The Coloring Connection

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hi Everyone,
Wow! Yesterday was an incredible experience. I feel blessed that so many of my friends were able to come celebrate the publication of my Kickstarter book, When You Lose Someone You Love, 

as well as the launch of my new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play books: Birds & Butterflies and Expressions of Faith>


Knowing that I’d probably be busy signing books (which I was!), I asked a few friends to come help out at different stations. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, let me tell you a little bit about the event. First, here’s an overview of the room:

Just to the right of the entryway was a table where my friends from the Scribes of Central Florida were hand-lettering names and demonstrating calligraphy. Special thanks to my good friend Linda Ross for organizing the Scribes.

The Sharing Station was next to the Scribes, and CZT Adele Bruno, author of the popular ‘Tickled to Tangle’ blog took the lead by showing off the cool magnetic frame product she developed.

My inspiring friend Carolyn Moor, founder of the Modern Widows Club, was on-hand to mentor and coach those dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Part of what made the day so special was the camaraderie, creativity and sharing… and, of course, the coloring! My publisher, Fox Chapel, sent a display for the books, and was kind enough to print out a 12 foot banner of my art for party attendees to color. My daughter Samantha got the coloring party underway.

In addition to the banner, there were four different coloring stations: one for kids, one for grown-ups, one for families, and a special one for members of our awesome Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play  Facebook Group ( Tracey Lyon and Ranae Davidson, both amazingly talented artists who are not only active in the FB group but also created ‘inspiration samples’ for the new books, were kind enough to demonstrate coloring techniques and answer questions while I was signing books. Tracey is demonstrating patterning in the ‘Heart rope’ design below: 

And Ranae is sharing color-blending techniques in this photo:

One of the coolest things about coloring is that it is an activity which can be enjoyed by any age group, which helped make the family coloring table especially popular.

Since you can’t have a Book Launch Party without selling books, my good friends Jill Goldsmith and Terri Misek came to help take orders.

I enjoyed the afternoon tremendously, mostly because it was great to be able to see so many of my friends— and to meet some of my FB friends in person. I have always appreciated photographs of friends and family, but since my husband died four years ago, that appreciation has been heightened. Photographs are tangible reminders of special moments in your life, and I will always treasure the photos that were taken at the party. Heartfelt thanks to the incredible Dorian Eng (far right below), who drove down from Jacksonville and took most of the photographs I included in tonight’s blog. Dorian has been a light in my life since we met a couple of years ago. A CZT and talented crafter, Dorian surprised me with this beautiful embroidered Dangle design when she attended the Zenspirations® workshops I gave at A Small Cleverness in Jacksonville.

A few months after we met, I was preparing for an upcoming workshop, and needed ‘Guinea Pigs’ to test the material for me, and invited Dorian, who suggested I also invite some of her fellow CZTs. That’s how I met (continuing from the right) Adele Bruno, Sindy Levine and Tracey Lyon. Like the calligraphic community, the CZT community is fairly close-knit, so I wasn’t at all surprised to discover that Dorian, Adele, Sindy & Tracey all knew my good friend Jo-Ellen Mathews (far left). 

Jo-Ellen and I filmed a video together a couple of years ago called Zenspirations Color, Create, Pattern, & Play – Coloring Activity for All AgesIf you haven’t seen it yet, I hope you’ll take a few minutes this week to watch.

I belong to a number of different communities, and was truly touched that they all came to support me. Here is a photo of some of the more active members of the new FB group (from left to right) Ranae Davidson, me, Jill Goldsmith and Tracey Lyon.

And I love this photo of me with some of my friends from the Modern Widows Club: (from left) Durga Landry, Debbie Graham-Mastrantonio, me and Vickie Garcia. 

The Book Launch Party was wonderful… but wouldn’t have been possible without my family & friends… my deepest thanks to each of you who helped. I’ll try to post an album of “Book Launch Party” photos on FB later this week, but there is one photo I can’t wait to share– it’s one of me and my children in front of the display of coloring books. I’m proud of the books, but even prouder of my kids, and it meant a lot to me that they were there to share this special day.

And the celebration seems to be continuing, because Color & Creativity Enthusiast Ranae Davidson is staying in Orlando for a few days, and when she came to visit tonight I asked her to pick the winners of this week’s contest.

Congratulations to:

Nancy Duso, who won the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play books: Birds & Butterflies, Expressions of Faith, the mini Perfectly Portable Pages” Expressions of Faith, and the new Judaic Expressions; 
Terri Brown, who won a set of the first three Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play books: Flowers, Inspirations and Abstract; and
Puneet Sekhon, who won a signed copy of my new Kickstarter book, When You Lose Someone You Love. Ladies if you can please e-mail me your addresses I’ll get the packages underway.
Special thanks to all of the Color & Creativity Enthusiasts who have done such WONDERFUL inspiration samples this week. Although the winners have been picked for the prizes, there is still an opportunity to have your work considered for inclusion in my next book, Judaic Expressions. You can download the images from last week’s blog, add your creative touches, and then upload your completed designs to the appropriate album in the FB group by noon on Thursday (Orlando time). My editor and I will review them Thursday afternoon, and I’ll let you know next week which pieces were selected.

Stay Zenspired,

17 thoughts on “The Coloring Connection”

  1. Hi Joanne and congratulations on a great event! It looked like so much fun and everyone having a great time! Thanks so much for the give-a-way, I was so excited to see my name was drawn! It is so great to see your continued success and inspiring more and more people. Looking forward to what's next!



  2. Joanne, it was truely a day to see and feel what you have created. I know so many of us felt proud to be part of this event and "Team Joanne". Jill

  3. Hi Joanne!

    Thank you so much for sharing all the pictures from your grand event, so for the majority us who couldn't attend could see and share your excitement with you!! Of all the pictures, I loved the picture of you and your kids the most. You can sure tell they are very proud of their mom, as you are of them!! Nothing like the love and support of your family! 🙂

    Again, congratulations and God bless!

    <3 Gail

  4. I am so happy to see all of the wonderful pictures and so happy to see such a big turn out for your beautiful books. Thank you so much for letting me be in your FB group Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play. This is such a wonderful group of people and I am proud to be a part of it. I am so happy for you and all of your success it is only going to get better from here. Thank you for sharing your talent. 🙂

  5. Congratulations Joanne, I am so excited for you! I loved seeing all the wonderful pictures of your event. It looked like so much fun!
    I also want to say congratulations to all those who won the contest! Y'all are incredibly talented artists!

  6. Hi Joanne,
    Congrats on the success of your book launch! May you have many more!
    I'm thrilled to have won a signed copy of your book..yay!
    – Puneet

  7. Congratulations on the launch of your books! The launch party looks like it was a lot of fun. Hope you have many more of these in your future. I would love to meet you and others in our FB community.

  8. Congratulations!!!! What a special and wonderful evening for you and your family and friends…

    It is great when nice things happen for nice people….

  9. Heartfelt congratulations to you!!!!! You are seriously an amazing artist but honestly – you seem like a genuine friend!!!!! Your children are gorgeous!!!!! I never realized how tiny you are – you remind me of how small my own mom is!!! Love it! You are so radiant – both from the inside and on the outside!!!!! I love your books – love love love them!!! Amazon recently sent them!!!!! I do however have a serious question for you, my own son – who used to love to color has stopped – abruptly! He is scared all of a sudden – he makes me hide all the blank paper in the house? He does have autism and mental retardation (I think you may remember) and the one thing we did have in common was his love to color – he was the one who actually inspired me to start the pilot program with other adult individuals for multiple disabilities. It breaks my heart – it was the one strong connection we had – we were currently working on the flowers book – I would make a copy for him and I and we would color together – he would help me on my picture and I would help him….. do you have any ideas to perhaps inspire him to start again (things I have tried with huge failure (probably making him even worse)- different markers, new markers, different colors to chose from, different types of paper, paint (another medium), watercolors (I actually traced one of your easier drawings onto watercolor paper) to still yet try another medium, different techniques – imitation *I do , you do" in lieu of spontaneous coloring, I tried limiting the amount of markers thinking he was on sensory overload, I tried busty pictures from your book and I tried not so busy pictures, …[by the way – this is his favorite book to color for some reason], I tried blank paper {this was a whopping NO} any ideas???????? Sooooo sad….. Pretty much the only connection I have with him….

  10. Joanne,
    So very happy for your sensational success on these delightful books! Keep on inspiring — Zenspiring — with your everblooming creativity! All the best, Libby

  11. Congrats!
    What an inspiration you are to the rest of us to follow our dreams too.
    Thanks so much.


  12. Congratulations on a successful event. Wish I could have been there to help celebrate! Best wishes,
    Lora Trapp

  13. Congratulations on a wonderful event, Joanne. Bob and I are thrilled to meet you. Thanks for sharing your gifts and faith with the world.

  14. 1. I colour/doodle twice a week.
    2. Yes!
    3. C
    4. white background
    5. borders
    6. a, b, d, i, l
    7. different 3-dimensional shapes, (like a paper elephant, penguin..)
    8. coloured pencils, experimenting with inktense pencils
    9. mandalas at the moment
    10. In South Africa we are quite limited to what is available. The cost of shipping is also high and our post office is often on strike…

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