I haven’t done a review in awhile, so here are the latest finds and their ratings.. Click on the capitalised heading of each review to be taken to their site.
Ratings are out of 5
1/ CRAFTGOSSIP 4/5
click this title to be taken to the site
First up is ‘CraftGossip’ – it’s a professional, light and modern looking site and the content would appeal to a number of ages and skill levels. Fairly easy to find your way around with a left hand navigation menu broken into sub categories (i.e. sewing, edible crafts, indie crafts, jewellery making….. etc.).
Each sub category has a dedicated editor who ‘scours the net’ for interesting blogs, articles, how-to-instructions, craft ideas, and they review them for your benefit. You can then check out their reviews and click through to the original page for yourself. It’s a little bit like pinterest in that fashion! I like very much!!
There is some seriously cute things on this ‘blog’ and the best thing about it is you just sit back whilst they do all they work and you reap the rewards. It is a community of sorts although the peeps in charge refer to it as a blog, broken down into smaller blogs. *shrug* it’s still fabulous and well worth checking out if your stuck for ideas and inspiration!
2/ Craftzine 3.5/5
click this title to be taken to the site
Initial look at it and it is visually dated and boxy. This site appears to be a crafting blog type of site – similar to CraftGossip. You do not need an account to register or use the sites content – that is good!.
This blog is eerily similar to CraftGossip in process in the fact that they also trawl the net for blog posts etc to feature. There are 7 or 8 editors and they are equally as good for knowledge and expertise as craftgossips editors. What is good about this blog is that they have a special community page where you can submit questions to the editors. They also boast a video page and a shop etc.
It has a top navigation bar with easily defined topics. I have clicked ‘patterns’ and a another group of subcategories came up at the bottom of the page under half a page of what I assume are ‘featured’ articles…. The sub category list boasts 6 topics, Knitting, sewing, crochet, jewellery, paper crafts and fashion.
I found it a little difficult to get around, but when I finally found the patterns for Fashion I can report they have good articles – first glance and the first 2 pages are really good indie craft and quirky chic style patterns (this has earned them another star).
I couldn’t find any information on ‘how many’ patterns they have per category or in total. It may be there but I couldn’t find it *shrug*….. If you can get past the boxy look and clumsy functionality of this blog and make it to the patterns area – you will be richly rewarded and spolit for choice. I would even go as far to say I think Craftzines coverage of ‘modern’ craft content is better than CraftGossip. BOLD BOLD CLAIM! but possibly true, check it out for yourself.
3/ Crafster 3/5
I thought Craftzine looked dated and appeared clumsy. I was wrong! Oh dear – Crafster takes that award hands down!!. I’m not sure if it’s the pastel colours used or the set up of the page… but it repels me like kryptonite… I will take a deep breath and persevere for the sake of this review.
This is a crafting community group and you will need to register to be able to take full advantage of it’s functionality. Registration is free and only takes a few seconds to complete.
On the home page there are 4 interactive scrolling boxes located in the centre of the page to show you the most recent articles added to the each of the 4 topics followed by featured articles to entice you a little further into the site.
The articles are uploaded by the craft community. This is great because the users are in charge of the content posted and it is not up to a handful of editors to pick and choose what is listed. It is a great concept and a common one for community based websites.
Quick check and I have found articles that range in skill level and taste. There are folk art style projects, rockabilly style, indie craft and general crafting tips….. I haven’t located a category list yet. There must be one somewhere, I will need to revisit this site at a later stage… My advice is if you have time to waste and your crafter hunger is at an insatiable level and needs to be fixed with whatever project you stumble across – go and check out this site.
I am a convert to the Pinterest ways!!! It’s a simple concept you surf the web yourself and anything that inspires you, you want to bookmark for a later date, share or reference – you PIN the corresponding image to one of your custom Pinterest boards. Pinterest is basically a cyberspace basic bookmarking tool. So so clever!
The best part of this community is that you can view the communities pins under predetermined categories and choose to ‘repin’ other users pins to your own boards. The community is vast and the topics are diverse – and it functions as a fantastic marketing, research and feedback tool. With this site you will never slip out of the what’s-in-fashion rut or be asking what type of style do people respond well to?? It is an excellent tool for your business toolbox or even if you just want to be on top of your own game and styling, this site is chocka full of inspiration all pinned up by your new like minded buddies.
You do need to register your interest to join and you will be put on a waiting list of sorts and sent an invite at a later date. I joined in November or thereabouts and I waited for about a week for the invite to come through. There are a few rules, the obvious is NO images involving nudity and NO explicit/graphic in nature images are to be pinned at any time. If this happen you will be expelled from the community. This site is my favourite at the moment and gets full thumbs up for accessibility, functionality and it’s simple and very effective concept. Anything you could possibly wish for is already here in some form or another, and if it’s not then PIN it yourself!!!
All 4 of these site links boast free ‘making stuff’ patterns and lots of free projects to help inspire you in your making adventures.
If you like this post you may also like to check out my other posts in this category – boasting lots of free patterns and exciting links ‘Online Community reviews and free patterns/projects for you’.
Don’t forget to ‘share’, ‘like’ and/or ‘follow’ in the right hand menu in the header bar above! Thanks 🙂