As artists and customers of Palette & Paper, a lot of us are believers in the “Color Outside the Lines” adage.
However, coloring inside the lines can be just as good for our minds and souls. The trend of “adult coloring books” has really taken off these past couple of years. Wondering what the hype is about, read on . . .
Coloring offers a variety of mental benefits. Marygrace Berberian, certified art therapist, stated to CNN “Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness.” A research study in 2005 proved that anxiety levels dropped when subjects colored mandalas (round frames with geometric patterns inside). When subjects simply doodled though, it had no effect in reducing their stress levels.
The act of coloring is a lot like meditation. It allows you to switch off your brain to other things and simply focus on the moment. This can be a major positive, since according to the American Psychological Association, Americans reported being more stressed out this past year than the year before (source). It is easy to understand increased stress levels with the fast-paced culture we live in where so many focus on work and money.
In addition to coloring being meditative in nature, it also allows you to take a break from “screen time”. In 2015, adult Americans spent an average of 11 hours per day on electronic gadgets (computers, smartphones, TV, etc.) (source). Considering that most people are only awake 16-18 hours per day that is a huge percentage of “screen time”.
Palette & Paper has a great assortment of coloring books, including:
The Coloring Studio combines a coloring book and magazine in its quarterly publication. It is filled with over 100 coloring pages in an array of styles. It also has interesting articles and tips. Below is a look inside the summer edition of The Coloring Studio.
Palette & Paper offers a variety of Zenspirations Coloring Books in different themes (Inspirations, Flowers and Abstract & Geometric Designs). Also, Dylusions has a fun coloring sheet book featuring the whimsical designs of Dyan Reaveley. This booklet contains heavyweight cardstock making them ideal to use with markers or watercolors. Plus, these sheets work fantastically as additions to your art journal or collage pieces. Palette & Paper also carries ADORNit coloring sheets. These sheets are great for when you want a small scale coloring project. You can turn them into a card to send a friend, include on a bible journaling page and more.
Some say that Johanna Basford, creator of the Secret Garden Coloring Book, launched the "adult coloring book obsession". Her designs are gorgeous so it is easy to understand why. Palette & Paper carries her Secret Garden Postcard book. How lovely it would be to color a few of these and send friends and family some happy mail!
So stop in today and get a coloring book! You are invited to sit on our back porch and color a while too (or inside in the AC during Open Studio every Wednesday evening).
Do you color? We would love to see your creations. Please share on our Facebook page or on Instagram with #paletteandpapercreation!
Last week we shared four items that we love to work with in our mixed media projects. We are back today with four more products!
To recap last week’s blog, we shared our adoration for Mica Powder, Dylusions Paints, Gesso and Uni-Ball Signo Broad Pen in white. You can read the whole post here.
Gel Medium by Art Basics and Dina Wakely Media
Gel Medium is a great medium that can be used in a variety of ways. Gel Medium can be used alone or mixed into other products. You can do photo transfers onto canvas, wood or fabric with gel medium. You can also add it to acrylic paints. Adding gel medium to acrylic paints will make it thicker and will retain brushstrokes adding texture to your artwork. It also adds an adhesive property to the paint which makes it nice for collage work.
Speaking of its adhesive properties, use gel mediums to “glue” pieces of chipboard and metal to your project. Pay attention to the finish of the gel medium you use. A glossy gel medium will add extra sheen and luminosity to acrylic paints. If you add matte gel medium to your acrylic paints, it will remove the natural glossy finish of the paint and leave you with a more subtle, non-reflective finish.
Texture Paste by Art Extravagance
Texture Paste comes in a variety of colors from white to graphite and it does just what it says it does. It adds texture to your project. Use it “free hand” or through a stencil to add dimension and detail to your artwork. One of the best things about mixed media artwork is the various layers and dimensions and texture paste will help add a lot of “wow” to your project.
Ferro by Viva Décor
Speaking of adding texture to a project, Ferro is also great for that, Ferro is unique with its metallic finish. Use it with stencils, brushes, sponges, etc. It works well when put on through a stencil. It can be painted over with acrylic paints (not that you would want to since it comes in amazing colors). Also, you can heat it and cause “blisters” or grow it add extra height.
Non-Stick Craft Sheet by Ranger or Best Ever Craft Mat by Ken Oliver Crafts
When working on a mixed media project, things can get pretty messy pretty quickly. It is always a good idea to have a craft sheet or mat nearby. You can work on the sheet/mat or use it as a palette to mix paints and mediums on. The sheet/mat cleans off easily and nothing sticks to it (even when using sticky mediums!).
Do you agree with our mixed media picks? What are some must haves in your crafty space?
A phrase you will see often on Palette & Paper’s website and social media channels along with being heard in the shoppe is “mixed media”.
But what is “mixed media”? According to Wikipedia, mixed media refers to “an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been employed. For example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage could properly be called a 'mixed media' work" (source).
At Palette & Paper, we carry a variety of mediums to be used in various mixed media work (think about it, almost everything you create could be considered mixed media!). A few of our favorite mediums/products that we carry are (we’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks):
Mica Powder by Finnabair Art Ingredients
Mica Powders are great additions to any base mediums – gesso, gel medium (use it this way when doing photo transfers and you will love the shimmery result) and even water to create your own custom mists. The Mica Powder will add sparkle and shimmer to all of your mixed media projects.
Dylusions Paint by Ranger
These paints are easily blendable but yet waterproof and dry quickly (an important feature in mixed media projects when you are working with lots of layers) to a matte finish. These paints accept all types of writing inks without clogging up the tips and unlike other paints, they come in a jar with a wide opening perfect for art tools, brushes, fingers and baby wipes (have you painted with a baby wipe before? Do it! You can cover a large area with just a little paint and it makes it so easy to blend multiple colors together.)
Heavy Gesso by Finnabair Art Basics
Gesso is a quick-drying paint and primer. It comes in white, black and even clear! It works well for a variety of color products providing a permanent, smooth, chalky background. Gesso will work mixed with pigments or acrylic paints to create a range of customized, colored layers. Gesso is also great watered down for “lightening” a background in your art journal (see examples of this below by Palette & Paper friend, Celeste).
Uni-ball Signo Broad Pen in White
White ink isn’t just for writing on black paper. It is perfect for adding details and text to backgrounds and patterned paper. This pen is adored by many with its smooth writing and nice bold tip.
What are some of your favorite mediums? Do you use any of these four regularly in your artwork?
Creative Team Member Kimberly is back with another post today about Traveler’s Notebooks. Be sure to read her 2-part post about vacation memory keeping in Traveler’s Notebook Inserts here and here.
Thanks so much for all of the positive feedback on Facebook and Instagram on my 2-part blog post on vacation memory keeping in Traveler’s Notebooks. A great question came up from one of our Instagram friends that inspired this post.
“I keep seeing people talk about making an insert. What are you inserting it into? And how exactly, do you make an insert?”
Let’s start at the beginning . . . For those unfamiliar with the Traveler’s Notebook, in simplest terms, it is a “notebook system” consisting of a cover with elastic bands inside that enable the user to connect to it notebooks (aka refills or inserts) and other accessories (card holder, dashboard, etc.). This enables the user to customize the Traveler’s Notebook based on their needs with just switching the contents/refills.
Originally this “notebook” system was created by Japanese based company, Midori Traveler’s Notebook and designed to be an excellent companion for travelers to capture the story of their journey through writing, sketching or collecting. With this brand being based in Japan getting a hold of the covers and inserts was hard to do (even with the internet).
Luckily, that has inspired many national brands and small Etsy stores to make and market products that fit the “Traveler’s Notebook” model. Recently, well known Webster’s Pages introduced Traveler’s Notebook covers in 5 colors (sold at Palette & Paper, $35). I have a lot Traveler’s Notebook covers and my favorite is the Webster’s Pages cover. It is oversized so it holds a lot of inserts, has pockets inside and a pen loop! I love this cover so much I have it in three of the five colors offered (Below is a picture of the five colors available. From left to right: Mint, Walnut, Ivory Platinum Rose and Pink/Gold Polka Dot).
Each Traveler’s Notebook cover holds 2-6 inserts on average and the inserts can be used for a variety of things.
I love utilizing all of the adorable paper that Palette & Paper sells to make my own inserts. I usually just use regular copy paper or graph paper for the inserts. After cutting down the paper, I simply fold in half and use a long-reach stapler (less than $15 and available at office supply store or online) to staple along the middle crease.
Things to remember:
Below Creative Team Member, Kimberly, is sharing her love of Traveler's Notebooks and how she records vacation memories in them. Be sure to read Part 1 shared previously.
Step 6: Print items to be included - - notes, pictures, etc. When I want to include a lot of text in my Traveler’s Notebook Insert I usually type it out and print it vs. handwriting the information. It saves on space, and I prefer the printed look over my handwriting.
Tip 1: Edit photos before printing using a variety of apps. Color Story and PicTapGo are two of my favs. Also, experiment with apps like Rhonna Design, A Beautiful Mess and Over to add text to pictures and other elements.
Tip 2: Collage several pictures into one 4x6”picture using the Project Life app (or similar app). It is a great way to print smaller scale pictures to include in your insert.
Tip 3: Often times I will print pictures at home using my Cannon Selphy or Polaroid Zip Printers. However, post-vacation when I have a lot of pictures to print I will use the Printicular app to upload them to Walgreens to be printed. They offer 1-hour printing at many locations and you can save 30% off using the promo code “MEAM”. I was able to print approximately 128 pictures for less than $8 using a combination of collaging small pictures onto one 4x6” print and the promo code.
Step 7: Sort through your collected ephemera. Cut out pictures, maps, blurbs on attractions, etc. Anything and everything that you think you might want to include.
Tip 1: If you are on a vacation in which you walk a lot, record the path you took by drawing it on the map. Uses different colors of pens/markers for each day and include the distances you walked (use Google post-vacation to to calculate mileage if you aren’t sure).
Tip 2: I use a binder with a couple of baseball card pages (Project life pages work too) to sort my pictures and ephemera. This helps me not overlook a picture or print out when compiling the Traveler’s Notebook.
Tip 3: Did you use Uber to get around on vacation? Screen shot the trip from the “history” screen. It will show a map with the route you took.
Step 8: Review to Steps 4 & 5 and it should be easy to make a bullet point list of the things you want to include. My preference is to document things in a chronological order with a couple of “specialty spreads” focused on a particular topic (i.e. accommodations, food, an excursion we took, etc.)
Step 9: Grab other items like washi tape, die-cuts, stickers, journaling cards, etc. to add color and fun to your album.
Step 10: Get crafty and put the album together! Now that you have everything organized this process should only take a couple of hours and you and your travel companions will love flipping through the album time and time again.
Do you make travel/vacation albums? Any tips you would like to share?
A look at a couple of the pages in my Traveler's Notebook from a long-weekend trip Asheville, NC. I love incorporating "interactive" pages with lots of "tip-ins" and "flip-outs". It is a fun way to pack a lot of information and ephemera into a small space.
Palette & Paper's blog is written by creative team member, Kimberly.
Have an idea for a blog post? Leave us a comment!