Friday, 7 September 2007


How many magazines are too many? I've been doing some major house cleaning the last few days, as due to the school holidays and several camping trips, the house had fallen far below even my low standards. Before I could even clean I had to deal with all the stuff which had been put to one side to be dealt with later for whatever reason. One of the results is a huge pile of my magazines - I tend to skim through them quickly when they arrive, feasting on the photographs, then put them to one side to go through in more detail at leisure. Or sometimes there is something in the magazine that I want to follow up on the internet, so I put it in a pile. Too many piles of stuff - sometimes I am tempted to just go through the house with a big laundry basket and just arbitrarily fill it with all the clutter and donate it to the charity shop.

Anyway, I am a bit of a magazine slut, and the past year the exchange rate with America (where all my favourite mags come from) has been so good for us that I have been tempted into more subscriptions because they are actually the same price or cheaper than here in the UK. And in my humble opinion, the American quilting magazines are far better than the UK ones, but perhaps it is just that they are more to my taste. But I think the magazine subscription thing has gotten slightly out of hand, judging by the stack of about 12 magazines waiting to be read properly from the last six weeks - not to mention the knitting books I have been buying secondhand on Amazon, and the three books on painted ladies in San Francisco (bought as a souvenir of my holiday) and a book on why being messy is actually better than being tidy (as recommended by Mark Lipinski in Quilter's Home magazine). I don't actually have time to read all these things. I think my New Year's resolution this year has to be no more magazine subscriptions. My problem is that I am interested in too many hobbies (hence the title of this blog) so I am getting magazines on quilting, dollshouse miniatures, knitting, and a few assorted others to do with memberships of English Heritage, using the internet, that sort of thing. I even get a woman's magazine because I like it and it is really cheap. I'm just sad obviously.

And it is not just the reading - what do you do with them after you have read them? I have tried many things over the years: clipping and filing, hand-written indexes, computer spreadsheet indexes, post-it notes to highlight patterns I like. But then there are whole series that I just want to keep because I love the pictures so much (Miniature Quilt magazine, sigh, oh how you are missed..., Nutshell News ditto) In our current house, the only place to keep the quilting and dollshouse magazines is in the attic (the knitting mags are out in my knitting shed) and the builder who floored the attic space for us did warn against putting too much weight up there. I have visions of my entire magazine collection dropping down into the bedroom one fine day... Lately I've been trying to be more ruthless, and just rip out the articles I might use in future and put the rest of the mag in the recycling - but of course there are always two articles back to back that you want to file in two different files so your filing gets screwed up. Perhaps I should just open a magazine museum and be done with it. Or buy a photocopier...

Ok, enough ranting about my unfortunate magazine habit. What else have I done since we got back from camping on Sunday? Three days of work up in London, ds went back to school on Wednesday (hurray!), about 8 loads of washing, major housework, some more knitting on my cabled sock, catching up on the taped television shows (could Meredith Grey have taken any longer to come back to life from her almost-drowning, yawn). Today I quilted my autumn table runner. I was going to free-motion veins on each leaf, so I tried it out on a couple of leaves in one corner. It looked awful - like a drunken spider had been running around on them. So I had to unpick (isn't unpicking invisible thread fun...NOT!!) and now I have just done walking foot straight lines diagonally through each leaf which seems to suit the pattern much better - it emphasises the diagonal quality of the leaves. I will post a pic once I get the binding on. I've got to have it done for next Saturday when I will hand it back to the owner.


Jane Weston said...

I completely identify with your love/hate relationship with magazines. I do exactly the same thing, they arrive, I scan through looking at the pictures and then pile them up for later to be read in peace with a cup of tea...sounds idyllic doesn't it...truth is with 2 children and a DH, quiet isn't something I've had a lot of lately! So the pile remains until next week when everyone will be back to school etc. I do have the same quandary as to what to do with them. I tend to keep my quilting ones and then once a year I go through them and purge the ones that no longer interest me and donate them to my quilting group.. As for home mags, I tend to rip out the articles of interest and file the recipes in binders.

Jeanne said...

I am also a magazine junkie. I love to look through them over and over, especially during the winter months. This summer I did get rid of many older ones that I decided didn't hold any future projects. It was tough. Luckily, there are so many great patterns and articles online now.

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