Thursday, January 18, 2007

Scrapbooking magazine reviews

Yes, I'm a scrapbooking magazine addict! I can admit. Even the mailman knows why I am really rushing out to greet him when I happen to be home from work for lunch when he comes by! :-)

You might have noticed that I added a sidebar list entitled "Best Magazines for Inspiration." If you are thinking about subscribing to a mag, I thought I would share my opinions of each that I subscribe to.

Simple Scrapbooks & Scrapbooks, etc. by Better Homes & Gardens are probably my two favorite subscriptions. My only beef…neither one is a monthly! I just wish I could more of them! SS is a bi-monthly publication and S, etc. publishes eight issues per year. Both are high on inspriration.

Simple Scrapbooks really follows it's name...they focus more on photos and journaling and design rather than a lot of excessive embellishment. It is great for the beginner or the more advanced scrapper. They have 4 main 'sections' in every issue: Use, Learn, Make, and Share. Use tells you about new products and helps you 'get the most' out of the product you have. Learn is the place to find information on fun techniques and design. Make offer step-by-step instructions and tutorials. And Share, that's where you see the largest section of reader layouts and projects(although they are used throughout the magazine). MY RATING - 5 STARS

Scrapbooks, etc. also has a 4 section format: elements, goods, inspiration and techniques. Pretty self-explanatory, right...the only one that you might be wondering about a bit is elements. This section is where they put the information about that things you need to put together a successful layout - design, photography, journaling, etc. MY RATING - 5 STARS

Creating Keepsakes was one of the first scrapbooking magazines on the market (they celebrated 10 years in ’06)…and is still a market leader. I do look forward to this magazine every month. However, sometimes it seems like this magazine is a little more heavy on the advertising than the other mags (which takes up 'inspiration' space) and some of the layouts sometimes almost get to the point of being 'overembellished', IMO. MY RATING - 4 STARS

There has been some controversy with Memory Makers as of late. They changed their management, staff, and their entire design and layout...some very unhappy subscribers. I have to admit, I was also very disappointed with the December 2006 issue. HOWEVER, they have been listening and things are improving. I haven’t gotten my March 2007 issue yet, but from the reviews on their forum, it sounds like their were VAST improvements with this new issue. I will not hesitate to renew my subscription with them. MY RATING - 2 STARS (rating only lower because of the recent issues...if they keep improving, my rating will definitely go back up)

As for Scrapbook Trends, yes, the subscription cost is definitely higher than the others. They recently had a very steep increase in their subscription costs (before they were about $25 for a year) along with a revamp of their design and layout. This revamp, though, was ALL GOOD, IMO. I also LOVE that they share a little snippet behind each layout - maybe something about the creator, the story behind the layout, or information on a technique used...sometimes a combination of all the above! The issues now have very little advertising and are HEAVY on great inspiration...I would liken it almost more like an IDEA BOOK in a monthly format. So, if you think of it that way, the price doesn’t seem so high…most of us would spend at least $15 for a good idea book…if you subscribe, you’ll only paying about $8 an issue. If you can't justify spending that much yourself, it's a good one to add to your Christmas or Birthday wish list perhaps - you won't regret it! MY RATING - 5 STARS

FYI - I also had subscriptions to PaperKuts and Scrapbook Answers...until they stopped publishing last year! :-)
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