This is a wonderful book. The cakes inside are unique and interesting, with modifications both inside and out. My favorite is a pinata cake with candyThis is a wonderful book. The cakes inside are unique and interesting, with modifications both inside and out. My favorite is a pinata cake with candy inside. What's more is that the book has very in-depth instructions on how to make each cake, so detailed, it's possible I could make one. (Don't look at me like that--I can't cook, but I can do crafts so maybe cake decorating is a possibility?)
This was a fun read. That's not to say it's funny--although it was at points--but that the story was really enjoyable. It was kind of like the gay verThis was a fun read. That's not to say it's funny--although it was at points--but that the story was really enjoyable. It was kind of like the gay version of Indian Jones. It kept me enthralled right up and past the last page. The story was believable and different. It was interesting to learn about the tiger, Tasmania, and Australia 100 years ago. There was action and adventure, danger and true peril, and it was so, so, so sweet. There was excellent sexual tension but also romantic tension. Plus, a small chunk of it takes place in the suburb of Mebourne where my sister lives!
The characters were wonderful and distinct individuals. Their motivations mostly made sense and I liked the people I was supposed to like and didn't like the ones I wasn't. There was some stereotyping, though. The Aboriginal Australian (I'm sorry, the book said that isn't PC, but I didn't know what else to use. If you know, please say so in the comments so I can amend this review.)
The men acted like adults, handling arguments like grown men for the most part. Once Dash walks away in anger, and he second guesses their relationship thinking Dingo was using him, but he realizes he may have made a mistake quite quicky, that Dingo did care, so he turned back.
There was a little head hopping and a little omniscient narrator, but it wasn't very common. There were a few problems, but they weren't many. One was that someone "moved up to the stern" of a boat. Ummm.
The biggest problem, though, was inserting too many 21st centurey sensitivities into a book from acompletely different era. I can accept that an academic might not like guns, but to have people in a rural area in 1936 not wanting the kids to be around guns is ridiculous. The kids would have guns in their hands early on to learn how to both hint and protect themselves. On top of that, at least one of the MCs hates zoos because of how the animals needed to run free, etc., again a very modern Western World idea. (I hate zoos, too, even though I know some do a lot of work with saving species nearing extinction, etc.)
Another was that an Englishman was horrified that someone let a ten year old drink some beer once. That was ridiculous to me. He might not approve but there still wasn't a drinking age in many places in Europe. In my lifetime, kids drank in Ireland and France. Watered down but still.
Yet another was that Dash was way too comfortable with being casual and presumptious regarding his clothing for British man in 1935. He was too undressed for a British person, especially when he was in someone else's home. He walked to an external bathroom in his underwear. I wouldn't expect a guest of mine to do that now if I'd only just met them. He also walked down to breakfast in bare feet. Again, that's almost weirder him walking into someone else's kitchen to get food for himself.
Other reviewers have mentioned the attitudes toward equality were also too forward thinking but I disagree. By this time, the US had finished it's civil war over slave ownership and the slaves had been freed. There were other countries going through a similar thing, too, including one island in Indonesia, I think, where the slaves themselves revolted and won.
A couple of little items:
Moss grows thickest on the south side of trees in the Southern Hemisphere not the north. There was too much sex, but least the scenes were short so I didn't have too much time to be annoyed by the interruptions in the story.
Overall, I loved the story and I want a sequel. There isn't one, and probably won't ever be, so (view spoiler)[the HFN won't turn into an HEA (hide spoiler)], which is annoying.
But overall, this book was wonderful 5 stars easily.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
These are beautiful quilts (the one on the cover isn't nearly as nice as the rest in the book)and I would love to make some of them. I was excited toThese are beautiful quilts (the one on the cover isn't nearly as nice as the rest in the book)and I would love to make some of them. I was excited to find this book because I was trying to decide whether to make a watercolor quilt or a bargello quilt and I can make two in one with a couple of these designs. There is an excellent introductory segment on general technique including what fabrics to choose, such as color and design, and how to piece bargello quilts. This section alone is worth the price of the book. There are diagrams showing how the center color (and therefore the strips) go across the front of teh quilt with clear instructions as well. There are many more quilts in addition to the projects, and I think most of them are beautiful. The author and I have similar taste as far as colorways go. There is a sameness to most of the quilts which tends to bug me, but the pros of the book outweigh the cons.
4.5 stars rounded down because of the lack of variety...more
None of these quilts really look like bargello quilts; there's too much going on. They're also very complicated using very few strips per quilt. MostlNone of these quilts really look like bargello quilts; there's too much going on. They're also very complicated using very few strips per quilt. Mostly each piece is separately sewn together when one of the appeals of bargello quilts is how you can strip piece almost the whole thing and get a lovely effect. On top of that, all the quilts look the same, like one of three designs done several dozen times. However, if you like the quilts in the book, there are ample designs to give you ideas in addition to the ones for which directions are given. But those directions aren't very good and are actually quite confusing.
Kudos to the author for an awesome name. It's possible it's her birth name, but it sounds like a pen name or a name she chose as an adult for some reaKudos to the author for an awesome name. It's possible it's her birth name, but it sounds like a pen name or a name she chose as an adult for some reason. It's awesome.
Anyway, this book has some great strip quilting techniques and excellent instructions, but the quilts are all ugly. The only pretty one for me is on the cover, and I think it's rather exceptional tiven how it fades from light to dark like a watercolor quilt. Since this is done with strip piecing, that's cool. But it's the only one that's like that, and frankly, it's not a particularly inspired watercolor quilt.
I think the author and I just have differing tastes on what colors go together as well as what colors are pretty. There are a lot of browns and beiges and washed out colors. I don't mean faded like old jeans, I mean the brand new fabric is just bland. These quilts have a 70's look about them. Ick. But aside from that, I still think most of them are ugly designs. But they would improve with better colorways.
1 star for 1.5 stars for the quilts, 4.5 stars for the instructions...more
I don't really like these quilts. They're uneven in pattern without a point to that, meaning that it doesn't make it artistic in my mind, just random.I don't really like these quilts. They're uneven in pattern without a point to that, meaning that it doesn't make it artistic in my mind, just random. I also don't like most of the colorways.
That said, this book is actually a good one with clear instructions including a grid to show how the quilt strips should be laid out in the end to have the squares in the right place.
Two stars for the quilts, four stars for the instructions, net three stars....more
There was a time when I thought Bargello quilts were magic. Then I became a quilter and realized they really aren't all that and they don't give me thThere was a time when I thought Bargello quilts were magic. Then I became a quilter and realized they really aren't all that and they don't give me the same illusion they used to. As a result, they just looked tacky to me. Then I saw this book. The quilts in here are beautiful and different from the run of the mill bargello quilt. Maybe it's the colors, which are vivid and strong, a couple in oranges and reds that look like fire. The one on the cover helps keep the illusion a bit and I'd love to make one of these....more
This book is a gallery of incredible quilts rather than a how to despite the subtitle of "inspiration." There are a few instructions to give you an idThis book is a gallery of incredible quilts rather than a how to despite the subtitle of "inspiration." There are a few instructions to give you an idea about some of the techniques, but they're more for someone either very skilled or someone curious about how the creator got that effect. There is a huge range of quilts and techniques here from fabric painting to pleated blocks, from realistic portraits to abstract shapes, from quilts pieced similarly to traditional blocks to twisted three dimensional columns. I checked out a couple of books with "art quilts" at the same time as this, and those just don't compare. This is true art and shows how fabric, thread, and some handy skills can be worked by a skilled hand into something beautiful and interesting....more