CARDS :: The hottest trends in card making

Reported by Lexi Daly

Hi, my name is Lexi and I’m addicted to magazines. And, boy, do they pile up! I like to read it all–articles, tutorials, crafty spaces, etc.–but my very favorite part of any magazine is the eye candy. One of my current faves for fabulous eye candy is CARDS, a sister publication to Scrapbook Trends, Paper Trends, and Bead Trends. It is like a magazine in that it is published monthly, but it is also like a book in quality and price (more about that later). Unlike other magazines, it is presented in a fun 8.5 inch square format. According to editor Alisha Gordon, CARDS is the hottest idea book series available and is sure to become your #1 resource for card inspiration. Each issue is loaded with over 150 cards for all occasions, and every card includes step-by-step instructions along with a detailed list of the products used so you can recreate any of the cards in a snap. With 194 pages, you are sure to find the inspiration you are looking for to create your own beautiful cards. Included are also the latest tips and techniques so you have everything you need to make your experience the best ever. Card making is both timeless and trendy, so this book is a resource you will turn to time and time again.”

Each issue is built around a set of themes for that month. For example, the April issue focuses on Weddings & Brides, Stitching, Friends, Easter, Birthday, Boys, Metal and Rub-ons. Some of the themes are based on seasonal card giving. But others, like Babies and Birthdays, repeat often. That way, you are never very far from seasonal or current inspiration specifically geared to those and other year-round card giving events. I especially like the product-centered themes, like rub-ons this month. I’ve been interested in trying them out more, so this section was particularly useful to me.

There are also a few featured columns each month–Things We Love, Stamping Basics, and the Ultimate Card Class. Here’s a quick run-down of each one:

  • Things We Love is a quick spotlight on something new and exciting in card making–this month’s featured products are from Around the Block, the Phrase Maker and a Flocking and Glitter Kit. Who doesn’t love to find out about new products to collect?
  • Stamping Basics, like the title states, is about the basics. This month it all about wood stamps–stamp assembly, inking, markers & masking, and background stamps. A few months ago, it focused on various ink pads. Although more basic than what I look for in articles, this kind of information is important to the new stamper and is nice to have in the midst of such inspiring work. I remember when I first started stamping and so often, the recipes provided in some magazines just didn’t go into detail and the basics were not at my fingertips.
  • The Ultimate Card Class features two designers’ unique approaches to creating with the same set of supplies. I really enjoy seeing different creative takes with the same products, plus it’s another enabling opportunity. This month, Tinkering Ink’s Botanical Bliss and Haberdasher collections take center stage.

While I enjoy the feature articles, the main reason I keep coming back to CARDS is the cards themselves. Each one is beautifully executed and photographed, one per page, with a detailed list of supplies and directions included right below or next to it. And as I flip through the pages, I see the names of many designers I’ve come to “know” in blog-land, as well as some who are new to me. There’s even an index of designers in the back that includes online id’s, so it’s easy to find more of their work in galleries. This is definitely a magazine for someone who loves eye candy! I’m particularly excited about the April issue because, for the first time, my very own card is showcased on page 35 (sorry–shameless plug!).

So I promised to come back to the price–in my opinion it’s the one negative. At $19.95 per issue, CARDS is not cheap. If you subscribe, you do save over 50%, which is a much better deal. However, despite the fact that I am a magazine addict, I’m not a subscriber. I tend to binge read, picking up one magazine here, another one there. So, the solution for me is to keep submitting–and earning–my copy whenever possible. And if my cards don’t get picked up, I can pick up my own copy based on the themes of the month. Or get a healthy dose of eye candy while waiting in the long line at Michael’s!

So let us know what you think of Cards? Do you enjoy the eye candy, or has the price always been a factor in your decision? Leave your comments!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

, , , ,

20 Responses to CARDS :: The hottest trends in card making

  1. Mrs E April 17, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    I had never heard of this magazine before and now I completely want it, thanks for the report! (or should I say no thanks”? lol)

  2. Aznewmom April 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    Wow! Thanks for the heads up on this magazine. I love stamping and making cards. I had never heard of this magazine and am glad I read your review.

    You asked for an opinion and here is mine……..
    OMG!!!! Nearly $20 an issue?!?!?
    Woah! No, sorry, no matter how great this magazine might be, I cannot justify that kind of price for a magazine. Heck, I can barely justify it for a book. KWIM?

    Does the magazine have advertising? I didn’t see that mentioned in your write up. Did I miss it? I guess if they do not have advertisers, then someone has to help offset/pay for the costs to make such a pretty magazine.

    So, even tho I would LOVE to get this, I won’t because of the cost.


  3. Jen Moneagle April 17, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    I love, love, love this magazine for all the reasons you have described…. and I subscribed because of the significant savings……however the whole experience was very disappointing. The magazine is always in the LSS two-three weeks before I would receive mine – if I did receive it. Many months it didn’t arrive at all and I had to call to get another sent – and it would be now be well after the featured holiday……….
    Eventually they put me on a list to mail seperately, but now that my subscription has expired, I can’t get a return call to renew it – and I am not going through all that aggrevation again.

    Sorry, but thought you should know before you subscribe.

  4. Nicole P. April 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    This sounds like a marvelous magazine, BUT at that price I will never try it. Too bad, too, because I love magazines (partly because they are affordable). Does this magazine not have any advertising whatsoever? That is the only reason I can think of for why it is so expensive.

  5. Anonymous April 17, 2008 at 5:40 pm #

    I’m with you. This is one of my favorite publications, too, but the price tag is a bummer. I usually wait for my local rubber stamp store to put them on sale at 50% off before I buy them.

    Regina Davis

  6. Anonymous April 17, 2008 at 10:46 pm #

    this is a plus or a minus-depending on where you’re coming from- but most ideas are with su products.

  7. Anonymous April 18, 2008 at 3:55 am #

    I`m a subscriber on cards, and unlike the other comment I receive it every month on time in my mailbox. It is every month a treat to open it and read it. The quality is great.

    Cora Hoekstra

  8. Janet aka Jarie April 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    I also love CARDS and did subscriber at one point in my life. Now, I always buy with a coupon and usually at Michaels occasionally at A. C. Moore.


  9. Anonymous April 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    Use that 40% off coupon from Michaels to get a better price!!! (It worked for me in the past)Also you can easily find issues of this mag online at eBay for a better price too. I got this mag as a 6-month subscription and I do love it!

  10. greta April 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    $20.00 for a card magazine is not worth it to me…it only has 2 cards per page…not a whole lot IMO…i’ll stick to my papercrafts that is just as great and less expensive…

    i sure hope your reporters will be moving on to something else b/c i am tired of seeing these magazines and book reviews…just being honest

  11. Julie Masse April 18, 2008 at 11:43 pm #

    Great article Lexi! I LOVE this magazine! To answer a readers question there are VERY few ads (although there’s a very nice one in this month that just happens to have a card of mine 🙂 ). I got a subscription over the holidays – they often have deals where you get a year subscription to one of their other publications if you sign up for another. So I got cards for 1 year for like $85-90 and 1 year of Paper Trends free – that makes it much more justifiable to me! 🙂

    You can also often find back issues very discounted (like 50% or more) at online scrap stores like Oh My Crafts or even the publishers site (be sure to check out the shipping first though – it’s a pricey magazine to ship, very thick!)

  12. lexi April 19, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    thanks for jumping in julie! yes, there are very few ads in CARDS and that is probably why the price is higher. the suggestions for purchasing them with your coupons or when they are marked down are also great options. it really is a beautiful publication and i appreciate everyone’s input!

  13. maryps April 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    I subscribe to Paper Trends and Cards magazines and LOVE them both. You can subscribe to one at half price and get the other free – a bargain when you consider the paper & print quality…and maybe 2 ads per issue (and these are included as more ideas). The publications are a pleasure to read – lots of eye candy, no typos, no real advertisements. They have great ideas and include a detailed list of products used for each card or craft. I read them from cover to cover while tabbing my favorites, look back through them a couple of times, then put them in my reference library. Sometimes you actually get what you pay for – and these publications are worth every cent.

  14. Radiogirl April 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    I really like CARDS mag. I used to subscribe, but now I submit for publication in order to get a complimentary copy or I get the mag w/a discount coupon @ Ms.

    Thanks for the nice review w/all of the highlights. I think that it is a quality crafting mag; it’s nice to have a variety of idea books to choose from.

  15. Rose Ann April 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    Thanks for a great review, Lexi!! I have looked at these wonderful magazines while waiting in line, but the price has always kept me from purchasing.

  16. Colleen April 21, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    I’ve seen this magazine on the newstand, but never picked one up. I was all ready to look into subscribing, but at $20 and issue I’m not sure I would get my money’s worth out of a subscription-just too pricey for my taste.

    Still looking for a great replacement for the now defunct Rubber Stamper Magazine, which I really miss!


  17. Carolyn King April 23, 2008 at 7:35 pm #

    Great review Lexi! I, too, pick it up if the issue moves me–otherwise i get a comped copy or look it over in the check out line (love that!)

  18. Charrie Shockey April 23, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    Another shameless plug here…MY cards are on the front of the April issue!!! Woohoo! Gonna put an issue in a shadowbox since I’ve never been on the front of a magazine before.

    BTW, since I’m published by them quite a bit, I always get free issues but if I didn’t, I would not buy it because of the price alone. Maybe they should start getting a few advertisers to bring the price down?

  19. Trish D May 1, 2008 at 8:51 am #

    The cards are beautifully photographed, but it really is spendy (even with a coupon!) I did manage to snag a few old copies on a message board, which made it affordable. As lovely as the creations are, though, they all seem to start looking the same to me. Heavy on the use of pre-made embellishments, too.

  20. Anonymous January 3, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Wow I think these books/magazines are awesome. I can’t wait to get my subscription going. My husband on the other hand will say ohh Great another think you can spend our money on LOL!