What is in the box?

There is nothing like the excitement of opening that first deliivery from Close To My Heart and I was very lucky that team member Sandra, who was the first in my team to get her box, brought it to my place to share the grand opening!

Here is ‘the box’ – we all got one eventually!

Getting a box like this one is very exciting!

Getting a box like this one is very exciting!

I was just a bit excited about getting my box!

I was just a bit excited about getting my box

So Now we get to peek inside….nope…group photo!

Myself and my first two team members - we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

Myself and my first two team members – we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

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Of course the bubbles are out! We are about to discover stamps, new papers, new embellishments, new design books and a whole new way of doing business!

Sandra reads her CTMH welcome letter

Sandra reads her CTMH welcome letter

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

There are new things to learn, new language to get used to and smashbooking to do:)

My first Crushbook page

My first Crushbook page

My second Crushbook page - just waiting for a photo

My second Crushbook page – just waiting for a photo

Workshop on the go kit page layout from Laughing Lola

Workshop on the go kit page layout from Laughing Lola

 

Another double from Laughing Lola. I have plenty left fr more pages and cards!

Another double from Laughing Lola. I have plenty left fr more pages and cards!

Page layout for boy using Chantilly

Page layout for boy using Chantilly

Cards made with Chantilly, inspired by the cardmaking program book that came in my kit

Cards made with Chantilly, inspired by the cardmaking program book that came in my kit

Since receiving my kit three more wonderful people have joined my team! I am very excited to have them aboard and can’t wit till they have the opportunity to feel the excitement that goes with opening their box. It is currently such extraordinary value I would love to tell you more! You can visit my website Jen’s Creative Classroom to become a consultant,  contact me below or me direct on email nenifoofer@gmail.com to find out more about our opportunity, my crops, workshops and gatherings.

Wishful thinking? Dream, Dare and Do

I am outside a mega crop! there are 100 scrappers inside!

I am outside a mega crop! there are 100 scrappers inside!

I have had some of the most wonderful days (or hours)  ‘out’ scrapbooking with other like minded scrappers who enjoy recording memorable moments, sharing their stories in scrapbooks, playing with paper and decoration and dealing with the internal negative voice that says our personal handwriting is not neat enough! Sometimes a nice intimate class of 3-4 people does the trick of bringing calm, colour and joy in our otherwise chaotic world and lots of laughs and giggles for good therapy too. Then there are those big events….I so want to see that happen again one day in Sunraysia and surrounding areas too!

Little workshops can work well in anyone’s home. A few friends getting together regularly to scrap, perhaps taking turns hosting is an unofficial ‘club’ . The women provide each other with very important therapy. They share tools, they encourage and support each other with ideas, maybe they swap papers, embellishments, and even show each other the latest technique spotted on a video seen online.

 

 

 

Our tables didn't stay this tidy but we had a lot of fun!

Our tables didn’t stay this tidy but we had a lot of fun!

Another look at our Robinvale group

Another look at our Robinvale group

They laugh, giggle and have fun. We do not do enough of this. Far too often i hear I would love to but I do not have time. Women who gather like this see value in the gathering – they make time for themselves and dare to do it. Of course they also share their secret stash secrets too (secret from partner that is)  because they are daring enough to have a secret stash!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myself and my first two team members - we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

Myself and my first two team members – we get together regularly to crop and share ideas.

I have a little group like this – we are all dedicated scrappers and we also all have now joined Close To My Heart. Being a new business in Australia I am really looking forward to scrapping together and developing our understanding of our products and business model at the same time. We get together weekly if we can and just chill, share ideas and knowledge, and make each other cups of brew (tea or coffee). Sometimes we also take turns with my babysitting so my grandson’s mum can get her pages done too! The few hours we spend like this is fun and relaxing. It is even more fun because we are using new toys! (We have stamps now:) ) Someday soon we will also have a Cricut machine to play with.

We have a whole new range of papers, embellishments and page layouts to try, not to mention cards to make. AND…we need a team name! I am looking forward to a brainstorming sesh for that one! We have supported each other as a team and I look forward to doing this with our CTMH products and businesses. There is no doubt about it. Women need fellowship, an outlet to share, AND an outlet for creativity. Scrapbooking and papercraft provides a vehicle for this and sharing and camaraderie is central to fun in our little group. We  have had to make the ‘sacrifice’ of time out for ourselves to ensure ‘life’ doesn’t get in the way but it is very very worthwhile!

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

There are lots of goodies in the consultant kit!

OK…so little workshops could work for you. Regular get togethers, your favourite snacks and beverages, and a consultant is all you need. Yes, consultant! You need a consultant so you get the goss  on what is coming and access to the latest products, information and rewards! You consultant is your guru and guide. She may not be expert, but she is your link to all the resources and ideas. If you have a group and don’t have a consultant consider inviting someone like me along. I can pop in and out quickly with the latest news and product samples, teach a technique and make plans for next visit. It will be easy, fun and one of the group can get the benefits of hosting!

So what about a BIG one?

I love that I can keep working at my scrapping and papercraft with my team, but my dream is the BIG Crop. This is my Dream, Dare and DO! ‘Why?’ you may wonder!  Well there is

  • lots of eye candy
  • lots of ideas shared
  • lots of freebies and give-aways if you happen to get one of the lucky door prizes
  • Lots of happiness and buzz (so good for the soul in a busy life)
  • lots of laughter and
  • occasionally even a few quick challenges just to spice up your approach to album making!
  • Chocolate….

Shouting yourself a Big Crop Day is like taking a day off just for you. Arrange the child care and focus on yourself and your project. You enter a whole new stress free world and go home having accomplished something to show those who care. Imagine getting among 50-100 people all doing what you do! Your world of papercraft becomes a whole lot more fun.

Big crops happen regularly in the cities. They range in price for the day depending on your welcome gift, catering and venue costs. ALL the work is done for you. You can just sit, scrap, chat, eat, scrap and chat some more. Don’t forget the chocolate! Breakout sessions show you new ideas and techniques. Product displays give you creative inspiration and seeing walls filled with page layouts and tables covered in cards and off the page projects will get your creative juices going!

Wall of page layout ideas to inspire.

Wall of page layout ideas to inspire.

In crop events there are always bonus tips and techniques like these paper flowers! Everyone is willing to share how they do something!

In crop events there are always bonus tips and techniques like these paper flowers! Everyone is willing to share how they do something!

Newest products on display at the Adelaide Ideas Extravaganza crop

Newest products on display at the Adelaide Ideas Extravaganza crop

Lots of scrapbooking and chatter going on here!

Lots of scrapbooking and chatter going on here!

It is a fest of creative inspiration. But the BEST bit is being among like minded devotees of photos, memories, storytelling and papercraft. You don’t feel weird. You do not feel like the only woman whose partner scrutinises how much ‘stuff’ you have and if you happen to have a craft room or shed for ‘her’ you will be the envy of others. (Watch out they may invite themselves over for a visit and their partners will curse you for putting big ideas in their heads!)

I have fond memories of big events like this on various occasions as a consultant and more recently attended events in Adelaide that were attended by over 80 scrappers – consultants and their customers – and had a ball. Six hours goes way too fast! We have managed to have smaller versions of these with combined crops of local Mildura consultants and our customers go home grateful to have had a day out, to have learned new things, and have some fun, That photos of me playing in leaves comes from one of these events as we let mother nature provide us with the photo opportunity!

So… I dream of making these bigger! Imagine a really juicy creative play day!

Perhaps I should explain Juicy!

Juicy is a term I have learned from PLANET SARK. (Your Home for Dreaming, Daring, and Doing!)  I first read her work ‘Succulent Wild Women’ and while I have not been totally wild with a journal and coloured pens I have wanted to. I have found the answer for me has always been in my scrapbooking. It is good for the soul! Picking up from the SARK philosophy, Creativity is juicy; Journalling is juicy; Colour is juicy! Put all that juicy goodness into your memory keeping and you will have fun and one day your family will have juicy fun pouring over the pages you have made with fun and love.

P1020015 P1020014And Yes! I do want to see at least 50 attendees at a big CROP. I know there are many more than 50 scrapbookers in Sunraysia and surrounding areas so I dream of having a day where at least 50 of these delightful memory keepers are together for a day of fun and sharing. I dare to and I am going to do it. I have found a well lit venue with a perfect kitchen, plenty of no limit parking  and flat access for trolleys and wheeled bags. ( There are no steps or stairs to drag trolleys over! ) All I need are the juicy scrappers and their enthusiasm who will come along to play. We will have a ball! We will be like kids on a big play date! Maybe we will find some of our own lost in childhood creativity!

Wishful thinking? Too ambitious? That is my negative self talk talking. If the city girls can do it so can we country gals! How about it? If there were big Crops would you go? Have you been to one? What do you remember most about such events?

Please pop your comment below- I would love for you to share your experience with me!

A new year, a new beginning!

What an exciting day! The beginning of the financial year has never been an exciting time for me but today is different! Today I officially joined Close To My Heart as an independent consultant AND I got new old wheels which are not as old as the adventure bus!

The Bus!

The Bus!

Let me explain!

Around the same time as Freaky Friday when we lost CM, I also had to give up my car. Since then I have been in ‘Keep Calm and Scrap on’ mode and “”Yep you can borrow the bus until you buy more wheels” mode to get around. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the ”Adventure before Dementia” bus that belongs to my dad but it did make nicking down to the supermarket for two litres of milk a chore after a while. With my arthritic right knee, clambering up into the driver’s seat became more than a bit of a chore!

Adventuring in the bus between cars

Adventuring in the bus between cars

However, the BUS, as I now fondly call it, got me around, took me safely to Adelaide and back and for a few nights even became my home away from home. After all, it is built for camping in right? Maggie and Macey didn’t like it much – I ended up putting the leads on them to coach them up into the bus rather than chase them and pick them up!!! It was cosy enough to sleep in and while I didn’t use the shower, the porta loo was handy.

Well today, July 1, the beginning of the financial year in Austalia, I thankfully was able to bid the bus goodbye – for now. I am sure to holiday in it sometime . That will be fun. I have gladly embraced my new regular vehicle to get around in! I am not sure how well I will fit my new CTMH goodies into it but that problem is for another day.

A New Year, a new beginning.

A New Year, a new beginning.

The other piece of magic that happened today was an end to the waiting for Plan B, the Wigwam. I signed as a consultant with Close To My Heart and as in previous posts clearly I am excited to begin the financial year with a new business along with hundreds of other ex CMC’s who have been waiting with me while the super leadership team went to work. Now there will be another long wait…for my Kit! But I am ok about that. I  have a lot to do to get my customers connected and my team organised. I have workshop dates, bookings to check on, flights to make sure are ok and and and….I need a list!

I am busy, but thankfully so. I now have a clear direction and some good wheels to help me travel the path. I am on my way in the CTMH family and I anticipate it will be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to adding stamping and crush books to my repertoire,  playing with washi tape, using a Cricut machine and meeting lots and lots of new people and rekindling connections with previous customers and new consultants. If you would like to join me on my journey please drop me a line.

The new year has begun – not with the bands and fireworks of a traditional new year but plenty of joy in my heart as I would have if there was a big party and lots of fireworks!

Closer To My Heart

The countdown is on! 5 days to go! I am overwhelmed by the skills of the people who have implored us to scrap our stash and be patient – Plan B would come. I have heard one of them speak with true passion about finding a solution for those of us who are now all ex CM consultants in Australia. To suggest we are not excited would not be true – but I cannot speak for everyone – so I will speak for myself.

close to my heart buttonI am over the moon with JOY!

I can go into places I could not go with CM. I can still scrap classic scrapbook pages, I can still create digital ones – even easier now that we have Studio J © to use, AND I can stamp designs and use a Cricut and teach others how to do the same!!! I have seen the palettes and packs that coordinate to help tell a story, that make creating gorgeous gifts for those we love easy so I am really looking forward to working with this product, doing the projects and encouraging others.

I have changed the name of the blog to suit since this is not just about Digital Scrapping now – I have so much more to share. July 1 can’t come quick enough!

Why is it that Close To My Heart is closer to my heart? Because I believe we can all be creative. Anyone who claims they are not creative would be more accurate if they stated they do not have the time to nurture creativity in themselves by applying their knowledge, skills, talents and ability to learn to a craft. We were all kids once right?

Were we afraid then of a look, a criticism, a scoff at our creations? No…and for most of us we were well praised for our efforts (even if the grownup could not quite make out what it was!) Somewhere between childhood and now our pure joy in playing with creating got lost. It may have been a teacher who decided our attempt was not as good as another’s in class. An unthinking adult may have even asked us ‘What is that supposed to be?’ when we felt it was patently obvious it was a car, a house, a duck…so we started to feel insecure about our own innate desire to create. A demon voice grew, trying to convince us we can’t do creative, we can’t do art, we are not talented.

If you have a voice within you....

If you have a voice within you….

I was one of those people when it came to art. My yr 7 Art teacher told me I wasn’t ”creative”!  I would like him to look at my paintings, my scrapbooks, my quilts, my original designs and tell me now he was WRONG!

For many years any desire to explore art was gone. When I got married, stopped studying and started to look for something other than correction to do at home in the evening I bought myself some coloured pencils and intricate colouring pads…something in me wanted to create!  Actually, I have my mother and the growth of folk art as an industry for home made craft to thank for giving creativity back to me. There are tools, there are products to understand, and there are patterns and instructions. And there are instructors like me! If you can watch a demo, and have and learn how to use the right tools and equipment you can create! Anything is possible.

You know your human brain has a section specifically for creating. Those students who learn to develop something (a piece of writing, a speech, a project) from a range of sources using a number of skills are ‘creating’ not just regurgitating and this is the main aim of our education system. So, how did adults lose faith in themselves to be able to create? That art teacher, the judgmental peer,  or simply being so busy with other ‘more important’ things in daily life to have time to create would be the main perpetrators. It is time to get your creative back!

posters 3 - Page 006There are so many benefits to being creative. Take a moment to tell that little voice in your head that says you can’t do it to be quiet a minute and listen. You may not produce prize winning artwork, but you will switch on a piece of your brain that has been inactive for too long.  You will be able to tune out the noise of life (and the voice of the negative knocker who suffers from tall poppy syndrome) and become absorbed in something different. That will lead to less stress rather than more. Take a moment to pause and watch a knitter (Not our ex PM but just someone you know), a spinner, a weaver, a painter, a patchworker, a tinsmith (my dad is one of those and he turn out great pieces for restored stationary engines). What do you notice about their mood? Their demeanor? Unless something is not quite going right and causing them frustration, you will find they are generally relaxed, happy and even oblivious to the woes of th world around them. It is their escape, their time out.

You can choose to do simple projects or complex ones – depending on your skills, confidence and equipment available to you. You may also need coaching or mentoring – that is my job! Enroll in a class scrapbooking or card making workshop and give it a crack. There is nothing better than the feeling of achievement that you lost somewhere in your childhood and you will be overjoyed by the compliments you get when you share creative work that also tells a story, and includes photos and messages of love. Such an experience will also bring others closer to your heart and you to theirs.

With my coaching, Close To My Heart will enable you to achieve what you thought you could not- with product, workshops, hosted gatherings or even having a go at being a consultant yourself. All you need to do first is acknowledge you have been neglecting the creative piece of your brain and letting life and daily stress take over all your thinking. Then make a commitment to give that piece of your brain a little workout. You will finish up more relaxed and refreshed – AND likely to be praised or thanked for your efforts once again,

Go on…give it a try !

I am closer to my creative center when I am teaching people to connect with theirs. The journey I am about to embark on is closer to my heart when I see people producing artwork from their heart. Now I have the opportunity to move well beyond the scrapbook page so my creative buttons are all ready to go and I cannot wait to share the journey with you!

It all starts July 1!

For inquiries about hosting gatherings or business opportunities please drop me a line!

Cheers

Jen –  Creative Classroom Coach with CTMH

Held together by a common cause.

Today sadly Creative Memories closes its doors in Australia. They are still madly packing orders in the warehouse but for consultants we have no CM branding after today. My website will close, my customer list is now safely on my computer and that could have been that. The end point is here – and it is not black, it is a little warm and fuzzy.

You can shut the doors on a business. You cannot shut the doors on a mission.

I found this among the many shared memes on Facebook - it is what our mission is all about.

I found this among the many shared memes on Facebook – it is what our mission is all about.

When Diane Lampert and Brian O’Laughlan started the Australian Creative Memories family they were full of hope that Australians would love both the mission and the product. I have heard Diane’s story. She is a very courageous business woman whose belief in the product and the mission was so profound she agreed to take the risk and come to Australia to test it out in our market. Brian was the support for building the company here and it did not take long before they had a team of consultants spreading the message and mission throughout the country. Australians came to love scrapbooking and this resulted in  a successful direct selling company giving many of us the opportunity to work for ourselves while promoting a priceless concept – to ensure the photos came out of boxes and into albums along with the story that goes with them.

In those days we still printed film from cameras and we were just starting to use digital photography. In a little more than a decade things have rapidly changed! The economy has been up and down, the were boom periods and downturns. And now every hand held devise appears to be capable of capturing a moment. We can also share them freely on the internet and include the story in many ways. Albums on shelves were rapidly being replaced by pictures on disks.

Combining digital and traditional

Combining digital and traditional

Creative Memories remained competitive during the period of a scrapping shop on every corner – and came through the other side thanks to the staying power of leaders, good business management and consultants who could handle the competition. We still had albums and workshops for ‘traditional’ scrapbooking. In an era when it seems everything is done by computer we still love to sit and do hand-craft and our albums are an expression of that.

Some consultants had to let go during this period. I was one of them. This though, I have learned, is normal in direct selling. If you want to get to the top you need to put in a few good years of hard work and sponsoring to get there. I could not do this and balance all the other pressures in my life. I stopped consulting but continued scrapping. I believed in the mission and still do.

Then Creative Memories invested in digital solutions…I was hooked again well and truly. I love my Storybook Creator software, Memory Manager and the beautiful books I can produce, Sure there are competitors here too but top of the list for quality and accessibility with creative flexibility is this product. This is my preferred way to scrap even though I have many clients who still like to do the hands on. I became a consultant again because of the digital options enabled me to have another crack at direct selling.

Scarpbooking pinsHowever I do not consult just to make money. I scrap and consult because

  • I want to make sure the story goes with the photos
  • I want to remember the best parts of my life
  • I want my children and their children to know their story
  • I love the time out of a busy life doing something for me
  • I love taking photos just so I can scrap them
  • I am a teacher and love teaching others that they too CAN do this
  • I am still and always will be creative and this is just one way of expressing that
  • and I love to challenge those who say they are not creative to kill that negative self belief and discover that they are – it just got lost somewhere in their busy lives.
  • And, I am not alone in any of this. we are a family of consultants and customers sharing the one mission.
Making paper flowers is fun!

Making paper flowers is fun!

CM Sisters all over the country will say similar to me. For some the company provided income, for others it funds a hobby, but for all of us the mission matters. We want to see photos scrapped and shared, preserved for lifetimes to come. And some…we can do all kinds of paper crafts and make anything you can think of that can be either printed or shared digitally! We run workshops and classes and teach others. For us this business is not just about selling a product – it is about the customer, the you,  your photos, your story, your way. We help people to do this – and that for me is far more rewarding than any fiscal benefit from being a consultant.

So…we are not going to turn our heads and sadly walk away from today’s closed door.

I need a new car, I am about to engage with a new business,,,.I was toying with ideas about what sort of car I can get as I travel throughout my country region helping people preserve their photos and stories.

I need a new car, I am about to engage with a new business,,,.I was toying with ideas about what sort of car I can get as I travel throughout my country region helping people preserve their photos and stories.

Those magnificent entrepreneurs Diane and Brian, and others, have been spending this month working on Plan B. Tomorrow just what that is we will find out. It is the new door. The CM family has stuck together with campaigns to scrap the stash and virtual crop all month long so we are still going to be here – but with a new brand. The one constant is the Mission.

So right now the mood is warm and fuzzy. The anticipation for tomorrow’s announcement is mounting – we will have the opportunity to continue the mission with a whole new look and I can’t wait.

Thank you Diane for making it all possible and keeping it all possble, and thank you Sarah for encouraging me to have another crack and more recently wait for tomorrow to come!

thankyou 2

The Sisterhood

We have travelled awkwardly from Freaky Friday to Terrific Tuesday and we now can really hope for more!

I must admit, having faith in ‘administrators’ of a company I love and that (as far as I knew) was doing well economically was an extremely tough call. Especially when it was so sudden, so without warning, so devastating to 100’s of consultants and customers who had plans for their photos, parties and workshops.

What does it mean to be a scrapbooker?

What does it mean to be a scrapbooker?

My hesitation to stay rigidly hopeful came down to basic economic reasoning. A looming election and increased living costs aside, a business operates on demand and supply of a product or service. Until Freaky Friday we had a superb product and service to deliver to many who love and enjoy what we do. Our service as consultants, our lovely albums and embellishments, our signature tools, our software (my personal favourite) and our opportunities are the core ‘things’ we supply. The less tangible also matters (perhaps even more)  – our mission to ensure photos get out of boxes, off jump drives, phones, camera disks and computers and into beautiful albums to share. The Creative Memories brand is top of the range and our customers know and respect this.

With the parent company in America moving into Chapter 11 ( a course of action to deal with potential bankruptcy in America) and not being able to supply us here in Australia, in spite of ‘hope’ I was doing a mental battle over supply not meeting demand and what that would mean for us. This got worse when it became apparent the administrators in place had little care for the people that make Creative Memories Australia and New Zealand real, not just a cast of characters in a poorly performing play that can be closed down. Our top leaders were forced into a state of powerlessness and the administrator was (to me at least) not doing what they should – to work with us and help a company move forward and avoid the worst case scenarios. (I refuse to even label those)

BeliefStatement0712_20x30

To read the statements, click on the image and you will see a more readable view.

In spite of all this economic logic I could still hang on to one very intangible element of this business. We are committed to our mission. We are Independent Consultants (aka sole traders) so this IS our business. We believe what we do is extremely important and have a set of belief statements that reflect this. We believe it so much all we could do was stay positive, have faith that those who could would and meanwhile adopt a whole new strategy. Keep Calm and Scrap.

So…I did, sometimes with tears of sadness, sometimes with gratitude for the opportunities no matter the future, and sometimes with the determination that has been clearly evident in others to not let this be taken away from us!

Virtual Crop has become a regular daily feature of my life as the numbers of the Facebook group grow and scrappers all over Downunder take up the challenges and share their work and their praise for others. Regular emails from CM directors kept us up to date with what they knew, and advice on how to proceed. Consultants, including myself revised our calendars, contacted customers, spread the word of hope that our mission still mattered most and we would find a way.

I stayed strong on the outside, consoled the consultants in my team, and only really broke down once myself, grieving selfishly over the loss of long term outcomes from all the travelling I had done. Many in our CM family could potentially lose much much more as their hard work and success in the business has become their family income. Bang..like that…taken away. No notice for them – no opportunity to find alternate income sources or take a redundancy – just nothing but hope that the administrator will be fair to the customers and consultants as well as other stakeholders. This wasn’t happening.

today

Today I…a reminder to be grateful and have hope

Clearly the power of sisterhood has prevailed. Communications have been rife since Freaky Friday and the outcome of that is astounding. Consultants share stories of supportive customers, consultants supporting each other, reminding each other to stay calm, and hope things will stabilise, and dare we even – yes we will – hope that at the end of it all we will come out better at the other end.

24 hours before Tremendous Tuesday a flurry of emails, faxes, and original documents passed through the internet and Australia post. The power of a vote was at hand. Our leading directors and business manager were arming themselves to do battle with the administrators and remind them this was OUR business they were dealing with. Armed with the right information, and the required votes Leading sisters and support crew were able to vote the administrator out and send them packing. You could pretty well hear the cheers and congratulations that went around in electronic form after the announcement was made. Our sisterhood had rallied, our leaders went in on our behalf and took control back.

Similar but different. You may remember Shepparton SPC workers rallying to save the company that had employed them for so long – taking cuts in pay, leave and personally investing in what for them was their life blood. I recall how adamant they and the town were that the company had to be saved. So…it is with extreme gratitude and humility I say a resounding Thank You to all those who told me to hold tight, believe in the mission, believe in our leadership team, and trust that we are in good hands and will still have a business to be a part of . Thank you CM sisters! Keep networked, stay informed, use suggested strategies and above all else tell yourself and everyone else to just Keep Calm and scrap.

scrapbooking is

Another scrapbooking is page…it is so much I cannot say it all on just one page!

 

Our future is still foggy, but ironically and in spite of this it is very clear that the waters are calm, the compass has been correctly positioned towards a positive outcome for all of us and we still have the demand for our products and service. Plan B to supply his exists, it now has the opportunity to become a reality and we have absolutely no reason to think that it won’t happen. So go ahead – scrap your stash while we wait the future to arrive.

 

The power of the voice of the sisters in CM AU and NZ has regained control of the management of the company. At the other end of all this we may not look the same, we may not feel the same, but the mission will be just as it is now. WE believe that photos and memories need to be safely preserved, stories need to be told and we want to be the ones to help others achieves this.

Scrapbooking is...

Scrapbooking is…

Terrific Tuesday heralds a new chapter – or perhaps a new book in the CM story in Australia and New Zealand.  I want to be there – will you? If you do then stay in touch – consultant or customer. Read your emails, go to your consultant’s events and show them your support, go to team meetings if you are a consultant -we gather strength and unity- and join appropriate groups on social media such as the Summer Virtual crop group (open to everyone) and above all else ENJOY your photos and memories as you scrap your stash in the short interlude between what was and what is to be.

Go scrap sisters and say a cheer or three for our leadership team in control of our ship!

stay-calm-stay-scrappy

Stay Scrappy!

 

2

Leeches, Lemmings and Legends.

Yesteday I posted what I hope is a reasonably well controlled post about the state of affairs we Creative Memories devotess find ourseleves in. Employees, consultants and customers have been put in a holding pattern. We are advised to hold on tight  and have some faith. We are asked to give it all some time. We are asked to understand the voluntary administration is NOT Bankrupty…..it is stop for a minute while someone sorts out the mess!

If we were in an aeroplane as a seated traveller we would have no choice but to place our faith in the pilot that we will in the end land safely as the pilot negotiates conditions not in their control.

And so we do,  in very good faith. Consultants are rallying, long time consultants are being emotionally supported by long term and faithful customers and some of us are in fact being so well supported our customers are bringing NEW customers on board to help fill workshops and live, eat and breathe the spirit of scrapbooking in our workshops.

Unfortunately we are not in the air and the leeches are conning the lemmings big time.

Yes, some of you who read this and may be thinking Jen..your hope is ill founded, there is no more CM Australia. Ok then …give me the the FACTS not the emotion or claptrap. Contrary to the fact some consultants are privately moaning that there is ‘nothing left’ there IS product in the warehouse, just not our top 10 items; there is also a dedicated CONSULTANT waiting to serve you the customer and you the consultant.  In order to honour the company and the consultant sisterhood, you our valued customer, should not be turning to Ebay. I beg of you do not have your wallet sycked dry by purchasing wall st crash style. In good faith, if your consultant is ethical she is NOT selling on ebay OR profiteering. If she is,  she would be snubbed by those of us who are carrying on as best we can.

Chances are your consultant is taking stock, perhaps just like you now fossicking through that stash of yours. She is ensuring she has what she needs for her own regular and new customers and answering swap calls from sister consultants to help them supply their customers in return for product she needs for her own. She is part of a team, a network, making the most of the holding pattern. Your consultant Is a Leg! (not pronounced as l -e -g but rather l -e – j…short for legend…) and if you feel she is not ask why not. If she is honouring the company, the mission, and the future of CM Australia  New Zealand she will be doing exactly a I have described above and will not be profiteering on the shortage of pages and protectors by selling them on ebay. I bet customers are telling her right now she is a legend, when this is usually a phrase our teens and tweens would use!

And yes I get it…as a member of the public it just might be you who has excess supplies in your stash and given the situation you have decided to sell them. This is your right and I cannot deny your right to put whatever you like on Ebay. So that brings me to the bidders.

You could reasonably pay a little something more for a product that is still MADE AND SOLD in the USA. It is still available there. In Australia supplies are limited, the available inventory at the centre of distributional gone, for now, not necessarily forever! While consultants who operate their business in an ethical way are sourcing and sharing, leaders are working hard on a new business suooly and a reliabel source of albums and pages in the future. So, ALL IS NOT LOST, not yet at least.

So I ask you. Why are you purchasing from Ebay when you can get pages for the BARGAIN PRICE of their actual RETAIL VALUE from a consultant.

STOP AND THINK, please!!! Do not make like a lemming and follow the pack to Ebay and bid on pages for far more than their retail value. That is a total waste of your money…truly. Such lemming like behaviour is undignified.

Have some faith in your company, its leaders, your sister consultants, and our desire to continue to do business in an ETHICAL manner.

So…to wake up thinking about the leeches today makes me mad! They are scalpers not scrapbookers, they are leeches interested in only sucking away YOUR hard earned cash, not in helping you preserve your precious memories. I just looked – 7.35 am…

Sydney seller xandro2010 has ‘a’ pack of 12 x 12 pages . Postage is 14.95 (go Australia Post you are making a fortune too). The current bid is $157.00 for a product that retails from us, the consultants at $29. Already they have a whopping profit of $137 on just ONE pack of pages.

What?

Are you for real?

Someone has hat sort of money and stupidity? More fool you. Each of the packets of pages you are bidding on have a retail value of UNDER $30 AU – and there are consultant who have them and will sell them to you at that price.

There are 26 bids so far. The auction is still active. I do not care to look at how many bidders there are…no bones about it they are LEMMINGS, suckers, and obviously have money to throw away.

The next time a customer comments to me about the ‘expensive’ CM pages I may just say if you think RRP is expensive take a look at the bargain you are getting by comparing my price to EBAY !

This seller also claims the CM lifetime guarantee on these pages….really? That is clearly misinformation. Maybe I should dob them in to ATSIC ! Simple logic tells us that if CM Australia is under administration our guarantees are too. They may no longer be upheld. (We know now, given that there are none in the warehouse at this point in time a faulty pack of pages cannot be replaced…unless you want thin air.) This is a decision of the administrator.  If I cannot guarantee unequivocally the CM guarantee while we are on hold I for one am not using it as a plug to sell the pages. I know I don’t have to anyway. Experience tells my my CM Albums have been the best on the market from the day they became available in Australia and the quality of the product consultants like myself have in stock is the very same as the albums I made over 1o years ago. I have never had to call CM to task on the basis of their guarantee on albums, pages and protectors.

Our warehouse may be out of stock but our scrap rooms, cupboards and sheds are not. Consultants (who are not leeches profiteering with a phantom presence on Ebay) are now banding together and sharing their stock. We are swapping. As a team we believe you, our valued customers, need your pages and we are doing what we can to get them to you. All we ask is that you CALL US and give us time to source them for you. PLEASE do not be so stupid as to purchase with  lemming like behaviour the pages on Ebay at more than five times their retail price. There is no need to do this. Be Patient. allow your consultant to make suggestions to you, advise you and guide you through this fog that is administration.

While you wait…

stay in touch with your consultant

Please avoid purchasing on ebay. It does not help us and it will cost you a fortune in P and H let alone final bid price as exemplified above.

Book into a workshop with your consultant.

Make use of what is already in your stash! Get your stash out – all of it. (Be sure hubby is out when you do this or you may get into trouble!)

Enjoy the pleasure of discovering what you forgot you had!

Identify what pages and protectors and other items from CM you need and ask your consultant to do her best to source them for you. Be Patient.

use your cardstock and papers as the foundation on pages

make pages

store them in a crop box. If you don’t have one of those, store them in a pizza box or a stash supply storage container from whatever source you may have got it.

If you really really really need these pages in an album use a generic slip in one just to keep your pages safe while we wait.

I will add some images to this post later….right now I need a second coffee and a chill pill!

*goes off muttering* …$157 …really…and rumours of over $200 yesterday…what are people thinking  I am a Legend! I will attempt to supply my customers at RRP! Not ripoff prices. How un-Asutralian! …..*continues shaking head at stupidity of it all*

PS I am going to publish this now too…will return to edit typos shortly. – be patient – please feel free to comment. (all comments must be approved – C’est la Vie)

 

Jen