Memory Makers magazine has been on newsstands since 1996 - the early days of the scrapbooking explosion into mainstream American culture. From that time the founder and editorial staff have witnessed not only the growth of this popular craft, but the births of all the trends and styles that followed. This book, Outstanding Scrapbook Pages, is a summary of their most distinctive and significant reader-submitted pages that have been featured in the magazine until early 2003.
According to the Introduction, the 250 page selections were difficult to choose. The staff had to review "every page of every issue" since the beginning before voting on favorites. The criteria for being included were: How influential was that page on later scrapbooking trends? Were the techniques extraordinary, the photos exceptional, or perhaps the journaling memorable? Was there something unique in the design/idea that made it stand out? Based on what I have seen here, every page in this book answers yes to at least one of those questions.
I happen to have collected several of the other books published by Memory Makers, all of which showcase page examples of the techniques being discussed. I wasn't terribly surprised to recognize many of the same pages here that were used previously in their other books; makes sense to me, because after all, the most outstanding examples of techniques for their teaching books would probably be influential, memorable, and/or extraordinary in general. Still, this book was a wee bit redundant for me. On the other hand, readers who are new to scrapbooking will appreciate the quick retrospective on the craft, which helps them catch up to modern trends in one read. Longtime readers of the magazine may cherish this nice collection of favorites, especially if it means that they can finally donate a few shelf-fulls of back issues to the local library in exchange for one slim volume that chronicles the cream of the crop. And based on the general excellence of this gallery of scrapbooking art, I can heartily recommend it to anybody looking for page ideas.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle