Each year I do several craft shows at a mall near my house. There are only 3 stores open in this mall, so the crowds are by no means stellar. What the crowd is, though, is loyal. The same people come each show and buy the same types of things. The area the mall is in is greatly populated with senior citizens. And the senior citizens that come to this show buy lots and lots of items made from plastic canvas.
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I'm not fooling myself that they buy the items from me because they love them so much; they want to use them as patterns! If they only knew where I got my patterns they wouldn't have to hurry back to see me. Of course, I'm not going to take this joy away from them.
I make up a few of my own patterns here and there, but for the most part I get them from books and magazines. One such magazine is Plastic Canvas World. I have been a subscriber for many years (I'm sorry I can't recall how many and it would take me weeks to go through all my back issues to find the oldest date, and I just can't bare to pry myself away from Epinions).
If you do not wish to subscribe for the savings, you may just want to subscribe for the simple fact that you will have a hard time finding this publication in the stores. Drug stores and craft stores are about the only places I'm able to find it. Unlike the other publications I pick up at the stores this one is not available at the grocery store or the discount stores I frequent (Target, Walmart, K-Mart). Cost per issue is $2.95, a subscription for one year is $14.97. Plastic Canvas World is a monthly publication.
And what a publication it is! Each monthly issue is jammed packed from cover to cover of full color graphics, color coded patterns, and relevant advertising.
In each issue
In each issue you will find a letter from the editor, a stitch guide which shows new readers how to cut the canvas, how to count the holes (or lines depending on preference), your basic stitches, and other helpful hints on finishing projects, in addition to at least 10 full patterns.
The patterns are varied in skill level, and functionality. You will find seasonal patterns around the holiday months, as well as gift idea patterns and everyday decorating patterns.
Each pattern shows the finished item in full color in a setting appropriate to the finished product. There is a complete listing of every item needed with the brands they used listed, as well as a full color chart of the yarn and floss required. The graphs (which the patterns are on) are big and easy to read. They use a gray shading to show the area's that will be cut away. One feature I find most helpful about the patterns in Plastic Canvas World is the color coding on the charts rather than using different symbols for each color yarn. This saves me a lot of time from looking at the chart and finding the symbol amongst the long list of symbols and colors.
The ads are very few and far between, and are very colorful and useful to me. They are for plastic canvas related books and clubs or products. The best advertising feature in my book is that they have none of those pesky postcards stapled into the magazine.
When I'm working on projects I keep the patterns and all supplies in a basket that travels all around my house and other places with me; when I'm at a show I have projects with me to work on, so these magazines get a lot of miles put on them. Plastic Canvas World holds up to this heavy use like a trooper. The plastic canvas projects are the most portable so usually there is one or two magazines with me for pattern use. The quality of this paper is topnotch. It's not your typical flimsey magazine paper that rips easily. The paper is thick quality paper, some glossy (photo's) and some paper (patterns). The covers stay stapled to the rest of the magazine no matter how many times I open and close it or page through it looking for my next project; no matter how many times my girls look through it to find something they want me to make for them.
The projects patterned in this book are great for gift giving, everyday use, or for sales. I primarily make the items to be used for sale, but have made and given several as gifts and they've all been well received.
Plastic canvas crafts are something that just about anyone can do. If you can count and if you can cut a pretty straight line you can do plastic canvas. My children are 5 and 7 and I'm starting to teach them the basics of all crafts. Plastic canvas is one of the better crafts for little ones as there really isn't much that they can be hurt on as the needles used are very blunt. Many of my best customers of the plastic canvas items (when they buy them to use as patterns) suffer from arthritis, yet they are still able to do this craft.
There is only one other plastic canvas magazine out on the market that I prefer over Plastic Canvas World, and that's Plastic Canvas.
If you are looking for a new craft hobby, or a new magazine for your existing plastic canvas hobby I suggest picking up an issue or two of Plastic Canvas World. It is a great publication for beginner and novice alike.