Category Archives: House/DIY

Better coloring and crafts with no-smear gel pens

Is there such a thing as a gel pen addiction?

If so, my daughter (age 10) may have one.  She doesn’t ever seem to pass a package of gel pens at the store without wanting to buy it.  Never mind that she already has a substantial collection of them at home.

I think she shares a philosophy with Winston Churchill, who said: I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.

I have to admit, I love all the colors too.  Gel pens have such fun, vibrant color that make them perfect for a variety of crafty projects.

My daughter uses her gel pens all the time to color, draw pictures, create cards, and work on projects for school.  I’ve found that even when you’re not feeling especially artsy, they just make it more fun to do regular stuff like write up a to-do list or color-code the calendar!

The only problem?  Gel pens tend to smudge when you’re not super careful using them.  That’s a huge bummer since it ruins the lovely effect you’re going for by using a gel pen in the first place.

The no-smear gel pens in the Zebra Sarasa line are available at Amazon (affiliate link).

So imagine my enthusiasm when I was invited to try a free sample of the Sarasa line of gel pens from Zebra Pen.  These gel pens are unique due to their special rapid dry ink technology.

They dry in less than a second on most surfaces.  No smears or smudges?  Perfect!

When my package of Sarasa gel pens arrived (compliments of Zebra Pen), my daughter and I were excited to try them to see if they really were the perfect no-smear gel pens.

I had just created a free printable coloring page to share here on my blog, so I knew that was the perfect place to start using the Sarasa gel pens.  We found that they are great for coloring – with absolutely no smudges or smears on the pages.

In fact, I tried to smear the ink just to see what would happen, but it dried too quickly and didn’t smear at all.

We particularly like that the Sarasa gel pens are retractable, which makes them super handy for arts and crafts projects.  It’s helpful that you don’t have to deal with separate caps, especially when juggling multiple pens for projects like coloring.

This line comes in 14 bright colors, allowing lots of creative options.  You can see some of the color variety in my daughter’s coloring page that we framed to display.

Where we love is home - printable coloring page for Valentine's Day

The pens colored well on the printable coloring page (available here) and on one of the trendy new adult coloring books that I recently purchased.  On both my printable and the coloring book pages, the ink was visible from the back of the page but did not actually bleed through the paper.

Sarasa gel pen coloring - back

Ink is visible on the back of the coloring page without bleeding through the page.

The grip is comfortable, which makes the pens pleasant for any project.  The 0.7 mm point size works well for both coloring and writing projects, but it also comes in 0.5 mm and 1.0 mm points to handle a variety of needs.  I might like to add the 0.5 mm size to my collection for fine details on projects and the 1 mm size for working on bigger designs.

Want to learn more about the Sarasa retractable gel pens from Zebra?  Check out this fun video that shows the variety of colors available for these handy no-smear gel pens.

The Sarasa pens are available on (affiliate link), on, and at local retailers.

Thank you to Zebra Pen for providing a free sample of the Sarasa retractable,
no-smear gel pens (14 pack) to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links, which help support this site.
Please refer to my disclosure statement for more information.

Where we love is home – Free printable adult coloring page

Have you jumped on the adult coloring trend?

I’ve always enjoyed coloring with my kids.  It’s an easy way to create something unique by playing with colors and exercising your imagination to produce your own aesthetic on the picture.

Despite the fact that my kids preferred to scribble over my neatly colored pages, it was always a nice, calming activity for everyone.  It’s a great way for kids to focus and practice those fine motor skills that are involved.

My kids are older now, so we don’t share Winnie the Pooh coloring books anymore.  My 10-year-old daughter and I have moved on to more grown-up coloring pages.

Science agrees that coloring is a good idea since it helps people relax and calm the mind – which is why adults are now coloring in droves.  I recently noticed that many of the best-selling books on Amazon are adult coloring books, so obviously it has really caught on!

For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do a little coloring project of my own to add some personalized flair to my home decor.  So I decided to create a free printable adult coloring page that I could share here with you.

I love this quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

This rings so true!  Home is not just about where we live; it’s about that special place where we love.

This was the perfect sentiment for my Valentine’s Day coloring page!  Well, it’s really a mini coloring page since I wanted something that wouldn’t be too time consuming to complete.

Some of those adult coloring book pages are incredibly intricate and take a big commitment to get them done!  You won’t have to worry about that with this printable version.  I made it as a small print so it’s easy to complete even while managing a busy schedule.

Where we love is home - free printable adult coloring page for Valentine's Day

This mini coloring page printable is sized for a 5X7 frame to display at home.  It’s also perfect for a homemade card.  It’s in a PDF format with trim lines around the 5X7 design.

Click the image below to download your free printable adult coloring page in PDF format.

Where we love is home - free printable adult coloring page in PDF

Click to download in PDF

I hope you enjoy this fun, free printable adult coloring page!  Here’s my printable – all colored and framed for Valentine’s Day.

Where we love is home - free printable adult coloring page

I decided on a Valentine’s Day color scheme for mine, but my daughter went with a variety of colors.  I like her colorful version even better!

Where we love is home - printable coloring page for Valentine's Day

The quote makes this printable great for Valentine’s Day and beyond.  I think I’ll leave mine on display until it’s time for my St. Patrick’s Day Irish toast printable!

What’s your favorite way to color – colored pencils, gel pens? My daughter and I colored these with no-smear gel pens that I like for bright colors. Click here to check out my gel pen review.

I shared this free printable adult coloring page at some fun link parties.

Learn a craft with online classes + Craftsy class giveaway!

Are you ready to get crafty?  January is the perfect time to start a project!  Not only is there the allure of starting something new at the beginning of the new year, it’s also International Creativity Month!

If you need some help to get started with a creative pursuit, check out Craftsy.  It’s a great hub for all things crafty, including sewing, knitting, quilting, weaving, painting, drawing, baking, cooking, cake decorating, scrapbooking, stamping, photography, jewelry making, woodworking, and gardening.

Disclosure: I’ve joined Craftsy, and now I’m an affiliate because I love it!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click on these links.

You can find lots of great online classes at Craftsy to get started on a new craft, or to learn advanced techniques for something you already enjoy.

If you’re interested in a craft area, but you want to “try before you buy,” Craftsy has a variety of free mini classes.Craftsy

I’m excited about Craftsy’s new partnership with The Great Courses to offer an expanded lineup of online classes.  Some of the options include learning tricks of the trade from National Geographic photographers or taking a cooking class from The Culinary Institute of America.  There’s something for everyone!

Enter the Craftsy class giveaway!

To celebrate International Creativity Month, Craftsy is holding an online class giveaway.

Craftsy class giveaway January 2016

This Craftsy class giveaway is a great chance to get the creativity flowing!

Craftsy is awarding one grand prize: up to five online classes!  Visit the Craftsy website to enter and check out the official rules.

No purchase is necessary.  You can enter once before the deadline on January 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Mountain time.

One grand prize winner for the Craftsy class giveaway will be selected after January 31, 2016. The grand prize includes up to five classes on your Craftsy wishlist. One additional winner will be selected to win one class for every 100 social media shares.

Good luck and happy crafting!