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Monthly Archives: July 2018
Purrder She Wrote: A Cat Cafe Mystery (Cat Cafe Mystery Series)
By: Cate Conte
Rating: 5 of 5
This is the second in a series of books by Cate Conte. The first, “Cat About Town”, set the series up and introduced the characters. While “Purrder She Wrote” can be read stand-alone, I recommend reading the series in order as it will assist you in understanding the characters. It gives their history in the first book and you can see the growth of each of them from book to book.
Maddie James has set up her new Cat Cafe. It is opening day and while the cafe is still undergoing changes (especially to the scheduling system!), she wants to take advantage of the end of the tourist season on the New England coastal island before the weather changes.
It doesn’t take very long before a murder has occurred and Maddie gets pulled into the investigation. I really appreciate that the natural flow of why this happens versus something artificial or having our sleuth start investigating in a way that hampers the on-going police investigation.
Arthur Rackham – Make your own art masterpiece
By: artist David Jones and selected by Daisy Seal
Rating: 5 of 5
This is one of the more recent releases in the series of “Make Your Own Art Masterpiece” coloring books from Flame Tree. The designs in this book are based on the artwork of famed illustrator Arthur Rackham. The artwork is based on a variety of his works, including: “Aesop’s Fables”, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (a favorite of mine), a variety of fairy tales, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes and more. The illustrations have converted beautifully and, while detailed, will be much fun to color.
There are 45 line drawing designs to color. The designs were chosen by Daisy Seal and were illustrated by David Jones. The detail of the subject matter of each design is on the opposite facing page. There is a thumbnail of a small portion of the design with some color showing.
The inside flaps at the front and back of the book have black and white line drawings which can be colored as well The flaps are quite smooth but will accept various forms of color medium. The inside of the actual cover is left white which is too bad as it could have been used as a coloring opportunity as well.
Enchanting Fairies Coloring Book
Published By: Julia Rivers/Storytroll
Rating: 5 of 5
This is a coloring book published by Julia Rivers/Storytroll. Unlike many of their other books, this one does not designate the artist who is responsible for the illustrations. It could be that more than one individual was involved; however, the designs have a consistent look and feel and present a cohesive coloring experience.
The designs are cute and have a different level of detail to finish. Some of the designs have more of a background than others. While some of the design that are more “simple” seem just that, for many colorists, it provides an opportunity and a canvas to create their own additions to the design.
In the past, I would have voted “simple” but more recently, I have been learning how to and practicing my drawing on projects that I am working on. I now appreciate having both complex and simple backgrounds in my colorng books.
Incredible Insect Designs Coloring Book
By: Marty Noble
Rating: 5 of 5
The designs of insects in this coloring book are highly stylized. I see influences of both Art Deco and Art Nouveau within the book. As I enjoy both of these art genres, a coloring book of insects (which is not normally my cup of tea) has become a favorite of mine.
There are many types of “bugs” to enjoy, so if you have a favorite, it might just be included. The book hasn’t changed my opinion of the real deal versions of some of them though there are a number I live with because they do so much good in the garden (not grasshoppers who eat all my veggies!)
The designs have a fairly high level of detail with full backgrounds. They are not intricate or hard to color but can take some time to finish. I’ve included an image of one of my first coloring projects from my original copy of this book (several years ago.) I used just Sharpies on the project and had a fun time of it.
I’ve noticed that the paper quality seems to change quite frequently on the Creative Haven line. Because of that, if you buy one of these books, it may be slightly smooth or slightly rough depending on when and where it was printed. I’ve found that coloring medium, including pencils, work similarly with both slightly rough and slightly smooth paper from Creative Haven. In this case, my coloring book pages are slightly smooth. I purchased this book some time ago so a book today may be slightly different
Believe Me: A Novel
By: JP Delaney
Rating: 4 of 5
I was surprised by the S&M plot line of this book. From the book blurb, I thought the book was simply a mystery thriller. While the plot was definitely not a subject that I would pick up and read, based on the how well written the book was in general, I decided to finish it regardless of that portion of the plot.
The thriller and mystery are extremely well done. There were switches back and forth and one wondered about the whodunnit from beginning to end. The ending was not one that I was expecting. It was also an ending that I found complete though there were hints of something further for the main character to explore.
Fanciful Fairy Fashion coloring book
By: Meredith Dillman
Rating: 5 of 5
This is my second coloring book I have purchased by artist Meredith Dillman. In this book, she explored the fashions of fairies. She has them run a wide range of styles, including steampunk to Grecian/Roman goddess style outfits. The fairies are quite lovely and come across very individual due to the various fashion styles she has chosen to provide for them in this book.
The designs are detailed and some contain small and intricate areas to color. Each design has a framing line at the outer edge for a cleaner looking finished project.
Fabulous Fashions of the 1960s Coloring Book
By: Ming-Ju Sun
Rating: 4.5 of 5
I have a number of Ming-Ju Sun’s fashion coloring books and am always pleased to pick up another one. I was particularly interested in this book as it reminded me of when my oldest sister was dressing up during that period.
The only small nits I have with the book is that the fashion trends of that decade spanned the gamut of Jackie Kennedy’s classic and demure fashions to the mod scene of London with hip hugger skirts, wide belts and scoop neck t-shirts to the hippie scene of San Francisco with other notable fashion trends in between.
I would have loved to have seen some of the big color block fashions of the mod look but that seems to have been missing from the book, though it had a huge impace on society with the mini-skirt that models just as Twiggy sported.
Many of the fashions are represented but with lots of flowers and motif prints that Ming-Ju Sun is noted for but missing the style of prints that were actually used on the fabric of that time. I remember getting my first pair of double-knit polyester bell-bottoms as a little girl and how heavy they were to wear!
Apart from those nits, I am really enjoying the book. It does recall memories and I will enjoy coloring the book.
The designs are detailed though not really intricate to speak of. Even with the high level of detail on the clothing, the designs are easy to color and don’t require special, small nib or small brush tips to work with.
Woven in Wire: Dimensional Wire Weaving in Fine Art Jewelry
By: Sarah Thompson
Rating: 5 of 5
It wasn’t until I received the digital version of this book from the publisher that I found it was geared toward those with intermediate to advanced skills. The author, Sarah Thompson, has an earlier book which is for beginners, which is what I am. I purchased that book and am enjoying learning the process of making beautiful woven wire jewelry.
I was inspired to buy that book because of the projects in this one. I will be purchasing this book as well when I am comfortable with the results I achieve with the first book.
Victorian Christmas Colouring Book
By: The History Press
Rating: 4 of 5
This is a small format coloring book (5 x 7 pages – slightly bigger than post card size.) The designs in the book are traditional Christmas including some religious scenes and even a Santa Claus. There are trees, plum pudding, ornaments, carolers and much more.
As the coloring book is published by an English publisher, the subject matter is unsurprisingly more consistent with the holiday as celebrated in England. I enjoy the change from the traditional American style designs but wish that the book had been publisher in a standard size format.
Due to the size, the designs are more intricate and have smaller areas to color. In a larger format, it would have simply been detailed but as it is, I can’t suggest this book to anyone who has visual or fine motor skill issues. Otherwise, if you like small detail and Christmas designs, you may very well enjoy this coloring book (as I do.)
You Are Made of Stars
By: Forest Diver; Published by Julia Rivers/Storytroll
Rating: 5 of 5
I own a couple of coloring books by Forest Diver and definitely look for new ones by this talented artist. In this coloring book, the artist has created lovely designs which couple with inspirational sayings. To say inspirational is not quite enough as the quotes provide motivation, challenge and encouragement.
It’s almost worth buying for those alone but along with the quotes are some really lovely and fun designs to color.
The people in his designs have his signature style which, to me, is sometimes almost elfin in nature. The people are generally set in a natural setting with fun elements to color. The designs are detailed but not overly intricate.