Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall Napkin Placecards

Ooooh...isn't it getting beautiful outside?
The leaves are changing colors and the fall weather is finally starting to break through the heat.

When I think of fall...I think of food.
(Or maybe I just always think of food.)

And what is a good meal without some cute decor to spruce up the table? Today I wanted to share these cute napkin ties that double as placecards for a fall meal:
As I was walking through a craft store, those giant wooden buttons just screamed at me to make something with them, and I think they are the perfect way to tie up some cloth napkins (with the help of twine, of course).
On each of the punched tags, I added a name and some leafy branches with some of my stamps, then added just a touch of color with a colored pencil.
The Twinery's Solid Natural twine is so perfect for fall. (But there are lots of other great fall colors available, too!)

Happy fall, y'all!
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Natural); 
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink (Rustic Cream); 
Stamps: Ink Blot Shop, LLC (Quirky Alphabet, Floral Frenzy); 
Ink: Ranger (Archival - Coffee);
Colored Pencils: Prismacolor (Dark Brown - PC946);
Tools: Fiskars (Tag Punch - XXL Lever Punch, Scissors);

Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Review :: NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is a new journaling Bible on the market, and a beautiful one at that. 

You may have seen the Beautiful Word Bible in a full-color version previously and thought that it would be great if you could add more of your own personal touches, and this coloring version allows just that. 
In the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, there are 500 verses featured in line art illustrations throughout the margins (and some on full pages) of the Bible. The line art is generally done in all black, but there are some illustrations that have both black and gray lines. There is also some artwork that has some very light/thin lines, which in my opinion will likely be hard to color...but the majority are a good line weight. 
If you have seen the Beautiful Word Bible in a full-color version, I just want to point out that while the verses that are illustrated may be the same (I only have a sample version of the Beautiful Word Bible to compare), the art is not all the same. Also to note, while the Beautiful Word Bible in a full-color version has colored text headers, this coloring version has all black text (including the headers). Both versions are single column.
You may also be curious how the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible compares to the Inspire Bible that has been so popular as a coloring Bible. In my opinion, the Inspire Bible has more detailed illustrations (very flowery and traditionally beautiful) and the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible has more of a trendy art style. Whichever art style you prefer is going to make a difference in which Bible you might enjoy most for your creative worship time. (If you have a strong preference for a particular Bible translation, that will obviously make a difference as well.)

If you are looking for a journaling Bible and like the idea of having art to color in, definitely check out the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Find all my posts pertaining to Bible art or journaling here.

Looking for great stamps to use for Bible journaling? Check out Ink Blot Shop, LLC!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Book Review :: Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

I usually wait until the end of a review to sum up how I feel about a book, but I am just going to say it up front: the new Gratitude Coloring Journal is fantastic. 

The Gratitude Coloring Journal is sold as a hardcover, but the cover is pretty unique. It is like a paperback book with two hardcover panels on the front and back covers. The corners on the open edges of the book have rounded corners. This unique cover treatment means that the spine is smaller than the open edges of the book. This cover treatment creates a sturdy cover with the flexibility to be able to lay the book open where the pages lay almost flat (perfect for getting into all the nooks and crannies when you are coloring).
The cover is not the only unique part of the Gratitude Coloring Journal. It is also unique in how it approaches the "coloring book" portion of the pages. The Gratitude Coloring Journal isn't all black and white line art as you would find in most coloring books. Some pages have colored backgrounds with black and white line art to color in, some have partially colored designs on the pages (you can fill in the rest), some have colored lines for the artwork (instead of plain black lines), and there are a few pages included where there is nothing obvious to be colored in (the pages look finished with lots of color already). The styling and artwork is just beautiful, and if you choose not to color anything in it will still be pretty to look at.

The Gratitude Coloring Journal uses 2-page spreads for each day. Most of the 2-page spreads feature a short (one paragraph) prompt that is written from the perspective of being to God, from the reader (much like a prayer). These are very short, but still very thought provoking. Like a 30-second kick in the pants. There is also a verse (or verses) to read and some lines to write/respond. The Gratitude Coloring Journal has 41 of the 2-page spreads described above. After a set of three of the previously described 2-page spreads, there is a 2-page spread with a different approach. These spreads have some open, unlined space and a simple prompt/idea on how to use it (some variation of collage, writing, and/or drawing). There are 13 of these spreads. At the end of the Gratitude Coloring Journal is one lined page for notes. If you do one entry per day, this book will take you just under 2 months to complete. 

I have been really impressed with the Gratitude Coloring Journal - inside and out. It is a great book to purchase for yourself or to give as a gift. (I would love to give a copy to each of my friends.) 
Definitely five stars. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Gift Bag {The Twinery / SRM Stickers}

I don't know if you've noticed, but to me it seems that there are a whoooole lot of birthdays happening this time of year. 
And where there are birthdays...there are gifts. 
And where there are gifts...there is a need for cute gift bags.

Enter The Twinery and SRM Stickers:
I took a plain glassine bag and jazzed it up with some birthday border stickers. Then I turned the flat glassine bag into a dimensional gift bag by folding it along the three closed edges (the same depth of fold on each side). When I opened up the bag, I just folded in the bottom corners, and voilĂ !

The finished product is perfect for giving a small gift, or even to use as a party goodie bag. And, of course, The Twinery's twine is perfect for tying (pun intended) it all together.

Happy gifting!
Twine: The Twinery (Blue Lagoon - Limited Edition); 
Bag and Stickers: SRM Stickers (Flat Glassine Bag, We've Got Your Border - Birthday); 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Review :: Color Code Bible, NKJV

When I first saw the cover image for the Color Code Bible, it brought to mind the Rainbow Study Bible that I remember my cousin having when we were younger, so it sparked my interest. If you have seen the Rainbow Study Bible, you know that the pages are filled with color - so much color that (in my opinion) you may start to gloss over the idea that color is even there...because it is everywhere. That is not the case with the Color Code Bible. The Color Code Bible is primarily black text on white pages, but there are some verses throughout the Bible highlighted with a color-blocked background. (The text remains black throughout, including the words of Christ.) 

The Color Code Bible is the NKJV version of the Bible (© 1982). The hardcover version of the Color Code Bible includes a ribbon bookmark and has a slight metallic shimmer on the hard cover image, but it is still neutral enough to be enjoyed by anyone. There is also a version available in imitation leather, which I have not seen in person.
The colors in the Color Code Bible are all linked to themes:
Green: Spiritual Growth/Living Your Faith
Blue: Prayer/Praise
Purple: Heaven
Gold: God
Red: Jesus
Navy: Sin/Evil
Orange: Cleansed of Sin/New Life

There is a fairly even distribution of colored verses between the Old Testament and New Testament within each of the seven topics. In addition to being color coded, there are introductions to the seven themes at the front of the Color Code Bible. There are other helpful sections at the front of the Color Code Bible as well, such as: "What is the Bible?", "Who Wrote the Bible?", "Why Should You Read the Bible?", "Your Color Code Bible", "Why Did God Send Us the Bible?", "About the New King James Version®", "Daily Bible Reading Plans" (with 4 different reading plans), and "The Color Code Bible Highlighted Scripture Index". These sections are all well done and written in a way that is easy to read. Each book of the Bible also has a short introduction section - introducing the author, time, key verse, and theme of the book. 

At the end of the Color Code Bible is a "My Bible Journal" section. The first page of this section has a place to record family (parents, grandparents, and siblings). After the first page, there are approximately 20 lined pages with prompts such as: "My Favorite Bible Verses", "My Favorite Songs & Hymns", "My Favorite Bible Stories", "My Favorite Foods", "My Favorite Pets", "My Favorite Games", "My Favorite Shows & Movies", "My Prayer Requests", and "Notes". There are also 4 full-color maps at the back of the Color Code Bible.

I think the Color Code Bible has just enough of the "extras" to be intriguing and to encourage study without being overwhelming or distracting for young minds.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Introducing...Floral Frenzy!

I'm excited to share that I've got a new stamp set releasing over at Ink Blot Shop, LLC!

If you follow me over on Facebook or Instagram, you've seen some of my sneak peeks:

And here is the first peek at the full "Floral Frenzy" set:
I am so excited about this set because you can use the flowers alone, with leaves, or with leaves and stems...and there are SO many different possible combinations! (This is where I could go back to math class and use a factorial or something to figure out just how many combinations are possible...but...I won't.)

I hope you love Floral Frenzy as much as I do!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Need a necklace? No problem! {The Twinery}

It's no secret that I love using twine. I use it for crafting, of course, but I also love to use it for quick and easy jewelry. (You can see some past jewelry projects I've done with twine here, here, here, and here.) I love using The Twinery's twine for jewelry because it is so soft and lightweight, and it adds a great pop of color.
Recently I was looking for a last minute addition to my outfit, so I simply grabbed my spool of Solid Mandarin twine and went to work. I started with three strands of twine, knotted it in several places along the middle section and then braided both ends. I made it extra long so that I can also wrap it around a couple times as a super skinny belt, but love using it as a multi-strand necklace as well. 

With so many colors of twine available from The Twinery's shop, I've got lots of options for additions to future outfits...and you do, too!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Labor Day Sale at Ink Blot Shop, LLC!

Ink Blot Shop, LLC is having a SALE!

No coupon code necessary - all sale prices are as marked.

Happy shopping!

Sale prices valid only through 9/7/2016 or while supplies last.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Reviews :: The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with An Adult, The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings, and The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury by Jan & Mike Berenstain

If you liked The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook, you're sure to enjoy the The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook. The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook is a hardcover cookbook that has fun, easy recipes that will be easy to create with the help of little "cubs". 

For each of the six holidays (Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July, "Fall Festivities"/Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) there are ideas for drinks, main dishes, desserts, & snacks. In addition to the cookbook aspect, The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook also has a small story that runs before each section of the book. (I must say that the story sections could have used a little bit more time in the editing department.)
Each of the 40 recipes in The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook has a large, full-color picture of the completed product on the page opposite the recipe. 

The recipes are all very easy, but I must admit that I was hoping to find recipes from scratch (rather than using "ingredients" like a bag of microwave popcorn or a can of tomato soup). Even still, there are several recipes here I am looking forward to trying (especially the "Winter Sweet Potato Soup").

At the end of The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook you will find some basic kitchen conversions (tablespoons to cups, etc.).

I love when kids are encouraged to help out in the kitchen and adding in the lovable Berenstain bears characters only makes this more appealing for kids.

The Berenstain Bears books are instant classics, as far as I am concerned. These are books that I grew up reading and the new books in the collection (even though they are now mainly written by Mike Berenstain rather than Stan and Jan Berenstain), keep in line with the Berenstain legacy. The Berenstain Bears books are books that exemplify moral character, and I appreciate that. 

In The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings, the bear cubs (including Honey) are headed off to school. Each of the cubs are excited, but also a bit nervous. What I love about The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings is that it points out that you should take your worries to God. This is a great example for kids who will be reading this book (and the parents, too!). There were several Bible verses referenced in the book, which is wonderful.

I think The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings is definitely a great choice. 

The Berenstain Bears Jobs Around Town gives a quick look at a wide variety of jobs that Brother and Sister Bear might do when they grow up. I found the voice/perspective of the book to be confusing, but other than that I enjoyed it. 

The Berenstain Bears Get Involved shows Brother and Sister Bear and the rest of the Cub Club learning about helping others in need, and they get to put their learning into action when flooding hits their town.

The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors is a take on the story of the Good Samaritan. Although I could have done without the country stereotypes in this book, I thought it was a good take on the familiar parable.

In The Berenstain Bears Gossip Gang, Sister learns about gossip - from multiple perspectives. 

In The Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag, Brother and Sister Bear learn that bragging is not a loving thing to do. I appreciate the moral of this book, but wish it had been handled in a different way. Throughout most of the book, Brother and Sister Bear are bragging, rather than learning their lesson. I wish they had learned their lesson sooner and maybe even learned some alternatives to bragging (like building each other up). I also didn't care for how Grizzly Gramps talks to Brother and Sister Bear about their bragging - he calls them "two of the biggest, bragging-est fools". In the end, however, Brother and Sister Bear start to get the idea and apologize for their bragging.

At the end of The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury is a page of questions and activities based on the 5 stories - a nice addition to some good books. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review :: Garden of Eden (coloring book)

Coloring books are great for everyone from 1 to 100 and Zondervan has come out with a new one called Garden of Eden
As you might imagine, the Garden of Eden coloring book is filled with images of flowers, plants, and animals (and Adam and Eve). There are verses from Genesis chapters 1-3 spread throughout the coloring book that go along with the images. Some of the pages feature full scenes (many on two-page spreads), while others are just a single animal or a pattern made up of smaller images. The images are printed on both sides of the pages, so if you were wanting to color something for framing you would need to make a decision on which side to use.

As I mentioned in a review for another coloring book put out by Zondervan, I noticed a few layering/design inconsistencies in the artwork that I would have preferred not to see in a coloring book put out by a major publishing house. I may have only noticed them because I work with digital design software, but I wanted to mention it just incase.

All in all, I think the Garden of Eden coloring book is a great choice and would even be a great addition to a homeschooling unit on creation. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.