Sunday, December 20, 2020

REVIEW: Adorable Felted Animals: 30 Easy & Incredibly Lifelike Needle Felted Pals (nonfiction book) by Sareee, Satomi Fujita, Campanella, and s@chi

Adorable Felted Animals is a crafting book for needle felters. I bought my copy brand new.


This book contains instructions for making a variety of felted animals: a Japanese Shiba, a Hokkaido dog, a long-haired Miniature Dachshund, a long-haired Chihuahua, a rabbit (sitting or standing poses), a Golden Retriever (laying down or standing poses), a Labrador Retriever, a Toy Poodle, a Pomeranian, a Pug, a short-haired Dachshund, a Shih Tzu, a Welsh Terrier, six breeds of cats (Siamese, American Tabby, Chinchilla Silver, Norwegian Forest, Abyssinian, and Munchkin) in a variety of poses, several birds (Budgerigar, Java Finch, Cockatiel, Red-breasted Parakeet, White Java Finch, and Peach-faced Lovebird), ferrets (adult and baby), hamsters, chubby baby rabbits in felt boxes, and four different dogs designed as phone strap decorations (Shiba, Hokkaido dog, Miniature Schnauzer, Miniature Dachshund).

Although the title says this book contains instructions for "30 needle felted pals," as you can see, it really depends on how you count them. While there are indeed a lot of projects in this book, quite a few of them are variations of the same kind of animal. In some cases, this can be excused because four different artists (Sareee, Satomi Fujita, Campanella, and s@chi) contributed designs, and a rabbit designed by one person can look quite different than one designed by another. Still, it can be a bit repetitive. The cats, for example, are all designed by Campanella and are essentially just slight variations of the same general idea. As someone who is currently striving to make a good-looking needle felted cat, I appreciate seeing those variations and how they're accomplished, but anyone who isn't interested in that might find themselves annoyed.

Of all the needle felting books I own, this one is the most disappointing. The way the book is structured is terrible. It begins with full-color photos and descriptions of each project and a page devoted to materials and tools. Then there are fairly detailed but incomplete instructions for creating the Golden Retriever puppy (laying down pose), with full-color photographs. All of that is as expected, except for the bit in the instructions that directs you to another part of the book for the list of necessary materials and order in which you're supposed to make and assemble the parts.

After that, unfortunately, things get worse. The rest of the book is devoted to instructions for the projects, accompanied not by full-color photographs, but rather by awkward line drawings. The various parts are drawn life-size, which keeps the book from being useless, but the line drawings barely resemble the finished products and don't give you a very good idea of what the projects are supposed to look like from various angles. You have to flip back to the first part of the book if you want to see photographs rather than line drawings, and even then you only get views of one or two angles.

Quite a few of the designs involve florist wire, and while the length measurements and drawings of how the wire should be bent will likely be useful to me, it should be noted that nothing in the book states what gauge wire you're supposed to use. 

Another thing I noticed: many of the designs involve flocking (the word doesn't appear to be used in the text at all - instead, it calls the technique "implanting"), and the instructions explaining how to do that are inconsistent. Sareee's flocking instructions match what I've seen in other sources: you start at the bottom and back of your project and gradually move up and forward. However, Campanella's instructions are the exact opposite. It can't be a translation error, because even the diagram has arrows indicating that you're supposed to work from the top to the bottom of the cat designs.

I wouldn't say this book was a complete waste. Sareee's dog designs are lovely, and I'd really like to try making the long-haired Chihuahua and Dachshund at some point, despite the book's terrible structure and lack of good photographs from multiple angles. And I've already made use of Campanella's instructions on how to create cat faces - the result was a vast improvement upon my previous attempts at cat faces, even though I used different head and eye dimensions than Campanella's designs called for.

No comments:

Post a Comment