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.
- 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!