At long last somebody has tackled the task of cataloging the plethora of embellishments and page accents into one organized book. This is something that has been needed in the scrapbooking world for quite some time. Memory Makers magazine rallies to our cause (that is, the cause of making sense out of the "scrap market" for us customers) once again with Scrapbook Embellishments (Masters series).
The book is heftier than most of its kind. I soon realized that that's because:
1. The scrapbooking craft has been gaining popularity - and new materials-for quite a few years now
2. The creators of this book care enough to devote entire pages to about two example photos each of scrapbook layouts that feature the embellishments being taught. This is great for readers who don't want to feel overwhelmed by a lot of detail at once. And it also means that there's room to size the photos decently, alongside the captions and helpful text. Result: no eyestrain, good page design.
I particularly like the way SEMS is organized. Instead of trying to treat it chronologically (boring) or overanalyzing the topic, the author(s) have gathered it into five simple categories; Paper (vellum, tags, stickers, you know the drill), Textiles (lace, fabrics, etc), Metal, Baubles (glass, glitter and the like) and Organics (flowers, leaves, shells, etc). Archival issues with each category are discussed briefly. Processes are documented simply alongside the example. Outstanding sample pages from the magazine illustrate each one.
My one concern with SEMS is that like many other books of its type it is doomed to be outdated one day as many newer embellishment trends hit the stores all the time. The good news is that the creators of Memory Makers are cutting edge enough that they've stayed on top of the trends, even anticipated them in my experience. So, this book will remain current for a while yet.
Recommended as a reference book and for great page layout ideas, too. Get it while it's hot!
-Andrea, aka Merribelle