Category Archives: Arts & Crafts

Japanese Adult Coloring Book

Title: Japanese Adult Coloring Book
Author: InterWorld Entertainment
Publisher: InterWorld Entertainment
ISBN: 9798547559686

“You get to color a variety of illustrations, including dragons, geishas, Japanese demons, and many more,” the back jacket states in InterWorld Entertainment’s book, Japanese Adult Coloring Book.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-twenty-seven-page paperback targets kids to adults, especially those who like to color with colored pencils, gel pens, or markers. With over a hundred and twenty pieces of artwork, the black and white drawings are on the left sides of the opened book, with blank pages on the right sides.

Containing a wide range of themes, the drawings in this book include Japanese culture of anime, samurai, castles, koi, mandalas, cats, birds, and fans as well as the landscape and architecture of Japan. While most of the lines are fine, there are some blackened areas on some of the designs.

~ Why ~
Coloring can relax and soothe a person as it can be mindless, especially if the drawings are already done and only need to be filled in. I appreciate the many different art styles of the designs and that they are varied. Some are detailed in their artwork, while others are more sophomoric, which can be enjoyed by all types of artists. I love that the artwork can be removed from the book and placed in a frame without the colors bleeding to another page.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not artistic may have no interest in a coloring book on Japan. Others may not like the high-detailed drawings or the evil-looking dragons. Some may not care for the simplistic ones such as the girl with the large eyes.

~ Wish ~
A few of the drawings are fuzzy when inspected closely, which may or may not make them harder to color.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a coloring book on Japan’s culture that will be appreciated, this is a good selection that will keep you occupied.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#InterWorldEntertainment #JapaneseAdultColoringBook #ColorJapan #ColoringJapan

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3sIvTS7

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Mastery Origami Book

Title: Mastery Origami Book
Author: InterWorld Entertainment
Publisher: InterWorld Entertainment
ISBN: 9798441457941

“It is the ideal read for anyone who enjoys working with their hands and who want to find out more about turning plain pieces of paper into mini master artworks,” the back jacket states in InterWorld Entertainment’s book, Mastery Origami Book.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-forty-page paperback targets children two to twelve years old, especially those who like making objects out of paper. With over thirty origami models, it comes complete with step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and a repeated link to online videos.

After two pages covering symbols used in the book and fold explanations, there are several pages of the models listed with their names, drawings, and pages covered in the book. Each model design involves three to five pages of directions that have anywhere from thirteen to twenty-eight steps. The diagrams include lines, arrows, and shading.

Some of the crafts include shapes of a heart, rose, boat, and, star; animals such as a fox, pig, whale, seal, lion, dinosaur, mouse, camel, rabbit, cat, and dog; insects that include a butterfly, grasshopper, and scorpion; birds like a dove, chicken, crow, parrot, sparrow, and duck; and a few types of fish.

~ Why ~
Having a degree in art, I appreciate that this book offers many fun paper crafts for children and some adults to do. I like that there are plenty of options and the instructions seem simple to follow. It would be ideal for an art class or individual use to make and collect them all. It will be enjoyed by our eight-year-old granddaughter who loves to create things.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not artistic may have no interest in this read. Because there are no photographs but only diagrams, some may have trouble visualizing the final product. It states the age group is for two- to twelve-year-olds, but those toddler-age may have trouble following the directions carefully due to their lack of hand/eye coordination.

~ Wish ~
Since some diagrams and writings are sometimes in pale gray, they are hard to see and read. It would help if all were in black with the diagrams being in color and photographs were included. The random QSR link is a nice addition, but it requires signing up to view videos, which some may not want to do and prefer going online and downloading free videos.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an instructional book for kids on creative paper folding, this may be helpful and keep them entertained.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#InterWorldEntertainment #MasteryOrigamiBook #30OrigamiPaperModelsBook

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3rED7pI

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Hues of You

Title: Hues of You
Author: Lucretia Carter Berry, PhD
Illustrator: Adia Carter
Publisher: WaterBrook
ISBN: 978-0-593-23463-1

“The most important thing to remember, though, is this: No matter what color your skin is, you have the power to name your shade of brown and decide what hue best describes you,” Lucretia Carter Berry writes in her children’s book, Hues of You: An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You Are In.

~ What ~
This sixty-four-page paperback targets mainly seven to ten-year-old children who like learning about skin color and its differences in people while drawing and filling its pages. With no scary scenes, the activity book has pages with instructions to color or draw people and write down their characteristics based often on skin tones.

After a note to adults, using tips, words to know, a skin tone spectrum, and ownership page, the book is divided into four sections that cover the reader, his/her family, ancestors, and friends, focusing on brown pigmentation in each. The first chapter includes directions for drawing one’s hands, feet, facial features, hair, clothing, and favorite relationships, while the second is about family and the differences in its members and daily living. The pages on ancestors involve geological origins and traditions, and the final part has an area to add five friends and their special characteristics.

~ Why ~
Teaching that we all are special in every way is important to second to fifth graders, and this book does it through the color brown and how its many shades are in melanin. I love how the book concentrates on paying attention to everyone’s features, that we are all a shade of brown, and allowing them to name their own brown color hue. The book is educational with its information on pigment, hair follicles, indigenous people, colorism, and nationality.

~ Why Not ~
Children who do not like to color or draw may have no interest in this creative activity book, but it might stimulate thinking about skin color differences in others. Some may find it would be best used in a classroom environment where there is teacher instruction and open discussions about each chapter.

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful if an index were included, especially on the words to know. I could see it packaged with a box of a dozen brown crayons or colored pencils as some may not be able to access so many hues.

~ Want ~
If you need to explain why we have different skin tones to several kids at the same time, this would be a great way to do it in a journal format that could be kept and cherished by each artist.

Thanks to WaterBrook and Multnomah Book Launch Team for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WaterBrook #MultnomahBookLaunchTeam #HuesofYou #LucretiaCarterBerryPhD #AdiaCarter

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3sUkzBy

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Feels Like Home

Title: Feels Like Home
Author: Marian Parsons
Publisher: Worthy Books
ISBN: 978-105460-1583-3

“This journey is unique in that there is no time limit, there is no competition, and you are the one who decides where the finish line is,” writes Marian Parsons in the introduction of her book, Feels Like Home: Transforming Your Space from Uninspiring to Uniquely Yours.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-four-page hardbound targets mainly women who want to decorate their house with their own particular style. After an introduction and instructions, it contains eleven chapters and ends with prior design photographs, credits, acknowledgments, sources, an index, and the author’s biography.

In this coffee table book, the author draws the reader into finding his or her own artistic touches when designing or decorating their home. The first chapter centers on what a home feels like while the second chapter is on telling your story by adding character. The next five sections cover living space, dining rooms, bedrooms, workspaces, bathrooms, halls, laundry rooms, foyers, and mudrooms. The last three chapters involve custom furnishings, finishing touches, and loving your home for what it is.

~ Why ~
It is always nice to spruce up a room and make it feel like you uniquely designed it, and this read has a lovely layout of room-to-room suggestions and projects to make a house a customized home. I appreciate its many practical step-by-step projects such as picture frame molding, box beams, painting cabinetry and furniture, a wall mural, heirloom napkins, starched fabric walls, paneling, sandpaper primer, and more.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not homeowners or tenants who cannot alter their abode may not have any interest in this book. Others may not like the decoration additions as they may not match their personal style. Since we are currently updating our master bath, I was disappointed that only seven pages were dedicated to the topic and they were all about professional remodeling.

~ Wish ~
With the book having many projects with detailed instructions, including a list of them at the beginning or end of the book would be helpful to quickly find a topic and turn to the page.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a home decor book that has both professional and do-it-yourself ideas and projects, this is a keeper for those who want to decorate with individualized character and class.

Thanks to Worthy Books for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

#Hachette #WorthyBooks #WorthyPublishing #MarianParsons #FeelsLikeHome #TransformingYourSpacefromUninspiringtoUniquelyYours

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3ESsK6n

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The Little Book of Cottagecore

Title: The Little Book of Cottagecore
Author: Emily Kent
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-5072-146303

“Cottagecore is a movement centered around the simple existence of pastoral life,” Emily Kent writes in the introduction of her book, The Little Book of Cottagecore: Traditional Skills for a Simpler Life.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-fifty-six-page hardbound targets mainly women who want to destress and relax by finding true joy doing the simpler things in life. After an introduction, it contains eight chapters, ending with US/metric conversion charts and an index.

With a focus on authentic cottagecore hobbies, the book hones in on hands-on activities that make the doer value and find peacemaking homemade products and items while taking time to appreciate a simple life. The first chapter is about gardening and beekeeping while the next is how to brew a perfect cup of tea. The third section discusses baking bread, pies, and cookies, and the fourth covers herbal remedies. While the next chapter involves candle making, the following two chapters are about cross-stitch, sewing, quilting, and embroidery. The final one has soapmaking. Several recipes, bullet-point lists, small drawings, and blue highlighted sections are included.

~ Why ~
It is always nice to use one’s hands to create, especially when it produces food, clothing, or an appreciative gift for a loved one. The lists are helpful in discussing different garden planting options, tea choices, baking recipes, herbal concoctions and their uses, and patterns to sew. I enjoyed reading the sections on making remedies for colds, flu, and cough as well as saponification in soap making.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like do-it-yourself projects will not understand the simplicity of making something to enjoy. Since this is a beginner’s book, it may appear sophomoric to seasoned gardeners, crafters, bakers, and artisans. There are no photographs of finished products and a limited amount of examples.

~ Wish ~
Since I have done all projects listed in the book except bee-keeping, I wish it contained more examples, instructions, and pictures. Because it concentrates on health-related topics, I expected it to include promoting soy wax over paraffin as the latter emits carcinogens.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beginner’s book to destress, relax, and enjoy making or doing the simpler things in life, this may make a nice gift for the person who needs to slow down and take a break from the stressors faced daily, especially during a pandemic.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and Simon & Schuster for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#SimonandSchuster #EmilyKent #TheLittleBookofCottageCore #TraditionalSkillsforaSimplierLife

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3nxw0eA

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2020 ChristMASK Stocking

APROPOS CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT FOR 2020

~ What ~
Made of a disposable face mask, foam cut-outs, metal numbered embellishments, and ribbon, this cute Christmas ornament, stocking, or poresent holder is a fun memento commemorating the year 2020. To be filled with a small present, candy, or toy or kept empty, it can be hung on a tree or given as a gift.

~ Why ~
I came up with this idea for Christmas packaging to give to 90 of my family and friends. It was easy to make by painting the top and bottom silver of a standard disposable face mask, hot-gluing 2 sides, and adding the foam snowflake stickers, 2020 metalwork, and ribbon. Since it can hold a small piece of jewelry, several candycanes, or toy cars, it has been getting lots of laughs handing them out this season when life has been so strange and challenging.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not celebrate the Christmas season may see no humor or joy in this item. Others may not like making crafts to give. If the metal numbers are unavailable, a silver permanent marker could be used. Only one side is decorated, but you could decorate the opposite side too.

~ Wish ~
I wish these types of homemade holders could be made and used throughout the year. I think they could be adapted to Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and other special occasions we try to celebrate good memories during Covid.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun and inexpensive project for you or your children to make, these will put a smile on everyone’s face as they recall the bizarre 2020 year.

Disclosure: I came up with this idea on my own and am sharing its concept freely with others. May you have a blessed Christmas and a better new year!

#ChristMask #ChristMaskStocking #2020ChristmasGift #2020Memento

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Whatever is Lovely 24 Inspirational Cards

Title:  Whatever is Lovely
Illustrator: Ink & Willow
Publisher: WaterBrook
ISBN: 978-0-593-19291-7

“Let your soul find rest as you color in these inspiring glimpses of creation,” the back jacket states on Ink & Willow’s postcard book, Whatever in Lovely 24 Inspirational Cards to Color and Send.

~ What ~
This hardcover, bound book contains twenty-four removable cardstock postcards that measure six by four inches each. Meant to be colored, they have black and gold ink drawings of inspirational sayings with beautiful artwork. The NIV, MSG, and NLT versions of the Holy Bible are referenced.

~ Why ~
Those who love to fill in coloring books will enjoy completing these mainly floral designs that can be sent to loved ones. I like that Bible verses and sayings are written out and to the point. The designs have detail that will reduce stress as one colors flowers, leaves, plants, trees, moons, stars, animals, houses, and more. The backside has the verse or saying written out, a place for the postage stamp, and an ample area for writing a note and adding an address.

The short verses are from Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Matthew, John, I Corinthians, Phillippians, and I Peter in addition to quotes from Nish Weiseth, Rachel Held Evans, Emily P. Freeman, Isaac Watts, Horatio G. Spafford, Vernon J. Charlesworth, John Newton, Lysa Terkeurst, Louisa M.R. Stead, Sarah Bessey, Will L. Thompson, St. Francis of Assissi, and Liz Curtis Higgs.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with the Almighty may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling. Some may wish the cards were a little larger as some of the drawings are minute.

~ Wish ~
I wish more Bible verses instead of quotes were included.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a creative coloring book that doubles as delightful postcards that can be sent, this would make a lovely and thoughtful gift for the artistic doodler.

Thanks to WaterBrook and Multnomah Book Launch Team for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

#InkandWillow #InkandWillowGifts #WhateverisLovely #InspirationalColoringPostcards

This product can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2JtKPiW

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BigOtters Ice Cream Balancing Game

KEEP THE ICE CREAM SCOOPS FROM FALLING OFF

~ What ~
Made of colorful non-toxic ABS plastic, this 22-piece game is for children 3 years old or older who like to play a balancing game building pretend ice cream cones. The set contains a tray base, plate, coffee cup, 2 cones, tongs, 8 balls, and 8 pastry donuts. It arrives in a gift box with instructions, ready for giving.

~ Why ~
Our 6 and 3 year old granddaughters love ice cream so this is a fun game they can play while pretending to stack cones on a round tray. I like the colorful scoops and donuts that can be used for other play games. The plastic is thicker than most game pieces.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not realize how small items are, but they are large enough that one cannot choke on them unless the parts break off. Others may find it too hard to balance the cones on the trays as the cup and donuts easily fall off, however, the photo has them perched on a table and balanced.

~ Wish ~
I wish the items were a little larger. It may be a frustrating game for younger kids, but they could use the items to play house.

~ Want ~
If your kids have a thing about ice cream and you don’t want to load them up with sugar, this game may keep them occupied for an hour or two.

Thanks for BigOtters for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

#RankBoosterReview #Sponsoredbysally #BigOtters #IceCreamBalancingGame

This product can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3dpjrwp

 

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The Hand Lettering Workbook

Title: The Hand Lettering Workbook
Author: Amanda Kammarada
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-386-6

“In this book, I’ll walk you through the basics and all the way through to designing a complete piece of lettering,” Amanda Kammarada explains in the introduction of her book, The Hand Lettering Workbook: Step-by-Step Instructions, Practice Pages, and DIY Projects.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-eight-page paperback targets those who want to learn how to have beautiful letter handwriting. After an introduction, there are five chapters covering the topic and ending with resources, an index, acknowledgments, and the author’s biography.

This book begins with an explanation of hand lettering, guidelines, styles, tools, and supplies as well as sans serif, serif, and monoline script practice pages. It has complete chapters on brush lettering discussing pressure, strokes, and connection and the basics of faux calligraphy. The final chapter includes practicing connections, making words, bouncing, flourishing, ligatures, embellishing, expressing, developing one’s style, and DIY projects.

~ Why ~
Having a degree in art, I like having a hands-on book that explains how to write cursive including both upper and lower case letters. I appreciate that it not only has practice sheets with examples but also need-to-know terms, different techniques, and various writing instrument options.

~ Why Not ~
Some may have no interest in hand lettering or the art of drawing letters, but it can be a calming, stress-free activity. Others may wish there were more practice pages as there is limited space for writing a single letter repeatedly.

~ Wish ~
Mainly focusing on sans serif, serif, and script lettering along with brush lettering and faux calligraphy, the book is limited on fonts. I wish it contained more style or design options.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a way to learn how to write letters by hand beautifully, this workbook is a great beginner’s source that is full of information, but it is limited to mainly three styles.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#RockridgePress #CallistoPublishersClub #AmandaKammarada #TheHandLetteringWorkbook

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2Ytx5uc

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Ocean Life!

Title: Ocean Life!
Author: Jill Richardson
Illustrator: Kate Francis
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-691-1

“Ready to find out about some interesting ocean animals? Let’s begin our fun!” Jill Richardson’s children’s book, Ocean Life! A Coloring and Activity Book for Kids states in the welcome section.

~ What ~
This seventy-two-page paperback targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy coloring and activity books, especially if they involve sea life. With no profanity or too scary scenes, over fifty word searches, comparisons, dot-to-dots, mazes, and drawings to color fill its pages.

After an ownership page and welcome, this book contains thirty puzzles to complete and thirty black and white illustrations to color. Often there are educational tidbits about the animals and plants regarding the sea. There are eight each of word searches and mazes and seven each of comparisons and dot-to-dots. The ending has all the answers.

~ Why ~
Our six-year-old granddaughter loves educational books about marine life, and this one is spot on with its added information on humpback whales, narwhals, lionfish, parrotfish, sea anemone, horseshoe crab, and others. I appreciated the comparison pictures, dot-to-dot creations, and highlighted information. Some of the pages would work for our younger grandchildren.

~ Why Not ~
While the coloring pages could be for any age, some of the word searches may be too hard for some. With the book containing thirty each of coloring and activities, some may wish there were more puzzles and mazes instead of illustrations.

~ Wish ~
While I was impressed with this read, I wish other themed books on jungles, birds, reptiles, et cetera were also designed similarly.

~ Want ~
If your child is fascinated by the ocean and enjoys activity/coloring books, this is a perfect answer to a stay-at-home day. It not only is fun but educational. Our granddaughter will be delighted finding her favorite sea creature, the narwhal, in it.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary that I am under no obligation to review.

#OceanLife #SeaColoringBook #MarineActivityBook #JillRichardson #KateFrancis #RockridgePress #CallistoPublisher’sClub

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2XkgsR5

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Animals / Pets, Arts & Crafts, Childrens