A moment of silence, please.

I know it's hard to imagine me being silent. But I feel it is called for on an occasion such as this.

I'm even going to stop talking to myself and the dog, turn down the "Burn Notice" rerun and silence the voices in my head for a moment.

Don't worry -- we can start talking again in a bit. I just want to mourn the disappearance of something I really really like from the world.

The disappearance of things I really really like is something I'm used to. If I love something on a restaurant menu, don't expect to see it on the menu for long. If I become devoted to a product at the grocery store, they're gonna stop carrying it. This is a fact I live with.

But I was taken completely by surprise when my favorite magazine EVER (and I am a magazine junkie -- new as well as vintage) disappeared with absolutely no fanfare, or even much explanation,
at all:

Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, of which I show the premier issue because I own every issue from number one to the tragic end. I think I bought the first one at a Hallmark Store, which is a little weird, but it didn't become mainstream for awhile. I was immediately hooked.

Of all the style-stuff in the world, in terms of art, design, and decor, Home Companion is the one that I always felt hit it bang-on. It made me feel like someone else in the world "got" me, you know?

During the years I was doing design work, I did my all-time favorite projects for Mary Engelbreit. The February 2000 issue

contained perhaps my favorite project ever:

To make the Valentine pinwheels, I photocopied vintage hankies (some from Mary's own collection!) and other fabric and mounted them on cardboard. It was the first time I had ever used spray adhesive, and I pretty much glued my nostrils shut. They were quite sticky for 2 days, which can't be good. But it is a funny memory. I still hate spray adhesive.

When you make a lot of things, sometimes over time you forget what's floating around out there. In the same issue, although I had completely forgotten them, I also made these:

which were pretty cute as well -- who doesn't love vintage Valentines?

It was all for a feature about using photocopies to make stuff, and in the text they called me "copy maven Susan Hinckley", which is actually quite funny because in reality, I have Kinko's phobia. Going to Kinko's makes my hands sweat and my tummy hurt, and I try to avoid (or at least put it off) at all costs.

It would be like calling me "sewing machine wizard Susan Hinckley". Pure ridiculous irony, and absolutely false. (I think it's because any machine that has the potential to malfunction at any moment and make me look like an idiot stresses me out. Vending machines scare me a little, too. And gas pumps.) But it did remind me that you shouldn't really believe much of what you read in magazines.

Oh well -- I just wanted to say that M.E.'s Home Companion will be sorely missed in my world.

It is also the death of a dream, because I really really wanted to get an artist feature in there and had never given up hope that
it might happen.


On the bright side, at least I've discovered a thousand-and-one cool blogs where I can look at all the good stuff my eyes can possibly handle whenever I feel like it.

Oops! Perhaps that was part of the problem . . . . ?

Sorry, Mary. I guess time marches on. But thanks for sharing so much that really influenced my work, and probably a lot of others', in a great way.



Sara and Cory said...

So sad. I didn't know. I have a subscription, so I guess the last one I got was the last one...bummer!

susan m hinckley said...

I didn't know either until your mom told me -- everyone was supposed to get notified by Feb. 1, but I didn't. I think they're finishing our subscriptions with Martha Stewart Living instead. Yipee?! This only confirms my suspicion that Martha Stewart may be connected to the devil somehow.

Marjorie said...

When I got my notice of the cancellation, I was very distraught and went to the ME website to find out what happened. The site explains that the publisher that ME contracted with did the cancelling and ME hopes to find another publisher and get it going again. Hope springs eternal!

susan m hinckley said...

Hmmm . . . I went to their website the other day and there was just one line of type that didn't say much. I guess I didn't go to the main site? Anyway, thanks for the info, Marjorie, because in this case hope does spring eternal, and you've given us some.

Lisa said...

No kidding about Martha Stewart and may I just say that Living is absolutely not a replacement in any universe in which I live. In fact, I had made a vow never to buy it. Now what do I do?

Amelia and Justin said...

:( That is very sad.

I even used one of your crafts - and I remember calling you to ask for your advice on something and you said, "you are lucky you can just call up the artist and ask for help!" Haha :)

judy coates perez said...

it is so hard for magazines right now, I think a lot of people are letting their subscriptions drop in an effort to cut back. Unfortunately it all adds up and can destroy a publication and the publisher. I wonder how much we are going to loose before this recession is over.

susan m hinckley said...

Actually although many people may not realize it, the magazine biz changed substantially after 9/11 and has not returned to what it was. By 2005, my business as a designer declined dramatically -- magazines started relying on in-house people or even re-publishing projects that they found in books. The consolidation of publishers also made it so a lot of magazine staff lost their jobs -- most of the people I worked with left the business. It seems strange because there has been a definite resurgence of interest in craft during this decade, but the money makers for magazines have dried up. And I think the internet definitely plays a part as well. Many businesses haven't been able to figure out how to make money there.

Anonymous said...

and I just started subscribing.. how did I not know about the ME mag for so long?! I only received 2 issues and poof it's now Martha Stewart Living. Just think how much more evolved I might be if I had read it all these years or famous had I gotten in with you, Susan!

Anonymous said...

"...The disappearance of things I really really like is something I'm used to. If I love something on a restaurant menu, don't expect to see it on the menu for long. If I become devoted to a product at the grocery store, they're gonna stop carrying it. This is a fact I live with."

susan, you are too funny and alas, 100% correct on this.

MEHC was one of my faves too,it featured so many great artists over the years. hope they can bring it back. i love blogland for inspiration & info but still prefer real paper magazines/ newspapers/ books for leisurely reading.


p.s. how many issues were there-- lucky you who kept them all!

susan m hinckley said...

Luanne -- There were a lot, although the magazine was never more than bi-monthly. I too prefer real books and magazines, although they are threatening to take over my studio and I guess I need to do some weeding out. But not my MEHC's!

Anne, I'm surprised they kept selling subscriptions up until the end. That's a little stinker-ish, don't you think?

susan m hinckley said...

Oh yes, and Anne, about that famous comment -- I'm still hoping to hitch my wagon to your star. I don't seem to be making much headway on my own. For all the many, many crafts I've had published, I have only ever had one itty bitty piece of my own work (Quilting Arts). Does anyone know the secret to this? I can't seem to break the code for some reason . . .

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