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I'm a huge fan of anything to do with arts and crafts and got into beading around 3 years as something relaxing and easy. I've since learned that it can become incredibly tricky and impressive in large with the help of this magazine.
To start with it retails at £3.25 which although pricey is full of useful reference material that you will use again unlike fashion and mens magazines.
It's an American publication which most beading magazines seem to be. This means that a lot of the advertisements for shops and events are not that easy to visit unless you are planning a beading holiday to the states. That said there are a lot of websites that can be ordered from also.
The magazines website is www.BeadAndButton.com. Is well laid out with simple user interface.
There are many free products to try and make as well as those you can purchase for download. From here you can also subscribe or just register with their club which gives you even more resources.I joined and received extra patten downloads.I did not subscribe but you are looking at $29 for 6 issues (half a year)I do not buy this magazine every month as there are so many available now I tend to alternate which one I treat myself too. 'Bead and Button' is one that I go for on a regular basis though as it always seems to have very different and challenging projects. More often than not, the trickiest and most impressive is on the front cover. The contents of the magazine is about 50% advertising (mostly American).These are still helpful however as the images they show are often what you aspire to be able to make yourself.
The rest of it is pure quality projects. These range from complete in minutes to something that would try the patience of a saint.The instructions are clear and simple with illustrations that take away any guess work. It all starts with a list of materials that are needed for the project and exactly how much of each you'll need. It then gives a step by step guide with accompanying editors notes that help with any predicted problems. There are also foot notes to watch it as video on the websites.
At the back of the magazine it has reference section where you can go through all the basics of threads, knots and stitches. Very useful if this is the first beading magazine you have bought.The last issue that I bought had crochet and knitting takes on beading also, alongside polymer clay jewellery projects so it is definitely varied.
They have one page dedicated to the review of products and books. Usually about 5 items and a short section of letters to the editor.
In short I think this is a good buy both for the quality of the products and for the web references in the adverts.
Its a good quality glossy mag that will still be on your shelf in a couple of years to try all those projects you were not good enough for the first time around.I hope this was useful.
I will be reviewing other jewellery mags.