Not Just For Kids! Book review and giveaway

The lovely folks at Jacqui Small Publishing have kindly sent me a couple of colouring books for adults to review. I was intrigued by the idea, partly because the accompanying publicity had some really interesting stuff to say about the benefits of colouring for relaxation.

As someone who can be a bit overwhelmed by stress sometimes (home educating 2 autistic kids whilst trying to build a small business will do that to you!), I have lots of different strategies and techniques to use when I need to switch off… I know a lot of us use sewing for just this purpose, but because sewing is also my job, sometimes I need to get away from stitching too…

My best activities for diverting my mind are taking a walk with the pooch and my lovely family, reading a page-turning novel, playing ancient computer games (Age of Empires is my favourite), doing Sudoku puzzles, baking or generally mucking around in the kitchen, and now I am trying to do meditation too… But I am always interested in new stress-busting stuff for my tool kit!

When the books arrived I grabbed my pencils (usually used for the serious business of coming up with patchwork designs) and got going. It was so nice that someone else has done all the hard design work for me and all I have to do is play around with lots of bright colours, without fear of making a bad choice (and cutting the wrong fabric!):



This design is from Art Therapy: Mandala. Mandalas have been used for centuries as part of meditation practice, so it makes sense that colouring these lovely designs is such a peaceful process.


And, happily, there’s a reason why colouring is so relaxing. Psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala says:

“The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.” (Taken from this article in the Huffington Post)

Here’s another lovely design from the book – can’t wait to get onto this one:


It is a real pleasure to think about colours and think about how the colours I am choosing reflect my mood and my response to the pictures. It got me thinking that I need a MASSIVE set of coloured pencils

The other book is a collection of designs taken from stained glass:


I love the symmetry of these designs – and as an enthusiast of medieval and art nouveau design, this book is particularly interesting and appealing to me.



But I have resisted colouring any of the designs in this book, so I can give a copy away.. so if you’d like to find out what the colouring craze is all about, then do leave a comment (just a ‘yes please!’ will do – but tell me about your chosen relaxation techniques if you like) before midnight Sunday, and you will be in with a chance of winning Art Therapy: Stained Glass. (UK entrants only please, unless you are happy to pay overseas postage yourself).


30 thoughts on “Not Just For Kids! Book review and giveaway

  1. these type of books are great i use them a lot as with me having so bad seizures they give me something nice and cheerful to do when i am unable to do much else

  2. I love to colour in after difficult days. It’s so relaxing and seems to bring my mind back into place when ive been stressed out. I havent done it for a couple of years now though. I was just looking for a new colouring book a few days ago, I’d love to try this one.

  3. What a lovely idea. A few years ago, when I was in college, I came across these colouring books for children – they were highly unusual, in the way that they weren’t childish in nature, but had instead these intricate geometric patterns that one could choose to paint (or ignore!) until a beautiful image arose… I bought one of each in that collection, and spent many an hour relaxing over them. These books seem to be a wonderful way for one to pay attention to certain details in art, and lose oneself in colours…

    My favourite relaxation activities: meditation, knitting, spinning, reading, and sometimes cooking (but probably eating more than cooking!) 🙂

  4. How gorgeous thanks for the opportunity my distress is a good sweep and tidy up in the garden, at this time of year it’s so satisfying ! Never ever the the same effect with housework indoors !

  5. Wowsers, would love this book! I know I would have to share it with my step-daughter though cos she loves this kind of thing. A very generous giveaway, thanks xx

  6. Yes please. What a fantastic book to give plenty of inspiration in quilt making! Sewing is my way of relaxing. Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. Wow, what a lovely giveaway! I ❤ the idea of colouring in your own Mandalas but am even more impressed with the Art Nouveau/Medieval book being a re-enactor and lover of all things Morris/Nouveau esq! I struggle to relax but find listening to the Archers Omnibus on a Sunday morning or any other Audio play with real actors very relaxing! Thanks for the chance to win! xxxxxx

  8. Yes, please! I’m a big fan of meditation. However, I recently played with colouring in when choosing colours for a crochet mandala, and was bitten by the bug. You can never have too many coloured pencils 😉

  9. Yes please! I keep buying lovely colouring books for my children but am secretly rather jealous 😀. I’m not sure I really do enough for relaxation -play a few light computer games and blog read but am conciously trying to build in going for a walk more often and progressing my knitting.

  10. Oh my goodness, that Mandala colouring book looks like it could provide hours of blissful relaxation!! You could design your crochet mandalas on them before making them up. I feel more chilled already… Hope you have a great day. 🙂

  11. Coloring makes me focus on creating a picture or design that takes away sll stress and pressure. I think it releases “relaxing” sensors to the brain!!

  12. I play mindless games on my phone to relax, usually Bejewelled Blitz or Solitaire! I’d love the chance to win, I’ve been eyeing up DDs pencil crayons just in case!

  13. I’ve never tried colouring in for relaxation. I find tacking EPP hexies quite relaxing – I don’t have to worry about the stitches and fabric choices have already been made.

  14. Relaxing? What’s that?
    We moved to the Norfolk countryside earlier in the year and my days are busier than ever, not that I’m complaining! X

  15. Ooh yes please! I have just started doing yoga to relax which I’m loving. I’ve tried meditation but I just find it too difficult. Colouring sounds like a nice alternative 🙂

  16. Yes please. I have seen some in a bookshop before and bought one under the pretext that it was to keep my daughter entertained at a wedding! Would love my own though.

  17. I’d love this book!! I agree, the art nouveau/medieval inspired designs are beautiful and I just LOVE colouring in!!

  18. Yes, please! And of course I would pay shipping to Sweden if my number came up. I love coloring and stained glass and art nouveau, and I think thevidea is intriguing.

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