How it all began...
I've been an avid collector of antique photos for two decades. It started with the discovery of eBay and blossomed in earnest as a selling venture of antique photos on eBay with my sister during our mother's illness. We created a way to fill sad times with a most incredible adventure.
Around that same-ish time I discovered collage through a serendipitous purchase of an issue of Somerset Studio magazine in 2001, and was instantly hooked. Enthralled, enraptured - collage became my obsession as it is probably yours. I still have that first issue I purchased, in my library. Countless issues of Somerset Studios made the tripto Goodwill over the years - but that first issue I purchased is still cherished. Still on my bookshelf.
And the passion for collage unfolded into a new passion: PaperWhimsy. Creating collage sheets because even though I was collecting antique photos to sell I was also stashing away plenty of antique photos that I just couldn't part with.
The PaperWhimsy journey begins...
I first started selling collage art on eBay as PaperWhimsy, and then moved to my collage sheets. This was well before the inception of Etsy, when eBay was the only online marketplace for artists to sell their artworks.
Oh, the angst and tears of learning Photoshop!
Eventually, I decided to create a website (actually, my dear Draw created the website - he figured out all the 1s and 0s to make my vision come alive as webpages). I'd think it up and somehow Draw would make it happen. Well done, Draw.
July 25, 2002, is the first record in time that PaperWhimsy existed on the worldwide web.
Oh, those colors! The door was from a photo I took in England.
If you've been purchasing my collage sheets from the very early years you may well recall this black background website with neon colored doors. The height of my artistic taste at the turn of the new century.
And my fledgling line of "Images for Artists" consisted of some 24 sheets in 2002.
In 2007, we looked like this. This is the website with the growing vines coming out of the word "PaperWhimsy" that Draw created in Flash. So sad that we can't see them, here. They were spectacular! I actually quite like this iteration of our website.
In 2012, we decided to brighten up a bit and created this version. Again, using Flash, Draw created a movie of a little butterfly and flowers coming into the image. And the piece des resistance was the final sparkle in the eye of the pretty face. Love! I was so brilliant!
And that big white square is this treasure:
This was the featured pretty face digitally painted and enhanced from an antique steel engraving from the mid-1800s I purchased in a glorious leather bound book titled Queens of England. I paid a very dear price for that book but it's truly a treasure I adore.
In 2014, we brightened up even more! We did a few versions with a white background.
Until we came to the final version (for now) of PaperWhimsy in 2017, when we moved to a different platform and created the website we're at right now.
My collection is probably close to a thousand antique images and the choicest of those, the ones that speak to me the most, I've digitally altered, painted and restored and share with you, my lovely creative friends.
What I've never done is purchase a CD collection of images curated by someone else with scant provenance. I've purposely avoided that avenue because I wanted to provide images that were unique and definitely available to share without possibly treading on someone else's copyright.
If you're a collector of actual original antique images you are aware that the vast majority of these original antique images you will find in antique stores or on Etsy or eBay are very probably one of a kind. Personally, through all my years of being on the hunt for wonderful antique photography I've never come across a duplicate of an image I had in my collection.