Steampunk History

What Is SteamPunk is a science fiction subgenre that takes, as its inspiration, the industrial steam-powered era of Victorian times and also the American “Wild West” and imagines what would happen if steam power had remained in mainstream use. It also uses stories from fantasy worlds that use steam power. Its most recognizable features include technologies that might have been invented by the Victorians, such as Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea) or H G Wells (War Of the Worlds) and include clothes that Victorians or wild west cowboys and cowgirls might have worn, although the term “steampunk” only seems to have been in use since 1987 or so. is becoming more important to people today. Why? It is because of the interesting premise on which steampunk is based: science fiction (like modern horror movies or tales) set in the “age” of steam-powered machinery. The term steampunk has been applied to the Mars novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs in which John Carter is transported to Barsoom (Burroughs’s ficionalized name for Mars) and encounters alien creatures and other humanoids. The first book in this series was published hardcover in 1917, though it had previously been serialized from about 1912 as “Under The Moons Of Mars”.

“Rainbow Mars” is a collection of science fiction stories by Larry Niven, including a short story with that title in which the hero visits Mars using a time machine and finds the creatures there are mythical creations from the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories.

Steam Power beauty of steampunk is that it takes us back to an earlier time in which steam provided a lot of power and machines were built from metal with many pistons and cogs, all on view.

Balloons and airships are also important in steampunk, as are humanoid and animal cyberbeings. There are even steampunk pirates and one specific costume is of a plague doctor, which is a bird type full face mask – very chilling!

The world of steampunk is very interesting. It is intriguing to see how things have changed and how technology has allowed for this to occur. Steampunk offers a glimpse of what might have been; where everything was powered by steam – sounds like a world from a distant, unrealized future, doesn’t it? fashion is based heavily on Victorian clothing. Items such as Victorian hats with a scarf or round steampunk glasses are just a few suggestions for steampunk outfits. Cosplayers will wear heavy coats of the “Ulster” style, which is a long coat covered by a cape, in the Sherlock Holmes’ style.

The Wild West, cowboy style and gothic costumes are also popular in steampunk. The materials used in these costumes truly convey a unique air of mystery, intrigue and the wild west. And if you can’t find a costume you like to buy, you can always make your own!

Learning about steampunk is only the beginning of your enjoyment. These unique items have a fun history that adds interest to your home. You can even learn to build steampunk as a group! Create your own fictions, read up on the rich and interesting world of steampunk and start thinking about how to create your own steam punk universe.

Of course, if you enjoy coloring, you will love a steampunk coloring book, this can include costumes, mythical animals, humanoids, cowboys and robots for instance, as well as airships and fantastical transport machines. A great many different kinds of ideas to color. Many of the pictures will include cogs, wheels and pipes, as well as futuristic machines, special looking binoculars, amazing time pieces and of course robots.

You do not necessarily have to be “into” coloring as a hobby to enjoy steampunk coloring books as it is possible to obtain a planner a diary, appointments book, notebook or goals setting book using a steampunk theme, or even an ideas book in which you can record ideas for your next steampunk adventure or project. If you enjoy steampunk you will probably enjoy surrounding yourself with items that remind you of your hobby even when you are working or doing something else.

Toddler Scissor Skills In Your Coloring Diary

You have probably already found how useful a diary can be, not just for keeping track of appointments but also as a journal and even for coloring, to pass the time, reduce anxiety or even as a hobby. If you do any writing or coloring at all, you may find sometimes that your hand aches or that your writing is not as neat as it was maybe years ago. If you use a keyboard much, that ache or lack of neat handwriting may be because you are not keeping up the skills of writing that you acquired as a young child, when you learned to use your fine motor skills effectively. Do you remember cutting out things when at school, or even at home? Those games and items you cut out with arts and crafts scissors contributed to your ability to write at a later stage.

Scissors For Toddlers

If your toddler or pre-schooler is 2 years old or older then maybe it’s time for them to use what you may have previously considered to be scary tools for small kids – scissors! Using these is a fun way for young kids to develop scissor skills preschool, improving their hand dexterity, fine motor skills and pre-writing skills and you can help your child practice these skills by teaching them to safely use scissors.

Crafting work is even more fun than before, once your child is old enough to take part. Working with child-safe scissors is great for practicing these new skills and it is a great way to let your kid have a little bit of freedom and independence to try out new activities. Most books and activities of this kind are presented as pre-school practice scissor skills and are aimed at kids aged about 3 to 5 years of age but some kids are ready a bit earlier. But always remember to let them use ONLY child safety scissors. These have rounded ends, so there are no sharp points. Scissors used for paper or card cutting should be kept separate from those used for fabric or anything else, as paper can blunt scissors very quickly.

Fine Motor Skills

So what are these fine motor skills? These are the small movements we all make every day when brushing our teeth or fastening buttons, for instance. They rely on using the small muscles in our hands and arms. These are different from the gross motor skills we practise when using our large muscles, such as running, jumping, skipping or throwing a ball. We learn these first, when we start walking, for instance. The fine motor skill movements are quite complex and require good co-ordination between the brain and the muscles. The more we practise these, the better we become at them. They build on the gross motor movements we have already acquired, so cannot be introduced earlier than the age of 2 years. We need fine motor skill movements when drawing or writing or using scissors, so we can hold and use a crayon or pencil or cut paper. We also use them for stringing beads or stacking blocks or using a ruler or manipulating small objects or tools. It’s important for kids to have a go at all of these activities before they try learning to write or draw: and using scissors will help them develop dexterity and strengthen both their small muscles and the co-ordination they will need for those later important tasks like writing.

These fine motor skills are essential not just for academic skills but also for everyday life tasks like eating food or getting dressed. Children who cannot do these activities may suffer because their playing options with their peers will be limited and their academic performance may also be affected, all of which can affect their social life.

Different Kids Different Rates

Children do not all develop at the same rate. If you have more than one child, you may already have noticed that one talked earlier than another or that one developed physically much faster. Young children develop at different rates and this includes learning fine motor skills and scissor skills. It is important to be patient and work at your child’s development level. Once your child is ready to move forward with learning to use scissors, you can make sure they learn the correct way to place their hand and hold the scissors, perhaps by putting your hand over theirs in the right position and helping them learn this new skill.

Workbooks And Activities

Of course, you can always get a scissors skill workbook with pictures and lines in it for practising cutting, or you can print out scissor skills worksheets from sites online but the easiest way to start is probably to take some scrap paper and draw lines on it with a marker or crayon and get your child to cut along those. To start out, draw straight lines – they don’t need to be made with a ruler – just hand drawn straight lines. Then you can move onto squiggly lines, curved lines, zig zags and shapes such as squares, rectangles, hearts, circles, triangles and pentagons. You can even start out on scissor skills by getting them to cut the corners off old pieces of paper or making fringes, by cutting lots of short lines along a side of paper.

Paper Lanterns the old paper lanterns you used to make? Take an A4 or US letter size sheet of light card and cut about an inch off one of the short sides (this makes the handle at the end of this project). fold the card in half. Cut a wide fringe at the fold, then open out and stick the two ends together, either with a stapler or sticky tape. Now staple or stick on the piece you cut off at the start to make a paper handle and you have a paper lantern. These are simple scissor skills that help develop fine motor skills, while having fun. You can watch a video of making a paper lantern here: 

If your child complains their hand is tired of cutting, it means they need to practice those skills more because their muscles are not used to this work. This kind of practice will help them immensely when starting to write and draw.

If they get very tired of cutting things out, let them color pictures in before cutting them out, this also helps with fine motor skills and the pictures can be used to make picture scenes for display.

Cutting out can be made even more fun if you get scissors that cut different shapes: you can get zig zag scissors, wavy scissors and many other different shapes.

Teach your child to use scissors safely. They will have great fun while improving their hand and finger dexterity and their fine motor skills. And once they come to play the game rock paper scissors, they will understand what scissors are and why two fingers extended represents a pair of scissors. If you want to learn to play this game, you can watch this video:

Glass Blowing At a Glance blowing is a unique technique of making glass art, which involves inflating hot glass with the help of a blowpipe (that’s the official term). The person doing the blowing of air into the blowpipe is called glass blower, or gaffer. Depending on which type of glass blowing techniques you are going to use you could do this manually and on small scale, or with the help of machines at large scale.

When choosing a glass blowing machine there are many factors to consider. First, you must determine whether or not the glass blowing equipment is for home or business use, and also how much equipment you need. It is possible to purchase glass blowing machines commercially, but these machines are often very large, and require practice and experience to handle safely. A good option for those who are interested in glass blowing but do not want to invest in commercial equipment is to opt for glass blowing kits as these kits include all of the equipment necessary to begin making glass art at home.


Glass blowing is becoming popular again, as modern technology enables artists to create art at home using modern techniques, and one of these new techniques is called lampworking. This technique uses a gas fueled (blow) torch to heat up the glass, after which you can shape it using various specialty utensils and tools that are designed specifically for at-home usage.

There are two types of glass blowing techniques: wet and dry. Dry glass blowing uses no fuel while wet glassblowing uses a combination of fuel and flame to heat up the glass. The resulting glass pieces are sometimes hard to make and they often break more easily than regular glass.

Tips For the Beginner Gaffer

Some of the best tips for the beginners address the preventing of your glass piece from cracking. And the first step to avoid this is by not heating the glass too much, as this can cause significant cracking once it cools down.

Another good tip is that when heating the glass, you should always keep a safe distance from the glass you are working on, as well as wearing safety glasses. After heating the glass, try to sit back and watch it carefully, so you can see if any cracking occurs.

If you’re interested in lampworking, or even making glass art in a studio there are plenty of opportunities to learn glass blowing from the comfort of your home, and when you’ve grasped the basic techniques go practice in a studio. You can also try different techniques at home, and look for glass blowing shops that have more experienced personnel. After you learn the basics of lampworking, you’ll soon be on your way to having beautiful glass pieces for display or to use on special occasions.

If you think this craft might be something interesting to try, why not write it down in a diary or business ideas journal and add more information to it that you can find at Learn Glassblowing?

Alyosha Lonoff is a proud editor for and has got lots of experience in the glass making industry. Be sure to check out her website to learn more about the gorgeous art of making glass pieces at home,

Stay On Course By Documenting Your Intentions And Action

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As I was reading this quote by Wilcox, I had a sudden flashback. I remembered perching on the end of my tiny bed in the dormitory back in boarding school. I was holding a small brown hardcover journal. My very first journal, which was a gift from my mum. From shortly after I could write down a meaningful sentence by myself, my mum had always encouraged me and brothers and sisters to write down what we were thinking about. ‘Whatever it is you would like to get in life, big or small, just write it down. Do it every day and then just see what happens’ she would say.

At that time, I didn’t know she was helping a key tool for life take root in my heart. It felt strange and difficult to pour what felt like my soul out onto a clean blank page. It was hard to start and I felt very vulnerable, but also, at the same time, in some way invincible. In retrospect, it was that feeling of vulnerability that allowed me to develop a sense of self-awareness and to pay attention to my thoughts and actions.

For years we all had to write weekly letters to our mother from our respective schools. It wasn’t a problem for any of us, though our friends often struggled to find something to say. Mum would study each letter carefully before filing them safely away. Over the period of years, those missives slowly gathered in the drawer next to her bed. In time, of course, we all finished school, went to college, and then technology took over from letter writing. But, even after she moved onto computers and email, my mum still encouraged us to write out our goals and intentions,continuing to say, ‘You know what, write it down and see what happens‘. I thought she just kept these letters for a souvenir but there was more to it.

When our eldest brother, Mike, got married, he had a big wedding with relatives from both sides there to join in on his big day. As usual, the groom’s mother was asked to say something and part way through her speech, she asked the Master of Ceremonies to read out from a piece of paper she had picked out of her purse. It was one of the letters that Mike had sent her from College maybe five years before the wedding. He was really embarrassed to hear the letter read out but everyone was amazed at what the letter said.

Mike had told our mother that he was going to make her proud. The letter said that he would buy a nice car, build his own house and marry a wonderful girl in the next five years and mum chose to have this letter read out to demonstrate what the power of thoughts written out, then acted on, could do.

Mike had done just that. He had set three goals, written them out and pursued them, to achieve all three, as well as his College degree in the five years he set himself and of course, making his mother most proud, as he had promised. While I eventually stopped writing to my mum, (though I emailed and called her) I never stopped following that advice to ‘write it down and see what happens’. On my bedside cabinet or any flat surface in my bedroom, you can always find a journal or even a scrap of paper with something scribbled on it. Some are reminders or quotes I want to remember from books I am reading, there will also be to-do lists, and random thoughts that arrived just as I was settling down to sleep but others are based on my mother’s advice to write down my goals, which these days is known as journaling.

Journaling is like talking to yourself, only much more beneficial because you write down what you want, not endless loops of conversations with yourself, though you can do that too, if you need to. With writing in a journal, not only are going to think about it, but you’re also going to say it to yourself as well as write it. By doing this, I found out that writing out your intentions helps you focus on what’s important to you. When you just tell yourself how you’re “going to do well”, your subconscious may very well try to divert you away from working towards your goals, even though your intentions may be the very best.  But when you have all your plans documented in your journal, you get the overall view of where you are now, where you’re going , and your final destination. Susan Sontag, an American writer, explained her experiences with journaling by saying that she “created herself”

I can just totally relate to this. All the words I’ve written down about my life, goals, and dreams, whether in ink in journals or letters to my mother or from clicking the keys on my computer have helped create the person I am today.

Checking off some tick boxes on my to do list is one of my small daily pleasures at the end of the day. It makes me feel like I have progressed, no matter how little. Each box represents a problem solved, even a small one and ticking it off makes me feel fulfilled, happy and sometimes, dare I say, it, even euphoric and empowered to tackle any other problems that may lie on that list. Writing down emotions you feel at various times is very therapeutic and can be helpful in managing mental and physical health. You can use this to track your symptoms or create a separate  tracker within your journal to check on what triggers any anxiety, stress, anger or other emotion you find difficult to manage or what you need to eat or do to keep your health in check. You can also track any medical and dental checkups or other health appointments.

Writing things down is still important and the very act of putting pen to paper can be helpful in personalizing your experiences and the goals you want to achieve but with more responsibilities eating away at my personal time, I now have less time available to spend writing out everything that happens in my life, as I used to. With new technology, I can still record  ideas and important stuff while still on the go. Currently, there appear to be a thousand or more apps that can help people track their health, moods, finances, meetings and so on, so you don’t have to spend the time writing it all down and then indexing it if necessary.  Useful mobile apps will help you stay on course with daily living because you can set reminders if necessary.

Journaling is having somewhere to put all your intentions, thoughts, ambitions, and actions to help you stay focused on what you want to achieve.

Write it down. Do it every day and then just see what happens.



Expressing Your Emotions Through Freeform Writing

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No Limits Enjoyment

When was the last time you had a good dance? Notice I didn’t ask if you are a good dancer or not, because that is irrelevant. I am talking about a carefree, blissful, and liberating experience of allowing yourself to enjoy good music by moving according to the beat or even contrary to it but still having ecstatic fun. If this is a practice you often do, you know how it’s more than skin deep. You know by doing this you shake off some worries in your mind and shackles keeping you anchored in a place you no longer want to be in. about sprinting instead of the ordinarily composed jogging sometimes? Foregoing the accepted, grown-up way of doing it and deciding to let loose and be under no limitation. Besides the obvious running out of breath sooner, this exercise will do something more and that is to propel you to let go of other limitations in your life and make quicker decisions. Try it and this also: singing out loud in the shower or elsewhere paying no attention to your voice or confidently speaking a language you consider yourself not-so-good at.


Maybe you are the kind of person who watches other people dance at weddings or parties and hold tightly back. Oh no you would never try dancing, singing out loud or anything that puts you in the limelight, it’s not in your nature to but maybe that is the problem? You are composed, you are serious, you have targets to meet and life-altering decisions to make so you wouldn’t be caught dead doing any of the above things but is it possible that you have some bottled up emotions begging to be set free? What other way is there to fully express them, let go of negative energy and embrace brand new wholeness and positivity?

Freeform Writing

Freeform writing is a form of therapy that you can engage in to express your emotions without attracting anyone’s attention like in the above-mentioned methods. All you need is yourself, paper and pen. You may need to be alone so that you aren’t disturbed as you allow yourself to ‘flow’ into that piece of paper, writing down every thought as it comes into your mind. You don’t have to care for spelling, punctuation, or even making sense, only write down whatever you think or feel in that particular instance. Using a book designed as a journal makes it easier to get into the flow of writing.

There are times you can be so angry but cannot say everything that you are feeling because you risk destroying a relationship or scaring someone off or even scaring yourself! Freeform writing is a judgement-free zone you can put yourself in at such times. Whatever you write doesn’t have to make sense and you could find yourself frantically pressing onto the paper as rage or intense excitement is channelled from you onto the writing pad. This is why it is best to use a pen, not a pencil whose lead can break off. Jot it all down in no particular order, using capital letters, exclamation marks, dots, question marks, and any other marks you find necessary. When you are done, you may want to tear off that paper and perhaps rewrite a clearer piece of something important and positive that you got out of the exercise. By now you may be calm and free from anger.


“THE EYES…I like her smile makes me feel warm. I think she is a warm person…ask her out. A real date? Flowers, she is an angel. Could complete my life. I really do need her. I’m scared to commit but I think I can try Maybe this is it MAYBE it could be maybe I should give it a try oh yes try”

This is a raw example of what it means to flow onto paper if you want to figure out how to express love but aren’t sure of what emotions you have exactly towards that girl. As you write everything down as soon as it visits your mind, you may find yourself smiling, blushing, or beginning to do some deep thinking. Keep this up for some time until you are sure what your sentiments really are.


When grieving the loss of a loved one, a break-up, or perhaps a divorce, it is normal to feel at some point that the time to expressly talk about it to other people has expired. You may feel that you make them sad when you still wallow about it after a certain period of time. Don’t worry if this is your case. Get your pen and writing pad and begin to pour your heart out onto that paper.

Hidden Talents Discovered

A lot of good can come out of freeform writing. Great poems, songs, or even creative stories could result. You could stumble upon a hidden talent of yours while practicing it or realise there is a feeling, that though strategically buried behind many layers as a defense mechanism, still holds you back somehow. Try it out today!


If you are a writer, or a student trying to write an essay, dissertation or thesis, you can use this type of writing too. It is known as freewriting, a term used by the author (Emeritus) Professor Peter Elbow in his book, “Writing Without Teachers”, though I prefer his book “Writing With Power”, which also includes it. This can be used for fiction stories as well as factual pieces. And if you are desperately trying to complete a college essay but finding difficulty with it, or you have procrastinated too lomg and your essay is due tomorrow, you can download and read a book on The Procrastinator’s Guide to Writing an Effective Term Paper by Stephen Posusta which also uses freewriting and which can help you write your term paper even if you have to pull an all-nighter (provided you have already read the necessary books for writing the essay).

If this is an area that is important to you, you can read more about studying effectively here.

Selling Drawings

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I Can Draw: How Do I Sell My Pictures

Not everyone can draw pictures that others love to colour in. If you can, congratulations, you have a skill that can earn you a lot of friends and possibly even some money. There are a few ways you could earn money doing this:

  • create your own colouring books;
  • sell your drawings privately; or
  • create PLR.

I will go through each of these in turn.

Create Your Own Colouring Books

Age groups

You need to decide which age group you are creating these drawings for and what theme you are drawing eg fairies, pixies, woodland animals, trucks, construction machines, unicorns, military, space, etc. Your pictures will need to be created at 300 dpi or 300 ppi. This is a measure of the resolution of your drawing. If you create your drawing on paper and then scan it, you need to make sure you are scanning at high resolution, otherwise when it prints out, it will look fuzzy or pixelated.

The youngest age group is probably those who are 4 to 6 years. (You can create coloring books for 2 years old, with large dots that are filled in using dot markers. This is probably the latest fashion.) Children in the 4-6 age group generally like large, simple pictures, with not a lot of detail. They will probably fill the pictures in by scribbling over them in crayon! To create a colouring book for this age group, you will need a minimum of 20 outline, black and white drawing pictures all on a similar theme. This is because adults generally purchase these books with a particular child in mind and will know what theme the child is interested in.

The next age group is 7 – 9 years of age. These children often like more detail in their pictures. You can use the same pictures as you created for the 4 – 6 years age group but this time, you can add simple line backgrounds (mountains, ships, lakes, trees, buildings, etc) to add more interest. You can also fill in large spaces on the main drawing with patterns that children can fill in, so they have smaller areas to complete at a time.

You can also create colouring books for adults and children aged 10 years and older. These will obviously want much more detailed drawings to complete (although some adults prefer drawings with more open space, so they can use their own judgement on filling with colour tones, etc). Very often these books are created with a single drawing on one side, so that the user can use fibre tip pens. The colour often goes through to the other side with these pens, so that is kept blank so the next picture is not spoiled.

One of the most successful creators of adult coloring books is Johanna Basford, who has literally sold thousands of each of her coloring books for adults, such as “Enchanted Forest“.

Not all created books are flowers or objects. Some are text based, with words to be colored in, including some with “naughty” words and others with motivational or inspirational sayings or Biblical quotations.

Creating Your Book

You will need to create your book as a PDF document. You can do this in Microsoft Word and probably most other document programs on your computer. Many people who create these books use PowerPoint. Put one drawing per page, then export it as a PDF and save.

Probably the easiest place to create your book (for free) is on Amazon KDP. Create an account then click on “create a book” and follow the instructions. You will be able to upload your PDF, choose a cover and put it up for sale on Amazon. Now, it’s obviously a lot more work than I have made out here but it is just a question of going through the pages and filling out the information. There are courses that will show you how to do this and the best ways of doing it, the keywords to choose and the categories to use, etc. This is called “Print On Demand” because the books are not printed until they are purchased. This saves you having a great many printed, then having to hold a large stock until they sell.

You can also have your book printed in a bundle, sent to you, then sell them to a local bookshop or to neighbours or online. There are many printing companies that will do this.

Who Is This For

If you want to create your own brand of colouring book, this is probably the route for you. You will need to market your book if you want it to sell. This includes letting people on your social media know about it, joining various groups, etc. You can also buy advertising. There are various courses that can help you learn about marketing your books.

Selling Your Drawings

If you don’t want to create and sell your own books, there are people who will buy sets of your drawings from you. They will want to purchase the copyright because this allows them to use the pictures they buy in any way they like and as often as they like, eg on a mug or cup, on a tee shirt or as a mouse mat or in a journal, etc. If you are selling these pictures to just a few people, you need to charge an amount that covers your time and also that you are selling the copyright to just a few people. The pictures below are ones I purchased from a local artist, at 300 dpi. She provided some with patterns but I could have added these myself if I had wanted, using a graphics program (free online).I also put some of these pictures in front of backgrounds I had purchased elsewhere. For instance, the bridge background was from another artist altogether.

These drawings will need to be at a high resolution, 300 dpi or 300 ppi. They will also need all the lines joined up and complete, not sketch/ art/ shading strokes. People who buy these pictures may want to fill the spaces with different patterns to make the pictures look “different” or aim them at a particular market. They will do this in a graphics program. If all the lines are not joined up, colour or patterns will flood into places they don’t want them and they will complain.

Who Is This For

Selling privately is probably for the artist who has their own email list of purchasers who like their style of drawing.

Selling PLR

PLR stands for Private Label Rights. This is pretty much the same as the previous area (selling privately) EXCEPT that you are selling (or hoping to sell these) to a great many would-be book creators. The set of pictures will be sold at a much lower price because many people will be buying it. It will still need to be sold with copyright going to each purchaser but because you will sell to many more people, you will get less for each sale. will still be able to sell a set of 20 (or more) drawings but this time, you may also want to sell (separately) a set of (say) 20 backgrounds that the drawings can be set against. So 20 fairy pictures might prompt someone to purchase a set of 20 toadstool or fairy-house backgrounds in addition to the 20 fairies. The purchasers will mix and match the pictures and the backgrounds to make different compositions. You can also create coloured versions of your pictures or dot to dot versions and sell these for a higher price. These are called OTOs (one time offers) and they form part of what is called a “sales funnel”, where an initial sale prompts purchasers to buy more from you to complete their purchase by making it easier for them to create lots of different kinds of “unique” pictures.

The picture above is of a mandala type pattern that I purchased as PLR, then added a quotation that I liked.

With PLR, it is useful to get on someone’s sales list (there are people who make affiliate sales for this). They will push your offering to their lists and take an agreed cut of the price. You sell more, they get commission and the people on their mailing lists get a new different kind of offering, so everyone is happy.

Who Is This For

Selling drawings as PLR is for the artist who creates drawings or patterns but maybe doesn’t have a list of their own and doesn’t want to get into selling. They are willing to pay affiliates who will do the selling for them. Some affiliates run bundle sales regularly 2 or 3 times throughout the year. This is a very good opportunity for a new artist to get their work in front of a list of people and build their own list or to find affiliates who will promote their work. A bundle sale includes a great deal of different types of material sold in one lot from a number of providers by one affiliate who does the work of collating the bundle and promoting it. The artists and providers do not get any money for this, as it counts as a promotion on their behalf. The affiliate collating the bundle will charge a small amount, maybe $25 or $35 and the purchaser can download as much (or all) of the bundle as they wish. When they download an item, they give their email address; and the artist or provider gets a new addition to their email list. The artist will then try selling to that list. Alternatively, some affiliates may ask the artist to let them sell on their behalf, getting a commission for their sales.

Selling Your Books On Amazon

I have a number of different kinds of books on sale on Amazon, including patterns, coloring books, puzzles and workbooks. For some of these, I purchased pictures or patterns as PLR and changed them Here is a selection:

Benefits Of Coloring For Mental Health

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Disclaimer: this page does not provide health advice, nor is it intended to help diagnose any condition. If you have any query about coloring or art therapy for any particular condition, you should consult your medical adviser.

As a child, you may have enjoyed working with coloring books and crayons? You can enjoy this activity again today, by using adult coloring pages. It used to be thought that coloring was ONLY for kids but nowadays it has been realized that there are a great many mental health benefits from what is now termed coloring therapy. If you have always enjoyed coloring but haven’t looked at it since you became an adult, then you should try this activity again as much as possible, especially as there are so many gorgeous coloring books now available for adults. So, let’s look at the benefits:

It Can Help Eliminate Your Mental Stress

You probably realize that being under mental stress can be very bad for your health, and that it can also lead to physical problems? People who are constantly under stress, may develop high blood pressure or digestive issues. If you are finding that you are using food or alcohol to reduce your stress after a difficult workday, try keeping some coloring books or pages handy at home, along with pens, pencils or crayons for completing them. It’s also useful for Teens and students for exam stress.

It May Help Relieve Depression

Focusing on your beautiful artwork, or using pages with a happy theme or a positive message and using brightly colored pens or crayons can help lift your mood if you are feeling down. Try using yellow, orange or red colors as these may stimulate the emotional center of your brain. Concentrate on positive thoughts while coloring and find some positive affirmations to say over to yourself.

It May Help Delay The Development Of Dementia Conditions

Coloring mindfully and focusing on the detail when coloring may stimulate the synapses in your brain. Art and coloring are more ways of keeping your brain active, along with other brain exercises, like crosswords, word searches and similar activities. It is easy to take coloring pages and crayons with you to other locations such as when you are visiting your grandchildren.

It May Help Reduce Anxiety Levels

Adult coloring pages and books that concentrate on mindfulness may help reduce anxiety, especially if you use soothing colors like pale pink or blue which also help reduce anxiety. These may help you feel calmer. Focus on your breathing while coloring and you may notice that it slows down as you relax and also that any symptoms of digestive stress may decline.

It May Help Stimulate Creativity

It’s possible that using adult coloring books or pages may help you become more creative. You may find after a while that you now want to play a musical instrument, write poetry, or paint on canvas, even though it may be a long time since you tried creating any kind of art at all. Coloring in adult pictures or books may help stimulate the part of your brain that is creative.

Finding Coloring Pages For Adults

You can find coloring pages and books for adults at local or online stores. In addition, it is possible to download and print anti stress coloring pages on a computer and printer so that you can find a wide assortment of artwork themes.

Christmas Gifts For Adults

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Top 5 Best Christmas Gifts For Adults

Here are my top 5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Adults, which I think are among the most popular, apart from money. Many adults or young adults prefer money as a present, so they can add all their gifts together and buy one large item that they like. You may not want to do that as there always seems to be pressure to give more when gifting cash than you would spend on a present. Some adults also love to wrap gifts and present them because they get great joy out of seeing the recipient’s face when they open it. Money is a useful gift because it’s something most people want but if you prefer to give a gift here are some ideas of stocking fillers and larger things to get for the people in your life.

1. Homemade Christmas Gifts

One of the most popular Christmas gifts for adults is homemade Christmas gifts, whether you give them as a main gift or as a stocking filler. There are so many things you can make or buy to give as gifts to the adults in your life, such as cookbooks, journals, homemade cookies, homemade jams and jellies, coffee mugs, key chains and more. These are all very easy to make and they will definitely be remembered and loved by the adults in your life. I look forward every Christmas to the homemade chutneys one of my friends makes as presents for adults each year. She doesn’t have much money but she uses her time and knowledge of fruits to make chutneys that you cannot find in the shop and they last for months, so a Christmas gift that keeps on giving.

They are also great because you can customize your own gifts with their favorite colors and whatever else you want to add in. A lot of kids love to make Christmas crafts, and it’s a nice idea to personalize those gifts as well! For example, they can make an autograph magnet for the adults in their life with their favorite photos of them with Santa Claus, perhaps, along with a message.

Or maybe you could make a Christmas card, with their name printed on the front and your Christmas message inside. You can even have their name printed on the back of the card!  One child I know, who is good at art, is using a picture that she has to complete for her art class as a unique Christmas card for a few select adults and friends. It gives her the chance to practise something she has to do for a school class, while creating Christmas cards and producing a unique piece of art for recipients to treasure. Personalized Christmas gifts are really popular these days.

2. Christmas Crafts

Another great Christmas gift idea for adults is Christmas Crafts. You can make some beautiful Christmas scrapbooking pieces if you’re trying to stay on theme. For instance you could make a poster celebrating their favorite Baseball team, with the team colors. Or you could buy them a craft gift for them to complete themselves. Something like this could a great idea for a gift for guy friends. Adult coloring books are also greatly in favor at present. Many years ago, adults thought that coloring pictures was just for children but since then, it has become known just how beneficial and enjoyable coloring can be for adults as well as children. You can see more information on that here.

Another possibility is a beautiful handcrafted personalized Christmas ornament. This whimsical ornament is the perfect solution if you are looking for unique Christmas gift ideas for the adults in your life. Choose from a variety of wood and resin painted designs or choose a clear (see through) bauble that you can fill with small items of your choice or paint the bauble with a Christmas theme and the year, so it can be enjoyed for many years to come.

3. Coffee And Donuts

Adults, and even young ones, can be very hard-core fans of coffee and donuts. If you are looking for some great frugal Christmas gifts for adults, think about giving them a subscription to one of the many different coffee clubs that are available. You can subscribe for either the individual coffee club that gives you one box of coffee each month or you can choose a monthly gift that comes with three or four free months of coffee. The choice is yours! You could also make a box of donuts or buy their favorites from a local shop, to give them a sweet treat for Christmas.

Probably, one of the best gifts for adults that you can give them is a coffee mug, especially as these can be customized for their interests or for Christmas. Coffee mugs make great gifts for adults, and you can be sure that they will not disappoint when it comes to their taste! For those of you who don’t know how to choose the perfect coffee mug, the most important factor to consider is the size. Mugs come in all sizes, but the standard size is usually 11 ounces, with an option for a larger 15 ounce mug, so make sure you include that information when choosing a size. The larger the cup, the better!

If the person doesn’t like coffee and donuts, you can find many items that can be purchased on subscription as Christmas presents for adults or for children. These could be such stuff as magazine subscriptions, book subscriptions and these can be on so many different subjects, such as nature and science, romance, cooking, art, antiques, etc.

4. Collecting

Some people enjoy collecting things, so you may want to look into stuff for Christmas such as figures, china, toy cars, Star Wars Figures, puzzles, and stuffed animals, if you know what their collecting choice would be. Some adults enjoy difficult Jigsaw Puzzles or Adult Puzzle books or even memorabilia.

5. Gift Basket

You can make or buy a gift basket filled with Christmas food or toys, games, snacks, and more. You could also create a Christmas scrapbook with lots of pictures of Christmas past or purchase the scrapbook and provide the pictures for the adult to add in themselves, which would be a good idea for an older person with time on their hands.

Some other great ideas for Christmas baskets include hand-made soaps, candles, ornaments, or eco-friendly ornaments.

Or how about an alternative to a conventional kitchen hamper? For a more eco-friendly holiday treat, why not consider homemade Christmas hampers? These are great for both kids and adults, and they are a great way to teach kids about the importance of using recycled materials in their everyday life. A popular idea is to make a hamper of seasonal items such as Christmas cards, fruit and veggie trays, and decorative items. You can also create a special hamper for adults that has all of their favorite books, cutesy toys, and other interesting stuff for the holidays. If you would prefer to purchase your own hamper instead of making one yourself, you can find everything you need to get started online.

These are 5 top ideas for Christmas gifts for adults.

6. Something For YOU

So here’s an extra bonus paragraph of ideas for gifts and maybe you would like something for yourself from these? After all, you deserve something too! One of the best gifts for adults and one that your friends or family might not think of getting you unless you hint to them, is a mini backpack.

A mini backpack holds a lot of useful stuff for your day to day needs and it keeps your hands free and stops your pockets from bulging. Mini backpacks make great Christmas gifts for adults, and they are relatively inexpensive, as well. You can find beautiful designs on the market in many different colors, so you can really make this gift look unique and personal to you.

Or how about a beautiful wooden photo frame and pencil holder to keep your desk organized and your nearest and dearest always in your thoughts, even if you cannot be near them?


Oral History Project For Family History Research a diary is a useful tool for recording everyday events and coming appointments, it doesn’t always form a record of an important period in someone’s life or of important events. Sometimes, a different form of notes is required and this is where an oral history journal can be helpful.

Oral (spoken) history was the first kind of history – stories, memories and knowledge passed on from one person to another by word of mouth. It’s how myths have been passed down through the centuries, as well as knowledge about herbs, sources of water in the dry seasons and apprentices have learned from their elders. Even today, there are story tellers who entertain groups with old stories and one of the first ways that children learn is through stories and information from their parents or carers.

Many families have their stories, passed down through the generations but these have not always been kept or recorded for others to find out what happened or how people lived at a different time or how certain events had an impact on whole generations or locales.

Oral histories can change in the telling, over the years until the original story may not be recognisable. By writing down these stories, they can be preserved for future generations to understand what it was like to live through certain events or at certain times and what it was like for a person alive at that time. For instance, my mother in law used to talk about going to school in the 1920s and how each pupil had to take a piece of coal with them to warm the schoolroom in winter, how she would take off her shoes and hide them on the way to school, going in barefoot, retrieving them on the way home and how the children would dig up a carrot from a field to have something to eat. These stories are not written down anywhere yet (though they will be). Children may not always be receptive to tales told by their grandparents, yet in later years would love to hear about those everyday tales, possibly when it is too late.

Oral history and the written down versions are primary sources for studying history, yet listening to stories told by older generations is a fascinating way of finding out how people lived a generation or so ago and does not feel like learning a lesson.

Stories from eyewitnesses are used today in court proceedings and have been used for thousands of years as the basis for recording events from wars, volcanic explosions and political upheavals, for instance. These days, oral history is often produced from interviews with individuals, recorded on video or audio media and then often transcribed to produce books. This can be done professionally by trained interviewers using the latest equipment and transcribers working from the tapes produced. It does not have to be so involved if you want to produce a family or group history that will form an interesting record for later generations. For instance, my mother tells of a time as a child when an earthquake shook her house, bouncing her about on the sofa and china rattling and books falling. This may be everyday stuff for some people, but she lived in an area where earthquakes had only been read about.

Until recently, children in local schools were asked to talk to elderly relatives about their memories of World War II. There are fewer and fewer people with these personal memories now but earlier recordings are still available for later generations to listen to or read. Ann Frank’s diary is her story of living hidden in an attic during the later years of World War II. It is not the spoken word but was written directly by her during her time in hiding. Books written about people’s ordinary lives at the time that events happened include information that may have been common at that time but which can be forgotten as time passes and circumstances change. For instance, a story written about life during world War II included such everyday items as what the family had for tea. One day, it was a slice of apple pie. That was it.

A diary of everyday events is not the same as an oral history, though it is also a primary source of information. An oral history taken from someone will include a lot of their background information, such as their date of birth, parents, full name and may include only information on certain events, like a war or natural disaster, whereas a diary often keeps information on everyday life in a chronological order, whether big events, small events or no significant events happen.

Taking an oral history is a way of carrying out historical research and there are professional interviewers who do this, however, it is also fun to carry out your own oral history project with older family members and who knows, you may also find out something interesting about your family as well as learning how life was different years ago?

It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. You may only need to ask the person to tell you about “when they were young” to start them talking. Recording the conversation is the best method of remembering everything that was said, however, transcribing even ten minutes of conversation can be a time consuming and difficult task, so it can be better to write notes down as you are listening. They may even be willing to write part of the information down for you and then you also have a record of their handwriting.

For younger people, writing the interview straight into a project book can be the best way to record and keep information they get. Older people may wish to take notes on paper and gather them together to create a composite note of memories that they can then write into the project book as a cohesive whole.