Floral Accessories by Wendy Andrade

Floral Accessories is a beautifully photographed book of ideas and how-to for floral accessories. The designs are intricate and clearly professional looking but they are also extremely fussy and nearly all the wearable designs seem to detract rather than enhance the wearer.

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The book breaks down as follows: The first section has introduction, materials of the trade, techniques, gluing techniques, and an image finder reference. Then 3 chapters of step-by-step directions for wearable floral artwork, bridal designs, and unique wire techniques. The book ends with sponsor acknowledgements.

For me, I chose this book because I am a photographer and always looking to create pieces for my photography sessions. I found the directions very easy to follow and quite a few of the supplies I already had in my crafts drawer from previous products. We have step-by-step directions with a large photograph(s) above for each of the designs. For the techniques sections, there are many smaller images that show how to achieve a frame, decoration, etc. Note that the how-to sections refer heavily on the techniques section – so you are going to be going back and forth as you make a piece. Also note that not all the designs have directions – they are examples of designs you can achieve once you know the techniques but they only have a short summary and list of flowers you can use.

The photographs are quite lovely as are the models and make up/hair artistry. But I have to admit that most of the models look like someone took a table decoration and wrapped it around them quickly. They bulge in odd areas and are typically very thick. Most of the head/hair pieces work and the bouquets are quite lovely. But I was very disappointed in the messy or clunky ‘jewelry’ designs – most of which didn’t photograph well and I couldn’t imagine having to wear one even for a 1 hour modeling session.

Since the techniques and supplies needed are clearly laid out in both text and photographs, I feel this is a good reference for an artistry we don’t see in books very often. It’s also an inspiration guide since the photography/modeling/hair/MUA are all professional. I recommend leafing through the book in advance to make sure you like the designs as presented. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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