December 22, 2007
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In December, 1996, AnnTheGran's Design Exchange had been online for 2 months, and it was all very, very new. Our small community had shared a hundred or so designs and I sent the Christmas greeting you see on your right, created around my greatest blessings at the time.
AnnTheGran, my Internet nickname and persona that grew out of those early days, is celebrating her 12th Christmas this year, and you can see on the left just how much those blessings have grown.
In the intervening years, I've traveled the country, and the world, meeting many of you and sharing our wonderful embroidery hobby. The travel hasn't always been about being AnnTheGran -- Bill and I both love to travel for pleasure -- but it seems that, everywhere I go, embroidery somehow ends up playing a role. For that, I have all of you to thank.
As we all gather with our families and friends for the holiday season to share our stories and experiences with those in our lives who are important to us, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the stories that I've been sharing with those in my life, and some of the places that you, my embroidery friends in the AnnTheGran community, have afforded me the opportunity to visit. I've heard from many of you that you thought I'd disappeared -- some even thought I'd kicked the bucket! -- but I can assure you that rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! In fact, I'm going to be announcing very shortly an opportunity where I can re-connect in person to those of you who've been so supportive to me over the years. I'm looking forward to a very special year in 2008.
Scattered around this post, you'll find a few pictures that reflect experiences that you have helped me enjoy; experiences that have influenced my growth as a person, even as they may have been fuelling stories of my disappearance! In 2002 Bill and I flew to Australia for an embroidery seminar; guess which picture is from Australia! Last year, I was lucky enough to be able to meet many of you during a visit to Holland; look for the photo with the background signs in Dutch. There is also one of Bill and myself meeting a future Iditarod champ in Denali, Alaska, this past September. Everywhere I went, I have considered myself an ambassador not only for embroidery but for the idea that a little creativity and a few of the right tools can make a real difference in someone's day, and maybe even in someone's life.
The last project I've posted for this year speaks to that sentiment. As you enjoy time with your loved ones and count your blessings, I hope you'll take a moment to have a look at this story of how some very charitable souls are using their creative talents to make a real difference in the world. You can view the project and the story behind it by clicking here.
It is with a full and grateful heart, then, that Bill and I wish all of you, who created AnnTheGran and have kept her going for so many years, the most wonderful (belated) Hanukkah, the merriest Christmas, the most fulfilling Kwanzaa, the happiest of holidays and a healthy and prosperous 2008. I can't wait to see what new adventures the coming year will bring.