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CHA Scrapbooking: Crate Paper

Crate Paper‘s CHA release seemed to be on a lot of people’s favorites list. They have released four new paper collections that they hope will easily mix and match with other collections for all your crafty endeavors.
Each new collection includes embellishments, and they have added a few more this year. The first of these new additions are Accent Cuts, which is a double-sided sheet of tags and journaling cards that you can cut up to use on your projects. The Eclectic Buttons also debuted at the show and these sets of 14 custom buttons are very dimensional and beautiful in person. 




Emma’s Shoppe is a beautiful, girly collection with a vintage flair that Crate Paper says was inspired by (and can easily be combined with) their super popular Restoration collection from their last CHA release.




Toy Box is exactly what you might expect to find when peeking into an old toy box filled with bright and fun playthings. We love that although a few sides of these papers are very boy specific (which is definitely something we need) this collection could very easily be used for lots of different occasions and non-events as well.




Portrait was a huge hit at the show and we have to say that we agree with the buzz. We can definitely see this wedding and family inspired collection becoming a go-to collection for beautifully crafted events, family history albums, and any other page for that matter. The combination of colors and the gorgeous tones really are lovely.



The last of the 4 new Crate Paper collections is Neighborhood, a whimsical, springlike collection in those classic Spring colors updated with dashes of admiral blue and adorable pennant banners, birds, flowers, and other cute little indicators of Spring.



We’re finding it impossible to pick just one favorite collection from Crate Paper’s new release, but are asking you to do just that! Which of the 4 new collections could you see yourself using the most, and what would you scrapbook with it?


This post is brought to you by: Claudia and Company 
Crate Paper is available from Claudia and Company. Shop the great selection of stamps and paper like The Greeting Farm, Spellbinders, Echo Park Papers, Basic Grey, and many more. There are great project and crafting ideas on the Claudia and Company blog to inspire you.


Craft Critique readers will receive a special gift with every $30 purchase (excludes tax and shipping). Just enter CraftCritique at checkout to redeem. Offer expires 3/31/11.


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Bead & Button Magazine

Reported By Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

I am a long time subscriber to Bead & Button magazine. For this review, I will be primarily referencing the April 2008 Issue, selling on newsstands for $5.95 (or $7.95 Canadian). Featuring mostly seed bead, or seed bead related projects, Bead & Button is a wonderful resource.

Most issues feature the following sections:

1. Letter From the Editor

Generally, this is a quick note from Editor, Ann Dee Allen highlighting a few of the projects you will find in the pages of the magazine.

2. Letters, etc.

Like most magazines, Bead & Button prints a page of letters to the magazine. Most contain either praise or discontent with the magazine’s content.

3. Bead Soup

This is one of my favorite sections in the magazine. As the name indicates, it’s a jumble of bead-related things. This month features:
• A brief story about how a beaded tapestry came into being (accompanied by photos of the tapestry and its owner)
• Photos and some information about clay beads by North Carolina artist, Elaine Ray
• Two book reviews and an instructional DVD review.
The content varies each month. There will be information about events, products, books, etc.

4. Expert Advice

As the title indicates, a beading expert will provide advice on a thorny topic. This month the column is all about beading if you’re left-handed. Alice Korach (Bead & Button’s Founding Editor) provides the reader with a host of tips on reading patterns and helpful hand positions.

5. Tips & Techniques

How does this differ from the previous section? Well, “Tips & Techniques” is more of a collection of advice dealing with tips on using up scraps of beading thread to methods for picking up spilled beads. Most of the tips come from readers. And, each month, there is a lesson about some beading basic. This month, it’s “All About Findings,” a two-page spread that uses photos and text to explain the different terms such as “bails” and “spacers.”

6. Patterns

Every month, Bead& Button provides several original patterns for seed beads. There is a large color pattern, accompanied by a brief description indicating the type of stitch to be used and approximate measurements of the finished piece. I find that these patterns come in a wide variety of styles. Some I like and some I do not. This month features a larger-than-life scorpion and flowers in vases, which are demonstrated in bracelet, earring and pendant form.

7. Your Work

This is definitely my favorite part of the magazine. Readers share their stunning and inspirational beaded creations. The full color photographs are beautiful and you will be blown away by the talent and patience of your fellow readers. Most of the work featured tends to be bead weaving of some sort.

8. Meet the Staff

This month’s profile is of Associate Editor Lynne Soto. The article focuses on her personal history as a beader and features a photo of her, as well as some of her work.

9. Stitch Workshop

Every month, a beading stitch is looked at in depth. This month it is Ndebele Herringbone. The reader is given variations and new ideas through color photographs, written directions, and excellent diagrams.

10. Chic & Easy

This is usually instructions for a fun and relatively simple bead stringing project. All the projects in Bead & Button feature a supply list, color photographs of the finished project, the artist, some of the intermediary steps, and written instructions.

11. Quick Stitch

This is an easy to do, bead stitched project. This month’s feature is a colorful butterfly bracelet with crystal centers. Materials list, diagrams, written instructions, and color photographs provide step-by-step directions to the reader.

12. Clearly Crystals

These are instructions for a crystal based project. This month’s project features brightly colored crystals woven into a bracelet reminiscent of flowers and leaves in a garden. Again, the reader is led step-by-step through the process of making the bracelet.

13. Feature Projects

These are a variety of step-by-step directions for projects ranging from beginner to advanced. The jewelry featured on the cover of the magazine has instructions in this section, along with half a dozen other projects. All projects include photographs, diagrams, written instructions, and are tested to ensure accuracy.

14. Artist Profile

Bead & Button does a great job featuring a variety of unique artists. These lengthy profiles feature photos of the artist and his/her art, along with process and history descriptions. The month features Joyce Rooks, a professional cellist and glass artist.

15. Wire Expressions

This is an easy to make project that features wire-working techniques. This month, the project is “Wrapped Hematite Hourglasses.” There’s an editor’s note that indicates that vintage Lucite beads are, “a great lightweight alternative to the hematite used in the original.” This is typical for Bead & Button. The editor who tests the directions will often provide tips or ideas that helped her to replicate the original project.

16. Claymaker

Every month this column features easy to follow step-by-step directions to create something lovely out of clay. This month features a layered flower made from metal clay.

17. Basics

In every single edition of Bead & Button, basic knots, stitches, and wire techniques are explained in detail. This is a wonderful resource. The project instructions throughout the magazine assume that you have this basic knowledge, so advanced readers are able to plunge head first into the project instructions. However, if you don’t know these beading basics, you can easily learn them from this section of the magazine which uses diagrams and written instructions.

18. Spotlight

The last page of each edition contains a photograph and some brief text about a beautiful jewelry piece. I often flip the magazine open to the last page when it first arrives. It’s always something ethereal and inspirational!

In addition, Bead & Button is chock full of colorful ads, a shop directory, and listings for bead societies. The Bead & Button website is excellent and the message board is very chatty. I must also mention the Bead & Button show, which is an annual convention run by Kalmbach Publishing (owners of Bead & Button and several other jewelry magazines). It is held every June in Milwaukee and features hundreds of classes by well-known artists, an enormous bead market, and many opportunities to buy beautiful handmade jewelry.

In my opinion, a copy of Bead & Button is like several instruction books all rolled into one, but with a much more agreeable price. I love the variety of the projects (something for everyone), the excellent instructions, the beautiful photographs, and the inspiration it provides. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in any sort of work with seed beads.

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