A few months ago I gave a top 10 (or was it seven?) of my favourite card making, craft and scrapbook magazines. It's changed a bit since then, as I've become more knowledgeable about what I like to do and which magazines provide the right content at a challenging level. It's become a top six now, as I only (only?) get six magazines a month (although if you add on my other titles like She, Eve and so on it goes up to 10 or more....yikes).
So what have I dropped?
I don't get Let's Make Cards now, although I'm still tempted when I see it in Sainsburys. Diving into the envelope of stash that it comes with is like delving into a Lucky Bag. The standard of stash has deteriorated quite a lot. Usually it's just a few die cuts and some sequins now, whereas issues 1 and 2 (particularly the first one, last Christmas) had really lush stash. I don't think it's worth the money now unless you're a beginner without much stash of your own. The card blanks fade and lose their colour very quickly too.
I don't get Crafts Beautiful or Quick & Crafty now: too many projects that I wouldn't contemplate doing, like painting on teacups, knitting and jewellery making.
Simply Stamping, sadly, went out of business, which was a shame because I find that most of the stamping in magazines is too simplistic. I like to be challenged.
I rarely buy Simply Cardmaking and Papercraft, and Complete Cardmaking. I bought the latter a few weeks ago, after not having seen it for months. It was disappointing because instead of grouping the cards by technique, as they used to, eg serendipity, shrink plastic, they were grouped by type of event (birthday, get well, etc) - in other words like any other magazine, and not giving you a clear picture of what you might achieve with shrink plastic from beginner to advanced.
Another one I rarely buy now is Cardmaking and Papercraft. I bought it yesterday because I was tempted by the Christmas cards on the cover. And I was pleasantly surprised. There was an excellent advanced masterclass using UTEE and I will definitely recreate that card for a forthcoming golden wedding anniversary.
Another magazine which would normally be in my top 10, but isn't, is the US publication Somerset Memories. A few months ago I came across this title when I was in the US. Fabulous! Really artistic stamping and ephemera. Well, I took out an online subscription, and received a confirming email, but two months went by and I didn't receive it. I knew from comments on UKS that US magazines usually take a while to turn up. Anyway, after three months I emailed Stampington and asked about my subscription, and they had no record of it (even though I had the confirming email). Nothing had been taken from my credit card.
I noticed in the interim that Blade Rubber Stamps in London sells this magazine so I will get my fix this way. I also tried Creating Keepsakes, the popular US scrapbooking title, but I don't like the US style much.
So here is my top 10....or will it be five?!
1) Scrapbook Inspirations: the one I call "my absolute fave." The free gifts are usually great - I have had a lot of use out of the doodling template, and I recently turned one of the free mini albums into a great present. I love the content of the magazine and there's always something that inspires me.
2) Craft Stamper: regular readers of my blog will know that it's sometimes difficult to track this one down. Not many newsagents sell it. But Blade Rubber Stamps do, and I'm now buying mine from The Stamp Bug, whose owner happens to be the editor of the magazine. Every month there is a free stamp, and I love the more advanced stamping projects this magazine carries. Lots of collages, ephemera and altered art.
3) Papercraft Essentials. I subscribe to this one and it came today. Oh goody! Really excellent wide selection of projects for all abilities, and always has a good selection of free papers.
4) Papercraft Inspirations. Another one that I subscribe to. Mostly cards but does include a page on scrapbooking (last time it featured a really nice holiday album by Jane Dean). The card projects are less appealing than they used to be (too easy) so I may not renew the subscription.
5) Scrapbook Magazine. I subscribe to this one because I was also finding it difficult to find. It is however very inferior to Scrapbook Inspirations, both in its design (very uninspiring front pages) and content. Again, I may not renew.
6) Beautiful Cards. Another one where the standard has dropped (or is it just me?). I love the cards of Dorothy Woods, Wendy Horrod and Alix Ward. But there are too many cards which to me are too easy: simply card blanks with stuck on paper and embellishments or chipboard letters. I appreciate newcomers to cardmaking will like them, but I think there should be more variety for cardmakers of different abilities.
If you read quite a few magazines let me know what your top titles are. We can start a regular top three or five!