In 2001, after I had my first child… We were living in Italy, and had one of those early digi-cams… you know, the kind that used a 3.5 floppy (my mom still has it, and it still works! takes crap-tastic pics… but whatever, it was cutting edge back then!)… We got the digicam so we could more easily email photos back to the grandparents. I was already working with PSP creating website graphics, so a search for Computer scrapbooking led me to a few Yahoo groups. Joined one in 2001, and have been digi-scrapping ever since… Back then, digiscrapping wasn’t very popular, and most layouts were nothing more than a background image, a photo, maybe a mat, or some clip art, and some journaling. It’s been fun to watch the industry evolve. when I look back at those first layouts…. oh my word! yea… and good thing is, now I have the knowledge and the programs to salvage those itty bitty 72 dpi, 460×640 photos taken with that old camera.
My design experience began in 1999 when I started designing websites. It wasn’t long before I decided that I really needed to create my own graphics to go with the websites I was designing. I started using Paint Shop Pro to create web graphics. So it was a natural choice for me to use PSP when I began scrapping digitally. In 2001, there wasn’t alot out there yet. So I created almost everything I used. I got my start designing professionally in 2005. An organization I worked for (and still do every now and then) needed a fund raiser. Thus, the Angel Baby Collection was created, and started that whole “designer” thing for me. A friend, Wendy, let me set up in her store, and another woman, Andrea, took a chance on an unknown. I tried, but I couldn’t keep up with both locations, so I picked one. I felt guilty about not being able to maintain my end of the deal at my friend’s site, and Scrap Outside the Box was much more lax in their requirements. So I went with SOTB, and sadly burned a few bridges and lost a friendship in the process because I didn’t handle the situation very well.
I designed with Paint Shop Pro exclusively for years. Then I bought Photoshop about a year ago. It has been amazing. So many things I struggled with in Paint Shop Pro now come easy in Photoshop. I love my Photoshop and won’t ever go back. Photoshop really made designing easier.
But life is more than designing. We decided homeschooling was the best thing we could for our kids, and I had to cut back on my design time to teach our son. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t regret it for a second, homeschooling truly is the best decision DH & I have ever made after getting married. Then I had to take a short break while my family and I moved. Two short weeks after we moved, my Dad died. It took months to recover. By the time I was ready to try designing again, I found that my boss had instituted new requirements. While I totally understood, and agreed with the new requirements, there was no way I could meet the demands of designing, and keep on top of all the other things I was doing in my offline life. So I retired from design in June of 2007.
Designing is hard. It’s not the easy money some might think. I had to work my tail off to make a 5.00$ paycheck. Truth be told, I was working for far less then a penny an hour. It was not fun. “Don’t bother Mom, she’s working.” “Leave Mom alone, she’s working.” I was not a Stay at Home Mom. I was a Work at Home Mom. I would get upset when one of the kids would interrupt my creative process. I don’t want to do that again. It’s honestly not worth it.
I do want to scrap. I need to re-learn how.