RHYS BOWEN: Rhys: For my birthday last month my daughter Clare sent me three coloring books. Adult coloring books (no, there were no racy pictures to color, although that may be the next step) but complicated designs that require lots of concentration.
I gather coloring has become a BIG THING. There are coloring clubs in the same way that there are book clubs and quilting circles. I can see it would work well as an activity that one could do mindlessly while chatting with friends. As long as a little wine and nibbles are involved, I’m all for it.
Given all the craft-centered cozy mysteries there are, I just wish I had a little time to write "Color Me Dead." I'm sure somebody will soon!
So I’m dying to know who else has taken up coloring as an activity and whether you find it works to relieve tension. And if not coloring, what? I know some people quilt, some knit, embroider. Do tell all, dear Reds and Readers: what do you do to wind down, relieve tension and indulge in playfulness?
HALLIE EPHRON: Coloring would give me an anxiety attack. I'm no better at staying within the lines than I was when I was 8. I like to play bridge -- does that count? And read the bridge column. And the comics in the newspaper. If it weren't for the bridge column and the comics, I could easy go with e-only news.
LUCY BURDETTE: Oh my coloring, how did this become a thing again? Who thinks up these new trends? Right now my mother-in-law is very sick and several people are coloring in her room--and finding it very stress-reducing. I would rather read, if I can concentrate or have something gripping. But I love COLOR ME DEAD--Maybe it's already in production Rhys?
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Kaye had a great post on the coloring craze recently! I must confess I'm curious. I picture adult coloring like monks making mandalas — very Zen. I guess I should try it! But Lucy, I'm with you — I think I'd rather read or take a walk.... Lately to reduce tension I've been taking a lot of walks. That's not exactly playful, though, is it... Hmmm.... Maybe coloring is worth a try. I think we have some glitter pens somewhere.....
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I'm afraid..I cannot even face this . It makes me anxious, and I have to say I have no desire to color at all. All those little blank spaces? Not at all. It's anxiety-INDUCING to me . Is there a right way to do it? What do I get when I'm finished? A pretty picture that I did not design? Then what DO I do with it? ::Shaking head:: I agree about talking walks, that's one of my favorite things. But coloring? What do I do to relive stress? I will let you know when I come up with something.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: I was intrigued by Kaye's coloring book post, too, and bought one, and some markers. Have I colored a single picture? No. When exactly did I think I would do this? Sigh. It's a lovely idea, though, and I loved to color when I was a kid, so the concept is soothing in a nostalgic way. But if I was sitting somewhere with time to kill, I would be reading, something, anything, always. And if I could manage to do something fairly mindless with my hands, I'd work on my completely neglected quilting project... Too many things, not enough time.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: If I were going to reduce stress via making "artwork," I think I'd do paint-by-numbers. At least then you get a kitschy picture to frame and hang. As a matter of fact, you could do an entire wall of ironic retro "art" projects - those colored-string-around-nails pictures of owls, the crushed-crystal-inside -the-outlines poodle dogs, macrame hangings... if I had a midcentury aesthetic going on in my house, I would definitely do it. But coloring books? I'm afraid they seem pointless, which is probably a sad comment on the adult mind. Just picturing myself sitting at the table and coloring, I can feel my anxiety level rising - I'm wasting time! I could be doing something I need to do.
Knitting and needlepoint at least lets you pretend you'll have something useful at the end. And I enjoy board games and card games, but the fun part is socializing (and trash talking) with the other players. Maybe that's what would make coloring fun for me - do it with a group of people. With cocktails. Drunk competitive coloring sounds like a lot of fun.
RHYS: Anyone up for drunk-competitive coloring? So who has tried coloring as a relaxing occupation? I am still not sure whether I will ever take to it. They now make small books and I can see doing it on a long plane flight (but would I look stupid sitting on a plane coloring?) I still think that kitting or crochet will be my choice of mindless activity when I want busy-work to do with my hands on long evenings or plane flights. Any other suggestions, Reds?