Arts and Crafts

Craft Magazines

Our reader, Joyce A. asks a great question.

“What craft mags do you get, or do you? I am very hesitant to subscribe to magazines anymore because I have neither the time nor the room for such stuff, but I am interested.”

Well Joyce ;),

I know what you mean, magazines can take up a lot of room and can pile up and collect dust, if you’re not reading them.

I like to be a scavenger and look at magazines that my in-laws are about to throw away.  Those range from Woman’s day to Good Housekeeping, and are always good for a few ideas and some lovely pictures.

I subscribe to our church magazines, The Ensign (for adults) and the Friend (for children) because despite having EXCELLENT articles, the pictures are divine and there are no ads. 🙂

Cover for the Friend Magazine - June 2010.

I also have an on-again, off-again subscription romance with Disney’s Family Fun magazine.  You can find the site here.

Cover of Disney's Family Fun Magazine

This magazine has a lot of great ideas and the pictures are lovely.  It’s also very inexpensive (especially if you catch one of their specials – which seem to always be going on).  The amount of advertisements – almost every other page, is one of my biggest pet peeves with the magazine.  Though, some of the ads can produce great pictures.

If you just want the ideas though, you can get most anything at the site itself.  This is helpful if you don’t want the clutter, but is a pain if you do want the pictures.

I try to go through my magazines quickly, and only keep a few on hand at a time.  Now, I’m trying to organize a system (accordion folder) to keep the things (ideas, pictures, etc.) that I really like.

I also clip pictures from cards and calendars.

I wish I could draw…

How about you?

Are there any craft magazines that you know of that are especially good?

What do you do with your magazines?



We have multi-family Sunday dinners at my house bi-weekly.  With 11 grandchildren, things get crazy quickly.  So, I decided that to keep the little munchkins happy (and quiet) that some sort of  craft might help.  I had paper in abundance (pictures from magazines, paper, scissors, crayons, glue, etc.) and thought that some sort of paper activity would be good.  So, I got a small spiral-bound,  lined notebook and put their names on each one.

The notebooks - creativity at its best!
The notebooks - creativity at its best!


I began by trying to give them things to do, papers to fill out.

The first page of the notebook - an "about me" page.
The first page of the notebook - an "about me" page.

Then I tried to do things, like have them decorate a tree at Christmas time.

The Christmas tree page
The Christmas tree page
I began to notice that while they humored me and did the pages the way that I directed, they enjoyed themselves much more when I just let them take over themselves.  All I do now is provide supplies (including magazine cut-outs) and they go crazy, in a wonderfully quiet way!
Look at the lovely artwork...
Look at the lovely artwork...

The younger kids practice cutting, gluing, and scribbling and the older kids can do artwork that is more on their level. 

The makings of a preschooler's collage
The makings of a preschooler's collage

The oldest (ten at the time) even began writing her own story to go along with her artwork.

The budding young novelist's work.
The budding young novelist's work.

It’s been an amazing way to not only calm the drama, but allow for the girls of all ages and abilities to work together.  Best of all, it has given them a place to go to foster their creative genius! Most Sundays they come running up to me and say “Hey Aunt Ryss, are we going to do notebooks today?”  I usually say, “Absolutely!  Just help me clear the table.”  It makes everyone happy.

Art, Uncategorized

The Missing Half

A great way to practice drawing is to take a picture of a person (a magazine or an old picture will do fine) close up and cut it in two.  Paste half of the picture on a piece of white drawing paper and draw the missing half.  Another idea (to make it simpler) is to take pictures from a coloring book.  See how close you can make your drawing  to the original without looking.   Make another where the pencil drawing is outrageous or silly.  Trade pictures with somebody.   You do the top half and they draw the bottom half.  Another take on this idea would be to have you and a friend each take opposite halves of the same picture.  After drawing, pair your pictures together.  How close are they to the original?  What other ideas have you come up with using the basic idea of ‘the missing half’?