Coloring by yourself is great.  It’s quiet, contemplative and gives you some great thinking time.  One of the reasons I created a “Happy Thought” at the bottom of each of my mandalas is so that the colorist can have something uplifting to contemplate during that quiet time.

But there is another option, because sometimes you just need some face time with someone outside your normal routine.  The solution for this is coloring clubs or coloring groups where you meet in person with other colorists to color, share ideas and get encouragement as well as having some fun time just socializing.

Non-virtual coloring clubs are growing.  All over the globe adults get together to color and chat at libraries, community centers and even in people’s homes.  During the group time, everyone gets out their books, pages and coloring implements and discuss every possible topic.  A lot of coloring groups even supply free pages and coloring pencils for those who just wander in.

You’d be surprised at the variety of adult coloring book styles that show up at these events.  I even had a lady bring a stretched canvas with a coloring design on it and it was really awesome.  One of the ladies in my group actually transfers coloring book patterns onto cloth and embroiders the patterns.  Each person brings their own style and feeling into their work.

Probably one of the coolest aspects of these groups is how supportive and encouraging they are with one another.  Finished pages and pages in progress are shared to complimentary comments and even sometimes applause.  Talk about your confidence boosters!

So how do you find a coloring book group in your area?  A great place to start is MeetUp.com.  Signing up for an account as an attendee is free and they make it simple to keep track of any meetings you sign up for.  You can pick how far you are willing to drive and they take that into account in the search.

Oftentimes you can also check with your local library or community center.  I know there are several of these in my area and there are more all the time.
Another option is to go to a local restaurant with a party/meeting room and ask them if they would let you use the room on a scheduled basis.  A lot of restaurants will let you do this at no charge, assuming that the people who attend will order either something to drink or something to snack on.

What if there isn’t a group in your area?  Start one!  The only thing necessary to start a group is a place to meet and a way to get the word out.  Once you have set a time and a place, you can post on social media.  You can also promote your group on Meetup.com for a very small monthly fee.

Some groups charge some minimal dues, if they have to pay for the space, but most of the time there is no charge to anyone who wants to attend.

Socializing while you color may take you back to childhood memories, coloring with siblings or friends.  It is extremely relaxing and is a great way to make some new friends in a very congenial atmosphere.  I highly recommend it as a great way to enhance your coloring experience.  I find it amazing how people tend to open up and share interesting stories and backgrounds with the people in these group.

Are you a member of a coloring group in your area?  If so, please feel free to share in the comments below.  Do you run a group or wish to promote one?  By all means, do share with us in the comments below.  Please include a way to contact you, so interested parties can find your group.  Thank you.

 

As the first book in the series is now available to purchase on Amazon, I wanted to explain how I approach my coloring sessions.

First, I find a quiet spot in my day. (For mothers with small children, this may be when you put your little ones down for a nap or after you have put them to bed for the night.) I lay out the page I am working on and the media I am using, ie: colored pencils, crayons, gel pens, Glitter Gel Pens (sparkly, sparkly), paint brush pens, markers or even paint.

After I have put my coloring space in order, I like to put on some soothing music. There are a couple of ways you can do this at no cost.

  1. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can create a playlist of relaxing music.
  2. Pandora is a great free app that can live on your phone or your computer and allows you to create a customized “station” with great relaxing music.  (Note:  If you are using the free version, you get an ad about every 3 or 4 songs.)

Each of the pages in my books has a “Happy Thought” underneath the picture.  I read the thought so I have something uplifting to ponder as I color.

Let your mind drift, focusing only on the process of choosing colors and applying them to the spaces on the page.  My particular approach in my “Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy” series is to create interesting spaces for your to color.  There is no right or wrong way to color.  Remember, this is your personal, private space.  No one ever needs to see it, if you would rather not share.

Breath softly from your stomach.  Think about your breathing as you go breathing gently and slowly, filling your lungs with air and expelling stress and anxiety with every exhale.

When we color mindfully, you will notice a few things:

  • You will experience calmness and peace over time.
  • Researchers found that there was often a lowering of blood pressure.
  • When you color before bedtime, you will go to bed with a calm mind and will sleep much better than usual.
  • You will find over time that your ability to concentrate and retain what you are learning will increase.

From time to time, when I am taking an online course, I bring out my coloring supplies and color while I listen.  I find this actually helps me to concentrate on what the instructor is saying and I remember a lot more of what they said.  I don’t know if this will work for everyone as much as it does for me, but it is worth a try.

 

I have no words to express how excited I am to announce the first of a series of adult coloring books intended to relieve stress and anxiety and to give joy to those who either buy them or receive them as a gift. The book is now avaialable on Amazon.com. “Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy – Joy is in the Journey” is LIVE.

This being my first foray into publishing, I want you to know that this has been an awesome experience.  I want to thank all of those who have been instrumental in helping me get to this point.

 

When we dream…when we plan…when we conceive of a project, it’s all in our mind, percolating and growing and beginning to take form. As we proceed to create a plan, to assemble our tools and materials and to begin fleshing out the framework for the finished project, it sometimes feels like achieving that goal seems really far away.

That’s the journey I have been on with creating the very first book in a series: “Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy – Joy is in the Journey”  A mindful approach to stress and anxiety relief.

So when the delivery guy showed up with a slender box from Create Space, i admit to feeling like a kid at Christmas time.  However, I didn’t just rip it open.  I had promised the fam that I would open it in their presence when it arrived and I had promised my friends and family who could not be there that I would video-tape the unboxing event.

So here it is.  The video of the beginning of my career as a published author.  Without further ado….Drum Roll Please!!!!

 

 

There is such great satisfaction finishing a coloring page. The time creating it is counted as a joy, but there is another thing that makes it even more joyful and satisfactory, sharing it. I feel just like a little kid, “Mommy, see what I made!” resounds in my mind as I complete the cycle…sharing my finished masterpiece with someone else.

However, oft-times I find myself in solitude at that triumphant moment.  What to do?  What to do?

I do color with a weekly coloring group in my community, and we enjoy sharing our finished pieces, but if you are searching for instant gratification in the glow of completing your work of art and if you want a sympathetic and accepting, even (dare I say) enthusiastic audience, then coloring groups online are a good place to go.

Within these groups enthusiastic colorists gladly share their own art with their online coloring buddies.  Comments and encouragement flow back and forth as well as tips and tricks for improving your coloring skills, where to find discount on cool coloring accouterments and the stories behind the pieces make this a rich and enjoyable environment for getting a thumbs up for your efforts.

Don’t be intimidated by those colorists who seem to create breath-taking pieces.  All skill levels are acceptable.  These groups often are made up of thousands of coloring enthusiasts and the reach is worldwide.

Some tips for these groups.

  • Each group has it’s own rules or guidelines.  Be sure to read them and understand them before you post.
  • Before you post, start by reading the posts for the last few days.  It will give you an idea of the personality of that group.
  • Always give credit to the author of the page you are showing off.
  • It lends interest to your post when you mention the media you used to create your finished work, such as:  “I chose to use my Prisma set of coloring pencils.” or “I am using glitter pens to get that effect on the unicorn’s horn.” etc.
  • If you want to get enthusiastic comments and suggestions on your posts, be sure to reciprocate.  More people will be interested in your work, if you take the time and courtesy to comment on theirs.
  • If you can’t say anything nice about a post, don’t say anything at all.  Good advice from a cute little bunny and this holds true for coloring groups.  (Or any forum you may be a member of.)  Just skip over the posts you don’t agree with or you can’t find anything good to say about.  Drama, bickering and unkindness is frowned upon in these groups and has a tendency to get you banned.
  • Don’t spam the group with several posts a day.  It isn’t nice to hog the limelight.  As we all learned in kindergarten, take your turn.
  • If you are a coloring book author, limit yourself to mentions of your books or pages to a few per week (see the group guidelines about this as every group is different).

Here is a list of some of the groups I can personally recommend.  (Please tell them that Peaceful Patterns sent you, wink wink.)

Any or all of these groups should give you hours of sharing your creations with fellow colorists and encourage you in your coloring therapy to continue to enjoy your peaceful coloring journey.