Search Press

The Christmas Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The Christmas Colouring Book (Search Press Colouring Books) is published and was very kindly sent to me to review by Search Press Publishing. The book itself is paperback and A4 in size with a glue-bound spine. The images are printed single-sided and do not enter the spine. The paper is a good thickness and bright white with a little tooth meaning you can use just about any colouring medium you fancy. My water-based pens shadowed and bled a little but this isn’t an issue because there is no image on the reverse. I found it very easy to blend and shade with my Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. This book is part of a series and each book starts with 7 double-sided pages of coloured images that are contained within the book and then changes to single-sided black line images. This book contains images of all things Christmassy. From traditional to more modern, the images contain everything from presents to Father Christmas, snowmen to wreathes, Christmas puddings to Christmas trees and stockings and at the back there are even two pages of Christmas themed letters. This book is unlike most other colouring books and is more of a collection of similarly themed images rather than a cohesive book that tells a story. Many of the pages consist of a number of small images grouped together on the same page that aren’t especially related to each other. To begin with, I found this quite off-putting because I love books that tell a story, however, the images are very nice and are great for practising blending and shading with coloured pencils and alcohol markers because the images are printed single-sided. This book contains over 80 Christmas designs.

In terms of mental health, this book doesn’t have an awful lot of impact on it, though if you love Christmas, it’s sure to increase your festive spirit. Because of the variety of image sizes, it’s a good book for those of you with fluctuating conditions because if you can’t focus much you can just spend a few minutes colouring one of the smaller images and then complete the larger images on days where you’re able to concentrate a bit more. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is medium/thin so you don’t need perfect vision or fine motor control to be able to stay within the lines. The images vary in intricacy and detail levels with some having lots of small spaces and others being much larger, open designs. This is a lovely addition to any colouring collection and is great for practising colouring techniques.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – The Christmas Colouring Book (Search Press Colouring Books)
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Christmas-Colouring-Book-Elaine-Hamer/9781782213505/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tip pens.

Guest Post – Tangle Wood Book Launch

Hi, I’m Joe, Lucy’s partner, and I’m writing this because last night I went to a book launch for Tangle Wood, on Lucy’s behalf. She was sent the invitation a little while ago and I knew she was upset about not being able to attend so we decided I could go in her place to thank Jessica Palmer (illustrator of Tangle Wood) and Search Press Publishers for the book and their publicity in regularly sharing her review.

On arrival at Shepherd’s Bookbinders in London, I was presented with a glass of bubbles and quickly managed to strike up a conversation with a member of Search Press, who turned out to be Lucy’s email contact; she was also the person who found Lucy’s blog originally and requested the review. It’s always nice to put a face to a name! When I told her I was representing Colouring In The Midst Of Madness, she instantly knew who Lucy was and remembered the review she’d written. I was then taken straight over to Jessica and introduced as being related to “that review you really like”. Jessica told me how much she liked the review and how much it means knowing that something she has created is helping someone. I felt such pride at knowing how much other people love Lucy’s review and knowing how happy those comments would make her.

It was then speech time, which was mostly what you’d expect from a speech, Jessica’s backstory, interests, and what led her to where she is now – creating a papercutting book and the first of two adult colouring books. When she started talking about her target colourers – primarily female, stressed out people who lead busy lives and are looking for something to help them calm and de-stress, she mentioned me (which I was not expecting) and asked me to talk about Lucy’s conditions and how colouring has helped her. I explained about Lucy’s anxiety and how she wouldn’t have coped with London (I barely cope with London) and that colouring helps her to calm down, at which point, thankfully, she took the speech back over and went on to finish thanking people.

I spent the rest of the evening mingling, chatting to Jessica’s family, a couple of her friends from the BBC and the lovely people from Search Press. I then got chatting to the Store Manager who was hosting the event about how you forget old-fashioned bookbinding stores even still exist and I was surprised by the sheer number of different types of white paper and binding styles – no wonder adult colouring books are so varied with this amount of choice available.

The evening wound down and as everybody was making their way home, I ended up walking back to the station feeling very proud of Lucy and happy that I went because I had a really nice time. The people from Search Press and Jessica were all lovely, kind and friendly and I’m looking forward to Lucy hopefully being invited to the next book launch for Tangle Bay which we’re working towards her being able to attend herself.

If you’d like to read Lucy’s highly regarded review of Tangle Wood, you can find it here.

Tangle Wood: A Captivating Colouring Book With Hidden Jewels – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Tangle Wood: A Captivating Colouring Book with Hidden Jewels is illustrated by Jessica Palmer and published and kindly sent to me by Search Press Publishing. I’ll start off by saying that this is one of the most beautiful colouring books that I’ve ever seen and it’s now firmly in my list of favourite books. It’s somewhat similar to the books created by Millie Marotta and Johanna Basford but it has a unique style of its own and seamlessly blends animals, plants and zentangle into a stunning work of art that you’ll be clamouring to colour by the end of this review. The book itself is square (slightly smaller in size than other square books) and softback (it’s not especially bendy so it’ll keep protected in a bag if you transport your books but also isn’t rigid and hard). The pages are thick, off-white and lightly textured and the 75 stunning images are printed double-sided. The outlines of each picture can be seen through the pages so I assumed that pens would be a no-go in this book but actually, I experienced no bleeding when using my water-based fineliners so these should be fine for you to use (always test on an inconspicuous area to avoid ruining any designs). Pencils add colour smoothly and because the paper is textured you can add plenty of layers so you’ll be able to blend and shade beautifully. Some of the images are single pages and others are double-page spreads and the book is relatively tightly glue-bound so some of the image near the middle is lost into the spine and it does take some stretching of the spine to be able to get it to lie flat or stay open without being held. With time though, I’ve found that spines like this do loosen up and with a book like this, it’s so worth the wait so don’t be put off, just be patient and keep working the spine so that you can reach the middle of the images.

This book is truly beautiful and the images are unlike anything else I’ve seen because they’re so detailed, patterned and charming. I hope you’ll get some of the atmosphere through the images attached at the bottom but truly you need to see this book to realise just how wonderful it is. If you like colouring nature images that are highly detailed then you’ll just love this book. It takes you on a journey rather than being a collection of similarly themed images. You start off seeing some of the jewels that have been hidden within the wood and are greeted by a large tree and a friendly looking fox, you discover a gingerbread house and walk past all sorts of species of birds. You walk further into the trees and happen upon all manner of woodland creatures including badgers, rabbits, foxes, deer and hedgehogs, you encounter a family of owls and a kingfisher who’s caught his lunch. By the end of the walk you’ve reached what’s probably the heart of the wood and night has fallen and your path is lit by a smiling full moon. This book is so much more than a colouring book. It tells a story, it has hidden elements in the form of jewels and jewellery pieces and it sparks your imagination and creates a wonderful world of escapism. The images are highly detailed and intricate and many encompass typical zentangle patterns that you can either colour between so you’re colouring teeny tiny sections or colour over to create patterned blocks and sections. Some of the images aren’t complete or have large sections around them that have been left blank and while I was confused by these at the beginning and it felt a little unfinished on certain pages, after reading the introduction page it explained that these spaces are left so that you can add your own details, backgrounds, and to continue the picture on in your own way. I think this feature is great because it means that you can add to the book or leave it without there being text in the way and detracting from your beautiful colouring. There are also a number of floral and faunal frames that are circular, square and even heart-shaped that you could either leave as they are or add to if your drawing skills are honed!

In terms of mental health, this book has a lot of detail and intricacy so it’s ideal for those of you who like complicated images that keep you distracted and focused for hours. The line thickness varies from spindly thin to medium thickness but mostly it’s thin throughout like the majority of intricate colouring books are. The line colour varies throughout and some are blackest black and others are much paler and grey. One thing to note is that the lines of some the images are kind of fuzzy and seem out of focus, I wasn’t too keen on this to begin with but as time has gone on it’s bothered me less and less and now it doesn’t worry me. It did make me think my eyes were having a problem to begin with though so do be aware of it if you have vision problems and be careful if you get migraines (like I do) as it can make you feel a little strange. That’s the only slight issue I had with the book though, it is absolutely stunning and completely captivating and the more I look through it the more I notice and discover and the more I fall in love with it. I think this book is absolutely ideal for anyone with mental health problems because it’s so natural and calming and the subject matter is really relaxing and beautifully drawn. This book contains hours and hours of enjoyment and I’m sure it’s set to become a bestseller because it’s so gorgeous so if you’re wanting a copy I’d get your hands on one soon before everyone catches on to how unmissable this book is. I for one, am hoping that Jessica will be creating a new book soon because her artwork is beautiful and an absolute joy to colour! The images below are coloured with Marco Fine Coloured Pencils and Stabilo Point 88 fineliners. If you’d like to get a copy of this wonderful, woodland treasure hunt follow the link to Amazon Tangle Wood: A Captivating Colouring Book with Hidden Jewels