Hot on the heels of the news that Crafty Magazine has closed, another magazine as quickly launched to take its place – Hoop-La!
Billed as a ‘new look embroidery’ magazine, I was excited to get this my hands on this new publication. It’s from the same publisher as Mollie Makes, Gathered and The Simple Things so it has a good pedigree and expectations are high in the crafty world.
So first things first – the cover. It’s bright and bold, I like the different use of typeface across the cover and it’s not too busy. The name Hoop-La is fun too. I like!
Into the first section – Hoop-La Style – I bet PR’s are loving all these new magazine launches! If you can’t get your crafty/homes/interiors products any coverage you aren’t doing a very good job! There are five pages upfront of new products, reviews and mini interviews with makers to peruse. I don’t know about you, maybe this is because I am a PR, but I tend to skip over these pages unless something really catches my eye.
Straight into the first project – Polaroid Love. I like this. A lot. It would make a really nice gift for a girlfriend and seems to be fairly challenging for a novice stitcher like me. The photos really enhance the tutorial and although it looks tricky, I can see actually it’s just lots of long stitches giving an overall effect of shading and highlighting on the model.
The ‘Inside The Craft Room’ features are a nice take on the usual interviews with makers. very inspiring, as I think about my craft room/office/general storage room. I’m pleased to see a healthy balance between patterns, tutorials and interviews. I like to be able to spend a bit of time with my magazines and want to have something to read, rather than just look at.
Other projects which have piqued my interest are ‘Favourite Things’ and ‘Sea Breeze’.
By far my favourite project however, is ‘Love Letters’. I am constantly looking for a cool/cute/unusual alphabet pattern to stitch for gifts and this is a brilliant resource, with 26 individually designed letters. I can see lots of great uses for these letters. (sorry for the dark and shady photos, it’s rainy and dark here even though it’s the morning!)
This magazine is jam packed with projects – so good value for money at £5 an issue. But could this be a problem? There is such a variety of patterns it feels quite schizophrenic – some cutesy designs, some cool, some bold, some sweet. If it’s variety you’re after Hoop-La! is for you. I’d like to see more sophisticated, less cutesy designs in the next issue.
I’m not sure how many they plan to publish, this issue is Spring, so maybe only four a year? Overall, I like this magazine and think it’s a good resource to keep and re-use the patterns again and again. I’ll be really interested to see where they take the magazine in the second issue.