Coloring is Good for You

Just do it!

I often hear people question the reasons that I color in coloring books. I think that often times, we tend to assign age groups to activities. It is common to hear people say that coloring books are for kids. But now we know better. The fact that we distinguish between coloring and adult coloring. Why don’t we just use the one word to anyone engaging in the activity of coloring. It turns out that many of the activities we assign to children are ones that have significant health benefits for adults. So before you snub the activity read on.

I will link a few articles here that talk more in-depth about the health benefits of coloring. But I think it’s so important that we all take time to relax and let down our guard and participate in something tactile, like coloring. It has proven to be a great stress reliever and helps improve focus and helps promote sleep. I don’t know about you, but as I have aged, I am more stressed, struggle with focus, and getting a full night’s sleep.

It is such a simple act of using a colored pencil to add color to a page. I really enjoy taking a picture before I begin and then after to see how the image ‘comes to life’. Don’t get caught up in doing it right. There are no rules. Just dedicate a little time each day or several days a week to healing your mind. So I challenge you to put yourself first, go find a coloring book online, order it, and just play.

Here are a few links to back me up:

Health Benefits of Coloring for Adults

7 Benefits of Coloring for Adults and Why You Should Join the Adult Coloring Craze

Christmas goodies…

new coloring books

Hello! It’s Friday and I am so happy today because it’s a weekend that we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday so that means a long weekend. But the second reason is that I get to spend all of Saturday on Zoom crafting and catching up with my girlfriends. Since the start of lockdown last year, my friend, Ashley began hosting Saturday craft sessions on Zoom so we wouldn’t lose touch and to preserve our sanity. Because we all know, “Crafters gotta craft” and they also need to be with each other.

Over the past three weeks, I spent the holidays with my family so I missed our Saturday sessions. So I am getting really excited to hang out and craft tomorrow.

One of my gifts for Christmas were some new coloring books. One can never have enough of them. So I thought I would share a peek inside of each so you can share in the excitement.

Animal Odyssey

I placed this book on my wishlist a while back and one of the reasons is because sometimes, I don’t feel like fussing with tiny spaces. The images are rather larger and gorgeous which will lead to stress-free coloring. Below is a picture from inside.

I saw this next book while social distance shopping with my friend Joan at Michael’s in December. So I added it to my Amazon list right away.

I think I can really practice different color combinations and mediums for sunsets in this book.

There are very few coloring books that feature african american people in them so when I saw this one online, I knew it had to be added to my collection.

I love plants and gardening and how cool is it that these beautiful black woman are surrrounded by plants. I look forward to practicing skin tones with pencils. I have a good amount of confidence with my Copics but I don’t have a lot of practice with color pencils so I think it will be great to learn some good color combinations.

This next book just makes me feel cozy. Like watching the TV show Chronicle on weeknights, I enjoy small town main streets. So I can’t wait to combine my copics and colored pencils in this book. Creative Haven is a great book to use with Copics.

This page makes me think of when we are on vacation and visit the little shops. If you have a budget, Creative Haven sells all of their books at an affordable price.

Tomorrow, I will get to play around with these new books and catch up with my friends. Just what my creative soul needs!

Happy crafting!

Thoughts on 4th of July

I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts as we conclude this years’ celebrations of Independence Day in the United States. As a small child, I remember celebrating the day with pride and looked forward to all of the pretty fireworks. I remember standing for the pledge of allegiance each day at the beginning of our school day with one hand over my chest.

As an adult, the fourth of July and many other holidays like Columbus day have become more problematic for me to accept and celebrate with the same zeal as I did as a child, after learning more of the history behind these dates and individuals, and how incomplete or just downright misleading the history we learned in school was. With how the information is presented in the school curriculum, I am not surprised that most people celebrate without blinking an eye, as the grandeur for what is presented would certainly demand this acknowledgment, but as I stated earlier these stories are very one-sided.

It’s easy to go with the flow without critically looking at our country’s past and present for that matter. When one takes the time to really look at this country’s history, and how it was built on the backs of slaves and indigenous peoples. As well as, all of the cruel inhumane acts that have occurred under the banner of “freedom”, the injustices that continue with our current systemic racism, and all of the atrocities that have been committed under the same flag, it is quite challenging to celebrate with the same vigor, pride, and innocence that I once did.

It is like this country has amnesia when it comes to teaching and acknowledging all of its history in totality. We don’t get to pick and choose. We have to look at it all…

When the words “founding fathers” are mentioned to me, I cringe, knowing that some of these men that professed freedom and equality for “all” were themselves slave owners or direct profiteers from this enterprise. So they were not my founding fathers. People talk about the ideals this country was founded on with pride, without acknowledging this fundamental gap. When these “founding fathers” put forth their rhetoric using words like “humanity” and “mankind”, they were not considering people like me in that group.

“Under the terms of our country’s founding document, slaves were defined as three-fifths of a man, not a real, whole human being.” This doctrine allowed this country to treat black people as less than and as property. Which laid the foundation for all the systemic racism that exists today.

There is so much to unpack about this country’s history but as an African American, I won’t blindly celebrate on holidays that did not include my ancestors as equals. It is kind of foolish. But perhaps as Juneteenth is a more appropriate date to celebrate, I think July 5, 1852, should also be considered. It’s the day that Frederick Douglass gave a speech entitled, “What to the slave is 4th of July”.

Because I am a genealogy lover I have included a video from NPR of Frederick Douglass’ descendants reading his famous speech.

I also included another one performed by the Great James Earl Jones.

I share my thoughts and these videos to illustrate the complicated history of this country and as we continue to work through our racial inequalities and prejudices in this country, we should also be mindful of our annual celebrations (their history, their intent) and how they are perceived and received by fellow Americans such as myself.

Earth Crafts: Reusing household items

For the past few years, I have made it a point to make sure I include “earth-friendly” goals as part of my new year’s resolutions. Two years ago, I pledged to only use reusable bags for both grocery and regular shopping. I ordered beautiful bags that I carry in my purse and use when I am loading up at Target, Michaels or clothing retailers. I purchased additional insulated shopping bags for my grocery shopping. I have stuck to that pledge and it makes me really happy.

This year, I add a few more “earth-friendly” goals and today I thought I would share with you a quick project that acts on the principle of reuse which is one I am working on in 2020. More important than recycling, reusing items is a great way to elimate waste.

Calender photo in frame.

Every year, I always purchase a wall calender for my craft room that has some sort of nature as it’s theme. For 2019, I bought a weekly calender with 52 beautiful flowers. So when I replaced it with my 2020 calender I wanted to think of what I would do with it. I could not bring myself to throw away these amazing photos of flowers. So I measured the pictures and grabbed a frame that I previously used with holiday sentiment displayed in it and used it to display the beautiful image. I will cut them to size and swap out other flowers as the year progresses.

Displayed it on my gallery shelves.

I can’t tell you how amazing it looks displayed on my gallery shelves. I could pay a lot of money for art like this in the stores but now I have saved these beauties from the landfill and gained beautiful art for my craft room.

So make sure you pause before throwing things away and try to reuse then because it is so much better than recycling as well as it stretches our creative mind.

Have a blessed Monday my friends!

Belinda

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: