I finally did the unthinkable and created my own gift wrap and guess what ... you can color some of them. Who wouldn't absolutely LOVE to receive gift wrap that they can color on their own?
In my search, I
wanted to find a company who would offer only the highest quality
product at an affordable price, and I found "Spoonflower". Their gift
wrap is absolutely gorgeous with a smooth satin finish like no other paper. It's high quality, eco-friendly, heavy weight paper that you will ever find and it's perfect for wrapping
presents, scrapbooking, decoupage, and so many other craft projects..
Each design was first drawn by me, colored and then professionally scanned to give you a product worth every penny. Colors are vivid, crisp and clear. I have purchased all of the designs myself, taking a close look at the printing and design and they are perfect and ready to visit your home. This gift wrap is a perfect personal touch to wrap that thoughtful gift in. And the best part is that it's made in the U.S.A.
Leave a comment under this posting letting me know that you have added me to your circle AND include which coloring book is your favorite!!
Around the 5th of every month I will have a drawing
for at least (1) of these coloring books. This month it's a little late due to family duties. As long as I (and you) can
see your picture under "Google and Followers" and you have left a
comment under this blog for the FREE give-a-way drawing, you will be
eligible for the monthly drawing. Sometimes you will have to "Add to
circles" in order for your picture to show up.
Which coloring book is your favorite? Click on the links below to read the full descriptions of each coloring books and then comment why you would love to own a copy!!!
Creative Haven Dream Doodles: A Coloring Book with a Hidden Picture Twist
Twenty-eight intricate images offer a mind-expanding coloring
experience. But there's more here than meets the eye. Look closely to
find the bumblebees, teacups, mushrooms, and other surprising figures
hidden amid the wild, swirling designs. Answers are included and
illustrations are printed on one side of perforated pages for easy
removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists, Dream Doodles with a Hidden Picture Twist and other Creative Haven® coloring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfillment. http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Haven-Dream-Doodles-Coloring/dp/0486799026/ref=pd_sim_sbs_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MEM8EZC600SZB4TGR78
Join my Blog ... Add me to your Circle or Follow Me
That's all you have to do to be eligible to win one of these beautiful coloring books monthly. On the 5th of every month I will have a drawing for at least (1) of these coloring books and as long as I (and you) can see your picture under "Google and Followers" and you have left a comment under the blog for the FREE give-a-way drawing, you will be eligible for the monthly drawing. Sometimes you will have to "Add to circles" in order for your picture to show up.
Yes you will have to sign up for a google account but it's simple and easy and you can use any Gmail account for this ... if you have a tablet or a smart phone, you have a Gmail attached to it.
It's my way of thanking you for your support and so that you, as an adult can once again feel the joy that you had as a child when you colored!
This month I'm giving away (3) of the coloring book shown below .. and it is absolutely amazing! But to be eligible to win, please add me to your circle and comment on the message announcing the give-a-way.
As adults, we have stressors daily which affect us both emotionally and
physically. The trick is for us to fund a way of dealing with the
stresses of everyday life so that they don't cause harm to our bodies
Coloring has a de-stressing,calming effect because
while we color, we are focusing our attention on a particular activity
and not on the worries of the day.
Zany Zendoodles Coloring Book:
To Calm The Soul Coloring Book is a fun, creative coloring book full of a unique collection of 30 hand drawn, relaxing colorings, that you will love to color and each one is printed on its own page but to be safe, if
you're going to use markers, please place a blank sheet of paper or
cardstock behind the page you're coloring to prevent any bleed-through
onto the next sheet.
It is my hope that the drawings in this coloring book can provide you with some calm, tranquil moments each day.
Here's how to win your copy of Zany Zendoodles:
So what are you waiting for ... you know you want this beautiful coloring book so add me to your circle or follow by email ~ it's that simple ... and please leave a comment below that you have done so.
Here's the clincher, I have to "See" that you a have added me to your circle. Which means I need to see your picture under "Google+Followers". If your picture isn't there, and you can't see it, then you haven't added me to your circle.
Sometimes "Following by email" won't show your picture so you may have to "Add to circles".
Why am I doing this? It's all about me ... I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an
affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to
earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I will also be posting more artist and their masterpieces along with their web sites and
ETSY stores and with that often comes freebees!!
Meet the Author
Ahrens resides in Green Bay, Wisconsin and is a self-taught
illustrator, author and mixed media artist. Every mandala and zendoodle
that she creates is first drawn in pencil then outlines with an ultra
fine pitch black marker.
Kathy began drawing and coloring as a
young child and always favored the coloring books from Dover
Publications. Her dream came true when she was asked to create the
artwork for the Dover coloring book: Creative Haven Dream Doodles: A
Coloring Book with a Hidden Picture Twist. This coloring book is
available as a pre-order at this time and will be shipped at its
publication date of August 19, 2015. You can find this book available
in Amazon by clicking here or in any retail venue:
Kathy is proud to announce the publication of her three coloring books titled:
Magical Mystical Mandalas Coloring Book: Spiritually Healing Mandalas to Color
Zany Zendoodles Coloring Book: To Calm The Soul
My Pocket Zendoodles Coloring Book: Color Your Stress Away
can find all of my coloring books in my ETSY store, on
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other online book stores.
In recent years, a growing number of adults have taken to revisiting popular childhood pastimes — skipping, hula hooping and double Dutch rope jumping among them. The latest activity to join this group: coloring, which grownups have been embracing for reasons ranging from stress relief to the joy of expression.
started in Europe (specifically, France) about two years ago and
recently hit the United States. Publishers are jumping on the bandwagon,
and some titles, like “Secret Garden,” have become international bestsellers, with the number of coloring books for adults growing by the month.
"The popularity is just really soaring," says Kimberly Montgomery,
a coloring enthusiast from Lake Tahoe, California, who discovered it
online a year ago. She finds it relaxing and colors a few times a week,
spending up to several hours on a page. Her favorite pages to color have
a positive message, like what's offered in “Creative Coloring Inspirations,” published last year, whose floral designs feature uplifting words like "Today is going to be awesome."
get the same feeling coloring as when I'm out in nature," she says.
"All of a sudden, my stress level decreases, and my sense of peace and
"I can't draw, but I can color somebody else's drawing," says Shyla Jannusch. Courtesy: Shyla Jannusch
Facebook coloring groups have been proliferating, some boasting several thousand members, like Adult Coloring Group, Coloring Enthusiasts and Coloring for All!,
whose founder, Shyla Jannusch, 43, took it up last year on a whim after
coming across an adult coloring book in a Barnes & Noble, thinking
it could be a nice, inexpensive way to unwind. Limited to 2,500 members,
her group now has 700 people on its waiting list.
allows you to just turn off the digital world for a while," she says,
"but then we have that virtual community that you can go to for help,
inspiration and positive feedback."
Jim Gogarty, a British
illustrator, arrived at coloring through quite a different avenue — a
spiritual awakening. It started 10 years ago when he had a powerful
meditation session in which he saw vivid images of colorful circles. He
felt a strong urge to draw them afterwards, and then just kept doing it,
noticing that it brought on a meditative state. "I felt very relaxed
and centered," he recounts in an email. "The same thing happened when I
colored in my drawings."
Though he didn't know it at the time, the
circles he was drawing and coloring in were mandalas, archetypical
symbols that represent the universe in Hinduism and Buddhism. (Mandala
means "circle" in Sanskrit). He was curious to see if others would enjoy
coloring them, so he launched iheartmandalas.com and shared his pages for people to try. It caught on, and Adams Media published a collection of them in “The Mandala Coloring Book” two years ago.
Courtesy Adams Media
"I think when we color, we place all our focus on the process," he
writes. "This shuts out everything else and you find yourself in the
moment. Worries disappear and a sense of satisfaction can be achieved by
creating a piece of art that is not too taxing."
clear not only from his own experience but also from the feedback he
received from fans of his book . One man said coloring a mandala helped
him get through a panic attack at the airport. An elderly woman with
dementia was able to relax for the first time in years while coloring. A
guy with PTSD used coloring to diminish anxiety and become more present
Renee Van der Vennet, a practicing art therapist, is not surprised by this. In 2012, she co-authored a study, published in the journal Art Therapy,
that found that people who are experiencing anxiety can greatly reduce
it by coloring in mandalas (more so than a plaid design).
something spiritual and relaxing about that kind of pattern that's
inherent to our own spiritual well-being," says Dr. Van der Vennet, an
associate professor of creative arts therapy at Nazareth College. Her
approach to art therapy is informed by Carl Jung, who used mandalas
therapeutically (and whom she credits as one of the founders of art therapy,
a mental health profession that entails the use of art with a
therapist's guidance). In the Jungian schema, mandalas tap into what he
called our "collective unconscious," and the urge to create them can
come during a spiritual awakening as a way for the psyche to process the
Though Dr. Van der Vennet would encourage high functioning clients to
draw their own mandalas for art therapy, she sees the coloring craze as
a healthy step toward giving adults a chance to get in touch with their
creativity and the healing it can bring about. "This is totally outside
the box," she says of coloring, "and anybody who can push themselves
outside their box is growing as a person."
And if it works to curb
anxiety, all the better, as Shyla Jannusch, who has long suffered from
anxiety, was happy to discover. Thanks to coloring, the hand tremors she
had as a result of chronic anxiety have vanished. She credits the
calming, anti-stress effects of coloring as well as the simple task of
holding a pencil and sitting still. She believes many members in her
Facebook group also suffer from ailments, "and they're using coloring to
help them with their medical condition," she says.
uninitiated, however, who still see coloring as the preserve of small
children, this avocation seems perplexing. After Jannusch appeared in a
news segment in April, people she hadn't seen for a long time reached
out to her.
One, she recalls, queried: "Coloring books? Really?"
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy where the individual
engages in creative self-expression to decrease pain, gain insight, and
tap into one's thoughts, feelings and emotions--it is not concerned with
how artistic or how well a person can draw or paint or work with clay.
It is about the process of self-expression and not the product. It is
about getting feelings out in a creative manner without the filter of
words. When working with imagery, the client is accessing the right
brain, the part of the brain where emotions reside--not the analytical
left brain. Though clients can talk about the meaning the art has for
them and any reactions they experience, as an art therapist, I do not
assume to know what a client's art means nor do I interpret their work. I
do maintain a sense of curiosity about their art and might ask a
question such as, "Tell me about this drawing?", or "What might this
image be feeling?" I leave interpretation up to the client.
therapy is used in hospitals, clinics, rehab facilitites, schools,
private practice and in senior centers. It is used with children, teens
and adults, older adults and with families and couples. It is used to
promote and enhance physical, emotional and mental health by using
creative expression. Taking part in artmaking helps decrease anxiety,
stress, depression and increase self-awareness, self-esteem,
relationship difficulties and behavior and developmental delays while
providing insight into one's life. I explain that art therapy is not an
art class though the process might inspire a person to pick up pastels
and draw on their own. Children gravitate towards the use of art and
approach creativity with imagination and freedom and play without
judgment or self-criticism. They enjoy experimenting with new art
materials and soon discover creative tools to handle difficult emotions
such as anger. Art therapy is beneficial in helping children diagnosed
with ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, fear, and the challenges of
living with a chronic illness. As we age, we begin to seek perfection in
ourselves and, through creative expression, clients can learn to
silence the voice of the internal critic and become more self-aware of
their negative thoughts and irrational beliefs. I invite clients to let
the page hold the feeling(s) where we can explore them together. I
suggest to clients that, instead of letting the feeling fester inside of
them, why not allow the art to be the container.
If a client has a
reaction to an art piece, I provide a safe place to explore the
feelings that surface. Many adults are surprised how art can facilitate
the expression of feelings and emotions easier and quicker than
traditional talk therapy. I explain that when we look at an image of a
loved one or a visual image of a place that we have strong feelings for,
we many times experience a physical response. It is the same when we
create expressive art and images. In the last few years, scientific
research has discovered how fear-based emotions, negative thoughts and
suppressed feelings can trigger physiological stress on the body in turn
directly affecting the immune system. As we begin to heal emotional
wounds, the body begins to heal also. One of the goals I have when
working with a client is for them to find balance between the right and
the left brain. This way, not residing completely in the emotional brain
or living stictly in the analytical brain. Through the creative
process, I assist baby-boomers better move through life transitions and
discover acceptance and peace with the aging process.
is a master's level profession with training in psychology and visual
arts. When seeking an art therapist, it is important to work with
someone who is trained in the field of art therapy or expressive arts.
Many therapists claim to use art, though they are not trained
specifically in art therapy. When asked how I work, I explain that I
invite clients to take part in an art directive. For instance, I might
ask, "What might that anger look like if you put it down on paper?"
"What color, shape, or size might it be?" I might suggest that they use
their nondominant hand to draw or that they create an image out of clay
that represents how they feel that day. Even the simple act of doodling
can provide a relaxing and contemplative experience. For people that
suffer from anxiety, I many times recommend keeping a doodle journal
with them. This way, when they begin to experience worry or anxiousness,
they can doodle. If a client feels uncomfortable drawing, I offer
alternative art forms, such as collage using magazine cutouts.
the artmaking process, I recommend to the client that they work without
talking in this way the nonverbal right brain is dominant allowing
easier access to emotions. I leave time to discuss the artmaking and
time for any other reflection the client might have. I keep the art in a
safe place or, if the client wishes, they can bring their art home with
them. I provide all of the art materials including pastels, markers,
crayons, colored pencils, paint, collage materials, clay and paper.
Where the imagination is concerned, the items we can work with appears
endless. Children love working with pipe cleaners popsicle sticks and
"Model Magic" as these objects provide a tactile experience for them.
For young and old, the practice of art therapy is a safe place where
feelings and imagination meet for both young and old.
If you have
questions about the practice of art therapy or are interested in
scheduling an appointment, please feel free to contact me at
More information about art therapy can also be found on
the website of the American Associations of Art Therapy
By, Victoria Van Zandt, MA
Victoira Van Zandt, MA Registered Marriage & Family
Therapist in Los Angeles, California. She works with children, teens,
adults and families.
Art Therapy Helps High School Students Express Themselves
The discipline of art therapy
is a fairly recent innovation in the repertoire of therapists;
combining the use of both art and psychotherapy in order to connect with
patients, art therapists
utilize the therapeutic nature of creativity, as well as the patient’s
own use of symbology, as a way to gain insight into issues affecting
them that they might not even be aware of on a conscious level.
Adolescents often wrestle with emotional issues that they are unable to fully articulate. Using art therapy
as a vehicle to allow them to open up in a safe and trusting
environment is often a particularly effective way to communicate with
them. Art therapy programs
in high schools encourage students to engage in self expression through
the mediums of paint, sculpture, drawing and other forms of artistic
Setting aside classroom time for troubled students, councilors or art
therapy-trained psychologists invite students into the studio space,
where they can engage in directed assignments or free expression with a
stated purpose. Students struggling with issues of depression,
for example, can work through the underlying issues troubling them by
engaging in their own personal use of artistic symbols or can create
works of art that a therapist will then lead them in discussion and
analysis about in order to draw out any latent emotions or gain insight
into problems they could not articulate in any other way.
The use of art therapy in a high school setting is not widely
utilized; unfortunately, budgets for this form of expression are often
lacking and schools often have a difficult time engaging properly
trained personnel for this form of psychotherapy. Schools that do
support an art therapy program report quite positive results from both
staff and students engaging in it. Often it becomes part of an arsenal
of methods for reaching students who might not respond to other forms of
therapy. With its therapeutic value and encouragement of creativity,
art therapy has a valuable and often irreplaceable effect in reaching
students who might resist more traditional attempts to draw them out.
Congratulations Laura Harley ... you won a set of 8 greeting cards for joining this blog! I will pick another winner next week, and will give away another item from my Society6 shop. So please become a follower by clicking "Following" under "Google+Following" and add me to your circle. If you can't see your face under following, then you're not following my blog ...
Perhaps there are deeper reasons why we are all compelled to doodle.
don't have to search very far to find some form of doodling, or
graffiti. It is everywhere. Since ancient times, carved on rocks and in
caves. Today, it is all over scratch pads on desks, on phone book
covers, in library books, on walls in public rest rooms, on buildings,
fences, carved in picnic tables, park benches, railroad cars, and even
on people themselves, if you want to consider tattoos. From toddlers to
elders, everyone seems to instinctively doodle. Whether subconsciously
or intentionally, we all do it.
Doodling appears to be a natural habit we instinctively practice to satisfy a basic need.
It is expressed very early in childhood. Think about it for a moment.
What is the first thing a toddler does when he, or she, finds an
abandoned pen or marker? They are instinctively driven to express
themselves, using that tool, on anything, everywhere. They do not stop
until they have had their fill, or get caught. And, guess what, folks.
We never outgrow it! In fact, some of us, get really good at it. Why?
Perhaps, because we need it.
Art Therapy is gaining in
recognition among the medical professionals as a vital healing tool.
According to the U.S. College Search web site, there are over 4,000
colleges and universities throughout the country, offering courses and
degrees in this field. Art Therapy is also recognized by the American
Medical Association. Though not all states require certification, many
do. In summary, Art Therapy is a legitimate profession and highly
regarded as an important part of healing and mental stability.
• It is used to help improve various mental and physical symptoms.
• It helps to reduce pain and calms anxiety.
• It is used for those who have experienced mental and emotional trauma, cancer, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar symptoms, Alzheimer's, and even autistic children.
According to the American Art Therapy Association (AATA)
web site, Art Therapy is "based on the belief that the creative process
involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts
and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce
stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight."
Consider the increasing problems with our youth since our public
schools have dropped courses and electives in the Arts. It is hard to
ignore that since the elimination of these programs, for whatever
reasons, there has been an increase of violence, suicides, bullying,
emotional distress, higher incidence substance abuse, mental
dysfunction, disrespect for authority, and unrest among our youth. It is
also quite interesting how these two trends seem to parallel. Perhaps,
there is something more important to consider in our education system's
curriculum than just reading, math, and science. Without taking a deeper
look into the arts as a constructive outlet toward self expression, we
could be heading for some long, rough, and difficult times.
We all have that inner drive to create and express ourselves.
The Christian Bible tells us that we are created in the image and likeness of our Creator, God (Genesis1:27).
If true, it makes sense why we have this "need" to create. Could it be
possible that this "need" is the driving force behind our desire to, not
only to be creative, but also to excel, compete, and leave our
individual mark to make a statement for acknowledgement? Do we have a
need to justify and validate our self-worth? Without some kind of
validity for our existence, we seem to lose our desire to thrive and
survive. Depression and frustration can set in, sending us into a spiral
downfall, deteriorating our mental and spiritual state of being.
Naturally, this could affect our physical health, as well. If allowed to
experience prolonged episodes of a debilitating state of mind, it is
highly likely we will suffer severe imbalances of mental, emotional, and
physical states of well being. This is detrimental to our entire
In conclusion, I'd say you're probably on the
right track to maintaining good health and sense of balance if you
doodle, regularly. If you don't, you might want to try taking some time
to pamper yourself with a little relaxing fun. It's simple to do and
doesn't take any kind of talent. Try dressing up a simple Smiley face
with a hat, beard, big ears, or just pen a few variations of squiggles
and lines. Try coloring a page with your child, in your kid's coloring
book. There is no right or wrong way to doodle or color. Just don't
suppress the urge to doodle or color, or you may be setting yourself up
for some big problems, later.