Memory Works

Going to a Crop

Well, my bags are packed and I’m going to a small crop with friends today. There are 6 or 7 of us who try and meet up every few months, which I love, because I never seem to crop at home anymore. The only time I get anything done is at crops. Anyhoo, since I’m starting up doing MEMORY WORKS again, I asked the hostess if she wanted to turn the crop today into and MW “party” so she could have the hostess credits. I was happy she said yes. So what happens is I take new catalogs and some products with me today and sell/take orders. Everything that’s ordered will be shipped together to the hostess and she distributes it to everyone. Which is easy, since we all live near each other and see each other often. The cool thing is you “share the shipping” that way instead of each customer paying it themselves. And the best part is the hostess, if we reach $150 in orders, gets a hostess credit. It’s a win-win. Actually, I’m a bit concerned with so few of us that we won’t meet the $150 minimum. It’s such a tough economy and I know everyone can’t afford to scrapbook spend the way they used to. If we get close to $150, I may add my own items to the order, so that my hostess can earn her rewards. But I just spent the last of my birthday money on THIS, so I don’t have a ton to spend right now either. Well, I’m just hoping it works out.

The main thing is this….I GET TO SCRAPBOOK TODAY!!!!! Even if the MW order thing doesn’t work out, I’m one massively happy camper. I was up late packing for the crop last night and am fairly disorganized. I’m here at the computer this morning printing photos (and order forms). So we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, I packed enough of the right things to make some kickin’ layouts, LOL!

Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend. Do you have any plans for creative time?

Thuh Blog: New Look and Linkees

I wanted to write about some changes I’ve been making to my blog and kind of ‘splain myself.

The Theme – I was rockin’ that WordPress “Albeo” theme for quite a while and I was really bored with it. I look at the darn thing every day and it just got old, ya know? It’s hard to find a format what will work with my content, mainly the larger photos I like to post…the better to see those scrapbook products with, my dear. I road tested a few new formats and have settled on this one.

The Header – This is my first theme with a customizable header and I finally figured out how to make one, LOL! The photo I have up there now is one I took of the Colosseum when I visited Rome in October 2006. I hope to occasionally change up the header photo.

The Memory Works Stuff – This is the main change I wanted to talk about. I’ve been a Memory Works consultant since February 2007 and I’ve had this blog since January 2007. So for the last 2+ years, I’ve kind of made it a point not to mix the two. My blog is about my scrapbook obsession, period. In almost 470 posts, I haven’t really talked about Memory Works or the products I sell. I’ve mentioned that I host crops, my “customers,” etc. but I think I’ve been pretty good about keeping this an obsessed scrapbooker’s blog vs. a Memory Works blog.

In all honesty, part of the reason I did it at the beginning was that they would’ve kicked me off of CKMB (Creating Keepsakes Message Board) if this was an MW blog. Their rule was that if you linked to your blog in your siggie, the blog’s primary purpose could not be to promote your biz. One time I had a close call when the CK tech people sent me a warning that I would be banned if I didn’t get rid of my blog link in my siggie. I politely explained that, while I was a consultant, the blog was a personal blog not a Memory Works blog. Then my people called their people and – badda bing – we came to an understanding. Nah, but that little episode did make me ultra paranoid about keeping it un-MW because I didn’t want to be sent packing from CKMB.

Well, since then, I’ve chosen to go packing on my own so CKMB has not been the issue for some time. I guess I just always felt weird about self-promoting, or coming off as a salesperson instead of as your scrapbooking friend who just wants to talk about the cute new stuff, ya know? But I guess the time has finally come where I can reconcile it all. This is my damn blog and if I want to talk about Memory Works and share a link or publicize my products, I’m going to! For shizzle. I figure after all the free publicity I’ve given, what, hundreds (?) of other companies over the years, it’s my turn. When I share products with you, I always make a point to provide a link where you can see more (even though some of them make it difficult or impossible to do so, something I just don’t get). My policy was to, if possible, link to the product manufacturer or however I could get you closest to the source of something. For instance, when I wrote about the Share and Tell system, I linked directly to the Pebbles Inc. website, not to an online store who sells it, or to another blogger that wrote about it. I mean, I might do all those other links in addition to, but I have always tried to drive traffic to the manufacturer.

But from now on, you will see me linking to product listings on my Memory Works site. I truly hope that doesn’t offend anyone. Why? Because I love you! I don’t want to ever become a ‘shove it down your throat’ salesperson. Heck, I can’t stand people like that (an example…a school mom I know wears her Pampered Chef polo to every. single. school event. I mean, seriously??). But I figure if I’m taking the time, love, and devotion to write up a product I love, and MW happens to carry said product, I’m going to link to my own site. Maybe you will never, ever, in a million years place an order with me and that is totally fine. But a girl can try, can’t she? {As it happens, the link to my Memory Works site is currently the “top click” on my blog and yet only one online friend has placed an order with me so far.}

This is kind of a side note but one thing that amazes me is that for all the free product endorsements I’ve provided for two years, with linkees to the manufacturer, I can probably count on one hand the number of times they have thanked me for the link. Either they are ungrateful, or they don’t know how to check their stats or run a Google check, which are basics I’d think scrapbook companies would possess. Anyway, I just don’t want you to think that all those manufacturers will be sorry to see my links go, LOL. They never even noticed them in the first place.

And just for the record, I have never received any sort of compensation for writing this dang blog. It has all been on my own time, for no financial gain. The few times I’ve received a free demo product in the mail, I’ve disclosed that in the review (the only ones coming to mind are the Ribbon Ring and the Angel Baby scrapbooking kit). I could have chosen to make some money off my blog with ads or some such, but I never did do that. I hope this MW thang is a happy medium that doesn’t bug you too much.

I guess that’s it. If I get out of hand with the Memory Works stuff, to the point where it’s so overdone that you run from the room screaming…tell me. A good smack upside the head usually works. Then in your best New York accent, say, “Snap out of it!” just like Cher said to Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck. I mean it.

If you have any thoughts on the whole matter, please share. Even if you hate everything I just said. Seriously.

Cosmo Cricket “Early Bird”

Yippie kie YAY! Memory Works now has the new COSMO CRICKET!! I love the color way, the cherries, just the general happy-ness of it.

Here’s what you get with our exclusive THEME SET: Six 12×12 sheets of double-sided patterned cardstock paper and one 12×12 sheet of coordinating cardstock strips. ($6.50)

Here’s the ELEMENTS sheet: One 12×12 sheet of double-sided cardstock cut-apart journaling cards and elements ($1.00).

and here are the STICKERS: One 5 3/4 x 13 sheet of weather-worn cardstock stickers ($2.00)

You know, that’s not bad. You could have all three pieces (well, 9 pieces technically) for under $10. Cosmo has kept their prices really reasonable.

HERE is a Cosmo Cricket blog post from April 2009 showing the “sneak peek” of this line, but it has great, large photos of all the pieces. You’ll notice that the Papers and Elements I show above are actually double-sided…more than meets the eye…I like that!

Here is a layout from the CC blog, by Julie Comstock (HERE’s her Twitter!):

Also from their blog, a recipe box by LISA FALDUTO

…and Early Bird cards by MAREN BENEDICT, from the CC Design Team:

Here is a fun purse covered in an Early Bird pattern…alas, it’s not real, but a mere digital creation…still super cute!

There are more Cosmo Cricket “Early Bird” layouts and projects on their blog HERE, HERE, and HERE. I just love their BLOG….pure and total eye candy, plus those people are wicked funny.

Oh, MEMORY WORKS also has the Cosmo Cricket SPINNER CARD, which I guess has been on backorder (must be popular). 5″ square chipboard card. Bottle spins freely in the card ($1.50).

So if I have you jones-in’ for some CC “Early Bird,” go get some at your LSS or click on ‘I’m a MW Consultant‘ (top left) and we’ll order you some…

Cropper Hopper Organization at Tuesday Morning

Made my monthly trip to The Big City and here is what I found at Tuesday Morning…

There were a lot of ANNA GRIFFIN packs – huge ones with 12×12 paper and tons of embellies to mini album kits.

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Here were some fun EK SUCCESS punches that were very tempting (but I resisted…can you?). These ones are a pacifier, arrow, and speech bubble. There were a few other shapes, too.

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For me, this is where I hit the motherlode….CROPPER HOPPER STORAGE !!! I had always wanting these when they first came out because I love vertical bookshelf storage for my scrappy stuff. I own stock in CH VERTICAL PAPER HOLDERS, ya know. But these items were out of my budget (because I am super cheap, yeah).

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But I picked up the 2-drawer/4-pocket binder ($8.99) which I plan to use to organize my card-making supplies. I don’t have a ton but right now they’re in some Iris drawers and not very well organized. The 3×3 embellishment drawer ($2.99) will be the perfect way to organize my Mike’s stamps finally! I’m really excited about that one. They’ve also been stacked in an Iris drawer…til now, LOL!

Here you can see the retail prices, and what a great deal Tuesday Morning has on them…

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Here is what the inside of the pocket binder looks like.

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When I get some schtuff inside my new storage, I’ll post pics and see what you think. Have you found any good deals at TM lately?

PS: Stay tuned for the next episode of Shopaholic Obsession….er, I mean….Scrapbook Obsession….when I’ll show you what’s new at Mike’s and what I picked up there….

Getting Back Into the Memory Works Game

I’m going to write a longer post about this later but it’s midnight and I can’t sleep so thought I’d just write up the short version. I’ve been mulling it over for the last week or so (listen to me, like it’s some huge-amic decision that will affect the free world!)…and I’ve decided to kind of reactivate myself as a Memory Works Consultant. I’ve been with the company for about 2 years, I think, and was having a lot of MW fun until last fall when I had to take a chill with it. But I’ve decided to make a comeback, LOL!

I cashed in an old $15 product credit and bought 5 copies of the new Memory Works Catalog, which came today. I’ve been looking through it tonight and making a mental list of all the scrap I dream of buying. With the same order, I got a couple things from ‘Summer Soiree’ by Fancy Pants that I desired way back HERE. I got the “Exclusive Kit” THEME SET

…and the RUB-ONS.

I so very much wanted the NOTEBOOK JOURNAL

…but couldn’t afford it at this particular juncture. Oh God, I am such a freak for cute little journaling notebooks like that. I want, I want, I want! (Don’t I sound like that annoying girl in Willie Wonka?)

I just mass e-mailed all my old customers and crop friends to let them know I’m back in action, and to offer a free catalog to the first 5 who get back to me. I already heard back from my friend “D”, who I’m sure is up Facebooking. I know the economy royally sucks right now, so I’m not expecting to do the amount of business that I used to. But I’m brainstorming ideas and hoping to have at least a little success.

Anyhoo, that’s what’s on my mind late on a Friday night…Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Fancy Pants – The Daily Grind

I love this new line and, lucky for me, Memory Works carries it HERE.

“Designed to coordinate with the theme set, these printed chipboard accents are perfect to place on any project, and they are SELF ADHESIVE! The printed chipboard is also packaged in a reusable chipboard box with pull out drawer!
Price: $13.00″

Here is a link just to the chipboard ALPHA. I think I will use this a LOT! I restrained myself and just ordered the alpha….for now, LOL! I cashed in some product credits I had for referring new consultants to Memory Works, and I still have the profits from the two crops I held in July and August. I also stocked up on Prism cardstock packs in white and kraft, which is my new favorite color. I seem to use it as the base of every other layout :) But there’s still some money in the kitty…I don’t know what else I want…yet…

A Review: Cricut Solutions Shape Storage Binder

EMILIE AHERN {one of my fave bloggers and I adore her blog music} posted a review of the new CRICUT SOLUTIONS SHAPE STORAGE BINDER over HERE on the Craft Critique blog.

I really appreciate that she did, as I’m now convinced I DON’T need to spend my money on one. What do you think? Will you or have you? Love to hear some more reviews…

While you’re over at CRAFT CRITIQUE, I hope you’ll look around. It’s a wonderful blog if you need to find a review of a craft product. For instance, I enjoyed reading the review of one of my latest obsessions, STICKLES (which I buy, of course, at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED). Also, I found THIS review of the new flocking system by Doodlebug Designs. The company I’m a consultant for, MEMORY WORKS, recently started to carry this product and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! The review at Craft Critique just got me more excited :) So go take a browser over there at CC…good stuff.

Speaking of AMR, Stacey is adding a lot of new products recently. All that overdue CHA stuff must finally be hitting her doorstep, LOL! Check out these cool JOURNALING TICKETS by her boyfriend Timmy (aka TIM HOLTZ). I just love ‘em, and lots of other new stuff at AMR so go check out the store! Stacey BLOGS about the new stuff as she adds it, and you just aren’t going to find better or sweeter customer service anywhere. If you order from Stacey, you’re a forever friend and will be treated like gold…

News from Top Line Creations (TLC)

These days, if you click on the TLC WEBSITE, this is the message ya get:

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(Quoted directly from the TLC website; just saving you from linking over there..)

“The management and staff of Top Line Creations (“TLC”) wish to thank Consultants worldwide for their support and association during the last four years. It has been determined that inasmuch as (1) TLC has always been a multi-level, direct sales organization; (2) the name TLC and Top Line Creations, LC are associated with the same; and (3) the multi-level, direct sales structure has proven to be unsuccessful in marketing the TLC product line, TLC is no longer a viable enterprise and will be dissolved effective immediately.

Fayette Terlouw and Annette Ward (the “Ettes”) previously employed by TLC, will continue to share their talents as designers for a new organization — Breezy Design, LC (“Breezy”).

Breezy has negotiated with TLC’s secured creditors to acquire all TLC inventory, outstanding orders, equipment, copyrights, etc. Breezy will process and ship all outstanding TLC orders, and will honor the current subscriptions and referral group memberships previously established by TLC. Breezy assumes no liability for any unused TLC Credits or unused TLC Event Vouchers. Breezy will, however, honor all unused Member’s Choice and/or Consultant Choice Coupons.

Breezy welcomes all TLC Members and TLC customers to join them in this new enterprise.

www.BreezyDesign.com
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I’m not really familiar with the TLC situation, except that they were a multi-level seller of scrapbook supplies, with many consultants who are now pretty disappointed and, if I were them, angry? I don’t know how much warning they got about all of this, although I have heard people referencing it online for some time. Maybe a TLC-er can leave a Comment here and educate us all (PLEEZ!).

I guess it’s good that they have somewhere to transfer their business energies to (aka Breezy Design), assuming these two ladies, “The Ettes,” are people they feel confident in dealing with. I’m not making any judgments here, as again, I know NOTHING of this company of the situation. I just came across the TLC website and thought I’d pass along this industry news. I also take personal interest because I’m a consultant for a scrapbook company, Memory Works, which is NOT multi-level and I think that’s one of the reasons MW is so successful. I’m sure the bad economy is hurting Memory Works somewhat right now, but I don’t see any signs of them failing. To the contrary, they seem to be gearing things up slowly (which is wise) and I’ve heard they/we are taking on many former TLC consultants. Memory Works is very different than TLC but I hope, in spite of (or because of) that, they have wild success!

Now, you computer types, I need your help. When you click on BreezyDesign.com, on the bottom right of the home page is a free Desktop Layout download. Please walk this computer dork through saving that to my Mac desktop and putting photos in it.

Pebbles Inc. – Share & Tell Binder System

Remember that Eddie Money song from the 80’s? C’mon, sing it with me!! “I think I’m in love!” (I know CHEEKY will sing with me…)

I just found THIS on the Pebbles Inc blog while looking for their new Easter kit. It’s called the Share & Tell Binder System. Here is a pic and quote from their blog:

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“We’re excited to introduce to you our Share & Tell Binder Program! Let’s face it…we are all busy. Whatever stage in life we find ourselves in, time seems to limit us from all that we want or need to do. The Share & Tell Binder Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully!

The Share & Tell Binder Program includes Albums, Sheet Protectors, Creative Pads and Journaling Cards that all work together to make scrapbooking your memories easier! This is the only system on the market that is flexible enough to work with hard-core crafters and non-scrapbooking consumers alike!

Start looking for the Share & Tell Binder Program this spring!”

Then I clicked over to their recently launched (March 2008) WEBSITE and found this:

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And this:

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“The Share & Tell Album Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully! Let’s face it…we are all busy… This program was created by Brenda Birrell, mother of five daughters and founder of Pebbles in my Pocket and Pebbles Inc. as an answer to today’s busy life! A simple system that is easy to maintain and will provide us with more time to spend with loved ones creating memories! Isn’t this what life is all about? This is the story of your life together and as you share it, relationships will be strengthened and memories will be preserved. In this age of digital photography it is so important to print out your favorite photos for safe keeping and enjoyment. CDs get scratched and hard drives crash. Your memories deserve to be placed in organized books that can be enjoyed by your loved ones. Isn’t it time to share your story?”

On the Pebbles website ~~ which you can now order directly from! ~ all the items currently show “Temporarily out of stock, available April 2008.” The albums posted come in black and brown (retail $29.99), page protectors in 12×12 (for full pages) and divided 4×6 (retail $9.99). Can anyone read the fine print? How many page protectors do you get in the package? I have a laptop & my screen is too small. Here are pics:

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The website shows the following (14) Creative Pad theme sets ($4.99 each): Baby Boy, Baby Girl, My Guy, My Girl, Nellie’s Garden, Theodore, Season’s Greetings, Sweetheart, Party Time Boy, Party Time Girl, Easter Time, School Days, Summer Day, and Zoo Fun. They contain 30 sheets of paper and 4 sticker sheets. Then (10) sets of coordinating Journaling Cards ($3.99 for a pack of 25). Sorry, I was unable to paste them over here for some reason…

Here is what I like about this system:

~ I’m tired of always feeling “behind” in my scrapping. For instance, Christmas was 3 months ago and I haven’t scrapped any of it yet. Honestly, it’s intimidating to me because I have photos from about 10 events (Christmas tree lighting, making cookies, cutting the tree, decorating the tree, Christmas Eve service, Christmas party, opening presents, and on and on…). If I had a system like this, I could put them in an album right away, jot some journaling down, and we could’ve been enjoying them for the last 3 months. If I decide to “really” scrap any of the photos later, awesome! If not, at least they’re in a cute presentation that everyone can access.

~ Many people are getting tired of dealing with strap hinge and postbound albums, e.g. the lack of flexibility to move pages around, etc. On the message boards, I gather that many of you scrappers have switched over to D-ring albums like this, or are at least contemplating it. I’m still on the fence because the “break” in the middle bothers me, as I do about 95% 2-page layouts. However, for the purposes of just getting my photos in books in this simple style, that wouldn’t be an issue.

~ Although Pebbles Inc’s style is what many would call “simple,” I think it’s also a very cute and clean presentation with lots of personality. Besides, there’s nothing to say you can’t take their basics and distress, cut, tear, scallop, ink, punch, sew or whatever it!! Make it your own. For me, as you read in THIS POST, I sometimes gravitate towards this simple, clean style. It’s the one style that, when I look back at my old albums, does NOT ever look dated or trendy or “so yesterday.” So I embrace this style as ONE PART of my scrapbooking. Besides, you can just use the albums and maybe the journaling cards, then use all your own stuff to fill the 12×12 or 4×6 slots. I think I would do a combination of the two if I use this system.

~ Compared to a similar system by Creative Memories called PICFOLIO, I like this one much better. I’ve always been tempted by the CM system but have never bought it because I can’t deal with the fact that you can’t customize the number of pages, i.e. you can’t add or take away pages, because they are bound into the album. With the Pebbles system, you can certainly have as many pages as you like.

The only things that concern me about using this system:

~ The price. Although I do occasionally pay $30 for an album, it’s rare. I use 2 per year minimum on our family album, then special theme albums in addition to that. I hope that Michaels or another store with a 40% discount coupon carries these albums so I can slowly buy them.

~ The D-ring…is it sturdy? The main complaint I hear about D-ring albums is that the rings start to separate and gap over time, which makes it a major PITA to turn your pages. From the photo, I have to say those rings don’t look overly sturdy, do they? BUT…I have a lot of Pebbles Inc items like their RIBBON IRON, chalks, etc. and the quality is always very good, so I’m optimistic about their album quality.

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Heck, if Super Scrap Idol ALI EDWARDS is using DIVIDED PAGES, I figure I can give it a go…

What do you think of the new Share & Tell Binder System by Pebbles, Inc.? Will you be purchasing it?

Finally, A Winner! And Why I Might Be Absent…

Wayyyyy back on THIS POST, I asked for your help with ideas for a scrapbook company name. Boy did y’all come through! I had such a great time reading all the suggestions and then, as I often do, got sidetracked by life and forgot to pick a winner. Thanks for your patience if you’ve been waiting to hear who won the RAK, and I owe it to bluemoon for reminding me yesterday :)

There were 21 entries so I asked one of the kiddos to pick a number between 1 and 21, and they picked……NUMBER 3 !!!! Yeah, Number Three!!! We have a winna’ and it is DANA, from Dana’s Scrap Therapy. Go check out HER BLOG, it’s a good read. Actually, both her blogs cuz she’s doing the Perspective 365: Picture a Day Project and here is her BLOG for that.

Miss Dana, you win a RAK of some scrappin’ goodness. I’m getting a big Memory Works shipment this week, so I’ll go shop it for you and post a pic of your winnings. In the meantime, I’ll e-mail ya’ for your addie. Thanks to everyone for playing!

Now, as if being laid off this July isn’t bad enough, now I might need gallbladder surgery (boo hoo, will you join my pity party?). I was in the E/R most of yesterday with THE most horrible abdomen and back pain since childbirth (yeah, without the epidural). After lots of pain, a blood test, an ultrasound, an IV, and much needle-prodding because I have “bad veins,” the E/R doc says I have gallstones which will probably need surgery. This morning I’ve posted on my fave MB’s (CKMB and AMRMB) for advice because I know right were to go for the good stuff. And of course the ladies have come through. I’m also making calls for surgeon referrals and talking to everyone I know who’s been through this for advice. Basically, they all say “take it out” before it gets worse, and you don’t need the damn thing anyway. I hate hospitals, have never had surgery, so I am very scared (that’s what I do when I’m scared of something, go into total research mode). I called my SIL who is a nurse and she said they called gallbladder disease “The Four F’s: Female, forty, fat, and fair.” Okay, not everybody because my other SIL had her gallbladder out and she’s not fat, nor fair. I might be some of the Four, but I won’t admit which!

Anyway, if you ever don’t see me posting her for a few days, that’s whuzzup. I hear the surgery is usually laprascopic and recovery is about a week, unless you have some reason they need to open you up, then it’s major surgery and the recovery is longer. First, I’m praying for no surgery and a miracle drug! Second, I’m praying for the easy surgery if I have to have one. Believe me, I was praying yesterday for relief from the excruciating pain and He came through.

CONGRATS AGAIN ~~DANA~~ !!!