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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)

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

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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.

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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.