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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Free Photo Book at Shutterfly

Get a free 8x8 photo book or save on a larger sized book when you use code BOOK4FREE – hurry! expires Wednesday, 9/10/14!  extended!  Thursday 9/11/14

Here’s my affliliate link to Shutterfly (Thanks!)

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An encouraging sign at CreativeMemories.com

Looks like an old friend is making a comeback! 

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Don’t take my word for it – go see for yourself! 
Be sure to click on the links in the upper right corner, too! 

From “The New CM” under the “Home” link:

“It’s my plan to invest in continuing to build and improve the simple Ahni & Zoe line AND restore some of the beloved items from the Creative Memories line (bookcloth albums, pages, paper, etc.) for those who enjoy that approach to preserving memories.”

Clicking on “About” brings you to a page that mentions Consultants.

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“CM Consultants offer expertise, encouragement and the highest quality photo albums and scrapbook albums to help you express yourself and tell your stories, one meaningful page at a time.

If you find you have a passion for photos and stories, and if you have a passion for helping others, becoming a Consultant offers you the ability to make money, meet people and be your own boss. It's a home-based business that makes a difference, and we'd love to have you join us when we open in October 2014.”

You’ll find information about product safety and standards by clicking on “Our Promise.”

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When you click on “Stay in Touch” via the Home tab you’ll get a chance to submit your email address & you will receive notifications & updates and also get a chance to answer a few questions regarding some past CM & AZ products.image

I think this is great news & I’m excited to see what products return with the New CM!

P.s.  If you haven’t given your input regarding personal sized trimmers you can do it here.  Link to Survey. 

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Our Memories For Life is not Associated with Creative Memories

Creative Memories and Ahni & Zoe are closed.  They are not re-opening.

Caleb Hayhoe bought the rights to the CM & AZ names along with some production equipment. The albums that other companies offer(ed) are not the same as those CM sold.

What I stated above are facts, available to anyone from various reliable sources.  Many (myself included) are hoping that Caleb Hayhoe will re-introduce CM quality albums & tools.  Personally, I am very encouraged because he is asking for input as to what customers want.  There is still a lot of uncertainty about this new venture and those still searching for archival quality albums to replace those that were made by CM will have to wait & see what happens.  I am cautiously optimistic! 

There is still a lot of confusion about CM/AZ/OMFL which is due mainly, in my opinion, to vague and misleading posts being made by consultants for the various companies as well as being posted on various Facebook pages – including the A&Z FB Page.

If one stumbled upon this post and was not up to speed as to what’s been going on recently I imagine they’d get a completely wrong idea as to what’s actually happening:

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Yes, there is a start up team, no they aren’t associated with A&Z.  Some of the people working for A&Z are going over to the new company that is gathering opinions regarding the future business.

Our Memories For Life is not Associated with CM

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*Sigh!*

Looking at the OMFL Facebook Page I’ve seen a few people post questions about the relationship between OMFL and CM.  The situation is confusing enough on it’s own and it’s made worse by Rhonda Anderson tossing the CM brand name around and reminding everyone that she was the co-founder of CM while posting about OMFL. 
No matter what anyone says, OMFL products are NOT the same as CM products!  

Adding to the confusion for scrapbookers is the way posts are deleted rather frequently on the OMFL FB page. Have a question that may be less that all sunshine & rainbows or attempting to provide factual information about the way things are actually happening?  Chances are that type of post will be deleted.  I’ve seen this happen myself when someone posted a polite reply to a question that asked if OMFL was the replacement for CM.   It’s like déjà vu as this is how A&Z often operated, too.

Regarding Ms. Andersons’ claim that OMFL has “photo safe products” - “photo safe” is a claim that is not worth anything unless it can be backed up by scientific research, tests & standards.  Being that she was co-founder of Creative Memories, a company that produced ISO certified albums, you would think this is something Rhonda Anderson would be familiar with.  No word yet as to when the OMFL album components that contain PVC (definitely NOT “photo safe”) are going to be replaced.

Similar is Not the Same

While the OMFL Border Maker cartridges do work in the CM Border Maker system and vice versa these aren’t identical as evident from many people finding that the OMFL cartridges will fall out when used in the CM system. The cartridges are designed to be released by pushing a button but all it takes is a little shake, especially if you’re holding the maker with the cartridge facing down, and it will fall out of the maker. 

This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it was acknowledged and communicated to consultants and customers. 

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This is more than just one or two “bad” cartridges, unfortunately.

Those cartridges are heavy & I’d be pretty upset if one came crashing down on my wooden table, ceramic tiled floor or my toe!

Also, there are reports of the fan cartridge not working properly. 

I’ve seen a few people mention that if you go slow sometimes the results are better but sometimes, no matter how slow you go, it just isn’t punching correctly.

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As in the past the familiar “negative” label is being tossed around quite frequently to describe those that are attempting to share facts so that customers and consultants can make informed decisions.
Sad to see that some things never change, do they?

Mistakes are made by all companies and I think how those mistakes are handled say a lot about the company.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Concerns About Our Memories For Life (OMFL)

I’ve been reluctant to post this because admittedly, I have personal issues with the fact that Rhonda Anderson is associated with this company.  Her past shenanigans, including leaving AZ in a very unethical manner and publicly calling out a friend of mine who speculated (almost 100% correctly, I might add) about the speculation as to what AZ would offer, contributed to my less-than positive opinion of her.  I was afraid that her (lack of) ethics may impact this new venture.  The OMFL product line is “inspired by Rhonda Anderson” but, unfortunately, it looks like the way OMFL is conducting business is, too.

Regardless of my opinion of Rhonda Anderson there are some issues that customers need to be aware of with regards to OMFL products.

Many, many, MANY scrapbookers were hoping that the albums we miss so much would be produced by OMFL.  OMFL is making albums but they are not like those that were offered by CM.

No Jeeping

The album pages have no jeeping (the reinforced edge.)  This is something that we, as CM Consultants were taught was necessary for several reasons.  Consultants and customers were taught that jeeping was necessary to increase the durability of the pages, avoid excessive wear due to the turning of the pages and also help cut down on photo abrasion because the jeeping would give a bit of a buffer zone between pages.

Here’s a page from a CM Consultant Demo Book that states this:jeeping!

Now – Rhonda Anderson is telling us that we don’t need jeeping.

Rhonda Anderson said that she has dozens of older flex-hinge albums with NO double jeeping and NO page protectors.   She goes on to say that after 50 years, the pictures still look amazing.  

I’m confused.   Jeeping was important to Rhonda Anderson when she was with CM but now that she’s with OMFL it’s not important? 

What’s a scrapbooker to do?  To Jeep or not to Jeep?  Fortunately we have Dr. Mark Mizen to help us. 

Dr. Mark was Director of Technology for 11 years with CM.  From August 1998 to April 2009 Dr. Mizen established and was head of the in-house Technology Center, which rigorously tested and evaluated Creative Memories products. Dr. Mizen led the effort to coordinate ISO photo-safety standards with Creative Memories product labeling. He developed specifications to ensure the longevity of photo books, digital printing, CDs and DVDs, and inkjet paper for scrapbooks. He helped more than 60,000 Consultants link the emotional aspects of memory preservation with photo-safety and performance of Creative Memories through monthly column in Scraps and presentations at national meetings. He was responsible for a laboratory of seven people with a budget of approximately $500,000.

Dr. Mizen is no longer associated with a company that produces scrapbooking products but he is Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material. He’s a scrapbooker, too.  He has addressed the jeeping issue several times on his All About Images blog.

Personally, I prefer jeeping – especially if pages have any dimension to them.  I would imagine, even with page protectors, those items would cause some wear from abrasion without the added protection of jeeping.

“100% Photo Safe”

Recently, Dr. Mizen doubted the claim that OMFL albums are “100% Photo Safe” and also raised concern over that fact that PVC was found in OMFL album components.  What a kerfluffle this caused! 

Noteworthy is this response from Rhonda Anderson
(Click to enlarge)

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Unfortunately, this seems to be a typical response from Rhonda Anderson.  It has been my experience that she chooses to ignore facts that don’t suit her current situation and encourages others to do the same.  She even tries to discredit Dr. Mizen.  Remember, this is the same person that asked CMC’s not to go searching for information during the bankruptcy process and encouraged us (CMC’s) to get our information only from her & CM.  Thank goodness I didn’t do that! CM and Rhonda Anderson was less than up front about many issues that consultants needed to know about in order to effectively manage their business.

I can find no official word from OMFL regarding this safety issue.  I have recently head that a new strap is coming.  It is supposed to work better with the new pages that are in the works, too.   If you have an OMFL album I would contact the company to get safe, PVC free replacement straps.

Border Maker Cartridge Woes

Most recently I am hearing about an issue with the Border Maker Cartridges that OMFL  is selling.  These are designed to fit the CM Border Maker System.  I’m hearing that they do fit but some are having a problem with the cartridges staying in the CM Border Maker securely.  They fall out with the slightest jiggle – especially when it is held with the cartridge facing down.   Just something to look out for.

Share your opinion!!

Caleb Hayhoe  (the person that bought the rights to the CM & AZ names along with some production equipment) wants your input!

Former consultants are asked to take this survey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9ZZCS5C
and customers are asked to email suggestions to
Cmproductsuggestion@outlook.com

Current AZ consultants  should have received an email asking for their input.

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I think this is fantastic news for those of us that miss our beloved CM albums, pages & protectors.  I have great hope that we will see them again, along with some favorite tools! 

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Win a Cricut Explore!

(This post is sponsored by Cricut)
Sign Up for the Cricut Newsletter and Enter to Win a Cricut Explore™!

I’ll be perfectly honest with you - I am not familiar with the Cricut Explore, myself.  I  have (& LOVE) a Silhouette Cameo and although I invested lots of money in my Cricut Expressions & lots of cartridges & accessories I hardly ever use it.  I find it too limiting and much less precise than my Cameo.
It looks like the Cricut Explore has addressed some of those issues but, in my opinion, there is still one major issue.
The software is internet based.  You must be connected to the internet to access any images (including those on your own Cricut Cartridges) or to create anything.
I know that not everyone crafts the same way I do – so here’s your chance to win a Cricut Explore™!"
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Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.