Joy Break 5 | Scatter Joy!

Scatter JoyWhen I was in college, every Friday students were given an opportunity to write positive, joy-filled messages to whomever they wished. Someone would go around the cafeteria during the lunch hours and pass out minimally decorated colored paper entitled “Joy Notes,” give individuals an opportunity to write a message, collect them, and deliver them to the dormitory offices for distribution via students’ mailboxes.

It was such a pleasure to write these notes because I knew they would make the recipients feel loved and appreciated.

What a treat it was to discover a “Joy Note” in my own box–especially after an unbearable or stressful week.

I saved many of the Joy Notes written to me, and they still warm my heart. Among them are a note from my roommate, expressing her delight that we were rooming again and appreciation for my friendship; a note from one of my good friends that decried our busy senior-year life and that let me know she cherished our friendship though we didn’t have as much time to chat as we had in previous years; one from another friend, thankful for my support through a difficult time in his life; a lengthy “missive” from my bestie after she moved off campus about how much work she was getting done since she didn’t have our long talks, shopping sprees, one-on-one basketball games, and other adventures to distract her. But, of course, she was missing all of that! 😀

You know where this is heading.

This wouldn’t be Joy Week on Pics and Posts if I were to let it end without encouraging you to spread joy to others.

It’s always a delight to know that someone is thinking of us and that we are appreciated for simply being who we are. So…take a moment to write a “joy note” today. Write a note to your spouse, your child, a long-lost friend, your parents for putting up with you; a “thinking of you” note to a few individuals you haven’t heard from lately; a thank you to the neighbor who kindly drags your trash can from the curb each week or who cuts your grass as a surprise while you’re on vacation.

We shy away from such activities because we overthink them and try to do much more than is necessary. In this case, “less is more.” Even one sentence is sufficient to spread a little joy.

To make life easier, you can use the simple 4×6 printable I designed using one of my own doodled flowers. [Aren’t you proud of me?] The card prints nicely in black and white too and can be sent as a postcard if printed on card stock.

[Click the links below to access the freebies–one ruled, one unruled]

The “spread joy” flower was inspired by a coneflower drawn by my penfriend Christine for the Brooklyn Art Library Sketch Book Project. Her flower was inspired by a flower sketched by Jane M., another artist and Love Noter. One person’s creative joy led to another’s and that led to another’s. See how quickly the joy spreads?

Come on! Let’s scatter some joy this weekend!

Bonus: Check out the gorgeous “Scatter Joy” image available as a free download from Ashley at The Handmade Home.  Be sure to download the freebie and display it in your home to remind yourself to “scatter joy” each and every day.


Note It!

Way back in October–it seems so long ago–I participated in the “4 Photos and a Note Card” swap hosted by kmug500 on swap-bot.  Swappers were required to use old photos they’d taken to create a note card. Literally. Swappers had to cut the letters N-O-T-E from photos they’d already printed, glue them to the front of a blank card or card stock and send the card on its way.

My partner, Scuslidge, sent two gorgeous cards with hand-cut lettering. Here’s the first one:

"A Note for All Seasons," by Scuslidge on swap-bot

“A Note for All Seasons,” by Scuslidge on swap-bot

Scuslidge had been planning a card that incorporated all the seasons even before this swap.  I am going to have such a difficult time parting with this card.  I think I’ll save it for someone super special whom I see a lot. Who saves cards and letters.  So I can see it again in this lifetime. 😉

My partner admitted to sending the second card because she forgot about the rule to use old photos, so she created another with photos of purple flowers from her stash.  I appreciate her honesty and am all too happy to benefit from her “error.”

"Purple," by Scuslidge on swap-bot

“Purple,” by Scuslidge on swap-bot

I had so much fun creating a card for my partner, especially since I used my trusty–though rarely used–Cricut to cut the letters.  My partner was pleased with her card, so pleased that she wants us to be neighbors  so she can use the Cricut.  Of course, that’s not a compelling enough reason for me to move to another state or make any of my neighbors move out of their homes, so I just suggested that she take advantage of the holidays and add the Cricut to her holiday wish list.  (Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the card before sending it off).

This is such a wonderful way to use old, extra, miscellaneous, or even ill-composed photos.  I’m definitely going to milk this idea till I’m out of random, extra photos.  I’ve already printed other letters (words) like the seasons, hello, hi and the like.   The challenge for me is the glue.  Glue is messy.  Glue dots?  No.   I don’t always trust double-sided tape.  So, I’m experimenting.

You should try it. You might like it too!