and for not always being as kind and understanding as one would wish to be.

  5. I thank you for all of your inspirations. I have two words that you bring to mind for the new year….
    Thank you for all you do for us,
    Denise S

  6. I suggest the word for the year should be “Kindness” which, in light of the recent election (regardless of the results),
    Is something our country truly needs and it needs to start from each and every one of us. “Be the change you wish
    to see.” Quoting Gandhi, I believe.

    Thank You! Sincerely, Joyce Gauss

  7. My word is willingness. We need the willingness to be kind, the willingness to go forward, the willingness to trust one another and on and on.

  8. The short video was really informative Joanne. Thanks for sharing it. I have a suggestion for the word of the year 2017.. It is DILIGENT… if one is diligent, one can get anything he/she wants.

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed watching your interview Joanne! You have always been so adept at sharing your thoughts with everyone!

    For the word for 2017 I have thought about several:

    PASSION which we show when we enjoy our creativity

    HEALING which is what this nation needs to do

    OPENNESS those who are showing ill will towards others need to change to
    become more open

    1. You are such an inspiration and I am filled with gratitude to know you through your art and the Zenspiration communities!

      2017 Word suggestions: CALM, BREATHE

      Thank you!

  10. The word that is in my thoughts is TRANSMUTATION. I suspect 2017 will be filled with changes but the ones I hope for are changes for the better.

  11. Honor. To me this creative community is about honoring each other’s gifts. Thank you Joanne, your book is beautiful

  12. Joanne,
    Congratulations on the new book.

    Our 2017 word should be ‘Connection’.
    Something we all have because of you.

  13. “Compassion” I read this quote: “If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.” If one can truly feel compassion, other unhealthy emotions will disappear. Greed, racism, sexism, piousness,and religious intolerance will lessen greatly as we learn and practice compassion. (I was blessed to be in your classes at the Small Cleverness in Orange Park, Fla.)

  14. Wow that book looks amazing, and I love the cards, and the video- I so love the community you have created.
    When I think of the beginning of a new year, art, and what is shared in your group the word that comes to mind is ENTHUSIASM or I like its synonym ZEST ( as is zest for life). I always like to write the letter Z.

  15. I am ordering your Bible Art Journaling book now. I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE IT!
    My 2017 word is ACCEPT. Accept others. Accept God’s plan. Accept yourself. So much to this word so far.
    I offer this to Zenspirations Nation as well.
    Peace and love and acceptance to all this season.

  16. ALMOST THERE my friend! So excited for you and Regina! 🙂 SO glad you and the publisher chose this front cover. More eye appealing! <3
    LOVE the video! You are such a natural in front of the camera.
    As for the Word of the Year, my first thought was HOPE and then I thought of GIVE or GIVING and then lastly, today I thought of ENCOURAGE, which is a BIG part of the Zenspiration CCPP group.
    Can't wait to see your finished product! HUGS

  17. HI Joanne,
    It is hard to pick just one word but I do agree with the folks saying Inspire since that is what you do for us and we do for each other. I also like the word Connect since our community had connected us to you and us to each other across the world!
    Congratulations on your book and as always – thanks for your generosity and inspiration!

  18. Hi, Joanne, I*m really excited about your book, and I have it preordered from German Amazon since I first read about it. Go, go, GO! I’m really looking forward to holding it in my hands.

    As for a word for 2017, for me at least it will be JOY OF THE LORD (Neh. 8:10). I know, it is more than one word, but Joy alone will not be enough for me. I think that Joy in the Lord will make everyone kinder to each other, will help us forgive each other our trespasses, it will comfort us, give us power for our lives and make the World a better place by changing us. I hope that in the next year I will grow in this joy, and help people around me grow in it, too. And I feel that this group will help us grow in our Joy in the Lord by making our creative juices flow into works of art, so that our Joy in the Lord will be enhanced.

    Thank you for making a lot of this possible through your work.


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