Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A GREEN Thing To Do

I used to make fun of my mom. Magazines were hidden under the sofas, chairs and held her fifty-year-old mattress up under her bed. They were everywhere, in the musty basement, garage--everywhere. I have her LIFE and LOOK from the Kennedy assassinations, the Columbia disaster, walks on the moon, lots of random stuff. Those are actually nice to have.

I inherited that gene, I LOVE MAGAZINES.

Stash I worked on yesterday.
Anyway---this month instead of Spring cleaning, I purged my magazines, a GREEN thing to do. I filled over one recycle container and more to go. Now, that I blog, and use the computer so much, it seemed foolish to continue to sacrifice trees to hoard pretty colored paper.

So, I have let most of my subscriptions run-out---but, I received my new BH&G today. They have managed to get me/my husband to resubscribe--until 2022. They are sneaky that way and sent multiple special deals because your subscription will be up SOON, (in 2015-16-17-18), so sign up for 2 more years. I dug in the trash for the label----on the plastic---to look it up. Yep, 2022---I hope I live that long. I wonder if you can 'WILL' your subscriptions to someone. I got my mom's via my inheritance. Dumpster anyone?

So, right in the mood for purging, out popped a 'sample' for The Magnolia Journal, a new magazine from Chip and Joanna Gaines. Little postcards reveal---YOU MUST WANT---CHARTER SUBSCRIPTION RSVP---SPECIAL RSVP--a RUSH a FREE Year request. Okay, I will look, after all FREE is the magic 'word.'

Meredith Corporation

I glanced through the pretty glossy sample pages---a smiling country couple on the cover. Headings: Inspiration for Life and Home. That sounds nice. I confess, I no longer watch HGTV, but have zipped through the Gaines' renovations online. They have tackled some really nasty projects, I can relate.

Ad for Meredith Corporation

Open the Cover of the Magnolia Journal Preview.

Letter from the Editor: "Welcome to this preview of The Magnolia Journal magazine. We're excited to give you a glimpse of this beautiful new and unique publication." Later in the introduction, "That's what I hope the magazine is for you: a resource that encourages you to try something new and also a guide that pushes you to see the beauty in all the things you're already doing."

Okay, expectations were high, so on to the preview.

Olive Trees: Photo of sparse plant in huge pot, and another with directions on how to keep it. Photography, I thought was so-so. olive green plant in front of an olive green wall, and an ugly pot, except for texture and another plain pot. Not exactly inspiring, although keeping an olive plant was new.

Stay a While-Hospitality: Guest bedroom 2 pager, nothing new here except which products they are recommending to use to make your guest feel welcome. Photography, better here, font tiny.

Family Campfire Pictorial: Okay photos of cute family having a campfire and important family time. There were some poetic descriptions here in the text, but all I could think of was all the dry long grass surrounding the family ready to become an 'UNCONTROLLED BURN. Not a hose or water in sight. Photography and subjects handled nicely, the print was tiny, excessive, and could have been SIMPLER.

Editorial article: The Complexity of Living a Simple Life? Cute cartoon of Jo dividing the columns. If I recall their life is pretty much maxi-un-simple. The bulk of the article was a bit meandering---like I write. But, look at it this way---I'm free. And, will not require you to sign up for two YEARS to be free in the future. Down the road, Jo could make this more to the point--and stick to one subject in BIGGER font, please.

NOTE:The print through out the mock-up magazine was extremely tiny, 
my guess 10 or less? I can barely see 12 or 14 font with my reading glasses.

Food: Making pies is a way of living simply. Jo's choices: Pear-cranberry-7 ingredients-sounded nummy with fresh pears, Pecan pie, and Mallow sweet potato praline pie (18 ingredients, not so simple.) The Pecan Pie had to be over 800 calories a slice, no nutrition information was included. And, made with corn syrup? Really? Yes, feed those kids corn syrup. Honestly, my teeth hurt, just looking at two of those recipes.

As a baker from scratch, there's really nothing simple about making homemade pies, 
it's messy and hardly easy. 
To me, simple would be 6 ingredients: butter, fruit, minimal real sugar, flour, spices, 
maybe some nuts or crunchy grains(oats). 
The food photographer out did themselves though, photos were awesome.

Center of magazine: A double page ad for subscribing to Magnolia Journal.

Why were the fonts here 5-10 times larger than the text of the magazine? 
Here the not-Free, 2 years for the price of one; so, half-price information was revealed.
 Photos, layout, print here definitely better than the previous pages. 
Kudos to the advertising editor.

SUBWAY guide: Article on subway tile. Four pages: slick, well laid out, and informative. Great article. I actually pulled out the 4 pages for my files:for future bathrooms. We did do a faceted subway tile in the kitchen--and super love it.

Worth the Wait: Four pages on Spring bulbs---okay it's too late to plant spring bulbs. I thought this was a bad choice unless it will be an article for fall here in the USA. Artwork was taken from old botanicals. I would have been more interested in actual plant photos, though the vintage look of the artwork was lovely. I would have enjoyed photos of bulbs bursting into color in Jo's garden or under her hand.

Decorating with Whites:Really, has this been done before? Does it walk like a duck? Duh?

Here, none of the photos inspired me, nor were they very white. 
Perhaps the article should have been titled, "Decorating Around Your Whites." 
Now, that would have fit the five pages of text and photos. 
Photography was a hodge-podge (definitely different photographers) of different rooms vaguely referring to the elements of design mentioned. 
Here the main points were bold and larger, thank-you, for that. 
I was disappointed here with general layout, 
and how the photos actually worked with the substance of the article.

Life on the Farm: (Chip's page) "the rewards of early mornings and hard work," by Chip Gaines.
A cute cartoon drawing of Chip and the animals dividing the column. The editorial is meandering about family history and living on a farm. Charming, but where does all their TV, blog, books, photo-shoots, and merchandising occur while doing the 'hard work' of having a farm. This made me wonder how many paid workers Chip has for their farm.

Note: The romantic notion of working like our ancestors did was lovely,
 and the lessons taught I am sure have added to Chip's abilities and success. 
I guess I'm being too, realistic, when assessing this. 
Let's face it "REALITY" anything today--isn't REAL.

Meredith Corporation
Back page:Advertisement for the magazine has the best photo---Joanna with a big tote of fresh flowers for the Spring issue cover of Magnolia Journal. However, ad at the bottom-pushes subscription FREE (actually--just half-price).

Okay, when you put your name/trademark on a magazine, one has to deliver. Why would an extremely successful couple throw their hat into another circus, when they are already have rings and rings of TV programs, real estate, renovations, retail store, books, blogs, appearances, merchandising, etc., etc., etc. And why kill more trees, not a GREEN thing to do, nor is it simple.

I may try and browse the actual magazine during my weekly trek to the bookstore or library. If the magazine, itself actually has bigger type font, has better lay-outs and story coherence, and really is a guide for simpler ideas, I may revisit this.

I will forego my "FREE" subscription offer at this time, and simplify my life. NO trees sacrificed for same-old stuff. I will subscribe to all my future subscriptions online now, except for BH&G which will still clog my garbage recycle can for 5 more years.

I haven't started in the extra bedroom.
Or, I could continue and WILL them to one of my kids, or store them under my bed, 
so they can snicker about me when I pass on.

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.
 Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

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  1. I love magazines as well. But like you have really cut back. Country Living manages to suck me in when they offer it for $5 a year. I always wait until then. I still must get my Country Gardens, which is my favorite. I read the first magazine of Magnolia Farms. Although I love Fixer Upper and think that Joanna is so talented and love her and chips quirky and fun personalities; I did not think the magazine was great. :( They do have a lot on their plate and maybe it's not on the top of their list. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Yes, I really didn't want to bash the magazine, but the promo--didn't deliver. And $20 for four issues is a bit high if it is not up to snuff. Hopefully, the magazine will settle into something as fabulous as all their other venues. Smiles, and thanks for stopping by, Sandi

  2. Sandi, I agree that I like you use the computer a lot more for craft and other research these days but there nothing like opening a new book or magazine. Have a great day. Sylvia D.

  3. True, I won't be going cold turkey. There are still specialty magazines i will pick up---go through and glean what I can and pass on. I just took 4 years worth of Hobby Farms to my niece, who has chickens, and my mom's Reminisce Magazines to my mom-in-law. So they all won't go to the recycle. And I will still support various magazines with online subscriptions. Grins, thanks for stopping by, Sandi


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