Book Review: Botanicum

It’s been a while since I’ve done a colouring review, as I have been working in a couple of books for the last few months. The book I am reviewing today is one that I bought in Sweden last year on my Nordic Trip. At the time it was Maria Trolle’s most recent colouring book. Since purchasing it I had visited this book a couple of times, but I finally got to work on doing a series of completed pictures.

Botanicum is the fourth book by Swedish artist, Maria Trolle. I have the Swedish edition, but you can also find an English special edition (with 8 additional pictures) and a Dutch edition. She has recently also brought out a new colouring book Flora, which is on my Christmas list.

This book is the same format as Maria Trolle’s Twilight Garden/Blomster Mandala and Nightfall/Skymingstimman; and Hanna Karlzon’s colouring books. It has a hardcover, which has one of the designs that you will find in the book. Similarly to the line art, the background is also black, but objects have been filled in with colour. The English edition has a different cover image, which is also found inside the book. There are 96 pages inside, which are double-sided, on high0quality ivory paper.

Similarly to Maria Trolle’s other books, this book has a garden theme. However, this book takes us through a floral adventure through different seasons and includes some designs for Easter, Halloween and Christmas. There is also some new animal that we haven’t seen before, including seals, unicorn and dragons; and many more girls and fairies of various sizes. Another new feature in this book is that many of the pages have defined or lose borders. This book also includes several pages with black backgrounds and an index of both the flora and fauna you will find in the book. Since my book is in Swedish, I was able to find many of the Swedish/Latin names flowers and plant life quite easily, but I did have to use a translator for some of the animals.

This has to be my favourite of Maria’s Trolle books in my collection. I love the variety of intricate line art, new creatures, very pretty girls and seasonal themed designs. I love that the name of the flora and fauna is listed in the book, so I can make easy colour choices. Lastly, I love the bordered line art and some of the circular designs, which allows me to just colour within the boundaries of the artwork.

Below I have included a video flip through and photographs of all the pages that I have coloured, in order that you will find them in the book. These include 10 completed pictures, which I have coloured in a variety of medium, which I have detailed below. I have added all of these images to my Botanicum gallery, where I will continue to add newly coloured pictures from this book. If you interested to see my other reviews of Maria Trolle’s colouring books, see: Twilight Garden (Blomster Mandala), Vivi söker en vän and Skymningstimman (Nightfall).

The Name plate page in this book is quite a simple design. Since the line art was quite delicate I wanted to leave a clean crisp background behind the brightly coloured flora and detailed fauna. I spent my time trying to get the bird and the snail to look as life-like as possible. The flowers were a little easier since I was able to easily find examples of the colours of the flowers. I only used Prismacolour Premier pencils for this page, which works beautifully on this paper.

I coloured this Easter bunny for my Happy Easter Colouring for 2019. It was the second page I had coloured in this book. I really loved how it turned out, so I knew I really wanted to revisit this book. Since these flowers didn’t come in a variety of colours, I started with them. I was later able to use complementing colours for the rest of the picture. I always find this helpful when I have no idea where to start with colours. For this page, I used Primacolour Premier pencils and a white Uniball gel pen (for the blue flowers).

This Thumbelina in the garden scene is one of the pictures that have a defined border. It is straight, but my photo came out a bit warped. These Peony flowers come in quite a few varieties, but I choose yellow and orange to complement the small blue flowers. It took quite a while to colour this page with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. I tried to do many light layers to avoid hard lines coming through. I also used a white Prismacolor pencil to blend for highlights and a white Uniball gel pen for the blue flower and the bee wings. Polychromos pencils do work well on this paper as well and also have the added bonus of not leaving pencil dust on the page. This is probably my favourite of the bunch.

I coloured this Floral lady for my 6# Colouring Update, so it was the first page I coloured in this book. I tried a darker skin tone, which I did find a bit difficult. I think because of the numerous layers, I may have blended too soon. I used Prismacolour Premier pencils, which are my prefered pencils for this paper. However, you do have to be careful not to get pencil dust on the black background. Otherwise, if you try to rub it out you will remove the black a little. I don’t love this page because I found my pencils came out a bit waxy on the small flowers.

When I saw these Playful seals, I knew I had to do colour this page. I started with the background, trying to layer to make it appear to have a seafloor and expansive ocean. I’m not sure I pulled it off too well, but the rest came together well. I am happy with the seaweed and bright fish. I used Prismacolour pencils and a white Uniball gel pen.

This Resting Unicorn is a special page I coloured for my little girl, who is obsessed with unicorns. We had a few disagreements on the colour of the unicorn, so I left that until last. I spent time colouring each flower and its leaves exactly as it would appear in real life. They looked quite detailed before I added the rest of the elements and then they a bit flat. I decided on a white and electric blue unicorn to stand out amongst the sea of green, pinks and purples. It was entirely coloured with Prismacolour Premier pencils and a little bit of white Uniball gel pen for details.

This Little old town reminded me of the paintings of the old towns you for sale in Europe squares. I fell in love with the Elena Moskaleva version, so I tried to use a bit of watercolour as well. I used Derwent Inkense and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils. My version didn’t come out very good. I think I didn’t add enough colour before I activated the pencils. I went the page with Prismacolor pencils, which always work nicely over watercolour pencils. The paper took the water quite well and I had no buckling or bleed through at all.

I coloured this Halloween scene for my post, Halloween Colouring 2019, where you can read more about it. Its was coloured with Prismacolor Premier pencils. I did use Mungyo watercolor crayons for the background. It did come out a bit streaky and I tried to blend it and deep the colour with pencil over the top. I also used a Unibal white gel pen to hide some lines and add stars. It’s not my best work, but I am happy that it came out a bit less conventional than other Halloween pictures.

I was going to come back to this book for Christmas, but I decided to make a start on my Christmas colouring before reviewing this book. This Round robin wreath took me a very long time to colour. So many little elements and confusion on colour selection. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos, so that I could get into the little nooks and keep the line art sharp. Once the main image was completed I decided to go with a simple caramel wood. I just realised I forgot to add the wood grain, oh well. I did use a Derwent blender pencil for the background because despite the number of layers it was still quite ashy. I’m happy with the overall effect of the picture.

The very last page in the book and that I coloured is this Kitty-cat Christmas. It’s not a page I would normally choose because of the huge empty background. I started with the main elements which I used Prismacolor Premier pencils. Afterwards, I was faced on what to do with that huge empty background. So I used a cream Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencil and activated it with water. I then did some shading with Derwent Inkense pencils. Since it was hard to get into the little spaces around the leaves, I found myself brushing the water brush over the leaves. Luckily the Prismacolor pencil stayed intact. Lastly I used a lot of Uniball white gel pen to bring out some of the details on the Christmas ornaments and the cat’s fur.

Botanicum and Maria’s other books can be purchased from:

9# Colouring update: New Books

Hi everyone, I recently bought a few more books I wanted to share with you. I haven’t actually bought anything new in a while, as I have been trying to colour in the books I already have. However, the heart wants what it wants.

Before I show you my goodies, I’ll just let you know what I have been up to in regards to colouring. So I have been working in my Hanna Karlzon books more recently. As you would have seen my last book review was Jewelry Box and soon to see, in Magical Dawn. I am just in the process of organising my book review, which will be out soon, with about 7 completed pictures. Next I will start some work in my new Karlzon books, I just haven’t decided which one to start with yet.

Seasons by Hanna Karlzon

Not long ago I had a discount coupon on Book Depository and I noticed Hanna’s new book was soon to be released. So I decided to order it, as well as Seasons, since it was the only one of Hanna’s books I didn’t have. Seasons was realeased back in 2017 and was preceded by Jewelry Box.

I thought my favourite one of Hanna’s books was Jewelry Books, but I was quite also pretty impressed with Seasons. This book takes us through all the season, from Spring to Winter. You can pick whatever season you are currently experience or another you would prefer and have fun with traditional seasonal colours (or something else entirely). I also love that this book includes so many seasonal occasions themed pictures, such as Halloween and Christmas. I’m will probably do a review of this book next, so stay tuned.

Spirit Animals by Hanna Karlzon

Spirit Animals is Hanna’s latest colouring book, which I had on preorder. It just arrived and I am in love. I won’t say too much but yes its pretty and again total different to Hanna Karlzon’s other books. One big difference I noticed was that most of the single pages correspond directly to the adacent page. So although they aren’t two-page spreads, they can be treated as such if you want. I can’t wait to get tucked into this book as well, and a book review will follow soon.

The Fashion Through Time Colouring Book

This next book is one that I picked up at the Reject shop for about $4. Although its was cheap, it’s still pretty great. It takes you from Western Antiquity all the way through to the glam of the 1960s fashion. Although it mostly Western fashion, there are a few other cultures represented as well. I just loved the art so much, that I probably will colour a few and do a review when I get a chance.

Mungyo Watercolor Crayons

I mentioned in my last colouring book review, Smyckeskrinet (Jewelry Box), that I had recently bought these watercolor crayons. I saw them on Colouring with Olivier channel and experimented with them in Jewelry Box. I am still getting accustom to using them, but I have used them again in Magical Dawn and will continue to in my other Karlzon colouring books. They are pretty cheap and a fun medium to use to fill in backgrounds. Best of all they don’t bleed through and don’t cause the paper to buckle much.

Have you bought any new books lately? or the ones I have show you today?

Happy Easter Colouring

Happy Easter everyone! I hope your having a great long weekend. Today I have the Easter themed pictures that I have been colouring over the past week. These pictures are from Fantasia, Sagor Och Sägner, Escape from Wonderland, and Botanicum. I haven’t reviewed all of these books yet, but you can see more completed pages in my Colouring Galleries. As for the pictures below, I used a few different mediums and I didn’t take them too seriously. It was just a bit of fun to set myself an Easter challenge to colour as many pages as I could.

The first page I coloured is from Nicholas F. Chandrawienata’s Fantasia. I have been looking forward to coming back to this book and I was saving this one for Easter. I was a bit unsure what to do. Easter colours are usually pastel, so I got out my Holbein Artists Pastel Pencils. I love these pencils because they lay down so evenly and they don’t have any streaky pigment, like some of my lighter Prismacolor pencils.

I originally left the background because I really wasn’t sure what to do. I did want to try watercolour on this paper, so I got out a set of cheap set of no-brand Water Colour paint tubes, that I bought from Eckersley. The paper didnt seem to mind the water, but it did pill a little where I put too much. I really wasn’t happy with what I was doing to my picture, so I tried to smooth the colour and add some shadows with a few Prismacolor Premier pencils pencils. If I could go back I would have used a different set of paint, because this one was more like acrylic then water colour, even with lots of water added. Anyway it looks better with a background and a lesson was learned.

The second pages is from Emelie Lidehäll Öberg’s Sagor Och Sägner. This is one of my favourite books, so I was very happy to revisit it. This isn’t a page I would usually choose but since it was Easter I’m happy I gave it a chance. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and a white Prismacolor pencil for blending. I am so happy how this one turned out. I took my time added softly blending the colours, rather then pressing too hard and rushing. I was a bit stumped on what to do for a background so I just left it.

The next two pages are side-by-side in Good Wives and Warriors’ Escape from Wonderland. I believe they are meant to be pigeon eggs, but they look like faberge eggs to me. I used both Faber-Castell Polychromos and Prismacolor Premier pencils. I much prefer the first egg, which reminded me Mexican art. I used this colour pallete as a guide. For the second one, I used this colour pallette, which probably wasn’t the best reference. Although this design was a bit difficult for me and less inspiring to colour.

This last picture is from Maria Trolle’s Botanicum. It is my favourite one in the bunch. I just found by chance when I was looking for a cute bunny picture to colour. I think this book has more themed pictures then her previous books and it also has all the flowers and plants listed in the back of the book for reference. I only used Prismacolor Premier pencils, which work really well on this paper. I thought about a pastel background but it looked so pretty on the ivory paper so I just filled in the bottom.

Well thats for Easter colouring this year. See the post below for what I coloured last year in Eriy’s Romantic Country Series.

Did you do some art or cooking for easter this year?

Unicorn Party

This week O turned into a big four year old girl. So of course we have been celebrating since the anniversary of her birth until her birthday party over the weekend. She calls her self the unicorn keeper, so it was only fitting that she should have a unicorn themed party.

Here she is. She was so happy to celebrate her birthday with her friends, who she hand picked to invite. Usually we invite all our friends but this year it was just a couple of little girls that she wanted to invite with their families, as well her cousins. For me it was also nice to have time with a few guests so that we could talk in a group, rather then having 10 minutes with each person. The little ones also played really nicely and had a blast together.

For the last few years I have been buying O’s cakes, but this year she asked her aunty to make her a unicorn cake. Didn’t she do such an amazing job! She always makes beautiful cakes for her kids, but I was blown away by this one. I believe it was buttercream on the outside with some fondont for the eats and eyes. The horn is actually an icecream cone with fondant wrapped around it. Inside it was a Serbian layered cake with layers of sponge, made of almond meal and plasma biscuits and custard made with Milka chocolate. What I loved about it was that it wasn’t too sweet, which is what I usually find with Serbian cakes.

I made two sweet treats, cupcakes and shortbread cookies with sprinkles. I forgot to photograph my cookies, but you may seem them in the background of one of the other photos. They were just a basic shortbread biscuit, made of butter, brown sugar, flour and vanilla and I stired through some coloured sprinkles. I used Hooper 100’s and 1000s, since I wanted something free of artifical colours, flavours and preservatives.

As for the cupcakes I used Chloe Coscarelli’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake (vegan). I also added some vegan chocolate chips and blueberries. This recipe was a little naughty because it had coffee, but it was so lovely and fudgey. For the frosting, I made a basic butter cream recipe with butter, icing sugar and soy milk. This year I decided to use organic butter because I am sick of using Nutlex and having the oil separate from the frosting. I usually like to make everything dairy free but I think the butter tasted better, looked better and lasted better.For the colours I used Queen Rainbow Natural Extracts and Hooper Pink Sprinkles. I made a couple of batches of the frosting so that I could pipe both colours at the same time. I am not really happy that I couldn’t manage to get purple or orange with the Queen’s food colouring. This orangy-flesh colour was not exactly what I was after but it was ok with the pink.

Now for the savoury food. My mum made this amazing grazing table. It had Proscuitto di Parma, nitrate-free hot salami, crackers, olives, brie, gerkins, sundried tomatoes, dates, nuts, grapes and pears. I served made my Fried Zucchini (see my recipe), which were a hit. I also made homemade pork sausage rolls with nitrate-free free-range pork sausages and I used both normal and gluten free puff pastry. I did have a little hitch with the Simply Wize gluten free pastry sheets.They initially cracked when I tried to wrap the sausages, so I did need to re-knead and roll out out the dough with some arrowroot flour. Once I did that they were perfect for pastry use. Since I had left mine in the over a little long to keep warm my normal puff pastry did split, but the gluten free remained perfect and there was little difference with the taste, it was just a little less flakey. The last thing I served was a homemade lasenge; cherry tomatoes for the kids and salad of Rocket, cherry tomatoes and avocado. The Lasanga turned out great, except that I left it on warm in the over and it blackened the top a little. Everyone said it still tasted great and thank goodness it didn’t taste burned.

I also organised a little Dress-up Station for the girls. That wasn’t really used, but everyone. They did enjoy the games that I organised. We played Pass-the-Parcel and Musical Chairs. My daughter knew what the prizes were and was very competitive. She actually won both games. I let her keep the prize from Pass-the-Parcel, but for the Musical Chairs the second winner got the prize. I also made the girls some little gift bags, that had fairy wands, sparkely unicorn stickers, unicorn animal erasers and some of my Shortbread cookies.

Oh the last thing I will show you is the picture I coloured for O’s birthday. This is from Dromenvanger by Tomislav Tomic. I intend doing my next review on this book, as I am currently working in it. She was pretty happy with it, since it featured one of her favourite creatures.

I hope you liked O’s unicorn party. If you are wanting to find the same decorations you can find the Unicorn themed banner, table cloth and candles from Big W’s party section. The rest of the unicorns come from the collection of my little unicorn keeper.

If you want to see what I did for O’s parties in the past few years see these posts below:

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Party
Troll party
Frozen Party

Book Review: Fairy Tales

Hello friends, today I have another colouring book review for you. Fairy Taleshas been on my wish list for a while, so I asked Santa to bring it for Christmas and it is just as sweet as I could of imagined.

Fairy Tales is by the freelance artist and illustrator, Emelie Lidehäll Öberg. Emelie is based Timrå, Sweden and has a background in graphic design and communications. If you want to know more about her, Color with Iris did a great interview with her. It talks of her life as an artist and how she began creating colouring books.

Fairy Tales actually the English edition of Emelie’s first book Sagolikt (2016)
and was published in April 2017 . Emelie has also published Sagor Och Sägner, En Sagolik Vinter (postcard book) and Hem ljuva hem. I actually have Sagor Och Sägner, and did a book review quite a while ago (see book review and gallery). Since Sagor Och Sägner is one of my favourite books I was sure that I would love another book by Emelie. Unfortunately for many, there is currently no English edition of Sagor Och Sägner, however Fairy Tales is alot easy to hold off (see end of post for distributors), and is quite similar in theme and style.

Fairy Tales has a soft cover that features one of the illustrations found in the book and is decorated in soft pinks and limestone green, with gold foil accents. The inside covers also have french flaps which open out to feature many of the designs found inside the book. This book is square and measures 24.9 x 24.9 cm. It contains 96 pages of gorgeous illustrations, which are printed double sided on high-quality cream paper. The pages are able to lay quite flat, which makes colouring and photographing pages quite easy. I did find that this book can handle both soft and harder pencils quite well, as well as water soluable pencils, with no bleed through.

The line art in the book is inspired by Swedish fairy tales and is whismical and true to Emelie’s unique style. There are woodland animals, sweet doll-like girls, quite an array of birds, wallpaper designs, wooden structures, teapots, tea cups and plenty of flowers and sweet foods to colour. All-in-all there is alot of variety, so you don’t feel like your fliping through she same designs throughout the book. What makes Emelie’s work unique is the that many of the elements in the pictures are quite oversized, which can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t coloured her work before. However, as you will see from pages I have worked on, the illustrations really come to life with a bit of colour and little bit of shading.

Below I have included a video flip through of Fairy Tales, which includes all the finished pictures that I did. I have also included five full sided photographs of the pictures I coloured with some details on what I used. These are in order as they are found in the book.


The Name plate page was not the first page I coloured and to be honest not one I expected to get to. There are so many elements in this page and that I was a bit overwhelmed. But I started colouring each picture in colours that came naturally and slowly I was able to use complementy colours for the pictures I wasn’t sure about. Its not perfect but I am happy overall how it turned out. I used Prismacolor Premier pencils, which work beautifully on this paper and don’t need to many layers to get a nice result.


The Princess and the Frog is one that I was really excited to bring to life because I just love everything about the design. Since I had already experiment with Derwent Inktense pencils in the book, I decided to try them out again. So I first layed down one or two colors for each element with the Inktense pencils and used a water pen to blend. Then I went over the top with Prismacolor Premier pencils to give a soft, chalky and vibrant look. I found that the Inktense pencils were also quite helpful for forming clouds, since I am really terrible at drawing them in. I also used a white gel pen to bring out some of the details and cover some of the black lines. If I could do this page again, I may give a bit more distiction to parts that are submerged in the water. But other then that I’m very happy with it.


The Storybook Mansion reminded me of a grand Swedish house. For the colour scheme I was inspired by the Korstäppan Hotel and this bright floral print. I decided not to do a background, as I just wanted to do something colouring, fun and quick. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos, which also work lovely on this paper. To blend I did use a white Prismacolor pencil and the Derwent blender. This picture wasn’t ovely complicated to do, but the large scale of the flowers really make it something special.


The Pup Prince was one of the pictures I just had to do in this book. I don’t often come across dogs in my colouring books and this one was just so regal and elegant that I had to give it some colour. This is one of the few pictures that I knew the colour scheme before I coloured it. I just wanted the background to be fairly simple so that I could make sure my pup would stand out. The hardest thing was giving the pup the furry texture. I don’t think I nailed it because I found it quite hard do a short hair. I was inspired by this Rodesian Ridgeback by EscyKane. Mine doesn’t come close to this artwork, but then again this illustration isn’t mean to be true to life. I used Prismacolor Premier pencils. I was going to use a Slate Grey Posca for the background, but changed my mine at the last minute, since the tip wasn’t thin enough to get inbetween the flowers. Initially I wasn’t happy with this picture, but once it was finished and I looked at it with fresh eyes I didn’t mind it so much.


The Mole Family was the very first picture I coloured in this book. It is definetely my favourite of the bunch. It took me a bit of seaching to work out what animal was being depicted in this picture, since I havent’ come across these furry friends in Australia. But once I realised what they were I had to makes sure they were very flurry and just as cute as the real thing.

Since this is the last page in the book I thought I was experiement with Derwent Inktense pencils. So I coloured the entire picture with with Inktense and activated it with water. I then went over it with Prismacolor Premier pencils, to add brighter colour and depth. I found this method is a hell of a lot quicker, produced vibrant colour and makes it easier do create an more interesting background. The only downside is that it can look a bit scratch in some areas where I wasn’t as careful. I found this paper really didn’t buckle much and I had no bleed through. Well actually there is one spot on the backside of this page that had a faint blue spot. However, I think I did by accident when I lift the page and it would be very easy to cover up. To cover the black lines in some aspects of the picture I used a white thin tipped Posca pen. Its not perfect but its just so magical and I love it.


If you’re interested in purchasing Fairy Tales you can find it from:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you had or having an amazing time celebrating the end of 2018 and a new start to new year. I am actually really excited about the upcoming year. So many exciting things are going to happen and so many possibilities.

I don’t intend starting the new year with any resolutions. But this year is hopefully going to be fresh start for my health. Once I am feeling 100% I intend to grow my family by one more, followed by my dream Disney wedding in Hawaii. So there is lots to look forward to and prepare for.

This year for this blog I’m hoping to continue to write about travel and colouring. I will also focus more on food and tell you about my new found passion for genealogy.

Before I completely move into the new year, I thought I would take a look back over the last year.


Live

So this year I did quite a bit of spontaneous travel. We visited Singapore and Nordic Europe. I am still in the process of writing about my trip through Sweden and Finland. We saw so muchand I have been a bit lazy in getting it all written up. If you planning I trip to either of these place do check out my posts to see some of the amazing places that you can visit and eat.


Eat

I didn’t post that many recipes this year, but these are the ones that made it onto the blog. As you can see its mostly pasta, since thats a big part of our diet. You can find all these recipes and more in my Recipe Index. Probably my favourite recipes for this year were the:


Colour

Adult colouring still remains a big part of my life. I find it to be a great creative outlet and I don’t see myself giving it up any time soon. I know its not trending so much for regular folks, but the colouring community is still alive and well. This year I review quite a few book reviews, including:

I also did a few of themed colouring projects:

Here are a few of my favourites from this year:

All the best for your new year and I look forward to bring you more travel adventures, delicious eats and colouring inspriation this year!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! Some of you may be celebrating Christmas or Christmas Eve today. In Australia it’s Christmas Day, so I will be spending the day with family.

During this past month I haven’t been able to post anything on this blog, do Christmas shopping and prepare for today, as I have been very unwell. After initially getting a virus, I recovered, then my daughter got it and she recovered. However, then I got a mutated version which lead to a viral and bacterial infection. So I have been bedridden most of this week. However, today I am feeling well enough to be around people and enjoy one of my favourite days of the year.

Christmas Presents

Unfortunately for my family they won’t be getting any presents from me today. I normally start doing my Christmas shopping in November but I was a bit late to start this year and then I wasn’t able to do any. I guess I’m also not feeling as materialistic this year. In saying that Santa and Marco did leave me some presents. I got a these gorgeous two dresses from Baby Lemonade. The cookbook, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, by Samin Nosrat. I am so excited about this book after watching her series, Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix. As for colouring books I finally got Johanna Basford’s new book World of Flowers and Emelie Lidehall Oberg’s Fairy Tales Colouring Book. I am a big fan of both these ladies work, so I knew eventually they would be joining my collection.

Christmas Colouring

Over this past month I planned to do as much Christmas colouring as I could. I didn’t do as much as I would like to since I wasn’t feeling up it, but I did about nine pages in a few books. Today I will just share a couple page, since the rest are from Johanna’s Christmas. I will do a book review and flip through, to showcase that book in the next few days.

The very first picture I did for Christmas colouring this year is from one of my recent books that I had yet to start. This Christmas Angel is from
Creative Haven Beautiful Angels Coloring Book, by Marjorie Sarnat. I coloured her with Prismacolour and used white gel pen for some of the details and cover some of the black lines. The paper in this book is quite good, but it was a little challenging to blend too much with Prismacolor. I also find most of the pictures are quite busy, so I tried to just reuse the same colors. I am not too sure about the flowers and the pink, but I prefered not to use red. Overall I’m quite happy because the original sketch is quite flat so I think I bought a little dimension to it.

The next picture is from ESCAPE Collage Art by Marty Nobles. This is my second picture in this book and the perfect Christmas image. The paper in this book is a little different. It is thick but its closer to a old children’s colouring book. I do find that soft Prismacolor pencils work well, which is what I used. I just found it challenging when layering for animal fur. It took me a while to do this one as well, as I wanted the right colors that would be harmonious and more old fashioned rather then bright and modern. My background is a bit strange, but I had to give it a little texture. The snow dots where actually already drawn in the picture, so I just used a white gell pen to bring them out. I don’t mind this picture so much now its done. What I reallly like about this book is that you can focus on different sections, which don’t take too long to complete.

Marco’s Birthday Feast

The last thing that I will share with you today was Marco’s birthday dinner, which was a week before Christmas. If you remember last year I made him the Feast of Seven Kingdoms. Well I didn’t go that overboard this year. Octavia had just gotten better and I was on day one of my second bout of illness. I took a couple of short cuts, but I tried to make everything from scatch. We didn’t have a huge amount of guest, so there was plenty for food for that night a couple days of leftover.

So when they arrived to served this platter, which included Proscuitto di Parma, Organic Nitrate Free Legham, gerkins and Rice Croquettes. These croquettes are my Nonna’s specality, which she makes at every family event. I finally tried my hand at making them. I also made a couple gluten free for my nephew. According to Marco mine were really good, but not as good as Nonna’s since she fries hers a bit longer.

For the dinner I served homemade Papardelle with a Traditional Bolgnese sauce. I used this recipe from Food Nouveau and it was pretty good. The traditional ragu uses butter and milk, white wine and much less tomatoes. I cooked it for three hours and it was just so full of flavour. I think the secret is really pushing the meat to carmelise. Since I’m not in the habit of using milk I did use lactose free, hoping that it wouldn’t affect anyones allergies. I also made homemade Gnocchi with pesto and topped with Pecorino Romano. I normally make my own pesto but I used a good quality organic brand to save time. I also made Baked Tuna Canneloni, which had Fontina cheese in the bechemel and filling. Everyone was surprised to really enjoy this one. I also made a green salad and sauted kale with raisens (forgot the pine nuts). For bread, since Serbian’s need their bread I made Focaccia. My sister and brother in-law actually have their own Pizza restaurant, so I was able to use their dough to save time. I added lots of EVO to the dough and a salt brine and let is rise a couple of times. I should have probably split the dough in two, so that it would be more crispy and not as high. Nobody cared, they actually really liked it and there was really not much left at the end of the night.

Lastly for the birthday cake, I purchased this as an impulse buy from a the French bakery, Jocelyn’s Provisions. It was a small Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Small Round, topped with white cholate ganache and sprinkled with
candied violets.  It was extremely rich, but really delicious.

If you made it this far down let me know what you did for Christmas? Any special art projects, cooking or eating endeavours?

Halloween Colouring

Happy Halloween y’all! Did you do anything special for the All Hallows’ Eve? We had our Halloween fun over the weekend. We Trick-a-Treated at shopping centre and did some other Halloween events for kids. Tonight we have treats ready for the two lots of kids that visit our home. Halloween is really not a popular holiday in Australia, but this year there is definitely at lot more interest then previous years.

Over October I decided to just colour in Halloween inspired pictures from a variety of colouring books. I could only get done seven pictures , since I didn’t finish the university semester until mid October. It’s been really fun to colour pictures with the Halloween spirit and revisiting books that haven’t got as much love as they deserve. The books I coloured include the Romantic Country Series, Fantasia and Colouring Heaven Anime Special.

 

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8# Colouring Update: new books

Hi again, today I have another colouring book  haul. More colouring books? Yes I though I was going to stop buying anything for a while, but then was a sale and you know how it goes… I’m very excited about each and everyone of them, so I thought I would tell you about them before I get colouring.

 

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7# Colouring Update

Today I bring you another colouring update, after completing my challenge to colour in pages from my newer books. If you didn’t catch my last post, that was the first lost of completed pages and these are the rest. The majority of these books are from my colouring hauls, which I showed you in my colouring updates 4# and 5#. I am so happy that I got a chance to try these books and get excited about them again, after leaving them on my shelf for so long.

In this post I have coloured pages from Girls with Poem,   Mythomorphia,  Smyckeskrinet, Daydreams and Collage Art. I’m not sure when I will return to this books but I had really enjoyed each one of them so I hope to do a series more pictures in each one before doing a review and video flip through. All of these pictures will be in my Galleries, as well as much more.

Like I already mentioned, I just recently did another haul of colouring books (yes I know I have a problem). So I will show you guys those in my next post. I also intend on working in Colouring Heaven’s Fairytale Special, which I just got yesterday. So I will probably do a review and flip through of that one next before choosing my next book to focus on. Although I’m still mid semester I just handed in my assignment today, so I’m hoping do a lot more colouring now.

 

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6# Colouring Update

I haven’t been sharing my colouring work for a while. So I thought I would show you what I’ve been up to. In my last colouring update (5#)  in July, I mentioned that I bought quite a few new books on my holiday, plus I had a few more from my last colouring book haul that I hadn’t started. So I challenged myself to colouring one page in all (or most) of my new books before I do anymore book reviews.

These pages are not in order from when I coloured them, just what I have photographed so far. These first four are from Fantasia, Forest Girl’s Coloring Book, Dromenvanger and Botanicum. I still have more pages from Mythomorphia, Smyckeskrinet and Momo Girl coming up in a future post. I haven’ t decided what book I will focus on after completing this challenge, since I actually bought a few more books recently, which I will also show in a future post. I wish I had more time for colouring and blogging, but this last month has been hectic with uni assignments and a potent respiratory virus. I’m hoping to get back on track in the next couple of weeks when everything calms down.

By the way, I have recently reorganised my Colouring Book Galleries and Colouring Book Reviews. They are now easier to see and access and are under my Colour tab on the menu bar. All new completed pages will be place in gallery of the book they come from, which may not appear in previous book reviews  you may of seen.

 

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Book Review: Colouring Heaven Misfits Special

This months Colouring Heaven magazine released in Australia is the Misfits Special (issue 35).  It showcases the art of White Stag aka Terra Bidlespacher. I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep buying this magazine every month, but when I saw this issue I really liked the quirky artwork and wanted to see how I would go colouring this style. I really enjoyed it, so I have brought you another colouring book review for today.

White Stag aka Terra Bidlespacher is an American artists, based in Pennsylvania. She is known for her lowbrow, pop surreal, gothic fantasy art.  Her unique style is characterised by the strange and cute girls and creatures, in scenes that are both intriguing, creepy and sometimes humorous. Her artwork mainly features she misfits characters painted in acrylic, but she also does drawings using ink and graphite. She has produced a series of Misfits colouring books with featured her original artworks. There are currently 10 full size colouring books and two mini colouring books. Most of these colouring books explore different themes, including aliens, zombies, unicorns and halloween. For more information of where to purchase White Stag’s colouring books see the end of this post.

I don’t currently have any of White Stag’s colouring books in my collection, so I was very happy to see her work featured in this months Colouring Heaven magazine. The issue features a compilation of 40 designs taken from White Stag’s colouring books, so there is quite a variety in themes of themes, styles and characters. The issue itself is the same format as always, matt cover (that you can colour), 40 line drawings on single sided thin-medium paper, with titles for each picture. This issue only has the names of the artworks and no other information about each work. I appreciate this anyway, as I  can google the original artwork to glean inspiration for backgrounds, colours, textures and light sources. This issue also features some Christmas themed pictures, so I will be sure to return to this book in the future.

For this issue I coloured three pictures and used a varieties of mediums, including water soluble materials.  I also made a video flip through, which is up on my Youtube channel, along with more video of colouring book flip through with completed pictures. You can also see more Colouring Book Reviews and my Colouring Galleries and my Misfits Special Gallery on this blog.

 

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