Sunday, 29 July 2012

Changes ahead

I just realised that this week it will be exactly 3 years since I started working on The Sewing Directory!  I didn't launch until March 2010 but it took me 8 months of groundwork to get to the point of launch, I offically registered as self employed on the 1st of August 2009.

I also realised that in the last 3 years I have worked every single day, even if just for an hour or so, I never take time completely away from the site.  So I've decided it's time for a few changes, I'm doing a complete review of the site and my working processes to try and figure out how I can cut back on how much I work but make the site even better and give you more of what you want.

There are several ideas I working through at the moment including a spin off site focusing purely on sewing workshops, arranging some Sewing Directory meet ups throughout the country so we can introduce a more social element, but I would really love to have your feedback as to what you want more or less of from The Sewing Directory. 

I've set up a short survey here which only takes a few minutes to help me decide how to change the site for the better.  Please do take the time to give me your input. 

If you don't want to fill out the survey for any reason feel free to give me your feedback in the comments below.   What would you like more of?  What you would like to see that we don't already do?  What are you not bothered about and wouldn't mind if we stopped doing it?

Just to help you out I've listed some of the things we currently do below:

*Projects                                      *Details of new fabric collections
*Reviews - kits & books                * Details of upcoming workshops
*Industry news                             * Details of fabric sales and offers
*Competitions                              *Interviews with designers/authors/crafters
*Events diary                               * Regular social media updates
*Craft business guides                  *Sewing technique guides

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Book Giveaway

Yesterday's review pile
We have had a baking hot and sunny week here in Cardiff so I thought to celebrate the sun finally appearing I would do a giveaway.  I spent yesterday working my way though my book review pile so decided I would share a couple of the books.

Pre-cut Combo Quilts

First up we have Pre-cut combo quilts by Debra Fehr Greenway which I just reviewed here.  This book is great for those of you who don't want to spend ages cutting fabric before you can start sewing and just want to get on with it (I'm very impatient like that!).  It's a nice change from the jelly roll books as it mixes up different pre-cuts such as layer cakes and charm squares as well as jelly roll strips.

Mend It Better

Secondly, we have Mend It Better, the essential guide to mending clothes. I reviewed this book back in April here.   It covers lots of useful techniques such as cover patches, pockets, hems, darning, fasteners & closures, zippers and decorative touches.

Ok, how to enter, if you want to win Pre-cut Combo Quilts please comment below to tell me about the last quilt you made (or are working on/planning to make)

If you want to win Mend It Better please tell me what the last thing was that you mended.  Bizzarely the last thing I mended was a toy chick which needed his wing reattaching!  My son is going through a stage of pulling his toy animals apart so there's a lot of animal repairs going on.


Congratulations to our winners:

Missielizzie who has won a copy of Mend It Better
Liz DandelionD who has won Pre-cut Combo Quilts

Thank you all for your entries, well done both winners I have e-mailed you to get your addresses.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Who is behind Craft Magazine Shop?

In my last blog post about the ex-All Craft Media sewing magazines (Sew Hip, Modern Quilting and Handmade Fashion) I mentioned that it seemed like the previous ACM owner Kerrie Allman was behind the magazines.  They had been purchased by a new company Craft Magazine Shop an unregistered company supposedly owned by someone called Derek Barnes.  No one seems to have heard of, or been contacted by Derek, only by Kerrie and her relations.

The new domain name had been registered in the name of ACM (after they went into administration), her sister was e-mailing advertisers and her mum was answering the phones at the new company.  However, despite all of that Kerrie was still swearing blind on her blog that she was nothing to do with Craft Magazine Shop.  Even though she admitted her mum and sister were working there, and that she herself was back in the ACM offices she continued to maintain the company was nothing to do with her.  When people started to question the contradictions in her blog posts she made her blog private.

Then on Friday it was announced on Twitter that Sew Hip had been renamed Simply Sewing, a quick search on Yudu showed the new front cover of the magazine along with the new domain name:

Despite the first page of the magazine urging people to visit the site there is no content on it, not even a holding page.  However, I decided to do a quick Whois search and guess who registered the domain less than 2 weeks ago?

None other than Kerrie, although she did it in her maiden name - Kerrie Rycroft.

The rumors of Kerrie's involvement have been circulating ever since it was heard that Craft Magazine Shop had bought the magazines.  People had reported being contacted by her in relation to the magazines, many have suggested that the new editor (Jenn Smith-Clarke) was in fact Kerrie using a pen name but for me the final confirmation is the above.  Concrete evidence that Kerrie is still behind the magazines.

So do beware, this is now the third company she has run which has owned these magazines, the last 2 ledt a large number of unpaid contributors, large debts to the HMRC and their printers unpaid.  The debt of the last 2 companies is over £300,000 and there could still be more creditors to come forward.  Do Google All Craft Media, KAL Media or Kerrie Allman to read about other people's experiences with this company before you decide to work with them.  Or read the comments on my original blog post here.
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