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The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: A Year of Celebrations are published and very kindly sent to me to review by Nosy Crow Publishing. These cards are the fifth of five sets, you can find my reviews of the previous sets here: Christmas, Summertime, Flowers and Butterflies, Nature. This book is fantastically well made and everything has been thought of, matched and produced with quality in mind. The book itself is large at 28cm square, it’s paperback with a flexible card cover with gold foiling lettering and detail. Inside the front cover are instructions detailing how to fold the envelopes for the cards. Following this are pages of colourable cards with two on each page connected by tabs on perforated pages which are very easy to remove from the book with no issues or bending and a thin strip that the perforation is attached to that you can cut off with scissors to neaten up the card edges. There are 24 cards, each with a unique design, and all 4 sides of the cards have illustrations on that you can colour including a “Coloured For You By…” section on the back, they measure 13.5cm square when folded. Following the card pages are 24 unique envelope designs that match the cards perfectly and are printed in the same order as the cards so it’s very easy to match up the paired cards and envelopes together. The envelopes have illustrations on the front, each of the four flaps, and the whole of the back of the page which makes up the inside of the envelope has a repeating design on it that can be coloured if you wish. The folding instructions are very clear and easy to follow and the pre-scored lines on the cards and envelopes allow for a perfect fold every time. On the very last page of the book are usually 24 circular stickers with matching designs to seal the envelopes with, in this set you get a whopping 36 which I found really exciting and means that instead of trying to match each one up correctly, there are a number of suitable ones for each card.
The card itself is bright white, medium thickness and lightly textured. I experienced absolutely no bleeding or shadowing when using water-based pens; alcohol markers will bleed through. Pencils would be ideal for these cards if you’re wanting more subtle colours, or wanting to blend and shade. The envelopes are printed onto bright white, thick paper which I didn’t experience any bleed through of water-based pens on but did get the lightest of shadowing when I coloured too slowly and the ink saturated the paper a bit much so do please be careful if you’re wanting the inside of your envelopes to remain pristine for colouring too. Sadly, the space left on the front of a few of the envelopes is pretty small and not exactly suitable for a normal length postal address and there is also no space for a postage stamp (I have been contacted by the publisher who has explained that this may well be changed in future reprints so there is a larger space for addresses). You could add an address label, and simply stick the postage stamp over the design but for perfectionists like me this isn’t an option and it is a shame this wasn’t quite thought through. When posting these cards to friends and family I will be popping the whole thing inside a normal envelope so that I can keep the envelope design intact. A larger number of the envelopes have just one image on the front so there is plenty of address-writing space so just pick your cards carefully if you’re wanting to be able to post them.
The designs themselves are utterly charming and absolutely adorable. This set is different from the previous four because it doesn’t centre around a specific theme and instead contains all of the cards you need for celebrations throughout the year. The break down of the cards and celebrations is as follows: 1 x Happy New year, 2 x Valentine’s Day, 2 x Mother’s Day, 2 x Easter, 2 x Father’s Day, 4 x Birthday, 1 x Anniversary, 2 x Congratulations (one generic, one for a new baby), 2 x Thank You, 2 x Christmas, 1 x Love, 2 x Thinking of You, and 1 x Get Well Soon. Unlike the cards in the previous books which were scenes or collections of pictures, these all have pretty lettered greetings indicating the celebration they’re for, plenty of them still have scenes, cute animals or leaves, flowers or gems on them but at the centre is the greeting. Every aspect of every card, envelope and sticker is unique, there are no doubled up/rearranged designs, and no corners have been cut. The cards feel luxurious and are extremely well made, I couldn’t ask for more from a set of colouring cards, and with an RRP of just £9.99, often being found for under £5 they’re an absolute bargain and I’m sure I’ll be purchasing set after set of these.
In terms of mental health, I personally found these cards absolutely fantastic. I’ve been having a stressful week with anxiety and these cards have really helped me to calm down, zone out, and focus on a manageable project which I could colour in sections or larger bits when I was feeling better and despite it being the hottest week of the year, they’ve reminded me that my favourite time of year is on its way! The line thickness is thin throughout and the images are mostly very intricate and detailed with a few larger spaces on leaves and animals but predominantly each image consists of lots of small elements so these cards are definitely for those of you with pretty good vision and fine motor control. The image content is really natural and has a childlike quality which adds so much charm and character to the illustrations and is sure to brighten the darkest of days and spread a little cheer throughout the year, no matter how low you’re feeling. The cards take a surprisingly long time to colour so you get hours and hours of enjoyment from this book and you can really spread the colouring love by posting them coloured or even uncoloured to family and friends.
I would highly recommend these cards to anyone looking for greetings cards to colour and send, or anyone wanting to persuade their friends or family into starting colouring, these cards are so charming that the recipient surely can’t help but start colouring them if they’re sent uncoloured! You’ll need pretty good vision and fine motor control to enjoy them but if you have those then you’re sure to love these cards, they’re genuinely perfect!
If you’d like to purchase a set, they’re available here:
Amazon UK – The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: A Year of Celebrations
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-National-Trust-The-Colouring-Book-of-Cards-and-Envelopes—Year-of-Celebrations-Rebecc-Jones/9780857638564/?a_aid=colouringitmom
The card and envelope below were coloured using Stabilo 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips.