I mentioned last week that while I was sick a while back my sister and niece brought me a get well gift that included an adult coloring book and some colored pencils.
As it turns out, I really enjoy coloring!
Did you know that coloring can be incredibly therapeutic? Just google it, there are tons of articles out there about how it is similar to meditation in that it allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment .
According to this article, ‘researchers have discovered that coloring activities help relax the amygdala – the section of the brain that is activated in situations where you feel stressed or scared.’
Do you suppose people would look at me funny if I brought a coloring book to my next dentist appointment?
In addition, according to that same article, coloring ‘opens up the frontal lobe of the brain- the home of organizing and problem solving – and focuses the mind.’
I don’t know about you, but I can certainly use more of all of the above. And I have to admit, I do feel more relaxed and less stressed while coloring. I suspect that painting furniture has a similar impact on the brain. It’s just a bit more physical labor than coloring.
Recently my niece got a new job as a manager at a Barnes & Noble, so last weekend my sister and I visited her at work. While there I found some great coloring books, like the Secret London one pictured above (and below).
I also purchased a set of 75 colored pencils. At 75% off, they only cost a little over $8 … a bargain. Although to be honest, as I’ve been using them I think I got what I paid for. The leads are broken in many of them, so as I try to sharpen them the points just keep falling off. I think I’m going to have to invest in some better pencils if I keep this up. After all, it’s supposed to be relaxing, not frustrating.
But meanwhile, the pencils came in a huge, tacky, molded plastic case. Obviously that was not going to cut it for me. So I pulled out this toolbox I picked up last summer at a garage sale.
It just needed a bit of a re-do to make it perfect for storing my ‘art supplies’ (I can call them that even though I’m just coloring, right?)
I started out by painting it with the same Homestead House Laurentien milk paint that I used on those adorable little folding chairs from last week. I had a bit leftover from that project so this was a great way to use it up. But first I added a bit of Miss Mustard Seeds’ Bonding Agent to make sure the paint would adhere well to the metal toolbox. I wasn’t sure what kind of oily residue might still be on the box, although I did scrub it down with some grease cutting dish soap first.
Once it was painted, I sanded it down to both make it smooth and to distress the edges. Then I pulled out the same Overflowing Love transfer that I used on the last toolbox I revamped.
I still had quite a few designs left in this set to choose from.
I added a section of french wording (at least I’m assuming that is French) to the front of the toolbox, and a little butterfly above it on the lid.
Then I wrapped a floral section of the transfer around the opposite corner of the toolbox.
Once I had the transfers in place I sealed the entire box inside and out with The Real Milk Paint Co’s Finishing Cream in Dead Flat. Then I used some scrapbook paper to line the inside.
So much better than a molded plastic case, don’t you agree?
If, like me, you’re looking for a way to turn off the noise in your head for a bit, consider giving coloring a try. You’ll probably need a cool toolbox to keep your supplies in too!