Craftsy is back?!

I mentioned a few weeks ago how Bluprint, formerly Craftsy, had gone under, with a not insignificant number of jobs to be lost and plenty of panic about how people who had paid for hundreds of hours of video content were going to be able to access what they had been promised a ‘lifetime’ subscription too. Well, since then it seems there have been a few twists and turns in the story!


After a great deal of silence from the original Bluprint team as to their proposed solution for downloading hundred of gigabytes worth of video to save for later, an announcement on the website stated that Bluprint would be taken over by TN Marketing with the following important statement…

“Our friends at TN Marketing have acquired certain assets of the Bluprint business, and the Bluprint and TN teams are working together to ensure a smooth transition. As part of this transition, TN Marketing has agreed to honor previous customer purchases for classes and subscriptions and will preserve your access to Bluprint content.”

Perhaps there is some hope that TN Marketing will perhaps have a little more sensitivity towards their given audience as they are already involved with the National Quilters Circle video content. On the Bluprint website the following is listed…

“TN Marketing, is a Minneapolis-based global online video subscription and streaming business. You may be familiar with some of their brands such as National Quilters Circle, National Sewing Circle, Outdoor Photography Guide and Woodworkers Guild of America. TN Marketing has more than 20 years of experience creating content and communities that help engage people with their passions.”

The next twist in the tale is though, that it isn’t just that Bluprint has been saved, it’s due to be resurrected as Craftsy. TN Marketing is claiming the following…

“This is Cal Franklin checking in again with great news! You, the Bluprint/Craftsy community, have spoken and we are listening. You want a return to Craftsy, so let’s bring back the Craftsy brand!”

From 1st September, Craftsy lives! The question we’ll all be asking whether we’re going to be looking at a reanimated Bluprint, heavy on the subscription model and flooded with vacuous fluff content, or back to serious, high quality videos with respected instructors.

However, regardless of what happens in terms of the creation of new content, it is great that on paper all existing purchases will still be valid and downloading and backing up content won’t be my problem. The other big question will be how content creators are treated – apparently this was another aspect that took a nosedive after the original Craftsy site was taken over and the potential revenue and treatment left a lot to be desired compared to the experience Clara Parkes describes in Knitlandia.

I think this is ultimately good news. Whether I will end up investing another pound in the new Craftsy when it launches we will see. I hope there isn’t another mass shedding of content when Craftsy is resurrected because an awful lot of classes, in particular the Great Courses (one of the few things that felt more affordable on a monthly site subscription). Only time will tell though! Hopefully they don’t take their pricing model after Masterclass though, a ‘learn all sorts of stuff’ site featuring famous people.

The new Craftsy is also going to have its work cut out for it though finding ways to restore some of the confidence of customers who’ve been shaken by the seemingly sudden disappearance of the original Bluprint. Some of their slightly irritating date restriction around when class vouchers could be redeemed have left a lot of people with codes that can’t use and, while it’s one of those ‘well, we told you when you got them they would expire’, it’s inevitable people will forget and feel somewhat duped when they can’t use them.

It’ll be interesting to see what the successful model of online courses is going to look like. The Royal School of Needlework is finally ploughing into online teaching in a big way, extended their range of self-paced online courses. I am eyeing up that goldwork and silk shading butterfly with some longing but at £150 (which I presume covers the kit? It’s not actually clear from the price breakdown but says so elsewhere on the site…) for four hours of video material that you have a year of access to… This feels a bit steep. On  the other hand, I think many of the Craftsy videos were probably too cheap to be viable.

Making high quality videos does take a lot of time and investment in good kit in terms of recording and lighting equipment, plus the skill and experience of the teacher. Editing takes time, and needs a decent amount of computer processing power, and so on balance, the RSN’s price is probably fair. However, while I absolutely would pay that for day class and kit… I still have some reservation about whether it is worth it for the online offering. It’s interesting that even as someone who knows full well what a pain it is and how time consuming it is to create engaging online education materials, I still seem to have this prejudice that online learning is worth ‘less’. Maybe there’s an argument about getting individual feedback, and the fact an in-person course means an inherent limitation on number of spaces. For me there’s definite an ‘experience’ aspect of going somewhere, disappearing from the world and meeting new people as part of the day class series.

How about you, dear readers? Are you going to be opening your wallets and flinging your credit card details in abandon at the revived Craftsy? Or are you still sore by finding out ‘lifetime’ access to digital data is apparently shorter than a human lifespan? Who is offering online classes you like?

9 thoughts on “Craftsy is back?!

  1. I am very excited they are still there and functional, and optimistic about the future. Like you, I was not a fan of Bluprint – lots of fluff and very little “there” there sums them up. But no matter what, I am glad I will get to keep my classes that I paid for already.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I personally don’t have much confidence in TN Marketing. I was a member of the National Quilter’s Circle some years ago. The classes and instructors were average to low quality and a relationship with TN Marketing means you will be bombarded with click bait and email sellers. But worse, TN Marketing uses this trick: when you enroll with a basic membership, they upgrade you to “gold membership level” for zero cost or a very small cost. Then when it is renewal time, they charge your credit card on file for the gold membership level which is vastly more expensive than your original “premium” membership level. Although I notified them in advance that I did not wish to continue the service, they charged my credit card anyway, ignored my communications and I had to have my bank recover the charges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot for you comment – it’s interesting as I recently received some emails from TN Marketing – I’m going to guess because the Festival of Quilts passed my email address on. You’re right on the bombardment as well – I think I’ve been getting at least one or two emails a day since. I did think their offer of $2 introductory rate seemed too good to be true – which seems to be the case after your experience. Thanks for saying about the standard for the classes – I was almost tempted but perhaps I will do some careful homework before considering signing up. Oh dear! Perhaps not the good news for Craftsy I had hoped.


  3. Hello! Thanks for this helpful article – gives some insight into Craftsy. A month ago I joined at a very low-priced Premium level. Just now I’ve received an e-mail “You’ve Been Invited” to a $9 Gold Membership, which I am considering. Already, Craftsy has been a priceless resource for me as I am trying to continue my understanding of floor loom weaving (I have 2 Swedish looms, but only 6 weeks of weaving training in Sweden). I’m using the Janet Dawson Weaving course to help me understand more clearly the process. I’m so impressed with her delivery and the quality of the course. I’m going at it slowly, watching twice each video of the series, taking notes and coming up with a decent understanding of the weaving process. I haven’t looked at other videos as I’m concentrating on this one. But thanks to this course, I’ve been able to develop a lot of questions related to my own looms for which I can find the responses by researching online. Also, that research introduced me to another online weaving course(non-Craftsy) specifically for the type of loom that I have. I will take on that course (relatively small investment) once I’ve thoroughly made it through this basic course.
    With the Craftsy promotional deal I received, I’ve been able to have a breakthrough in my learning at home. I am so appreciative to have found it – it has been a struggle trying to progress with learning during Covid. In July, I will return to Sweden for another 10 days of weaving with a group, but this time I will be able to know what I am doing and why.

    I recommend Craftsy Premium. As for the $9 Gold Membership offer, I don’t yet know if it has any advantages, so if anyone out there has more insight, let me know! Thanks.

    And I express my gratitude to Janet Dawson for helping me to progress with understanding my own loom, and the logic behind the process of a loom and weaving. She is a very good teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing! I agree being able to pace your learning and rewind is particularly good when trying to pick up a new craft and I hope you enjoy the new loom! Always an exciting time! It does look like Craftsy has a lot of new classes as well (and they look much more credible than what Bluprint ever had!)

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing and very happy weaving! Sounds like a wonderful trip too!


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