Check out this Cross stitch double decker bus.
As the editor of Living Crafts magazine, I am thrilled to announce our new blog, an extra room in our craft cottage to offer inspiration, projects, and giveaways to those who value the connection of the heart and the hands. In the first three years of Living Crafts magazine, technology has been a humble factor in its production. Launching the Premier Issue in October 2007, all our efforts went into making it newsstand-worthy so it would reach a wide distribution. Once the magazine was launched, we concentrated on content quality, making the newsstand deadlines, and satisfying our subscribers. Now it is time to expand our editorial pages through the Web, to reach out to a larger circle of readers while at the same time giving our subscribers extra value with the print edition.
Beginning with the current Winter 2011 issue on newsstands, we are awakening from a technological sleep: Living Crafts is offering this blog as a complement to our print publication. Although it sounds cliché, added-value is what this blog is for, not just for our subscribers but for those who borrow a copy from a friend or the library or buy an issue at the newsstand from time to time. We are expanding the context for the Living Crafts community for those who want to enjoy our traditional, heirloom-worthy projects. In the current economy, we publish Living Crafts with the awareness that every time our magazine goes to print, another crafts magazine may fold. Given the perils of today’s magazine market, we have consistently stayed frugal in the number of pages we print, only 80. We have had enough content for double those pages, so with this blog we create more space to provide you not just with more quality editorials and tutorials, but with behind-the-scene stories, extra photos, and ideas for what’s already in the magazine. Above all, this blog gives you more columns not available in the printed magazine, information on how a magazine is run, how you can generate income from your craft business, and so on. Here’s a list of what you can look forward to, step-by-step, as we get this blog together:
We will not only offer you original and exclusive projects of our own, but we will also feature guest bloggers and projects from other blogs for your use. Here are three new projects you still have time to make for your children for this year’s winter holidays:
Knitted Doll Blanket by Fiona Duthie
Knitted Child’s Hat by Fiona Duthie
Wooden Tops by Fiona Duthie
We’ll start by offering craft supplies, books, toys, home goods, and other items suitable for crafters and their families. Today’s giveaway is a beautiful truck from Wooden Wagon. This truck retails for $105.00, and is described as follows:
We cannot rave enough about this Fagus container truck! Small hands can easily grasp the front plate to push the truck, and steer the front wheels by turning the top knob. A simple lever lifts up and folds open to deposit the container on the ground. The back of the container opens to tip out any cargo. A Spiel Gut award winning designs, comes with three removable peg figures in assorted colors. As with all Fagus products, this wooden container truck is made of beech and joined together with dowels and glue, with no nails or screws. Suitable for children over the age of three. Made in Germany.
To enter, please leave a comment in today’s post here. Comments will close on Thursday, December 16th by 8am EST. Winners will be announced here in this post by end of day on Thursday.
A ton of craft events are happening around the country and the world. We’ll update you sporadically at first and then regularly on those you may find interesting. These will include events that our editors have attended, including events I have enjoyed and recommend.
We’ll take you to visit some local shops around the world that may or may not carry our magazine (but we love them, nonetheless) so you can get to know these shops more intimately and find out what they have to offer, who runs them, how they started, and how they keep in business. One of the first I’m planning to cover is an ultimate favorite, the Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. Tucked neatly on a small street off Union Square, Britex offers one more reason for your heart to beat a little faster when you visit San Francisco!
We’ll give you a tour of our contributors’ studios, how they design, how they make money from their art, how they get inspired, and how they love it. Through these tours, we put you directly in touch with the artists. You’ll get to know where the projects in Living Crafts come from and how people publish their work. For example, our senior contributor, Fiona Duthie, just relocated to British Columbia, and with her family found a piece of land on which to build their own fiber school and shop, and a home and studio too! Keep your eye on our blog for a full discussion (and photos) of Fiona’s new studio and fiber school.
I just looked over at our campsite and it’s turned into a felting studio! The boys leave for an afternoon and this is what happens. Wool dyeing on the stove, wool ready to be selected for some pieces I am working on… Feels like home!
Fiona at work in her outdoor studio aka her campsite.
We’ll give you a tour of businesses in the craft field, their products, how their companies started, and the people who run them. You’ll receive tips on how to do the same, learning from the challenges and success stories of the featured businesses. For example, we’ll cover Harmony Art and how Harmony started her own organic fabric line. Her fabric was used for the aprons in the Summer 2008 issue, as well as the Camping article in the Summer 2010 issue.
Fields of Honey organic cotton sateen
We’ll give you our Editors’ Pick on favorite books and products, where to buy, and so on. Today, we have some great craft kits you can give as gifts for the holidays:
Craft Kits as a Holiday Gift by Fiona Duthie
The blog is just a start. We are creating an online Living Crafts community so you can chat and share your work with like-minded crafters. This will be a feature that will be integrated into our website, LivingCrafts.com, which has been around, and evolving, for three years. From time to time, we have considered selling a digitalsubscription to Living Crafts, but one thing has stopped us in our tracks: the very thing that makes Living Crafts desirable to our readers is its old fashioned projects with old fashioned materials, made the old fashioned way, with no sounds and screens, and no keyboards. A craft magazine is different from a news-based or literary magazine. Even those who find projects on our blog or on other online sources need to print the articles, preferably in color, to put them on their work tables next to their material or to take along to a friend’s house to create. In the end, nothing can take the place of an old fashioned magazine with illustrations, photos, and printed instructions. So for now, for at least a while, we have no plans to offer the magazine in a digital format. The purpose of the magazine remains resolute. Living Crafts will always be foremost about old fashioned handiwork for a simple life. Technology, the means of delivering this first post to you, is a very important but secondary matter, and we are using it only to enhance your experience.
Thank you for reading this first post, and please share your thoughts on what your expectations of this blog might be and ideas to add to the above. Please make a comment here or write to me directly. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pardis Amirshahi, Editor