Secret Garden, Tangled Up and the joys of coloring

 secret garden inkyNow that I’ve de-cluttered my life through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I should probably work on de-stressing it, too. Adult coloring books seem to be kind of hip and happening right now, so maybe that’s my next thing?

A few months ago, I came across Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, both by Johanna Basford. I passed one on to a good friend who seemed in need of some serious coloring relaxation, and I kept the other. Then I came across Tangled Up by Penny Raile, a guide to creating your own low-stress, groovy designs. All of them are beautifully drawn and just fun to look at, and if I had gotten around to actually creating or doing any coloring since the idea hit me, I’d probably have something cool to put up on my bulletin board and would be a lot less wound up. Well, it’s calming to look at them and imagine, too.

While this recent wave of interest in coloring has definitely brought some new energy to what’s out there, I also dug up a few older Dover coloring books with botanical designs, as well as one of inventors and another of famous women, and those work just as well when your brain needs a break. In my past work with kids and teens, I actually colored quite a bit. We put things out in the office for the kids to use, and I’d sometimes sit down with them to color and talk. Like serious conversations that pop up during car rides, we talked through some pretty heavy topics while switching between markers and colored pencils. Talking. Laughing. Coloring. Not such a bad way to spend an afternoon.

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