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NSD 2010 Noon Hour: What’s Your Wishlist?

Next week is Mother’s Day, and for me, a birthday coming up later in the month too. (Inquire at your own risk about the number involved. Just saying.) Those events mean gifts…which means WISHLISTS!

If you aren’t a mom, well, admit it…we always pretty much have a wishlist in the back of our heads for our next splurge or special occasion, don’t we?

What’s on mine right now? Copic Sketch markers, Jenni Bowlin embellishments, Jenni Bowlin embossed cardstock, October Afternoon, Little Yellow Bicycle Clothesline collection, Glimmer Mist, and some of the new Pink Paislee tapes. (Although, who are we kidding – the real list is much, much longer than that!) And my husband would have a heart attack if he saw the length of my wishlist at Designer Digitals…woo hoo for 20% off on NSD!

From what I hear, the new Cricut Cake machine is on a lot of Mother’s Day wishlists, so for our giveaway this hour we have some Cricut-related goodies:

This goodie pack contains the Provo Craft Cricut Sweet Treats Shape Cartridge and some 3M Post-It Craft Paper, which is being marketed for use with the Cricut machine.

How to Enter:

All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Sunday night, May 2nd Tuesday night May 4th (deadline extended due to Feedburner delivery issues) telling us what is on your wishlist. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person.
(Note: If you are reading this post via an RSS subscription, click here and it will take you to the giveaway on the  Scrapbook Update website where you can fill out the comment form at the bottom of the article to enter.)

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Campaigners Seeks Cricut Demonstrators

Cricut Lovers – Get Paid for your Passion!

Campaigners/ASM is seeking Crafters to conduct in-store demonstrations on the Cricut Machine at several major retail locations in your area.  This is a part time position which will last 2-3 months and possibly through the end of the year, depending on the schedule.  The position pays $15.00 per hour and weekend availability is a must.  Training will be provided.

The ideal candidate is passionate, self-motivated, committed and driven to succeed. This person should also have strong communication skills with the confidence to develop strong ties with retail staff and trusting relationships with shoppers. They must possess excellent organizational skills and have the ability to complete assigned duties and responsibilities without direct supervision, on a daily basis.

As a Craft/Sales Specialist you will use your Crafting, Sales and Customer Service skills to conduct in-store demonstrations to generate excitement, brand awareness, and drive sales through event execution and promotions.  If you like to interact with people and enjoy crafts, then this opportunity is for you!

Job Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Conduct Product Demonstrations
  • Drive Sales
    • Train Consumers and Store Staff
    • Proactive Relationship Building with Store Staff

Desired Qualifications:

  • Results and action oriented
  • Professional demeanor, friendly, energetic, and customer service oriented
  • Acts as a strategic client advisor to store management to enhance retail relationships
  • Independent, self – motivated, and organized, while remaining flexible and adaptable
  • Creative, fun and enthusiastic.  Passionate.

If interested and would like to hear further details, please send an email with your city and state in the subject line (and photos of some of your craft work, if possible) to recruit@campaigners.com.

Campaigners has positions available in the following locations:

City State Zip City State Zip
Anchorage AK 99515 Durham NC 27713
Anchorage AK 99508 Greenville NC 27858
Dothan AL 36303 Grand Forks ND 58201
North Little Rock AR 72117 West Fargo ND 58078
Visalia CA 93277 Omaha NE 68116
Newington CT 06111 Freehold NJ 07728
Savannah GA 31406 Moorestown NJ 08057
Ankeny IA 50021 Mt Laurel NJ 08054
Davenport IA 52807 Princeton NJ 08540
Marion IA 52302 Las Vegas NV 89128
Sioux City IA 51106 Clifton Park NY 12065
West Des Moines IA 50266 Elmira NY 14903
Twin Falls ID 83301 Oklahoma City OK 73112
Bloomington IL 61701 Keizer OR 97303
Calumet City IL 60409 Ontario OR 97914
Orland Park IL 60462 Fairless Hills PA 19030
Peoria IL 61615 Harrisburg PA 17112
Springfield IL 62704 Philadelphia PA 19114
Goshen IN 46526 York PA 17403
Indianapolis IN 46229 North Charleston SC 29406
Indianapolis IN 46250 Rapid City SD 57703
Mishawaka IN 46545 Sioux Falls SD 57106
Elizabethtown KY 42701 Bee Caves TX 78738
Florence KY 41042 Burleson TX 76028
Lexington KY 40509 Conroe TX 77385
Paducah KY 42001 Denton TX 76205
Bel Air MD 21014 Frisco TX 75034
Ellicott City MD 21043 Garland TX 75040
Frederick MD 21702 Georgetown TX 78628
Glen Burnie MD 21060 Houston TX 77070
Hagerstown MD 21740 Humble TX 77338
Parkville MD 21234 Katy TX 77494
Waldorf MD 20601 Lewisville TX 75067
Battle Creek MI 49014 San Antonio TX 78257
Brighton MI 48116 San Antonio TX 78232
Brighton MI 48116 Windcrest TX 78239
Flint MI 48507
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Provo Craft Acquired By BAML Capital Partners

Sorenson Capital, which purchased a majority stake in Provo Craft in 2005, has now sold a majority stake in the company to BAML Capital Partners. Sorenson Capital will retain a minority stake in the company, along with Provo Craft management.

BAML Capital Partners is the private equity group of Bank of America, that was created by the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch equity groups. As part of the acquisition, Provo Craft has entered into new credit arrangements that it says will facilitate its continued growth.

BAML Managing Director Brian Gorczynski focused on Provo Craft’s technology products as the real value of the acquisition:

We are excited to acquire this interest in Provo Craft. Jim Thornton and his outstanding management team have a commendable track record of developing successful technology products.

Other contents of the press statement about the acquisition also seemed to stress that the company sees itself as a technology company, focusing on the history of the Cricut line and the debut of the Cricut Cake. The announcement also indicated that Provo Craft “expects to announce additional product innovations later this year.”

Provo Craft had revenues of over $250 million in 2009. According to a 2009 article in Utah Business magazine, the company’s revenue has doubled (and profits gone up 500%) under the tenure of current CEO Jim Thornton. That article also emphasized that the company’s future lies in technology, saying Thornton “visualizes the company becoming a half-billion dollar enterprise within the next five years as it becomes one of the top technology brands.”

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Provo Craft & Make The Cut: The Technology Background

As noted earlier today on Scrapbook Update, Provo Craft has filed a lawsuit against software company Make The Cut over an issue that is somewhat new to the scrapbook industry: digital copyright security protection.

One issue seems to be of particular interest to Provo Craft in the lawsuit. Make The Cut recently provided an update that included a new feature they described as “experimental”: cartridge backup. Although Make The Cut indicates that their software doesn’t create a full reproduction of cartridge date, even partial data copies was apparently enough to warrant major attention from Provo Craft’s lawyers. This may explain why Provo Craft has chosen to take action against Make The Cut while seeming to leave alone Craft Edge, the maker of Sure Cuts A Lot software which also allows cutting from a computer with Cricut machines. The Sure Cuts A Lot software doesn’t access Cricut Design Studio or allow the use/copying of cartridge images.

Creating backups via cracked security protection has long been a fought-over issue in the technology world. The issue has been fought about regarding DVD’s, gaming cartridges, and other types of media. Media companies have pretty much always held that it violates their copyrights to create back-ups of the media they sell, or to transfer those media to other formats for use (such as ripping DVD’s to store and watch on your computer). But software, which doesn’t always work but still exists, to crack the copyright protection on DVD’s continues to be distributed via the internet. An exception to this are CD’s, which iTunes even has a built-in feature for importing, because there are usually no copy protections installed on them. (One notable exception: Sony BMG got in a lot of trouble several years back for installing computer-damaging root kits on some of their CDs that caused problems for users who inserted those discs into their Windows computers. They ended up as the subject of a recall, several class action lawsuits and state & federal sanctions.)

The creation and maintenance of closed operating platforms (where a company uses copyright protections and proprietary technology on equipment or systems to control how purchasers may use them) is also a highly controversial issue to many. Apple is (in)famous for doing this with the iPhone to control what applications users may run on their phone. The phone’s lockdown has resulted in a practice called “jailbreaking” where some users hack the phone so that they can install applications other than the officially approved ones sold in the iTunes App Store. The result has been a running battle between Apple and the jailbreakers, where the iPhone is repeatedly secured with a new operating system update, and then hacked again by jailbreakers. The same battle has already started over Apple’s brand new iPad device. (This differs from devices like a personal computer, which is designed as an open system designed to have any compatible software you can get your hands on – or even write yourself – installed on it.)

Provo Craft has in essence created a closed operating system for the Cricut with the secure proprietary software that runs the machines. Only their cartridges can be used in the machines, and only their Design Studio software or Gypsy can be used to access the machines for cutting. Companies like Apple say that a closed system provides a better user experience by eliminating outside errors being brought into a system. Many users agree and like the natural simplicity of a closed system.

So why does Make The Cut (and iPhone jailbreaking) exist? Because some users feel that once they buy something they should have the right to do with it whatever they want. A certain segment of consumers sees the purchase of an item as absolute. It’s a black-and-white philosophy: “I own it, so I should be able to do what I want with it.” These users chafe under limitations of a closed system.

These issues may be new to the scrapbook industry, but they certainly aren’t new to technology. As technology invades the scrapbook industry more, we will see more and more of them.

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www.DickBlick.com

Provo Craft Sues Make The Cut

Cricut manufacturer Provo Craft filed suit in U.S. District Court on April 1st against software manufacturer Make The Cut, which makes software that allows for cutting with Cricut machines without using cartridges.

Make The Cut is a Wisconsin-based company that is owned by Andrew Heinlein. It was organized as an LLC in early December 2009. An active community of users has grown around their software in a short period of time, sharing and trading cut files to use with the software on Cricut machines. The software is also, according to notes in recent updates, compatible with other machines such as the Silhouette, Craft Robo and Wishblade, although most users appear to be Cricut owners.

Provo Craft alleges multiple violations have been committed against them by Make The Cut. The suit alleges that Make The Cut:

  • Circumvented the copyright protection on the Cricut Design Studio software
  • Sells to others the ability to illegally circumvent copyright protection on Cricut Design Studio software
  • Encourages others to illegally circumvent copyright protection and assists with the infringement
  • Violates the copyright on Cricut Design Studio software and Cricut’s design cartridges
  • Violates and dilutes the Cricut trademarks by using them in advertising for Make The Cut products

No specific dollar amount is provided for requested damages, but Provo Craft is seeking damages under applicable laws for the violations, as well as court orders directing Make The Cut to stop further infringement. Make The Cut will have 21 days to file a response to the lawsuit with the court after they are officially served notification of the suit. Court filings currently have no record of a date of service.

Scrapbook Update has requested comment on this matter from representatives for both Provo Craft and Make The Cut. No response had been received as of the time of publication. Scrapbook Update will publish updates on this story as they become available.

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UR2 Cre8ive: 68 playful ways to unleash your creativity

Paperclipping Roundtable #12: Heart on Fire, Brain on Ice

Paperclipping Roundtable #12 was all about balancing scrapbooking for our families versus ourselves! This week’s panel consisted of Noell Hyman, Stacy Julian, Steph from The Daily Digi, and me (along with our resident non-scrapper Izzy).

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Here’s this week’s show notes:

Links from this week’s show:

Product Picks:

Here’s video that was taken with the Canon 5D Mark II camera that Izzy talked about:

Here’s the layout that I mentioned that uses the Tim Holtz paper pack and the Graphically Speaking cartridge:

Supply List: Paper – Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby Paper Pack, Marcella by Kay (Sophie); Punch – EK Success (Binding Edge); Ink – Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Pumice Stone); Spray Ink – Clearsnap Smooch Spritz (Vanilla Shimmer); Sticker – Grand Adhesions by K & Co (Hopscotch); Jewel – Prima; Flower – Prima Tea Roses (Peach Frost); Decorative Tape – Making Memories; Ribbon – unknown; Die Cut – Cricut (Graphically Speaking).

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