I spent July through December coloring pictures for Christmas presents.  Talk about busy.  Generally I averaged about 1 a month, sometimes two.  I couldn’t believe I got what I did done.  Here are the pictures I did and what I used to color each of them.  I will probably add in other pictures I have done as well, since I am so far behind in posting what I have done.  I really do enjoy this hobby.  I have trouble seeing to cross stitch anymore and this gives me an outlet to use color and create without the stress of learning to draw.

I have watched several tutorials online.  My favorite by far is Peta Hewitt.  She is fabulous in explaining how to use pencils to color in adult coloring books.

I adore Wood Ducks.  This is the first picture I can say that I tried some realistic coloring, trying to capture the essence of the male wood duck. The female really was not a female wood duck so I didn’t do that with her.  I tried new techniques for the water and the mountains.  i tried to start to focus on shading but I still had lots to learn about highlights.  I used both polychromos and prismacolor premier pencils on this picture.  I also added a bit of a pen called Wink of Stella to give a bit a shimmer to the feathers since a wood duck has some iridescent glow to its plumage.


This picture is from the Color Me Your Way book 5.  I had to get it for the Manderin Duck.  The relative of the wood duck it is considered the most colorful bird in the world.  Again I tried to get as close to the natural bird as possible.  I looked up reference photo’s on line, and also a description of the bird on sites that detail the information so I could get coloring correct.  I am very happy with how this picture turned out.  Still losts to learn but I think my skills are improving.


My husband wanted a picture for his office.  This is the one he chose for me to do.  It was a challenge and I again used reference photo’s since he wanted a more realistic version that a fantasy coloring.  I was really happy with how the antlers worked and using the flesh colored pencils out of the polychromos line really taught me how they work and can be used. This is also out of book 5.  I think I will be getting another of this book because I really enjoy the pictures and the framing in it.


This is the Otter out of book 3.  It has a touch of fantasy color with realistic color.  I really worked hard to get shadows on the rock and give it some depth.  It was a fun picture to do.

Rooster of Plenty

This one I did For my Dad for Christmas.  He loved a chicken called Cluck-Cluck and he loves to garden.  Pull up the picture and hunt for all the different hidden pictures in it.  I had a great deal of fun to make this look realistic and remain true to the hidden fun.  The background was done with pan pastels.


Flower Garden

This picture I did for my mother.  She loves her flowers and butterflies.  I really worked with layering colors in this and to use shadows and concentrated on light source.  I also worked to make the butterflied all different and stand out form the flowers.  I worked on it during the Summer Olympics.

Deer FamilyThis one I did for my Father-in-law.  I couldn’t really get information from my in-laws on their favorite animals.  So Michael picked this one out for me.  I tried to make each member of the deer family slightly different so they would stand out.  It was challenging in spots to make sure I got the right parts defined.


Eagle Eye

This one I did for my Mother-in-law.  I choose it for her love of scouting and her sons that all participated in the scout program.  I wish I had used warm greys for the the head and not the cool greys I chose.  I tried to fix it a bit but I didn’t to loose the look of white.  not my favorite that I have done but I think there are some very nice parts to it.  I am particularly fond of the eye.

Lovey Dovey

This one I did for my daughter and my son-in-law.  It was fun to do, and I managed to get it done in a couple of weeks.

Cats Color Me books by PJC Smart

This one I did for my oldest sister.  She wanted cats.  One of my least favorite animals.  Still when I flipped through the books and the different cat choices this one stood out to me.  I had fun trying to do the cats well, get shading and shadows right.  He favorite color is blue so I knew the bowl would have to be blue.  I really like how the grapes turned out, how the windows looked.  I also used wink of stella on it to make the window panes shimmer.


This one I did for my niece.  I was running out of time for Christmas so I did a smaller picture that I could carry around with me and I could work at it when I visited my sister, and at my girls piano lessons.  I knew I wanted to use a blue background since her favorite color is also blue.  I had fun trying to make the leaves different.  I used a silver gel pen for the gilded look.

Seahorsing around

Again I ran out of time so my brother-in-law got this one I had done earlier in the year.  I did a bunch of research on some of the elements, and enjoyed trying to gradiate the colors of the water and light source in the jelly fish.  I also used wink of stella on this one in a couple of spots.

A bunch of color

This one I did earlier, the flowers made me think of my bright, animated youngest daughter.  I picked 5 colors for the flowers and just randomly colored flowers.  So much fun, and looks like it in person.

Two lovely ladies

This picture was a test of some pencils I purchased off of Amazon from Australia called Micador Colourrush pencils.  They are Peta Hewitt’s favorite budget pencils and I could see why.  on this paper they blend and layer very nicely.  I really enjoyed using them and for pictures that I won’t hang up or frame I will use more often.  Both of these are from Flower Fashion Fantasies, artist Ming Ju Sun.



More from Flower Fashion Fantasies

Pencils are either crayola, or Marco Raffine.





This one was one or the first where I really played with layering colors to get something different.







The 2nd picture (the one on the right)  reminded me of ornamental Kale.  The other two I just tried different things.  Very early coloring for the other two.






Michael and I went out on Valentine’s Day, of course we would, we love each other and have no problem going out on the day.  We went to Michael’s (The craft store), and he bought me a pen set, that I decided is more useful for card or scrapbooks than actual coloring. (They are opaque so cover up the lines and it looks sloppy, I am sure a true artist could make it look better).  He also bought me a couple of books, one Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta, which I adore, and a Michael’s exclusive with butterfly pictures which are lovely but I have little inspiration at this point with it.  I also purchased a 36 count of Faber Castel Polychromos pencils, which have become my favorite brand to use.  So much so that I have gradually increased my set to a complete 120.  I love these artist grade oil pencils.  They go on so smooth and blend and layer like a dream.  I rarely have any smearing with them, and they come to a fabulous point.  The only draw back is that you can’t put a light color on top of a dark and see it.  If that is what you are looking for in your art, you need to put a prismacolor white on top to see the white.  Otherwise, these pencils top Prisma color premier pencils by far.  I still use both, most often layering prisma color on top, but more often I use polychromos alone.


Here are a couple of pictures from Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom that I colored in March.


Seal done in blues, purples and greens.  This is the picture in which I fell in love with the polychromos pencils.  I could layer and work to get the colors I wanted so easily.


My Bunny inspired by  Easter.  I liked it better before I filled in the spaces.  I was going to do a background but never did, just lost the interest after I “ruined” it by not keeping the spaces white.  I just didn’t like the color I used.  That is how I learn though.

When I started researching, I knew I wanted a nice set of pencils, the problem is which one.  In the process I found Marco Raffine pencils, they are fairly new on the market and made in China.  For the price I couldn’t beat it and while I was researching which artist grade pencil I wanted I figured it was a good start to have.  Unfortunately my set came broken, and the pencils broken continued to break.  I followed instructions on how to sharpen and sharpening them first before use because they are coated with a wax to protect them in shipment because they are an oil based pencil.   Pencils are mad of different binders and combination of binders, wax, oil, and clay.  Artist grade pencils are expensive for a few reasons, the grade of wax or other binder, the quality and quantity of pigments, and the size of the core.  Marco Raffine are a budget pencil and as far as I can tell the only budget pencil that is oil based.  I could be wrong but I haven’t seen a student grade/budget grade oil pencil other than there.  They cores are very thin, so great for small areas.  I found mine to be scratchy and really don’t blend well.  What I did discover through my use is when I use them in the Color Me My Way books, they layer very interestingly, because I don’t get a great blend when I use them on wood it gives a very nice effect to bark.  They have become my go to pencil for that effect.   I did eventually get a set of Marco Raffine pencils for my Mother, and two daughters and they have not had the problems I had.  It was probably the supplier from Amazon and I did get a refund.   I used that refund on another set of pencils that I will discuss tomorrow. If you do get a set it is wise to sharpen them before use since they put a coating on it to protect them during shipment. I also purchased a set of 24 Koor-i-Noor tricolor pencils at Michael’s with a 50% coupon that doesn’t come around too often.  They give an interesting effect and since I am not a true trained artist I am sure I don’t use them the way I should.  My least favorite are the pencils that have black as one of the three.  The black overwhelms the other colors and makes it very muddy.

I colored my next picture from Color Me 2, the squirrel, Chipmunk and Jay, using both the tricolor and the Marco raffine pencils.  The background I did with pebbles chalk and a chalk blender that I got from my Aunt’s stash when she died.  The blender is a fixative so I didn’t have to spray it after I used it.  Unfortunately I can’t see where that blender is available, so I am teaching myself to not be afraid of using a spray fixative that I also purchased at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.  Be sure to get one that is workable after spraying that is important.  Some people use an inexpensive hair spray like AquaNet.  If you go that route know that it can cause discoloration of the picture over time, if you don’t care then don’t worry about it.


Squirrel, Chipmunk and Jay from Color Me 2 by PJC Smart

I also did a few more from Flower Fashion Fantasies From Creative Haven, Artist Ming-Ju Sun, both colored with crayola pencils.


Flower Fashion Fantasies

Flower Fashion Fantasies

As I mentioned in a long past previous post, I have had no focus for this blog.  I really didn’t know what to do.  I have been more and more hesitant about sharing personal life, not just life events but pictures of family as well.  I really don’t want as big of an internet presence as I have had in the past.  Too much family drama I suppose and I don’t need any more.

So instead I thought I would make it about my newest hobby.  One that I have always enjoyed to some extent but also one that I never really knew how to do.  I always seemed to get bored with color choices. Well, I have since learned more about how to use my preferred medium and I have taken off so to speak.  Yes I technically started before the adult coloring craze really came into being in the past year.  I have always like to color, I loved to buy new crayons but I was rather unhappy with the choice of books.  Lets face it, as fun as childrens coloring books are, they just can’t hold an interest for too long.  A couple of years ago, Michael bought me PJC Smart’s book, Color Me 2.  I slowly worked on the horse in it.  Easy choice, I love horses.  It took me awhile because asd I said before color choice bored me and I wanted more options. My mother gave me a book by Creative Haven called Flower Fashion Fantasies by Ming-Ju Sun with lovely pictures.  I still didn’t do much.  Last January I finally decided I was going to finish that horse and work more in the book my mother gave me.  In the journey I started to look up You-tube videos on how to properly use colored pencils.  That was what did it.  I learned the art of blending, shading, layering, and although I have much more to learn, this hobby has grown.  So this blog I will use to post my colorings, and maybe a word or two on the different brands of pencils I use.  So for now, enjoy my first few pictures, and see where this journey has taken me.  I think you will see a difference as my posts progress.

Flower Fashion Fantasies by Ming-Ju Sun

Flower Fashion Fantasies by Ming-Ju Sun

This Girl with the Pink flowers was the first picture I did from the book.  It was actually a very easy one as the art lends to a nice picture.  I was taught to outline in dark and color light so that is what I did, leaving the outside edges light.

Flower Fashion Fantasies by Ming-Ju Sun

Flower Fashion Fantasies by Ming-Ju Sun

The rest of these were all done early, but since I was silly and didn’t date them I can only guess that they were done in January 2016, perhaps before.  I honestly don’t remember.  Crayola pencils again since that was pretty much all I had or all I cared to use. (I did have a very small set of 24 prang, and a large set of Rose Art, Crayola has been by go to pencil for years so I didn’t dig them out.  It is possible that I used some twistable crayola pencils but I really don’t care for them so chances are slim that I ever pulled them out.

Flower Fashion Fantasies by Ming-Ju Sun

Flower Fashion Fantasies by Ming-Ju Sun

Horse from Color Me 2 by PJC Smart Finished Jan 17, 2016

Horse from Color Me 2 by
PJC Smart
Finished Jan 17, 2016

This Horse was the first Color Me Your Way picture by PJC Smart that I did.  When Michael purchased the book for me, I could not decide between book 2 or book 3, the picture of the horse on the back cove cinched the decision since I love horse.  I wanted to incorporate flames from the phoenix and the flower throughout the horse.  Nothing done on the background.  I have decided to keep it that way.


Flower Fashion Fantasies

This picture was also done early, but I tried to give a bit of effect with the leaves, giving them different color gradient.  I am starting to think more about the picture and the components.  I still have lots to learn.  The next post I will discuss pictures done through February and March of 2016, and what I have learned in the process of coloring and maybe a bit on the mediums I used.  That might be a separate post so we will see.

Flower Fashion Fantasies off of Amazon

Color Me Your Way Web Site  Also Available at Costco

I have been pondering The Law of Consecration so much over the past few years.  It has been a continual course of study but something I have pondered on and off, particularly with each time I attend the temple.  It has been back in my mind this week after reading a news report about a man, disgruntled with “the Church”* and going public with the fact that he is facing disciplinary council and facing excommunication.  Now the article is not the focus of my thoughts, but a comment from a reader that also had an axe to grind and was listing “items” that he has perceived that “the church” has given up, in his opinion, because of social pressure and one of those was the “Law of Consecration”.  I have no idea what he thought that it had, and his comment struck me as odd, because the Law of Consecration is very much in effect.  We may not be living it economically, but it is sure there spiritually.


For me I started to be more drawn to it as Collin was nearing mission age.  My prayers became more focused in consecrating my son to The Lord in his service.  Some people may think what right had I to do this, after all a mission is his choice.  It is true, a mission was and is the choice of the individual, but what was important to me was my attitude.  Could I dedicate my life as a parent to prayer, teaching, supplicating, and supporting my son to make this decision and then with a glad and joyful heart send him on that mission.  I often reflected on the example of Hannah in the Old Testament.  How she prayed for that son and promised him to the Lord if she was so blessed.  Can you imagine how much joy she felt, and how difficult it was to give that young boy over to Eli.  Just this week in reviewing 1st Samuel chapters 1 and 2 again, I am humbled by the faith of both Hannah and her husband Elkanah.  They understood the law of consecration better than I do and I wanted to have that faith in my life.

I truly believed I managed it to some degree.  When Collin left on his mission I was not a “typical” missionary mom.  Yes I shed a few tears, but over all, I was more joyful, more at peace, and trusting in God to do the best for my son and protect him on his mission.  To this day I am so frustrated when I hear of missionary moms so upset, and “freaking” out over their sons and daughters going on their missions.  Sometimes I am so frustrated to the point that I want to tell them to pray that their child can finish a complete mission because the alternative has been one of the most painful things I have gone through in my life.  To have a worthy son come home, in agony, mentally, emotionally, physically and to suffer even more from judgments as to why he did not complete a full mission.  It brought a new meaning to consecration in my life.  I never thought it would be harder to have a child come home from their mission that it was to send them out. We still don’t know why, and we may never will, but I know this much, you don’t have to serve a full 2 years (or 18 months) to consecrate your faith and love to the Lord.

Consecration is with in the heart.  It is not just a temporal law.  If it was, I think we could live it, I do believe it would be easier to give everything to “The Church”, and have what we need given back.  It is much harder to promise to give all we have in society now.  It encompasses so much more than money, it is time, talents, gifts, knowledge and I believe power.  When I say power I’m not referring to Priesthood authority, all though for men that may be part of it, but rather the Power and blessings granted to us but keeping our temple covenants.  After all that is power and power all who are endowed have access to those blessing and gifts.  If I can’t give all my heart to what ever I’m doing am I truly living this law?  I can only answer that for myself, not for anyone else.  We all have our limits, but I believe we are to test and stretch those limits frequently so we can grow.

D&C 78 is always worth reviewing, the blessing mentioned in that section and are so powerful.  Anyone that doubts that our Father in Heaven doesn’t love each and everyone of us, and wants us to share in all his blessings, need to study it, frequently.  In Relief Society on Sunday a sister shared a scripture from The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 32:9

But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

Notice the word consecrate in conjunction with Prayer.  That everything we do in the Name of the Lord we need to pray and he will consecrate our efforts.  What a marvelous blessing. It doesn’t matter how much we can do, but if we do it in the manner prescribed by Nephi we will be blessed.  What a great comfort. Imagine how much anxiety, depression, stress,and fear can be relieved if we can do this?  I brings hope to the soul that with faith we can do it.  We can change our hearts to be more consecrated to God, we can become more Holy, pure, dedicated. I know that is what I want, and I will be doing more study, and apply more concentrated effort into my searching and pondering.  I would imagine I’m a bit behind the time on this subject, but I think The Spirit leads us to what we are to learn next and this is what I need to focus my study on the next several weeks and months.

Neal A. Maxwell stated,

Frankly, it is our prospective selves we betray by holding back whatever the “part.” No need therefore to ask, “Lord, is it I?” (Matt. 26:22). Rather, let us inquire about our individual stumbling blocks, “Lord, is it this?” We may have known the answer for a long time and may need resolve more than His response.

The greatest happiness in God’s generous plan is finally reserved for those who are willing to stretch and to pay the costs of journeying to His regal realm. Brothers and sisters, “come, let us anew [this] journey pursue. (April 2002 conference)

Links about Consecration




D&C 78

1 Samuel 1

1 Samuel 2

John 17

*My usage of The Church, refers to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Michael and I have often talked about this blog and what we want to do with it. The truth is I would be doing most of the blogging and I don’t know what focus I want to give it. I have a personal blog that I haven’t updated in months, and exercise nutrition blog that my sister and I were working on when she suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and derailed both our efforts, a cooking blog, and another one that I wanted to use for gospel discussion from time to time. I find blogs useful, fun, but I want a really good focus to make it have a use that can be a benefit to others. So I have been delaying implementing this site because of that. I don’t do many pictures, but I do have lots of thoughts and ideas on a daily basis, but how much of that is worth another person’s time to read. So we shall see how this goes. What I do know, is that I want to avoid negativity, complaining, but focus on uplifting, positive and joyful news. My gospel oriented blog has a title of “…We Seek After These Things”, I will probably continue that here, my search of those things that are lovely and of good report worthy of time and space.

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