Book Review – A Dangle a Day (Lettering Alphabets and Seasonal Designs with Charms) by Angela Porter.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – Race Point Publishing for providing me with a temporary free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Any reviews I give are done obligation free, and are unpaid… but we won’t go there. 😉

So, I have always been a doodler… those little squiggles and flowers down the margin of my work. But I never thought I was that good and they were all really more scribbles than anything actually recognisable.

Meaning I already had an interest in this topic… or so I thought! But since reading, and trying out some of the suggestions, in ‘A Doodle a Day’ I am officially addicted to journaling and bullet journaling (two different things by the way 😉 ).

‘A Dangle a Day’ is a fantastic stepping stone for people to learn about… well, you could call them just doodles. But what I got from this book is how beneficial journaling, drawing dangles, doodles, bullet journaling is to the creative soul. I am not saying I am an amazing artist – I know I’m not. But that doesn’t matter… I have a creative soul and it needs an outlet. And learning the basics of dangles, and learning they are not really as complicated as they seem, has opened a world of creative “Me Time” for me.

I have been describing it as a form of meditation for the ever busy, creative mind. As, yes, my name is Janis and I am an over thinker. 😉 I try and meditate, but emptying my mind just makes me fall asleep. Meditation and I are not good as if I stop thinking about the “adulting stuff” in my life, that cleared mind gets filled with story ideas, recipe theories, craft projects… it jumbles, shouts, confuses and I don’t destress. Oh, and I do not shut up! 😀

And ‘A Dangle a Day’ has helped introduce me to a new form of mental downtime. I can let go of the stressful “adulting” while allowing myself to become one with the creative… but in a relaxing way. I am seriously feeling the benefits already, and these are all I’ve done… so far.

daydoodle all
My first attempt, based on an image in ‘A Dangle a Day’. Visit my Instagram for better details.

So, that is my open and honest opinion of ‘A Dangle a Day’. But for those of you who need a less hippy, waffly version of a review, here you go:

‘A Dangle a Day’ is an introduction to journaling and bullet journaling art. Not the actual “how to” on journaling or bullet journaling… simply the “how to” on how to create the art to define your journals. And, for me, if helped drop the barriers of knowing where to start in journaling by providing a great introduction to what dangles and doodles are all about, lists of the best materials required for these art projects and then gives good step by step instructions on how to create things like letters, numbers, seasons, etc. These finished projects are also shown at the back of the book, referencing the pages of step by step instructions.

The only two, very small, negative comments I would make are: I would have loved further instruction or hints on colouring and blending. And maybe if the art had been shown on dot pages… as it seems everyone prefers to use them for their work.

BUT! These negatives are really more of a wish list so can probably be ignored! 😀

To the copyeditor “boring” side of things – ‘A Dangle a Day’ was formatted well. The layout, fonts and images were well spaced and easy to read and follow. My only quibble with them is I had an electronic copy so couldn’t have “my turn” as each page suggests. Well, I could. I just had to use my own journals for it. 😉 And, gosh darn it, I found myself simply FORCED to visit a stationery store and buy a new dot page journal too! (Note sarcasm 😀 )

a dangle a day
Buy on Amazon…

Would I recommend this book for others?

Yes I would. Particularly those who are interested in giving journaling and bullet journaling a go but aren’t too sure where to start. As I’ve said, ‘A Dangle a Day’ won’t actually show you how to start journaling… but it shows you how to do the creative dangles and doodles that are the cornerstones to journaling. Well, I feel they are. As I really didn’t know where to start with my journaling, but wanted to give it a go as creative “Me Time”. Now I know where to go thanks to this book!

You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy giving ‘A Dangle a Day’ a go… just a desire to be creative. The step by step instructions (or final dangles displayed at the back of the book) will help you do the rest.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would. As with most non-fiction books I receive to review, I only received an ACSM with a limited shelf-life (it expires just after a month) so I will need to buy a copy if I want to turn to it for inspiration again at a later date. And… I would be happy to do so. I just hope it is available at an affordable price here in Australia. Amazon has started blocking people from buying from 3rd parties and telling me to use Amazon.com.au… where the same item doubles and triples in price. So it will all depend on whether I can find it for an affordable price.

In summary: A good starting point on how to become creative in journaling and bullet journaling.

Until next time,

Janis.

journaling

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