Okay, so I admit it, I am a scrapbook magazine junkie. At any given time as you walk through my house you are likely to see at least 5 scrapbooking magazine just laying around - and sometimes more. Now, I often kick myself for spending the money (some of them are darn expensive) -- but at the same time I know that I get hours of entertainment from every issue. Most I will read more than once - and there are several that I have read literally dozens of times. I don't just leaf through them and set them aside - I absorb them. My husband laughs....there are days when I frantically search for a specific issue, looking for a specific article, layout or technique that I have mentally filed to consult later - and sometimes the issue I am looking for is months (or sometimes years) old. You see, I have a fairly good memory when it comes to these things --- not a photographic memory ('cause then I wouldn't need to consult the magazine, KWIM), but a memory for concepts and the fact that "I have seen this before." With that said, I will also admit that my addiction to scrapbook mags is a double edged sword. For the most part I am inspired by what I have seen, but there are times too when I am intimidated. There is so much talent out there. Sometimes I beat myself up because I feel I don't (and couldn't possibly ever) compare. Luckily, the intimidation is usually short-lived, because I remind myself that while scrapbooking is about being creative - what is more important is that scrapbooking is about memory preservation - and no matter if your designs are publication worthy - by doing them at all, you are doing a great service to your future generations. If you scrapbook, you should scrapbook because you love to do it, and because you get pleasure from the end result. So the next time you sit down to scrap remember - not every page has to out-do the last one you did - and not every page need be designed to mimic the latest trends, using the latest products or the greatest techniques. Sometimes less is more. You can take inspiration from magazines by more than just duplicating or scraplifting a published layout. Take inspiration from the colours used, the page theme, the basic 'sketch' or layout of a page - how the photos an embellishments are placed and so on. It is possible to take what you see and adjust it to suit your own style but if for some reason you are struggling with publication intimidation - put the magazines away and just scrap! Use whatever product makes you happy, lay out your pages any way you please and journal however you like. Then, when you're blocked creatively - grab up one of those magazines and take another look - you just might see something this time that you missed the last inspiring you to continue creating.