Starting 2023 with books

Starting 2023 with books

2023 has already sent me a change of plans notice. My last goal for the end of 2022 had been to have the local guild library book check completed. Then I would spend hours grouping, sorting and formatting data into lists so the library would be more accessible for members to use. I was running a bit behind schedule and the new deadline was to have the circulating books counted by 4 pm on Jan. 9th.  If I cannot get all the circulating books checked between one meeting and the next it means I have a lot of extra checking to do once the books start moving in or out of the library. Ann had been extra busy this past year and was not as available as she had hoped. This meant that on the day of the meeting, there were four full cabinets of books checked, leaving one last cabinet full of books to check (780.’s Basketry to 900.’s Textiles – Finished cloth).

1) OVWSG Guild Library cabinet full of weaving books, on the door is a list of what is on the bottom shelf. In front of the cabinet is the old guild computer on the library rolling table.1) OVWSG Guild Library cabinet full of weaving books, on the door is a list of what is on the bottom shelf. In front of the cabinet is the old guild computer on the library rolling table.

I got into the studio extra early and It all was going quite well until I got to my nemesis, the bottom shelf. The “Problem” shelf.  The Shelf placement within the cabinets does not allow binder-height books to sit upright on the bottom shelf, so most books sit with their spine edge facing up. For easier use, I had created a photo and list of what should be on that shelf. Unfortunately, I had to check to make sure that all were present and accounted for. This involved a bend, twist and lean maneuver that I had to repeat as I found each miss placed book or worse lack of book. Missing books kept me searching longer before giving up, and marking them as not there. I finally got to the end of the shelf and thought I had gotten away with this particular acrobatic bending maneuver…. But my back was only considering how best to discuss this grievous insult to its dignity. (It also likely recalled the 4 previous circulating cabinet bottom shelves.) I knew well before the meeting had started I was not going to be able to stay. I had the library set up for the evening, labelled everything I could think of and waited for Ann to arrive after work so she could run the library. (Sorry Ann!!) I got help back to the car and headed home, hoping to watch the meeting on Zoom. (There is still the Reference section, Audio-Visual and Magazines left to check!)

It was a fabulous presentation on a reinterpretation of district checks by Carl Stuart. But by the end, it was a challenge to get from the computer down the short hall to the bedroom and into bed. It’s taken 4 full days to get the grumbles back to a manageable level so I can hope to think and type.

My original plan of having a chat about fibre prep vocabulary has been put on hold (it will let me find better photos for you too) and instead, I wanted to keep with the theme of this post so far and show you the books of X-mass 22.

Glenn has discovered buying Felting Books for me is as much of a challenge as buying Blacksmithing books for him. Even so, he did very well this year.

2)  Unwrapped Christmas presents, 3 felting books, candy and a plastic box sitting on a black duvet.2)  Unwrapped Christmas presents, 3 felting books, candy and a plastic box sitting on a black duvet.

(The Mysterious contents of the plastic box we will chat about in an upcoming post with Ann.)

He also found an IKEA Octopus and an Octopus winter hat!

3) Yellow IKEA Octopus wearing a Red, Black and Purple Octopus winter hat sitting at the pillow end of the bed.

4) Japanese book cover by Sachi with framed needle felted cat on the front

The first book is in Japanese, I think it may be “Portrait of Cat Made of Wool Felting”? It has a lot of detailed pictures about the needle felting of cat faces including how to make eyes, whiskers, patterns, and fur in detail. The text is completely in Japanese but the layout is correct for a European book (spine on the left-hand side) so I hope there will be an English edition soon. Ann said there should be an app on my phone to take a picture and translate it. I don’t think my phone is that smart but it would be helpful while waiting for an English version.

Let me show you a few interior shots so you can get an idea of the content, the pictures are extremely detailed and give lots of information even if you don’t read Japanese (Written English is still challenging enough for me, arigtozimasu).

4.1-4.4)  A couple of random pages showing photos and text from the book.4.1-4.4)  A couple of random pages showing photos and text from the book.

This would likely be a good book for those interested in extreme realism and fur applications. I suspect it will be even more enlightening if you have a friend who reads Japanese! I hope it will be printed in English, I would buy it.

The second book I had seen mixed reviews on.  I was hoping to find an inexpensive second-hand copy to check out. The rumours had been quite negative, that the book was basically a coffee table vanity project with lots of pictures of the artist’s work and almost no info about how to needle felt.

5) Cover of “Make Animals felt Arts from Japan” by YoshiNobu5) Cover of “Make Animals felt Arts from Japan” by YoshiNobu

While I would agree the first section (66 pages) of the book is inspirational images of the artist’s work, the second section, (page 67 to 118) are divided into information on tools, types of wool, ways of blending fibre, basic techniques, then on to small projects to teach the basic techniques and expand on them. The projects are finger puppets and broaches. The instructions start out with simple shapes and a bit of colour blending and get more complicated. There are occasional translational word choice problems but overall it has good information. (There is a drum carder labelled as a combing machine! I will return to address that in a later post).

This book may have received better reviews if the inspirational section was after the informational section. But the information included is good and the pictures though small are reasonably clear to follow.

5.1-5.4) A few interior pages from Make Animals felt arts5.1-5.4) A few interior pages from Make Animals felt arts

 6) Cover for “The Natural world of Needle Felting, learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals” by Fi Oberon showing needle felted pengquins.6) Cover for “The Natural World of Needle Felting, learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals” by Fi Oberon showing needle-felted penguins.

The last book he found for me was one I already had picked up in 2021. “The Natural World of Needle Felting, learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals” by Fi Oberon.

6.1-6.4) parts of interior pages of “The Natural world of Needle Felting, learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals” by Fi Oberon6.1-6.4) parts of interior pages of “The Natural World of Needle Felting, learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals” by Fi Oberon

This book has a different approach to sculpture than I usually take. There are a few projects where the wool is cut and the armature inserted when the sculpture is almost complete. There are a number of projects with partial armatures and some with no armatures. I purchased a copy while I was working on the armature wire project. There is the use of strips of felt to make the core of a sculpture as well as the suggestion of using a ball of wool yarn to start the center of a spherical shape.

There is an interesting suggestion for making felted mushrooms (a currently popular topic) by using cardboard yarn and then adding a cap and stem of needle-felted wool. Most of the projects are simplified shapes which are not too intimidating for a beginner or advanced beginner.

All 3 books are worth looking at and depending on the direction your style of needle felting is taking you may want to get a copy of some of these for your own library.

7-7.1) Ann looking at my Christmas felting books7-7.1) Ann looking at my Christmas felting books

Ann and I will show you a bit more of our Christmas acquisitions but that will be in a later post. In the meantime have fun and keep felting!!!

14 thoughts on “Starting 2023 with books

  1. Sorry to hear that your back isn’t happy Jan – we hope things improve soon!

    The needle felted cat head and the polar bear are amazing – such skill! However, the Natural World of Needle Felting is more our level:)

    The dreaded bottom shelf is a problem for those of advancing years or disability so our local library will leave it empty if they are able to do so.

    Looking forward to seeing what other Christmas goodies you and Ann had.

    1. Thank you Both! it seems to be considering forgiving me. i am going to be very carefull for a while and hope it forgets. l had originaly left the bottom shelf empty but books keep being published and cabinets dont get bigger so i have expanded to the bottom shelf. my solution for guild members was to take a photo of the shelf, then list all the books that were expected to be there. i put the info into plastic sleaves then hung it on a hook inside each cabinet door. it worked for members but not for the Librarians to count!

      i think you may find the instructions on the poler bare finger puppets very accessible. he showed other finger puppet shapes, that i think you could figrure out the prosses to make from what he discribed for the bare.
      i suggest you may wate to see if the Cat book is translated into English but that too would give lots of insperation and infromation on how to work with fur. the use of pins to get cimitry was quite an Ah Ha moment.
      you never know what will click and the light bulb of insperation will go on! (then there is the problem of turning the light bulb off so you can get some sleep)

      i hope you both had fabulous xmassess and will show off any exciting pressents you recieved.

  2. Oh the bad back! The floor (and bottom shelf) gets further away each year. One solution for you and your members might be to get some clever DIYer to make a drawer which could fit into the bottom shelf space. The books could sit in it spine side up so that when the drawer is pulled out the titles can be read without you getting right down to ground level. Of course, once you’ve spotted the one you want, you still have to bend down to pick it out but it should be a bit easier. (Alternatively, perhaps someone could upcycle an old chest of drawers so that you could have more drawers nearer the ground and drawer spaces at the top, if the top drawer is too tall for little people (like me) to see inside.
    Your Japanese cats book looks similar to one I bought some years ago by Hinali – “Needle Felting Kittens: How to Create Cats Out of Felt That Look as Real as Can Be: How to Create Cute and Lifelike Cats from Wool” – This one has been translated into English. Hinali’s cats and kittens are very lifelike too and I don’t suppose I’ll ever pluck up courage to do more than look at the pictures.
    Anyway, Jan I hope you get the back grumbles at least down to mumbles soon.

    1. Thanks Ann! yes the ultimate solution is just more shelves or shelves that are all binder hight. and promising the bottom shelf is off limits and hope the back forgetts by the time i have to do something related to that shelf again!

      Yes it is similer to Needle Felting Kittens by Hinali (i have that one too) have you seen Fantastic Felted Cats by Housetsu Sato?
      it seems a bit less ambishous with the fur but still vary catlike.

      i am very impressed with all 3 authors, cats can be a dificult subject. Cats can be of strong opoinions and will discuss at lenght if you havnt done what thay wanted correctly (or was that only my cat Miaka? i have that rong, i was her staff and alwasy such a disapointment!)

  3. Sorry to hear about your back issues Jan. It’s kind of hard seeking out an easy solution other than leaving the lower shelf empty as the ladies suggested. That presents an issue in our house as I tend to use the lower shelves for stability as I don’t like securing the units to the walls. I decided last week to reorganise the book cases moving them around and swapping them out (one room to another) major job as everything is so heavy. Thankfully I had assistance from two of the guys in the house but it played havoc with my neck. I have discovered that I find it easier to read titles if I can bend my head over to my left shoulder (or maybe this is what most folk do and I’ve just had my personal eureka moment!)
    How thoughtful is your darling husband! What lovely books and presents. Thanks for the great reviews. By the way, have you ever tried Book Depository (free delivery worldwide as far as I know). Not sure what the selection is like for needle felting but it might be worth investigating.
    Looking forward to hearing what is in the mystery book.

    1. thank you Hélène! i have many of the walls in the house covered in book shelves. all are full of books.before i bot this little semi-detached bungalow i was renting in a row of town houses. a drummer moved in next door and it took me months to figure it out. the nabour on the other side of him was complaining, i had not noticed a thing since the wall between the houses had a row of book cases full of 1 foot thick sound damening papper. the smallest bedroom when we moved here was vary cold. we think the insulation has slumped or there may not be much there. so up went book casses. now the room is quite comfy! Books there not just for reading!! have you tryed audio books. they are so much more comfortable to read (well not read just listen while you felt or spin or…..)

      i have used Book Depository! i do check there to see if i can find what i want Cheeper.

      have you seen Thrift Books? i think the last thing i picked up was an excelent hardcover copy of a comparitive antomy book “Cyclopedia Anatomicae” by Gyorgy Feher. there is a paper back edition but its a big book and the binding will not last as long in the paperback format. it is a good reference if you want to make life like animals to scale or people! i can do a blog about anatomy books if there is interest. (i had a large selection for work! and all the art related anatomy books from univerity and collage.)

      Ann and i will co-ordinate a post showing our other christmass aquisition!

      i hope you get to rest and read your books now that they have been relocated. i have an office to take appart and reassemble, not working is a lot of work. now i have to get it changed over to a more efficent art studio/ felting location. it is full of RMT reference books, and office stuff at the moment.

  4. Oh Jan, I hope your back is better now. Always an issue when you have to do movements that your back is unhappy with. I’m always jealous when I hear about your guild library. As far as I know, the guilds around here don’t have their own space and no library. So I rely on the library and interlibrary loan system.

    1. Yes thanks it seems to have forgiven me, as long as i dont want to get anything that has fallen on the floor. but if it fell there it likly wanted to be there so should i realy interfeer with its wants and try to pick it up?

      i hope you will drop by and check out the library if you are driving past this end of the continent!! i would love to show you it but will feel horribly imbarrised by the only 3/4 of a shelf of felting books, i have more than that now at home!!! once the library has a budget it is one of the spots that needs to be expanded.

      i hope you can get a local guild library close to you.(maybe not include the nabour in the black fur coat that drank out of your bird bath, but you hopefuly have other nabours who might be intersted in fiber arts?) the ottawa guild library lived in a few diferent closets over the years. if you have a free closet you could volintere as libraian for one of your local guilds or start one and then get to house (and read) all the library books. before our library had a closset to call home, the books lived in a few boxes that got passed to each libarian, who brot requested books into the meeting and took home returned books. we have grown too big for that now but all librarys start with one book who is lonly and needs more books!
      its grate that the city library and interlibrary loan is still avalible, it usualy dosnt have too much on the topics i am digging into (which are usualy rather weard or obsure) but if you expand to the university librarys then the quest for info gets realy exciting. i am glad the internet has not made local librarys obsoleet.

  5. Sorry for your back, I hope that you will be right as rain soon! Librarians get to do a lot of heavy lifting and bending, it’s not as much of a light job as one would think!
    Those books seem interesting, especially as inspiration and to learn new techniques I am guessing. The only big issue is that when you start buying one you are on a slippery slope and soon your house will be packed wall to wall with books! It’s something I know well, I have got the same addiction 🙂

    1. Think of our addiction as a method to produce frugal heating expences, all that thermal value of paper will improve the insolation value of your walls!!! so you need to buy more books to keep you warm and the heatting bills down!! the only problem i have found to my theory is that i dont have much room to hang paintings!!!
      But the other benifit is you get to read the books!!!

    1. Yes i was quite pleased. i think the polar bare book was unfairly slanderd as a coffy table vanity book. the info is good but hiden at the back. if the revewers got too tierd to turn enuff pages to get to the info thay should stick to audio books. (i like audio books but you realy dont have to hold the book or turn the pages when your listening). let me know if you want to look at any again!

  6. The first book reminds me of a Japanese YouTuber who makes needle felting videos of pets… it’s fabulous. Let me know if you’d like me to look up their info.

    Hope your back feels better soon, Jan!

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