The Organic Painter by Carne Griffiths

Coffee, tea, alcohol, flame, ice, etc. In this book, you will explore non conventional and easily accessible ways to create art and unwind your creativity. If the title gave you the idea of pesticide free painting, nope, this is not that kind of organic.

What I liked the most about this book, is that it explains in detail the process Carne Griffiths uses for creating his amazing paintings. The way he combines inks and tea to create a free-form organic splatters, and then how he combines it with pencil and ink drawings, it’s almost magical. I like how it looks messy and random but at the same time precise and organized.

You can check out his website to get a better idea of what I’m talking about. If you like his tea and ink creations and want to try it as well, then this book is totally for you.

This is definitely great for those who like to create art in a more spontaneous and loose style. It is also perfect for stimulating creativity and developing your mark making skills. In my case, I loved it because he uses unconventional materials and I’m all about experimentation! So for those free souls that anything in their home can potentially become a tool for mass creation, this is your thing.

Couldn’t resist and had to try it before posting my review. Let me tell you, It was FUN, it made my brain work in mysterious ways. I added my own style to it and voilΓ‘. Not bad for my first try, don’t you think? πŸ˜€
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Sweet Remedies by Dawn Combs

Sweet Remedies by Dawn Combs book review (book cover image)

Hi friends! This was indeed a sweeeet book. I keep (more or less constantly) a low-carb diet because carbs make me super tired! I get food coma, sleepy and difficult to think clearly after having a pasta carbonara. I use way less sugar than before (spoiler: tea tastes way better without sugar, once you get used to it, and everything tastes sweeter than before, sometimes disgustingly so).

So you may ask, why did you request a book about sweet remedies?. Because I use honey as body nourishment, as a substance full of nutrients and healthy benefits. I was just interested about other ways to prepare honey and this book went way beyond my expectations.

I really liked how it is presented. First there’s Dawn’s story and how, as it is usually the case, a health issue (in this case infertility) paved the way towards what now is a honeybee farm where she and her husband make use of their herb garden and honey to prepare honey spreads, syrups, honey boosters, etc. In this book, she shares recipes and techniques learned throughout her 13 years of experience.

The book is divided into 3 parts. The first part explains how honey is made, properties, history, healing qualities and instructions for making herbal honey preparations (infused honey, oxymels, electuaries, pills,etc). Really liked that it explains how to choose or grow herbs and honey and a guide to suitable plants for each preparation, in order to get the best benefits from each.

The second part is about recipes. Lots and lots of recipes for different kinds of ailments or as health boosters. What I specially like is that each recipe comes with Dawn’s commentary and an explanation of how each herb contributes or affects in the preparation. For example, The Pain Relief Honey Spread recipe includes wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) and explains how this herb is an opiate-level pain killer without the side effects. I really love that it’s not just instructions, but clear explanations on how each ingredient aids with the body or interacts with other substances.

The third and last part put a smile on my face. It’s about helping the bees and becoming a beekeeper. Sustainability is another great aspect this book focuses on, from explaining the importance of growing your own herbs and making sure you are not depleting plant sources, to instructions for making a bee fountain and supporting the bee community. Loved this book!.

Miss Honeybug drawing
HONEYBUG’S
RECOMMENDATION
  • Good for those interested in natural remedies.
  • Lot’s of recipes for all kinds of ailments or as a health boost.
  • Dawn Combs studied with Rosemary Gladstar.
  • If you are interested about starting your own beefarm and making your own honey remedies.

*I requested an eArc from Storey Publishing and will buy a paper copy because this is gold.

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Creative Watercolor by Ana Victoria Calderon

Book cover

Hello friends! Today’s book review is about watercolors for the very beginners. Like, the very beginners who just bought their set of watercolors, brush and paper (please, medium quality, nothing too cheap meant for kids. The future you will thank you for that).

Actually, even better if you haven’t bought anything yet, as this book explains really well the tools you will need and the different options you can choose from. For example, pros vs.cons of tube, pan and liquid watercolors along with recommended brands.

This is a project-based book with step by step instructions and plenty of images that will guide you through the process. It has a section for warm-ups and basic techniques to get you started. Once you are comfortable with with the basics, you can try the projects from the next sections.

Projects consist of simple stylized objects (modern watercolors approach, no realism here) which makes them easy to complete. They are grouped in “flowers and foliage”, “butterflies and other critters”, “fruits, veggies and nuts” and “lettering”. It gives plenty of sample alphabets to choose from. With all the lessons learned in this book, you should be able to create more elaborate watercolor projects and beautiful illustrations, greeting cards or any other crafty project. A fun way to get you started into this popular media.

Drawing of Miss Honeybug
HONEYBUG’S RECOMMENDATION
  • Good for beginners.
  • For the weekend hobbyist and as art therapy.
  • Projects suitable to enjoy with kids.
  • If you want to add modern watercolors to your crafts or designs.

*I requested an eArc from Quarto Publishing Group so that I can drool, I mean, review this book.

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Blog updates chat: Perfectionism and Procrastination

Decorative watercolor image: Ball creature with cute eyes smiling, looking straight at you through a keyhole. Some trees and more ball creatures on the background.

Hello sweeties, how are you?. It’s been a while since the last time I talked to you. I’m perfectly fine, maybe even better than the last time I made a post! So the reason I haven’t posted is something very common indeed: Perfectionism and Procrastination. Today I want to tell you how they can hinder your growth and what can you do about it.

We all know that perfection doesn’t exist, yet we strive for it. Sometimes, it leads us to disappointment and feelings of “not being good enough”. Other times, it paralyzes us.

Have you heard the term “Analysis paralysis”? That’s what happens when we over-analyze a situation, making it more complex than what it really is. As a result, we end up with so many variables that it’s impossible to make a decision. In the end, no choice is ever made. Nothing happens.

I believe procrastination is the side-kick of perfectionism. When we start thinking about all the blurry steps we need to take to achieve something, we feel overwhelmed. It’s like saying: “I don’t think I have what it takes (insert blurry list of unreal requirements) to do X today” and then we start doing the dishes while pretending the deadline doesn’t exist.

So, over the past weeks I have been thinking (and reading) about how to tackle both issues at once, here is my first aid kit:

  1. Create habits
    • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a good read
    • Start small, but be consistent. Consistency is THE key.
  2. Organize
    • When overwhelmed by tasks, take a breath and do an Eisenhower Matrix (Urgent vs. Important)
    • Keep a wall calendar where you can clearly see your tasks (DIY erasable calendar)
    • Set your priorities straight, instead of saying “I don’t have time to do X”, make time for it!. I recommend Laura Vanderkam’s TED talk.
  3. Motivate yourself
    • Our brain resists change, that’s a fact, but we can coerce it to cooperate if we bribe it!. Set tiny goals at first and give yourself a reward right away after finishing your task. Tiny goals, tiny rewards. Long goals, small “milestone” rewards and big one at the end
  4. Just do it!
    • It actually works. I have seen it in arts and sports as well. When you are in front of a white page, it’s scary and your brain tells you you’ll mess it up. What I have learned is: FAIL ON PURPOSE. Write a few crappy paragrahs with typos and usnaihd blahe. Just keep writing, realize that imperfection is part of the process, and edit later.

That’s it! I started applying these steps to my Instagram account where I share mostly art. It has worked amazingly well, so I will start applying them to my baby blog which I love so much and neglected in pursue of a perfect child. I have so many books I need to share with you!! So. many. awesome. books. Be prepared πŸ˜‰

Take care and have a wonderful day!
Bug

The New Color Mixing Companion by Josie Lewis

The New Color Mixing Companion:
Explore and Create Fresh and Vibrant Color Palettes with Paint, Collage, and Mixed Media–With Templates for Painting Your Own Color Patterns
by Josie Lewis

Keywords: non-fiction, arts and crafts, watercolor, acrylic, collage, paper, hobbies, how-to, color, beginners and intermediate, step-by-step, visual, projects

*Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 4th 2018
by Quarry Books

This book is all about colorful projects and having fun while learning how to mix colors in beautiful ways. It has a clear introduction to color theory and mixing techniques. I got specially interested about the “mother method” to achieve harmonious color shifts.

Projects include acrylic, collage and watercolor. Each one comes with a bit of theory or art history, skill level, skills learned, materials, time to complete and (my favorite) mess level. Step-by-step instructions and process photos make it suitable for beginners but this is definitely a great book for more advanced artists was well.

I appreciate the uplifting mood this book has. In between projects there are bits of information for artists: talent, failure, flow neuroscience and Lewis’ emotional and inspiring story about her art journey. The dash of humor and playfulness in each lesson matches the vibrant rainbow colors from the projects. My favorite one was “The Classic Schmear”.

“Watercolor, I shake my fist at you! (But I love you, never leave me)”

-Josie Lewis, The New Color Mixing Companion

I loved everything about this book, I just wished the “mother method” was further explained. There’s only a couple of lines explaining how to create it without process pictures and it can be confusing, specially for beginners. If you like rainbow colored projects and are ready to paint or cut repetitive shapes to create beautiful patterns, this is absolutely for you.

*I got my copy from the publisher, that doesn’t affect my review.

Watercolor painting: dark circles that, when they overlap, change to vibrant colors.

This is inspired by one of the techniques from the book. Probably because all projects were so colorful, I chose the only one who had mostly gray tones, haha!! oh, the irony.

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Quick and Healthy Keto Zone Cookbook by Don Colbert

Fooood, love it, I even love painting food. I got interested in Keto around a year ago but it was such a big diet change, that I kept it as a low-carb diet. I can see improvement already and that’s why I have kept following it. I still get cravings from time to time, so I have been looking for yummy recipes without lots of carbs, which takes me to keto cookbooks like this one:

Quick and Healthy Keto Zone Cookbook: The Holistic Lifestyle for Losing Weight, Increasing Energy, and Feeling Great
by Don Colbert

Keywords: cookbook, special diets, keto diet, lifestyle, health and diet,

*Hardcover, 224 pages Published January 8th 2019
by Worthy Books

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Colorways: Watercolor Flowers by Bley Hack

Hi there! I’m finally bringing a review post! wohoo! I have so many books I have read recently but haven’t made the time to sit down and do reviews. So, let’s start with some art books this week and then I’ll move to YA fiction and non-fiction! ready? Here we go!

Book information and cover image

Colorways: Watercolor Flowers:
Tips, techniques, and step-by-step lessons for learning to paint whimsical artwork in vibrant watercolor
by Bley Hack

Keywords: non-fiction, watercolor, hobbies, how-to, arts and crafts, beginners, step-by-step, visual, projects

*Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 18th 2018
by Walter Foster Publishing

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Heir of Doom by Jina S. Bazzar

Time goes fast, oh so fast. I reviewed the first book of The Roxanne Fosch Files back in April 2018 and here we have the next title of the series and I must tell you, It doesn’t disappoint AT ALL.

Heir of Doom:
(The Roxanne Fosch Files #2)
by Jina S. Bazzar

Keywords: fiction, YA, fantasy, romance, paranormal, strong female MC.
*Kindle Edition, 374 pages Published February 20th 2019
by Creativia

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The Mystery Blogger Award

WHAT IS MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD?
β€œMystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma (creator of this award) @ okotoenigmasblog

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Calligraphic Drawing by Schin Loong

Artsy weekend, time for me to tell you about all these lovely art books I have been trying out. Today is all about calligraphy but, nope, it’s not about alphabets!.

Calligraphic Drawing:
A how-to guide and gallery exploring the art of the flourish
by Schin Loong

Keywords: non-fiction, educational, calligraphy, flourishing, illustration, tutorial, step-by-step, how-to, visual.
*Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 13th 2018
by Rockport Publishers

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