My name is Janice Gilhooley. I have lived in Melbourne, Australia for 42 years.

If you’d asked me this question a few years ago, I would have said: “My children, my children, my children …………… and………… oh my children!!!”  Now I have two teenagers and I have found myself taking photos of all different types of subjects. It’s almost like I’ve gone back to my “pre-children” days. Only now – I look through the lens with an entirely different eye, and I have more options to fiddle with on my camera than I had before – and I’m even learning how to use them! Of course, I still take photos of my children – when they’ll let me. But now, I’m enjoying taking nature, buildings, food, anything at all that catches my eye. The Day2Day (Photo A Day) project has really made me branch out and gain a whole new perspective on photography.

My very first camera was a little film basic camera – I can’t even remember what it was (and boy I so wish I had kept it) that I got when I was about 13. It took film cartridges, and I took a lot of very bad photographs with it! I have had a couple of point and shoot film cameras – one of which was a Pentax. I loved my Pentax Camera – it went all over the world with me travelling for 12 months, and took – what I thought – were pretty cool photos back in 1989 when I first set off travelling. I still used that camera when I had my “babies” and loved all the photos I took with that point and shoot film camera.

I then graduated to a “proper” SLR Camera with 2 lenses around 2001 – and I was in heaven!! Loads of rolls of film – but still in heaven. From there it was on to a Canon point and shoot Powershot Digital S215 in 2006. Although I really wanted to buy a Digital SLR Camera – they were way too expensive for me to afford. This digital world though, was absolutely amazing – so instead of having rolls and rolls of film developed – and spending a bucket load of money on the processing and then enlargements – I was in absolute heaven to be able to have instant access to my photos – and to be able to pick and choose which ones to print. I have always thought of each “photo session” like a roll of film – and would rush off to get that set of photos printed almost straight away.

Last year, for Mother’s Day (May 2010), I was given a couple of vouchers for a camera store. I was supposed to save up some more cash, but just couldn’t wait – I had to have a DSLR Camera – right away. I’d been wanting one for so long! Of course, I blew the budget – but it has been worth every single cent. I have a Canon EOS 550D– and I love it – and I’m nowhere near knowing everything it can do. I just love the fact that I’ve learnt so much – just from looking at other people’s photos, taking lots and lots of photos on all different types of settings – and of course, great advice from friends (thanks, Justine, for the AV lesson)! I have the normal lens, a 50-250 lens, and my favourite of all is my Nifti 50mm lens. I love this camera – and now I use my camera bag as a handbag – more than I use a normal handbag. I pretty much have to take it everywhere with me.

My style of scrapping is totally dependent on what photos I’m using, and also what new content I’ve just bought!!! I’m pretty much a square person in everything I do in my layouts – it’s hard for me sometimes to move out of that “square” type layout, and even when I try to, I seem to always come back to the square. Most of the time I have a fairly clean style – I don’t usually use a lot of sticker type embellishments – but I love brads and clips – anything to “anchor” a photo or text box to a page. When I do use embellishments I do try and group them, or give them a place to “live”. I do this on my traditional pages as well. Layering of different papers is always high on my list of page styles. I love being able to create rectangles/squares – even circles – and layering them on the page to fill with papers or colours that will suit the photos.

I always start with my photos (very rarely do I design a page with paper already on the layout). The photos and the journaling, or the “feel” of the page is what I like most about scrapping. They are the things that make a page worth keeping and preserving for everyone to see. Sometimes though, the photo just says it all, and only a title may be needed to convey the emotion of the photo. By putting the photos on the page first – sizing them exactly how I want – zooming in, cropping, stretching them out – it’s all about the photos for the first process of a page for me. Usually while I’m placing the photos, I start to think of what kits would work the best – and the process evolves from there. The thing I probably get most “hung up on” – is the font choice, I have so many – and I always love looking for more to add to the collection.

When it comes to journaling, I find it so much easier to do in digital scrapbooking. I can fit more journaling on a page than I ever would if I was handwriting it. I can touch type fairly quickly, so my fingers can usually keep up with my brain – and then I find that I type out my journaling, almost as if I was just sitting there talking. That is something that I think is very important when journaling. I just imagine that a person is looking at a page, with no idea about the photos – and my job is to tell the story. It’s so much easier for me to type, than write – and….. if I make an error, it’s easy to fix!

I don’t think I can answer this question, on the grounds that it may incriminate me, and be used against me in the future!!!

I feel the need to scrap nearly each and every day – if I don’t, I really miss it. It is like my “yoga” – it keeps me happy, and my soul in a good place. How could I not be happy when scrapbooking and looking at memories that represent family times, or my love of taking photos. It really is my “happy place”, and my family have learnt that I need to go to my “happy place” on a regular basis to keep me sane, calm, …. and …. happy!!!

Just about everything inspires me! The more I learn about what I can do with digital – the more I look around at the possibilities. Inspiration can come just from reading an article in the newspaper – or looking in shop windows. Furniture collections and fashion are also fabulous for colour ideas. Of course, there’s the wonderful group of scrapbookers out there, from my p2P teammates to the p2P fans. Sometimes I can think of a page at the most random of times – and it will stick there in my head until I can finally get it out and onto a page print!

Right at the beginning of our pixels2Pages journey – at the starting planning stages, I said I was definitely not ready to do recordings (webinars, video tidbits, workshops etc.). I wanted to sit back and watch how it was done, before I had a go at it. Well …. needless to say – I ended up leaping in at the deep end, right at the very beginning with my Glitter Tree Video Tidbit. My very first recording ….. ever!!! Who would have thought it? … certainly not me! I am amazed that I have enjoyed doing the recordings I have done – little old me, sitting in my scrapping room, talking into a microphone/headset, recording and editing after a lot of preparation. Then to have it uploaded to the website and available across the globe – well, I’m still shaking my head at the fact that this can even be possible. Isn’t technology just the sweetest thing? I certainly think so!!!

I love being on the Challenge Team – it really pushes me to find something new to put up for a Challenge when it’s my turn to do so. Nothing like have to think of something new to present! It’s the same on the Design Team and creating Blueprints for people to use. Being able to create new designs to use on a page, that I have thought up from scratch, is very satisfying. I get such a buzz when I see something that I’ve created used on someone else’s page.

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