Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Magazines in Plain Wrappers

What else is big on the internet besides LOL Cats and spam?  Why  p o r n  of course!  So what would my blog be without some p o r n?!  My p-word arrives monthly in my mailbox in a discreet wrapping, much like Playboy, Hustler, and Debbie Does Dwarves* like so:
 Yeah, I think the postman gnawed on the packaging a little there…  My p o r n  is imported from England, because I find English p o r n  to be more thrilling than the domestic kind.  I get so excited I can hardly contain myself so I rip off the discreet wrapping to reveal the awesomeness that is inside:
 Doesn’t that just make your heart pitter patter?  I know it does mine!  This is Issue 94 Christmas 2011 from Quick Cards Made Easy.  I love the crafting mags from the UK because they have different things in them and because they come with free crafting goodies for you to try out.  As you can see in this picture the free gift is a vellum embossing pack.  It has some patterned paper, pieces of vellum, and an embossing plate.  The magazine itself has a two-page spread giving you some ideas on what you can make with your free gift.  I’m looking forward to trying this one out because the embossing plate reminds me of the rubbings we did as kids (where you put your paper on various textured things and colored over them with a crayon).  They have a contest called “First Past the Post” where you make something with your free gift and send it in.  The first one to do so gets a great crafting pack surprise.  Sometimes they give away gifts to the makers of other outstanding cards made with the freebies.  Since my magazine has to travel across the pond and any entries would have to go back across, I’ve never entered, only enjoyed seeing what folks make.

Every month the free gifts differ.  Last month it was some fab clear Christmas stamps featuring Scottie dogs.  In the past I have received excellent paper packs, a flocking kit, other clear stamps, and a DVD for “digital stamping.”  Besides the free gift enclosure, every month the magazine features patterned papers that you can use.  They also give you information and a pass code so you can go to their website and download and print more of these papers and usually they have some other ones too.  I have only done that once or twice since I have plenty of patterned paper, but I think that is a great option so that 1) you don’t have to tear your mag apart, 2) can use both sides of the paper (since they are printed back to back in the magazine), and 3) can have more papers if you want.  As you can see, the cats love my p o r n  too, or maybe they just want to help me show off the patterned papers. 


By the way, that one cat is really blue-eyed but the red eye autocorrect insisted he have green eyes for this photo.  I think it makes him look rather stoned.  Also, the other cat is lying on the leopard print blanket, just out of sight.  They really are quite pesky.

Another feature that Quick Cards does often is called Card School.  They walk you through step-by-step with lots of pictures on how to make technique cards.  This month features origami Christmas trees, but also has them mounted on a step-style card, so double bonus!  Oh sure, all their card measurements are done in centimeters and not inches, but you can easily learn the technique and convert it out of metric if you must.
 Another fun aspect is their multi-card feature.  They often do it as a budget challenge, as they did this month, showing how you can buy a few choice inexpensive items and make many cards with them.  Sometimes they show how you can get many cards out of one item (such as a stamp set or embellishment pack).  Not only do they show you the overview of all 10 cards like you see here, but the next several pages are detailed instructions on each card.  So you don’t have to peer at this page and try to guess how they did it.  I like that!
 I also get a chuckle at some of the British colloquialisms in the magazine.  “Sticky fixers” is by far my favorite.  I only get foam tape here in the US.  

So stay tuned and see what I make with my freebies!

* I’m assuming on that last one, I can’t say I know it for a fact.

The Fine Print: Quick Cards Made Easy is copyrighted by Origin Publishing, which is part of the Immediate Media Company Group.  I am not an official spokesperson for them, just a happy customer.  If you would like a copy of Quick Cards or any of the other fab UK craft magazines, check your local craft stores and/or Barnes & Noble.  For a subscription check out: Origin Publishing Magazines

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