Monday, October 18, 2010

The Magazine Wars

I love magazines. I always have. Love the thrill of opening up my mailbox to see that glossy 8 1/2 x 11 piece of goodness. My favorite part of my old job was sitting next to the media department and getting all the free magazines I wanted. {They still hook me up with People magazine because they know I am hopelessly addicted.}
Sadly, the optical company I work for does not advertise in scrapbooking mags, so I subscribe to two-Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks, Etc. I've had my CK subscription for about 4 years, and sadly, this month it runs out. My SBE subscription is about 3 years old and I recently ran into a smoking hot deal on Tanga for a year's subscription for $8, so somehow(?) I'm good through 2012.
So this month, I have a decision to make-do I renew my CK subscription? A lot has been said about the changes at CK. There's this article at Scrapbook Update and this thread on Two Peas. I'll be honest, I miss seeing columns by Becky Higgins, Jessica Sprague and Ali Edwards. I like the columns by Mandy Douglass and Jennifer McGuire but are they enough to justify the high (in my opinion) expense of a subscription? Especially considering the issues with customer service and how their parent company has treated some of it's designers?
So I did what I am trained to do: I sat down and looked at this month issues from an analytic point of view.
Creating Keepsakes
What I liked:
  • Mandy Douglass's article on Recipes for Quick & Easy Layouts-loved that she used common photo print sizes and the layouts were adorable.
  • I loved the article on Kraft-I'm just learning to love kraft, so this was great for me! 
What I didn't like:
  • The scrap room article. I usually really enjoy this feature but this month the photos were taken from such a distance that you couldn't see much detail.
  • The CK Shows You How article on paint, seemed amatuer-ish and thrown together. 
  • Overall, the whole magazine seemed off. I can't put my finger on what it was, maybe it's me and I've outgrown it but I wasn't feeling it. :(
What I wanted to like:
  • The Scrap Your Faith article and The Deck Your Pages article-both just missed the mark for me. The faith article was pretty superficial and the deck your pages article didn't address the most common concern with adding that type of texture-how to limit the bulk. I just found both a bit lacking.
Scrapbooks, Etc.
What I liked:
  • Ali!!!! You are back! Yay! Ali Edward's article on her December Daily was great-concise and informative. If you visit her blog, you probably are already familiar with it but if you don't you got all you needed to know from the article.
  • Jen Lessinger's tip on how to create those cool scratch off cards was awesome. I'm totally doing that with the boys, just for fun. {Jen needs a blog-I love her layouts and sense of humor!}
  • Loved the last minute gift ideas article. I have so many gift idea lists bookmarked on my computer, it's nice to see them in a magazine article for once.
  • I've made no secret of the fact that I hate sewing but I actually enjoyed the article on sewing in this issue-in fact {i kinda want a teeny little sewing machine to try to do some sewing} there I said it out loud.
  • Yes, this was a holiday issue but they didn't beat us over the head with holiday layouts, there were plenty of non-holiday layouts too.
What I didn't like:
  • Ummmm...maybe the paper piecing? That's about it though, because I seriously wore this issue out looking through it!
Conclusion: I'm super happy my SBE subscription doesn't run out until 2012-I have literally looked through this month's copy like 12 times! I'm sad to say that I will likely let my CK subscription go. I might eventually pick up past issues on eBay or at Half Price Books but it's not a "must have" for me anymore.

That being said, there are tons of great non magazine sources for inspiration out there-I'll share a few of my favorites and why I love them on Thursday! See you then!


  1. Loved that you took the time to do this with such honesty and feeling. And can I just scream it out now, I MISS SIMPLE SCRAPBOOKS MAGAZINE!

  2. Great reviews! I found you on two peas and am now a follower - check out my blog and follow me if you like!


  3. Thanks Monika-I miss Simple too!
    Melissa-your blog is great, I love your haunted house!

  4. Just found you on 2 peas.
    I haven't read either one of those magazines in mny months. I love my Canadian Scrapbookers magazine. Most of the layouts are from regular scrapbooker just like us.

  5. I used to subscribe to CK. Let it do since I felt the same as you... somthing was just off with it. Makes me want to grab the new SBE and check it out!