Today wraps up AnnTheGran.com’s 12th year “on the air.” With all the excitement about our new digital scrapbooking area, and all the time I was spending getting my own products ready for the store, I completely forgot until I looked at the date. It’s been a long journey and many of you have been with me from that first little page while many more have joined me on the road as the years have gone by. But I want to tell you about a different journey today, one I’ve been on for only the past 2 ½ years.
If you’ve ever been in one of my classes you might remember that I ask everyone who used to paint fabric to raise their hands, then those who did tole painting, then those who did counted cross stitch, naming creative hobbies until every hand in the room was raised and everyone was laughing. Then I said, “I know you because I AM you.” I believe that this is still true. I can’t remember any creative hobby, other than sewing, which isn’t so much a hobby as a part of my life, which I’ve done for so long without going on to something else. While I haven’t left machine embroidery, I have gone on to something else and, of course, you already know what it is. Let me tell you how innocently digital scrapbooking began how quickly it became as addictive and all consuming as embroidery.
In May, 2006, Bill and I had just retuned from spending a few weeks with our friends and embroidery colleagues, Loes and Theo van der Heijden, about whom I’ve spoken to you frequently in my blogs. Loes sent me an email telling me about a program, FotoFusion by Lumapix, she had downloaded and thought might be handy for working on our web sites. Always on the prowl for new and interesting software, I went to the web site and downloaded the trial program. While fooling around with it, as I do when I’m becoming familiar with new software, I was using photos from my photo stash. I think this may be one of the first collages that I made. Not the very first, but close to it, and the first one that I shared. Just like my early attempts at machine embroidery, it isn't very good, I thought it was wonderful and I still like it in spite of its shortcomings. I became fascinated with the process and before long went ahead and paid for and registered the program. I'm still using the old version 3 of FotoFusion and it's still available for preview and purchase. I never felt the need to upgrade when they brought out a new, more expensive, version with a lot of bells and whistles. (If it ain't broke . . . well, you know . . .)
My progress along the path to complete digital scrapbooking immersion continued to mirror the path I had taken with machine embroidery 10 years previously. I found some free stuff on the Internet and then became bored with that and began purchasing digi-scrap papers and elements. Quite the opposite from machine embroidery, which was, in the beginning, horribly expensive, I found that digi-scrap supplies were pretty reasonably priced, inexpensive, in fact. Well, if you know me you know that I couldn’t leave well enough alone and and soon I began creating my own digi-scrap elements. I gave them away through a group using the same software I was using. This is my old gallery in that group. Now this is where the journey veered off onto a different branch in the road. My friends were telling me that I ought to sell my stuff, but I knew that I didn’t want to become involved with creating another web site. First, I already had a web site that was taking up a big chunk of my time and, second, I learned my lesson the first time.
I was very excited when I was finally accepted as a designer at one of the online digital scrapbooking srores. After about a year I felt that my designing had improved considerably and I wanted to make a move to a more prominent store. That's when I met Stacy and she accepted me as a designer at GottaPixel. I thought that digital scrapbooking, and especially Stacy's approach to it, would be a good fit with AnnTheGran. I introduced Stacy to Greg and twiddled my thumbs an crossed my fingers while the two of them worked their magic. And that's where we are today. The digital scrapbooking store at ATG is either already open, or it will be open shortly. In the meanwhile, you can have fun looking through the new digi-scrap gallery at AnnTheGran. All of the designers are listed along the left side of the page. Me too!
I'm trying to be ladylike and not be excitedly jumping up and down, but it's difficult to contan my excitement. I hope you'll take a look and, if it's something you think you might enjoy, give it a try. But be careful, it's addictive!
Enough from me about this today. Y'all take care of each other and, you know, don't forget to turn off your computer once in a while . . . . TTFN