moose paint-by-number kit here
Behold! I am so artistic! 

So one of the things I promised myself at the start of 2015 was that I was going to learn to relax, whatever the sniznatch that means. I was gonna put myself on a schedule, get things done when they needed to get done, and then I was gonna POWER. DOWN. Turn the brain off. I think I burned out pretty hard last year. Even when I wasn't working I was worried about working; my candle had, like, forty wicks going at all times. 

But see, I get ANTSY. So I needed a thing. So then I was like . . . well, what kind of thing?

nursing mother paint-by-number kit here
And what I kept coming back to was those dang paint-by-numbers. In our family we always did a paint-by-number at Christmas. It served as a kind of brain cleanser between college semesters and was so relaxing; like a jigsaw puzzle with paint brushes. We always got ours at the local Michael's and then set it up on the dinner table, free-for-all style, and we'd all come and go as we pleased + add in a few colors in between cinnamon roll courses. I always got a little more into it than my sisters, who eventually wandered away to do whatever is they do on vacation, and then, well, I mean, I suppose you could say I have an intense personality, because when it came down on me to focus in and finish one, I'm telling you: ZEN STATUS REACHED. I loved those Christmas paint-by-numbers. Total brainless art project. You make no decisions. You can't screw it up. LASER-LIKE FOCUS. What could be better than that?

cowboy paint-by-number kit here
Well, so, queue the part when Brandon comes home every other evening with a new Amazon package going, "Did you order another paint-by-number!?" 

What would really be good for me would be, like, yoga or whatever. Meditation. I know, I'm a work in progress.

eagle paint-by-number kit here
Every paint-by-number is different. Some have you mix colors on your own, others don't; some provide palettes, others don't; this one came with three paintbrushes of different shapes once and I was like, WOAH. Taking ourselves seriously aren't we! 

I've become a connoisseur of paint-by-numbers! But is this really something I should feel proud of? 

I think the best part is that all of these paint-by-numbers are kitschy as bunk. They are so ridiculous looking. Some of them are a little hideous, and those are my favorites. They go perfectly in our funny Brooklyn loft. I'm thinking of doing a paint-by-number gallery wall maybe. Limited-time exhibit!

Watch out now, this is embarrassing. 

Sigh. They are rather glorious. I've done one or two every weekend this year so far. They go SO well with some episodes of Homeland + something nice to drink. Brain: OFF. Glory! But I promised Brandon I was done, and I am, I am; I'm done. 

So NOW I'm thinking . . . needlepoint kits. Yeah???

*Apologies in advance for any addictions resulting from this blog post, yo.*


  1. That breastfeeding one is especially lovely in a dramatic sort of way.

  2. Whoa I actually really like the bear one.

  3. Natalie. You must pick up cross stitching. It's basically paint by the number but with the added element of danger, aka a needle.

    I made this one while my husband was away for 4 days during an indulgent SVU marathon: http://www.amazon.com/Dimensions-Needlecrafts-Counted-Cross-Stitch/dp/B0059XE7MA/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1423595640&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=counted+cross+stick+robot

  4. This brought me back. My grandmother would always get these for us when we were young because it was a sure fire way for her to get some peace and quiet. I just might have to pick up a few for myself.


  5. I used to paint by numbers a lot when I was young, it's such a fun winter activity. Love the selection!


  6. This painting are amazing! I'd love to be able to paint like that!


    Records of my Troubles

  7. love it!


  8. Yay- thank you!! I asked on your Instagram and got completely reemed out, apparantly some thought it a dumb question:) I am the leader of the high school girls at out homeschool co-op ( makes me sound uber cool, right?) anyway, I thought they might enjoy trying one. So happy to have a couple reccomendations, plus now I want to try one myself!

  9. It doesn't sound silly at all. I am glad you have found something to help you quiet your brain. Sometimes our brains are just so very noisy.

  10. I'm telling you, knitting is so Zen!!! And you can even donate your finished projects, which makes it even better! I'm partial to hats, but you can make and then donate just about everything. Or ... socks. I bet you'd really get into sock knitting, and replace all you store-bought ones with handmade ones in no time!

  11. Be proud! I tried to do a paint by numbers while my Husband did another and our daughter painted beside us but I got so frustrated with it because I felt like it had too many rules so just smooshed the paint around until it turned into something resembling flowers.

    I need to take up something to do-stress - am thinking knitting.

  12. Very cute comparison between the two of yours! -Hanna Lei

  13. How fun! They look cheesy as hell but also sort of like you totally came up with them on your own.
    PLEASE start needlepoint and let us know what you use! That's a hobby I'd love to pick up. Or cross-stitching again, since I feel like that's easier. Maybe cross-stitch and then transition into needlepoint?

  14. Oh my. Giant paint by numbers http://www.refinery29.com/paint-by-numbers-diy

  15. Hey Natalie,
    it's a little bit off topic, but I remember you talked about a thunderbird ring not so long time ago,
    I've just stumbled upon this one and immediately thought of you! http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?BR=f21&Category=whatsnew_all&ProductID=1000114844&VariantID=

    I am so going to order this asap!:)

    Oly | TLV Birdie Blog

  16. This is such a wonderful idea - I would have never thought of it. I hope this takes Brooklyn by storm! And I definitely have my eye on the moose kit.

  17. This looks so much fun and relaxing. I never knew about paint by numbers. I really want to try it soon. Thank you for the great idea! :)

  18. Love this!! I wish I could paint like that!!! I actually love the first picture <3


  19. Omg I am obsessed with paint by numbers. Sooooooo zen! I am an expat living in Austria and they make the indoors winter some what bearable.

  20. I love this ! I would love to try ! You are very talented, this is very beautiful !


  21. They turn out so great, how can you not become addicted! Beautiful artwork Natalie Jean!

  22. Oh, what a wonderful hobby! Not silly at all! I remember doing these (on a much less complicated scale) when I was a little girl. My grandma would do stained glass paint-by-numbers and hang them in her kitchen window. Such beautiful memories!

    Circus & Bloom

  23. Well, I definitely just ordered a paint-by-numbers because I love this idea, so thank you!

    During the summer after my second year of law school I lived on the Umatilla Indian Reservation outside of Pendleton, OR, and I hated my life a little because I lived in a trailer, in the trailer park, on the Indian reservation, like a million miles away from everyone I knew, so I went to Wal Mart one day and got this epic wolf fuzzy poster (where you color in the white spaces with markers) and it entertained me for like a whole week after work. It was awesome. I gave it to my BF and he still has it hanging in his bathroom. HA! So, yes, moral of the story: I love this idea! Thanks!!

  24. These are vastly different than the ones I remember from childhood! How pretty!

  25. What about online paint by numbers?

  26. If you're thinking needlepoint look at melissashirleydesigns.com...she has some rad cacti handpainted needlepoint canvases. I think you'll like them.

  27. Brain cleanse is the perfect description for paint by numbers! I did my first one in September when I was in the throes of "leaving mormonism angst" and it had the effect of when you pick a cat up by the back of its neck and it goes into that stupid trance. I turned on Law & Order SVU in the background, and just painted and painted and painted and everything felt good. It's hard for me to find things I can kill 4-5 hours doing without getting distracted, and this is one that works! SO GLAD you linked to some options. I need to buy a new one. I actually just went to Italy and want to paint Florence. Time to hunt the Internets....

  28. Oh I so want to do this now... I've been doing cross-stitch, which has a similarly therapeutic effect probably. The one I'm working on now though is so large it takes quite a bit of concentration. It's equally as kitschy as these though so I'm excited for the end product! I might move on to this once I'm done...

  29. Thanks for sharing such a interesting post.....Really nice site have a wonderful ideas.furnace repair denver


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