Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Not So Secret Secret Addiction

Magazines.....Scrapbook paper....greeting cards....novels....self-help books.....journals....postcards....patterned napkins....tissue paper....wrapping paper....if it is made of paper, then I love it. I collect it. I store it away like a rat! If my house ever catches on fire it will go up like a tinder box. Poof....

I recently read that Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion is looking for a new publisher. Without one, the December/January issue will be the last. This publication was launched in the fall of 1996 and I have been a subscriber since 1997. I've eagerly awaited every issue, wistfully scanned all the Artist's Life sections and avidly read every article. I'll miss this magazine sorely.

I admit, I am one of those folks who subscribe to magazines when I get a good deal, but if renewal is too costly I might let the subscription lapse the next year (Home Companion was the exception) while waiting on the publisher to send me another offer that is too good to refuse. Smithsonian, Traditional Home, Coastal Living, Cloth Paper Scissors and Time are a few of my favorites.

While I actually salivate over all of the Stampington publications, I have never subscribed to one of their many magazines. Frankly, they cost a lot and a year subscription costs as much as it cost to have my first child. Well, maybe not quite as much...but close! So instead I go to the bookstore every other month and allow myself to buy one...or two magazines. Over a year's time I probably spend more than the subscription price, but the sticker shock isn't as great.

My favorite, Somerset Studio, is dedicated to the paper arts. They announce upcoming topics on their website and put out the call for submissions of art. For a long time now, it has been a dream of mine to get published in their magazine. My big problem is that I don't have the time to sit and dream and then make great original stuff within the given time constraints.

Last year I had an epiphany! The magazine always prints mail art in the Letters to the Editor section. Hmmm, no time constraint issue, no specific category.....eureka, I can do this! My mission will be to decorate an envelope so special they will receive it and yell "Eureka! Just the thing for our next issue!"

I got straight to work....first the original idea....hmmm....then the execution....add the perfect stamp and send my masterpiece on its way. I used scans of vintage advertisement from my granddaddy's newspaper and combined it with scraps of more modern advertising for botox. I put most of the pieces together in Photoshop and printed it out. But I wasn't able to get it to print correctly on the whole envelope. So I used oil pastels and and black pens to draw and color the portion not printed. Voila!

Somerset Studio is a bi-monthly publication, so when it was due out next I ran over to the closest bookstore on my lunch hour and picked one up as usual. On the way back to work I remembered my submission and flipped to the Letters section for a quick look...imagine my surprise when I saw it! My artwork published in all of its postage stamp sized glory! I skipped and hopped into the office and declared my good news! I called my daughter! I showed my whole family!

I've had a taste of glory, now I want more! I want to get a piece published that is at least the size of a index card! Dream big, that's my motto! I'll do it soon as I have time to dream up that great original idea.


  1. Stevie! How brilliant! I love the postcard, and especially love that they posted it for the whole world to see! Sorry I missed it, but I didn't know they existed until yesterday - now I know and I'll be ready to buy the issue that has you 8 page layout in it!

  2. Amazing! Love the envelope - love the theme...botox! Woohoo!

    Next amazing spread of all your work!

  3. Great job, Stevie and congratulations! I love your envelope! I think you deserve to be printed full-page bleed in color, of course!

  4. Wowee!! How fun is this?! Congratulations! Now you need to call the people at Mary Engelbreit and tell them you're available, for a hefty fee, of course, to save their publication from the dumpster.

  5. LOL! It is so funny how I contacted you yesterday about submitting art to Somerset Studio and sent you Jenny Doh's blog URL, and here I see it is already a done deal! How exciting for you, and it is a big deal as I know they get zillions of submissions. You can do it Stevie -- and this was a wonderful beginning! Keep checking Jenny's blog as she announces new themes for art submissions months in advance. Good luck!

  6. Congrats! I think this is so exciting. Is it in the recent edition? I must have it. I will feel so happy seeing your work published in such a wonderful magazine. I love these books. Aren't they just the most creative things you've ever seen? I have been getting a couple here and there for the past year or so. I love the blogging one too. I didn't realize you enjoyed Mary Engelbreit also. I have loved her work since I was introduced to it in 1990. I also have had many years of Home Companion subscriptions. I love those artist sections. Did you get the Mary Engelbreit magazine with all the craft and art ideas in it? Mary is one of my heroes. Wouldn't that be a cool job working with her? They cannot stop that magazine. If they do stop publishing it I will know the world is truly upside down!!

  7. I must know which issue. You are a celebrity. Hooray!!!!

  8. Trish, it was the Sept/Oct 2007 issue. I was surprised to hear that some of you enjoy these magazines too. I don't know anyone here with my obsession with them...their loss!

    I do love Mary Engelbreit. Her work always makes me happy. I try to purchase a calendar each year for the side of my fridge. It brights my day and my kitchen.

    Everyone, thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it.

  9. Congratulation.
    This is really a beautiful postcard . You deserve it.

  10. Oh wow, Stevie! You go girl! Your mail art really draws the eye and it's obvious you will easily reach the next step. Index card size? Piece of cake.


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