Ready set weldEmbroidery too delicate and precious for you? Uninterested in the gentle art of scrapbooking or quilting? Stamp collecting a bit too tame? Then have we got the craft book for you!

Ready, Set, Weld! by Kimberli Matin is an excellent introduction to the craft and art of welding for fun and creativity. These are beginner friendly projects filled with practical and whimsical objects for your home and garden. There are artistic frames, garden stakes, small tables, candle holders, decorative screens, funky chairs and benches. The designs are a combination of Modern Art and Industrial with clean, simple lines.

Matin uses a combination of found objects (there is a section on searching scrapyards) and premade parts such as those manufactured for railings and gates. Half the fun is looking at an ordinary object and seeing it’s potential for something else, a skill the Matin encourages. She also clearly explains the basics – the tools you’ll need, safety guidelines, basic techniques. Throughout she is friendly and practical and above all, can-do. You’ll be inspired to follow her example and pick-up a welding gun. And after all, what’s cooler than practicing a craft that has you using a MIG welding gun, an angle grinder and shielded helmet? Awesome.

magazinesHave you wondered where your favorite titles are going? So far this year, Cottage Living, Men’s Vogue, Smartphone, Home, and Cooking for Two, and Country Home are just some of the magazines that have or will soon stop publishing.  Others are available only on the news stand (you can’t subscribe), like Country Weekly and Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion, and some, like PC Magazine, are going online only.

Seeing them disappear is like losing old friends. What is more pleasurable than sinking into a new world, with each new issue, whether it’s gadgets, gardening, home decor, jewelry, or weight lifting? The advantage that print magazines have  over newspapers or their online counterparts is  that people devote more time to them and view them as entertainment – even the ads – which is good for the bottom line.

For the time-pressed, magazine articles can supply streamlined summaries of big issues, (often in a more readable style than bloated books).

Let’s hope that magazine guru Samir Husni is right and that new magazines will continue to be launched – so as  to replace those that have died. He says  those that are “service oriented – whether it’s about health, home or cooking” will be most viable.

It takes an optimistic and courageous soul to  keep swinging in the volatile game of magazine publishing.