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May 2012 Craft Magazine Reviews

10 May

Welcome to our new regular monthly post on this months Craft Magazines. 

I hope you will understand it is not possible for us to write a review of every Craft/ Jewellery / Card Magazine available each month as there are a lot of Craft magazines out there!  But we will try to write about the magazines we usually buy as well as review mags that look interesting that month.  This also could be a very expensive task for just me if I had to buy every magazine available, so I am asking for some help please?

If you regularly buy or subscribe to a craft magazine and would be interested in writing a short or long review of it each month then I would love to hear from you.  I have already recruited the help of Diane, who you might know from the ‘Crafters Journey’ posts and together in our own individual styles (ie. Diane writes loads and I keep it brief, sometimes!) we will review the magazines that we regularly buy.

So this month we will be reviewing:

  • Issue 41 Making Jewellery  (Linda)
  • Issue 4 Creative Stamping  (Linda)
  • Issue 105 Card Making & Papercrafts (Diane)
  • Issue 11 Craft Seller (Diane)
  • Spring 2012 Wirework (Linda)

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Issue 41 ~ June 2012 ~  MAKING JEWELLERY (Price £4.99) Out Monthly

I know there are quite a few Jewellery magazines to choose from, but I do tend to buy this one every month.  One of the main reasons is that it’s available in my local supermarket, so I usually just add it to my shopping basket.  But I also really like it, as it has a good variety of projects for all skill levels, including wirework, beading, polymer clay, silver clay, silversmithing, glass lampwork and it also looks at the current trends, colours and styles on the high street, which I find very useful when making jewellery.  It has give aways, product reviews and very useful tips and technique guides. There is also an additional supplement this month which includes 18 stylish earring projects.

Favourite Projects:  (It is very hard to choose as there are 35 to choose from!)

1.  Spring Daisy (pg 6):  Wirework & bead necklace (easy)

Those that know me, will know I like making flowers and designing them into my jewellery so this is right up my street.  Doesn’t look like a daisy though!  I like the twisted wirework with the beads and I will definitely be having a go at this.

2.  Pretty Buds (pg 26):  Another Wirework & Bead necklace (Intermediate)

I thought this one looked interesting to have a go at, also I have a thing-a-ma-jig that I’ve hardly used which I might be able to use for something like this!

3. Wrap Bracelets (pg 28):  Cord, bead/button wrap bracelets

As I quite like macrame work in jewellery, I thought this might be something a bit different to have a go at and you can use up some spare beads in the process.

4. Statement Style (pg 48): Polymer Clay & Gold leaf earrings (intermediate)

I do like working with Polymer Clay, so I thought combining this with gold leaf would be an interesting project to try, although I don’t actually like these earrings I thought the technique is worth a try.

5.  Rainbow Pendant (pg 50): Sterling Silver sheet and semi precious gemstones (advanced)

I keep saying I would love to be able to work with silver, but at the moment it is something I aspire to, so I chose this project just because I like the look of the pendant and the design idea.

Favourite Features:

1.  10 Questions (pg 24):  Elaine Cox, richly textured and sculptural jewellery maker

2.  Be Elegant (pg 44):  How four designers came up with individual designs using The Beadsmiths new Elegant Elements clasps range.  It just goes to show how different some jewellery makers can be.

Favourite Regulars:

1. Colour & Style (pg 20):  Looks at this months hottest trends. (very bright and colourful!)

2.  Business Matters (pg 34):  Where to start if you want to write a book on your jewellery skills.  Interesting if you ever fancied writing your own book about your crafts.

3.  Best of the Web (pg 40):  Includes one my favourite on-line stores Beads Direct.

Conclusion:

I always feel inspired by this magazine, it’s always bright and colourful and not too cluttered with adds, but the ‘adds’ that are there I find are a good source of inspiration too.  I see this magazine as being more than just a jewellery mag, which is what I think makes it stand out a bit from some of the others. The way they look at fashion for inspiration and offer a good variety of step by step projects, makes you want to have a go.  The regular features are interesting and informative and there are always a couple of pages of fabulous giveaways to try and win.  This month there is also a feature on A Cubelite Kit (pg 81), a perfect set up for taking great photos of your jewellery (something I am very interested in).  In next months issue they will be giving one away! (I want it, so please don’t enter!)

Next issue on Sale 31 May.

SCORE:  9/10

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ISSUE 4:  CREATIVE STAMPING MAGAZINE (£5.99) (Issued every 3 months)

This is the second time I have bought this magazine, for those of you who remember I did a review on Issue 3 and I was really happy with the free gift of a stamp set worth £20.  This issue is no different and includes another free stamp set for HIM this time.  All the stamps are male biased, just perfect for fathers day or if you have to make something for a dad, brother or son. I love them!  The magazine is worth buying just for the stamps alone, but it also includes some fabulous projects using the free stamps for inspiration.

Favourite Projects:

1.  No. 1 Bunting Frame (pg 16)  A decorated and distressed photo frame for him.

I thought this looked like a fab project to have a go at and it is so unusual to find things that are suitable for men.  I love the bunting effect and the use of the free stamps.  I’ve already used the stamps to make a box (I’m in to making boxes at the moment!).

2. Terrific Toppers (pg 34): 

Although I’m not a card maker I do feel inspired to have a go at making one of these cards for my Dad.  I especially like the Dad card, bottom left.

3. Distressed Effects (pg 36)

I’m always up for a bit of distressing and I do feel inspired to try these effects out on my mixed media course, but I don’t think I will make it into a card, I might try using the effect on a gift tag or on a canvas.

4. Digital Decoupage (pg 45) Birthday wishes. 

I do like how this card has been put together and how it has been layered.  I can definitely see me having a play with this technique.

Conclusion:

It feels like a lot slimmer magazine than Making Jewellery, but it is crammed with projects and features, enough to probably keep you busy until the next issue.  I still find most of the projects are for card makers, which is a good thing if you like making cards, (It should be renamed Creative ‘Card’ Stamping), this was one of my criticisms in my last review, but I am glad to see in this issue there are 3 projects for using your stamps on 3 different gift ideas, I would still like to see more.  Now that I appreciate distressing, embossing, die cutting a bit more due to the mixed media course I am taking, I am finding I am intrigued with some of the techniques and will certainly give them a go.

Next Issue on Sale 13th July 2012.

SCORE: As a non card maker 6/10 – but for the free gift 10/10

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 ISSUE 105 CARDMAKING & PAPERCRAFTS ~June 2012 (£4.99) Out monthly

Ok, so I’ve entered the competition to win £1000 worth of Fancy Pants designs goodies; I’ve entered a card for the milestone card challenge and I really do want to enter the Big Shot machine competition but I really should get on with this article.

I was told that I don’t need to write too much but that is going to be difficult for me. The June issue arrived on my doorstep this morning whilst I was vacuuming the kitchen floor. Now there’s a dilemma; do I stop to read the magazine or continue cleaning? Unfortunately ‘him indoors’ is working from home, so I have to look efficient and continue the cleaning. I’ve just had half an hour sitting and looking through it. I was trying to think of an adequate way of describing the magazine for you all and I’m failing badly other than it’s BRILLIANT! Jam packed with information, helpful hints, competitions and guess what; not full of ‘in your face’ adverts. There are adverts in it but I find them quite useful and that’s quite a statement from me as I really cannot tolerate any form of advertising, anywhere.

This is a good month to review for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that it has yet another free paper collection. Last month we got a gorgeous 6x6in Pink Paislee Spring Jubilee paper pack with embellishments which I loved. This month Raspberry Road Designs by Susan Darter have included 48 designs in an A4 booklet. It’s really practical as even the front and the back covers of the booklet have design papers on the back so can be used. Not only are the papers included but inside the magazine you will find instructions by Dawn Phillips on how to make some cards with them.

There are also four ‘basic’ papers inside the magazine too and some ideas on how to use those.

They have a brilliant website too which allows you to download more pdf copies of the papers. So if you particularly like one, you can print it onto your favourite cardstock and make as many things as you like with it. Result!

Leonie Pujol (a presenter on Create and Craft t.v channel) does an article every month which is very interesting about her crafty life and she also does instructions for a project in the article.

You want hints and tips? Help from experts? Templates, freebies; find out what’s new in the crafting world? This mag has it all. Do you want to share your story or learn how to recycle with lollipop sticks or….. Oh dear, I’d better stop there or Linda will be editing this piece in half! (No Diane you have put me to shame and made me think I need to go and re-write mine, but it’s now too late!)

I really hope that I have inspired you and helped you to realise what great value this magazine is for £4.99 or better still go and order a subscription and get a FREE gift – the one ending today (sorry to torment you) is a Wild Rose Studio set ‘Bella’ of papers and stamps. It all depends on when you subscribe as to what gift you receive.

If I never receive another magazine again (which I most definitely will do as I have a subscription) I would still have masses of inspiration at my fingertips for years to come.

Score = 11/10  – sorry, couldn’t possibly give lower score than that.

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ISSUE 11: CRAFT SELLER ~ June 2012 (£4.99)  Issued monthly

Where to start? How to end? Considering that this is a new magazine on the market; this is only it’s eleventh edition, this magazine has a really professional feel to it. There were a few reasons why I subscribed to it. The first reason is because I’m seriously considering starting up a new craft business and I want to be around as many inspirational people as possible in both the crafty world and the business world. This magazine provides that in an instant. I also wanted a broader range of crafts rather than purely paper crafts, of which I get in abundance thankfully in the Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine. I love to make a range of projects and this magazine ranges from a crown tea cosy pattern; a Mr & Mrs tapestry design; a recipe for Bakewell tarts and full photo instructions on how to make a bezel ring.

My favourite crafty article this month is the felt bouquet – one day I WILL get time to make one at least of those – thanks so much to Jess from bettyoctopus.

Some of the business related articles this month are about how to use Pinterest to assist your business and ‘Fair Game’ which provides some top tips for successful trading at craft fairs. A regular article is called ‘Diary of a Craft Seller’ which is very interesting; this month’s is about Laura who runs a shop and does workshops there too as well as keeping her family together amongst it all. They are about real people doing real things, which is very inspiring for me. I love reading about how people manage things to make everything work. There is another article about three crafters and how ‘”they’ve gone from the kitchen table to carving a successful business in the wedding market”.  (Diane,! You forgot to mention The Crafty Network Blog was recommended in this mag, on page 11, yes I know I’ve already told everyone, but just in case anyone missed it!  Also, Diane, I saw your name on that page too?)

There is also a gift every month; this month’s is a little brooch making kit. You also get free papers inside the magazine. None of those are brilliant in my opinion but it all adds to the feel good value.

The magazine costs £4.99 in the shops but please subscribe, even if only for three months, as that will get you the magazine at almost half the cost and direct to your letter box.

Score = 9/10 – that’s purely because I don’t think the monthly gifts are great, which is rather harsh of me I know but it’s my honest opinion. I definitely loved the tote bag I got when I subscribed; that’s a Godsend (there are constantly different gifts offered for subscriptions- please see the latest online or magazine offers to see which suits you best).

(I thought I’d add a little comment on this mag too, as I bought it for the first time this week.  I particularly liked the variety of crafts coverd in the mag and agree with Diane that for a relatively new magazine it is very well put together and I will definitely be buying it again.)

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SPRING 2012 ~ WIREWORK  (£3.95) Issued twice yearly

I discovered Wirework magazine last year, it was on its own amongst other jewellery and craft magazines and as the front cover caught my attention, I bought it.  I loved it so much it inspired me to go out and buy a chasing hammer and steel bench block as I wanted to try so many of the projects and I have since used the magazine on many occasions to refer back to some of the wirework techniques.

When I looked to buy it again, I then discovered it was an American publication that only came out twice a year, I was gutted!  The worst was I discovered they were on Facebook and over the last month or so they have been showing sneek peaks of their latest spring 2012 edition, it was so frustrating!  So you can appreciate my joy when I was browsing through my local WH Smiths and discovered the latest edition on the shelf.

This issue has not disappointed, it is full of inspirational projects and new techniques.  If you love making wirework, chain mail, coiling and wrapping jewellery this is a must buy.  I also like the fact that it’s not all about working with silver, they work a lot with copper and brass and even the most complex of designs with a bit of practice look possible even if you are a beginner, the step by step instructions are so good. Like the first issue I bought I can see myself referring back to this magazine on a regular basis, even if it is just to make a toggle clasp and it is great for inspiring new ideas.

So these are some of my favourite projects in this issue:

1.  Wild Heart Necklace (page 18) (also cover photo)

This really does show the beauty of working with copper.  Although I might not make this with the copper discs I will definitely be having a go at the focal wire element.

2. Freeform woven spirals pendant (page 37)

This is something I have not really tried before working wire around cabochon, but I really like how this looks and will definitely be marking this as one to come back to and try.

3.  Loopy Copper Cuff (page 44)

I think this is one of my favourite looking projects in this issue, although I have not had chance to try it yet, I really can’t wait to give it a go.  I think I might start with the simpler version first of working with just one level of loops, but there is just one problem with this project, I will need to buy some bail making pliers!

4.  Brilliant bracelet (page 48)

Not something I had considered trying before, setting stones, but now that I’ve seen this, I really want to give it a go.  They make is look really easy.

5.  Wire-woven toggle (pag 68)

A lovely toggle clasp to make and would look just as nice in any colour metal.

SCORE:  9/10

So there you have it, our reviews for this month, we hope you enjoyed them and found them useful.  All feedback is gratefully received and like I said at the beginning of the article, if you are interested in joining Diane and I and helping write a magazine review, I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks

Linda & Diane

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7 Comments

Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Magazine Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “May 2012 Craft Magazine Reviews

  1. wendy

    May 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Hi Linda,
    As a craft mag junkie, I can help! I get Mollie Makes, Craftseller, Making, Simply Homemade and was getting Handmade Living… they seem to have disappeared though. I think I’m going ot subscribe to Button and Bead too.

     
    • The Crafty Network

      May 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Wendy, It would be absolutely amazing if you could help out with regards these reviews, thank you so much for offering. It would be up to you if you wanted to write a review for all of the magazines you mentioned or just select which ones you wanted to do that month, Diane is currently doing Craftseller but apart from Mollie Makes I haven’t seen the others. Maybe you could send me an email at the end or beginning of each month to let me know which ones you’ve decided to do so we don’t duplicate. I would hope to publish the reviews around the first or second week of each month. As I mentioned in the post, I would include a link to either your Blog or business page (whichever you want) on the side bar as a thank you for helping out. Many thanks. Linda x

       
  2. wendy

    May 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Oh, and my mum subscribes to Crafts Beautiful, so if she passes it over to me in time I could do that too… though I’m bored of Card Making mags so it might not be too complimentary!!

     
  3. Michelle aka C Shell Cards

    May 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Just saw your post on the Folksy Forum, I pop in now and again although I don’t have a shop there anymore ( I moved over to Etsy) I’d be happy to review Craft Stamper for you. Love your review of Creative Stamping, the mags ok but I still prefer craft stamper, it’s more my style.

     
    • The Crafty Network

      May 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Hi Michelle, thank you so much for contacting me, I would love it if you would review Craft Stamper for me, starting from the next issue, thank you for offering it is really appreciated. My aim is to publish the reviews around about the 1st/2nd week of the month, when does Craft Stamper come out? Linda x

       
      • Michelle aka C Shell Cards

        May 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

        Hi Linda, Great, I can start with the July issue due out on 1st June or I can review the current June issue which came out on 4th May – let me know which you would prefer. the magazine usually comes out on the first Friday of the month and is a month ahead. I get the magazine as soon as it comes out so I can review it within a couple of weeks easily. Michelle x

         
      • The Crafty Network

        May 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm

        Hi Michelle, if you could start with the July issue that would be great. Linda x

         

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