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Fashion Angels -Tattoo Artist Sketch Portfolio
I love crafts, and could quite happily spend the rest of my days doing nothing else. Real life gets in the way from time to time, and I have to do boring things like wash and clean etc. I have two daughters, and whilst one has absolutely no interest in gluing, sticking and colouring, as she calls it; my youngest daughter is following in my footsteps and is a marvel at anything creative.
When I saw this set in the local Hobbycraft I thought it was just the thing to encourage her creativity and imagination, along with her sense of style. This kit is essentially a colouring book, with a more 'grown-up' theme, to the usual colouring books aimed at children on the market. The age recommendation is for 6+, although my niece used this adequately although not without a few minor hitches, from the age of four. When I first purchased this, it cost £6.99, but this was still a quite a reasonable price for the play value, and use it's had since then. Looking at Amazon today (Aug 2013) they are a similar price. OK, it's expensive for a colouring book, but this is so much more than that. It's also quite expensive when you come to learn that the books that are twice the size are in a similar price bracket, so if Tattoo's and Body Art aren't your thing, there are a wide range of other, larger books to choose from.
This book measures 25 x 14 cm and set on the vertical axis. It's quite substantial thickness, as there a lot of pages in there; you really feel like you are getting your monies worth. I like the fact that its spiral bound from the top, and the covers rather than being hard backed are constructed from a thick, yet pliable plastic. The benefit to this is, when you are colouring you can actually colour right up to the edges of the design; sometimes with this style of book, with a bound edge, you end up struggling on the side with the spine. Being spiral bound, also means that it lies flat and doesn't keep trying to close on itself; that always used to bother me as a child.
Inside, you will find in excess of 40 pages of outlines. I've just counted the pages and although there are now 41 pages in there, my daughter has on occasion removed her masterpiece to display upon the kitchen fridge or to present to her grandparents so there might have been up to 45 or 50. Although the pages are not perforated, due to the way it is presented, it is extremely easy to tear each page out, without ruining the remaining pages.
There are seven outline designs included - head and shoulders, hands, heads shoulders and hands/arms, just feet, just hands, and full body; all in various poses. They are repeated several times over, throughout the book, BUT although there are only seven designs to choose from, each one can be so varied, there will never be an opportunity to get fed up of each one, and the design potential is tremendous. That said, some of the other colouring books of this brand have a little as three designs, so this one is quite good. The outlines are on white paper, and are a pale purple/lilac colour.
Also included, is five sheets of stencils. These are construction from some sort of thick acetate, or thin plastic. These are extremely flimsy and flexible, and where my four year old niece (at the time) found she had trouble. Above the 6 year old age recommendation, they would have better hand eye coordination and better pencil control, in order to utilise the stencils adequately. Younger than this, you may find the stencils to be far too flexible and are more of a hindrance than a help. The stencils contain a vast array of tattoo shapes and in a wide range of sizes - there are stars, music themed designs, animal, flowers and leaves, right down to the classic flowing banner and winged heart designs. You really can go to town with this book and then some.
To get your creative juices flowing further, both at the front and back of the book there is a selection of inspirational completed pictures featuring finished designs, either to copy, or just get inspiration from. The instructions for use are really child friendly and done pictorially. There is also help with colour theory - the science of tints, shades, complementary and harmonious colours, and also colour blending and shading. Whilst this goes over the heads of the younger designer, my daughter now aged 10, is beginning to take these considerations on board, and as a consequence, her designs and colour choices have improved dramatically.
As I think my review reflects, I highly rate this Fashion Angels Tattoo Artist Sketch Portfolio. It's been a lovely addition to my daughter's craft collection, and is perfect for rainy day play in these long summer holidays, or just when the mood arises. With the price available today, it makes a wonderful little stocking filler or birthday party gift along with a packet of crayons.
Fashion Angels gets five stars from me, along with a glowing recommendation. :)