Thursday, August 10, 2006

Choosing a Scrapbook Magazine

By Christina VanGinkel

People who scrapbook as a hobby, tend to spend their money earmarked for scrapping in several ways. They buy supplies, attend events, and purchase magazines, and as scrapbooking, itself grows in popularity, so do the number of magazines devoted to this hobby. Like many things in life, magazines come and go. Not long ago, if you visited any of the numerous scrapping news related boards online, you would have been able to pick up on the chatter of all those affected by the recent closing of the PaperKuts magazine, which after reading both speculation and statements made from those associated with the company itself, was apparently due to mismanagement. Affected were not only the staff of the magazine itself, but also those who had submissions with the magazine past and present, and subscribers who had paid for subscriptions and special issues. Reading much of the chatter, as it was hard to avoid for a while, being such a hot topic, anyone reading would be able to recognize how seriously Scrapbookers take their magazines.

Scrapbook magazines do come and go, as I mentioned before many a number of magazines do, but there is a definite difference about scrapbook magazines, and I think I know what it is. Scrapbookers take their magazines seriously. They are rarely parted with, becoming part of a scrapper's supplies, used for reference over and over. Because the average scrapbook magazine also publishes layouts and ideas from the general scrapping public, many subscribers look on some of the magazines much more personally than they would some other magazine that they subscribe too. Maybe they have a layout in one of the issues, or they know someone personally or from the scrapping boards online who is published.

What do Scrapbookers look for in a magazine? It depends on the scrappers themselves, but some of the most common features that I often hear about repeatedly are:

Layouts by other everyday Scrapbookers, not just professionals such as design team members and Master scrappers.

Reviews that provide pros and cons of products. A glowing report is good if a product is great, but if it has faults, the average consumer would rather hear about it via a review, than be talked into buying it through a good, albeit evasive review.

If a magazine comes with a disk, the disk should have an easy to access menu, which is organized and easy to navigate. It should include programs, fonts, and other resources that are useful, not just filled with the same old boring add ons that one can download any day of the week from the web.

New techniques with clear instructions, along with information on where to purchase any supplies that are out of the norm for Scrapbookers.

Photographs of real people in the rooms and spaces they use to scrap in.
Budget tips for saving money on supplies, events, and more. The more people scrap, the more money they spend, and the more apt they are to want to save a few dollars here and there when it comes to funding the hobby.

Sketches, sketches, and more sketches, as they let the average user envision how they might scrap lift the layout for their own agenda.

If you are a new scrapbook enthusiast, be sure to check out some of the magazines currently making waves in the world of scrapbooking:

My personal favorite is Scrapbook answers, which comes with a CD filled with a wide variety of material, including how-to videos, free for personal use fonts, software in both trial and shareware versions, elements and backgrounds to use in your layouts, including printable images, digital accents, and much more.

Memory Makers, also a favorite of mine, even though the issues seem to be getting a bit on the thin side these days. They do have some great layouts, but most of them are by what I would consider professional Scrapbookers.

Creating Keepsakes is an all around great magazine for beginners to those who have been scrapping for a long time. Their website that goes with the magazine is full of useful links, sometimes even to free downloads such as fonts geared for the scrapbook artist, an online idea gallery, and forums full of useful information and friendly, always ready to help people, or just as a great place to chat about the hobby we all enjoy so much.

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