clm, Crafty Business, journal

Making Craft Leftovers Monthly: Part 1

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Each time I’m wrapping up Craft Leftovers Monthly, I’m pleasantly surprised to realize, “Hey, this is my job.” Thanks so much for making this possible by subscribing and letting me visit your mailbox each month. I want to share with you what Craft Leftovers Monthly is all about and how it comes together each month.

Uniquely me

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Craft Leftovers Monthly is unlike any other craft magazine you will ever get. While I invite contributors into the zine each month, it remains uniquely me. I personally write, photograph, and illustrate about 80% of the zine each month. The contributors are more like special guests where in standard magazines contributors are a bulk of the content. I think of it like inviting a guest instructor to my creative group to demonstrate a skill that isn’t my specialty. Just like any instructor, I think it’s important to pay them for their time. I work out trades with some contributors but they always are offered as much as I can possibly pay for their work.

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Freedom from ads

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Another thing that’s not standard is that it’s ad free–save for the half-page trade with Fanie for the Crafty Life comic. I’m hoping it will stay that way. I’m serious when I say it’s 36 pages of crafty goodness. Okay, maybe it’s about 33 because I have the index, copyright, and acknowledgments. You get a lot of creative content in a nice little package because there aren’t any extraneous ad pages in there. When you buy Craft Leftovers Monthly, you are paying for it to be printed and sent out the door–not the advertisers.

Loads of patterns

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Each issue averages around 3-4 patterns for sewing, knitting, crochet, paper craft, and/or other miscellaneous craft techniques depending on the month’s theme. Quite often there are more patterns than that. For instance, last month there was the MAP bag (Museum approved purse), the postal clutch, paper mache masks, and sand casting with plaster of paris.

Loads of fun articles and adventures and stories and puzzles

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That’s not even including the great article by Fanie on traveling in Montreal or Su’s traveling post art article. To add a little fun, I sprinkle in random stories from childhood (like the story about soggy sandwiches and the smokey mountains on my family vacation) and craft related wordfinds, crosswords, and/or coloring pages. For me, it’s a huge indulgence in the fun things in life.

Bonuses

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Every once and awhile I get an idea in my head to include some extras. In the summer issue, everyone got a kit for the Paper Plaited basket + minizine of the pattern. Su offered up her Zine Bomb minizine to include with this issue too! How did I fit that in there? I added a special edition pocket for the first 100 issues. It doesn’t happen every month, but it seems to be more often that I’m slipping a little something something in there for subscribers.

The July issue is packed

The July issue is looking to be just as packed as the summer. I have two wonderful ladies sharing work with us. There’s a tutorial for an elegant scrap fabric necklace, a huswife and needlecase. I’m adding a tutorial on strip quilting, a wrist cuff, a pot holder, and a cute little owl I made at the last Sew ‘n’ Swap. So what is that? Six tutorials and patterns in just one little zine. I’m really looking forward to illustrating this issue with so many fun ideas flowing into it. It will include a fun interview with Leethal about her work, her creative process and working with recycled goods. She is amazing and it will be a delight to read about her and include some of her great photos.

100% recycled and leftover

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Using what’s on hand, being conscious of the environment are such important things to me. I’ve worked hard to find a supplier of 100% recycled paper. The cover, the pages the zine is printed on, and even the envelopes and subscription cards are 100% recycled paper. It’s a little more expensive for me and you, but it’s so worth it to me and I hope to you too.

Even the wholesale packets are leftovers. The boxes are made from leftover packaging and the binding from misprinted labels. It’s kind of funny, every month I forget to switch out the postage labels back to the guts paper and print a whole issue on postage labels. I use these fun little boxes made with these labels to showcase CLM to wholesalers.

Quite a few people have asked me how I come up with a zine full of ideas each and every month. Well, I’ve decided to write it up. Check back Monday for part two of the Making of Craft Leftovers Monthly.

Happy Crafting!
Kristin