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!JG_BlogSignature


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31 Responses to Blog: From then, to now, and beyond!

  1. Shirley Bennett says:

    One of the good things that has come out of CM closing in NZ/Aust is that we get access to p2P. I love it and I have learnt so many new techniques – my digital pages look better already! I can relate to being the only one with a computer at a workshop – the closing of CM here was like the door being slammed in your face -all the digital content went offline the day it was announced that Creative Memories was pulling the plug. Thank you for your well written comments and reminisce – I am sure many of us can relate some part of your story.

    • Janice says:

      I agree – we have definitely been able to move on in Australia & New Zealand with the sudden demise of Creative Memories. It is sad that it happened, and that those circumstances were the catalyst for AU/NZ peeps to jump in and subscribe to p2P – we just love having you with us!!!

  2. Sandy says:

    I actually laughed out loud at your comment about putting dots around page elements to “ground them”. I remember being at a class where the consultant taught us to do that, thinking it was kinda funny, but then proceeded to dot up my pages. When digital came out I swore to everyone that I wasn’t going to do it unless it was available on my Mac. I didn’t know anything about a PC and wasn’t going to purchase one just for SBC. I remember saying over and over again “I will never give up on traditional albums”. Then came the option of a new computer that I could partition and I decided I would only do it so I would know how to help my customers who were making the switch. A customer asked me how to do something in the program and when I didn’t know how to do it I did some research on it. I found one of Dawn’s webinars and that hooked me in. Shortly after that I found pixels2Pages to help me better understand what could be done with the program. THEN… Studio became available for the Mac and I was so overjoyed! But there were no webinars or blueprints available for Studio so I started recreating them so I could use them in my projects. I now tell everyone that I need a 12-step statement for digital scrapbooking. It would start out: “Hi my name is Sandy and I haven’t done a traditional page in over 3 years.” And there is no looking back. I am so excited to see where we will be going and can’t wait to see what the Pixies have in store for us. Thank you for all that you do for all of us!!

    • Janice says:

      Sandy, your pages are oh so wonderful, and I love seeing them on our Facebook groups! I can’t believe you ever said “no” to digital – you’re a natural!!! Love your “12 step” statement, but I have to confess that every now and then, I do a paper page – just for fun!

      • Sandy Norman says:

        Thanks Janice. I guess I should have said I haven’t done a Traditional Album. I have done some hybrid projects that start out as digital pages and then I add traditional embellishments on them. These pages get hung on my Everyday Display frames.

  3. Jenny says:

    Janice, your teaching style is so easy to listen to and learn from. Many of my digi friends comment on how they learn from you. I too am thankful that Jan brought us together. I remember being ‘chuffed’ at seeing our pages on those webinars and I was even more chuffed when you and I chatted on Facebook. You were someone to get to know and I’m so glad we did meet at your very first Showcase when Jan introduced us. Fancy having to wait for an American to come across the ocean and introduce 2 Aussies to each other. Too funny!

    • Janice says:

      I know Jenny!!! Fancy Jan having to introduce us “face to face” – although I think we were already firm friends through Facebook before then! So glad you’re part of my world now!

  4. Katrina says:

    Agreeing with a comment above about you being a very good writer, Yes You Are! It truly brought a lot of my memories with Creative Memories and meeting a few of the pixies online before p2P. When CM put out the survey about digital scrapbooks, I checked the No box. LOL LOL LOL, I can’t believe that I thought it wasn’t for me. Thank you Janice, your videos are just as detailed and understanding as your blog. I appreciate you!

    • Janice says:

      Thank you for your lovely words Katrina – I really appreciate them! Who would have thought that all of us “dedicated” paper crafters would cross over to the “dark side” of digital …. and love it …. and never look back!

  5. Kaye Rhodes says:

    I remember being at Showcase US when Memory Manager and Storybook were first introduced and thinking, “Heaven help me, I’ll NEVER be able to do this!” I could write e-mail and a our annual Xmas letter on Word. That was the extent of my computer capability, but by the time I left MN, I had a digital project in mind and could barely wait for SB to be released. When I think of all I’ve learned, in the use of MM and SBC, thanks to Creative Memories and particularly to p2P! My husband, who’s a systems developer has to get a little credit, too, I would NEVER have ventured into this digital world without y’all and I’m soooo glad you aren’t leaving us! Thank you, THANK YOU!!

    • Janice says:

      Thank you Kaye. Thankfully I was a bit more proficient at computers having worked in the business world for many years – but …… I can’t believe how much I’ve learned using Storybook and also working with a website. The learning curve has been extremely steep over the last several years, and the end results are extremely satisfying!

  6. karen heath says:

    I loved reading your blog. I can relate to so many parts of it. Although never a consultant, CM and scrapbooking has been a hugh part of my life for more years than I can remember. Digital was just the best invention EVER. For space and time. it has enabled me to continue preserving memories. But without Pixies it would have faded, sadly it does not seem that the scrapbooking community in Mackay has embraced digital the way my friends and I have and without pixies we all would have never known the true potential of the software. From the days of free pixies to memberships and then finally being able access it all from OZ, the journey has been amazing, enlightening and soo sooo informative. like many others I will continue to follow you on this journey whereever it may lead. THANK YOU 🙂

  7. inekeloux says:

    Though I have not yet had the immense pleasure of meeting all you Pixies, know you all have had a wonderfully great impact on me and so many others too!
    I so love digital and think back to January 2008 when I was home from work sick, but could still sit up in bed with my laptop and take in Dawn’s beginning, intermediate and advance webinars on using SBC. Since then I use p2P as my go-to place for any and all questions regarding the software & fun ideas.
    Last year I expanded my first D2D album to 100 pages, using the rest as a portfolio of all the various projects I had used at home and work (have been using SBC for desktop publishing at work since 2009) and as I look over those pages, so many started with blueprints! Wouldn’t you know the day after that StoryBook arrived, CM announced they were going to discontinue supporting software. Sigh. BUT – leave it to p2P to come to the rescue and keep on keeping on.
    Janice, before I stop – just have to tell you you are not only a good teacher, but also a good writer. Really enjoyed reading your blog, and yes, I also laughed at your husband’s comment.

  8. Barbara says:

    Loved your blog Janice. I was the only one doing digital when it first came on the CM scene. I remember sitting at those webinars and then training my consultant and her sister consultants. I really felt alone and missed the dynamics of a group crop or weekend retreat. Then I discovered p2P! Not only did I have the opportunity to learn new skills, but I became part of a digi “family”! When I started I never dreamed that I would get to meet such wonderful ladies as Viv Mauriri, Sharon Rood Albright, Lori Bickford and Kathy Murray in person! I had to laugh when you mentioned your husband’s comment about inviting strangers into your home. Sorry Jan; I really don’t think you are strange! Viv’s children, who were also here in California, made similar comments about my husband and I picking up Viv and her husband and driving off with them! I am looking forward to what all of you have in store for us in the future.

  9. Fay Wilde says:

    I’m just along for the ride and love reading about you girls and the start of p2p. Itis wonderful that one of my friends introduced me to CM and then her friend showed us digital software and I was hooked she also gave me the first blog address so I could connect with what else was happening. I love the blueprints you make and then your follow=up compliments. My everyday revolves around p2p now gave me something to wake up to after I retired. I feel my work is artistic and its wonderful when my friends here at p2p think so too. Loved your story Janice and look forward to our future friendship, or I should say hearing from family for I too think we are all one big, bigger and bigest family of scrapbookers. Keep on Keeping on!!

  10. Jan says:

    And I’m smiling, too!! I remember one morning after using some of y’all’s pages and reading that people were “chuffed”. I called Anne to see if she thought that was a good thing or a bad thing!! And then saying, “I’ve always wanted to go to Australia” and y’all saying “COME ON!!” Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?? And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    • Janice says:

      Thanks Jan!!! I’m chuckling away at “chuffed” – such a funny conversation, and we’ve added many words to our different vocabularies since then. 🙂

  11. Mary says:

    Amazing story Janice. What a fun journey! I’m so glad our paths have crossed!

  12. Carolyn says:

    You would have been a very fine teacher. I know that because you turned out to be a very fine teacher. 🙂 I admire your attention to detail, your desire for standard business practice and the way you persevered when times got tough. You were a sweet Australian surprise for me… I still giggle when I think of those early Saturday morning (for me) sick puppy laugh sessions. 🙂 And Lauren. How I fell in love with your Lauren and Kim’s Angela… I sneak over to your page every now and then for news about her. Here’s to many more teaching years, Janice!

  13. Justine says:

    Freaky unknown people!!! Love your blog Janice! I consider myself immeasurably blessed that your journey and mine crossed along the way … Love you to bits x

  14. So fun to reminisce with you Janice! Similar stories – just across the world. I’m thankful that Creative Memories has facilitated so many good connections and relationship building! I look forward to continuing that here with the p2P family and in the future as CM launches something new.

  15. cmcharlotte cmcharlotte says:

    When I read your husband’s statement “you don’t even know these people” it made me laugh outloud and brought tears to my eyes. We really are “family” and so blessed to have each other. It is such a relief to have you Pixies still with us. Much of the fear and feelings of abandonment is disappearing. We know you Pixies will go “beyond” and help us to keep creating and sharing our memories. Such an important “teaching” job you have. And you all do it so well. God Bless you all. And all of us photo historians!

    • Janice says:

      Thank you so much Charlotte for your kind words. I still get a chuckle today when I think about Jan’s first visit to Australia, and I’m sitting here typing with a huge smile on my face 🙂

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