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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)

pvc pages omfl

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

Shutterfly Specials

Special Offers

All customers can use promo code CARD4U to get a free card and try out any style you want

Spend over $30+ and qualify for a free shipping upgrade by using promo code SHIP30.

ALL customers can choose between one free magnet, a set of address labels, or two 8x10 prints with promo code SWEETPICK  Offer good 8/16 & 8/17

Get a FREE 8×11 custom Photo Calendar from Shutterfly (expires today 8/13/14)
Use coupon code PENCIL at checkout.

Savings on Photo Books – Expires Today! (8/13/14)

Save 50% on 11x14 photo books
Save 45% on 12x12 photo books
Save 35% on 10x10 photo books
Save 30% on 8x11 photo books
Save 25% on 8x8 photo books
Save 10% on 7x9 and 5x7 photo books

Enter code: UP50PB

Savings on Wall Art – Expires Today! (8/13/14)

GET $50 OFF YOUR $300 WALL ART PURCHASE Enter code: WALLDESIGN

Save 20% on canvas prints, mounted wall art, metal prints, wood wall art, desktop plaques, glass prints, acrylic photo blocks, photo cubes, dimensional wall art, wall decals, decorative wall decals, and growth charts.
Save 10% on framed canvas prints.

Save up to 30% on cards – Expires Today! (8/13/14)

Save 30% on 5x7 tri-fold and 6x8 fl t cards on signature cardstock.
Save 20% on 5x7 folded, 4x5, 4x8, 5x5, and 5x7 flat cards on signature cardstock.
Save 10% on photo paper and 3x5 folded cards on signature cardstock.

New Customer Specials:

NEW customers receive 1 free customizable luggage tag with promo code FREETAG – Expires Today! (8/13/14)

NEW customers receive 25% off everything with promo code NEWBIES – Expires 8/23

 

 

Link to all Special Offers on Shutterfly

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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™!"
Sign up below to receive the Cricut Newsletter by August 19th, and you'll be automatically entered into a drawing to win a Cricut Explore™! Use your email or login with Facebook and you will automatically sign up for the Cricut newsletter and be entered to win the giveaway.

In the meantime, you can get yourself ready to receive that winning
Cricut Explore™ and go shopping on Cricut.com. You can get free shipping on all orders of $35 or more, when you use the promo code: FREESHIP35 at checkout.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.




 

How to Save Water Damaged Photos

Yesterday, the Metro Detroit area experienced it’s second-heaviest calendar-day rainfall on record.  Heavy rains pounded the area on Monday leaving most freeways flooded.  The Michigan State Police have urged drivers to avoid area freeways.
More rain is expected today.

Thankfully, we were spared from any damage but as I scroll through my Facebook  feed I see many friends and relatives have flooded basements.  They’re beginning the recovery process, trying to salvage countless treasures and belongings.  They’re facing a daunting task & asking “where do I begin?”

I pray that you never need this information but if you ever do need help recovering from water damage there are some great resources available. 

Safety First!

Take caution when dealing with a flooded basement!  To be safe, always assume that water in a flooded basement is electrified. Call your electric company to have your power disconnected.  This article recommends to have your electrical meter removed from it’s socket. Items with pilot lights commonly found in basements (hot water heaters, furnaces and heaters) can have pilot lights that can be put out by standing water. This may allow natural gas to escape into your home creating a risk of explosion.  Call your local gas company to have your home’s natural gas turned off, too.   More great information here:  What to do if you basement floods.

Rescuing your photos

The key to successful photo recovery is to act quickly.  You don’t want the photos to dry out or grow mold.  If you have things that need to be done before you can attend to your photos you can freeze them as a temporary step to prevent further damage.

Yesteryear Memories, a company that specializes in digital restoration, has lots of information about this on their website here:  Tips for Salvaging Water Damaged Photographs.

More great information from The Image Permanence Institute with support from Creative Memories.

A lesson to be learned:  Protect your photos!

It is time to get organized! 

*Getting on my soapbox
SCRAPBOOK your photos!  Those beautiful memories deserve to be displayed, loved and have their stories told!  Don’t worry!  Scrapbooking doesn’t need to be time consuming. There are many styles of albums, including very easy to use pocket styles which allow you to simply slide those photos in.  Be sure to jot down some important details and include this on the page with your photos.  Things to include the date and names of people in the photos as well as some of the stories that might not be evident from the photos.   I can hear the rumbling now…it’s ok, not everyone loves their handwriting…don’t get hung up on that!  It’s part of you and it will be treasured as much as those photos!
Trust me! 

OK – so I understand not everyone wants to scrapbook.  Please, at the very least, organize your printed photos. Store and protect them in items designed for photo storage, making sure they’re photo safe & acid free.  Scrapbook.com has some great options available for organizing your photos.

If possible – store you photos where you like to live.  Basements and attics are usually damp or humid and not ideal conditions for long term storage.  If you do have to store items in your basement keep them off the ground and the more valuable your items are (to you) the higher up you should store them.

Backup your photos!

I think it’s safe to say that people are now taking more photos than ever.  With all the smart phones, ipods and tablets out there so many people have a camera with them at most times.  I also think that, besides sharing via social media and email, these massive amounts of images aren’t being organized or stored so they can be shared in the future.

It’s a daunting task! 

My preferred way to store digital photos is the Historian program by Panstoria

Historian

Historian is the updated version of Memory Manager that was offered by Creative Memories.  You can easily store and edit photos, video & audio files.  You can also sort photos into different categories – the way you would in real life, making it very easy to locate specific photos.

A great option to help you back up your digital photos is Picture Keeper.

Backup Mobile Photos Wirelessly with Picture Keeper

Backing up your photos can be as simple as plugging in a Picture Keeper back up device & it will automatically find your photos for you!  There are other products available including an app that will help you to wirelessly back up your photos on your mobile device to your computer!

If you store your digital photos on your computer you want to back these up on a separate device.  That way if your computer crashes you won’t lose your photos.  External hard drives (EXHDs) are a great option – but, like most items these can fail, too.  I back up my EXHD with a 2nd EXHD.

Online storage sites are a good option, too.  By storing your images at another location you will (hopefully) keep them safe from theft, fire, floods & other disasters.  There are many options available & this article has a review of 38 online backup sites.

Print your photos!

Technology changes at the blink of an eye.   Last summer when we were visiting the National Archives my 9 year old son was marveling at a display of an old camera and film and was excited to share a story one of his teachers told his class about how they used to take pictures and they would have to wait a long time before they got to see them.  They actually had to send away for the pictures!   We bought our first digital camera somewhere around the time he was born (2004) and he had never known anything except for digital photos in his lifetime.   I do send away for prints but all he’s ever known is being able to instantly see the image that has just been photographed. He’ll never know the joy of picking up a pack of photos from my local drug store & rushing back to the car to pour over them in the parking lot – blurry shots included. Smile

Think back to all the ways photos and technology has changed just over your lifetime!! 

These are just a few of  the things I remember:

 
My Dad had a camera like this – he would peel the film from the print.

 

 

Who knows what’s coming next & what we’ll be using in the future!  Print your photos and enjoy them now!

There are countless places to have your photos printed.  Here are some of my favorites:

Shutterfly
York Photo
Winkflash

2 apps I use to get 10 free prints each month from my mobile phone:

Snapfish
FreePrints

I’ve used both of these & they are very convenient.  The prints are free but you will need to pay for shipping & handling. 

 

For those dealing with the flood and who have lost items, I hope it’s just “stuff” that can be replaced!

 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Silhouette Sale on Zulily!

Not familiar with Zulily?  See below for information about shopping on their website.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. (Thank you!)

Save up to 45% on Silhouette items – including Silhouette Studio - Designer Edition for $50 $29.99,  Adhesive Backed Cardstock  $25 $16.99 for a pack of 25 (I have some in my cart – can’t wait to try this!) and a 12x24 Cutting Mat for $20 $13.49.  I cut these in half before using & get 2 mats at a great price!

Here’s my affiliate link to the Silhouette Sale on Zulily!

Some of the items on sale:image

Zulily offers daily deals on some fantastic brands - up to 70% off!  They don't have a warehouse full of items  - from what I understand they hold the sale, place orders & then ship the items out after they receive them.  So, if you need something really quick this may not be the best spot for that.


You do need to sign up for a free account with Zulily.  Once you do that you can earn credit for referring friends. If you don't have an account yet you can sign up here using my referral link (thank you!)


Something to keep in mind - when you place a standard order with paid-for shipping any other orders placed that day will qualify for free shipping.

Zulily has lots of scrappy related brands – here’s an earlier post highlighting some of them.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ahni & Zoe to close

BREAKING NEWS: the Ahni & Zoe party plan business will be "wound down" in the US & Canada. Consultants should watch their email for information regarding a business opportunity offered by the Flowerdale group (the company that purchased certain of the assets of both the Antioch Liquidating Trust (formerly Creative Memories) and Ahni & Zoe. This agreement includes both the CM and Ahni & Zoe brands and the patents and trademarks therein, as well as our Japanese business and manufacturing equipment. This agreement will ensure the continued production of the high quality album and paper products both companies have been known for. Ahni & Zoe Consultant Contracts will be terminated effective September 3, 2014

Here is a copy of what was sent to A&Z consultants:

Dear USA and Canadian Consultants,

As you may have heard, the company has reached an agreement with Flowerdale Group Limited, Hong Kong, to purchase certain of the assets of both the Antioch Liquidating Trust (formerly Creative Memories) and Ahni & Zoe. This agreement includes both the Creative Memories and Ahni & Zoe brands and the patents and trademarks therein, as well as our Japanese business and manufacturing equipment. This agreement will ensure the continued production of the high quality album and paper products both companies have been known for.

While it has been determined that the Ahni & Zoe party plan direct sales business will be wound down in the U.S. and Canada, there will be an alternative business opportunity for you offered by the Flowerdale group. Flowerdale's Chairman, Caleb Hayhoe, will send you an email today and invite you to a call (see below) to lay out his vision and announce the new company - formed from our existing team, right here in St. Cloud, MN - which will continue the legacy of quality products.

I will lead a small Home Office team to ensure our closure efforts are handled with grace, high quality, accuracy and fairness. You deserve our best efforts, and you will receive them. You can find the timeline and details about ordering remaining products and wrapping up your A&Z businesses on the home page of A&Z Connection. Please be assured we are not “slamming the doors.” You will have the ability to order Ahni & Zoe products for your summer and fall events, and complete any parties on the books in the next few weeks.

I have come to know many of you over my time with this company, and I respect all of you. Ahni & Zoe is a wonderful concept, brought to life by the creative genius of Loren Castronovo and her dedicated Home Office team AND the generous hard work and love shared by thousands of Consultants. Your customers embraced the concept of fast, beautiful pre-designed ways to enjoy their memories, and I’m happy that the Flowerdale Group intends to keep this concept and these products going, so you will be welcome to continue the good work you’ve started.

Amid the tears we will shed, I know new doors will open for us all as we follow the journey we are meant to be on. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Blessings always,

Chris Veit
CEO, Ahni & Zoe by Creative Memories

Important things to note:

This is the official notification of termination of Ahni & Zoe Consultant Contracts effective September 3, 2014.
You can find FAQs and important dates in the Announcements on the home page of A&Z Connection. We would appreciate it if you could read them before calling Consultant Services (who will be available to serve you through the duration of the wind-down).
You’re invited to join Caleb Hayhoe on a call today. He’ll be sharing more and taking questions using today’s Weekly Focus time (noon CT). Register now. If you’re already registered for the Monday Weekly Focus calls, there’s no need to re-register.

Link to the "A&ZGoodbye" message: http://antiochcompany.cachefly.net/NewCo/A&ZGoodbye.m4a

UPDATE:  See below for FAQs from Ahni & Zoe

Encouraging words from the new owner of CM/AZ names & rights. 

“It is 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.”

According to a call held today the new facility should be up & running, producing products by October. Sounds like he is trying to bring both the AZ & CM product line together. 

Link to message from Caleb Hayhoe, Chairperson of Flowerdale Group Ltd.

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