CropTalks© are available for a limited time. However, these ideas can be used with other handouts or later CropTalks© that are on a similar subject. Many CMC's do 'shoptalks', specialty workshops or 'breakouts' where these ideas can be used. Also see Level 2 Classes and the Consultant Section.

Jiffy Borders

A 2.5-inch strip of white paper with a black design-line sticker along top edge. Place black and white polka dot design-line sticker along bottom edge, an orange one above that, then another black one. Use black sticker letters to spell Happy Halloween. Add bat stickers.

1. Cut 2-inch strip evergreen paper. Use red die-cut letters to spell Ho Ho Ho . . . Use circles for O's instead of die-cut letters. Place holly sticker in middle of each O. This would also look good with a smaller strip of evergreen gingham on top of evergreen strip.
2. Cut a white strip. Use Christmas-colored design-line stickers (like candy cane or holly) on top and bottom. Put two elves on either side of strip, facing in. One seated and one standing behind it on each side. Write in red pen "All I want for Christmas is . . ." This is great for Letter to Santa or kids opening gifts.

Pale yellow strip of paper. Use purple or lavender letters to spell Hoppy Easter . . . place an Easter egg in center of 'o'. Decorate with Easter stickers and design-line stickers.

It's a Girl!
Mint green strip of paper. Spell It's a Girl! in pen. Use yellow baby carriage sticker on right side of strip. Decorate with pink/yellow design line stickers and baby stickers.

Adult Birthday
Black strip of paper. Silver letters spelling Happy Birthday. Silver, gold, and copper design line stickers graduated from outside in (cut design-line stickers to different lengths) from top left and bottom right. Decorate with silver/gold confetti's or stars.
Or cut up remaining design line stickers into confetti. Press hard . . . the metallic design line stickers don't stick as easily as other stickers.

You can make Jiffy borders for the sides of pages or top and bottom. I sell decorated strips for $2 to $3.50. This is a great way to use up old sticker letters or parts of sticker strips left over from your own books. The customer just puts it on her page, adds pics and maybe a few stickers, and the page is done! (Sherilyn)

Circle Cutter Ideas

(Most of these Ideas will work with both CropTalk© #3 and #22)

 At a circle cutter workshop serve round snacks - like cookies, round tortilla chips with salsa, etc.

I used this at my Holiday workshop, and I used a "fill the stocking game" (see Workshop Games) . . . the giveaways had nothing to do with the croptalk. A good giveaway would be several half sheets of paper in a seasonal color, and encourage people to try out the circle cutter using that paper . . . maybe add some stickers to match one layout in the croptalk or add seasonal stickers. (Jean Gifford)

For more ideas about using the circle and oval cutters see Product Ideas.

A Journey into Journaling©

Use the lined template and put this OVER a die-cut frame to journal a shape! sort of like purchasing a whole bunch of journaling templates from "other" places . . . only WAY CHEAPER! You could give some die-cut frames as prizes or in a goodie bag. Another good prize for a journaling workshop would be a lined page.

Have everyone write a few minutes about one of their photos - the occasion, who the people are, what they are saying, etc. Then give the photo to another person to write about. When you read the two very different descriptions it is a visual example of the importance of journaling.

Emphasize that journaling can be the best 'decoration' for an album - especially if the person uses a variety of pen colors and a die-cut or template shape to journal in.

See the Journaling file for more information.

Black and White and Read All Over©

Serve Oreo Delight (from the Cooking file) because it's Black and white and red all over!

Also a dip with black olives served with tortilla chips! Or maybe a dessert made out of blackberries.
For a game, put black and white poker chips into a box with a lid and draw one out every hour. Whoever is working on a black page when you draw a black chip wins a prize - like stickers or die-cuts. Door prizes could be black or silver pens and black or white letter stickers.

See the Black Refill Pages file for more ideas.

Spilling of Filling Ideas©

Take photos of your town. Main street, where you work, favorite hangouts, etc. You'll be surprised at the changes in a short time.
Fads - tell what was in your teens. The President, mayor, pierced body parts, tattoos, cell phones, internet, beepers, etc. Take photos, too. (Deb B)

If there's an entire page that's blank (skipped by mistake or to get to the next two-page spread) put all the business cards you and/or your husband have had since you joined the workforce. In a family album, this would be a bit of family history. In a child's album it could be titled "Mommy's work" or "What my Daddy does".
In my goody bag, I included a photo sleeve for each customer and then showed how I had used them in my own albums - with a lock of hair, for a postcard, sonogram photos, etc. (Angela in MO)

Outline of all family members hands, favorite bedtime story, prayers, pocket pages, letter to your family, letters from younger child to parent, how child or you feel about the world, your family, map of your neighborhood hand drawn. (kasey)

Front and Center©

(based on an idea called "Center Stage")

I did a variation using design lines for the box. The pages are for an Easter egg hunt, so I used the Easter design line with the grass, eggs, chicks and bunnies along the bottom, then used the colored design line strips for the top and sides. (mrg)

I used a red wide-tip pen for the outside edge, a green fine tip pen for the middle, and a red fine tip pen for the inside. I put a holly leaf punch in each corner. I put "My Kids" in the box using the dark red letters. At the bottom where the page splits the box I cut a bow in half and put one half on each page at the bottom edge of the box. I used a small triangle (deep red) in the top corners. On the bottom used a square of cranberry and a square of checkered tucked under the pictures on each side of the page. (Judy)

Note: If you are not familiar with the 'center stage' idea it is used on a double page spread. You make a box for the title, decoration and sometimes journaling. The box is near the center or bottom of the page and spans both pages. You use graduated rectangles as templates to draw lines with the pen or to guide in placement of stickers. Usually you have two or three borders within borders.

Piece By Piece© (puzzle page ideas)

Get a cheap kid's puzzle (or use one with lost pieces). Write a small prize on each piece (1/2 strip stickers, 1/2 sheet paper) and let people choose one piece, one piece for every two pages done, etc.

Since I did puzzles with the Camp Wannacropalot, I put a paper clip on each puzzle piece and people went "fishing" with a magnet. (Jean Gifford)

For puzzle page ideas see the Hobbies file.

Handwriting and Headlines©

Gave each cropper a baggie of title squares (small squares of paper). These are shown on the back page of the Croptalk©. I gave ten squares of three different popular colors and they were a big hit.

Alternate Idea: Show how four colors (red, Caribbean blue, green and gold) can be used in different combinations and look totally different. I made titles (like the Mother's Day one on the back) for CHRISTMAS (red and green), BIRTHDAY (red, blue, gold) and BAND (blue and gold). I used shiny gold letter on each, and added a tiny sticker at the end of the word (ornament or gold star). They all looked really different, they all looked great. I used them for door prizes. (Jean Gifford)

Serve a "Pencil" cake - Make a 13x9 inch yellow cake and a 9" square chocolate cake. Cut the 13x9" into two sections (9 x 6 1/2) and stack them. Then cut the square into diagonal halves and stack them at the end of the oblong one. This makes a PENCIL shape. Ice it with yellow frosting for the pencil part, orange for the eraser, and tan at the tip, black for the lead!
Use that gel icing stuff and write "NO.2" on the end! (CMC in COS)

Colors That Coordinate©

Colors that Coordinate Crop Talk©

Everything is rainbows . . .
Home Class triangles in rainbow colors for seat favors, special page ideas using rainbow stickers, primary design lines and Rainbow Jello for the snack
Make a rainbow using the circle cutter (this was easier with the old cutter . . . you can do it with the new, but have to think it through first.)
Put a rainbow sticker in upper corner of the page, tilted. Use design line stripes to continue the "rainbow" along the top and side of the page. The colors don't match exactly, but looks fine when you cover the "seams" with cloud stickers.

Make a 5 x 5 grid
Across the top, put colors: Red, Blue, Black, Purple, Yellow
Down the side, put categories:
Article of Clothing
Ice Cream Flavor
Give two minutes to fill in as many squares as possible.

There are several ideas we can get across and the color groups help us with that. The colors we offer were all chosen to some extent to "go together" . . . the red we have is the best red to coordinate with our royal blue and our gold.
The colors in any one group could all go with each other if you like the combination. Lemon and mint together might not be my choice, but they don't clash like they would if we offered a mustard yellow or a more turquoise shade of light green.
I show pages from my own albums and talk about where they fit in the color groups. For example, a beach layout that is done with deep blue, dusty blue and cement, with a couple shell stickers in dusty rose. Point out that other page decorations - pens, stickers, etc. - can fit with the color theme as well. On the beach page the color scheme is "calm", which will be interesting to talk about, because the pictures were taken as a hurricane was moving in, and we were anything BUT calm. I could have used vibrant colors and given a totally different feel.
You'll probably find that many of your layouts follow one theme. Most of mine are "calm" or "warm".
You might offer a small prize to anyone who will show one of their own pages and tell or let the group discuss what range it fits into.

Made a "fresh" and "calm" layout using ShortCuts and gave away - every time they finished a page they put their name in a basket and I pulled two at the end for the page layouts.
I made a paper sampler for each customer. I used a printer to print each color name and the pack it came from onto the back of paper. Then I cut the paper into 1.5" squares, hole punched them and put them onto a ring. I think this will help people test what color paper they want on a page. They were time-consuming to make, but my customers went nuts over them. (Jean Gifford)

l.) I'm asking everyone to wear pastels - one entry in drawing if they do.
2.) Their goody bags will have Bunny die-cut, flower sticker, and plastic Easter eggs with M&M's or tiny jelly beans in them.
3.) They will use the eggs to put their names in for the drawing basket.

They put one in for:
* being there
* being on time
* bringing someone etc.
* finishing pages
* using a product

The hourly prizes will be Title Squares and a strip or triangle to make a title for a page.
The grand prize is an Easter basket with pastel die-cuts, stickers, a couple of Easter things from the dollar store.
Food will be cupcakes or something pastel. (CarolE)

Ideas for Using the ShortCuts©

Fan out the shapes in the ShortCut© pack on a table along with the layout sheet. Tell workshop participants that everyone is going to get a prize today. They will be able to take any of the ShortCut pieces and create a page or two with them that day. Ask only that they allow you to take pictures of their finished pages. At the end of the workshop gather the remaining pieces and say, "Look at how all of you have made pages and there's still so many pieces left over!" By having the customers use the product and see the results and benefits, you will sell a lot. You will also have several layout photos.
One of my customers wrote her information on them on the pages, which looked really neat.

My upline did a shoptalk on this. She had beautiful pages with the strips as borders.
1.) She put blue star paper on the top and bottom and deep blue paper on the sides. At the top she put a moon cut out of yellow paper and some gold stars and the title "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star".
2.) She put a half circle in the top right corner and strips coming out of it like a sun.
3.) Put 'yahoo' in different colored ABC stickers and a cowboy hat die-cut at the top and the same colored strips on the bottom and one side of the page and "woven" together in the corner. You could make a double page spread of this and use any words as long as the colors coordinate.
4.) A heritage page used black strips on each edge and a brown triangle in each corner, very simple and very nice!
5.) Another used the strips to make a piece of paper into a package by just placing them in the center horizontally and vertically and placing a bow at the top or in the middle. With the photos in the four "panes" it made. (all designed by Kristen B.)

Instructions for cutting your own ShortCuts are in the Paper file.

Miles and Piles of Memorabilia©


One of the seat favors I gave was a pack of peanuts like you get when you fly. I also gave a photo-mounting sleeve and a list of uses for the sleeves and showed examples. Open a travel pack and cut the paper into smaller pieces or open a die-cut pack and give them one or two of.
I made a Passport for them to gather "stamps" on. The more stamps they earned, the more they won. Adjust the prizes to what you have on hand.

Many of you don't think of yourselves as world travelers. Well, tonight you are!
You will be exploring the "World of Creative Memories" and how the different tools we have can assist you in completing your family albums. On each page of this passport you will find different categories of products and services we offer. Each page will have four "points of interest" for you to discover. Each time you complete one of these "points of interest" you will receive a "stamp" on your passport. Some are familiar, some are not! Some require little effort, some are more challenging.
Nonetheless, I'm sure that every one of you will be able to get most of the stamps available. The more you do, the more you receive!

1 - 6 stamps = two regular Sticker Strips
7 - 13 stamps = 123 Sticker Sheet
14 - 20 stamps = ABC Sticker Sheet
21 - 27 stamps = Free Future Crop
28 stamps = Celebration Sentiments

Create a border on a page using pens only, no stickers.
Use one or both of the Gold and Silver pens.
Use the Brush-Tip pen to highlight either text or decoration on a page.
Have all pages journaled!

Use Design Lines to decorate a page.
Use the Creative Memories water-colored stickers.
Use ABC/123 stickers on a page.
Create sticker art.

Bring a new person.
Schedule a home class.
Register and prepay for a future workshop (save a $1)
Find out about the Creative Memories business opportunity.

Use the circle cutter.
Use a pair of decorative scissors.
Use a border ruler for decoration.
Use corner rounder on all photos on one page.

Use the new circle cutting system.
Use the new oval cutting system.
Do a page using memorabilia
Try the new adhesive pen.

Use printed paper on a page.
Use a die-cut shape.
Do a page with only ShortCuts.
Use ABC or 123 die-cuts.

Purchase an album.
Advance order a new product.
Purchase any new product in inventory
Purchase one of my featured kits.

Matting and Mounting Croptalk©

I did a layered chip dip (refried beans on the bottom, sour cream and salsa mixed with an envelope of Hidden Valley ranch dressing, a layer of salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced olives on top). Also M&M's (for Matting and Mounting) and some cookies with a matted look. Crackers with pepperoni and cut out shaped cheese. I wore a layered outfit. I gave them two 4 x 6 rectangles to use for mounting, four medium mounting corners, and two large mounting corners to mount memorabilia. (Iglow)

Give each person some paper and die-cuts and show how to use the die-cut frame as a mat. For give-aways, give printed paper. Demo the ShortCut packs. For the seat favor, split a few packs of ShortCuts between each one. Food: Go to Sam's and get mini quiches and potato skins. (Ann)

Note from Denny: I use die-cut frames as mats in two ways.
(1) Cut a photo so that it covers the cut-out parts of the frame and place photo on top of die-cut frame.
(2) Put die-cut frame over the photo as long as it doesn't block out an important part of the photo.