Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Where in the world has the Country gone???

Ok ladies, put your big gal Britches on....I am about to put a grievance on my blog for the first time ever, in fact, I'm also about to do a second post within a week for the first time ever, lol. 

Truth be told, I try not to be the complaining type, however, there are a few things that I really can say I indulge in as a momma.  My magazines happen to be one of them.   It is a matter of fact that I have a slight addiction to particular magazines.......alot of them I keep for years.  Not just to collect dust or because I have a hard time letting go but I simply love reading them, over, and over, and over again.....at least the old version, the real COUNTRY LIVING! 

I have a nice collection of Country Living, Country Home and Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion.  Several years of magazines accumulated into their designated magazine cabinet.  Yes they have a home here, just because their old doesn't mean they are no good anymore, geesh!  Sadly the later two on my collection list have gone out of print and so I really rely on those past issues for inspiration.  It is such a shame since they were my favorites and I felt that I always got what I paid for with them.  Yes, they are an expensive addiction when you add it all up! 

On any rainy day  you can see me- rummaging through that cabinet, sometimes for a particular issue, sometimes a particular season, and sometimes just rummaging.  I am a hoarder of magazines, there I confessed, ya'll know it now.

Well, why the reason for the post you ask?  I am going to set forth a complaint right here on this blog of mine.  Let me state my case.....I picked up the most recent issue of Country Living at the store yesterday, since my other favs are still out of print (yes I still look for them, just in case they came to their senses and realized how they are missed).  I got that magazine home, made a cup of tea and sat down in front of the warm fire all ready to read.....and well that is when it all happened.....SHEER DISAPPOINTMENT

I should have known what to expect from that mod looking lamp on the cover, ugh, but nom  I kept the faith and poured into it.  Once I made it through all the advertisements???!!!!!  Upon opening each page, I eagerly looked for that inspiring country image that once graced their pages, but to no avail.  Page after page I flipped  faster and faster...but nothing. 

The house that the couple paid $29k for....great deal, cute screen door...country?  Not quite so country, looked more like an ad for Ikea..that crashed into an antique store ad.....that would explain it best.  The 50 finds under $50?  Cute.....some things awfully overpriced and unrealistic for the family budgets that I know (you know us real country folk), and nothing that my bff couldn't find at a craft fair or on ebay or etsy at a fraction of the cost.  

I will try to end a few things on a better note if I am to stick to turning over a new leaf this year.....so here goes:

I did like the out and about article and the idea notebook was cute.  So does that equal up to the amount I paid for this magazine?  ....Um no!  At the risk of sounding cheap what is that like $2 worth, tops?  Now with all of the handcrafted art forms and blogs that are out there pertaining to COUNTRY why hasn't this magazine been inspired to offer up what they are claiming to be?  Who is overseeing this magazine and it's content???  COUNTRY IS COUNTRY people (editors)......if you wanted to change it, change the name to something more like MODERN COUNTRY.....or 1/2 COUNTRY, or NEW COUNTRY...paleeze give us true country gals a little warning would ya?  Ok...(getting off the soapbox now).  Like I said there are very few things I indulge in for myself....and yes at $4+ a magazine, it's an indulgance! 

So I ask you all, am I alone in this grievance of mine? I put a post on a message board of women that I value their opinions, and was not surprised to see several were in agreeance with me.  So what is a girl to do now?  Put a post on her blog and give everyone a place to sign up for this grievance!  Please voice you opinion......leave a comment.  The quality of Country decorating inspiration rests on it!  (ok, I got a lil carried away there annnnd....I need to get a life, I know!)   If we get enough people who are of the same mind to come together here we can let them know!  Speak up!!
Shape up or ship out Country Living!!! 


  1. My new Country Living was in yesterday's mail. I hated it. I sat and looked thru it at least 3 times...mostly because I couldn't quite understand what the heck it was....not my old friend Country Living.

    I too am a bit sentimental with my old magazines and have too many of them that I've *kept* but I refer to them again and again.

    Hope CL comes to their senses.

    Gail--->who tries to not be a complainer :)

  2. Amen sista'! I feel the same way. I couldn't have said it better. I too love my magazines but stopped buying Country Living b/c of that reason. So now I stick to Country Sampler. At least they are giving me what I'm looking for. It's a shame and I hope they get their act togther soon. ~Love your blog by the way!!! :=) Nicole from Cedar Creek TX

  3. I couldn't agree more! I stick to Country Sampler now and A Primitive Place (APP)website for my inspiration! http://www.aprimitiveplace.org/
    (This is not an ad - APP is a free website)

  4. I knew exactly what magazine you were speaking about before it being revealed. YIKES! I HATED THIS ISSUE OF THE MAGAZINE! I am like you, I am a good ole' country girl from Georgia and I look forward to each of my magazines. Many of my magazine subscriptions I have received as a gift from my husband for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. because he knows how much I love them. But, now my Country Home has been cancelled (and replaced with BHG) and it appears as if my Country Living is not really "country" anymore. It makes me not want to get them anymore. I am glad to know I wasn't the only one that was seriously disappointed!

  5. You are not the only one who is disappointed :(

  6. Ditto hear! I don't even buy Country Living anymore because it's not the same as it used to be. When I see a magazine with Country in the name I expect it to pertain to Country decor,tips,ideas etc. I mean when people buy High Times (example lol I don't buy it!) they know what it's content will be...and just cause it's name is high doesn't mean it should include airplanes,sky jumping or things like that! I stick to Country Sampler now and that's it.Hopefully either Country Living will come to their senses or someone will come out with a true Country magazine soon.

  7. I quit subscribing to that magazine years ago when it seemed each month they showcased a home belonging to same sex couples. I don't subscribe to that style of living and I got the idea that the magazine my throw their support in that direction; so I withheld my $$$$. Narrow minded? You betcha.

  8. Feel free to put up a link to this post if you like, strength in numbers girls! Geesh I hope my bandwidth is big enough, lol! I agree with those of you on the Country Sampler...they have always been true to their title, no complaints with them at all!

  9. I LOVED Country Home magazine, but then got the inevitable notice in the mail about it being cancelled. I actually shouted "NO!!!" And then I got a notice that they were going to kindly send me "Ladie's Home Journal" in its stead. Really? But I don't want Ladies Home Journal~ a brash, loud, cheap, gossipy magazine with no beauty! Sigh.

    Years ago I loved Victoria Magazine. Then they cancelled for a few years. Then they reintroduced the magazine and it was terrible.

    I am convinced that, like so many things in this world, things are getting more stress-filled and ugly. There are few "retreats" anymore. That's why I'm SO thankful I found your blog. Keep writing and taking beautiful pictures! A HAVEN!

  10. I totally agree!!! The only "country" mag I buy at all is "Country Sampler" or possibly "Romantic Country" (I like that style as well)
    I noticed the changes in Country Living awhile back and glance thru it b4 I buy.I haven't bought one in quite awhile!

  11. I am with you..while I love Country living..you get to more then 1/2 the magazine before anything good shows up..too many "commercials" ads etc in the magazines and not enough reading content..and when you pay that kind of money for a magazine..I want my moneys worth..I miss country home too..it was truly my favorite..haven't had one since..Mercantile Gatherings is super close...

  12. I agree with you 100%, honey! The old Country Living ain't what it used to be. It's way too modern for me. I miss what it was like in the beginning, with all of the primitives. I could get lost in that magazine, wondering what it would be like to live in those old homes that were full of antiques. You can't tell me that there's not a market for it, because I know so many people that miss it too. My sister's two-year subscription to CL is up next month. She was passing it on to me when she was done, and we're both glad the subscription is over

  13. I like the British edition of Country Living much better. Only some of the book stores cary it. The November issue wasn't my favorite but the Christmas issue last year was good as their spring issues. It's usually about a month behind our magazines is the only bummer. Sometimes not as country as Country Home but I still enjoy it. It's better than most magazines out there these days. I think it's about $7.00 though!
    Flea Market magazine is coming out the end of Feb. I think. I'm hoping it's good. It looks like it might have a little more French influence which I'm not crazy about. Ki from Junk Revolution and the Junk Bonanza is one of the producers. I like her style but, I know there are other influences as well.
    Check these two magazines out and see if they will fill the void!

  14. I thought the SAME THING, I was on vacation and didn't post about it, was going to do that this week....but like I said in a couple of posts earlier this year, BLOGS ARE BETTER....WAYYYY better and I can see why magazines are tumbling like dominoes...I HATED THIS MONTH'S COUNTRY LIVING with a PASSION. I looked through it and pitched it! You or I could do better with content, photos, all of it!!! AMEN, SISTA!!!!!
    Preach it!
    (And, like you, I admit, I have a "stash" of the GOOD old ones and I've kept them and been, at times, ashamed that I did, but not anymore! None of these can measure up to those old ones and COUNTRY LIVING ought to be ashamed of itself!

  15. I couldn't agree with you more ..I quit buying and taking subscriptions to said magazines over a year and a half ago .found it was a waist of my money and time ..because you nailed it ..what "COUNTRY?" The only thing I can think of is a younger generation.."my generation" sorry to say must be running them ??? and thinks they have some new modern twist on country we should all go for. BORING ..one word ...and so overpriced ..I agree ..miss the magazines the way they were and wish they'd get a clue and go back to them and feature some of the smaller fish out there making their homes cozy and warm ..with real antiques ..and real handmade in the U.S.A items !!! Why some of them went under ..I say ..they lost sight of those of us who were their faithful customers and weren't looking to go modern country and we all quit taking their mags. You'd thinkg they would get a clue and support the style of those that support the magazines ..!!!

    Well I be you can't tell I'm in agreement and just as aggrivated about not having my fun magazines to look through anymore ...LOL !!!

    Great Post....Sara of Sweet Magnolias Farm

  16. I couldn't agree more, I hated this Country Living, I threw it away. I have a special storage area with old issues, I had the very first one ever published. Now I did go through and pulled pictures out. I love Bo Niles stories of country life, I saved most of them and Susan Branch had recipes from the pantry. I was so sad to see Country Home go and I got Family Circle instead...that stinks!
    I hope they wake up!

  17. Welp, I loved your rant. And I couldn't agree more, it has been very disappointing. This magazine, I have to admit, was my least favorite and I watched the rest of them go and this one stay. I loved Cottage Home and Country Home the best. The blogs are great but not a substitution for the feeling of a real magazing in my hands while I sit with a cup of coffee and cookies. My mailbox is empty and like you, the basement is full of boxes of magazines that I look at again and again. I am breathing a sigh of relief that I kept them all.

    You are not alone, rant away!

  18. Oh my! We have a lot in common! I used to save every country decorating magazine I ever bought. After close to 15 years, I had about 2000! I finally kicked the habit and got rid of all of them but a choice few. CL has not been the same for awhile now, so I no longer get it.
    And to simplify my life a little more, I am letting all of my magazine subscriptions run out, even Country Sampler which ahs always been my #1.
    I get more ideas and real inspiration from fellow bloggers than I ever got from the magazines. Plus it saves a little money too.
    So like the others before said, you are not alone!

  19. I couldn't agree with you more!! I read the new one for the first time today and thought the same thing as you. It was a total disappointment and I feel like Country Living is selling out to the masses. They think that have to cater to the the masses instead of their true readers. Just like HGTV is crap now, no country shows left and every house looks the same. I don't want my home to look like I bought it at Target or Pottery Barn.

  20. I am in argument with you--i was very unhappy with the latest issue--it was like where did they find these articles and pictures--so unreal they were--thanks for writing about it!!!
    Hugs, from Di&co. in NY

  21. I also subscribe to CL and have for years. I also just started getting the Country Sampler magazine and I love it. It gives me the "country Fix"! I agree with everyone that the declining quality and quantity of the "country" in country living needs addressed with CL editors and staff. I grew up with this magazine through the 80's and 90's because my mom subscribed to it. I dreamed of one day having my own country house to decorate. I have also used my collection of the old copies of CL to assist me with decorating my country house. In recent years, my husband and I have attended country flea markets and major country antique shows on the east coast from antiques week in New Hampshire (our honeymoon), to Brimfield, Mass, to Adamstown, PA, to Metrolina, North Carolina. We are going to an Ohio antique show this weekend that is a wonderful all-country show. Country is very much still alive at these venues and at all prices too! Does anyone else in blog land know how to reach this magazine before it is the next one to go belly up??? Maybe we all should meet up at the Country Living show in Columbus, Ohio this year and carry signs in one hand that say, " Please put the country back in our country living magazine" and in the other hand carry our old and tattered copies of CL? Okay... that maybe alittle too strong ( I am not a radical person). This is my first ever comment posted on a blog and I agree 100%! It appears to be a rant that alot of us have! Keep up the good work!!!Great topic and blog! Karla, Western PA

  22. I agree with you. I find myself searching at flea markets for old Cottage Livings and Country Homes. They are usually 50 cents there.

    I get Country Living but I agree with all that you said. I also get Country Sampler, Mary Jane's Farm (very country),Hobby Farm Home (very country),Better Homes and Gardens, Romantic Country and I'm sure I'm forgetting one. I also want Life Beautiful.

    You can get deals if you subscribe. Especially, if you go in with a friend and split the cost. My sis in law calls me her dealer.


  23. I agree with Kristen. Look into Life: Beautiful. It's a newer magazine with not a lot of readers, but they have some beautiful articles and it's inspirational also!

  24. Well, I have to agree with you that the "country" ideas are not being delivered anymore. I've noticed the "Ikea" look on almost all of the pages too. I have to say that the Christmas and Thanksgiving issues really disapointed me. I am happier with the new one I recieved yesterday than the Christmas and Thanksgiving issues. I don't think I'll subscribe again in the future, but I plan to look at some of the magazines that were mentioned in above comments.

  25. mary from michiganJanuary 5, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    The ads don't have my britches in a bunch, it's the editorial/pictoral content. With so much market share going to them when ME Home Companion & Country Home went under that they'd keep our crowd coming back for meore. If we wanted a big box look, we'd pick up a FREE Pottery Barn catalog for inspiration, DUH. I've let myCL subscription expire; too many disappointments to justify spending the $$ on it. After the Christmas dud they put out in '09, I let it go. I've always loved their December issue until now. Free downloadable bird pictures to decorate your "Holiday Tree" with? Pu-leeze! If it's a Christmas Tree, call it one! YOUR vintage look tree is gorgeous: with all the overpaid "creative" minds at CL, they can't come up with anything better than paper pictures? They're also TOO politically correct. What's with all the same sex couples? Do editors think they're the only ones with taste and imagination? If so, they don't need me: I'm not a hoity-toity big city snob, which is why I want a magazine about COUNTRY LIVING, not Martini and Tappas parties! I get more inspiration from the J.C. Penney American Living ads! And, as Joni says (Old Centennial Farmhouse), the blogs do a much better job. CL has lost that lovin feelin' and I'm goin' bloggin to find it, ya'll! Please e-mail a link to your post and comments to the editors. They need to see your rant and all of the thoughtful, passionate comments regarding the loss of what was once a favorite.

  26. Girl i'm right there with you! Magazines are my passion, Country style decorative magazines. I have 4 rubbermaid bins full of past issues, all sorted by seasons. I can't get rid of them! They are my seasonal inspiration, at least when they are good.I'm still waiting on my CL mag to come in the mail, but from the quick peeks i've been taking at the store, i'm totally disappointed! The urbanites have thier own magazines like Real Simple, House Beautiful, etc. Us country gals need our country! More primitive, more farmhouse, more ranchstyle, you know country style for country folk!! I hope to see an improvement in CL in the next issue.

  27. Hey, I have to agree with all the gripes. This month I stood in line at our grocery store, flipped through it in 10, or was it 7 seconds, and plopped it back on the rack. YIKES. Ugly, and hey, I am an alumni of Country Living. They featured my home and business and in 97 our home on an island in Maine, but since the good old days they seem to have lost their creative compass.

    For 13 years I wrote and illustrated a column in Country Living GARDENER, CL's sister magazine. After the tragedy of 2001 advertisers began to back out of many magazines, mine included. The demise was in the wind then and I've watched as many of my favorites have been slain.

    Now I splurge, and I mean splurge because it is expensive, on the British Country Living, which, though it isn't on our shores, is true to the country feeling and values I cherish.

    I think we're watching the slow disintegration of Country Living and I'm sorry that we're watching the slow, painful process.

  28. i used to subscribe to many magazines. i cried when Cottage Living went under-and with no warning either. that was my favorite magazine. i subscribed to Country Home too.
    i know i've lost others too but i can't think of them right now. i still get Better Homes and Gardens and Victoria. i am afraid to buy Cottages and Bungalows in case it goes outta business too, so i buy it at the store-it's my new favorite. i also like Renovation Style and New Old House. New Old House is cutting back on their issues...not a good sign. :(
    i let my Country Living sub. expire just to try and cut back. i looked thru the new issue the other night at the store but didn't love it so i didn't buy it.
    the general state of magazines today is pitiful. :(

  29. Yeah, I was big time disapointed, too. With Country living AND Better Homes and Gardens. (Is it me or the magazines getting skinnier and skinnier?? There are more pages of ads than there are STORIES!!) And to top it off "BHG" only showed ONE home. That it. ONE. It should have read Better Home and (A Few ads to buy) a Garden. It's wrong.

    On the coutry Living end, I think they got a new Editor In Chief last year. If you think the mag has gone downhill, you should probably voice your opinion to them so she knows how to handle it. Constructive critisizm never hurt anyone! Maybe they will get smacked with the reality that people can find inspiration elsewhere and get back into stories that mean something! Thank goodness they kept the Real Estate Sampler!
    Sorry for any typos... I got so emotional because I feel the exact same way. :|

  30. I pay $10 for my Country Living subscription, and that's about all it's worth any more. The blogs are so much more inspiring that it's not even worth it to buy a magazine. I do have to admit that I would rather curl up on the couch with a good magazine; let me know if you ever find one again!

    In the meantime, I will continue to spend time reading blogs and getting great ideas from them. I do notice that several magazines will reference a blog; why in the world don't they start to copy the same great ideas? Who knows......

  31. I'm just like you, I love my magazines and sure do miss Country Home and Mary. I do agree with you on CL, it isn't what it used to be, and I think they are aiming for a younger readership but they should stay true to their name and take us back to the roots of country, like they used too. Maybe this is why you can get a subscribition for $5. Check out a new mag. (in the last few years) called MaryJanes Farm, you won't be dissappointed!

  32. You are so right! For the first time I thumbed through the issue quickly not finding one thing of interest to me and tossed it away in the garbage. Why the name of the magazine has the word "country" in it is a mystery to me! I will not renew my subscription next time around and I will let them know why.

  33. Hi, I have to be honest and say that I do agree that magazine world has evolved into something more modern. I think they are trying to win over the younger generation. Unfortunately they are not the ones buying the magazines. It is my "kitchen" that was featured in this months decorator notebook. I was disappointed in how the article was presented. I think you will find the real story much more interesting. Please take a look at my blog featured on my website. www.whiteflowerfarmhouse.com
    I miss mary emmerling too! All the best, Lori

  34. My daughter and I have been saying the same thing for the last few issues. I'm letting my subscription go, because it is NOT the same magazine anymore. Like you said, country is country...and that "ain't" country! Pardon my language! LOL
    Great post...you said it, girl!
    Amy O/picketfencemom

  35. I am right on your soap box with you! I have always loved magazines. Even when I was a kid I would love flipping through mom's Country Living. I have had subscriptions to Country Living, Country Home, Country Marketplace, Country Sampler, I would ALWAYS buy Country Accents, Country Almanac, Country Decorating Ideas (remember those?) ....the list goes on. I picked up a magazine in line at the grocery store during the holidays and it was 10.99 ( I think it was a special holiday Country Living??? maybe??) Anyway, since I didn't want to finance a magazine purchase, I quickly put it back! As for the content~ I realize decorating trends evolve and so forth BUT if it's a country magazine KEEP IT COUNTRY! Many say blogging is the result of the magazines hitting the skids and that soon there won't be any! I say that is a big ole bunch of bull-ony! Because of blogging, magazines have a huge network of inspiration out there~ right at their fingertips! I think that now, magazines could be better than ever!
    Whew~ I'll get down now,

  36. I totally agree, I was very disappointed as well. In fact, I think I will voice my opinion to Country Living directly. Thanks, Angela, Arkansas

  37. I have sent this post to Country Living, I hope that we get even more comments on the topic....in an email titled YOUR READERS VOICES. The more voices they hear the better chance we have of being heard! Geesh, this complainin' stuff is hard work! lol.

  38. I agree that in the past few years the magazine has been more and more modern, therefore less and less interesting, and even more so since Nancy Soriano left as editor. I had been thinking of canceling my subscription lately, but I finally did it today. I also suggested to them that instead of calling it Country Living they should rename the magazine "Rich people that live near trees and have a screen door therefore they think it's country"! Ha! (No offense to rich people intended)!

  39. Oh how I agree!! It is tough to find a magazine with my intrests and they are more ads than quality!! Hgtv is too modern every show. I would think maybe my taste is out of "style" but I see proof every day on the blogs that this is not the case! I think someone could do mighty well launching a magazine for us.

  40. Hi there! I so agree with all of you. There is really no Country in CL! I too flip through it in line at the grocery store; but rarely buy it anymore. I do love Country Sampler and have a subscription. I tell you if I see one more CL with that awful lime apple green I will have a hissy fit! I love looking at the blogs which are better done and way more useful than most magazines these days; and yes I do have a whole bunch of country magazines stored up. I am so not into the slick modernist styles; or the Pottery Barn/Williams Sonoma looks. I have English Bulldogs who LOVE country/primitives because mommy doesnt yell at them if they bump something up or even knock off paint; I call it prims by bullies! LOL, We need to start own own magazine!

  41. Country ? Living. I keep hoping they return to Country Living. Stopped buying the magazine because of their new designs but I still flip thru at the bookstore in hopes of seeing the good old days. I think your comments might best be sent to the owner Hearst Publishers. The new CL editor used to be the editor of Harper's Bazaar magazine - up to date, cutting edge- modern fashion magazine, quite a stretch from that to a country magazine. I think they should have gone with somebody more like Mary Jane Butters.

  42. I so agree with you, I think there are just to many adds taking up room in our favorite magazines and I would love to see more decorating ideas.
    Happy New Year,

  43. I Agree! My all-time favorite was Country Home but always subscribed to Country Living also and many others that are now gone.

    Ever notice how they hook us with the great country cover and then switch to the boring, drab, cold decorating on the inside? It's like they know what we want to buy but don't want to sell it to us anymore. Ok by me - I'm hooked on blogs now.


  44. I have a subscription to Country Living given to me by a friend.

    I opened the last issue, skimmed through it, and threw it on the chair where I have books I'm taking back to the library (they have a free magazine shelf where you can take your magazines once you have read them).

    I've noticed that about Country Living more and more lately. It used to be wonderful and now it is just lame.

  45. I once had a huge collection of Country Living Mags, recycled a lot of them, hung onto the ones I could not do without.

    It has been years since I purchased Country Living. You see, I used to get it back in the early 80's when it really was full of Country decor. Then they started slipping backwards and since then I'm a Country Sampler fan. Just love, the Home Tour edition each year.

    It's either all or nothing for this country bumpkin... LOL


  46. Wow, my same thoughts EXACTLY! I collect, treasure, and organize the same magazines. Have for many, MANY years...my sister did the same, when she died suddenly last year I inherited over 800 issues of past deco magazines and treasure each and everyone, (even if I already had the same issue, which in most cases I did, but won't part with because they were hers). I thought what a WASTE, the current CL. This is NOT what country living is about...you hit the nail on the head when you referred to the "IKEA look". I am so thankful I have the old issues to browse through on a cold, snowy winter day, with a mug of hot cocoa and flip form page to page for inspiration. Did you check out the 2010 home of the year....in southerwestern United States....wow, an ADOBE or something like that....if my susbscription wasn't paid through only a couple more months, I would definitely cancel and save the couple dollars and use towards my future flea market finds, might still re-consider and cancel tomorrow....LOVE your site. JUST stumbled on it tonight...will be back each day for your newest updates...till then, enjoying tonight with a cup of hot cider wassail, (THE BEST homemade recipe)and enjoying reading your PAST blogs....your words were perfectly reflected here. THANK YOU again!

  47. I couldn't agree more!! I have a lot of older issues of Country Living along with my all time fav Country Sampler that I enjoy. About 6 months ago I subscribed to both. I hadn't got an issue of Country Living for quite sometime, mostly because of all the advertisments. The magazine is 80% ads, and 20% content in my opinion. So I thought I would give them another try. I have the latest issue with the ugly blue lamp on the cover sitting on my desk. I flipped through it the other day just to see if there was anything interesting and I was not impressed.....to say the least. There is nothing inspiring about it at all. Country Sampler has nothing to worry about here. Needless to say, I WILL NOT waste another dollar on this magazine. How's that for ranting!

    Great post followed with really good comments. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who is sorely disappointed.

  48. Bad Mama Jama from down in AlabamaJanuary 6, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    What Country Living is doing is the same thing many marketers are doing: trying to tell US what WE like. If we didn't like cottage/country, we wouldn't subscribe to their magazine. I was a child of the 60's/70's. I know what avacado green looks like and whether it's called "kiwi" or "pickle" green, I know what it is. And it doesn't thrill me no matter what new name they give it. Same with calling boring, sparse modern looks labeled "country" or "modern country"! THIS ISN'T COUNTRY NO MATTER WHAT THEY CALL IT. Period. Get it together, Country Living, or you'll lose a lot of readers, and we ain't just whistlin' Dixie!

  49. I agree with you!


  50. Yes I have to agreee with you. It seems that the beloved Country Living has been "City-fied". I feel like I'm looking at Traditional Home. Country Living looks to be taking on many different types of sponsors (i.e. advistisers)which causes their articles to lean more to support these sponsors and the products they sell. Like the old saying goes "Their trying to cover all their bases". And too maybe they are also trying to gain more readers by adding diversity...Whatever the reason, it's very disapointing.

  51. Your three favorite magazines have been three of the many that I have subscribed too forever!
    Country Home was the best, I subscribed to it in the 1980's after I was married...I use to read my mom's while living at home...so sad when that one went away, and it changed too when they lost Jean LemMon as the editor back in the 1990's, it was real country back then, I could imagine myself living in each page and home feature! Loved ME magazine for all the creative people, projects and inspiration it held in each issue...too cute...hope that one comes back too. Country Living kind of changes every few years...sometimes it happens with a change in editors...but it took me about 3 minutes to flip the new issue pages and I then had to scout for something to read...it was kind of disappointing especially when they were featuring a budget/thrifty issue.

  52. Thank goodness I found this post. I let my Country Living subscription lapse a couple years ago and have really missed it. I was going to renew it, but not after reading your post and all the comments. Thank you so much for sharing this information. And...I love your blog!!

  53. I agree 100%. I too have some of the old Country Living issues - quite a few of the old December issues - they were fabulous - so country and so interesting to look at. I'm afraid they are going to go out of business. They need to change their style or change their name.

  54. I subscribed to Country Home and Country Living since the 80's. The old ME Home Companion was my favorite because the homes were always quirky and fun.

    That said, I still love Country Living as is. I despise the old cluttered country style that I had in my house for 25 years. I live in a 100 year old farmhouse and "modern country" is exactly the look I want. Have you seen the new Pottery Barn line for this year? Farmhouse style.

  55. I have several very old issues of Country Living that I will keep and look at periodically. I use to subscribe to Country Living, but I gave up on them several years ago now. I just didn't think there was enough in there and there were too many ads. Plus, they got into the going green stuff real heavy. My contribution to going green is antiques, making scrappy quilts etc... I also use to get Country Home. I gave up on them too. I get Country Sampler (I love them), Mercantile Gatherings (wish it came out more often), and I am going to subscribe to Create and Decorate.

    I won't even pick up a Country Living magazine to thumb thru at the store any more. It's just a disappointment.

  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Homestead Mercantile said...

    I couldn't agree with you more...I no longer get excited to see the latest issue of Country Living come in the mail. I only subscribe because I can get it for $12.00 for a year...and it is no longer worth that. I had already decided that I have had enough of this modern magazine and will not subscribe again. Sad, because I have subscribed since the very beginning of the magazine. I have boxes and boxes of them in the garage. The old ones are great, so I will keep these...not sure what to do with these modern issues.

  58. It breaks my heart to see what CL has become. I would look forward each month for my magazine to arrive. I have some as far back as the early 80's when they represented true country.
    What pics they have they write over them
    with "steal this idea". If I see that one more time I think I will vomit! I get more out of a Family Cirle! When my subscription runs out I will not renew.

  59. I completely agree!! I thought I was the only one out here! I'm a mid-20's country gal and I've been a suscriber to Country Living for over 3 years now. In the beginning it was great! Ideas, women like me, homes like mine, affordable country decor. Now, not so much. Like you said it has all been advertisements and more of a contemporary decor style. I also really enjoyed it for all the beautiful pictures, but you don't even get that anymore. Luckly, I was able to get a really good subscription deal, 3yrs for $25 or something close to that, otherwise I wouldn't even bother.

  60. I just wanted to add that if you are ever able to get your hands on the UK version of Country Living its AMAZING!!

  61. I've also been disapointed in Country Living of late. Their style is perplexing. What is it? Not farmhouse or country. What bothers me the most is what one of your commenters touched on earlier, that they're heavily into "going green". There's nothing wrong with doing your best to ensure the country we live in is taken care of, but, really! Truth be told, most of us who actually LIVE in the COUNTRY already know How to take care of it; we live in it and don't want to spoil it. What annoys me is that city people condescend to tell the rest of us ignorants how to live. Wait; do they WALK from NYC all the way to Iowa to visit family during the holidays? My guess is they hop on a jet and fly. Does their city dwelling neccesitate using A/C all summer because they don't live in the country where they're able to open their windows to feel the cool breezes? Do they buy designer leather purses and handbags? Looks like they do. Then WHY must they preach to us like sinners at a revival meeting? Living in the country doesn't make us ignorant any more than living in the city makes them experts on the environment. We country folk have been reducing, re-using and recycling since the days of the Great Depression. Give us a little credit, CL!

  62. Great post! I sure hope CL DOES read all the comments. I actually called my girlfriend as soon as this months arrived to say the cover looked like an ad for Target and I was really disappointed in the whole issue. I DO actually live the farm life but also like a more clean, uncluttered look... That doesn't mean new Ikea/Target all over tho! Home Companion was my favorite for all the original & creative people featured there. Mary Jane's is nice but a real COUNTRY Home mag is needed. Like previous commenters, I think blogs are showcasing many new & creative homes that magazines could tap for extensive NEW photo shoots. I hope something better comes along. I love blogs (they're ORIGINAL & fresh) but nothing compares to a mag and cuppa...
    Whew, thanks, I needed that! ;-P

  63. OMG, don't get me started!! I loved Country Living when it was about (gasp!) COUNTRY Living! I will NOT resubscribe when my time runs out. I miss Country Home, although they were going down hill too when they closed. At least they were published in Iowa - anyone here have a problem with a country magazine from New York CITY!? Not that they can't get it right, because they used to, but not anymore! I adore Country Sampler because not only do they actually feature COUNTRY homes, they feature at least 3-4 each issue and there are way less ads. I HATE all those ads - one of the reasons I NEVER subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens (which, BTW, they sent me instead when Country Home quit - YUCK!) And not to start another topic, but have you seen what has happened to Taste of Home magazine in the last year?! I have no problem with them starting to have ads, but about 80% of those recipes are not what I would feed to my family night after night. What's happening to magazines? If we're not urban/suburban, we don't count? HELLO, I live on a real, working farm - and I'm tired of feeling like I'm being discounted and demeaned by advertisers/the media. Wow - that was a rant - guess it needed to be said - I AGREE with you Dee 100%!

  64. Preach it, Sister! I just voiced a similar rant about the now-defunct Country Home. It all became so pretentious and haughty and upscale. Hello - us country folk are NOT upscale! (At least this gal's not!) :)

  65. I totally agree!!! I subscribed to Country Living and was so disappointed in this issue. I went through it so fast. Did you notice that it is Jan./Feb. issue? They used to have 12 issues.

  66. I know this is six months late but I am new to your blog(which by the way I love) I bought this country living in the first place because one of the farm chicks is a contributing editor.I agree with you 100% !!!! Oh my how I have looked at this and thought is this supposed to be a new country style that Im just not getting. They have someone new over the magazine now. I agree with one of the other comments how can New York know anything about true country style. Have you ever seen country sampler my gal pals and I really love that one. once again I am so glad I found your blog. I really Love it.

  67. rattled@tx.rr.comJune 22, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    I received a subscription to *A Simple Life* for Christmas this year and I've really, really enjoyed it! New and I think it has to be ordered on-line - reminds me of early Country Living.

  68. I couldn't agree more!

    I have always been a fan of Country Living. I even have a bookcase where I have all of the issues from the 80's and many from the 90's. But the new style of Country Living is not for me.

    I did try it out again a year or two ago when they had some ridiculously low subscription rate, but no more. There was an insane amount of advertising and what little content they did have was not at all what I would call "country".

    I can picture the CL "design team" sitting around their glass table in their New York hi-rise building complaining that subscriptiions are nosediving and they just can't imagine how to find a new way to photograph a pie safe and still keep it "fresh." To them I would say "look to the blogs!"

    There is a lot of creativity going on out here in blogland and they satisfy my desire for inspiration in the country style every day! And I would bet that magazines like Country Sampler have rising subscriptions too. They know their readers and aren't trying to preach at them or convert them to IKEA style either.

    Thanks for giving me the chance to rant! The demise of this magazine that was once my favorite is a sore spot with me!

  69. Just in case you haven't already seen it, there is a specialty publication of Country Home for Sept. 2010. Look for it but don't let the price send you into shock, it's pricey.

  70. I too, share you thoughts. I even took the liberty to feature your link on this matter on my own blog. Hope you don't mind, and if ya do- I'll kindy remove it.
    Just take a look...
    Thanks for sharing.
    Your friend in the country.
    The Girasole Lady- aka Becka


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