Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ahni and Zoe - What is it?

Ahni and Zoe by Creative Memories is the new company that cM has transformed into since it's most recent bankruptcy filing.  The company re-opened to existing consultants in November and on Jan 1, opened up to everyone else.

Below is the information listed in the "our story" section of the website.

Our Story
In 1987, Creative Memories was born when co-founders, Rhonda Anderson and Cheryl Lightle, discovered that they could help others share their memories and stories by placing photos in simple, beautiful albums.
Since that time, a revolution has taken place in the world of photos. Film was replaced by digital cameras. And, in many ways, smart phones have replaced those cameras. While the way we take photos has evolved, one thing hasn’t changed: the impact that printed photos can have when shared with family and friends. They spread joy and create smiles.
All we need is a fast, simple way to get us from click to print to share. That’s the secret. And that’s the inspiration for Ahni & Zoe.
Beyond the products, Ahni & Zoe by Creative Memories represents opportunity. Tens of thousands of women helped make Creative Memories one of the most successful and respected social selling companies in the world. And today, Consultants of all ages and from all walks of life are enriching their own lives and the lives of others through the power of photos. From stay-at-home moms to young professionals, our Consultants are truly fueling the Ahni & Zoe mission by seizing the moments that make up their beautiful lives.
Both the A&Z line and opportunity are designed for those with lots of ambition, but not a lot of time. It’s products & parties. Photos & friends. It’s Ahni & Zoe – a new destination for capturing, organizing and celebrating your beautiful life through photos. 

Ahni and Zoe carries print photo album supplies (the albums, the pages, and a means to attach photos to the pages - aka the tape runner).

There are two main types of photo albums.  The first is the Fast2Fabulous album.  The album comes with pages and protectors and looks pretty similar to their original strap hinge scrapbook style albums.  

The F2Fs come with the coversets you see above which each include their own pack of pre-designed pages as well as a pack of page protectors.  Pages typically fit 2-3 photos in uncropped 4X6 size.

If you wish to have more pages in your album, you can purchase an additional page set (includes protectors) either a set that's identical to the ones that came with your album or a set from another album design.

Many of the coversets have words or phrases.  None are a plain solid color. The company may offer additional album styles in the future.

The differences between these albums and the cM albums of late?  

  1. The coverset (album exterior) is no longer made of book cloth, it's shinier and feels like a slick faux-leather.
  2. The interior pages are all pre-designed and each contains a printed photo holder spot where you are to attach your 4X6 photo.
  3. I am unsure at this time as to whether the albums sold by A&Z follow the ISO standards for photo safety.

The second type of album (actually the same album as above, strap-hinge, with a different interior page concept) is similar to the old picfolio style. 

What's different from the PicFolio?
  1. The slip in the slot pages are all 12X12, the individual slot choices are 1 big 12X12 sized pocket, 6 horizontal 4X6 pockets or 6 vertical 4X6 pockets.  You can purchase a set of slide pages that includes a pocket page choice from the three choices mentioned.
  2. There is no photo holder liner in the new pages between the two sides of the photo holder slot. If you have one photo in a slot, the other side will show the back of that photo.  Obviously, you put two back to back photos in each slot.
  3. There are no different sized slots - all are 4X6
  4. The plastic pages appear thinner than the old ones
  5. The album is no longer leatherette and it comes in two colors, black and greige.
Pages from both F2F and "slide (aka PicFolio)" albums are 12X12 and can be combined in the same album and interspersed in any order.

Aside from albums, A&Z offers a tape runner with a drop-in refill and two pens.

The concept is simple - use printed 4X6 photos, add them to the photo holders on the pages using the tape runner and caption where needed using the pens.  The album is meant to be completed quickly in only a few hours. There is no longer a need to purchase tools, paper, stickers or other traditional scrapbook supplies to complete an album.  Since the concept is so simple, albums can be completed with no learning curve and no assistance from a consultant.  Further, albums can easily be completed at home in a small space and workshops are no longer necessary.

In addition to it's albums, A&Z offers a few other products and an iphone app for editing, storing and printing photos.  I will discuss those other products in a future post.

The business concept of the new company also has a new slant, I will discuss that in future posts.

If you wish to purchase products from A&Z, you can attend a hosted party, buy from an A&Z consultant or purchase online from the company itself.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

SBC 4 Snowshoe Pages

I got a new laptop in mid-December.

As Storybook Creator software activations taken over by Panstoria ended on 12/31/13, I was of course re-activating my own software packages on that last day.  All went well except I realize that on my new computer Memory Manager will never contain the Perfectly Clear editing package.  It's still working fine on my old laptop but on the new one, the PC relationship w/ cM ended a few months ago tho. Panstoria still had rights to activate the software.

I COULD upgrade right away to Historian software by Panstoria, but they don't have the Perfectly Clear package included with their software either.  So for now, I'll go back to my manual editing tools - maybe I'll learn more about how to use them - I do use them, but have gotten lazy of late.

It's been a while since I made any SBC pages of my life.  I take photos, post on fb, organize on Mem Mgr and unless I have a digital scrapbooking project of my own (as opposed to the clients I make albums for), they sit in my memory vault.  Yesterday, I decided to make some pages of some recent photos and post the pages vs. just the photos to my facebook feed.  It was fun.

I kept the pages VERY simple and told the story of my outing with text.

The story was of a snowshoe adventure and the pages were fun to make and to look at.  I am going to try to post pages rather than just photos in the future.  After all, when I do have a project, they will already be finished pages that I can use!

Here are my pages, enjoy:

PS.  My new laptop is LOVELY.  It's a custom build Toshiba P50-A.  While I decided to go w/ a 15" screen for portability, I plan to invest in a lovely giant screen to use when I'm doing heavy duty digi-scrapping at home.  If you have questions about what I put in my laptop, I'm happy to pow wow with you about it.  I am in LOVE with my backlit keyboard.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Keeping Blog Amidst the Changes

So I wasn't sure what to do with this blog.  Originally I used this to post digital and traditional scrapbooking ideas associated to my job as a Creative Memories consultant.

I haven't posted here since November because I wasn't sure how to utilize the blog but I do plan to continue with it- tho. slightly changed.

If you have no idea why I have to make adjustments, it's because the company that I worked for as a consultant for 11 years is NO MORE.  Yep - if you don't already know this, Creative Memories has ceased to exist.  It has sort of been replaced by a spin off company Ahni and Zoe.  At this time, I am still a consultant with Ahni and Zoe.  All consultants had the opportunity to migrate to the new company.

However, Ahni and Zoe is a vastly different company than Creative Memories with respect to its products and services so I'm not quite sure how or if the new off-shoot will fit into my life - I'm still pondering that.

I do want to inform any faithful blog followers that I still plan to use this blog to inspire you to organize and preserve your family's photo memories as well as offer you resources for doing things with your photos.  I would like to address as many options as I can and explore more as I find and try them.

For now, my next post will tell you a bit about Ahni and Zoe - about what it is and what it isn't - about how I will utilize it and how I will not - about what it will offer and how to take advantages (or not) of those offerings.  First things first, I will re-design my blog to more reflect its new purpose without taking away the vast resources of scrapbook information that it already contains.

Stay tuned, in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger..."I'll be bahk"
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