Newest Review: ... or crafters in some way. However it does it in such a way that it doesn't really become a lifestyle magazine. It has a nice balance of pr... more
Mollie Makes Knitted Fruit... (and not a whole lot else)
Member Name: katyboo123
Advantages: It's gorgeous and has a cult following
Disadvantages: Price and content
I write a little craft-cum-baking-cum-thrifting blog as a part time hobby in addition to my full time job as a Credit Scoring Analyst - antitheses were made for me. As part of the blogging community I'm on Twitter and I also subscribe to a lot of similar blogs through Google Reader. It was through these social media channels that I heard the buzz about Mollie Makes, a craft magazine like no other, which was set to rock the crafting world. As with anything new, as soon as someone within the public eye mentions it, a stampede follows and this is exactly what happened with issue one. Some iconic craftster (if there is such a thing?!) mentioned MM and the uprising ensued. I missed issue one, it was a huge sell out and when I looked on eBay it was selling for around £40-£50. I mean, please...
So, I subscribed in time for issue two, determined not to miss out on the fun. I got the magazine through the post from Future Publishing / My Favourite Magazines. I don't mind telling you, it ain't cheap. At £4.99 an issue you've got to be a serious crafter to part with the dosh. But, I got an awesome deal - £5 for the first 3 issues and I figured for that price, it was most certainly worth finding out what the hype was all about. The magazine arrived on my doormat and I eagerly tore off the wrapping and inspected my new monthly read.
It's a little smaller than a usual glossy rag, but it has a gorgeous matte paper finish. It has a beautiful front cover font and luscious pastel shades decorating the pages. To someone like me it's pure magazine shelf candy. Lots of oohs and aahs later, I sat down to actually read the content.
This is where it goes downhill a tad I'm afraid. Along with lots of fabulously illustrated, bordered photography (think instagram meets spirograph) and a couple of super interesting interviews with crafty type people (recent issue featured my current blog crush, Elsie Larson from Red Velvet / A Beautiful Mess blog along with the lady behind Tatty Devine, of jewellery designing fame); there's just a humongous bunch of shamelessly predatory adverts, preying on people like me who will spend a month's wage on fabric and sewing supplies rather than eat (slight exaggeration, but you get the picture). The adverts are sometimes dressed up as a pattern or a most-wanted or wish-list, but they are essentially adverts and silly people like me are paying £4.99 per issue for such a tiny amount of content (the majority of which is available free by following craft blogs online). I'd say there's a 60% advert, 40% tangible content mix - which in my opinion is outrageous given the price tag. Almost like paying TV License fees just to receive Challenge TV?
In addition to the magazine though, you do get a cute little project to make; I've had a felt ring kit (3 scraps of felt), an iPhone cover (scraps of linen, red thread and a button) and a coin purse kit (small metal purse clip frame and scrap of material) for example. Aside from the fact that the stuff would only cost pennies to purchase, it is quite sweet and gives me something else to obsess over making through the month. The only trouble is, I use the kit as a complete justification to myself that the £5 / 3 I paid for the first 3 issues and the £10 I paid for the next 3 issues is completely worth it; as I am sure a lot of MM readers do too.
And did I mention the knitted fruit? Every issue there seems to be an abundance of weird knitted fruit either on the cover or in the pages. Or crocheted custard creams, felted fig rolls and braided bourbon biscuits. It's really odd. I don't know who makes that stuff or why, but somehow knitted fruit / biscuits have become all the rage.
The best bits of the magazine and the reason I took advantage of the subscription deal are that there are some interesting ideas (making large square neck scarves in to clothing, cutting clothing up to make neck scarves), nice interviews and I liked the kit on the front (so, sue me!). The worst bit is really everything else. It's just paying out (what I see is) a lot of money for a lot of advertising and filler material. Such a shame really, as craft IS fashionable and there's a lot more mileage that could be realised if only the magazine didn't include so much junk; sure the ladies who created it don't think that though as they rake in the pennies! It annoys me a bit, as crafting tends to be a thrifty hobby, for those who want to save some dosh or get a kick out of turning junk in to something useful (even when it costs money to do that!). The magazine's price tag in my eyes is a joke - a fiver could be a meal for four, probably more and I think to appeal to the wider (rather than the elite) crafting society, it should be reduced or give actual value for money.
Mollie Makes is available from My Favourite Magazines, Asda and other large Supermarkets, WH Smiths, etc. It costs £4.99 per issue and there are accompanying blog page / Twitter profile / Flickr page, all of which can be found by Googling Mollie Makes.
Summary: I do not recommend (unless you've got loads of money!)
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