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June 2012 Craft Magazine Reviews

16 Jun

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

I would first like to thank Diane, Michelle (cshellcard designs) and Wendy Fozard (Fat Bunny Designs) for their input this month in writing the reviews.

This month we have reviewed the following magazines:

  • Issue 42 (July 2012) ~ Making Jewellery (Linda)
  • Issue 12 (July 2012) ~ Craftseller (Diane)
  • Issue 15 (July 2012) ~ Mollie Makes (Wendy)
  • Issue 23 ~ Creative Bead & Jewellery (Linda)
  • Issue (July 2012) Craft Stamper (Michelle)
  • Issue 18 ~ Simply Homemade (Wendy)
  • Issue 106 (July 2012) Card Making & Papercrafts (Diane)
  • Issue 254 (July 2012) Cross Stitcher (Wendy)
  • Issue 39 (June/July 2012) ~ Bead Magazine (Linda)

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Issue 42 ~ July 2012 ~  MAKING JEWELLERY (Price £4.99) Out Monthly  (Reviewed by Linda)

As this is one of my regular and favourite jewellery mags to buy and I went into a bit of detail last month why I buy it, I’m going to keep this review short and sweet!  This month the magazine is inspired by the summer holidays and is full of bright and colourful projects, many of them rated as easy, which is great if you are quite new to jewellery making, but not so great if you are more advanced and looking for a challenge!  There is also a free gift this month of a Necklace Kit supplied by Beads Unlimited. Which is a little uninspiring and not much of a challenge!

There are a few interesting articles this month; ‘The Crown Jewels’ (pg 44) the team visit The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels. ‘ It’s all about Business’  (pg 34) some useful business tips covering pricing, insurance, book-keeping, branding and marketing.  There is also a review of a Nunn Design Starter Kit (pg 76), a look at ring mandrels (pg 81) and Steampunk style (pg 82)

There is a total of 31 Projects to inspire you this month, but not quite as much variety as usual, these are my favourites to try:

Go Global (pg 10) ~ bold statement necklace made with colourful wooden beads (easy)

Out of Africa (pg 30) ~ African inspired necklace, bracelet & earrings, made with leather cord and gold plated beads. (easy)

Polymer Petals (pg 59) Picture on Front Cover) ~ Hawaiian lei inspired bracelet by making flower like petals from polymer clay (easy)

Surf’s Up (pg 62) ~ (Designed by Claire Humpherson from Beads Direct, one of my favourite on-line bead stores) Inspired by laid back life of a surfer in Australia.  This suede and beach bead bracelet is another easy project to try. I do like the beads.

(Next issue out 28 June 2012)

Rating: 7/10 (Not as inspired this month by some of the projects)

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ISSUE 12: CRAFTSELLER ~ July 2012 (£4.99)  Issued monthly  (Reviewed by Diane)

This issue has quite a heavy slant towards making stuff for charity. There is a supplement all about different people who have raised a lot of money for charities such as Jennie McNair who has raised over £200,000 for NSPCC by making jam; there’s even a recipe for nectarine jam. There’s a good article in there about which charity to make for dependent upon which craft you do.

The magazine makes a promise to have 18 projects in each issue, copyright-free exclusive designs and potential profit with every make. The crafty article which inspires me the most is the one about making felt boards for children. They even give the templates to make it even easier and full photo instructions.

One of the other articles I enjoyed was ’10 Crafty breaks’, that tells us about holidays around the world which teach about different crafts. I can just picture myself doing quilting in Canada or ceramics in Tenerife – bring it on!!

The article which inspires me mostly about starting a crafty business is close to the back on page 104 called ‘Crafty tales’. It tells us the stories of three women and their slightly unusual tales about how they launched their creative businesses. There is never just one way of doing this; we just have to be open-minded about which way will suit us and be most effective. The article about how to get the most out of Etsy is also helpful for newbies like me.

Seven crafty celeb tweeters to follow, templates to help make the jewellery roll bag, a really helpful Q&A and a short article about three ideas to entice buyers to your stall are all other reasons to buy this magazine.

I find it a pleasant read looking at the different projects and learning about other crafting businesses.  I’ve tried to think of ways it needs to be improved but I can’t think of any, so that’s a recommendation in itself.

Marks out of 10 = 10

Cost without subscription = £4.99

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Mollie Makes, Issue 15 – “free” gift : Handmade with Love ribbon (Reviewed by Wendy)

I’m not really a big fan of Mollie Makes, it’s a bit too much “style over substance” for me, but this issue is a bit of an improvement.  There are more projects in this issue than usual and there are even 2 of them that I’d like to try.  The Princess and the Pea looks like a nice little project for a special little girl in your life

and I can’t wait to make one of the elephant brooches.

Elephant Brooches

The other projects are:

  • Adding sequins to a pair of Converse
  • Crochet bangles
  • I-pad case by Lisa Lam
  • Crochet bathmat
  • Sequined collar

Apart from that there are the usual interviews with crafty-types and a bit of news about the handmade scene.  Oh, and of course the utterly pointless photo shoot that features in each issue.

Rating: 5/10

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CREATIVE BEADS & JEWELLERY, Issue 23, Price £4.50 (every 2 months) (Reviewed by Linda)

I used to buy this magazine regularly and I’ve even had a couple of pieces of my jewellery published in it in the past!  But I haven’t bought it for a couple of issues, so I was looking forward to having a browse through it to see if there was anything new.

This issue is also inspired by the summer and includes some Olympic and British themed projects.  It also comes with a free Pocket Bead Jewellery Bible which is actually pretty useful if you are quite new to Jewellery making.

There are quite a few projects in this magazine that have stirred my imagination, which is what I look for in a jewellery magazine.  I tend to look more at the beads and the techniques used than the actual designs.  However, there is one project or I should say new product that has definitely caught my imagination this month!  You may have seen a recent comment I made on Facebook about getting to a certain page in a magazine and then spending the next hour trying to find where I could buy the product, well this was the mag and the feature was called Magic & Moonshine (from page 19-21) and it was introducing the new Pebeo Fantasy products a special effects paint that can be used in a variety of crafting and decorative projects, in particular for making shimmering jewellery pieces!  I’ve really got to get myself some of these paints!

Other regular Features in the magazine include; What’s new, Letters Page, Giveaways, Bead Doctor, where you can see answers to beading or jewellery questions, Designer Gallery, where you can send in your own designs and if you are featured you are sent a free gift. They always include a glossary of techniques, tools and findings and I also like the bead challenge, where they ask 3 jewellery designers to make something with the same selection of beads, to me this proves how jewellery designers can be so different.

There are a total of 56 projects to inspire you in this issue and here are a few of my favourites:

Tropical Depths (pg 15) – Make a Statement Necklace using beadwork techniques, creating a peyote bezel to surround a shell cabochon.

Bronzed goddess (pg 24) – Statement necklace made with ceramic beads and leather thong (I love the beads and colours)

When the Living is Easy (pg 44) – Casual looped suede and Lucite Flower necklace

(Next issue on sale 2nd August)

Rating: 8/10 (Purely for introducing me to the new Pebeo Fantasy paint!)

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Issue:  July 2012 – CRAFT STAMPER (Price £4.50) Monthly (Reviewed by Michelle)

There are many paper craft magazines out there and it can be very difficult to choose between them. I’m a keen stamper and although many magazines have a few stamping articles in them this one is dedicated to stamping.

The magazine is packed with ideas for both beginners and seasoned stampers like me. I love the variety, it’s not just about making cards there are all sorts of projects, and everyone will include stamping in some form. Another bonus is you get a good quality free stamp with each issue, this month it’s a bunting stamp.

In this issue there are 11 projects to choose from, each one uses different techniques. They are all quite easy to follow with pictures as well as instructions and a comprehensive shopping list, so you know you have everything you need before you start.

My favourites in this issue are:

1: Double Up,  page 12  A summer card using double masking techniques

This project is lovely, yes it is a card but it involves using quite a few techniques which aren’t too difficult but give a stunning result. I do love anything to do with nature so this project is one for me.

2: Crafty With Kraft, page 68 Altered Box using Kraft Glassine Paper.

This is a beautiful project, and one for those who like stamping but don’t necessarily want to make cards. I love the vintage feel of this project and having never used Kraft Glassine Paper this one is right up my street when it comes to trying something new.

3: She Sells Sea Shells, page 74 Making a Shadow Box.

This is another great project; I love the texture to this project and the colour. I have made shadow boxes in the past but not attempted one which uses quite so many mediums.

Other Favourites:

1: Stamping Contrasts Challenge Page 22, the design team get are set a challenge and have to come up with several projects using the featured product.

2: Pull out and keep Page 41, this is a great section featuring different projects usually themed. Great as a source of inspiration, unless like me you keep the entire magazine.

3: Over To You, Page 54, a regular feature where readers have submitted work which has been inspired by previous magazine articles.

Conclusion

This magazine is brilliant as a source of inspiration. The magazine always features the latest products and techniques from some of the best designers. For me this magazine contains so much information it’s a great resource not just a magazine you can read in 5 minutes. It’s got great projects for everyone, the only prerequisite is you must like stamping!  There are some great giveaways and links to further projects online. It also boasts a fantastic competition for the best craft stamper 2012. It’s a six month competition each month a different theme. But don’t worry you don’t need to of entered previous months to qualify each one is a mini competition in its own right and with fabulous prizes for the winners.

All in all if you have a passion for stamping and want more than a magazine then this could be the one for you.

Next Issue Available: 6th July 2012

Score: 9/10

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Simply Homemade, Issue 18 – “free” gift : papers and rubber stamps (Reviewed by Wendy)

I do quite like this magazine, though it is tending more and more towards papercraft with each issue, the “free” gifts are always paper and papercraft supplies.

It is still jam-packed with projects though, including beach hut desk storage, a funky strawberry themed clock and accessories, a child’s hobby horse, a cat themed cross stitch picture, a baking recipe for lemon meringue pie, a knitting pattern for a striped top, soft furnishings using a Sizzix machines, some rather cheap looking jewellery made from fabric scraps, and a load of Olympic themed papercraft projects.

I only picked out 2 projects that I’d be interested in doing.  I absolutely love the campervan and caravan projects – 2 bags, a cross stitched towel, and appliquéd cushion and t-shirt .

The patterns are really nice and the projects look do-able without being too basic.  I also fancy a go at the art-deco inspired glass painted candle votives.

Other features include readers letters, and interview with a crafty person and “Inspiring days out”.

Rating: 7/10

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Issue 106 –  July 2012 Cardmaking & Papercraft  (Reviewed by Diane)

Before I even begin; here’s one of the best bits about this issue –

How brilliant are they as freebies?! I did my research, of course, and found out that on a well-known general trading website, the paper pack was being sold for £5.85 plus £1.20 postage. That in itself is more than the maximum amount you’ll have to pay for the magazine. BARGAIN!

Right after that bit of excitement, I better get down to brass tacks.

Yet again a great value read and inspiration. I find it hard just listing a few things I like about this magazine, as there are so many but here goes.

One of my favourite regular articles is the ‘3 ways with sketches’, as I’m aware of the potential of sketches but I’ve yet to really get into using them to help me make cards/layouts faster, so the more I read about them, the better.The ‘Colour Clinic’ tells us how to use distress markers this month; which are a very new product on the market from Tim Holtz. As ever, there are full colour instructions on how to colour the card displayed.

Yet another good regular article is ’10 minute makes’. This month’s has 7 shabby chic cards with instructions and shopping lists for each card, which is such a great resource.

Do you fancy using glass paints to make this?  Then look no further than page 61 for full photo instructions.

I regularly look at their Facebook page too (I enjoy entering their Friday challenge as it’s fun and you can WIN prizes) and their website and it all adds up to very good value for money and more inspiration than you’ll ever need.

Marks out of 10 = 9 due to the fact that I’m being very fussy. I don’t like the paper that the bonus patterned papers, inside the magazine, are printed on but they add them all to their website, so you can print them on whichever paper you like, whenever you like, which is pretty good indeed.

Cost without subscription = £4.99

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CrossStitcher, Issue 254 July – “free” gift: bookmark kit and chart  (Reviewed by Wendy)

(Please note, the magazine has published on their website that the Aida included in the kit is not big enough for the bookmark design!)

 

I really love this magazine, it’s so different from the other cross stitch magazines on the shelf and every issue ends up with wads of post-its sticking out the top, marking the projects I want to make.

The ones that stuck out for me this issue were the hot air balloon picture, the gorgeous VW campervan cushions, the London cityscape which is again made into a cushion

The other projects are:

  • Retro camera which is made up into a bag,
  • Gardeners set including notebook cover, hanging storage and herb pot labels,

  • Bee themed designs for adding to pots of homemade honey
  • 4 funky, bright birthday designs

and:

  • An Eiffel tower sampler on blue evenweave
  • Small Olympic motifs
  • Retro sports themed bags

There is always an article in the magazine about different stitching techniques, encouraging cross stitchers to branch out.  This month it’s on embroidering on patterned fabric, 4 different stitches to use are shown.  This is part two of that particular series.

Every issue also includes an interview with a cross stitch designer, cross stitch basics for those new to the craft, an alphabet chart, readers’ letters and shopping pages.

Rating: 10/10

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Issue 39 ~ June/July 2012 ~ BEAD MAGAZINE – (Price £4.50)  (Reviewed by Linda)

I always think of this magazine as specialising in more beaded designs of jewellery, but they also include a variety of other projects.  Their projects always look interesting but I have struggled in the past to follow some of their step by step tutorials, especially with their beading projects.  I think this magazine is more for the experienced beader and jewellery maker than a beginner and offers more challenging projects than the other 2 jewellery magazines I have reviewed.   I also feel the advertisements intrude a little bit more than in other mags, ie 3 pages in a row of adverts!  However, I was very much impressed with this issue, even though there are less projects, they all look inspiring and there are some interesting articles.  You can also visit them online and watch bead.tv, but you must subscribe.

Regular features include: Bead Stash, Readers Challenge, (next challenge deadline Bead Show Stash July 27th), Bead Soup (3 Bead readers are given a goody bag and asked to put their unique spin on some jewellery designs).  Dear Bead and Living with a Beader (always very funny)

The magazine also includes a good guide to Polymer Clay, looking at the different types of clay you can buy and the tools and you must take a look at pg 80 ‘A Truly Mixed Media Artist’ an interview with a lady who makes intricate polymer clay beads and combines them with beadwork.

There are only 13 Projects in this issue and to be honest I could have selected them all as favourites!

Biscuit Clay Rose Earrings (Page 20-22)  Something different to try from Polymer Clay!

Heart Napkin Ring (pg 26) A nice wirework project to try which is a bit different from just making jewellery.

Lampwork Alligator Beads (pg 30) Not something I can do, but these beads do look lovely and if you make lampwork beads it’s something to try.

Multi Stitch Strawberries (pg 38-40)  Just right for summer and the tennis season!

Polymer Clay Humbug Beads (pg 44) These look good enough to eat!

Fantasy Fiesta Necklace (pg 76)  A real explosion of colour using herringbone stitch and polymer clay beads.

(Next Issue on Sale: 18th July)

Rating:  9/10  A really good selection of projects and some interesting articles.

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So there you have it, our reviews for this month, we hope you enjoyed them and found them useful.  All feedback is gratefully received.

Thanks

Linda, Diane, Wendy & Michelle

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14 Comments

Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Magazine Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 responses to “June 2012 Craft Magazine Reviews

  1. Diane

    June 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    This is a brilliant resource article with so many magazines discussed. Thanks Linda x

     
  2. Wendy

    June 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I feel famous! Thanks for including my reviews! Having read the other reviews, I’ll try to make them a bit more meaty next time!

     
  3. Nancy

    June 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Wendy, I agree with you about Mollie Makes, but i get the digi version, so it is slightly less pointless and more about eye candy. The pointless photo shoot didn’t even sort itself out properly on the iPad, so I have no true idea what it was about. I do love the Princess and the pea though. Cross Stitcher has long been a fav. or mine. Also digi for me — cheaper and easier to store.
    These reviews are a great idea, especially for those of us overseas, who have to make significant investments when buying UK mags. Nicely done everyone!

     
    • The Crafty Network

      June 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

      Many thanks for your comments, we are so pleased you like the reviews. Linda x

       
    • Diane

      June 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks everyone for the positive feedback.

       
  4. lizzierosejewellery

    June 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I really enjoyed reading the reviews even though I struggle to find these mags out here and they are usually twice the price! However, next time I’m passing though the UK, I will know exactly which ones to choose in an instant with these great reviews. Thanks. Cath.

     
    • The Crafty Network

      June 18, 2012 at 11:45 am

      Hi Cath, I’m not sure what the postage prices are out to Singapore, but if there is ever a mag you really must have, just let me know and I am sure we can arrange something. Linda x

       
  5. amarna88

    June 18, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Great reviews and so interesting in itself to see what inspires different people in different magazines. I stopped buying magazines a while ago as I felt they had got a bit samey and I’d rather spend my money on stash, but there look to be some tempting articles there – thank you! x

     
    • The Crafty Network

      June 18, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Thanks for your comment. To be honest I do agree with you about them sometimes being a bit samey, that’s why I like to vary which I buy, although I do find most offer some good inspiration when it is sometimes lacking. Linda x

       
  6. cardtimes

    June 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Hi, thanks for brilliant review. I’m new to card making and have been buying lots of papercraft magazines. I have to admit I’m totally swayed by (perhaps slightly addicted to) the “free” gifts/papers they offer. My main problem with them though is the lack of clear instructions which do not merely state the obvious. I once read a piece showing readers how to make a lovely card featuring a complicated folded paper flower. The instructions were: assemble the flower. That was it! I’ve just started writing a blog (www.cardtimes.org) in which I intend to spell out some of the very basic stuff as well as reveal all the mistakes I make!

     
    • The Crafty Network

      June 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Hi What a great idea to spell out the basic stuff in your blog. I agree I think sometimes tutorials and step by step guides seem to assume a lot with regards to what people know, understand and can already do, I’ll pop over and have a look at your blog. Glad you enjoyed the reviews. Linda x

       
    • Diane

      June 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

      If I revealed all my mistakes, I’d never get anything else done 🙂

       

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