Reviewed by Kristin
Are you crafty? Are you catty? Are you cattily crafty? Do you just love cats so much that you want to surround yourself with as many fluffy felines as possible? Well I have the book for you.
This volume includes many original crafts such as “Applique Coin Purses,” “Cat-Shaped Door Stoppers,” and even “Umbrella Handle Covers.” Just imagine mackerel tabby and calico cat tails designs covering your umbrella handle. Most of the projects look fairly simple, but simply adorable.
Cat face cross-stitch buttons? Sure! Homemade shrinky-dink designs? I’m in! Fabric cat dolls with button eyes? I can see myself getting lost in a local craft store for hours just buying supplies.
The designs are folksy, and just quirky enough that they look original. If you can half-way follow instructions (like me,) or are just bold enough to adapt patterns to make your own unique crafts, pick up this book and create your new feline friends.
I was curious about an author named Neko, which as Jeanne pointed out, means “cat” in Japanese. Looking up “Shugei” revealed that it means “handicraft.” An author named “Cat Handicraft” as the author of a book on cat handicrafts was just too good to be true, so I went to the publisher’s website. According to Tuttle Publishing: “Neko Shugei is a collective of cat-loving crafters comprising Yumi Ooami, Miko Ogura, Miyuki Hayashi, Chizuko Kojima, minou 14, Naoko Suzuki, Kyoko Maruoka, Yoko Kobayashi, Hitomi Hanaoka, rie, Kanade Isshiki, Marupoleland, and nekogao along with their many feline muses.”
Bonus: these cats do not shed, use litter boxes, or need to be taken to the vet. The only snipping these cats need is when you finish up the project and tie off that last thread. They also don’t knock things over, although (speaking from experience,) they probably are in danger of being knocked over by the real cats.
(a long ago project; two of the three cats depicted are gone but not forgotten)