Great Gift Idea: Adult Coloring Books

Earlier this year (way ahead of the trend), my best friend sent me one of my favorite gifts ever – an adult coloring book.

Adult-Coloring-Book-1

Since then, I’ve seen them everywhere. They’re the entryway display at the craft store, they’re at farm potlucks, they’re at girl’s night. And they’re the perfect gift.

Adult-Coloring-Book-Final-1

Why? They give the person you care about an opportunity to indulge in personal time. When I first started coloring, it felt like a waste of time, like I could be doing something more productive. But adult coloring books made me conquer my Type-A personality and forced me to relax and just enjoy the passing of time. They helped me enjoy beauty and creativity without demanding a purpose or an end product. They’re definitely something I would never buy myself.

Adult-Coloring-Book-Fish

Adult coloring books are pretty challenging, but they also encourage you to stretch your imagination and approach colors in a new way.

Adult-Coloring-Book-Final-2

Currently, I have two adult coloring books. The first one, The Secret Garden, is probably the most popular one out there and with good reason. Johanna Basford uses whimsical and complex illustrations to bring a joyous garden to life.

Sometimes the illustrations are a little too complex. I’ve never actually finished a complete page. But they’re still very fun.

I’ve also colored in her other book Enchanted Forest  and absolutely love it. It had unicorns in it!

Adult-Coloring-Book-Final-5

I also have the Creative Cats Coloring Book, of course. Creative Haven, the company who makes this book, also makes a few more. They’re certainly not as intricate or imaginative, but I like them all the same. It takes less time to complete one of these drawing and I wouldn’t say they’re strictly for adults. Mosaic Masterpieces is really fun and challenges you to get creative with color!

Adult-Coloring-Book-Final-4

These are the markers I bought to accompany my new hobby. They’re a nice quality and color for the price. The tips are shaped so you can color thin or thick lines and you get 100 colors!

If you’re struggling to find something for your creative loved ones, I’d definitely suggest these. Or, if you’re stressed out from the holidays, sit your butt down in front of a coloring book with a candle and some hot cocoa. It will absolutely calm you down.

Adult-Coloring-Book-Final-3

So do you have an adult coloring book yet? What do you think of them?

March Recap: Philadelphia, Wolves, and Good News!

I’ve taken quite a long break from blogging as I embarked on a few changes this past month.

Heidi-and-Ryan-Feb-2015(Photo of Ryan and me on our six-year anniversary)

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been offered a communications position at an incredible company. I left my old job a few weeks ago and have taken some time off. I didn’t talk a lot about my old job on the blog, but it was incredibly draining and wearing me down. I knew for a while it wasn’t a good fit. I felt like I couldn’t make things happen, which is really important to me, and eventually started losing confidence in my abilities, especially as I interviewed and applied for other positions. I’ve always considered myself very employable, but New York’s scene is highly competitive. I promised myself I wouldn’t compromise on my salary and my criteria for my next job, so it ended up taking months to find something.

Eventually it all paid off! I was offered a manager’s position (a promotion!) at one of the best companies to work for in NYC. I can tell immediately that this is a much better fit. The interview process itself was refreshing. I was challenged and critiqued in ways that I never was at my old position. I’m excited to learn, grow, and thrive and hopefully it will carry over in other aspects of my life. Career success has always been very important to me. Knowing that I wasn’t thriving in my old position really affected other aspects of my life and left me depressed and unmotivated.

Anyway, I start Wednesday.

First-Day-Of-Spring

This past month, I haven’t been motivated to take any photos. I fell into a creative rut with any and all photography. Everytime I look at my iphone photos and instagram, I am disappointed. I’m sure the cold, snowy days had something to do with it. Taking photos of white and grey things grew tiring and with the short days, it’s hard to get any natural light.

Small Adventures

In early March, Ryan and I took a trip down to Philadelphia to see a Punch Brothers concert. The concert was a lot of fun, but unfortunately, as we left the venue, it was starting to snow. Philly was hit by a terrible snowstorm that shut the city down. Our bus back was cancelled and we ended up staying another night in our AirBnB. Not a lot was open, except a bar or two, so Ryan and I walked through a few feet of falling snow to grab a some drinks. Then we walked back to our rental and snuggled up for the night. It wasn’t all that bad. It was good to get away, to be snowed in, and really only have each other to focus on. The only photo I took in Philly was of this very snowy historic graveyard.

Philadelphia

We also took a trip with a Meetup group to visit the Lakota Wolf Preservation in New Jersey. They had the usual cast of wolf packs: arctic, timber, and British Columbia wolves; along with red foxes and bobcats! Of course, I forgot my DSLR, so I am stuck with iPhone photos.

Wolf1

wolf3

Wolf2(just taking a nap)

All animals were healthy and happy with a good amount of space to roam, which is always great to see. I love most wildlife, but wolves usually make the top of the list. This isn’t the first wolf preservation I’ve visited. When I lived in Florida, we had an incredible time at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve, where I got to play with wolf puppies!

We followed the Wolf Preserve with a visit to a local winery for a very cheap and delicious wine tasting. They have two wines dedicated to the wolf preservation and all profits from those two wines are donated to the wolves.

Winery

Since I’ve had some time off in between jobs, I’ve spent the sunnier days visiting parks and the colder days at museums. I took a trip to the Museum of Arts and Design to see the Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin exhibit. We see mannequins every day, and it’s interesting to remind ourselves that someone designed these. These mannequins serve a purpose beyond holding clothes. They are meant to evoke emotions and convince shoppers that their face and body belong with that dress or shirt. Ralph Pucci did some great work and really broke away from the standard faceless mannequin stereotype.

Ralph-Pucci

(Image via The Museum of Arts and Design)

During these few weeks off, I’ve been reading nonstop. It’s amazing I’m even leaving the house. I’ve already finished three books this month, and it’s not even half over. I expect this pace to slow down, but I hope it doesn’t.

Kindle


I’m spending the last of my unemployed days in Florida visiting my family. It’s nice to see them, but of course I miss Ryan and the kitties like mad. I’ll be back in a few days to give them all plenty of kisses.

MoMA Rain Room

A few weeks ago Ryan and I went with some friends to see the MoMA’s Rain Room.

It was an incredible experience. The Rain Room is an art installation that makes it rain all around you, but not on you.

We waited in line for three or four hours, and only spent a few minutes inside. Can you believe it? It was still worth it.

They only let ten people in at a time and you can take as long as you want inside. It was nice not to feel crowded or rushed once we were inside. It made us appreciate the wait a bit more.

I took my camera in to grab a few shots, but I was most interested in just being present in the room.

 The room was all black with a giant white light at the end. The photos above were taken with us standing in front of the light. With my back to the light, this is what the room looked like.

Pretty cool, huh?

currently loving: laura amiss textile design

I just can’t get enough of these textile designs on canvas from Laura Amiss. She’s a textile artist living in Amsterdam.

I love what she does with fabrics.

city living – stitched city scape canvas print

My favorite. I could stare at this one all day.

I was different

She also does prints.

Teapots

Triangles

And she does rad sewn portraits. Be sure to check out her etsy shop or view more of her work.