Anyway, while waiting in the checkout line, I succumbed to curiosity and bought the current issue of MEHC. It had lots of cute stuff (I don't like cute stuff) but it also had design, decor, antiques and country charm and so many different artists/artisans/ craft persons. Creators all of them...You had to see it! One look and I fell in love. One look and you felt the urge to paint or sculpt or just DO something. My inner artist begged to be released.
I started subscribing to the magazine and was devoted enough to track a lady down in San Jose who was selling most of the back issues (MEHC debut was in '96). She changed her mind once and then changed it back again and sold it to me. They were in pristine condition. The magazine has many of Engelbreit's illustrations and creations but the paper doll has a huge following. The lady had all the paper dolls, uncut and untouched. It was a great moment- sitting in the car, 3 brown paper bags full of magazines waiting to be read. S, who was 5 then, was so excited for me. We got home and gently got the magazines out. S urged me to read them immediately but "Mommy, be careful, don't mess them up."
Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion has ceased publication as of Jan 2009.
Though I had started to feel that there were more advertisements than articles in the recent issues, Home Companion will be sorely missed. Apparently, they closed due to the dismal economy and decreased advertising revenue. Hope they can come back minus the way-too-many ads already!
Top picture of a morose me (blue), sitting on a pile of Home Companion magazines.
All other pictures have been photographed randomly from my almost-complete Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine collection.
PS If you are curious, back issues are always available on ebay.