Category Archives: Arts & Crafts

Picturing Heaven

Picturing Heaven: 40 Hope-Filled Devotions with Coloring PagesTitle: Picturing Heaven
Author: Randy Alcorn
Illustrator: Lizzie Preston
Publisher: Tyndale
ISBN: 978-1-4964-2527-0

“As you ponder these pictures and participate in the art, you’ll more fully appreciate Christ’s promise …“ Randy Alcorn writes in the introduction to his book, Picturing Heaven: 40 Hope-Filled Devotions with Coloring Pages.

~ What ~
A part of the Living Expressions collection, this ninety-six-page paperback targets those who enjoy contemplating on Heaven while having down time coloring. With forty illustrations, the large book has written-out Bible verses, devotions, and black and white drawings with already-colored gold sections. The NLT, CEB, ESV, GNT, NCV, NIV, and The New Testament in Modern English versions of the Holy Bible are referenced.

After a table of contents, the left sides of the pages have a title and written-out Bible verse followed by one paragraph by the author about an aspect, activity, or character of Heaven. The opposite pages are detailed artworks to complete, each containing some gold-filled highlights. The book ends with acknowledgments, author’s biography, a blank page for sketches, and a lined page for notes.

Topics on Heaven include the New Earth, New Jerusalem, Eden, multi-racial people, and worshipping Jesus as well as concepts of time, weather, pets, work, dancing, singing, and joyfulness to name a few. Many of the illustrations have adults, children, animals, birds, nature, buildings, and activities with decorative patterns to color.

~ Why ~
I cannot wait to go to Heaven to be with God and Jesus, so a book like this is apropos. I like that the written words are short and to the point about so many Heaven-related topics, while the charming illustrations are creative and engaging.

One of my favorite devotions was the one about remembering Christ’s sacrifice mentioned in John 20:26-27. The writer reiterates that when we are in Heaven, we will never forget our sins nailed Jesus to the cross and He shed His blood for us to live there for eternity.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are not looking forward to Heaven may not appreciate this book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling. Those who are avid colorers may be concerned the cardstock will bleed through to the other side if colored markers or paints are used.

~ Wish ~
It would be nice to add a short prayer after each devotional. I wish the book would lay completely flat.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a special gift to give that special person who has their eyes on Heaven and love to color, this will make a wonderful present.

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

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Christian, Non-Fiction

Here’s Some Happy

Here's Some Happy: A Coloring Journal to Lift the SoulTitle:  Here’s Some Happy
Author: Gina Graham
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4789-2062-5

“Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7 (TLB),” the first coloring page states in Gina Graham’s book, Here’s Some Happy: A Coloring Journal to Lift the Soul.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-twenty-eight-page hardbound targets mainly women who like to color and write in a journal with Bible verses that focuses on God and happiness. Often with full page black and white lined drawings to color on one side of the page, there are several blank lines with more designs on the opposite side. Bible verses are written out plus have their reference with version. The Holy Bible versions include the TLB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, ICB, and NLT.

While promoting and prompting happiness, joy, and love while concentrating on our Lord, the fanciful illustrations have flowers, animals, children, birds, hearts, et cetera. Be it scrolls, twirls, or repetition of patterns, there are plenty of objects to fill in bright colors, leaving ample room for writing down thoughts, prayers, or blessings among the pages.

~ Why ~
This is an ideal coloring book for any Christian woman who loves to spend time with God while reading a verse from His Word and penning in the journal. I love that it is a hardbound, not a hard copy so can be cherished, added to, and reread throughout the years. The drawings will bring a smile to the owner of this book, especially if given as a gift.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care or have time for coloring or are opposed to writing in a journal. Some may wonder if the color mediums may bleed through the pages, but they should thick enough for no bleeding of color pencils and some felt tips.

~ Wish ~
The only negative I could find in this book is that the finished artworks cannot be removed and framed. Adding a ribbon marker would be thoughtful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotional with coloring pages that are uplifting, joyful, and filled, this is a keeper and would make a special present for a loved one.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Christian

Start Where You Are Note Cards

 

Title: Start Where You Are Note Cards
Illustrator: Meera Lee Patel
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
ISBN: 978-0-451-49877-9

~ What ~
Made of cardstock, this set of a dozen four-by-six-inch blank cards have short sayings by famous individuals with water color designs incorporated into them. They arrive in a designer gift box with a dozen fitted envelopes that have rosy floral designs inside and lick-to-seal edges.

~ Why ~
Being more old-fashioned, I often mail note cards throughout the year. I like that this collection has short phrases by Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, Harper Lee, Arthur Ashe, and Martin Luther King Junior to name a few. The art renderings are calm and soothing.

~ Why Not ~
Those who never mail greeting cards will pass on this product. Some may wish the sayings were more well-known or that the drawings were a little more detailed as some are merely muted colored backgrounds.

~ Wish ~
I wish the artwork had a little more detail as I mainly appreciated those such as C.S. Lewis’s “courage dear heart” in a floral heart wreath and Antoine de Saint Exupery’s “one never knows” green leafed circle.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a thoughtful gift box of note cards with sayings, this may work for you, but I was not wowed by all of them.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary product that I am freely evaluating.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Arts & Crafts, Product Reviews

Mickey’s Found Sounds

Mickey's Found Sounds: A Musical Exploration Storybook Disney Learning (Disney Learning: Disney Mickey & Friends)Title: Mickey’s Found Sounds: A Musical Exploration Storybook
Publisher: Hal Leonard
ISBN: 978-1-4950-6478-4

“Let’s look around and see what we can find that can make sounds. It will be easy and fun!” Mickey tells his friends in the children’s book, Mickey’s Found Sounds: A Musical Exploration Storybook.

~ What ~
Part of the Disney Learning series, this numbered thirty-two-page oversized hardbound targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy books regarding stories about Mickey Mouse and music. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this short tale, Mickey Mouse and his friends decide to go to a parade, but when they arrive, it is canceled due to the rain. Disappointed, the gang goes back home and decides to have an indoor parade of music. The story prompts the reader to turn the page, showing how to make five different instruments such as a bucket drum, oatmeal conga drum, plastic bottle shaker, tube kazoo, and glass jar xylophone. Words to a song are at the end of the book as well as a note to parents and online read and sing along links.

~ Why ~
What makes this book special is it contains a story of Mickey but adds the element of playing musical instruments. I love that our four-year old granddaughter and I can create and make sounds with common household items. Older children will appreciate designing the instruments and experimenting with them.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not care about making music may not appreciate this read that encourages it. Others may find there are too many two and three syllable words that young readers may have trouble deciphering. Some may not like the commercialism the themed book promotes.

~ Wish ~
I wish the book included a CD instead so one does not have to go online to read or sing along. Having a QSR code for a smartphone might be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun gift to give a child who loves Mickey Mouse, this is an educational tool that will be cherished and enjoyed.

Thanks to Bookpleasures for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood

A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating MotherhoodTitle: A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood
Illustrator: Stephanie Corfee
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4789-4741-7

“Enjoy moments of peaceful creativity while being reminded of your special place in the hearts of your loved ones and your wonderful God-given purpose …” the back jacket states in Stephanie Corfee’s A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood.

~ What ~
This ninety-six-page paperback targets mothers who enjoy down time coloring. With forty-six illustrations, the right side of the pages have black and white artistic designs to color. The left side is usually left blank so that the art medium does not bleed through the pages. While focusing on motherhood, the designs celebrate the topic with a Bible verse or saying often incorporated into the drawings. The NKJV, NLT, NIV, MSG, and NLV versions of the Holy Bible are referenced.

Including a verse from Psalms, Proverbs, Matthew, or Romans to name a few, also added are quotes from well-known individuals such as Lincoln,  Graham, Mother Teresa, and Chapin. The drawings involve lovely patterns of mothers, flowers, leaves, hearts, birds, foods, objects, and mandalas as a few examples.

~ Why ~
Moms who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books will love this book that concentrates on them. I like that the written words are short and to the point, while the charming illustrations are clear, crisp, and creative.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not mothers or do not have time on their hands may not appreciate this book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling.

~ Wish ~
I wish more coloring books were available like this that had one side blank in case the paint or markers bled through and that they could be removed and framed.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a special gift for a mother or to give to children to color, cut out, and frame as a gift to give, this would be a keeper and appreciated greatly by a mom.

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

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Christian

Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book

Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book: With Illustrated Scripture and Quotes to Cheer Your SoulTitle:  Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book
Illustrator: Robin Mead
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4555-3934-5

“Reinvigorate your spirit through the hopefulness of these pages,” the back jacket states in Robin Mead’s Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book.

~ What ~
This ninety-six-page paperback targets those who enjoy a coloring book devoted to mostly Biblical inspirations within its illustrations. With bold and beautiful drawings in black and white on all the pages, there are Bible verses from the Old and New Testaments as well as various quotes from Emerson, Stevenson, and Gandhi typed on a majority of the pages.  The KJV, NIV, NLT, And NKJV versions of the Holy Bible are referenced.

~ Why ~
Those who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books will love this book that promotes God and the beauty that surrounds us on Earth. 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, animals, birds, insects, buildings, cities, fields, children, and a plethora of other things. It is thoughtful the illustrator added tips and tricks at the back of the book.

~ 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 cardstock used were thicker to avoid ink or markers bleeding.

~ Wish ~
Since the illustrations are on both sides of the pages that are not thick, colors may bleed through to the other side. I wish the book had one side blank so the artist could cut out and frame the finished design.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a creative coloring book of delightful and joyful depictions of God’s creation, this one that includes Bible verses and famous quotes will make an artist happy.

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

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Arts & Crafts, Christian

The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book Devotional

The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book DevotionalTitle:  The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book Devotional
Text: Katara Washington Patton
Illustrator: Laura James
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4555-9642-3

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-ninety-two-page almost ten-inch square paperback targets those who enjoy a devotional abut Jesus while coloring matching-the-story designs. With forty-six devotionals based on the parables of Christ, the right side of the pages have a devotional that starts with a written out Bible verse followed by a short discussion and question to answer or prayer. The next page includes a corresponding black and white artistic design to color with a promise of God highlighted on the left side. The Bible versions used are the AMP, AMPC NLT, MSG, NIV, NKJV, ERV, MEV, NCV, ESV, and NRSV.

With no table of contents, the parables cover being the light of the world, anticipating the Master’s return, and the mustard seed to lost sheep, wise stewards, and the prodigal son to name a few. While the illustrations include people, animals, food, and scenery, a climbing vine is located on a corner all the devotional pages.

~ Why ~
Those who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books while focusing on Jesus and His parables will appreciate this coloring book. I like that there are often questions or challenges at the end of the devotions with space to write or draw. Using cardstock paper, the right side of the pages are left blank, so the medium such as felt tip paints or markers will not bleed through to the other side.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care for the dark black thick lines or that most of the drawing include people often with the same facial expressions.

~ Wish ~
Because there are so many human depictions in the book, it may not interest those who prefer designs of nature that are more colorful. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotional about the parables of Jesus with pages to color, this will make a thoughtful, retrospective approach to connecting with God.

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

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble

Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble (Drawn In Bible Study)Title: Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble
Series: Drawn In Bible Study
Author: Eugene H. Peterson
Publisher: NavPress
ISBN: 978-1-63146-787-5

~ What ~
Part of the Drawn In Bible Study series, this 112-page hardbound targets those who like a creative way to study the book of Esther in the Holy Bible. The story is divided into four sections that are twenty pages each and include black and white illustrations to color, questions, commentary, and author’s notes. The Message of the Holy Bible is quoted, and it ends with notes per chapter on how to lead a Bible study and advertisements.

The story of Esther is told within four chapters that explain her relationships with pagan King Xerxes, cousin Mordecai, evil Haman, and God. With drawings to color, questions with areas to write in answers, and a few highlighted author’s notes, the reader can spend time focusing on how this iconic woman saved many Jews from genocide through her faith in the Almighty.

~ Why ~
Many readers find a deep connection to God by reading His Word and doodling as they concentrate on what is being taught. With Esther being one of my favorite Bible characters, I enjoyed reading her story again and how she trusted God through her trials and tribulations. Including over twenty drawings that include scenes or wording, the story flows between the pages with a total of sixty-five questions spread throughout, ending with comments and prayers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship may not be interested in this type of coloring Bible study book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling. The book does not lay flat so may be hard to color, and some pictures are on both sides of the paper, so felt tip pens may bleed through the pages.

~ Wish ~
Being a fan of the King James Version of the Bible, I do not care for The Message. I wish the illustrations were only on one side of the page so they could be removed and framed.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotion on Esther with coloring pages for someone creative, this will make an excellent choice.

Thanks to Tyndale Blog for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Biography, Christian

Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yours

Yellow Owl Workshop's Make It Yours: Patterns and Inspiration to Stamp, Stencil, and Customize Your StuffTitle: Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yourself
Author: Christine Schmidt
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3365-9

“My intention was to get you to think critically like a designer and teach you the skills you need so you can adapt the techniques to make awesomely personal goods that suit you,” Christine Schmidt writes in the introduction to her book, Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yourself: Patterns and Inspirations to Stamp, Stencil, and Customize Your Stuff.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-ninety-two pages, this oversized paperback with folding cover flaps targets do-it-yourself crafters. After an introduction of studio essentials, six chapters of crafts are followed by templates, two appendices, principles, resources, further reading, acknowledgments, and an index.

The six divisions cover abstract and geometric patterns, everyday patterns, custom motifs, occasions and celebrations, flora and fauna, and travel-inspired patterns. From dyed washer paper, a carve-a-stamp, monogram leather clutch, drawing with chocolate, animal tessellation, and a mud cloth pillow, over thirty projects are given. Each design has the time, level of difficulty, type of learning skill, remix, and materials in a column on the left side of the page with a description, numbered instructions, and photographs on the rest of the opened pages.

~Why ~
Having a degree in art, I love working with different mediums, including working with tie-dying silk. I like the layout and plethora of information and suggestions in this book as it helps both the novice and seasoned artist. The projects that I may try are stamped clay ornaments, wax seal, and the DIY delftware. With the materials needed listed, the book gave me more ideas as I have never worked with embossing powder, Saral transfer paper, and solar dye and wash. I love that the book included the vast array of templates and explanation of materials and tools at the back.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like DIY crafts or creating homemade items will shy away from this designer book. Others who learn by visuals may wish there were more details and photographs of the steps to each project.

~ Who ~
Artist and founder of a paper goods company, Schmidt is also an author of several books with her company’s products sold worldwide.

~ Wish ~
I wish more than thirty projects were included in this well-written book. Unlike the author, I use vinegar and a microwave to set my dyes into the silk.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on stamping, stenciling, and customizing creative items, this is a keeper.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review

The Beginner’s Bible Activity Book

The Beginner's Bible Activity BookTitle: The Beginner’s Bible: Activity Book
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75979-9

“Color this letter to God. Trace the letters. Sign your name,” the ending project states in Zondervan’s children’s book, The Beginner’s Bible: Activity Book.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this numbered sixty-four-page oversized paperback targets young children from four to eight years old. The book involves several well-known stories taken from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible in the form of creative activities for children to do.

The illustrations are taken from other The Beginner’s Bible sources and cover Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Daniel, Jonah, and Jesus’s birth, ministry, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection, plus John’s revelation. The activities range from word searches, counting, mazes, dot to dot, finding differences, and matching to tracing letters and numbers, drawing, and coloring.

~ Why ~
What makes this activity book special is that a child can read one of the other books in The Beginner’s Bible series and see the same pictures in color and copy them or make a different colorful design. The projects range from a preschooler to beginner reader to comprehend. I like that there are so many different topics, including letters to complete telling Jesus you are sorry for your sins and you love Him, as well as a Dear God letter to color and sign.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about Bible stories will pass on this book. Some drawings that may concern some might be Goliath dead and Jesus being taken and crucified on a cross. Others may misconstrue that baptism is necessary for salvation when it states Peter quoting, “Tell Jesus you are sorry for your sins and be baptized.”

~ Who ~
No information is provided on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
I wish more coloring books were published that mimicked stories in books for children to color. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical activity book that syncs with other books in The Beginner’s Bible series, this will keep children occupied during quiet time or a rainy day inside.

Thanks to Zondervan for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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