One Craft Leads to Another

Colorful Sunset

Because we live in such a beautiful world, it comes as no surprise that we are inspired to create using every color of the rainbow.  Many people have not had the opportunity to explore or develop their artistic abilities.  Starting small enables you to build up your confidence while learning new skills.  Coloring is a fun and easy introduction to the world of arts and crafts. 

Let’s look at the coloring media options, and then we will explore different crafts where you can apply your coloring savvy.  

Thin Core Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils Thin Core

Thin core, colored pencils have hard lead, which is great for drawing fine details.  These are inexpensive and sold in sets.  If you are looking for saturated colors, or need to fill large areas with color, use thick core pencils shown below.

Thick Core Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils Thick Core

Thick core, colored pencils have soft lead, which is essential for shading and blending.  When purchased individually, these pencils can be expensive, but craft stores often have big sales on colored pencil sets, such as Prismacolor, at very affordable prices. 



Crayons have been kid’s favorites for decades.  If you have them on hand, grab your favorite color and plunge into the world of coloring. 

Gel Pens

Gel Pens

The fine points on gel pens can be used for drawing intricate details or color accents.  These pens include some unusual inks, including metallic, neon, iridescent, and glitter. 



Markers produce bold colors across large areas with only a few strokes.  You can also layer colored pencil over marker to create interesting effects.  Markers may soak through paper, so be sure to place a liner under the page to prevent damage to the surface underneath. 

Sketchbook versus Coloring Page

Blank Page vs Printed Lion Page

Now you could buy a sketchbook and start doodling.  However, the dreaded blank page can be intimidating.  Coloring books are a great place to start.  As you develop your unique artistic style, you might want to pursue new crafts, which will challenge your newfound skills.  Below are side-by-side coloring pages with related crafts. 

Coloring & Watercolor Painting

Coloring & Watercolor Painting

Do you enjoy blending colors to find that perfect shade?  Painting may be the perfect choice for you.  Watercolors can be transparent, translucent, or opaque, depending upon the amount of water used.  You may want to lightly outline your overall design with watercolor pencils prior to painting, but don’t press too hard as the lines might show through the paint.  Watercolor paper is strong enough to withstand being wet and dries flat.  Acrylic and oil paints are alternate options. 

Coloring & Mural Painting

Coloring & Mural Painting

Do you find yourself drawn to bold colors and designs?  Is your motto: “Go big or go home?” You might want to try mural painting.  If wall space is limited, paint on canvas. 

Coloring & Soft Pastels

Coloring & Soft Pastels

Soft dreamy palettes are easily achieved using soft pastels as shown above.  These pigments come in easy-to-use sticks, allowing you to draw and color at the same time. 

Coloring & Mixed Media

Coloring & Mixed Media

Do you tend to choose geometric images with sharp, clean lines?  Mixed media is up for the challenge.  Technical pens, markers and watercolors were combined to render this beautiful image of Notre Dame Cathedral. 

Coloring & Stained Glass

Coloring & Stained Glass

Nature is a common theme for stained glass.  The complex patterns, and bold translucent colors are illuminated by sunlight, creating a kaleidoscope of light. 

Coloring & Mosaics

Coloring & Mosaics

If you enjoy intricate designs, mosaics fit together like puzzle pieces, which work together to create a larger image, viewed at a distance. 

Coloring & Fantasy Portraiture

Coloring & Fantasy Portrait

Yes, fantasy portraiture is a thing.  With the appropriate wardrobe, accessories, hair, makeup, and special effects created with photo editing software, fantasy becomes reality.  Make someone’s dream come true. 

Coloring & Abstract Art

Coloring & Abstract Art

Abstract art is very popular, and can be created with any medium, including oils, acrylics, watercolors, and photo editing software. 

Coloring & Embroidery

Coloring & Embroidery

Bold solid colors, floral motifs, and three-dimensional details easily translate to needle crafts, such as embroidery or needlepoint. 

Coloring is relaxing, reduces stress, and provides instant gratification.  Who knows what crafts you might explore next?  One thing I have found to be true in all my artistic endeavors: “Draw or paint what you FEEL, not what you know.”  Follow this advice and you will never be disappointed. 

Special thanks to Trudy, a local crafter, for providing all the coloring pages! 

Thanks for Reading & Happy Crafting!

A Kid Friendly Thanksgiving

Kids Playing
From a child’s point of view, Thanksgiving dinners can be really dull. All that hugging and kissing from relatives they never knew they had, and then they have to sit at the dreaded “Kids’ Table.” Borrrring! With a few creative changes, even the kids will be thankful at your next holiday meal.

Friendly Competition – Hunting for Treasure
Speckled Eggs
For those living in warmer climates, fresh air, a little exercise, and some friendly competition could be just the right combo to entertain the kids. Everyone has heard of an Easter egg hunt. Start a new tradition by having a Turkey egg hunt. Plastic eggs are easy to come by, and tiny toys or candies can be hidden inside. If you can’t find eggs, write numbers on brightly colored rubber balls, where each number corresponds to a prize.

Children Love Coloring
A Child Coloring
Coloring Option 1: Instead of using a standard tablecloth, cover the kid’s table with a thick sheet of paper. Banner paper, which is sold in 24” x 75 ft rolls, can be spread across the tabletop and secured in place. Sharpened, soft-lead, colored pencils will enable young guests to doodle to their hearts’ content.

Coloring Books – Staying in the Lines…or not
Coloring Book
Coloring Option 2: Coloring books come in many themes and sizes, with age-appropriate challenges, and perforated pages for easy tear out. Crayons are great for the younger kids, while the older ones will appreciate colored pencils or markers. The finished drawings can be presented to all the guests. Prizes are optional. Crafter Tip: To ensure markers do not damage your table, use a vinyl table cover.

Video Games
Video Games
If your kids love video games, this will keep them occupied for hours. You might have to pry them away for dinner. Adults are hooked on gaming as well, so this could be an activity for guests of all ages.

In terms of food that will appeal to children, you may want to consider the following suggestions as either appetizers or as the kids’ main course.

Chicken Nuggets are a Food Favorite
Chicken Nuggets
Finger foods are so much easier to handle and no utensils are required.

Creatively Wrapped Mini Hot Dogs
Pigs in Blanket
Also known as Pigs in a Blanket, these mini hot dogs have been wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent rolls. Note the bottom row is decorated as mummies, which you may have seen on television. With a few minor adjustments – add a ketchup beak and a jagged edge above and below the face – the top row resembles baby turkeys hatching from eggs. See photo below for a simpler wrap. (Crafter Tip: Use mayonnaise for the eyeballs. The pupils can be made with pepper or mustard.)

Simply Wrapped Mini Hot Dogs
Pigs in Blanket
Pigs in a Blanket are easy to make and easy to eat.

Macaroni & Cheese
Mac And Cheese
Any kid’s menu would be incomplete without Mac & Cheese. Better make extra because as you know adults love it too!

Making dessert a memorable occasion requires very little effort… and don’t be surprised if the adults want to join in the fun.

Fanciful Ice Cream
 Ice Cream
This dessert is sure to make everyone smile, and it’s incredibly easy. All you need is a sugar cone, a single scoop of ice cream, sliced fruit and a few M &M’s chocolate candies. Mint leaves and a flower are optional garnishes, or use additional pieces of candy instead.

Decorate Your Own Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies
Kids are naturally creative. Feed their artistic ability with a basket of plain cookies, tubes of icing and candies like the ones shown below.

Mini Candies, Marsh Mallows & Rainbow Colored Sprinkles
Sweet confections, perfect for cookie decorating, are “glued” in place with icing.

Cookie Party Favors
Cookie Bag
Decorated cookies can be eaten then and there, or wrapped in plastic bags to take home. Wilton sells special bags as party favors, but simple zip lock bags will work just as well.

Dinner parties require a lot of planning, great food, and our family and friends. Don’t forget to include a few perks for the little ones. When the kids are happy, everyone is happy.

Happy Crafting!

Coloring – It’s Not Just For Kids Anymore

A wide variety of coloring book subjects

Do you remember how much fun you had coloring as a child? The box of 64 Crayola Crayons, with the built-in sharpener, was like the Holy Grail. Not to worry – those days of fun and creativity can be yours once again. Adult Coloring has arrived.

Adult coloring display

Coloring groups are forming across the country and around the world. A few times a month, many local libraries and community centers host Adult Coloring Nights, and the materials are provided free of charge. Participants share drawing tips and a few laughs, as well as the occasional homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Can’t find an Adult Coloring group in your area? Start your own. Coloring is a great activity for all generations, so invite your friends, and family. Bring new meaning to “Happy Hour” by inviting your co-workers to join in on the fun. A quick online search provides free downloadable pictures. Your local craft store has a wide selection of colored pencils, gel pens, magic markers, and crayons, which are all frequently on sale.

Abstract Spiral Design

There’s more to coloring than meets the eye. Having fun is obviously the first benefit, but it’s also therapeutic – reducing stress, stimulating the brain through decision making, and socializing for people who may not otherwise have opportunities to make new friends and enjoy time away from their hectic, everyday routines. World-renowned rehabilitation facilities have adopted adult coloring as a standard part of their therapy programs.

Coloring is easy, providing instant gratification for beginners, while presenting significant challenges for the more advanced. For many people, this is their first introduction to the world of art, and can lead to an interest in pursuing arts and crafts classes.

Even on a coloring book page, there's nothing quite like a Ferrari.

Publishers and art supply companies have begun catering to this new adult market, creating more complex designs in a wide-variety of genres, such as history, geography, nature, sports, and fantasy. Digital galleries have been popping up online to display the finished works.

Coloring in progress.

There was a time when some well-meaning adults might have uttered the words, “Aren’t you a little too old to be coloring?” Today we’re more likely to hear, “Scoot over and pass me the red and blue pencils.” Make room on the refrigerator! The big kids are here to color!