Crafting is certainly big news at the moment if the craft magazine sector is anything to go by – there seems to be more each time I pop into WHSmiths. I have to confess that not many of the new titles have appealed to me particularly (Mollie Makes and Simply Homemade, for example, are not really my style), and I stick with my beloved, inspirational Selvedge, and occasional purchases of Quiltmania when I am feeling flush with cash.
However, I still can’t resist an interesting new magazine, so I took advantage of the special offer for the first magazine of Crafty magazine, and since then I have been lucky enough to be given a free subscription (oh the joyous benefits of blogging!). So far I have been pretty impressed… this is a craft magazine that definitely doesn’t leave me with that ho-hum feeling. And in fact it reminds me of the ace craftzine that used to be produced by the guys at MAKE:Craft – a very good thing indeed.
I think you can tell from the cover art of issue 2 (an aweson Roy Lichtenstein inspired applique/sewing project) that Crafty definitely has an edgy craftzine style that is refreshing and is a great contrast to some of the mags out there. The pages are beautifully laid out, the typeface is fabulous and very readable, and the photography and illustrations are smashing. And I love the fact that it is printed on that gorgeous matte paper that makes a magazine such a joy to read.
Style is important, but substance is pretty essential, and although I haven’t exactly rushed to make any of the projects so far (I’m a busy lady!), there’s loads here to get me thinking and get the creative urges going. For example, the latest issue has 3 different clippy purse projects (see pic) that all look super stylish. Having made a clippy purse myself (and knowing how tricky it is to get the gluing right) I think the project instructions might sometimes lack a bit of clarity and detail. However, this is a magazine (with lots of stuff to squeeze in) not a pattern book, and these projects are backed up by online step by step guides – which is a totally fab idea.
I get the feeling that Crafty are working really hard to be on-trend rather than following the trends – which is admirable. Reading their news page has you reaching for the gadget of your choice so that you can check out all the online goodies…rather than yawning because you have seen it all before. It’s hard for magazines to keep up with the fast pace of craft communities online, and Crafty seem to be really on the pulse so far.
If you are a butterfly crafter like me – and love to dabble with a new crafts, this might be just the mag for you because there is a really good mix of projects to try. In the second issue there is embroidery, jewellery-making, kitsch knitting, a furniture renovation project using decals, an indoor garden project, a bang on-trend Gatsby inspired head dress, a few knitted plarn projects…. Here’s some rather cool stamp jewellery:
And there’s loads more including foody features, interviews with crafters, and regular columnists (Craftivist Collective and Mr X Stitch) too. I love the emphasis on recycling, and there are lots of creative ideas with vintage and second hand finds – but, as I think you can tell from the pics, this is vintage with an edge (think boho art student) rather than shabby chic chintz.
The first couple of issues tell me that this is a magazine that’s not going to appeal to everyone – but that’s a good thing (a great thing!). Any magazine that tries to follow all the trends and be mainstream is going to end up in my ho-hum-who-cares pile… So, if you’re like me and after a magazine with a bit of heart, soul and fun and its own definite personality, then Crafty might well be your kind of read.