Saturday, September 10, 2011

A couple of cool scrapbooking products

Okay, I am not a scrapbooker. Mostly because I don't have the time, but also because it can be more expensive than I can afford. However, the kits, pages, adornments, etc., are hard to ignore sometimes. You can find some really cute things at stores and on the internet.

Today, my sister Jessica and I went to the Scrapbooks USA show in Sandy, UT. I was disappointed at the number of vendors there as they were all around the edges of the room and the entire middle of the room was set up with tables and chairs. There were people working there and I can only assume they were meeting others they'd met online to work with. Otherwise, I can't see doing scrapbooking in public like that, but then again, I'm not a scrapbooker. I was really expecting a whole lot more than what was there. We heard several people express the same thing.

While wandering around, I found two vendors that interested me.

The first was Perfect Paper Crafting, which had a ruler type device that allowed you to cut perfect lines at a specific length away from another line. For example, you could paste a photo down on a background mat, then place the inside lip of the ruler against the photo with the outer edge of the ruler exactly 1/", 1/2" or 3/8" or whatever away. Then take an X-acto knife and cut a perfect line exactly that distance away for a perfect mat. No more trying to manually place the photo exactly in the center of the mat. They also had a "Tear" ruler that you lay along the paper, wet down with water, then tear the edge away. It's a lot easier than trying to cut it or tear it manually. The third product they have is a tool to make perfect squares every time. They have a fourth product, a marker airbrush set, but I didn't see it there at the show.

The second vendor was Heritage Makers (links to my consultant so if you join, she'll be your consultant as well), which is local to me. Their software is used online where you can select from over 40,000 templates and graphics to create notecards, story books, canvas prints, photo gifts (calendars, prints, posters, playing cards, etc.), recipe books, digital scrapbooks, and more. Once you put your item together, you can order the printed version of your work to be delivered to your home. You also get publishing points that can be used towards your next published item. No having to deal with shopping at multiple stores for supplies, having to cut out papers, glue trims, mess with glitter (gets in all the cracks) or stickers, getting ink all over you, finding more storage for your supplies, toting all your stuff around in huge carry alls, etc. I have enough problems with finding storage for my yarn and paints!

They have a free account that has 2 GB of storage, access to 2,000+ pieces of digital art, and 450+ templates; and a premium account for $19.95/month that has unlimited storage, access to 40,000+ pieces of digital art, 3,000+ templates, and access to special perks. You can also host a scrapbooking workshop or become a consultant to start your own business. A referral program is coming soon. Oh, and you can also create your own templates for you or others to use. If you have a free account, you can only upload JPEG format graphics but with a premium account, you can also upload PNG format graphics that can be used as borders, frames, and embellishments. Once you come up with template that others can use, you can submit it to the gallery for approval. Make sure you watch the training videos to get help on using the software (although it is fairly intuitive, especially if you've used a paint program before). The only thing I found missing was a user forum, where users can help each other and they can show off their work to each other and get advice. You can, however, quickly access your consultant by using the contact form. They respond quickly and do their best to help you.

While both of these products are most likely to be used by scrapbookers, I can see them being used by other types of crafters and artists as well. I like that Heritage Makers has products for business as well as personal use.

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