Try Out the Smoothie Bowl Craze with a Free Cookbook You Can Color!

smoothie bowlsIn my quest to eat healthier, I’ve been obsessed with smoothie bowls. If you don’t know what a smoothie bowl is, the concept is actually very simple. Instead of making your smoothie thin enough to drink with a straw, you make it thick enough to eat with a spoon. Pour it into a bowl, then add nuts, coconut, granola, sliced fruit, and other delicious toppings.

If you want to get in on the smoothie bowl craze, Meal Makeover Moms has a fabulous freebie. This 34-page adult coloring book features a wide range of smoothie bowl recipes, as well as cute mandalas for you to color. Visit the Meal Makeover Moms website to learn more.

Art-n-Fly’s Brush Tip Markers Give You a Painted Look Without the Mess

coloring with brush markers
Art-n-Fly’s new soft brush markers let you experience the joy of painting with watercolors without the mess. This gives you an entirely new way to enjoy your favorite adult coloring books!

If you’re used to working with regular fine tip markers, this product can be be a bit tricky at first. It helps to think of them like a paintbrush, so you’re holding them with a lighter touch and at a bit of an angle. Unless you’re already an experienced painter, I’d suggest practicing with a free printable coloring page or two so you can get a feel for how they work. For me, figuring out how to use them for smaller areas and finer details was the trickiest part.

The brush tips are a flexible nylon and will bend to whatever direction you push them. This lets you vary your strokes and layer or blend different colors together. I had a blast coloring the flowers shown in this post, which are from Stress Less Coloring: Flower Patterns by Adams Media.

art-n-fly brush markersOne of the things I found most interesting about these markers was that they had minimal bleed through in my coloring books. There was some bleed through in the areas where I’d blended the colors together, but this was still less than I typically get using Sharpies or Bic Mark-its. I’d still suggest putting a sheet behind the page you’re coloring as a precautionary measure, however.

Although there are only 12 colors in the set, they represent a broad enough range to make these markers useful for a wide variety of projects for both children and adults. They’re especially well suited to calligraphy and hand lettering, which is awesome if you’re a scrapbooker, a card maker, or really into bullet journaling.

There are no refills currently available, but the company is working on adding a refill option for future purchase. So, this would be a plus if you’re concerned about being as eco-friendly as possible with your coloring.

Purchase your Art-n-Fly brush tip markers on Amazon for $18.99.

brush marker flower

Enter to Win ‘Color Me Lisa Frank’ Adult Coloring Books

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lisa frank kitty

’90s girls unite! The Color Me Lisa Frank adult coloring books from Dollar General are a must-have addition to your collection. There are four different books in all and each one is priced at just $3, making them budget-friendly and fun!

lisa frank book 1 coverlisa frank book 2 coverGo back to the days when life was simple and your greatest joy was stuffing your backpack full of Lisa Frank school supplies. The ballerina bunnies, frisky kitties, and psychedelic dolphins you loved as in elementary school are now part of a coloring book designed for adults. Each page is packed with intricate details for a challenging yet soothing artistic experience.

The nostalgic collection of 24 images in the Color Me Lisa Frank adult coloring book is printed on high quality bright white paper. Pages are one-sided, making them suitable for use with colored pencils, gel pens, and markers.

Of course, vibrant neon colors are a necessity for this fabulous adult coloring experience! I’ve been using a combination of highlighters and glitter gel pens on my pages.

As a special treat, I have two extra books to giveaway to one lucky reader. (I wasn’t able to find a whole set anywhere near me, since these books have been super popular!)

To enter, leave a comment telling me why you love Lisa Frank. I’ll pick a winner at random on July 31. US residents only, please!

lisa frank book 2

lisa frank book 1

UPDATE: This contest is now. Our winner is #2. 

Having a Bad Day? ‘Feel Good Words’ Will Put a Smile on Your Face

feel good words breatheSue Chastain’s Feel Good Words is the book to reach for when you’re having a terrible day and in need of a little coloring inspiration. The collection of 30 positive and uplifting words is sure to bring a smile to your face.

feel good words coverOne thing that makes this title different from other coloring books on the market is that all the images are included twice. The first copy is a full page design and the second is a smaller half page design that you can remove from your book and use to embellish a handmade greeting card. As a crafter at heart, I personally love this idea. Plus, it gives me two chances to perfect my technique with each design! 

As an added bonus, the back of the book includes sample pages from Sue’s other titles as well as a few color test sheets you can use to make reference swatches for your favorite colored pencil, gel pen, or marker sets. (I know I need to be better about doing this consistently, since I’m always grabbing the wrong pen or marker from my sets that don’t have color names listed!)

You can purchase Feel Good Words on Amazon for $9.85.  If you want to learn more, you can download a few sample pages, purchase a digital edition, and see a large gallery of colored pages on the SuziQ Creations website. 

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the author.

feel good words thank you

 

Traveling Just Got More Entertaining: Hotels Now Have Adult Coloring Books

636045780094243670-DSC04138My family is planning a short trip in a few weeks and I was just thinking of what coloring books I wanted to bring along when I came across an interesting article at USA Today. Apparently, hotels are starting to offer adult coloring books as an added amenity for guests!

For example, Morgans Hotel Group has an exclusive adult coloring book by illustrator Peter Arkle that highlights each hotel in the Morgans portfolio. Yotel New York created a coloring and activity book with New York-centric images by artist Ian Sklarsky that you can purchase during your stay.

Personally, I love this idea and think it’s something more hotels should jump on. Coloring books from your travels would make amazing souvenirs!

Adult Coloring Is More Than Just a Fad

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If adult coloring has helped you cope with an illness, a family crisis, or everyday life stressors in a more constructive way, you’re not along. A recent National Post article explores some of the unexpected benefits of this simple hobby, profiling a grieving mother who says her love of coloring helped her move on after her son’s untimely death, a stroke survivor trying to regain her fine motor skills, a special needs parent, and a widow finding solace after losing her husband to cancer.  You’ll never look at coloring the same way again!

3 Fun Ways to Turn Coloring into a Family Activity

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Obviously, coloring is fun all on its own. There’s nothing wrong with simply placing your favorite pictures on the table with some markers, colored pencils, or gel pens and coloring the night away. However, here are some ideas you can use to take your coloring experience up a notch and get the whole family involved.

1. Have a Family Art Show

One of the best ways to encourage your children to love art is to proudly display their work. Although the refrigerator still remains the most popular place to showcase a child’s colored pictures, there’s a better solution that can be used to display artwork from the entire family.

Purchase several large artwork display frames, one for each member of your family. Arrange the frames in a gallery formation on a spare wall in your home. Every time you color together, have each person sign and date their finished picture. Add the customized works of art to the frames, arranging them with the youngest person’s picture at the beginning and the oldest person’s picture at the end. If desired, you can add the pictures from the previous week into binders for each person. Over time, you’ll have a special keepsake that demonstrates how every member of the family has grown as an artist!

To add an extra element of fun to your family art show, make certificates that you can give to each participant. These awards should reward effort, respecting that each child is creative in their own unique way. Possible awards could be:

  • Best use of the color blue
  • Best use of blending
  • Best mixed media art
  • Most creative background design
  • Most imaginative color selections
  • Most unique pattern
  • Most relaxing color palette

2. Make Coloring a Game

Turn your coloring experience into a party game by giving everyone an artistic challenge to complete. Write your challenges on slips of paper, fold them up, and stick them in a bowl. Take turns letting family members choose a challenge for the group to complete.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use at least four shades of green in your picture.
  • Color a picture using your favorite color and your least favorite color.
  • Let the person to your right choose the colors you use in your picture.
  • Choose unexpected colors that aren’t found in nature. Make a purple owl, a pink dog, or a blue cat!
  • Go outside the lines and doodle your own additions to a picture. Draw a hat on a picture of a dog, add sunglasses on a picture of a princess, or use your best handwriting to add a quote to the bottom of a mandala.

If you don’t want to use your more expensive coloring pages for these challenges, try one of the printables in our Free Coloring Pages Category.

3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Coloring can be more than just a way to encourage your kids to be creative. It can also be an activity used to demonstrate the importance of being kind to others.

Pick up several different sets of note cards that you can color, such as the set of Secret Garden note cards by Johanna Basford or the Don’t Quit Your Daydream inspirational postcards by Bethany Robertson. Color the designs together as a family, then write messages to send to those in need of your positive thoughts.

For example, you could write notes to the brave men and women in the United States military who are currently serving overseas. If you don’t know a soldier personally, A Million Thanks is a nonprofit organization that sends letters to troops stationed around the world as a way to boost their spirits and ease their homesickness. You can mail your family’s contributions to this project to:

A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd.
#107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861

Alternatively, you can write letters to women who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Girls Love Mail is a nonprofit organization that was founded by Gina L. Mulligan after she realized how much receiving mail helped her feel less alone during her own cancer treatment. You can mail your family’s letters for this project to:

Gina L. Mulligan
Girls Love Mail
193 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 120
Folsom, CA 95630

The letters sent to Girls Love Mail are distributed through cancer centers, doctor’s offices, and special programs for patients. The letters are sent to recipients in a special envelope with the Girls Love Mail logo, so the organization asks that your contributions be able to fit in an envelope that measures 4.75” x 6.5″. (They can be folded if necessary.)

[Photo above is a colored note card from Don’t Quit Your Daydream inspirational postcards by Bethany Robertson.]