Tuesday, August 2 is National Coloring Book Day.  An activity once thought of as only for kids has now exploded into the mainstream with coloring books of all varieties dominating bestseller lists and coloring book parties popping up all over the place. Among its many benefits is that you are stimulating the creative part of your brain while simultaneously allowing the overstimulated part to power down.


I have found coloring to be an incredibly relaxing practice.  Add a few friends and some wine and it’s pure joy. Along with being a fun social activity, the tangible sense of satisfaction you are left with after finishing a piece of art is a great feeling.  As you can see below, framing your work takes it a step further and adds a personal dimension to your art collection. Thanks to my friend, Denise, for the beautiful photos of her framed coloring. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not use this special day as your excuse to give it a whirl. A word of warning:  it is addictive!




animal kingdom millie marrotta

 This is one of my favorite coloring books.




Here is a newly framed piece bursting with color




I love the simplicity and attention to detail in this one.


Whatever your reason for turning off your devices and tuning in with your creative side I wish you many happy hours of coloring!








Last week was cold. February cold. “Legit cold”, as my sister in Saskatoon, Canada calls it. Walking down Spruce street to the hardware store to buy brick anchors I was feeling the cold in every bone and with every step. Then I began to see window boxes with winter glory in spite of the bitter wind, and color eased the miserable cold with its striking beauty and vibrant joy.














I went to buy catnip at a garden store last week for my parent’s cat, Eli. He needed a distraction from boring life inside my apartment when he is use to roaming the cottage lake. In my search for catnip, I kept saying wow to each flower I saw. My wows were longer and louder as each flower seemed more stunning than the last. The colors and the shapes and the textures of the petals but mostly the amazing, vibrant, colors – so beautiful, so comforting to see after winter’s dark and cold days.





Mostly though, the vibrancy of the colors made me think about my own color theory which, since it’s safe to say, won’t be published in Elle Decor, is safe to say here. Every natural color goes together. Yes. That’s it. I think it often, but seldom say it. Most clients believe there is much more mystery to color theory. And of course there is. But when you think of colors that are seen in the natural world around us, you see that this is true. Have you ever looked at a country landscape and thought, “oh that color green in that big oak tree looks off”? Have you ever criticized a sunset for being too purple? I trust my eyes and I trust nature and those two things tell me to have fun with color and believe that they all coexist in happy harmony. From the prairies of Saskatchewan, to the underwater world of the Caribbean, to the many shades of my beloved St. Lawrence River, to the wild flowers of the High Sierras – I have seen all the colors come together and beauty is always right there.





This doesn’t mean that colors for rooms are not selected with thoughtful care and purpose. It simply means that as you think about and choose colors, especially ones that you seen in the natural world, give yourself more freedom. Don’t worry about matching so much as carefully choosing the colors you love best.