Tuesday, 24 April 2007

My top 10 craft magazines

Yes folks, it's true to say that I spend a lot of money buying magazines. Blame it on the ex-journalist in me. Initially I started buying any craft magazines I could get my hands on. I've now got to know the strengths and weaknesses of some of the titles, and have a top five I must have, followed by another five that I *might* buy, depending on how much I need a magazine fix.

Once I've read the magazine, I tear out any scrapbook LOs or cards that I really like and file them; I also write down names of any stash I like in a notebook, ready for my next online order.

On a recent trip to America, I discovered some great US titles and plan to subscribe to one or two of them.

I think all the magazines would be improved by more objective product reviews. Let's Make Cards surprised me in their last issue with a comparative review of die cutting machines. I'd begun to suspect that magazines weren't doing reviews for fear of upsetting advertisers. I'd also love to see articles on making the most of stash: how about a designer visiting a crafter, or crop, and taking the challenge of turning some of their unused stash into cards or pages? I have plenty!

So here is my current Top 10:

1) Scrapbook Inspirations. Like its title, the magazine is inspirational and I've torn out many lay outs with a view to copying aspects or unashamedly scraplifting. Really good free gifts too. I loved the mini album, and the white felt brackets.
2) Scrapbook Magazine. Some of the issues are outstanding, some are so-so. Always a must have for me.
3) Somerset Memories (formerly Legacy). Gorgeous, sumptuous US magazine. More focus on art, which for me is an interest. And the current issue has lots of inspirational personal journals.
4) Craft Stamper. Our most serious stamping title. Some beautiful work, and what I like about it is that they supply a definitive list of materials needed for each project, plus The Stamp Bug provides a monthly kit of one of the projects so that you can get started right away.
5) Papercraft Inspirations. Also from the Future stable. Has some excellent cards and tutorials. Covers scrapbooking too. I subscribe to it.
6) Papercraft Essentials. The best for tutorials. I've tried several techniques with guidance from this magazine including Iris folding, acetate and shrink plastic.
7) Beautiful Cards. Love the cards from Alix Ward and Wendy Horrod. I subscribe to this one. The Christmas cards are always fabulous.
8) Simply Cards & Papercraft. Going out of favour with me, too many twee stamping projects. Would like them to be a bit more difficult.
9) Let's Make Cards. I always wonder if I'll buy the next one, but so far I've bought every issue. I just can't resist the mystery bundle of stash. I don't always use it for cards now but it's useful for scrapbooking. After the first two issues the stash went downhill. Now it's just "so so" die cuts and a few sequins. The magazine is improving greatly but the card projects are a little easy.
10) Cardmaking and Papercraft. I was disappointed with the latest issue and probably won't buy it again. The projects are often too easy. I do like what Judy Balchin does, particularly the glass painting.

I'm not keen on Quick & Crafty or Craft Beautiful. Too many painted vases and beads. I hardly ever see Simply Stamping, if it still exists (they need to improve their distribution) but I liked the variety of stamping projects.

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