Friday, April 29, 2016

Explore Your Creative Side (#7)

I apologize to you all for missing the last month or so of Explore Your Creative Side, but it's back!

I think I was suffering a minor blogging slump, so sadly this feature was one of the things that suffered, but even though I was unable to share some reviews of crafty/artsy enabling books, I was still crafting!

What was I working on?  Mostly pocket letters.  I had a few that I did for blog tours this past month that I then did giveaways for.  I also have a special pocket letter that I am making for something....that I really need to finish!

I have also done some crocheting.  I tried to make my #OTSPSecretSister a larger version of the tiny owls I have been making (I have shown pictures on may have seen them).  However, he didn't turn out right.  His face was all sorts of....wrong.  I was really disappointed :(.  I guess I need to practice more!

I have also been making a few pendants.  I am currently out of pendant trays, so I have had to make the backs out of resin.  I hope to get new pendant trays sooner or later though.  It just involves coming up with the money and then actually ordering them!  It will happen, but I have other wants that have been pushing this particular one back.

What creative things have you been doing lately?

And without further ado, I present you with a book for doodling, 2 coloring books, and a book on origami!  Enjoy!!

Title: Girl Plus Pen
Author: Stephanie Corfee
Series: Craft It Yourself
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Publication Date: February 1, 2016
Source: Publisher Giveaway
Rating: 5 Stars

I am pretty much in love with Girl Plus Pen.  How could I not be?  It is beautiful.  Just look at that cover!  The gorgeousness that you see there continues throughout the book.

It really is an awe inspiring book.  It is also a great book for creative inspiration.

Girl Plus Pen shows you a lot of the ins and outs of being creative with the use of simple doodles and drawings.  It gives you tips and tricks to help you develop your own style.  It has blank spaces for you to practice the techniques it aims to teach you.  Though I personally will be using other paper/sketchpads to practice these so that I can do it over and over again.  You don't have to do that though.  That is just my weird way with books like this.

I also really like the lessons on how to do pretty lettering.  I have been working on lettering here and there myself, so I am really looking forward to working on these lessons and ideas!

What's even better is this book gives you ideas on how you can take these doodles and drawings of yours and take them beyond paper!

Girl Plus Pen is marketed towards preteens and teens, but don't let that keep you from getting your hands on this gorgeous book!  It is perfect for those outside of the "intended" age bracket as well as for those within it!

This review is based on an ARC copy provided by the publisher through a giveaway I entered and won.

Title: Coloring For All Season - Spring
Author: River Grove Books
Publisher: River Grove Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Source: Publisher Giveaway
Rating:  3.5 Stars

This particular coloring book focuses on the theme of Spring.  This means that a lot of the pictures within for you to color are of flowers and butterflies.  There are definitely other creatures throughout the coloring book, but those are the ones that stick out the most to me.

The pictures within range from pretty simple to quite complex.  So you should be able to find something that will suit your mood at the time.

However, the pages do feel quite thin.  Thankfully they are single sided.  So if you are wanting to color with markers, I would strongly suggest putting a page between the one you are working on and the next.  I would not trust this paper to not bleed the marker through.

Something I do really like though is that a few of the pictures contain quotes or poems that are Spring themed.  I think that this give an extra level of depth to the book  Unfortunately, they are just basic font type and not necessarily added in a creative way.

I received this book from a publisher giveaway.  All thoughts are my own.

Title: Wonderland - A Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures
Author: Amily Shen
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Source: Blogging for Books
Rating: 5 Stars

If you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland, Johanna Basford's coloring books, and/or Daria Song's coloring books, Wonderland is a coloring book that you need to add to your collection.

Wonderland is quite beautifully done.  It is not just a coloring book, it also tells a story as you go along.  Sometimes it incorporates words to detail parts of the story and other times it is just told with the pictures.

Also, there are pages within the book that ask you to add your own drawings to he pictures to complete them.  Letting you use not only your coloring skills, but also your doodling/drawing ones!

Now, unfortunately, the pages, while they feel thick, are double sided.  So unless you don't mind disrupting the story contained with in and losing another work of your coloring art, you probably won't be pulling out a page that you really like to frame and put up on the wall or gift.  I am also hesitant on using markers on it, but like I said the paper is pretty thick.  So I may get up the nerve to see if the markers I have will bleed through on a not so favorite page.

This review is based on a copy provided to me through Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Title: DC Super Heroes Origami
Author: John Montroll
Illustrator: Min Sung Ku
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

Origami - the fine art of paper folding.  It is an art form that a lot of people are familiar with in one way or another.  Like take myself for example, I really like making lucky stars.  There is something calming about folding the paper over and over and ending up with a tiny little star.  Then you can fill up a jar with all of your little star creations and give it as a gift or keep it for yourself.

But enough about folding little stars, this book doesn't teach you to do that.  Instead, it teaches you how to fold things having to do with the DC Super Heroes.  You know? Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc etc etc.  Those guys.

This particular origami book contains the directions to complete 46 different projects.  Some of them are fairly simple and others are much more complex.  Each project comes with step by step directions in the form of pictures showing you what and were to make the next fold.  And, of course, there are pictures of the finished project so you can see if your origami piece came out like it should have.

You may be wondering about paper, but you don't need to.  This book is actually quite thick and that is because a good chunk of this book is actually paper for you to use in the projects.  96 pieces in total!  Definitely adding to the value of this book.  And the paper is the paper that you need for the projects, not just random pieces with various designs.

All in all, I am impressed with this origami book.  It is going to give me hours of entertainment!  Though it will take some practice on my part to get these designs down...

This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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