Advantages: This will keep you busy
Disadvantages: The cards you make might end up costing more thatn shop bought, but...
Making Christmas Cards by Judy Balchin is a softcover book measuring approx 8 by 10 inches. It is 48 pages long and as you should expect from this type of craft book it is very well illustrated. The projects include
Seasonal Silk Tree
Wire & Bead Star
Bethlehem Sticker Scene
The real beauty of this book comes in the wonderful illustrations. Not only do they serve the purpose well of showing you clearly how to do the craft work, the pictures are just very attractive in themselves. This makes you secure in knowing you have bought a quality book. The ideas do look stunning in the book and if you prefer to make a card for a special person rather than buy a shop one, you are really going to feel inspired.
The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and the photos only serve to make this easier. I must say though that, as with any activity, if you don't have a flair for it, no amount of easy instructions are going to turn you into a master-crafter. To be fair though, if you are a complete beginner you must expect a little trial and error. To get immediate results it will help if you have good measuring, cutting (paper and material), gluing and basic sewing skills. To get more elaborate results you will need to have a flair for embossing, glass and silk painting.
I tried the first project - Stitched Stocking - and to be honest it didn't look too bad, it did resemble the picture on the book (you can see pictures from the book - link at foot of review) It was only my sewing that let me down really. Yes you need to do a little sewing, but when you see the results and the wonderful projects you will see why it counts.
If you get enjoyment out of making things this is a really good book and I do recommend it to the beginner - like anything, just be patient with yourself and the results will come through. My attempt at the Stitched Stocking was passable and it will be given to someone when Christmas comes, and hopefully I will work my way through the projects and have a stack of these to give at Christmas.
If you want to see some pictures of the projects in the book go to http://uk.ebid.net/ and type in the keywords making christmas cards judy balchin.
Good luck and happy crafting
Summary: A great all round book for the beginner, with projects to suit the experienced.