Back in 2001, I wanted a username to use on sites to give myself an universal identity as I grew to dislike many different usernames. I had around that time became a huge fan of a anime/manga series called Cardcaptor Sakura. Combining Cardcaptor from Cardcaptor Sakura and my own first name. I created that name when I was around thirteen years old, so over those 10+ years, it has stuck and become a part of me. When it was time to pick my domain name, I couldn't choose what name to have, so I just kept Cardcaptor Stacey.
From the start
In secondary school, I got into the Internet through my brother. (He went to our uncle's to go on the Internet when it was not too commercial, many years ago). We originally had an Amiga and after some years, got our first PC. When we got access to the Internet sometime later, I was curious how websites were made so I wanted to make my own. During that time I also came across a passion for creating RPG's (role playing games) after stumbing across an great community unexpectedly. I spent a lot of my time creating sprites, backgrounds and my own scripts called plotscripts which would control any aspect of the game. Although I did enjoy it very much, everything was very time consuming and I found myself crawling back to web design. I learnt everything I needed to know about web on my own, through experimentation.
Beginning of an obsession
I started out using a terrible building site called Homestead but quickly stopped using it. I discovered Angelfire (if I remember correctly), and tried out their crappy templates but wanted more freedom with my designs. Next was Geocities. With more freedom with the tools, I designed my first layout; it was covered in flowers and featured Cardcaptor Sakura which took several minutes to load on my 56K connection. After leaving Geocities for Lycos Tripod (UK), I had more leeway to do what I wanted. Eventually, I gave up my RPG to pursue my new passion. As much as I love gaming, game design wasn't the future for me. I just love playing them.
As school was finished, I decided I wanted to do web design as a career, much to my parents disappointment. I took graphic design at college as no full time web design courses were offered. In 2004, I got the opportunity to have my own domain; 100% freedom with everything. Of course I accepted.
When my course finished after two years, I left with a diploma much higher than I was expecting, it got me into the university I wanted, which made me happy. I took one of the biggest (and best) decision of my life yet - which web course to take. I was very tempted to take web design, but with newly gained knowledge of CSS, MySQL and PHP I learnt myself, I decided after two years of design at college, designing was not the only road I wanted to take, so I picked web development to further my knowledge in other areas.
University was a weird time in my life, for good and bad. I basically knew almost everything I needed to know before I even started, as I learnt much during the summer break. My website took huge steps forward from the time I left college to starting university. During the course, my standards grew dramatically as my classmates gazed on. I learnt a few new techniques during my three years at university and gained better knowledge in different circumstances. The second year brought me the step up with the introduction of XHTML and accessibility. Accessibility changed my design web habits.
Into the world
After leaving university, I expanded my site and did many projects, fixes, redesigns and makeovers. This is what I do. I love the whole process of the initial idea I wrote up on paper, to designing and coding it. Seeing it up there and people complementing me; it's awesome. My aim is to be different. I love things that are bright and inviting. I'm not afraid of using colour; I love the rainbow!
I have never looked back in regret at all the choices I made in the past. I look back to reflect on how far I've come and how it's made me who I am today. My website has expanded so much over the years and the addiction of making more sites hasn't ended to this day. I love planning, designing, coding, updating, fixing - anything and everything.
Who knows? Maybe you can help me out with that :)
~ 17th April 2012