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Photo Paper Direct Winner

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Apologies for the delay in picking a winner – I managed to lose the prize in a pile of Stuff! I’ve got it now so the Random Number Generator has been consulted and the winner is…

Karen S, the first to comment. Congratulations, Karen! We’ll be in touch about sending your prizes.

Thanks to everyone who entered – we’ll hopefully have another contest soon.

Photo Paper Direct paper review and giveaway

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Hiya, it’s Emma From Pumpkinsputnik here. I got to test the ‘Invitation Greeting Card Delux Heavy Weight Lightly Textured 290g’ (quite a mouthful!) and the ‘Creative Stickers Matt A4’ from Photo Paper Direct for the GCM.

As a designer who makes notebooks and greetings cards, I was very interested to see what the card would be like.  I’ve always found it hard to find decent card to use which was heavy enough to give a professional finish but would fit through my printers – I plumped for watercolour card in the end as it gives me the result I’m looking for and I use it for the covers of my notebooks as well as for note cards.

Firstly I was really pleased with the weight of this card from Photo Paper Direct – at 290g it’s not much thinner than the watercolour card I use.  It has a lovely texture too, subtle but enough to notice.  I’m lucky enough to use a large HP Photosmart Pro printer which I use for most of my products, so I used it first to test the card – it can take any size card up to A3 and 2.5mm thick, so it easily managed this one.

The results are lovely, the colours are really clear and bright and the detail is superb.  The card only seems to come in A5 size, which I can use in my HP without any problem and print edge to edge, it does limit the size of your finished card to A6 or smaller though.  I also have a small Canon all-in-one that I use mostly for office printing, but I thought I’d give it a go too, just to compare the difference.  Unfortunately the Canon won’t do borderless printing on A5 so it didn’t really work with my designs – however the quality of print was still pretty good and the colours bright.

So, overall I was very impressed with the card, the quality and finish are great, very professional and reasonably priced too.  I would consider using it for greetings cards in the future, but not for the notebook covers.

I also got a couple of sheets of A4 sticker paper to test.  I’ve never used this kind of sticker paper before so didn’t really know what to expect.  The paper is a lovely quality again, very bright white and smooth.  I shrunk some of my designs down to small sticker-size and printed them on my HP for a good quality print and I didn’t really lose much detail at all.  I don’t have a fancy shape cutter, so I used my guillotine and corner-cutter to make them my signature square with rounded corners.  I think they look pretty good and would easily stand up to my Moo stickers.

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GIVEAWAY

We have a pack of 12 blank heavy weight greetings cards as reviewed, plus some of Emma’s lovely cards and stickers to give away. To enter, just visit the Craft Paper section of the PPD website and leave a comment here saying what paper you’d most like to try. Giveaway closes at 12pm on Sunday 12th September when we’ll pick a winner at random. Good luck!

In The Loop Giveaway Winner

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

In The Loop

Big thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway to win a copy of In The Loop. We’ve asked the Random Number Generator to pick a winner and it came up with 7.

So, congratulations to Miranda! We’ll be in touch shortly to arrange delivery of your prize.

Commiserations if you didn’t win this time but more giveaways are coming soon – and more knitting book reviews too! – so keep reading.

Giveaways

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

julia smith

UK Handmade is currently giving away a lovely Swallow Cup by GCM member Julia Smith. Just head over to the UK Handmade blog to enter.

And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter our own giveaway for a chance to win a copy of In The Loop. Good luck!

In The Loop

Knitting Book Review and Giveaway!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

In The Loop

Although knitting’s well and truly established in the mainstream, there are some artists taking the medium to the extreme. In the Loop: Knitting Now looks more closely at this phenomenon.  We asked our resident knitting ninja, Katy of Girl Industries for her take on it…

In the Loop focuses on the resurgence in popularity of knitting, and its rediscovered role in activism, identity and culture.  Published by black dog, and edited, or rather curated by Jessica Hemming, this book was born out of an academic conference held in in England in July 2008.

It’s a thought-provoking collection of writing by academics, artists, historians and a poet, amongst others.  The predominantly scholarly tone of the book meant that I did have to cast my mind back to my university days in Paris to recall exactly what the Lacanian theory of the gaze was, again, but the majority of the book is accessible and enjoyable if you have an interest in grassroots homespun activism, or the sheer joy of knitting.  And fear not, there are lots and lots of illustrative photographs, which quite often speak for themselves.

RACHEL BETH EGENHOEFER, Knit Negotiation, 2004

One of the first essays in the collection acknowledges knitting’s image problem, and from there, a succession of theorists show how the profile of the craft is being raised on an international basis.  I was delighted to see the International Fiber Collective’s Gas Station Project featured here.

It is refreshing to read about like-minded knitters in Africa, North America and the UK as well.  Everyone’s heard of Shetland wool, but did you know that Lerwick and points north had cultivated an edgy fibre arts scene?  Even the murky world of knit lit (yes, really) is explored in this fascinating collection of pictures and words.

All in all, an inspiring read, that balances a sense of humour and a do-it-yourself aethestic alongside more lofty concepts of art and activism.

In The Loop

In the Loop: Knitting Now by Jessica Hemmings, Black Dog publishing, £24.95

And we’ve got a copy of the book to give away!  To be in with a chance, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, making sure you include some kind of contact info.   The winner will be chosen on Wednesday June 17.