July 27, 2012

Book Review: Interactive Cards edited by Tanya Fox

After making several cards from this book and posting about them this week, I'm ready to review the book.

Pros: most of the instructions are simple, to the point and easy to modify; several different types of interactive cards, several examples of the card types, nice pictures to illustrated the instructions

Cons: only 1 peekaboo card; I found the never ending card instructions lacking, no tips for avoiding errors or to point out flaws / difficulties with cards (notably the slide-around effect you get with some slider and waterfall cards)

This book covers 9 types of interactive cards: spinners (3), sliders (6), wipers (3), peekaboo (1), pop-ups (2), hinged (2), swing (2), never ending (3) and waterfall (3).  In total you're shown 25 cards using the different techniques.  In some cases, as with the hinged and spinner cards, once you know the technique the other cards are just for variety.  In other cases, as with the sliders, there are several ways to do them, so the book gives examples of different types you can do.  

Each card had written as well as photographic aids in the instructions to help get the cards and techniques right.  This was very helpful as sometimes it's hard to picture the steps otherwise.

The instructions are very precise while at the same time being easy to modify for new designs.  Once you understand the principles of each technique you can make your own design.  With a few exceptions.  Given the difficulty of doing pop-up cards, only 2 are shown and they're fairly simple patterns (in other words, patterns you can reproduce and modify - for example, the flower bouquet can be turned into a hot air balloon basket).  If you want more complex pop-up designs or instructions on how to do complex designs on your own, you'll want a book dedicated to that purpose (and there are some good ones out there).

Of the 6 cards I tried (all of which I modified the theme/pattern without problems) the only one I had serious trouble with was the neverending card (it doesn't flip so as to make it neverending).  I could have used expert pointers for the cake slider card (so it's not as floppy) and the waterfall card (ditto).

The book assumes you have a certain level of card crafting skill.  Unlike most books there's no 'useful tools' or other basics pages if you're just starting out.  Some of the cards asked for specific tools and made it a bit annoying to substitute these tools if you don't have them (like asking for a specific die but not giving the dimension so you have to look it up online if you don't happen to have circle dies).  

There are a few patterns at the back for the cards that need them (most don't), but no tips of the trade or problem solving ideas.

Ultimately, it does teach some great techniques, and part of the fun of crafting is learning the tips and tricks yourself (and I did learn a few from trying these cards).  The variety of cards and the ease of modifying them for your own purposes make it a useful book despite its faults.

1 comment:

karin said...

While i like receiving intricately made cards, i'm not jumping in my car to get card crafting supplies just quite yet!

It looks like this stuff is way more touchy/artsy than scrapbooking...which i also didn't get into in my adult years.