Feb 27, 2009

SPECIAL Limited Time Sale Price Adjustment for Crafter's Companion products

Well, I've gotten several emails alerting me to a special sale, so in order to try to price match as closely as possible for the Event sale today on one of the major networks for the UCC (Ultimate Crafter's Companion) I'm offering the UCC at a limited time price of $52.50 TOTAL--which includes Priority shipping w/tracking (within the USA). Also, for this limited event, I've dropped the price (again!!)on the Rock-A-Blocks(RAB) to $20.99 TOTAL--which includes Priority shipping w/tracking (within the USA).

To take advantage of this, please click on the "BUY NOW" Button--Now MOVED to the very TOP RIGHT column of my blog--please, only use those because they're the ONLY ones with the special event sale pricing.

Thank you VERY much for your business!!

Feb 22, 2009

BLOG CANDY Give-Away--made easier!! Plus, if you're a "FOLLOWER" of my blog- new & exciting info in this thread (hint: your votes=more entries!)

(This blog thread is to summarize and hopefully, make it easier for all of you to enter here to win my BLOG CANDY Give-Away.)

Ohhhh, thank GOODNESS--now, finally: BACK TO CRAFTING!!! I've been soooo busy with all the orders for the Crafter's Companion products (thank you!!!) over the past week, I haven't been able to craft ANYTHING worthwhile. But I've been musing & thinking about what type of tutorials/projects I wanted to start with here on my blog (BESIDES the obvious, which are the Ultimate Crafter's Companion and the Rock-A-Blocks!!!), & of course, because I am the original "Gadget Queen", who loves ALL gadgets & tools, most the things that popped into my mind were about different crafting "tools". Several of the ones ones that came to mind were those I think many of us bought with great enthusiasm when they were first released, but now, may not be getting as much use as they could be, or they may actually be gathering dust!!! In this economy, I think it's more important than ever that we get our money's worth out the tools we have sitting here!!!

So with that in mind, I've put together a partial list & what I want you to do is to vote for your TOP 3 (and BTW, if there's something else that I don't have listed here that you'd like to see, feel free to substitute your suggestion for mine!!). To vote, just go to the COMMENTS section at the end of this thread & post a COMMENT--(and you may enter more than once!!!). That will automatically enter you in my BLOG CANDY Give-Away (and it's a REALLY GOOD one!!!).

***Also, if you've already signed up to be a "FOLLOWER" of my blog, or if you're signing up to be a "FOLLOWER" now, be sure to put the word: "FOLLOWER" in your comment, because that will automatically count your one (1) vote entry as five (5) vote entries for the BLOG CANDY!!! YAAAAAHHHOOOO!!!

So, get ready to go to the COMMENTS Section now & VOTE!!!! Here's the list:




  1. ANYTHING to do with the Cricut/Expression machines (as well as MOST of the cartridges--believe it or not, there are still a few cartridges that I don't own, LOL!!!)--but, I don't want to re-create the wheel, because as we well know, there are several amazing Cricut Videos already up on my good friend, Robyn's blog (The Pink Stamper). But I'd like to hear what other things you'd like to have help with, or understand better, that haven't been explored as of yet. And please, try to be as specific as possible as to what it is you want help with with/more information on.
  2. ANYTHING to do with the Cuttlebug.
  3. The "correct/easier" use of certain punches (border punches, the Corner Adorner/Card Creator punches, etc.).
  4. The Making Memories Tag Maker.
  5. The Fastenator (Stapler).
  6. The Perfect Layers Tools.
  7. The Perfect Printing Pouch or the Embossing Buddy/Embossing Magic pouches.
  8. That ATG gun you just HAD to have--how to use it without any ATG "boogers".
  9. The Tagger Tool (from Around the Block, or there's also another one from a different manufacturer as well).
  10. The Basic Grey Notch & Die Cutting Tool and/or the Making Memories Ribbon/Slot Punch.
  11. The Bind-It-All and/or the DreamKuts machines from Zutter.
  12. The Xyron Design Runner.

There's my dozen possibilities. (Besides the tutorial I'm ALREADY working on for you that's NOT listed here!!!) You may also substitute another subject not already on my list for one of your own!!! Now I'd like to hear from you, so let your votes be heard!!!

Enter by POSTING A COMMENT in the COMMENTS section just below here. Once again, please enter your TOP 3 tutorial requests by entering their item number & the item description of the three you'd to see explored the most. Be SURE to rank them in the order of importance to you. I'll tabulate the results & from there, will begin creating those tutorials you want most!!!

And remember, posting your comment will enter you in my BLOG CANDY giveaway here!!!

***(Also remember that if you're a "FOLLOWER" of my blog (already, or if you've just signed up to be one now) be sure to put the word "FOLLOWER" in your comment somewhere & that will count your one (1) entry as five (5) entries for the BLOG CANDY!!! So come on, GO VOTE!!!!

Feb 20, 2009

BLOG CANDY Give away--BUT--You HAVE to vote to be entered!!!

OK, I've heard from a couple friends that they're not quite sure how to vote in order to be entered in my BLOG CANDY give away, so let me clarify---all you have to do is go into the previous post (from Feb 19th), scroll down thru that article about halfway or so (BELOW where the "BUY NOW" buttons are!), read the rest of the article, then go & VOTE by posting a comment under COMMENTS (located at the very bottom/underneath the article/thread/post)!!! That's it!!!

Or, if it's easier for you, you may also vote by posting a comment at the end of this thread!!! And remember, if there's something you want to see, or get help with that is NOT showing in my list, please--feel free to substitute the subject you want instead!!! Please don't forget to rank the TOP 3 in the order of importance to you!!!!

So, come on, get voting!!!!!

Feb 19, 2009

Orders are STILL coming in-Now added the "BUY NOW" buttons to simplify the process!!! Also, PLEASE Vote on your Tutorial requests-For BLOG CANDY!!!

Well, once again, first I want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, because the orders are STILL coming in for both the Ultimate Crafter's Companion & the Rock-A-Blocks!!! I am truly humbled!!! I've placed yet ANOTHER re-order with the manufacturer & am waiting for my re-orders to arrive!!!

In the meantime, in order to simplify the process for EVERYONE, I've added some "BUY NOW Buttons" from PayPal, which will simplify the process for ALL of us!!!

To recap, I absolutely fell in LOVE with these 2 products when I saw them at CHA, & because I really believed in them, decided to place orders for both of them. That original quantity was all I ever intended to deal with. Well, the quantity I originally ordered from the manufacturer were just blown out the doors from the moment I offered them on my blog. Then, because soooo many people still wanted them, I went ahead & placed re-orders for both products & am now waiting for my shipments to arrive. At first, I intended to just have folks send me an email to place their orders, but now, it has almost become unmanagable that way, because there were multiple steps for everyone involved. I talked with PayPal today & their recommendation was that I put the "BUY NOW Buttons" on my blog, which allow folks to pay immediately thru PayPal, or to use other methods, (even if they don't have a PayPal account!!!). I just want to make sure everyone knows that at the time of this posting, I'm awaiting the arrival of the shipments of my re-orders (these order have been placed & fully paid for by me already!!!), I have no product left in stock, but, this manufacturer does ship very FAST. So when you click on your "BUY NOW Buttons", your PayPal payment RESERVES the product for you & I will ship it out to you as soon as they arrive from the manufacturer. Because these are going thru PayPal, you are FULLY protected.

AND BTW, if you've ALREADY placed your order through the email option I'd offered previously, don't worry, I have all those emails. If you've already received a PayPal (or other) invoice from me, just respond to that invoice as per normal & pay it as you usually do with your PayPal invoices. You do NOT have to go in & click the "BUY NOW Buttons", because if you've received a PayPal invoice, your order is ALREADY in the pipeline!!!

Here's a recap on the pricing:

- The Ultimate Crafter's Companion: Total price, includes USA shipping with tracking: $56.05







- Rock-A-Blocks (set of 4 blocks--see sizes listed above): Total price, includes USA shipping with tracking: $21.27







For all the details about why I am SOOOOOO in LOVE with these products, (as well as 2 videos I made about the products at the CHA Convention / the Craft & Hobby Association), click here for the post where you can find out EVERYTHING!!!

So now let's talk about crafting!!! I've been soooo busy with all the orders for the Crafter's Companion products (thank you!!!) over the past week, I haven't been able to craft ANYTHING worthwhile. But last night I was thinking about what type of tutorials/projects I wanted to start with here on my blog (BESIDES the obvious, which are the Ultimate Crafter's Companion and the Rock-A-Blocks!!!), & of course, because I am the original "Gadget Queen", who loves ALL gadgets & tools, everything that popped into my mind were about different crafting tools. The ones that came to mind were ones I think many of us bought with great enthusiasm when they were first released, but now, they may not be getting as much use as they could be, or they may actually be gathering dust!!! In this economy, I think it's time we get our money's worth out the tools we have sitting here!!! Here's some of the ones I was thinking about:

  1. ANYTHING to do with the Cricut/Expression machines (as well as MOST of the cartridges--believe it or not, there are still a few cartridges that I don't own, LOL!!!)--but, I don't want to re-create the wheel, because as we well know, there are several amazing Cricut Videos already up on my good friend, Robyn's blog (The Pink Stamper). But I'd like to hear what other things you'd like to have help with, or understand better, that haven't been explored as of yet. And please, try to be as specific as possible as to what it is you want help with with/more information on.
  2. ANYTHING to do with the Cuttlebug.
  3. The "correct/easier" use of certain punches (border punches, the Corner Adorner/Card Creator punches, etc.).
  4. The Making Memories Tag Maker.
  5. The Fastenator (Stapler).
  6. The Perfect Layers Tools.
  7. The Perfect Printing Pouch or the Embossing Buddy/Embossing Magic pouches.
  8. That ATG gun you just HAD to have--how to use it without any ATG "boogers".
  9. The Tagger Tool (from Around the Block, or there's also another one from a different manufacturer as well).
  10. The Basic Grey Notch & Die Cutting Tool and/or the Making Memories Ribbon/Slot Punch.
  11. The Bind-It-All and/or the DreamKuts machines from Zutter.
  12. The Xyron Design Runner.

So there's my dozen possibilities. Now I'd like to hear from you, so let your votes be heard!!! Enter by POSTING A COMMENT in the COMMENTS section just below here. Please enter your TOP 3 tutorial requests by entering their item number & the item description of the three you'd to see explored the most. Be SURE to rank them in the order of importance to you.

I'll tabulate the results & from there, will begin creating those tutorials you want most!!! And posting your comment will enter you in a BLOG CANDY giveaway here!!!

Feb 17, 2009

And I'm STILL taking orders!!! Thank you sooooo much!!!

Well, another day, another update on the products that I've been offering here on my blog under this post. The orders are still coming in (thank you very much!!!), so if you're still interested, I have placed "re-orders" with the manufacturer for both products. All orders, including the originals, are being filled & processed in the chronological order that they were received in my email at www.glendascreativeplace.blogspot.com, (and then of course upon receipt of your payment from PayPal).

**** NEW INFO***: I've now included the BUY NOW Buttons in the post below, so this is NOW the correct way to order these products from me--please, going forward, do NOT send your orders to my email!****
Even after placing my re-orders, there is still a limited amount of product available, so be sure to let me know ASAP if you want to order & reserve either the Ultimate Crafter's Companion or the amazing Rock-A-Blocks. (See my earlier post & videos for detailed descriptions & information about each!!!)

I've had some questions about what the difference is between the Ultimate Crafter's Companion (UCC) & the Ultimate Crafter's Companion PRO (UCC PRO), which is sold in the UK. I double checked with the manufacturer & they told me the main difference is just in the name--they added the word "PRO" to the end of the name when the product was re-launched in the UK. And of course the other obvious difference would be that the USA version of the UCC has the measurements geared towards what we use here in the USA (example: US Letter size...), & the UCC PRO has the measurements geared towards those that are used in the UK. Otherwise, everything else in both units are the same, per the manufacturer.

I can't tell you how much I'm loving these Rock-A-Blocks & why I can't believe that some1 hasn't come up w/something to solve this problem B-4 this!!! It's GENIUS!!! I can't wait until they come out w/the REALLY large block, the one that should be able to hold the really huge background stamps, like the ones that Fancy Pants comes out with (you can hear me ask her about it & her response in the the video)!!! I never seem to be able to get the pressure even on those big stamps & that's what these RABs do, is help you get even pressure, as well as prevent ink gunk from ending up all over your paper. The RABs are going to help people who have trouble getting clear and consistent stamped images. They'll be very helpful for stampers who have trouble stamping larger images. Some stampers also find that holding flat acrylic blocks firmly enough to stamp a regular image can be difficult - particularly stampers with weak hands. The manufacturer, Crafter's Companion, recommends this product for people with dexterity problems. As you can see, I am STILL in love with this product, as well as the Ultimate Crafter's Companion. They're both just sooooo helpful!!! So if anyone still needs to order either of these, plz click the BUY NOW Buttons in the post below, which includes all the details, information & pricing by just clicking here to go to the main article about them on my BLOG.

Again, I want to thank all of you for your support & for your product orders. And if you still want to place any orders, please click the BUY NOW Buttons in the earlier post. I've been overwhelmed by your kindness!!! It means a LOT to me!!! Thank you again!!!

Feb 16, 2009

WOW, WOW, THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!

I want to update the status of the products I have in stock. I've been jam-packed with order requests for both the Rock-A-Blocks(RAB) plus the Ultimate Crafter's Companion (UCC). The orders are coming from here on my BLOG, plus from the Cricut MB, as well as folks who have just found me thru my videos on You Tube. (Please see the article here below to see the videos as well as all the pricing & ordering information!!)

So, obviously my original quantities of both products are long gone, however, I've re-ordered both, so, if anyone else is interested, PLEASE click the BUY NOW Buttons below in this post. Upon receipt of your PayPal payment, your pruduct will be reserved for you (as many of you have already found out, these products keep selling out everywhere they've been featured!!) If you need to send me an email for any other reason, please send to to: my email at www.glendascreativeplace.blogspot.com . (But you do NOT need to send me an email to place an order-the BUY NOW Buttons are now doing that for us both now in the earlier post!!)

As far as the pricing I have for them, my prices are actually right in line with what HSN had them offered for B-4 they sold out, & believe me, with the discounts they get for the quantities of the products that they order at HSN, plus the massive discounts I'm sure they get on their shipping (compared to a little person like me!!!), I already discounted BOTH of these a LOT to keep them in line with their posted prices----I'm definitely not listing them for what their MSRP is. I just want to make sure all you know that I'm very serious about this & therefore I made sure my prices were totally fair compared to what else is out there.

(BTW, the shipping charges I listed were for within the USA only, if you're in Canada, you will need to email me, so I can check out the shipping prices to Canada--please include your FULL shipping address!!!)

I really appreciate your support in this, my first online sales venture. I'm dipping my toe in the water to test it out & hopefully it will be supported by the folks I'm started doing all this for. It seems the next natural progression. Many of you know that we've owned a store here (for about eleven years now!!!) which is a family business, & I've also been researching ways to bring parts of that online as well, so based on how this part (the crafting part!!) of it goes, I'd love to be able to do them both at about the same time. I just have to make sure it's going to be cost effective to do so.

So, I just want to make sure everyone knows how much I appreciate the orders you've placed (and are STILL placing!!). Thanks again & hoping for more success for all of us going forward. I've heard sooooo many kind things from so many of you out there who've appreciated what I've tried to do here (so far!!!). I'm really hoping that I haven't even scratched the surface yet & that this blog will evolve into something that helps us all become much better crafters. I also hope it will help us become not just BETTER, but also, more efficient & therefore more proficient crafters!!!!!

So thanks again so much for all your support & don't forget to click the BUY NOW Buttons in the post below.

Feb 15, 2009

More CHA Videos, plus more

Hi all!!! Hoping all of you had a lovely Valentine's Day weekend!!

I thought I'd come in here & add some more CHA videos I finally got uploaded. Plus, I went into my last post from Feb 13th to edit it in order to add one more video I'd done the day B-4 from the Crafter's Companion folks. In that video, a couple of my other Cricut Message Boards friends (Nilda & TerriKrafts) were introduced to these products & one of the greatest advertisements for the Rock-A-Block product occurred out of a simple stamper's mishap (oh yaaaaa, we've ALL had THAT happen!!)!! BUT, what should have ended in disaster ends instead in a perfectly stamped image. Go & see what I'm talking about in my last post!!! (Where you can also find all the details about how to order these products!!!)

So what I'm uploading today are:

1) A video tour of the amazing Basic Grey booth (which was requested by Okie, who is yet another Cricut Message Board member & friend)--I still can't believe some of these projects were crafted out of scrapbook paper!!! Some of them will just BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!


2) Some brand new Cricut storage that's being released mid-March (or so). I honestly ran into this booth at CHA by complete accident. I was wandering past & I saw some Cricut cartridges inside these storage containers, so I went in to investigate. I was in shock & I asked the gentleman in the booth, what are you doing with these Cricut cartridges??? He proceeded to explain it all to me & I was SOOOOO excited. I'd heard a lot about this company, named ScrapOnizer, from CHA last year (2008)--there was a LOT of buzz then about their new organizing products (in fact, they won 2 awards at that show!!), & since then , I'd seen ads for their products in different trade publications & crafting magazines. But this was the first time I'd really seen their products in person. And I certainly had NO IDEA they were going to launch some more organizing components that would house the Cricut cartridges, handbooks & overlays. And what's great is that these components fit into the existing storage units the company already has out there, so anyone who might already own this organizing system, these Cricut components will just fit right in with what they already have!! I was like a kid in a candy store. Then ScrappinKitty (from the Cricut Message Board) caught up up with me when I was in their booth & I tell you what, I wish with all my heart that I'd had my video camera turned on when she walked in & saw that Cricut storage sitting there because her reaction was absolutely PRICELESS!!! She was so excited (just like I'd been when I first walked in!!!). In fact I was so busy talking about the future of the product with the gentleman in the booth, I almost completely forgot to even do a video of it!! But then I regained my sanity (momentarily of course!!!), so here's the video of the new Cricut storage:



And once again, if you're interested in any of the Crafter's Companion products, I have them for sale, so here's the information again:

Here's the pricing:

- The Ultimate Crafter's Companion: Total price, includes USA shipping with tracking: $56.05







- Rock-A-Blocks (set of 4 blocks--see sizes listed above): Total price includes USA shipping with tracking: $21.27







So, if you want to place an order, please click the BUY NOW Buttons above. If you need to send me an email for any other reason, sendto me at: my email at www.glendascreativeplace.blogspot.com. (If you can't get the clickable email to work, try glendascreativeplace@yahoo.com, but the link should now be fixed!!) It will be first come, first serve. Upon receipt of your PayPal payment, and the re-orders being delivered to me (and they've ALREADY been shipped!!), I'll mail out your cool new tools ASAP!!!

For more detailed information about these products, please see my last post.

Feb 13, 2009

I just LOVE these products!!! (See below for info on how to get your hands on them!!)

Wow!! Do you stamp, or do you want to? Do you want to be a faster card-maker, or bump up the appearance of your cards a notch or two?? Well, no matter if you're a seasoned stamper or card-maker, or someone who really wants to try it, but might be fearful because they're worried if anything goes wrong, it will mess up their project. Are you an experienced card-maker or maybe you want to learn how to start making cards, or just somewhere in between?? Well, I've found the answer to help you with both of these issues.

So, let's talk about stamping first. Over-inking (which means getting the ink on the surface of your block, NOT just on your stamp!!) is the main cause for messing up any stamping. Anyone who has ever stamped anything has had this unfortunate occurrence, where you end up w/ink blotches on your good paper--and it's HEART-BREAKING!!! FINALLY, someone has come up with a solution for this. The company is Crafter's Companion and the product is their Rock-A-Blocks. The secret is in the design of the actual blocks & they make stamping just sooooo easy & mess-free, it's amazing. I personally am a "heavy handed" stamper, so I have to be VERY careful that I never have any ink anywhere on my blocks, (except for where it belongs, which is on my stamps!). But now that I have the Rock-A-Blocks, this is no longer a concern for me. They come in a set of 4 blocks. The sizes listed on the packaging are: 6 x 4", 6 x 1 1/4", 4 x 3", 1 1/2 x 1".

I wanted to mention a couple other things about the Rock-A-Blocks. They're going to help people who have trouble getting clear and consistent stamped images. They'll be very helpful for stampers who have trouble stamping larger images. Some stampers also find that holding flat acrylic blocks firmly enough to stamp a regular image can be difficult - particularly stampers with weak hands. The manufacturer, Crafter's Companion, recommends this product for people with dexterity problems. (Oh, I just can't say enough good things about these products, I am so enamored with them.)

Next up, the same company has another amazing product called the Ultimate Crafter's Companion. It's a self-contained, all-in-one, compact carry-case, which allows you to score, measure, trim, embellish & create boxes, shaped card blanks, envelopes & so much more... The unit encompasses all these different surfaces for scoring, embossing, it helps you make complicated cards & other projects in minutes, when they'd normally take hours to create. Are you ready??
Here's some of the functions of this unit:
- Card maker
- Envelope maker/scorer
- Box maker/folder
- Envelobox creator
- Decorative lines & corners
- Pop out & K-card creator
- Bow maker
- Built-in paper trimmer
- Storage compartments
***--PLUS, it includes the 2 1/2 hour DVD, which walks you thru using each portion of the unit, plus it's packed with step by step projects. And when I say step by step, I really mean it, because in her project tutorials, the instructor walks you thru the entire creation of the project, every step of the way. I appreciate that, because I see far too many tutorials that perhaps "assume" that the end user has more knowledge than what they may in fact have. I really like that in this DVD, they show the completed projects from beginning to end, with nothing skipped in the process.

People who don't even know HOW to make a card, can be up & running, making cards in just minutes. And for those who already know how to make a card, it just allows you to accomplish things so much faster, because it basically takes the step of having to measure most things out of your hands, so put away your rulers!!!

This tool is surprisingly lighter than it appeared to be at first & is a nice compact size. I like that everything is all self-contained within it---in other words, everything has a place/a nest that it fits into within the unit. Which is great, so you don't end up losing or misplacing parts of it here & there. It's compact enough to slip under your desk & is made to be able to take with you to crops or other crafting events.

I liked both of these tools so much when I saw them at CHA, I decided to stock a small amount of both, to make it easier for my MB folks and followers of my blog to get their hands on them at a fair price (see below the video for pricing & ordering information).

I want to thank one of my Cricut Message Board friends, ScrappinKitty for helping me out with this video (you can hear her in the video itself!!).



Editing here to add the other video I have from the day B-4 of these same products. Two of my other Cricut Message Board friends are observed in this new video trying out the product!! And what I love the most is the unscripted accident that occurs which actually results in a perfect end, all because of how this product, the Rock-A-Blocks actually perform!! Take a look at it please. (And thanks to Nilda & TerriKrafts for allowing me to film them there!!!)




Here's the pricing:

- The Ultimate Crafter's Companion: Total price, includes USA shipping with tracking: $56.05







- Rock-A-Blocks (set of 4 blocks--see sizes listed above): Total price, includes USA shipping with tracking: $21.27





So, if you want to place an order, please click the BUY NOW Buttons above. If you need to email me for ANY OTHER reason, send to me at: my email at www.glendascreativeplace.blogspot.com. (If you can't get the clickable email to work, try glendascreativeplace@yahoo.com, but the link should now be fixed!!)
It will be first come, first serve. Upon receipt of your PayPal payment & delivery of my next shipment from the manufacturer (which have already been shipped out to me!!), I'll mail out your cool new tools ASAP!!! Your PayPal payment reserves your product for you, because as many of you have already discovered, these keep selling out EVERYWHERE they're featured!!!

P.S. If any of you are wondering why I've put the "Property of.." info/disclaimer at the beginning of this video, it's because people have been hijacking my previous videos, putting them on their own blogs/websites/other message boards with NO MENTION that they're the work of someone else, they've given me NO credit as the author, nor have they even put a link to my blog, showing where the videos came from. I was a bit shocked & hurt to find all this out, after I'd done all this work to try to put together all this information for my fellow Message Board folks & my blog followers. I've taken a great deal of my personal time to seek out these interviews, film them, edit them, do a written summary of them, upload them to You Tube & my blog, etc. I guess it wouldn't bother me quite so much if they would at LEAST credit me as the author (plus put a link back to the original post), but I can't stand that some folks are making it look like they're the ones who found out all this info!!!

Anyway, sorry for my rant, but I guess this was a big lesson in Blogging 101 for me. But it still shocks me. What I'm trying to accomplish in this ever-evolving & growing blog is to make it a place where we'll all hopefully learn some things along the way. I want to help ALL of us become better crafters, including myself. I absolutely LOVE to teach and I love to share. I just can't stand to have people take my work & claim it as their own...

Feb 6, 2009

Finally-Here's all the Cricut News from CHA!! New 2009 cartridges, Design studio, Rewards Program, etc.

First let me say I’m sorry I’m late getting this posted for you. To make a very long story short, my car was involved in a fire while it was in the mechanic’s shop (minding its own business getting a tune-up!!) on Jan 20th & I’ve had to take on a full time job fighting with a lot of incompetent insurance folks ever since, just to determine the fate of my car (which was stuck up on the mechanic’s lift with no wheels when the fire started on the ground below). Because the fire was raging & had plenty of fuel around it, the firemen had to shut off the electricity to the building while fighting the fire, so my car’s been stuck up there on the lift until late last Fri, Jan 3oth, when it was finally towed late in the day to my insurance’s mechanic/body shop). So, because I’ve been just trying to get people to actually do the jobs they should have been doing, I’ve been tied up, not to mention stressed out, which is making me truthfully physically sick!!! And since Jan 20th, I’ve been trying to find out if I still actually even have a car (which I’ve had since it was brand new when my DH brought it home for me as a surprise, which BTW, is totally paid for—so I have NO car payment; plus my car only has about 36,000 miles on it & has been virtually trouble-free thru out its life) & until today, which is Feb. 6th, all this time, I’ve not known the fate of my car. The sad end of this story is that I was finally told today that my poor car has been deemed a total loss, due to not only all the cosmetic damages, but what they found yesterday when they were finally able to get a really good look underneath, where it suffered much more extensive damage than what was initially thought before they got it back up onto another lift. Apparently, the wiring & the computers underneath the car are all badly burnt up, not to mention all the cosmetic burn damage (plus the dings & dents all over it from parts of the building’s roof falling down on it!!). So while I was nowhere near my car, where it was sitting, minding its own business just getting serviced, my car & I have become total victims & now I have to figure out in this bad economy, if I really want to burden my family with a car payment, which was no where in my financial plan for at least a couple more years!!! So, again sorry I’ve been AWOL from my blog & the MB, but it’s been due to circumstances beyond my control!!!!

So I’m back now & here’s PART 1 of the interview I’ve been telling all of you about. This is the interview with Provo Craft I did at the CHA Convention where I heard all kinds of interesting information about the Cricut cartridges that are coming out for 2009, about why they’re doing so many licensed cartridges, about the fate of the much awaited (by the Cricut MB anyway!!!) Paper Dolls Dress Up-#2, about the possibility of a follow up for cat lovers to Paper Pups by David Walker & more. You will hear all that on this video clip.

Sadly, what you won’t hear is the other almost 12 minutes that were on a second video clip that I had from when I decided to continue my interview after signing off on the above clip. On the 2nd clip, I picked up asking him more questions that I’d just realized I’d forgotten, having to do with the future of the Cricut Design Studio software, about the too high shipping charges on the Cricut Rewards program & more about the push towards licensed cartridges, as well as once again, whether or not they actually pay any attention to what we have to say on the Cricut MB about the products WE’RE asking for. Somewhere & somehow (I don’t know how!!!) between transferring video clips from my desktop to my new laptop, when the transfers were done, I was missing four (4) video clips & one of those was the secondary/follow-up interview (henceforth to be called Part 2: The Missing Interview!!) with the Provo Craft rep. So although it won’t be in video form & it won’t be word for word, after watching this first video which does have a lot of good Cricut info on it, please read the text of the remainder of this post, which will follow below the clip.



PART 2: THE MISSING INTERVIEW

I asked about the future of the Cricut Design Studio Software (aka CDS, aka DS), when we might expect a new update, would it include a “SELECT ALL” or a “GROUP” feature (which we’ve been begging for since it was introduced). The answer given was we might not see those things in the “current form” we know as Design Studio. I then asked if that meant they were going to get an entirely NEW software package & although he was being a bit guarded in his answers, he did acknowledge that was the direction it seemed they were headed. So I then asked why don’t they just buy the one that’s already out there, that we KNOW already works with the Cricut interface, -- the SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot) software?? His answer was that they didn’t want their software to enable their users to download or use any font they happen to have on their computer---that they obviously want their users to acquire their fonts by buying new cartridges. We then had a lively discussion about how many times it’s been noted on the Cricut MB that if they (Provo Craft) continue to come out with GREAT Font cartridges such as Storybook, users who have access to programs like SCAL still buy those great cartridges. I asked him (again!!) don’t they ever read the Cricut MB, because there had been lots of documentation of SCAL owners buying Storybook when it came out???!!! He once again stated they don’t want any software they put out to enable the user to download & use any fonts & they want their user’s fonts to come from buying Cricut cartridges.

Then we somehow got onto the subject of the Cricut Rewards program (after some discussion about our desire for them to lower the list price for the cartridges, rather than making everyone play these games with the sale prices). In fact he actually asked me if I knew there was a Rewards program, & that the Rewards program was somehow part of what justified the list pricing--- (HUH??). Well, I told him of COURSE I knew ALL about the Rewards program, so yes, let’s talk about that. I asked him how they justify the ridiculously high shipping charges they add when we try to fulfill a Rewards item. He said he didn’t think they were too high. So I quoted him some of the shipping charges that had been documented by MB members for just a T-Shirt & I told him that in my other family business, we ship high end designer eyewear (optical & sunglasses) all over the country, so I know what those cost to ship (with their cases included), & a T-Shirt (which is virtually weightless!!) should cost even less than a pair of glasses, yet that’s NOT been the case. So he tried to tell me that they had to COVER THEIR COSTS to implement the program. As you can imagine, the journalist & business woman in me would NOT let that pass, & I gently reminded him that this was supposed to be a REWARDS program, the very definition of which means to REWARD the loyalty & the purchases of your customers for items they’ve ALREADY BOUGHT & PAID FOR!!!! And yet they want us to ALSO cover the costs for Provo Craft to implement their own Rewards program???!!!! He kept saying several times that they had to cover their costs for that program & I kept answering back that WE’D ALREADY PAID FOR THE ITEMS & this is supposed to be our “reward” for doing so!!!! Well, after trying really hard to get him to understand that & finally realizing he was just quoting the “company line” (which I understand because I had a career in a huge corporation for over 25 years myself, so I know he’s just repeating what’s been told to him by the powers-to-be), plus, I’m sure the poor guy, who BTW was a very nice man, was not at all prepared to be grilled hard about any these issues by little old blond, blue-eyed Glenda, LOL!!, I moved on to talking (again!!) about licensed cartridge content, which just ended up to be more of the same discussion that you already heard in PART 1 of the video..

So that’s the summary of the missing PART 2 interview video. So sorry you had to read a summation of it, rather than hear & see it for yourself. If by some miracle, my missing videos ever re-surface, I’ll be sure to post Part 2 right away. (I really, really hope that actually happens, because I’m missing not just a couple CHA videos, but also a couple from Christmas with my family!!!) I’m sure it all has to do with this weird thing that the software (Flip Share) does with the files—I think there were two separate destinations, etc (uh oh, my eyes are starting to roll back in my head again!!), plus this software opens automatically when I download anything from my Flip camera, so there’s not a lot I can control up front,---anyway, it’s NOT normal, just like the weird coding/file types that the Flip Ultra cameras produce (it says it’s an AVI file, but it’s really not a true AVI file—it just has an AVI wrapper around it, & in fact, it’s a motion JPEG codec instead (OK, I know, it makes MY head want to explode too---who knew I’d ever have to deal with “codecs”??!!!!!). I love using my little pink Flip video camera, but I hate trying to do anything to manipulate it outside of the bounds of the Flip Share software!!

Anyway, back to the interviews! If you have any questions or comments about the subjects in the Part 1 video, or the written summation of the Part 2 interview, please leave a comment below.

In the end, I hope you all realize that what I was striving for with my sometimes difficult questions in these interviews, was to get the most truthful information possible about the future of the Cricut product line, because I realize that each & every one of us who has any combination of (any version) of Cricut machines & cartridges has made a substantial investment in that technology & I feel we have a right to know where the product line is headed. Especially in these more difficult economic times, I believe most of us will have to become more conscious & educated buyers with the dollars we dedicate to our crafts. I think the days of buying anything & everything with the Cricut name attached to it will be gone for the foreseeable future for many dedicated Cricut owners & we’ll need to more closely examine which products will take priority for us & actually give us the most “bang for our buck”, per se. I hope in some small way, I’ve helped you start the process of sorting out those buying priorities with the answers provided in these interviews.

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