Who would have guessed? My oddball cousin had it right all along…

Weird cousin: 1 ~ Tobi: zero
by Tobi Schwartz-Cassell

Every family has one. An eccentric cousin, uncle or sister-in-law who marches to the beat of her own drum. Maybe she’s flaky. Maybe he’s peculiar. Whatever adjective you use, no family can claim 100% conventional behavior. I certainly don’t fall into the parameters of conventionality, and I’m sure most of my cousins will vouch for that. Anyway, I’ll call my offbeat cousin, Lucy. That’s my cat’s name, and she just walked by, so it’s as good a pseudonym as any.

About 20 years ago during a family gathering, I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I had to log in a little talk-time with ColoringLucy. She made a quiet confession to me. She was about 55 at the time. She leaned over and whispered, “Tobi, you won’t believe this, but I have a stash of coloring books and crayons, and I color. I don’t even let me grandchildren play with them! They’re mine. But I do it because it really relaxes me.” To which I answered, “Wow…that’s interesting…” That’s what I said. Now here’s what I thought, “Yup. That’s my cousin. Coloring books and crayons. What is she, 5?”

And even if I could’ve wrapped my head around her coloring habit, I could not fathom her not allowing her grandchildren to color with her! I mean, I’m not even a grandma, but isn’t that one of the joys of being one? But remember, I told you she is strange.

So now it’s 2016, and all through 2015, I kept hearing about women—all grown up with jobs and families and everything—coloring! WTH?

Come color with us! There will be wine.
Come color with us! There WILL be wine.

But their 21st Century coloring books contain patterns that are extremely intricate. Barbie and the Ninja Turtles? They’re for kids. These are beautiful, complex patterns that you might even want to frame when finished. There are no statistics that I could find on how many women are coloring these days, but pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to who does, agrees that it helps reduce stress, and nurtures their creative side. Holly Sanborn, a Director at Thirty-One Gifts says, “It all started when the creative teenage daughter of another Thirty-One Consultant picked up some permanent markers and decided to color in the white spaces on a black and white paisley tote. The results were very impressive, colorful, quick and easy. It made the product so striking that everyone started doing it and the rest is history!”

Tobi Schwartz-Cassell's Franks and Beans Events-Picture
The “Oh Snap” Bin, before and after

On April 6, Holly will be our instructor for our Grown Up Girls’ Coloring & Dinner Party. But we won’t be using books. We’ll each color an “Oh Snap Bin.” It’s called that because you snap it to create a loop. You can hang it from a towel rack or a hook, and you can stash your necessities for bathroom, kitchen or crafting corner in your home. Hey, we’re not messing around! We’re putting the fun back in functional! Early Bird pricing ends March 27 at midnight! So click here & book now.

C’mon. Don’t tell me you don’t have stress. If my offbeat cousin can admit it, so can you.

QUESTION: Do you color? Why? Tell me all about it! I am fascinated by this trend.


PS: As many of you know, I’ve started to work out at Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club to strengthen my core and other areas. One of the main reasons I need to do this is because of osteoporosis in my spine. I’ll be providing updates of my progress as I go along. In the meantime, until March 31st, you can get started and pay $0 until June! Feeling great is priceless! Click here for more info!

PPS: Here are upcoming Franks & Beans Events!

March 30: Painting Party & Dinner
April 6: Grown Up Girls Coloring & Dinner Party
April 19: Psychic Dinner
May 23: Cooking Demo & Dinner