Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Review: Let's Make Cards Issue 54

Soooo, sorry that this is a bit late this month.  This was my first month of subscription with Let's Make Cards, but the first copy they posted never arrived.  They were very good about it though and resolved it as soon as I contacted them, sending me out another.  I have no doubt that they did send a copy and that it just got lost in the Royal Mail system, as this isn't the first (or second or third) time my post hasn't turned up.  I'm not sure whether to complain to Royal Mail or not, or even if it is worth it to be honest.

Anyway, to the magazine . . . When it finally arrived (and it was less than a week after the publishing date, so I can't complain too much) I was very excited - A, because I had had a terrible day at work, and B, because it was shiny!  I'm a bit of a magpie and love shiny things, so imagine my excitement.

Shiny! Shiny!

First to the basics, and what is possibly the most important bit of this magazine - the kit.  In this month's 12 Days of Christmas kit (designed by Sally Moret), you get:
  • backing papers (there are some of these that I really want more of)
  • die-cuts
  • chipboards
  • border/decoupage strips
  • card blanks
  • shaped card blanks
  • ribbon
  • gingerbread man stamp
  • die-cut xmas trees (I want more of these)
  • snowflakes (I want more of these)
  • beads
  • foil stockings (I want more of these)
  • paper-pricking template.

I love this flocked paper
which comes with the kit.
The kit is a really good one this time, with everything you need to make some amazing cards.  The cards I have on this blog post have been made using on the kit, and I will have more on the way I'm sure, as I'm writing this post Saturday morning and I have the whole weekend ahead of me to craft (except one shift at the pub Saturday night :-( ).  I'm wondering how you get hold of spare kit elements?  LMC, I know you read this blog, so could you please tell me and my readers if it is possible to get extra kit elements?  I don't need the whole kit, just some bits and pieces.

The second most important bit, I think is the giveaways, and this month you could win:

  • £150 worth of Tonic Studios goodies
  • Winter Designs Quilling Kit
  • a Purelite 3-in-1 Magnifier Clip-On Light
  • Wishes & Kisses CD-Rom
  • Milton & Co Christmas paper stack
  • Stampin' Up Tags til Xmas stamp set
  • Lapashe Behind Closed Doors decoupage set
  • Nigel May's Craft Into Christmas CD-Rom

And, if you buy your copy in Sainsburys, you could also win a Brother Sewing Machine.  I think this competition should also be open to subscribers.

How Tos in this issue include how to:

  • make a double twisted easel card
  • cut a circle shape (without a die-cutter)
  • make a flower using punches
  • cut an aperture
  • use crackle paint
  • make a masculine kinetic card
  • stitch on paper
  • shrink plastic

So, as usual, the first real feature in the magazine is How to Use Your Kit, which this month features 16 Christmas cards, my favourite of which is number 13 - 'Smiling Gingerbreads'.  I like it so much, I made an attempt at it:

Gingerbread Smiles

This was made using half a card blank, two decoupage strips and some ribbon - all from the kit.  I've had to make my own little envelope for it, as I had none to fit, but that is simple anyway.

Another card I have attempted (due to its simplicity more than anything) is the 'Christmas Trees' card from Six Christmas Folded Cards:

Christmas Trees

I love this card this much, and it was so easy to make that I think I am going to steal the design to make a batch of my own Christmas cards to give away to friends and family, or even sell at my upcoming craft fairs.  I now just need to source some more of the border strip, some more snowflakes, and some more shiny trees!

From this project feature, I also like the easel card, which I think I am going to attempt.  I've never made an easel card before, so this could be interesting . . . I'll let you know the results if it is successful.  If you want to see what this should look like, then it is the card with stockings on the cover of the magazine (the first picture in this blog post).

The kit also included a bonus gingerbread man stamp which is sooo cute.  Tracy Daykin-Jones has some great ideas for how to use this stamp in Top Makes With Your Bonus Stamp. My favourite is 'Ribbon Lengths', which I am actually in the middle of making, using my left over half card blank from the 'Smiling Gingerbreads' card (above).  I also like 'Festive Tree' and 'Lace Border' but will need to invest in some shrink plastic first for these projects.

The wonderfully talented Corinne Bradd has an interesting project for you - paper Christmas decorations (including storage box).  I love these, and I am going to practice these and if I am any good, I am thinking of making them the subject of one of my workshops closer to Christmas.  I think this would be a good project to get the kids involved in too.

Corinne also has an amazing advent window card, which I also want to try, in this month's Card School.

I'm also going to attempt some of her cards from the Stitched Effects project, my favourite of  which is 'Holly Leaves'.  I'm always drawn to things featuring holly, I wonder why . . . .

Corinne also imparts her wisdom and advice in Cheat's Guide: Christmas Cards, which includes ideas and inspiration, trends, and even last posting dates.

Another of my favourite cards, which I have yet to attempt, but will do so, is the 'Festive Tree' card from Liz Moad's Make Cards With Apertures project feature.  I've recently done a couple of cards with acetate apertures, which have been well received, so I'm wanting to progress from this.  Most of the cards in this feature are made using mostly your kit, and where extra bits are needed, I don't know about you, but they are things I already have in my stash and consider basics, such as ribbon, acetate and cotton.

Liz Moad also has some ideas for you in 7 Cards Featuring Distressing Effects, including paper distressing, gold paint, paper tearing, crackle glaze and antiquing.  My favourites from this project feature are 'Vintage Haberdashery' and ' Coloured Edges' both of which I think I have everything I need for so will probably attempt at some point.

I'm loving the Trends & Treats section at the beginning of the magazine this month, if only for the Santa in a Kilt decoupage from Lapashe.com.  I feel a treat coming on at payday, but does it really class as a treat if it is only 29p?  Bars of chocolate are more expensive these days.  I am also loving the penguins (or wingwings as they are called in my house thanks to my niece), and may be treating myself there too.  I have to decide carefully on my treats this month though, as I've just bought a new car so spare finances may be a little tight.

Another thing I really want to treat myself to is the Wild Rose Studio Christmas Tree Stamp Set, featured on the Our Favourite Things page.  Why do I want so much stuff?  And why is it always the months when I have the least money?

I'm also liking the letters page, because this months it features a little pic of my craft room, which I love, and I have to say is no longer as tidy as it is in that photo.  I do try, but I have so much stuff and I'm already running out of storage space, so it all ends up piled on my table.

For those wanting to know more about punches, or those that have never used them before, check out Tonic Studio's Mike Evans' tips in Crafters' Guide, which this month, as you have probably guessed is about using punches in your cardmaking.

Christmas Spirit is an article showcasing some of the Christmas goodies on offer from some of LMC's favourite crafty companies, and even has a £5 discount for The Soap Kitchen.

Plastic Fantastic tells you everything you need to know about using shrink plastic in your projects, and its not just for cardmaking.  I now need to add shrink plastic to my treats list too!

Sooo, that's it for this month's review.  Apologies it has been a bit ranty and going off on a tangent, but I do get so easily distracted.  As you can probably tell, I do love this issue, and not just because it was shiny (but that does help, admittedly).  I love Christmas, and now I think I have an excuse to start even earlier on it that my usual September start (which according to some people is too early, but I think its usually leaving it a bit late with mu huuuge family).

Happy Crafting!


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