On the overnight journey down to Wales I carefully packed a book to read, my Kindle (completely with audio play to listen to), my mp3 player, and obviously I had my phone for internet surfing (my downfall on the journey home as I almost went over my data limit and had to turn it off for almost a week to avoid getting a large bill, oops). But that stuff wasn't quite enough for me, so when we stopped at a service station (and I couldn't find the neck pillow I'd wanted to buy) I looked at the magazines and books.
I considered getting a crafting magazine or two but changed my mind when I saw that they had colouring books on 'buy one get one half price'. One of these was Portable Colour Me Calm, a small scale version of a much larger colouring book. It's just the right size to carry around in a shoulder bag for those moments when you need a quick hit of colouring in. I got a cheap pack of colouring pencils and now I regularly stick it in my bag when I might want to do some colouring in on the go.
It's designed with the focus on 'mindfulness' and suggests that one can use it as a sort of meditative activity, even going as far to recommend colours that you might want to use based on whether they encourage calmness or energy. So in theory, if you need a bit of help getting going at the beginning of the day you could colour using reds, oranges and yellows, whereas at the end of the day when you want to unwind you could use blues and greens. The introduction also gives the reasoning behind the different pictures that are featured, citing repetition and natural scenes as being conducive to relaxation.
It's all very interesting.
The book is divided into six sections, each one featuring a different style of picture to colour in (though I see some overlap between some of them): Mandalas, Water Scenes, Wooded Scenes, Geometric Patterns, Floral & Fauna, and Natural Patterns. At the beginning of each chapter there's a couple of sample ones which have been coloured in (presumably to show you how to do it) or partially coloured in (which you could complete, if you felt that way inclined).
My approach to all of the pictures was pretty much to just use whichever colours I felt like, as you can see.
I think the fish are my favourite with the geometric pattern a very close second. The fish is slightly rough because I worked on most of that one on the motorway coming home. The blue took me from Birmingham to Scotland to get done!
One thing I like about this book is that because of the way it's bound, it lies flat easily. The pictures don't run to the edge of the page, but it makes it better for colouring in close to the left hand side of the page. The facing page of each picture is just a pattern of swirls or or flowery shapes which you could also colour in if you wanted to (it's the same two patterns which alternate in each section). If not though, it means you could probably take completed pictures out of the book to display (should you want to).
Expect to see more pictures from this book again in the future.
Right now I'm working on Enchanted Forest and I've still got my Gardens and Art Therapy colouring books that I got for my birthday. I'm working in rotation so I don't get bored with any one style of book because they're all different in their own ways. Definitely something I'm going to have to add to my list of hobbies.