Monday, 12 November 2012

Review: Crafts Beautiful - Issue 248 (December 2012)

Soooooo, today I bring you another review - this time for the new issue of Crafts Beautiful, and it’s the last Christmas one of this year, but it is a good one.

The freebie is one of the best of this year - 3 stamps, 5m of washi tape, some jingle bells, some bows and some toppers.  I shall be using them all!  There are also loads of great projects and giveaways, which this month includes:

·         the new Cricut Expression 2
·         a Canon Powershot A3200 camera with a Canon SELPHY CP900 printer
·         Fiskars punches
·         a Hougie board
·         an AccuQuilt machine
·         Serif's new CraftArtist 2 collection.

As I've already mentioned, the projects in this issue are great.  One of my favourites has to be 7 Ways With Negative Punches.  These are gorgeous cards created using the negative left when you punch a shape.  I also love the scandi-card in Winter Sparkle, which was designed by Sizzix's very own Pete Hughes.

Festive Finery is another Christmas card project, but these have a vintagey feel and at the moment I am all about the vintage.  I'm still trying to master this look, but with the help of this project, I think  it has just got easier.  I am also very much liking the shabby chic effect in Paper & Lace, which pretty much does what it says on the tin and uses paper and lace to create some lovely Christmas cards, also with a bit of a vintagey feel.

Making Merry has some unusual fabric decorations, made using craft wire and fabric strips.  They are certainly not traditional, but look interesting and quite simple, so I think I might have a go at these.  Only a few sharp edges are involved too so I might get the kids to try these next time they are at mine to 'make a mess'.

I adore the Christmas cards in Twas The Night.  These are made using Clarity Stamps' Twas The Night Before Christmas set and are just so cute.  The three stamps tell the first part of the story of The Night Before Christmas, right up to 'The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.'  Now, I've never had a sugarplum, but I think I would like to try one.  Has anyone else every tried one?  I'm intrigued . . .

I want to make them all the cards in this project, but a quick google brought up a hefty price tag of £75.00 for the set.  Now, I'm hoping that this is very, very wrong, so if somebody would please correct me on this I would be most grateful.  They do look to be very nice stamps, but I'm just not sure my bank account would stretch to that.

Moving away from cards (and there does seem  to be a lot this time) I would love to recreate 1950s glamour wit the gorgeous knitted stole in Style It Vintage, but I can't knit!  And my sister (who can) is being mean this week and won't even bake me a pumpkin cake.  I would just like to point out that this is the cake-making sister and she says that I have to bake said pumpkin cake myself.  What is the point of having a cake-making sister and making your own cakes I ask?!  Anyway, I can imagine the response I will get if I ask her to make me this stole, and I imagine that it won't be polite.  Sooo, I am just going to have to knit my own. Soo, I'm going to have to learn to knit!  Of course, I am probably considered a very deficient crafter if I don't know how to knit . . .

I do, however, know how to sew, and have every intention of attempting the appliquéd and pretty place mats in Time to Party.  Of course, I have intentions of making many things that I never get around to.  Fingers crossed this time this is something I actually get to do.  I think they would be great for Christmas day at my sister's.  I do have an awful feeling that I will still be sat it my sewing machine at 10o'clock on Christmas Eve night finishing these.

Other projects include:

·         how to use your free gift;
·         digistamp Christmas cards in Cut Out And Keep;
·         appliquéd cards in Santa's Here;
·         bright Christmas cards in Card School;
·         more Christmas cards in Make It Punchy;
·         gift boxes in A Box of Treasures;
·         a nativity scene in Quilling with Claire;
·         traditional Christmas card scene decoupage from Joanna Sheen in Winter Wonderland;
·         bright Christmas decorations in Lovely Layers;
·         non-Christmas cards in Love Grows;
·         decorate your Christmas baking with help from Tasty Toppers - note of warning, these are not edible toppers (much to my disappointment);
·         use craft card to make cut Christmas cards in Keep It Folky;
·         gingerbread men are on the agenda for the Christmas cards in Sugar and Spice;
·         gingerbread is also the theme in Teatime Treat, with a gingerbread house tea cosy (you do not know the disappointment I felt when I realised that you couldn't eat this gingerbread house);
·         make some cute Christmas tags and an unusual advent calendar in Tag Along;
·         make a crocheted bag in Pretty in Pastels;
·         some floristry advice on making a simple posy and a floral centrepieces;
·         Christmas soaps;
·         Almond and lemon-scented geranium biscuits;
·         home accessories using Tilda fabrics in Sew Festive - other than the reindeer, these would be easily adapted for non-Christmas;
·         more stitched Christmas decorations in a Season of Stitch, including a stocking;
·         jewelled watches in Show Stopper;
·         beaded Christmas decorations in So Charming;
·         crocheted apple cosy jackets (?!) in Cute and Cosy.

There is also a very interesting interview with Anna Griffin.  This has info on how she got started (she worked for Vera Wang selling wedding dresses - who would give that up?!) and where she finds her inspiration.  An interesting read.

And, editorial assistant Holly Shackleton goes to a baking masterclass with the one and only Eric Lanlard in Sweetness & Sparkle.  It seems she had a good time . . .

So, there really is plenty or everyone in this magazine, and it is well worth the £4.99 price-tag just for the freebies.

Happy Crafting!


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