Thursday, November 12, 2015

 Color or Paint Your Own Wallpaper, Fabric or Gift Wrap

Color or Paint Your Own Fabric, Wallpaper or Gift Wrap

Also available in fabric and wallpaper!!!

 What's New?

Unique Gift Wrap
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.

Monday, August 10, 2015

 Congratulations to the winners!!

Thank you all for posting a comment under the August 9th entry of a the "Free Give-A-Way".  A copy of this fun "Zany Zendoodles" coloring book will be mailed to :

Joanne Anderson ~ congrats!
Please send me a private message with your address in my Personal FB:
Every month I will give away 1 coloring book and same rules will apply so please stop by again.
Love and Hugs, Kathy

Please click on these links to see more give-a-ways:

Kathy's ETSY store:

Kathy's Society6 Shop:

Kathy's  Zendoodle Facebook Page:

Kathy's Personal Facebook Page:

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 9, 2015 ... FREE Give-a-way Drawing

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. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

And The Winners Are

Thank you all for posting a comment under the June 28th entry of a the "Free Give-A-Way".  A copy of this fun "Zany Zendoodles" coloring book will be mailed to the following lucky winners:

Kat Whittaker, Debbie Bennett and Carol Johnston Shepherd.

Please send me a private message with your address in my Personal FB:

Every month I will give away 1 coloring book and same rules will apply so please stop by again.

Love and Hugs, Kathy

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Take a Break ... Color

I'm taking a break from drawing to have fun coloring ... Yes i color in my very own coloring books .. What are you up to today?  I know, you want this coloring nook don't you?  Well you can purchase one in my ETSY store: or onAmazon: OR .. and I mean OR you can enter my drawing where I am giving away (3) of these beautiful coloring books!!!  Scroll down my page to see how you can win this!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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. 
Love and Hugs Always, Kathy

Sunday, June 28, 2015

FREE GIVE-A-WAY on JULY 5, 2015  

NOT 1 BOOK anymore BUT 3 BOOKS !

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 and soul.

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  I will also be posting more artist and their masterpieces along with their web sites and
ETSY stores and with that often comes freebees!!

Product Details
ISBN-13: 978-1514183953

Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Author:  Kathy Ahrens
Publication date: 6/21/2015
Pages: 66
Product dimensions: 8.50" (w) x 11.00" 

Zany Zendoodles Coloring Book: To Calm The Soul can also be purchased at these locations:


Meet the Author

Kathy 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

You can find all of my coloring books in my ETSY store, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other online book stores.

Coloring For Grownups Is Most Definitely A Thing

Coloring can be good for you. 

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.

It 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."

"I 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 serenity increases."

"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.

"Coloring 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 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."

This became 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 during episodes.

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).

"There's 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 experience.

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.

To the 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?"

"And I'm like, ‘Yes! Coloring books!’ she says. “Who would've thought?"

Cover image by Daniel Krieger

 To read the article online and share via FB click here:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Healing Power of Art Therapy

 The Healing Power of Art Therapy

By, Victoria Van Zandt, MA

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.

Art 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.

Art therapy 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.

During 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 310-922-3957.

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.

Article Source:

Article Source:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Come on ... Follow Me

 Click on "Follow" under my picture to follow this blog!!

Join me on Facebook

Join me on Facebook for some FREE zendoodles and mandalas like this one ...  leave me a message on FB and a surprise will arrive in your inbox!!

To send me a FR in my personal Facebook, click here: 

To visit and "Like" my "Artist" FB page, click here:

 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 expression.
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.

Read this article for yourself here:

My Inspirational Cubes

I made one of these for a family member then more and more requests came for these inspirational cubes.

Please check out my ETSy shop
as I post these often and take requests
if you're wanting a personal
cube created for a special friend
 or loved one.

Visit me here:

Homemade Art Journal Flip Through with Joanna Grant

 A wonderful YouTube video by the ever so talented Joanna Grant ... take a peek!


Congratulations to Laura Harley

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 ...


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art Therapy and Doodling

Wisdom for a Balanced, Healthy Long Life


Perhaps there are deeper reasons why we are all compelled to doodle.

You 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 overall health.

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.