Arts Crafts and Creativeness

Mindfulness Colouring: My New Stress-Relief

Well how did that happen….blink your eyes and it’s the middle of June! Where does 2015 think it’s running off to?!

Life has been ridiculously busy of late. Work has been busy busy busy, and I have just started a new role which is going to involve more travelling and more responsibility. Cue late nights, early mornings, and a bit more stress than usual! My exercise regime has been stopped in its tracks over the last few months; which has a noticeably huge effect on my mental attitude, energy and disposition. Just ask my long-suffering boyfriend who has had to deal with my sorry endorphin-less state on many an occasion. The past couple of weeks have been a bit better though, so hopefully it’s the start of an upward trend!

I love crafty things, and I used to sketch and paint a lot until I left Sixth Form for university, er, 10 years ago. Which is why I am so overjoyed with the latest craze that seems to be taking over Europe, not just the UK! Art therapy, and colouring books for adults, have surged in popularity over the last few months. Johanna Basford’s ‘Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book‘ along with ‘Enchanted Forest’ have taken the UK, and the rest of the world, by storm. As I write this; adult colouring books account for 2 of the top 10 best selling books on Amazon UK.The uptake is huge; and I am a happy follower. I’ve long been frustrated with the lack of events such as Paint Nite in the North East; and while it’s not quite on the same level, a colouring book is filling the gap nicely for now 🙂

When I first went looking for a colouring book, I had my heart set on one of Johanna Basford’s beauties; but unfortunately due to the crazy high demand they were completely out of stock everywhere! I wound up circling the display of colouring books in Waterstone’s in Newcastle and eventually settled on ‘The Mindfulness Colouring Book‘ by Emma Farrarons. This is a compact, A5 size book which is just the right size for slipping into a handbag. The drawings rage from floral to geometric to swirls to teacups (my favourite) and cats. They are intricate enough to mean you really have to concentrate on what you are doing, which works wonders at taking your mind off any stresses of the day.

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A few weeks later, stocks of Johanna Basford’s books landed in the UK and I spotted a display out of the corner of my eye whilst picking up a newspaper in WHSmiths…well, obviously I had to buy a copy of Enchanted Forest! It’s a lot bigger than Farrarons’ book, so not ideal for throwing in your handbag; but the drawings are soooooo pretty! I am in love with her work. She also did a piece for The Guardian on how to draw an enchanted forest – definitely trying this at some point!

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If you’re going to buy pretty colouring books, then you have to have some pretty coloured pencils as well. Gone are the days of those sharp and scratchy primary school offerings! There’s a variety of brands out there, but my weapons of choice are from Faber-Castell. Not too hard, not too waxy, lovely colours and nice finish. My next challenge is going to be using fineliners to complete the drawings instead.

The final piece in my colouring armoury (because I am, as previously demonstrated, a sucker for marketing and pretty things) is a nice pencil case to keep everything together. I love the Happy Jackson products, so I went for a nice green, slim offering from them.

So there you go – if you want to beat some stress, go get creative! 🙂

Have a cracking weekend!

Steph x

books and pencils

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