OMY Helps You Plan a Party Both You and Your Kids Will Love

OMY party collageIf you love coloring with your kids, why not make this the theme of your next party?

OMY is a brand of graphic paper goods and products in playful coloring book style illustrations that will appeal to kids as well as fans of adult coloring books. Parisian graphic designers Elvire Laurent & Marie-Cerise Lichtlé founded OMY in 2012 after both becoming mothers and deciding to change their approach to design.  The brand has done collaborations with MoMa (Keith Haring and Jeff Kunz designs), Colette in Paris and made a Brooklyn map poster for Le Bon Marche’s Brooklyn exhibition.

From coloring pages and placemats, to party favors and clothing, OMY offers designs illustrated in the brand’s signature quirky images of cities, maps and cheerful scenes, and familiar artwork like Keith Haring. The collection retails from $5 – $90. Items are available for purchase at perfectlysmitten.com and other large US retailers. I can’t think of better way to create shared time and moments with family and friends than by planning a celebration with party decor that becomes a personalized keepsake!

For more party ideas that will appeal to kids and adults alike, check out my post 3 Fun Ways to Turn Coloring into a Family-Friendly Activity.

Using Aromatherapy to Enhance Your Adult Coloring Experience

aromatherapy for adult coloring

One of the reasons adult coloring books have become so popular is that they’re an inexpensive, natural, and effective way to deal with anxiety and depression. As someone who struggles with both of these issues, I know an hour spent coloring has great therapeutic benefits. I have about 40 books in my collection at the moment, but I’m especially fond of inspirational titles like Creative Haven’s Chalkboard Art Coloring Book when I’m feeling blue. (The “Believe in Yourself” image at the bottom of this post is one of my favorites from the book.)

Although coloring is wonderful all by itself, you can increase its soothing properties by diffusing essential oil in your work space. Lately, I’ve been diffusing lavender essential oil from New York Biology. This is an affordably priced high quality oil that smells amazing. I especially like the dropper cap this brand comes with. This makes it so much easier to dispense just the right amount of oil. With other brands I’ve tried, I always worry about wasting or spilling in the process.

The best essential oils to use for anxiety include:

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang ylang
  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Clary sage
  • Sandalwood
  • Wild orange
  • Lemon

Bergamot, lavender, chamomile, and ylang ylang are also recognized as natural treatments for depression.

I use a 100 ml FLYMEI coloring changing diffuser, but Amazon has a wide selection of aromatherapy diffusers to choose from, ranging form inexpensive models that are under $20 to larger and more decorative diffusers that are $50 and up. I’ve also seen lower priced diffusers for sale at select Walmart stores.

Diffusers are generally very easy to use, as long as you remember to make sure the top is secured tightly and avoid overfilling the diffuser to prevent leaks. Your oil will last a very long time, since one drop is enough for several hours of soothing aromatherapy benefits.

If you have some extra time after coloring, nothing beats a soothing aromatherapy bath. Try making DIY bath salts with 1/2 cup Epsom salt, ½  cup cup Himalayan salt, and 7-8 drops essential oil. Mix ingredients together well, then store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. (As a side note, bath salts make a lovely homemade gift. Decorate your jar with pretty ribbon and stickers you’ve colored from Color Your Own Stickers: Inspirations for the perfect finishing touch.) 

Disclaimer: A New York Biology essential oil sample was provided for the purpose of preparing this review. 

Believe in Yourself

 

Shareable Coloring Fun for You and Your Child

color togetherLet’s Color Together: A Shareable Coloring Book for Parents and Kids brings a new level of engagement to the coloring book craze by featuring beautiful spreads designed for two people to color and enjoy at once. If you’re struggling to find screen-free activities you’ll both enjoy, this is the perfect opportunity to sit down, connect, and share some fun!

let's color togetherFeaturing 10″ x 10″ images of flowers, birds, fish, teapots, houses, and more, Let’s Color Together is designed to be shared by an adult and a child at the same time. The pages are top bound so you can sit on opposing sides of the table, place the book in between you, and color simultaneously. The image on the left side is the more intricate “adult” version, while the image on the right side is the simpler “child” version.

The pages are perforated for easy removal. However, since the images are printed double sided, removing your finished pages one by one throws off the alignments of the “sharable” aspect of the book.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a coloring book like this and I love the concept. Unfortunately, it works best if you have a fairly patient child. Otherwise, you’ll find that your little one is ready to move on to the next picture well before you’ve finished the first section of your side of the page!

Here are some sample parent and child spreads from the book:

color with me collage

Margaret Peot is an artist, writer, and costume painter. Her books include Inkblot: Drip, Splat and Squish Your Way to Creativity, which was awarded the Eureka! silver Medal for non-fiction children’s books, Alternative Art Journals, and Make Your Mark. Visit her at http://www.margaretpeot.com.

Let’s Color Together: A Shareable Coloring Book for Parents and Kids can currently be purchased on Amazon for $11.81. List price is $14.99.

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher. 

Indulge Your Love of All Things Vintage with ‘The Curiosity Shoppe’

curiousity shoppe collage

Published August 1, The Curiosity Shoppe features a collection of 40 illustrations by Chris Price covering a wide range of vintage oddities, novelties, and bric-a-brac.  Many of the images would be suitable for framing as beautiful wall art if you are a fan of vintage home decor.

curiousity shoppeThe publishers did a lovely job with the presentation of this new adult coloring book. The gold foil embossing on the title and the textured linen cardstock cover definitely give it an “upscale” feel. If I was looking for a book to give as a gift for a friend who likes to color, this one would be at the top of my list for those reasons alone. What better way is there to convince a newbie that coloring isn’t just for kids than to give them a title that looks like a collector’s item?

Printed single sided, Price’s beautiful illustrations can be colored with a wide range of media. I used watercolor pencils on my first picture from the book, which is something I don’t normally do. I had a little trouble removing the page from the book to add my water, but overall I was fairly pleased with the result. However, I’ll probably go back to my trusty colored pencils for the remaining pages.

The book itself is top bound and the pages measure 11″ x 10″. This unique size and binding makes it different than all the other titles in my collection. I’m not a huge fan of the top binding, but I do think the larger size works well considering the level of detail in the images.

You can purchase The Curiosity Shoppe on Amazon for $10.59. List price is $15.99.

Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher. 

Get Inspired with Free Adult Coloring Pages from Hallmark

follow your happy

I love Hallmark’s artwork! When I was a little girl, I used to dream of being an artist for Hallmark so I could create stationery, greeting cards, and Christmas ornaments all day long. Eventually, I realized I couldn’t draw — but I still love to admire the talents of their staff. Click here to download two amazing free adult coloring pages from the Hallmark website – the “Follow Your Happy” design shown above and a cute “Life is full of surprises – bring confetti” page.

Want more designs? Check out my Download 4 Free Coloring Pages from the Art of Hallmark post to learn how to snag samples from their first adult coloring books published last year.

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

lisa frank unicorn

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.