Why can I never finish a coloring page??

Ivy treasure map - progress 1a

Seriously, why can I never finish a coloring page?  Is it because they are all so incredibly detailed that coloring a handful of leaves takes me all afternoon?  Is it that I’m afraid of “ruining” my beautiful books by attempting to color them when I’m not 100% on top of my coloring game?  Is it that all my crafty hobbies take forever because I always get caught up in the details and make things as difficult for myself as possible?

Isn’t coloring supposed to be relaxing after all?  Hmmm…  🙂 Continue reading

Coloring: Koi Pond


“Koi Pond” – Ink design by Johanna Basford in Secret Garden.  Colored by me with Prismacolor Premier colored pencils.  Time to complete: approximately 1 million hours.

Not much else to say except that this one took forever!  Apparently I started it in March, after which it sat neglected for many months.  Finally finished it up over the last few weeks.  There are a few “mistakes,” as usual, but I tell myself that they add character.  🙂

Check out the rest of my completed coloring pages in my Finished Project Gallery (scroll down).

Coloring: The Butterfly Gardener

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - finished

“The Butterfly Gardener” – Ink design by Johanna Basford in Secret Garden, coloring and custom artwork in the center square by me.  All coloring was done with Prismacolor Premier colored pencils (36 pack).

The coloring bug has bitten me yet again.  I don’t know what it is about adult coloring books that I find to be so ridiculously addictive.  All I know is that when I get the itch to color, it’s like entering a mystical time warp of colorful, flowery bliss.  My latest finish is this flower garden filled with a melange of delightful creatures.

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Weekend happenings

Johanna Basford Secret Garden - Koi Pond coloring in progress 1A funny thing happened this past weekend: my boyfriend’s mom was in town, and she was staying in our guest bedroom (aka my sewing studio).  Soon after arriving, she curiously surveyed my sewing table, on which various projects-in-progress had been piled up as I had cleaned up the room to prepare for her visit.  Her various inquiries resulted in (a) a lesson in how to operate the serger (fun!), and (b) a tour of my newfangled adult coloring book.  Later, when both John and his mom independently decided that afternoon naps were in order, I found myself temporarily banned from my sewing room (aka the guest bedroom) and needed something to keep me occupied.  I grabbed the coloring book and got going on a new page.

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Coloring: Beemused

Johanna Basford Secret Garden - Beemused

“Beemused” – Ink design by Johanna Basford in Secret Garden, coloring and addition of various critters by me.

This page took quite a bit longer than I had expected, but hopefully it was worth it in the end.  I have to admit, I’m not 100% convinced about my choice of yellow for the background, but it’s too late to change it now.  Onward!

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Coloring: Fantastical Fern

Johanna Basford Secret Garden - Fantastical Fern full

“Fantastical Fern” – Ink design by Johanna Basford in Secret Garden, colored by me and John.

That’s right folks, my obsession with adult coloring continues.  Truth be told, I’m a little afraid of starting to sew again after hurting my back a few weeks ago, so I’ve decided to just take it easy for the time being.  I can still feel twinges of pain when I move in certain ways, so apparently the back is a fickle and slow-healing beast.  Ok back, you win, coloring it is for now.

Back issues aside though, I’m really into this coloring thing.  🙂

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Coloring: Garden of Fire

Secret Garden Johanna Basford - Garden of Fire by Allspice Abounds

“Garden of Fire” — Ink design by Johanna Basford in Secret Garden, colored by me and John (my partner).

This project took up my entire weekend, but I love the end result!  I have to give credit where credit’s due: John chose this page and came up with the idea of using reds and oranges.  I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but the color palette grew on me with each new flower that we colored.  In the end, I think it was quite a brilliant idea.  🙂

This page was colored with Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, a recent purchase from my local art supply store.  These pencils produce such rich, beautiful color.  They’re not cheap, but the quality is wonderful.

Secret Garden Johanna Basford - Garden of Fire by Allspice Abounds - partialHere you can get an idea of what the page looked like originally.  If you Google images for Secret Garden, you’ll find that this circular floral design is one of the more popular pages, and I can see why!  The densely packed flowers are a great landscape for playing with color.

I left these images larger than usual so you can zoom in if you’d like.  My coloring looks better from far away than close up, so don’t expect perfection.  🙂

Oh, and how do you like the name “Garden of Fire?”  (Yes, I’m naming my coloring pages now.  Yes, I’m obsessed.)

Hope you all had a good weekend!  My hand needs a rest after all this coloring.  🙂

Crack for when your back is whack

Secret Garden Johanna Basford - cover

Remember my sewcation from a weeks ago?  Yeah, I wound up hurting my back big time.  All that leaning over my cutting table while making alterations and assembling (and disassembling) the trench coat muslin was too much in too short a period of time.  Alas, I’m not the sweet young thing I used to be.  I haven’t touched that muslin or my sewing machine in over 2 weeks while my lower back made its way back to (almost) normal.  I’m happy to report that I can now sit down, stand up, and put my shoes on without assistance.

Anyway, while I was nursing my sewing-related injury, I received one of these new-fangled adult coloring books as a gift from a friend, along with a set of colored pencils.  The book is Secret Garden by Johanna Basford, and there are about a million others flooding your local bookstore at this very moment, I assure you.  Since I could carry out this new activity while sitting relatively still in a chair, it was perfect timing.  And you know what?  This stuff is like CRACK.  Crack, I tell you!!  It’s totally addicting.

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