I have told the story of how I started scrapping before in a much earlier blog. My very first page, nearly didn’t happen as I’d totally forgotten about the class! Looking back at that page now, with my photos in the shape of rectangles, ovals and a star; the triangle short cuts; a couple of die cuts, some journaling and a title; and who can forget the “little dots” we used to put around embellishments to make it look like they had a place to live and not float on the page! Oh my – I was so excited about that page.
Years have passed, and my scrapping style has changed dramatically over the years. I was always known to be “sticker challenged”, I really had trouble sticking them on the page – but I loved creating borders and designs to show all my customers how to use them. I loved the shape makers and could sit and play for hours creating new designs that would end up on display boards. Being a consultant was one of the best decisions I ever made. It didn’t take me long to realise that this was the creative outlet I had been looking for that would leave lasting memories with those that I loved, and those that are yet to fill my life. I had always been fairly crafty, knitting, sewing, crocheting, crosstitch, and I loved starting new projects and having the satisfaction of finishing them and being able to say “I made that myself”! What better avenue to channel all my enthusiasm than photos, scrapping them, and telling the stories behind those photos. My passion for doing this filtered through to my friends, and most of them joined in on my journey, supporting me in my new venture in every way. I had the most loyal friends and customers – they were Creative Memories product users through and through. Then they started bringing their friends along, and not only my customer base grew – but my friendship group grew in ways that I would never have imagined. We shared laughter, tears, joy, memories, excitement, travel stories, weekends away, and many hours of wonderful times that only those who scrapbook can understand. We grew to know each other in ways that may never have happened due to photos.
Then there are other Creative Memories Consultants that I have met on my journey. Sidelines, uplines, sister consultants, consultants who lived in different parts of Australia. All of us sharing a common bond that I believe is only inherent in the memory keeping world. With training events, scrapbooking days, sharing of ideas – my knowledge expanded, and the joy I would get from having someone ask me “how did you do that?” was wonderful. All my life I wanted to be a school teacher, but when it came down to it all, and on the advice of my mother who was a school teacher, I deferred from college for a year, and did a secretarial course. Well – before that year was finished, I had a full time job, paying me a weekly salary – what 18 year old doesn’t like that. I bought my own car and never went to Teacher’s College. Something that I didn’t regret at the time, as I went onwards and upwards in the business world, improving my position with each new job, and making new friends. But as life went on, I often wondered what it would have been like if I had stuck with my dream of becoming a teacher. Once I discovered scrapbooking, and became a Creative Memories Consultant, I knew this was a piece of that dream come true. I felt like I had found home. I started just teaching my friends and customers, then I started going to Consultant events, and found that I was informally teaching other Consultants what I could do, and then presented at a few events with my display boards and holding a microphone in my hand!
Then, along came digital. We Australians were so excited when Storybook 2 came out. Drag and drop, enter text, and the book was done. By then, the internet, Facebook and our knowledge of what our American Creative Memories Consultants were able to do with Digital was more evident. We Aussies and New Zealanders couldn’t wait to get our hands on Storybook 3. As soon as that was released in Australia, there were many happy dances happening all over the country. We could resize, recolour, embellish, cut, filter, surface, edge – you name it – we were in heaven. It was like being able to create a traditional page from scratch – without the fear of making a mistake – gotta love that “undo” button! We had less content than our North American counterparts – so that made us become even more resourceful! I started posting my pages on the CM Go Digi Facebook group – and would wake up each morning, so excited to see what comments had been left overnight. I especially loved creating overlays, and playing and exploring each and every button and tool there was. There were so many options, so many sliders, so many hues, so many different things we could do with Storybook Creator 3 – the options were endless. I was in heaven!
Then I heard about the live Webinars – and there was Jan and Dawn, teaching all of us eager peeps even more things we could do with the software. I used to sit glued to my computer screen for an hour, taking notes and photos of the screen so I could go and play later. They are such wonderful teachers, it wasn’t hard to come away feeling all inspired and ready to show off our new skills. You can just imagine my excitement when a few of my layouts started appearing on Jan’s webinars. Honestly, it’s a wonder she didn’t hear me squeal all the way from Australia the first, second, and other times it happened. I was sooooo excited – and just typing about it now brings back those wonderful emotions!
I was asked by the Director of my Unit (Diane Lampert) to write and construct a 4 week course for other Consultants to attend. I didn’t have to be asked twice! I leapt in with both feet – and launched straight into it. Carolyn Walker – another Creative Memories Consultant, came over and we hashed through my notes, and expanded on a few things – and then it was all good to go. I ran several of these courses, and loved every “aha” moment, and met a heap of wonderful people who shared the same passion I had.
Now, getting back to Jan …. after several Facebook inbox chat messages about my pages, and of course me adoring her training webinars … there was one message that definitely sent me into the direction I now have. It was simply a message saying that her and her husband Rex were thinking of coming to Australia. Well – that was it, I didn’t think at all, I just replied with all the information I could that she had asked for – and then signed off with a “you have to come to Melbourne, and you have to stay with me!” I won’t tell you what my husband said – apart from the “but you don’t even know these people!”. Of course I knew them …. LOL!!!! The rest is pretty much history. Meeting Jan in Sydney at Showcase, then picking Jan & Rex up from Melbourne airport at some ungodly time in the morning as they flew in from Perth, driving them to Kerrianne’s in Geelong, spending a wonderful 3 days of madly driving around Victoria – and enjoying every single moment! That was when p2P was born (although I think Jan already had it in her head before she even left home!).
We have had 3 wonderful years of having an amazing website in pixels2Pages.net. There was loads of planning and meetings when we first all got together. Then the website was launched – and we all had to make a decision of giving up our roles as Creative Memories Consultants. For me, it was a bit of a personal battle, I must admit. I had made such wonderful friends, most that felt just like family, I didn’t want to leave them. But I knew, that I would still be there, at the crops and I had a wonderful upline in Elizabeth Hoffman, and knew that my “girls” would be looked after. Of course, I pretty much attend every event, function, workshop, weekend retreat with Liz anyway – so I wasn’t saying good-bye. I still couldn’t help myself though, I still loved playing with all the new traditional tools and papers, but my heart was pretty much totally devoted to Digital. Once that decision was made – I’ve hardly looked back. p2P certainly keeps me busy – and what I have learnt in the last 3+ years has been amazing. I feel like a character from “The Big Bang Theory” though when I put on my headset and record a video – videos were something I was NEVER going to do. Well, that’s what I said when we first started out – and guess what, I did the second Video Tidbit to be published on the website after our launch! Who knew …… well, probably Jan!
With the demise of Creative Memories Australia, we Australians have had to move on, and very quickly. It all happened with such a rush – but as usual with Aussies, we pick ourselves up and move on! It’s been hard to watch, but also has been enlightening. There is always something else around the corner, and my digital scrapping could just keep on going with the wonderful software that was written and owned by Panstoria. With the digital world disappearing in the Creative Memories North American business format, we have had to rethink our plan, our goals, our website, our training – everything! But, we have, as you now know, come through that process and are relaunching once again with a partnership with Panstoria. You can read all about it here if you haven’t done so already. Things are changing once again – but the future is looking bright and wonderful. We have built up such a wonderful base of people and your loyal support totally melts my heart. To know that we have touched so many people over the last 3 years, and that those people will continue to support us with what we do makes me feel extremely humble. We will always be here for our p2P Peeps, we wouldn’t be where we are today without them ….. and of course, with Jan leading the way! So off we go to “beyond” and I know that it is, once again, going to be better than ever before!