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Words to Light the Way

Hi Everyone,
Have you heard of the practice of selecting a specific word to ruminate on in the year ahead? Choosing one word is supposed to help you focus on developing or strengthening selected character traits, impact your experiences and light your way as you journey through the next 12 months.                                                      
I was unfamiliar with this practice, but immediately started trying to think of my own ‘watch-word’ for 2016. I’ve toyed with many, including:
but haven’t settled on ONE word yet... I am also considering Resonate, Sanctify, Aspire, Connect, Intend and Transform. There are so many awesome, uplifting and empowering words that I'm not sure I'll be able to narrow it down to just one... can you?                                                                                                            
As a lettering artist I strive to hand-letter words in a way that visually enhances their meaning. It's important to me to focus on positive sentiments, I actually went through the dictionary and wrote down inspiring words for each letter of the alphabet. There are a LOT of wonderful words which begin with the letter "C":
As I progressed through the alphabet I started to add weight to the letters to make them more interesting. Here's an example of weighted words from my ‘V’ page:                                                                                                                        
I’m still not sure what one word to choose… but if you have chosen a word for yourself I’d love to know what it is. I may even surprise you and letter it!                                                                                                     
To celebrate the end of 2015, its time for more FREE downloads, and another contest! One of my licensees, Trim-A-Rim, is thinking about launching a ‘color-your-own’ line, and would appreciate feedback on the concept — they are also interested in getting ‘inspiration samples’ to help their customers envision the creative opportunities here. Given that so many of you like to color, I said I’d be happy to poll the Color & Creativity Enthusiasts, and in return for your input Trim-A-Rim is offering Trim-A-Rim loot as prizes! (More on that below). 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the product, Trim-A-Rim is an innovative magnetic whiteboard and mirror (it’s reversible) with a clear frame in which you can display a wide variety of different border options. One of the things I like best about the product is that you can change the rim art as often as you wish. It’s a fun and practical way to display your work...


Here is a photo showing the two different sizes:
Below is a photo of the Zenspirations® Trim-A-Rim collection (shown here in the Mini size):  

There are two ways to Participate in the Contest:  
A)  Answer the four questions below by leaving a comment on this week’s blog, and your name will be entered into a drawing to win your choice of a Mini or Full-size Trim-A-Rim kit, along with print-outs of the colorable Zenspirations black & white borders for your chosen size. Two winners will be selected at random for this Participation option A.  

B) The second way to participate is to download the designs below (OPEN LEAVES, FISH and/or HEARTS), add your own special touches, and post what you do in the Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play FB Group. As usual I’ve set up albums where you can post your designs. Here is the link:  

For every design you post (and yes, you may post more than one version of the same border), your name will be entered into a random drawing to win both sizes of the Trim-A-Rim kit, along with print-outs of the colorable Zenspirations black & white borders for both sizes.   If you post two designs, you’ll have two chances to win; if you post five designs, you’ll have five chances to win. Two prizes winners will be selected at random for this Participation option B.

For both of the random draw giveaways above (A and B), the prizes can be mailed only to addresses within the continental United States.


If any of your designs are selected as an inspiration sample, in addition to published credit, you’ll receive both sizes of the Trim-A-Rim kit, plus print-outs of all 9 of the colorable Zenspirations black & white borders and the full-color borders (a total of 36 border sheets), as well as several border print-outs of your inspiration sample(s). THIS BONUS IS OPEN TO OUR INTERNATIONAL MEMBERS! 

As always, I encourage you to express yourself however you wish, whether that is coloring the designs as drawn, or adding your favorite patterns and embellishments (within the circular border lines). If you do choose to embellish your border, I recommend not adding dimensional items which might prevent the Trim-A-Rim frame from closing securely.

1. You will need to post your comments and creations by end of day Sunday, January 17th. 

2. It's important that you print the sheets out at Actual Size only (100%, or No scaling), so that the finished result will fit properly inside the Mini Trim-A-Rim clear frame.  Please color only within the printed design area bounded by the interior and exterior border lines, leaving the rest of the page white, and submit your finished work in the full sheet form (not cut out)                         

3. VERY IMPORTANT: PUT YOUR NAME, e-dress and phone number on each design before you scan or photograph it!
4. Post your images IN the appropriate album in the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play Facebook Group. You can get to the albums by clicking the Photos button underneath the imagine banner.

5. If your art is selected, you’ll need to send Trim-A-Rim a high-res scan (300 dpi) or the original art so they can scan it, and you’ll need to sign a Permission-to-Publish form.
6. Unlike your creations for my books, for these Trim-A-Rim borders you can use wet media as well as dry, including watercolors and other paints, as well as color pencils, gel pens, markers, crayons, rubber stamps, etc. 

7. Submitting border designs is not a guarantee that they will be selected by Trim-A-Rim.

8. Artists whose work is selected will be given credit wherever their work is published or made available for download, and will receive all of the items noted in the bonus opportunity prize package description above. 

9. As always, I'd like to include inspiration samples from as many ‘Color & Creativity Enthusiasts’ as possible, so I hope you’ll help spread the word about the colorable Trim-A-Rim borders. Please invite some of your creative friends to participate!

10. You can e-mail me ( if you have any questions: please put  “ZENSPIRATIONS® TRIM-A-RIM BORDER QUESTIONS” in the subject line.                                                  

Below are the 4 questions for which we'd like your feedback:

1)  Would you be interested in a black and white version of these designs that you could color and embellish?                           

2)  If so, which designs would you most like to have a coloring version of? 
1. Patterned Leaves
2. Fish
3. Hearts
4. Bubbles
5. Large Scallops
6. Open Leaves
7. Triangles
8. Birds & Leaves
9. Small Scallops

Here are black & white versions of three of the designs so you can get a closer look (and the questions continue below).  
These are the designs for which Trim-A-Rim is seeking your colored “inspiration samples”:


Click here to download your free copy of the OPEN LEAVES border.

Click here to download your free copy of the FISH border.                                                                                                                

Click here to download your free copy of the HEARTS border.                                                                                                           
3)  Would you prefer to have line art to color for the Trim-A-Rim border only, as in the 3 examples above, or would you like to have something in the center that you could print out at the same time and then cut out and use on a different project, as in the sample below?
4)  Are there other themes you’d like me to design for use with Trim-A-Rim? If so, what themes are at the top of your wish list?

Thanks for your participation! If you are interested in getting Trim-A-Rim for yourself or as a gift… it’s not yet sold in stores — you’ll find the best pricing (and more photos and info) on Amazon at Trim-A-Rim’s owner, Philip Fleet, would welcome your thoughts and suggestions.                                                                                                         
It’s hard to believe that 2015 is almost over… it seems to have flown by! January is ’show season’, and I’ll be attending the Craft & Hobby Show in Anaheim, as well as the Atlanta and Dallas Gift Shows. I’ll be doing signings and make-it-take-its at the shows, and would love to meet as many of you as I can… if you’ll be attending please stop by to say hi.                                             
Wishing you and your loved ones a New Year filled with 
good health & happiness,
peace & prosperity,
laughter & love.

Stay Zenspired,

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  • Response

Reader Comments (44)

Hi Joanne!

Love the Trim-A-Rim idea! Have seen these on FB several times. Beautiful, fun and useful!

#1- Absolutely!
#2- #6 Open leaves
#3- Art in the middle, too! Added bonus!
#4- I like words, too, so something to that effect. Positive words you would see when you look in the mirror. A little reminder as you start your day, or each time you pass by.

Thanks for all you do here! You keep my creative motor running!!!


December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Brown

1. Yes
2. 2, 5, and 6
3. Sure. More coloring options are a bonus
4. Puppy faces, different flowers, birds, the words "dream, believe, achieve" with doodles to color in between them

Love your work.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlison Hertz

Question#1 Yes, #2 2, 3, 7, 8 #3 yes to center design, if nothing else, to practice on and get color ideas. #4 I think Holidays borders would sell, and a Birthday Border where you add the age.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Suenran

1. Yes
2. 2,3,4,5,6
3. YES!!!
4. Patriotic, Camo, Crosses, inspiring words.

:-) <3

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKaleena Gharky

These look like a lot of fun.
1. Yes
2. 3
3. Yes
4. Overlapping flowers and leaves, words like friends, love, family, and smile for if you added a photo.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJean Chaney

1. definitely!
2. 5,6,8
3. Added bonus of center art!
4. different flowers, waves, angels

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheri Pearce

1. Yes - The Trim Rim idea is cool!
2. 2 - Fish, 4 - Bubble, 8- Birds and Leaves
3. I like the one with art inside too. The more things to color and create the better.
4. Sunflowers and / or Butterflies are always my favorite and I like the idea of inspirational messages around the rim too.

Thanks again Joanne for your creativity and including us in your new ventures! Hope you have a wonderful and blessed New Year!

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWanda Radler

I think number 4,6 would be great in black and white

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterteri

Hi Joanne!
Here's my thoughts on the subject...
1. Yes, absolutely.
2. I wish I could narrow it down for you, but I would enjoy coloring all of the options you have there, but I'm gonna go with 3, 5, 7 & 9 for this one
3. Of course more to color. It would be a bonus!
4.I LOVE your Dangles! Any kind of Dangles in the Rim would be awesome!

As for your "word for the new year", I Love the word "Fearless" for many reasons. And of course, "Peace".
I also like "Flow" & "Joy"

Well, I've got some rims to color!

Happy New Year to you! I hope you are Fearless in all your endeavors, find Peace throughout the New Year, & Flow with Joy Every Single Day!

All my best,

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjamie torres

1) Yes

2) Open Leaves

3) Line art to color border only

4) Birthday themed like candles, cupcakes, balloons, and banners etc

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

1. Yes, yes, YES!

2. All of them! Variety is the spice of life!

3. Both!

4. Baby animals, FAERIES!, gnome/faery houses.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCindy Therkildsen

I am familiar with the one word for the year practice. The best years in my experience were Grace and Gratitude. The Travel year didn't include much actual travel yet was a mentally freeing year. The Communication year was enlightening but ultimately over-stimulating. I'm leaning toward Freedom for 2016. I love playing with my dictionary and thesaurus so was most pleased to read you do that too.

I feel too busy to color my own although I think the majority of people would want color it yourself options. Leaves is probably the most flexible border.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJane

Joanne, love your work!
1. Yes...perfect for the coloring fad
2. Heats, fish & scallops
3. If possible, both. If not, I would leave it open.
4. Words, birthdays

Wishes for a happy & healthy new year.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

1. I would like some frames in black and white so I can add my own designs and color
2. Numbers 3,6,8 are my most favorite
3. I like the idea of something in the center....a design or words as suggested by others
4. I like the idea of inspirational words, more flowers, and designs for a variety of holidays....Christmas, Easter, 4th of July,, birthdays and anniversaries too.

I had never heard about the word(s) used to lead your life in the new year. I think Live Fierce might be a good thought to mean live each day to the fullest, be unrelenting in trying new things and putting yourself out there.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterArdis Ferdig

Love your work!
1. Yes.
2. 1, 5, 6, 8
3. Either way. Love to color your designs.
4. Center might include words or designed space for our own, holiday series, special occasion as in greeting card fare. Like others' suggestions of crosses, dangles. World theme. Hops, perhaps--a zentangle design in nature...lots where I live.

My word for the year is "open". There is much pain and sadness in the world. There is also great love, joy and beauty. While it is understandable to find ourselves withdrawing or closed to life and others in fear and self-absorption, I want to remain open, growing, expanding in my capacity to notice, give and receive goodness.

Happy and Prosperous 2016 to you.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGwen

Hi, Joanne.

1. Yes, I would love a color your own option!
2. Love #s 2, 6 and 8 as possible color your own.
3. Center design would be great bonus.
4. Other possible designs have been mentioned by other but would love to see words, dangles (!) and holiday options.

Thanks for asking for our input!

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMargo

Happy New Year Joanne,

1) yes I would like b&w versions to color myself
2) I'd like 3,4,5,&9
3) I'd love different inspirational sayings with a design for the center
4) A Judaic one, dog items (paws, bones, etc), flowers, holiday/birthday/anniversary/graduation, etc ones, words

Thank you for including us by asking our opinions when you are working on new projects. For me that's another part of how wonderful you are.


December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterToni

Hi Joanne

Part two of my reply.

I do have a word(s) I love to live by. I've had it for years, it's the tag line on my email.
Having it lettered by you would be a wonderful surprise!

"Trust Life"


December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterToni

1) yes
2) 2, 5, 8
3) yes, the center portion would be fun
4) inspirational words with inspirational symbols

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

Hi, Joanne.

1. Yes, a 'color-your-own' option would be fabulous, and definitely trendy.
2. I would like to see Leaves, Hearts, and Large Scallops as cyo.
3. Yes, a center design would be a nice bonus.
4. Other possible designs: Cats & Dogs (Paws).

Thanks, for asking.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergayle

1. the black and white version would be neat for all of the creative minds out there
2. 2,3,8
3. a center design or scripture in the center would be nice
4. flowers, crosses, dangles, bright anything

I just recently came across your work and I love it! I've printed out several pages to color for myself and my daughters. I think that the coloring could help my daughter to memorize scriptures and she can hang them in her room! (of course myself too)

My word for 2016 is INTENTIONAL. I am a stay at home mom to 3 little girls and I find myself struggling some days to make it through finishing up the dishes and the laundry and the homeschooling. Just being a mom and housewife itself is a lot to do all day. I want to be intentional about everything that I do, intentional about finishing the laundry, intentional about finishing the dishes, intentional about making sure we get all of the school accomplished everyday. I really feel like God laid this word on my heart for this new upcoming year. I'm excited to see how it changes my life and the way I do things! Thank you for all of your beautiful art!

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJessica


December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterQuwatha Valentine

1. Yes, I'd love color your own options.
2. 3, 5 and 7
3. I think it would be fun to have a design in the middle I could use on another project.
4. I think holiday themes could be a fun addition, i.e. christmas, easter, valentines day, st pattys, 4th of july etc....

Thank you for sharing.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda Miller

#1. Yes! Love coming up with new color schemes!
#2. 3,5,6 & 7 are my favorites.
#3.I like the idea of having something in the middle - two projects in one or use as just one project!
#4. tangles, doodles, and words. I like the idea of words circling around the rim.

Words for 2016 - Peace, Joy, Faith, Be Intentional, Create, Dream

Thanks for your creative ideas! Love trying to letter things using your techniques!

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLibby Elder

What a fantastic design idea!

1. Yes!
2. Fish
Birds & leaves
Open leaves
3. I like the design in the middle that can be cut out and used on something else
4. Inspirational quotes or words
Seasonal or Holiday themes.

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

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