Get in touch with your soul with Zen Camera

Zen Camera by David Ulrich is more than a book workshop about photography, it’s a workshop on getting to know yourself without photography. It’s a very relaxing book to read. There’s no stress to be any one way.

Ulrich gives you the basics of what photography can do for you. Then explains that this book can be used all at once or in pieces. And I love that! You’re able to pick any of the topics in the book, and go through that chapter and it’s exercises.

When I said this was a book about getting to know yourself, I meant it. The chapters are about observation, awareness, and identity among others. The lessons about photography are embedded within here.




I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Color Index XL by Jim Krause- A headache book

Before I got my copy of the Color Index XL, I was really excited. I tend to struggle with coming up with good color schemes for my work. I thought that this book would help me. However, I was disappointed when it finally arrived.

There definitely were a great number of color schemes. It’s just that I couldn’t concentrate on any of them, because of the horrible patterns everything was arranged in. For me, it made the color schemes unappealing. All of them felt so jarring. There was no subtlety. It gave me a bit of a headache to look at the pages. I couldn’t imagine myself using any of them in a piece of work.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.








Everyday Watercolor- A beautiful course in painting

Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days by Jenna Rainey is so beautiful. This book teaches your the aesthetic that’s very in right now. Each day has a different lesson, marked for approximately how long it’ll take you. Each lesson has it’s own color palette.

It starts very easily, so even beginners won’t be intimidated. However, these skills would be great practice for more experienced painters as well. Additionally, the lessons build up. Pretty soon, you’ll be learning how to create gorgeous, complicated pieces of art. After every piece, you’ll have gained skills that you’ll be able to use towards other piece. This will be great if you’re truly dedicated to learning watercolor or honing your skills.



I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.




A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther a Review

A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther is a beautiful book. I wish I could make my space look as gorgeous. The pages are filled with elegant matte photos of the projects. The point of this book is to make projects that can last. For this reason, I would definitely suggest things for a more intermediate crafter.

Some of the projects are simpler than others, but you still have to be able to choose the proper materials to use. This book also makes it feel like you need to invest a little bit more into the work up front. Therefore, I’d only suggest this if you’re invested in truly creating your own work or looking for a coffee table book that offers inspiration for your space. Either way, this will do the trick.



I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Understanding Color in Photography- A Book Review

Understanding Color in Photography by Bryan Peterson with Susan Heide Schellenberg is a beautiful book. The pages are filled with bright, luminescent photos that capture the eyes. The writing is easy to read. The book is focused on showing the reader how to create the best photo possible in camera. (There is a section on photo shop but that is by no means the focus.)

What I liked about this book is that there are descriptions near each photograph describing the creation process, lens, and/or camera. It gives you tips I haven’t really read before. They also sometimes show the zoomed out version of a very beautiful photo. For example, if there’s magical picture of a door, then right near it there might be a zoomed out photograph of the whole street that looks like any other photo. This really made me revaluate the way I saw the work around me.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

How to Set a Table – A Review

How to Set a Table was a much smaller book than I expected. I thought it would be large and grand. However, it was a much simpler, bite size book. (Another strange thing is that there is no easily recognizable author name.) That’s not to say there isn’t a lot in this book. It is jam packed with information and cute ideas.

This is a great book for beginners who are looking to slow down while eating. However, it might be a bit beneath table setting experts. There’s a lot of cute ideas for different types of meals, including pizza dinners! This book isn’t just about fancy dinner parties. It’s about living the life you have now at a slower pace.

The book itself is beautifully illustrated and has beautiful photos. It’s all printed matte, so it’s not garishly bright as some things can be these days.  I enjoyed it. It’s cute to have on my bookshelf.



I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


The magic of The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I was so excited to read this book by Marie Kondo. For a while, I’ve felt the cleaning itch, but I didn’t really know where to start. Then this book just put itself in my path, like I was meant to come by it. Even reading The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up changed my life in a small way. An item I’d been trying to sell for months on Ebay, sold while I was reading this book. If that’s not a good omen, I don’t know what is.

The book was written by Marie Kondo and illustrated by Yuko Uramoto. It is one of the fastest reads I’ve experienced in a long time. It only took me 2-3 hours to read the whole thing, but there was so much good information in the book. It’s told as a cute story, and is separated into problem areas such as clothes, books, papers, and sentimental items.

It teaches you to not only clean and organize your home, but to live your life in a way that brings you joy. It all starts by visualizing what you want to be able to do in your space and why. The biggest thing is that the excess things we have aren’t seen as trash, and that’s so refreshing to me. Instead she asks that you treat the items with kindness, and thank them before removing them from your space.

To me,  the energy this book brings is really special. It makes me feel more lively, and I know it’s a book that I’ll be going back to again and again. I’m going to make every I love read it.



I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.





Colored Pencil Painting Portraits by Alyona Nickelsen

I’ve known for a while that colored pencils could do remarkable things. However, this book takes things to the next level. There are some pieces that look so much like oil paintings, I’m flabbergasted. However, that’s the point of the book, to show how much colored pencils can be a great choice for professional work. Nickelsen provides scientific reason why it can be a good choice for permanent works, comparing it to the likes of encaustic.

This booked is packed with useful and interesting information. It started from helping you decide what sort of surface you should to various techniques you can use with colored pencils to create life like pieces. At times the processes she uses feel very much like painting. My only qualm is that she uses solvents in some of her techniques, and I’m not overly fond of them. However, I know that most people have no problems with solvents as a whole.

Overall, this book is wonderful, filled with beautiful images and useful techniques. It would be a great for a beginner or a more experienced artist.




I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge

There’s a lot of rave reviews about this book, but my heart just couldn’t get into it. It started off a little awkward, with stilted dialogue, but it seemed to smooth out after a bit.

There’s some really cute things about this book. For example, it has recipes of some of the core foods described! This was honestly the most exciting part of the book for me. Although I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet and I can’t really say if they’re good or not.

I definitely understand where this book was trying to go, but it just didn’t quite get there for me. Maybe I’m just too jaded for this book. Maybe I’m just too used to more nuanced love stories.

There are two different points of views in this book. The first was Jane’s, and eventually I was able to grow to like her. However, the book was also included Callum’s point of view and oh my gosh were those first few chapters of his difficult for me to get through. There was just a huge point that I just COULD NOT get over. I’ll explain under the cut as I feel like some might see it as a spoiler. (You’ve been warned.)

Continue reading “Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge”

Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown could do with some trimming

Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown is a book with a lot of potential that was just too long for its own good. There’s a lot of good information in this book. There are useful tips and tools that new businesses could definitely use. However, you’d have to slug yourself through a lot of repetition.

The introduction is 26 pages long of the authors trying to sell and explain growth hacking. I kept thinking that I would get more and didn’t realize until page 25 that the reason I wasn’t getting anything really concrete was because the book hadn’t really started.  It’s like the case of the student that had a twenty page report, but only ten pages of information. There is so much repetition of the same material, especially in the beginning. I think this book could have done with a more severe editor.

Overall I give the book a 3 out of 5. I felt like they were trying to sell me something, even though I’d already gotten the book. If you can find the cliff notes for this out there, I’d go with that instead.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.