Today I want to answer a few questions that I have received lately from several of you. These questions involve Creative Memories - in particular, the exclusive Cricut cartridges and the digital photo organizing and scrapbooking programs.
If you follow the news in the business side of the world of crafting, you have probably heard about two recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filings. Creative Memories (direct sales) filed about a month ago and Archiver's (retail store) filed a few weeks ago. Chapter 11 is the form of bankruptcy that allows for reorganization of a company under the supervision of the court with the intention of continuing in business. This is the second time in five years that Creative Memories has filed for Chapter 11 protection.
What does this mean to the people who buy Creative Memories products? If you go to the home page of my website HERE and look near the bottom there is a link for "Restructuring News" (just below the blue line on the left side). Creative Memories has told consultants that it is business as usual - orders are being placed and filled just like before the filing. However, a number of products are in limited availability or "while supplies last" and many products will not be returning to the line. As I understand it, the plan is to greatly simplify the company and to offer a much smaller range of products. Albums, pages and protectors - the core items from the early days of the company should continue to be available along with a limited range of additional necessary supplies for album making.
I have been listening to the consultant webinars and it is my understanding that items like the Cricut cartridges will no longer be sold. At the time I am writing this, there are five cartridges listed on my CM personal website - Be Young, Divine Wedding, Reminisce Accents, Stork's Delivery and Cheerful Seasons. All of them could be added to the shopping bag but when Cheerful Seasons is added it shows up with the shipping date "not available" and a $0 charge in the cart - so it may be gone.
|some of the images on the Total Sports cartridge|
A new cartridge, Total Sports, was just released this month. For some reason it is not listed on the same page with the other cartridges but you can find it HERE. There a "look book" available HERE and you can also see all of the images in the Cricut Craftroom, but I can't find a link to the full handbook. I do not know how many of these cartridges are available but the last new cartridge, Tiny Treasures, sold out very quickly.
I do not know if these cartridges will ever become available again, through Cricut.com or other sites. I imagine it depends on the terms of the exclusivity agreement for the cartridges and could be affected by what happens with the bankruptcy proceedings. If there were any of the cartridges that you were planning to buy, it would probably be best to get them now, while you can. Some of the cartridges that aren't available on the website may be in the inventory of individual consultants so you could try checking locally. If you don't have a local consultant and want to order through my website I'd be happy to help you with any additional questions.
Since I have been sharing my Layout a Day pages I have also been getting questions about the software that I use for my digital scrapping. I use the Creative Memories Memory Manager program to edit and organize my photos and the StoryBook Creator program to make pages and do all sorts of other creative projects.
|screen shot of my embellishments created from photos|
The pink and yellow rose page above was created from two photographs that I took of full blooming flowers. I can save my images in the Storybook program and use them to create new designs and patterns (the flowers above are saved as embellishments in my content files).
The information I have seen from Creative Memories has stated that digital offerings will be part of the reorganized company but this could change. I certainly hope that these programs will continue to be available and will be updated and supported - I use them nearly every day and rely on them. I'll keep you informed with any news that I hear.
At this time, there is no way of knowing for sure what the outcome of the bankruptcy proceeding will be and how the "new" Creative Memories will look. There is a possibility that the Chapter 11 reorganization will become a liquidation if things don't work out. I would not like to see this happen but it is a possibility.
In order to "be prepared" (remember, I am a Scout Mom!) I am checking on all of my albums and pages to be sure that everything matches up so that I can complete any albums that I have on hand. I am also using my product credits as quickly as possible even if the expiration dates are later this year. If you have album coversets without pages, you might want to consider ordering what you need to complete the albums. Once again if you don't have a local consultant and need help, you can order from my CM personal website and let me know if you need any help.
I know that some of you took advantage of the free class offering at Craftsy - so what are you learning about? Leave a comment and let me know!
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