Saturday, May 25, 2013

A New Beginning

Well, it looks like my favorite scrappy place to hang out is going to be no more. Thankfully, one of the ladies on there went and started a new forum and it's actually easier to navigate (at least for me) than the one the magazine did. Yippee! So it's a new beginning for me in cyber scrapping land. And even though I've not had time to actually scrapbook, here's a page or two that I really like...

07July_StunningSunset7-18-12 copy

03March_PlaytimewithTrains copy

Ok, that's all for now. Happy Scrappin!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Favorite Scrapbook Magazine - Changed for the worse?

I've subscribed to various scrapbooking magazines for many, many years - some from the beginning to the end. Memory Makers, Simple Scrapbooks, Scrapbooks Etc, Creating Keepsakes. I've enjoyed them and I've been sad to see them get fewer, farther between, and thinner. But that may be a sign of the times - and the economy. But I still don't have to like it.

My greatest disappointment though came with this morning's mail. My latest Creating Keepsakes issue arrived and I was shocked and saddened to see that it was a measly 66 pages. When I started subscribing, somewhere about 2004 or so, it was well over 150 pages (maybe more - I don't have the oldest ones in front of me but I could barely fit a year in a cardboard magazine file). Even the last issue was 98 pages! That's 32 fewer pages! And of course, no drop in price. On top of that, the issue touts "exclusive online content" - for those who access the digital edition. I found a few additional pages but not 32 pages worth.

The idea of exclusive content is neat but I'd think of that as downloads to use (word art, fonts, etc) on digital pages or to print for traditional pages, additional examples of a technique or style - not stuff that isn't covered elsewhere. Print editions also have benefits that digital editions do no. I have to use a computer nearly all day at work (as do many people) and if I'm not super careful, I get migraines from too much screen time. This isn't an uncommon occurrence and print issues generally don't have that effect. Print issues area also delivered complete and ready to go with no special "equipment" needed - digital editions need (expensive) extras that a majority of the population just doesn't have! I don't personally own an ipad, kindle or other tablet type device nor will I be buying myself one to read a handful of extra pages. I do own a nook but it's the original one - not the tablet style so that totally defeats the purpose of digital content for me (black and white only, limited ability to display images). I do have a work owned ipad but it belongs to my employer and they control what I can put on it. Sure I have a laptop and can put digital issues on that but again, that's screen time. It's also heavy, often not allowed in places like drs offices. Yes, I can print out pages - even just the extra pages - but then why am I paying for a PRINT subscription? And there are just some situations - very common magazine reading situations too - where digital just doesn't work: 

  • Snuggling up in a chair by the fire - have you ever tried to "snuggle" a laptop? If you rest it on you lap, you can actually burn yourself and if you put it on a soft surface, you can block the air vents causing damage to the machine. A tablet device does work well here, but is still heavy.
  • Stretched out in a hammock in the back yard - again, the "lap" issue but now we've added in bright, outdoor light - even on a cloudy day this will make a digital device practically useless
  • Tanning on the beach - same outdoor issues as above but now we've added in sand which isn't good for any electronic device
  • Poolside or in a hot tub - outdoor issues again (if it's daytime) and water is never good for electronics - what would happen if while browsing, you dozed off and dropped your tablet/laptop? Yipes!
  • Waiting to pick up the kids from school - you just can't have a laptop on the steering wheel and even a tablet could be problematic if you live in a state that treats waiting in a line as "driving" and cites drivers for using a hand held electronic item while "driving" (I do - even if the car is in park, you are considered "driving" if the engine is running and/or the key is in the ignition - a folded newspaper or magazine is ignored but an electronic device is a $400+ ticket)
  • Doctor's offices - many ban the use of electronic devices (not just phones) in their waiting areas and I've been in a LOT of doctors offices, waiting rooms, hospital rooms, and nursing homes in the last month or so - and I've been told to turn off electronic devices, even an e-reader!

I'm sure there are others but those are what I've experienced lately and why I'll never be fully digital for making layouts or "reading" anything.

The magazine itself, both print and digital, provides some great inspiration but the how-to articles were my favorite and those have seemed sorely lacking of late. I'm going to venture a guess that some things are never shown or covered in the magazine because "it's an old technique so everyone knows how to do it" but I can tell you that often isn't the case. Just a couple of months ago I attended a class that taught us several ways to emboss and the class was PACKED - 30+ people! And HALF had never used a heat gun. Using old tools in new ways, brushing up on the best ways to use a tool, refresher courses in tools we all love, how-to's for those just getting started (a "Newbie corner") are just a few ideas for incorporating more how-to type articles into a magazine like CK. 

I sure hope things change - or at least go back to the 98/100 page issues - because if not, I won't renew my subscription. This most recent (and most disappointing) issue was the last of my current subscription. I won't renew until I see the next issue on store shelves or hear from others about the content of the print versus the digital edition. Sad that it's coming to this and I sure hope it's not a sign of the times.