Miracles, Milestones & ‘Ordinary’ Moments

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Since we celebrated the first day of Spring this weekend, I wanted to start this week’s blog by wishing you all a very Happy Spring. Hope you enjoy the piece I made:


I started with one of the pages from my next book, Expressions of Nature, and had fun adding watercolor washes to bring it to life. I’m thinking about adding more color, but since spring is about rebirth and renewal, I wanted to leave some of the areas white to create a feeling of expectancy. I’d love your thoughts… how much more of the design do you think I should color?

Since Spring always makes me think of rainbows, I also wanted to share “Celebrate Life”, the first piece I ever did using the column technique (watch one of my YouTube videos or read my Zenspirations® Dangle Designs Workbook if you’d like to learn how). I included some of my favorite words (Be, Believe, Create, Dream, Hope, Inspire, Love and Sing) in the columns.  Everyone celebrates milestones, but I designed this piece to encourage the celebration of everyday moments of connection and creativity, since that’s what life is all about!



Even when we face challenges, there is always something to celebrate. That’s why I have made a life-long practice of looking for the blessing in every situation, especially the most difficult ones. But I’ve never had to face anything as difficult as Christy Beam, the mom in the movie I saw this weekend, Miracles from Heaven. The movie is based on the true-story of Christy’s 10 year old daughter Anna, who suffered from a painful, life threatening illness for which there was no known cure. Now I know why Sony wanted me to include so many butterflies in the Miracles from Heaven coloring book… butterflies play an important part in this lovely story about about faith. Its a wonderful movie, and I’d recommend bringing tissues when you go to see it.


One of my friends’ daughters, who is about the same age as Anna Beam, will be having some serious surgery this week, and will be facing a long recovery afterwards. I made a couple of cards to cheer her up, and thought I’d share them with you. This is a screen shot of a design that I drew with a Pigma® Micron 01 on Strathmore 400 series drawing paper. I scanned and cleaned it up in PhotoShop, then printed out on watercolor paper and painted it. Then I scanned it again, cleaned it up again, and did some final tweaking in PhotoShop.



This one is simpler; I hand-lettered it tonight with a Koi® Coloring Brush and 01 Micron, and took a photo to share with you:


I’m going to send them to Aliyah along with a coloring book to help pass the time during her recovery. Her mom says that she’d appreciate getting cards while she’s in the hospital and in rehab, so if any of you would like to send Aliyah a card, please leave a comment and I’ll send you her address.

I am starting work on a Bible Journaling project, and am hoping to get advice from people who enjoy Bible Journaling, and would like to share what images, words and scriptures they’d like to see included. If you are willing to share your thoughts, please leave a comment to let me know, and I’ll be in touch.

May your Spring be filled with magical moments.

Stay Zenspired,



19 thoughts on “Miracles, Milestones & ‘Ordinary’ Moments”

  1. Hi Joanne,
    I love it the way it is. I wouldn’t colot any more of it. I can’t wait to go see the movie.

  2. Dear Joanne,
    I am so touched that you included Aliyah in your blog today. She will be so excited to receive these. She has found a love for coloring because of your books and because she sees how much I enjoy my new creative outlet through your work. I also appreciate that you welcomed cards for her. She would be thrilled to receive unexpected mail!
    I am thankful to God that I found your blog, can call you a friend and am part of your Zenspiration community. This new passion has brought me so much peace and joy. Thanks again for remembering my daughter this way. You are a blessing to our family.
    Kristen Zeitler

  3. Love the cards and the idea of sending her coloring books during her recovery.
    Yes to the bible journaling! Cant wait to see what you have in store for us!

  4. Joanne – Your card for Aliyah is wonderful! It would be a joy to brighten up the coming recoup days for Aliyah by sending her cards. Caring SON-shiny hugs . . . Dori

  5. Lovely page for Spring Joanne. I think it’s perfect the way you have left white spaces…As it is now, it looks beautiful 🙂

  6. I’m looking forward to seeing your Bible journaling posts. I am just getting started and bought your book to help me along. I think it’s a great way to learn/memorize Scripture. I can’t wait to get started.

  7. Joanne!
    All of your creations are beautiful beyond words! I have just started Bible journaling, but in a separate journal. I am thinking of adding artwork in a devotional that would have the space. I would like to send Aliyah a card, too! Thank you for all of your inspiration! I am giving a friend today your book, ” When You Lose Soneone You Love.” I know it will make her cry, but also will help along her healing pathway.

  8. Joanne,
    For me, it is PERFECT the way it is!!! I love how the color depicts our journey of life, that if we follow God’s path, then He will lead us in the right direction. Genesis 2:9. The colored path leads us between 2 waves of water, just like what Moses did to lead His people to the Promised Land and then the color goes to and up through the Tree of Life, which represents Christ to me, everlasting life. I know this is pretty heavy thinking, but that is the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture. John 3:16

    And I love the cards you made for Kristen’s daughter, Aliyah. So sweet of you. <3

  9. Dear Joanne – I would love to send a card!!!! You noted that Aliyah is approx 10 years of age. Please let me know what in particular she likes: -reading subject for chapter books, teen magazines), which coloring book you are sending so I can send another so she doesn’t get two of the same)…. My email address is [email protected]. Danny and I would love to send her a few things!!!!!

  10. I’ve been nearly bedridden for the past 2 1/2 years because of an illnes that causes constant crippling pain in my muscles and joints. I’ve seen many different doctors but no one has been able to agree on a diagnosis.

    Since leaving my teaching job at the onset of this illness, I have taken up tangling and coloring. I have all of your books and I even gave a copy of “When You Lose Someone You Love” to my sister’s mother-in-law. She very recently lost her husband in a near exact manner that you describe in your book.
    I mimic your style in the prayer journals I’ve been keeping these have allowed me to express my frustration, fears, hopes, and blessings in a beautiful way.
    Please continue to make more and more and more books! I pray that God continue to bless your talent and work through you to speak to those in physical or spiritual need.

    Thank you and bless you!

  11. The tree of life is beautiful, love the dangles.
    Bible journaling is how our group found you and your designs. Can’t wait for that one. The O.T. , Hebrew and color mix is definitely your niche. (English translations please). We’ll send cards too, [email protected].


  12. The white patchy areas remind me of melting snow. The slow soaking of the earth from snow melt is vital to spring growth, so keep those critical white “spaces!”

  13. Sure I will send Aliyah a card. Perhaps not to the hospital since I have know idea how long it would take to send it to her…

  14. I like the picture as is and your picture for Aliyah is beautiful. I would like to send her a card as well. Love the Bible journaling idea. I have been journaling for awhile now and would love to see what you come up with.

    Love and hugs!


  15. I would be happy to send Aliyah a get well wish and prayers if you would be willing to share her mailing address! And I LOVE your work! It is so inspiring. That k you for being you!!

  16. I can’t guarantee that I can send a handmade wish, but I’d love to send Aliyah a card or postcard filled with get well wishes.
    Love your work!

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