Life is busy, I am not lazy, and people who know me know I have plenty to say. Maybe too much sometimes. lol Work has been hectic the past few months, full of change and challenges which can be stressful. So, how do I relieve that stress? In one word: color.
About a month or so ago, a friend posted on Facebook a page she colored from an "adult" coloring book. As a child, I loved to color. When the kids were little, we colored together. It's been years since I colored. My friend, Susanne's, picture was from "Creative Cats" by Marjorie Sarnat. Susanne's drawing was beautiful.
Hmmm. Perhaps I should look into coloring, I thought, and off I went to amazon.com. At the site, I discovered so many coloring books to choose from - stress-relieving patterns, enchanted forests, cats, city-scapes, city skylines, flowers, mandelas, whimsical owls, fanciful faces, paisleys, dreamcatchers, beauty in the Bible and more. After looking and looking and looking, I decided I wanted something simple, so I chose "Floral Bouquets" by Charlene Tarbox. And, because I loved Susanne's picture, I chose the "Creative Cats" book. Next up was colored pencils.
People use Sharpie's, gels, pens, water soluble colored pencils and more. I chose USArt Supply pencils and Sargent pencils. When I get more creative, I'll look into some of the fancy-shmancy coloring tools and learn shading techniques.
In the July 10 "Parade" magazine is an article titled "50 Shades of Happy: The Joy of Coloring," by Hillari Dowdle. To read the entire article, go to http://bit.ly/1gbxhFl
Dowdle writes about being "in the zone" and how the "world and its cares have dropped away." I understand. The act of coloring is relaxing. As Dowdle notes, "work concerns, money worries, health concerns" and arguments with her 9-year-old son fade away.
"Others have caught on to the magical, mood-lifting power of their erstwhile childhood pastime," Dowdle writes, "and together we're giving rise to a craze unsurpassed since the days we had Donny Osmond fever" -- in my day, for me it was Davy Jones of the Monkees -- with a world of gorgeous coloring books aimed at adults.
And guess what? We are "snapping them up like hotcakes," she writes.
By the millions. That's right, that's not a typo. An Associated Press article in the New York Post on July 15 claims Dover Publications has sold more than 3 million adult coloring books and Quarto Publishing will have 1.3 million books in print this year. And "Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt," by Johanna Basford, still is a top seller on Amazon two years after its initial publication.
At the time I ordered "Floral Bouquets" and "Creative Cats," I wanted "Secret Garden," but it was sold out. Now I know why.
According to the article,"adult coloring books occupied as many as eight of the top 20 slots" on Amazon's best seller list the week the story was published. Two of the best sellers were "Creative Cats" and "Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns."
Quarto's head of marketing, Amy Yodanis, said they cannot print the coloring books fast enough. "We are getting orders of 60,000 at one time from some of our biggest retailers," she said in the article. Wow! That's a lot of coloring books.
Coloring is therapeutic and choosing colors can affect our mood. Check out this image from the "Parade" article:
Coloring contests, coloring clubs and hundreds, if not thousands, of coloring posts are showing up on social media, including Facebook. I joined the "Coloring for All" group on Facebook where people share their work, offer information on coloring techniques and more. Check out the page at http://on.fb.me/1I0MKyH
If you want to try your hand at coloring, but aren't quite ready to buy a book or two, "Parade" magazine offers some free downloadable coloring pages here: http://bit.ly/1D1rDPW. And, in May, Dover Publications named Aug. 2 National Coloring Day. For a free packet of downloadable coloring pages, go to http://bit.ly/1MtrcAV
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