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Coloring Book Zen

A Little Love Note from Stacee:

Now that the holidays have come to a close, I find myself wanting to sit around in my jammies and relax before school starts up again and our schedules go back to being overwhelming.

I always try to stay mindful and savor the moments in life where we are afforded a few moments to slow down the grueling day-to-day pace. Now I especially make an effort to savor these serene moments with my children, but I realized, in writing this and thinking about this journey, that I also have many memories from my childhood that I have saved and regularly reflect on. For example, I have vivid memories of laying on the floor with my mom and coloring in coloring books. Now, these weren’t the fancy schmancy ones you see today — it was probably a Disney Princess coloring book or something with movie characters like Thumper from “Bambi.” At that point in time I was occupied with trying to color within the lines and making my best attempts at shading — then I’d look over at my mom’s coloring book page. In my little kid head, I felt like I’d just completed a masterpiece. But moments later, when I’d look to my mom’s artwork on her coloring page, I would feel so discouraged.

My mom always managed to make a simple coloring book page look like an art piece worthy of a gallery storefront window. My mom was an artist, although she would never have described herself that way. Her mom, too, was an artist. I guess you can say the love of creative expression runs in the family. My sister had similar comparison experiences with our Mom, and nowadays we fondly reminisce and laugh about those moments together. No matter how we tried, we could never measure up to my mom’s artistic skills.

The most important part, by far, was the feel of those lazy days, and all of the art projects that she brought into our lives. She’d teach us projects like painting eggs, baking cookies, stringing popcorn and cranberries, making paper chains to decorate the Christmas tree, cutting out our book covers from paper grocery bags and painting them to our liking, and cutting up potatoes to make stamps for handmade wrapping paper. All of these little project and memories left their mark on me and led me to a life I love where I get to share that same joy of art and creativity with children.

Today, I would like to invite you to spend a few quiet hours with your children coloring. We have a beautifully illustrated coloring book we’ve created just for you to thank you for being part of our lives and sharing your most precious gifts with us — your children. We’ve even made the book fancy (no Disney princesses — or copyright issues — here!) today it’s all about gratitude, mandalas, and embracing these zen moments. Stay in your jammies, turn off your phone, channel a simpler time when all of the daily distractions didn’t exist and just be. These are the moments your children crave and will remember for a lifetime.

Wishing you all the best in the coming year.

Love,
Stacee

Now how can we turn a coloring book into an afternoon of quality time?

Here are some fun options!

Option #1: Get Comfy & Creative!

The word “comfort” means different things to different people. Maybe for you, it’s the moment you get to take your work shoes off. For some people, it’s when they get to loosen their tie or unbutton the top button of their dress shirt. Or, for some ladies, it’s that moment of sweet release when you can take off that too-tight bra and actually breathe again. We all have that one thing at the end of our day that leads us to comfort. That one thing is typically different for each person and their individual needs, but there’s one thing we can agree on.

Pajamas are frickin’ comfortable.

Let’s be real, it’s in the design. They’re soft, stretchy, unrestrictive, and really just perfect. I hear it all the time with women discussing leggings or yoga pants — “They’re practically pajamas!” They’re the epitome of comfort.

Yes, we know they’re made for “bedtime,” but they don’t have to be! Instead, at your next adult get together, invite people to arrive in their pajamas. You might get a little pushback at first, but people will likely be on board. Everyone loves being comfortable! Ditch the makeup, the dress up, and the propriety — have everyone come comfortable and lazy. Set the scene with hot cocoa, apple cider, or tea, too! If you have the type of friends that love to make desserts, let them bring some fabulous sweet treats! However you go about it, give people the freedom to fully relax together.

I know, I can hear you asking, “And then what?”

Then — and here’s the simple part — color. Oh yeah, I’m talking coloring books. We have a free printable for you in this post, or you can buy your own. Whatever you feel like, simplify your group activity and in turn, give people the opportunity to simplify their brain activity. We all need time in our daily lives to slow down and do simple things that are positive and creative. Studies are showing that there are legitimate and long-lasting health benefits to coloring books. You deserve to reap those benefits. It’s easy! Grab some crayons, markers, or colored pencils, and get to creating!

Want to go a step further? Make a nourishing face mask together! There are only four ingredients, it takes less than five minutes to make, and leaves your face feeling so soft and rejuvenated. Grab some old rag towels and add a fun “spa” twist to your comfy and creative day! With only fifteen minutes, this mask lets your beautiful skin shine bright!

Option 2: Host a Classic Sleepover!

If you want to spread the joy of coloring to a whole gaggle of girls, have a few of your child’s friends come over for a classic sleepover! Let them gather together and see the breadth of their creativity represented on a page! One of the beautiful things about coloring books is that the lines of the design create a structured guideline to play with — but what happens within those lines, that’s the magic. Every person can look at the same black lines on a piece of paper and see something completely different and unique. When kids get their hands on coloring pages they create worlds, color combinations, stories, and truly start to show off their creative spirit. When they get together and express that same wild and wonderful creativity, their individuality shines bright!

Our teachers here at Dragonfly Design talk about this breadth of creativity all the time! We love watching kids take the structure of a project and make it uniquely their own. They get these grandiose and gorgeous ideas, and we love being the helping hand for them bring these ideas to fruition. Embracing their individuality and giving them a constructive space to let it shine is so rewarding. We’re hoping to share a little bit of that exciting creative energy and inspiration with you and your loved ones today! Nab this free coloring book below and put the “party” in sleepover party!

Option #3: Gather the Girls!

Girl’s nights are fabulous and always worthwhile. Have you found that maybe your girls could use a little bit of something new? It happens — we figure out what we love to do together and we stick to it! Now I’m not saying to kick all of the routine things to the curb. This isn’t about subtraction, ladies! It’s about addition! Let’s add something new and fun to girl’s night and add something that legitimately makes our lives better! We’re all grown here — we know life gets wild and stressful. Heck, some months it just stays wild and stressful. We need our girl’s nights for that moment of respite from the rigor of life. We deserve internal peace and quiet, and one quick and easy way to get that is through the serene, meditative process of coloring. It’s rhythmic, creative, and unique to you. As we mentioned before, studies are showing that there are legitimate and long-lasting health benefits to coloring books. Bring these benefits to your girlfriends!

And don’t forget our face mask DIY! As we said at the top of this article, it might be fun to make a nourishing face mask together! There are only four ingredients, it takes less than five minutes to make, and leaves your face feeling so soft and rejuvenated. Grab some old rag towels and add a fun “spa” twist to your comfy and creative day! With only fifteen minutes, this mask lets your beautiful skin shine bright!

Do you have any more ideas for where to incorporate the peaceful and creative practice of coloring? Share them with us below! We may give you a shout out on our social media pages! We can share the love of creativity together!

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Stacee Gillelen

Mother of four, artist, and founder of Dragonfly Designs. After my second daughter was born, I left my career in banking and fell in love with the art of jewelry making, and found that I just couldn’t stop spreading the joy of it to others.

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