Scrapbook magazines are one of my favorite sources of inspiration among other things. They’re so useful to me that I try to get hold of almost all the titles that are available here and abroad.
With the increasing number of people getting hooked on scrapbooking, it’s no wonder that the number of magazine titles has also grown tremendously. Here in Manila , local distributors have recognized the growing demand for this type of magazine and have started offering subscriptions to several scrapbook publications. Moreover, it’s easier to buy them now because they can be found in almost all scrapbooking stores, bookstores and magazine stands nationwide. If you’re OC like Angela and have this unexplainable need not to miss out on any issues, then it’s best to subscribe to the title/s you want. Not only will you get your issue before it hits the news stands, you also enjoy a discounted rate (approximately 20% cheaper than the retail price) plus you get other freebies. If you are working on a budget and would only choose to buy particular issues, then you can go for the back issues which are available in some stores like S.M.I.L.E., Memory Box, Papyvore, and Booksale.
Just how much inspiration can you get from scrapbook magazines? A survey conducted by Creating Keepsakes Magazine to determine where scrapbookers get their inspiration from showed that about 90% of them do so from reading magazines on scrapbooking. But before you run off and buy every title you could get your hands on, here’s a sampling of some of my favorite scrap magazines. Each publication offers a unique perspective on scrapbooking, be it instructional, practical, trendsetting or technical. Hopefully, it will guide you on which titles to get that would best inspire you on your scrapping:
I’ve been hooked from the moment Scrapbook Answers published its maiden issue October of last year. Why? Like other scrapbook magazines, it has its share of how-to’s, tips and techniques, etc. But the instructions provided are more detailed, with each step accompanied by full illustrations.
The magazine’s writers present the newest tools and products in the market in “no holds barred”, straight to the point reviews. They have a star-rating system for the products they review and are not shy about giving low marks if they are not too impressed with the product being assessed. Products are rated based on its design, price, user friendliness, features, functionality, etc.
Another stand out feature is their Makeover section. As the name suggests, the writers work their magic on layouts sent by readers who ask for help on how to further improve their pages. There are before and after pictures showing the transformation each layout went through with an explanation on what was done.
But there’s more (and this is probably the best part of this magazine!)… Each issue comes with a cd called the Answers Disc which contains how-to videos, free fonts, free high-resolution images you can use for your layouts, demo software and a whole lot more! Scrapbook Answers is published monthly and has recently released a special issue called Scrapbook Answers Ultimate How-To Guide that comes with a DVD! For more info visit their website at: www.scrapbookanswers.com
Simple Scrapbooks (SS)
Simple Scrapbooks upholds its name to the dot. Everything in the magazine from the layouts, to the articles depicts simplicity at its best. Being a simple scrapper myself, this magazine has a lot of appeal to me. Clean, easy, uncomplicated and effortless are some of the words that come to mind when one sees the layouts featured in this publication.
Every issue comes with a project planner called Formula Worksheet which proved to be such a great help to me back when I was a newbie scrapper and until now. This worksheet basically guides you on how to plan for your album by making you fill out a series of questions.
But this is not to say that Simple Scrapbooks is only for beginner scrappers. A regular section called Step It Up shows how you can take your layouts a notch higher every time you add a new element to it. This is great for those who have gained enough confidence to try something new. Having a strong basic scrapbooking foundation would ensure better scrapbooking success. And this magazine will help you do just that. Simple Scrapbooks is published 6 times a year with special issues coming out every season. Visit their website at: www.simplescrapbooksmag.com
Creating Keepsakes (CK)
Creating Keepsakes is widely recognized as the scrapbooking authority today. Where Vogue is usually referred to as the “bible” of the fashion industry, CK is its equivalent in the scrapbooking community. Rightly so because the latest tools and products in the market as well as cutting edge techniques are usually first seen and read in CK. What began as a 68-page bi-monthly magazine back in 1996 is now a 170+ page “must read” monthly publication.
Each issue is packed with pages upon pages of beautiful layouts, featuring artists who have become household names in the industry. One of the more popular columns of the magazine is Becky’s Sketch (One Sketch, Many Looks) by Contributing Editor Becky Higgins. Here, one scrapbook design is interpreted in different ways by CK readers. This column has spawned 2 bestselling idea books called Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking Vols. 1 & 2.
Another interesting section is “3 Products, 5 Scrapbookers.” It is similar in concept with Becky’s Sketches but this time, scrappers are provided the same products and each artist has his/her own way of utilizing the materials in their layout.
The magazine is a great source for design ideas without compromising the personal creative style of scrappers. While it gives you a basic idea or design concept you can follow, CK also encourages individuality; by showing you that you can take one particular concept and make it uniquely your own, as evidenced in the two aforementioned columns.
CK is also loaded with ads from the leading manufacturers, giving readers a glimpse into upcoming trends and product lines. And if that’s not enough, the magazine also has a section called Latest and Greatest, featuring the hottest and newest finds in the market.
And if you have a penchant for joining contests, CK regularly holds numerous scrap challenges ranging in various themes and topics; and the prizes given away are not too shabby either! The most prestigious of them all is the CK Hall of Fame contest. Started in 1999, CK’s HOF is an annual contest which picks the 25 best scapbookers of the year. Each year’s winners become instant stars; all their winning layouts are featured in a special CK publication called, what else, The Scrapbook Hall Of Fame. Some winners have even gone on to work for CK, some have developed their own design lines and some have even published their own idea books! Past Hall of Famers include: Faye Morrow-Bell, Denise Pauley, Heidi Swapp, Rebecca Sower, Chrisina Cole, Rhonna Farrer, Ali Edwards, Leah Fung, Joy Uzarraga, and more.
Creating Keepsakes is published 13 times a year with numerous special issues and idea books released in between. www.creatingkeepsakes.com
Memory Makers (MM)
Memory Makers is basically a how-to magazine. This magazine gives great emphasis on techniques and is big on journaling in layout pages. The works featured will leave you in awe, for they all look like they’ve been worked on for hours. This may be discouraging for some scrappers, but to others, it’s a great motivation to further improve on the craft. Layouts are accompanied with explanations (most times detailed descriptions even) of how a certain technique was done. And oftentimes, a particular step is highlighted or given a closer look in order to get a clearer picture as to how it was done.
But while the pages seem complicated, they are presented according to subject matters you can easily relate to. The Reader Idea Gallery in each issue features layouts classified under headings like “moms”, “dads”, “graduation”, “holiday” etc. It’s this matter of fact way of identifying page themes that make this magazine a great resource guide for scrapbooking ideas.
And if you’re in a rush to find a design idea, tip or technique, or you want a quick and complete overview of what’s in store, go to the issue index found on the first few pages of the magazine. This is where you will find a complete listing of all the topics featured in that month’s issue. Topics are arranged alphabetically, with 2 subheadings; page theme and techniques/products. It’s like looking at a directory, thus making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Similar to CK, Memory Makers also holds their search for the 10 most talented scrappers who will share their expertise and their work in future MM issues for a whole year. The chosen few are called Memory Makers Masters. This year, one of the Masters is Fil-Am scrapbook artist Valerie Salmon. ( Anj: Read more about Valerie in this month’s extra special upload ).
Memory Makers is published 9 times a year. Special issues and idea books are released regularly throughout the year. www.memorymakersmagazine.com
There are so many other titles available now like BHG’s Scrapbooks, Etc., Paper Crafts, Scrapbooking & Beyond, Scrapbook Magic, and The Scrapbook Magazine, to name a few. It’s just a matter of finding the one that would best aid you in your scrapbooking style.
So the next time you’re stuck in a creative rut, go grab a scrapbook magazine to get a healthy dose of instant inspiration.