Sunday, February 7

Not So Sharp

Yeah... I'm still into the coloring book craze.  I actually like to make time in the evenings to do some coloring.  It does calm you and not think about things.  In my last coloring post (click here to see), I used different kinds of medium.  I want to try different coloring media to see which is best.  But really, does it matter?  

Anyway, for this page, I tried to color with Sharpie markers.  I'd have to say the colors are more vibrant, but you don't get the smoothness with alcohol markers.  This page too involves big shapes and spaces.  I guess Sharpies are better for smaller and more detailed designs.  

I still had fun coloring though.  I hope I can do more.

'Til next blog!

Saturday, February 6

Staying Crafty in Mackinaw Island

One of my favorite places in Northern Michigan is Mackinaw Island.  It seems life is simple there.  No cars.  No traffic.  No stress.  I have been there so many times that I can draw the main drag on the palm of my hand.  I already know where to go if I need (or want) something, and I already have my favorite spots, favorite restaurants and favorite shops.  Despite how small this island is, and having stayed a couple of weekends there, I know there's still a lot I haven't seen and done.

Just like any other trip, I have researched about craft resources at Mackinaw.  Not necessarily a craft store, but a place where you can indulge and enjoy creativity.  I'd like to share with you my favorite crafty spots in the island.

Little Luxuries was a pleasant surprise during my last visit at the island.  Lots of unique products here, most of which are made in Michigan. The stuff they carry here are not what you'd normally see in a common store.  

Poppins has a lot more paper products, which I love!  I was like a kid in a candy store when I first set foot here.  Every shelf has a lot of wonderful paper thingies - you'd want them all.  They even have select supplies you can snag to make something with while taking a break at the park.

My visit to the island is not complete without going here.  This shop has a very good selection of silver jewelry and not your typical gem stones.  My favorite rings I wear to my band gigs are from here. 

Caddywampus is not your usual type of store.  It's always a treat to go here because you see so many one of a kind stuff.  And yes, even crafty products made from other countries (Philippines even!). What I like about this store is that you see something different in every visit.  My latest purchase from here is a bracelet made from a bicycle chain, which I wore to my band gig that night. 

I always love to go to a bookstore.  With all the gadgets nowadays, you don't see bookstores everywhere anymore.  I'm so glad Mackinaw Island has the Island Bookstore.  The last time I was here, they had a very good selection of adult coloring books.  Of course I bought one or two.  They also have a good selection of crafting books here, and a lot of other types which I would read.

I have plans of going to Mackinaw Island at least a couple of weekends this year.  Though I have other things in my list I have to do, like circling the island, I will definitely be visiting these stores again.

'Til next blog!

Thursday, February 4

Let's Color!

It was early 2015 when I discovered this new trend in the crafting world: coloring books for adults.  I'd like to say it's one of the highlights of 2015.  I'm not sure who started it, but I think when Johanna Basford released "Secret Garden", it exploded into something big.  I remember it was hard to get a hold of this book.  I was lucky at the time to get a hold of the Secret Garden postcard edition at Joann's.  I colored the first page last year with Copics, and I really liked it.

So just like any other, I started collecting these adult coloring books.  I found lots of themes everywhere - from mystical, gothic, florals, animals, ocean, oriental, steam punk, Christmas, even movie-themed like Starwars.  It came to a point in which they were everywhere - including Walmart.  They have also released "magazine" type coloring books.  Yeah, the ones that come out every month or so - the ones you can pay for a subscription to.  I didn't go that far though.  When I realized they were everywhere, I raised my standards.  I wanted to make sure the quality is good, the designs are one of a kind, and the thickness of each page is vital.  If the page is thin, and there are designs on both sides, I don't buy them.  To me, they are just like regular kids' coloring books.  I thought it was cool that some stamping companies jumped in the band wagon and released a coloring book edition of their stamp images.  One perfect example is Unity Stamps.  They already have 3 editions of their coloring books.  I have one of them, and I think it's really awesome.  The size is big and the quality is really good. Ann Griffin released her own version too, only available at HSN.  I did get one of them also, and I thought the quality is really nice.

After "Secret Garden", my next coloring books were from Sam's Club.  One of them was Dazzling Patterns by Barron's, which I really love!  Both sides of each page have a design, so it's a bummer if you like them both because you have to pick one to color, especially if you're using markers which bleed through.  I used Chromatix Alcohol Markers by American Crafts (I got them for a good price at TJ Maxx).

The other book is the Posh Coloring Book by Andrews McMeel Publishing.  Each page has design on both sides too.  For this one, I used Prismacolor pencils with the aid of Gamsol.

Design Originals released a bunch of coloring books as well.  I got the Creative Coloring Animals.  I thought the pages on this book is not as thick as the others, but I still bought it because there is only one design per page.  The image below is colored with Chromatix Alcohol Markers as well.

The Color Me Happy book by Lacy Mucklow is a good one too.  There is also one design per page, so you won't have to worry about ink bleeding through.  This page below is colored with Sharpie markers.

I thought the colors are more brilliant when you color with markers.  That's why for these coloring books, I try to avoid using my Copics as much as possible.  I've been on the lookout for cheap marker sets, and those I use for coloring.  I still have yet to try actual water color, pastels, gel pens and other mediums.  I'm actually considering buying a good box of crayons too.  But for now, I'm fine with cheap pencils and markers.

But it didn't stop there.  Somebody was brilliant and came up with a coloring app.  And of course a lot followed suit.  I only use two of them.  The first one I tried was Momi Coloring, which is a free app. I liked the interface, and it was easy to use.  My favorite part is that all images are free. There are so many designs available - you won't have enough time to color them all.

Colorfy is another app I like.  You can also get this for free. But what you can color is limited, and to widen your color pallet, you have to pay.  I have bought a pallet, but to me it's really not worth it especially if you don't use the app often enough.  

I stopped at these two apps.  I don't see any point of downloading any more coloring apps.  I'm sure there's a lot out there, maybe even better ones.  But I'm good with Momi Coloring and Colorfy. Plus I think these two apps are trustworthy and I don't have to worry about security issues.

And just like I promised for 2016, I haven't bought another coloring book.  I think I have enough to last me a long time.

'Til next blog!