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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Quality Matters (and dudes scrap, too!)

When I went to my first Creative Memories class 15 years ago, I was convinced that I knew everything there was to know about making albums and there was nothing this person was going to teach me. In other words, I was being a good sport by going along with my friends who were "novices" - after all, I had been making photo albums all throughout grammar school, high school and college. I knew EVERYTHING.
Boy was I wrong! Those "cheap" albums I'd been putting my photos in were actually accelerating the aging of my photos with acidic PVC plastics, bad adhesives and pulpy lignin - my life was changed that night. I had never before given any thought into WHAT I put my albums in, what I used to stick them to the pages or even the kinds of pens (gasp - I was using SHARPIES!) I was using to label my pages. I was even writing on the backs of photos...thank goodness for that class.
Creative Memories' albums are the top of the line when it comes to permanence and photo safety - if you are going to do something, do it right and do it once.My favorite example is my grandfather's fabulous album he made in law school. The photos, the stories and the memorabilia are amazing, but the scrapbook he put them in was yellowing and literally falling apart (I keep the crumbled pages in a plastic bag now.) I asked him if I could restore it in a Creative Memories album (acid free, lignin free and buffered to repel acid from things such as concert tickets and invitations) and he said yes. Look at the difference:
From crumbling to lifetime guarantee - preserving PawPaw's hard work and the character of his stories and his handwriting using a Creative Memories album
So as you see, dudes do scrapbook!! My husband loves trains, and I asked him if he would like to do a Fast2Fabulous album (neutral colors of course!) of his recent trip to Virginia with his father. He was finished in no time and now I can appreciate the stories and the significance of his photos so much more than if they were in one of the old polyvinyl chloride slide in albums. 
From cheap slide in PVC albums to a high quality Creative Memories Fast2Fabulous album - looks good, finished quickly, photo safe, stories told.
I believe in quality and I also believe that ANYONE can make a scrapbook - why shouldn't they? We have these cameras for a reason - let's tell our stories!
I will leave you with Creative Memories' quality commitment - to learn more go to http://www.creativememories.com/user/fransmitherman and until next time, keep scrappin'! Fran

Creative Memories' Commitment to Quality

We’re committed to helping people enjoy the special moments in their lives by making world-class memory keeping products.  We promise to offer unique, easy-to-use, high quality and long-lasting products you can trust. 
We're proud to say our core products, like albums, refill pages and page protectors are made in the U.S.A. (in St. Cloud, MN) by the same experienced manufacturing team who have brought you world-class products for many years.photo safe logo
Product and Process Testing
Because the photo and scrapbooking industries aren't regulated, many companies make claims about their albums, papers, pens, adhesives and other supplies that can’t be substantiated. At CM, we stand behind our quality and test accordingly.
Here are a few examples of the rigor we apply as we develop products:
Adhesives: Designed to be photo safe and permanent so your photos and memorabilia won't drop off the page.
Specific tests we conduct include:
  • Extreme temperature testing. The product must remain functional after being exposed to 6 weeks of 140°F (60°C), and 7 days of 0°F (-18°C).
  • Bleed tests. Product must not bleed through material it has been adhered to after being exposed to 6 weeks of 140°F (60°C).
  • Permanent bond quality
  • Functionality and Cartridge Replacement tests to ensure: adhesive releases from the liner, tension is minimal from start to finish, take-up roll properly winds, minimal looping at nose and easy installation of the refill. 
Pens: Designed and tested to be permanent, fade-proof, bleed-resistant and waterproof so they won't ever run and ruin your photos or surrounding pages. Our pens are perfect for left handers – they won’t smear.
Specific tests we conduct include:
  • Writeability and bleed testing to ensure inks don’t smear or transfer after 20 seconds.
Papers & Pages: Buffered with calcium carbonate to combat the acids found in memorabilia and normal air pollution. We monitor papers’ brightness and ensure our paper stock does not contain post-consumer waste.  All of our paper products are lignin-free to stop them from turning yellow and brittle over time.
Specific tests we conduct include:
  • Bleed testing
  • Sutherland rub test for printed papers and poly pocket pages. A weight is rubbed back and forth 100 times to ensure minimal color transfer and abrasion.
  • Seam strength tests for the page protectors and poly pages to ensure they do not tear
  • Stitch strength to ensure the album pages stay intact.
Albums & Coversets:  Built to last for years of enjoyment. We’ve filled albums to the max and tested them in real-use situations for thousands of page turns.
Specific tests we conduct include:
  • Slot strength on the basecard, so your straps don’t tear your album
  • Stain resistance. Spilling real-life substances (cola, coffee, peanut butter, etc.) on albums. (One wipe and it’s clean.)
  • The Page Turning machine cycles an album page 5000 times and then visual assessment is made on the page stitches, coverholder stitches and slots, integrity of the spine and that the strap slip is less than 1/8.” 
  • Crocking test to ensure negligible-to-no color transfer on the album material.
Tools: Developed to be high quality, durable and long-lasting.  We push the limit when it comes to testing our tools because we take great pride that they are the best on the market.
Specific tests we conduct include:
  • Cutting lifecycle
  • Material identification
  • Functionality/User testing
  • Drop tests
We're vigilant about safety standards, always on the watch for sharp edges, choke hazards, lead or magnets.  Our products are PVC and Cellulose Nitrate-free to ensure your photos remain safe. 
We also conduct shipping simulation tests to ensure the products reach your doorstep in great condition.

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