book review // cuter stuff by aranzi aronzo
If you saw a book that claimed to have Cute Stuff in it, you'd want to look, right? What if it declared that it was filled with Cuter Stuff? Well, you'd pick up that book, find that it was indeed super cute, and then you'd buy it. Full price. This is what happened when I spotted this Aranzi Aronzo book at Barnes & Noble the other day.
A few years back, I picked up the Japanese version of Cute Stuff (before it was translated), and loved it. The sequel to this title is similar to the first and both are true to their names.
Each item in the book has a photo, or sometimes several photos, but all of the instructions are illustrated. This was a huge inspiration to me when working on my own book, but I don't think anyone could do it better than the Aranzi Aronzo books. The projects and motifs are cute, but so is the whole process!
Along with the project photos throughout the book, at the back there is a gallery of pictures showing some most of them in use. I love that they are often modeled by stuffed animals designed by the authors!
And here's a better look at the illustrations. These are from the basics section. Sewing instructions from bunnies? Yes please! This is a good example of why buying the Japanese version of Cute Stuff worked for me. I can't read Japanese, but the illustrations explain so much. A picture is worth 1000 words, right?
The projects range from magnets to pencil holders to coasters and more, most of which have a useful quality to them. This doggy is just cute, and I'm good with that. I think my sister and I might make one to play with her American Girl dolls.
Some projects are rather simple, for example, I didn't need a book to show me how to add faces to fruits and vegetables. But you can bet that I'm crazy for this page. Seriously...things are better with faces.
One thing I really appreciate in Cuter Stuff is that you don't absolutely need a sewing machine. They tell you when you can use one, but nearly everything works with hand sewing. Even a panda zipper pouch!
Most projects have a distinct Aranzi Aronzo style to them, but a few feel more generic. They are all still super cute, and I'm looking forward to making these felt flowers. Speaking of felt, that is the most common material you'll use for the Cuter Stuff in this book. Love that!
Working with felt is one of my favorite materials, and seeing easy ways to work with it is good for me. There are several projects that use the collection of felt applique motifs in the book, including hiragana. Just seeing these kinds of ideas is helpful, because it will get you thinking about new ways to use favorite patterns.
Cuter Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo is simple and good for kids or beginners, as well as for those who just need a dose of cute inspiration. Look for it at your local bookseller or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.