Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Books in My Beach Bag

My husband and I are going on an ACTUAL beach vacation. We haven't been on a week-long vacation...well, ever. Not together anyway.

We're headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama for five days, and to say I'm excited is a big understatement. I've never been to Gulf Shores before, and we're both really excited to explore. And of course we've already started scoping out restaurants on Yelp. 

We're staying in a beachfront condo, so you can bet I'll be parked in the sand somewhere with a book. Also, by the pool. I wouldn't want either to feel left out. :) 

I don't want my tablet to fill up with sand, so I'll probably take a few print books and make sure I have some ebooks ready and waiting on my phone and tablet for the evenings. Here's a look at what I'm considering. 

I've talked about reading a few of these books for readathons and whatnot, but I just haven't gotten around to them yet. What better time to take them than when I'll be a captive audience? 
  • Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
  • Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
  • Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone

And Kitchens of the Great Midwest is the #1 contender from my e-reader. 

Let there be sun and fun! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Pros and Cons of The Tattoo Coloring Book

The Tattoo Coloring Book by Oliver Munden and Jo Waterhouse was the second coloring book I bought. I love tattoo art, so this is probably the book I was most excited to pick up...initially.

The artwork in this book is stunning and leans toward a traditional style of tattoo. Lots of animals: roaring tigers, leaping sharks, snakes wrapped around skulls and whatnot.

The cover art is beautiful, and there's a pull-out section in the middle wherein the images are beautifully filled in. You could easily remove and display it if you wanted.

I was probably most excited by some of the more offbeat art choices. There's a skull with octopus tentacles wrapped around. A bird with a monocle and tophat that looks oddly Sherlockian.

Adult coloring books tend to be really intense in their designs. Complicated, intricate pictures that take ages to color. This book is nice because many of the images are a little more open with a bit more breathing room. Coloring one is generally not a week-long commitment. Maybe just an hour or two depending on the picture or spread.

While the artwork is grand, I'm quickly discovering that not all coloring books are created equal because at the root of the thing is the paper quality. The paper in this book feels lovely and thick, but I've found that it's quick to disintegrate if you try to layer many colors together. I'm a big fan of layering and blending colors, and it's not unusual at all, in this book, for the paper to begin wearing away in spots. I've also found that the paper texture doesn't actually take color that well. A slicker paper would show truer, more vivid colors.

I shared a long shot of this picture on Sunday, but here's a closer one. There's a little more color in real life--it always looks more washed out in photos--but this paper just won't take the vivid color I appreciate from other books. 

This was the first picture I colored from the book, and while the color is a little better in this one, it took a lot of work and quite a few worn spots. 

Overall the artwork in this coloring book can't be beat, but the paper quality really is an artistic buzz kill. Buy with caution. 

Pub Date: November 2013
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
ISBN: 1780670117
Source: Bought it! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Brain Dump: 7.26.15

Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you all had a great, relaxing weekend. I know I did.

Last weekend was a lot of fun with Greyson home and some excellent pool time and crisping in the sun. This week was challenging at work (aren't they all?), and this weekend Greyson was back to his dad's, so I spent a great deal of time in bed coloring, reading, and watching Gilmore Girls.

I had my bestie from work over to the house on Friday night. We had quite a few adult beverages and were fairly silly. Yesterday I started coming down with a summer cold. Aren't they the worst? So much for breathing!

There's been much coloring going on. The pic above is detail from a page in The Secret Garden, by Johanna Basford. This booger was so intricate, it took me a week to color it all. 

These three are from this weekend. The sugar skulls are both printable pages I used because I wanted to play with a new marker set I picked up this week without worrying that they'd bleed through to the next page. The skull with the octopus wrapped around in the back left is from The Tattoo Coloring Book by Oliver Munden an Jo Waterhouse. 

Follow me on Instagram if you're interested in more coloring (and makeup and kids and selfies and life). 

On the reading front, I've picked up my game just a tad. Right now I'm in the middle of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahesi Coates, and I am eating up every word. I'm also still listening to Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire. I really only listen to it while I'm coloring at lunch, so an hour here and an hour there. 

Finally, I jumped back into some comics this weekend. I read issues #15 and #16 of Lumberjanes which were especially delightful. I have plenty more waiting...Jem and the Holograms, Gotham Academy, and Edward Scissorhands. 

This time next weekend, we'll be on our way to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a 5-day beach vacation. I haven't been to the beach in years, and I've never been to Gulf Shores, so we're terribly excited. I may not be very active on the blog, but I'll keep you all up to speed on the sand, surf, and food over on Instagram. 

Tally ho! Have a good week, y'all! 

Images by Freepik