Some of you folks should try Rock & Gem magazine. It's not quite
as pretentious as LJ has become, although it might be headed in
that direction. The previously informative and helpful monthly
shop article (was called The Frantic Fumbler) used to feature
tips from readers and a lot of good how-to info. The current
shop article seems to miss the mark. They also seem to have
'theme' issues where many of the articles treat on the same
subject (like gold hunting, opals, jade, etc). I'd rather see a
more balanced presentation each month. At least they haven't
been overwhelmed by beads yet.
It seems as though the internet provides some of the best
sources of info now. I find Orchid, rec.crafts.jewelry, the
Lapidary Digest, and the Eclectic Lapidary to fill many of my
LJ's buyer's guide is always worth the money. I hope it can be
duplicated somewhere electronically before LJ disappears
entirely into beadworld.