Sunday, 17 June 2018

wish to be a fish!

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Oh yes, you read it right! I do wish I could be a fish and stay in the water. It has been so horrid – hot and humid – here for the last 3 weeks that all one wants to do is laze in cool water or swim about like a fish. All energy is sapped out. We have been facing temperatures in the 110°F or 44°C range and no respite in sight.

So as I was saying, this adorable little fish tat-along came at the right moment!
I’ve admired this cute Kiss Kiss fish all along. Loaded my shuttles with thread and beads.

Size 20 Lizbeth – 132 Tropical Punch and 
pearl beads which are slightly larger than the required size 11

Day 1 – the tail fins and ventral part of the body.
Two long tails from each shuttle act as the padding for the body to allow the fish to keep it’s shape. I really like how she used the tails instead of adding thread separately!

Needless to say, the stitches are unflipped here (reverse stitch for encapsulation or padded tatting).

Day 2 – eyes, kissing lips and dorsal half of body.
With beads for eyes and lips in place, the encapsulation continues on. Dorsal and ventral fins are made with decorative picots.
After joining & knotting back to the tail fins, I simply tied a bow with the thread ends instead of hiding ends. Yup, lazy!

I thoroughly enjoy patterns that can be worked all from the front! And a sweet cute little fish is just so much fun! I do wish I could’ve taken pics against better background with seaworld props. But the weather does not permit all the physical activity involved ;-P I'm fried fish here ....

I intend to make this again with thread & bead sizes complementing each other. Perhaps then I will exert myself for a better background.

Carollyn has explained everything beautifully with stepwise pictures. She has given me permission to draw out a diagram for her patter pdf. So stay tuned to her blog !
It may be a small fish, but the designing is very clever - no small fry !

Thanks a heap, Carollyn, for this wonderful tat-along & pattern!
I still wish I could be this fish :-D

Monday, 11 June 2018

I'm on the take

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Ummm, that news is Fake ! 
Nevertheless, I did succumb to Temptation. It was a Book!  How could I say no?
Aah, heart in hand, I refused. Not once but twice and again later. Even went to Amazon looking to buy it.
She was just so deliciously persistent.  How could I break her enthusiastic heart ...
Am I that heartless ?! ;-P
So these are what tumbled out from Denise’s generous hand into my grateful lap after travelling over 12,000 kms. She had an extra copy of Billie Heisler’s book and wanted to send it to me after reading this magic pathways post

And she sent so many friends along to keep it company ....
... hand dyed threads (never imagined I’d ever hold them in my hand) – one each of Marilee & Karen Solomon, metallic, marigold, … Lizbeth size 10 from the Sweet Tart mix (okay I had asked for just one length of size 10 in order to compare with my Anchor size 20s and put the size issues to rest).
The Marigold is her first attempt at native dyeing -- I'm glad she explained it, making me treasure it even more.

.... her own tatting – priceless! It is wonderful to be able to hold someone’s tatting in hand. This ice drop has an Adorable bee hovering around it!
Isn’t that heart the cutest – “made with love”!!! And all her thoughtfulness, too, is apparent in the entire packaging.
The pink ice drop looks like a pretty flower from both sides! Photo has watered down the lovely pink shade unfortunately. It is flanked by one of her prettified butterfly.

I’m still jumping with joy unable to focus on how to use these lovelies. Hope I can do justice to all she’s sent. Suggestions are most definitely welcome.

And to top it all – a friendly handwritten card (on the top left)!
She also inserted the latest Handy Hands newsletter and their Lizbeth catalogue! The catalogue couldn’t have come at a better time. 
A couple of weeks back I received my order of 2 Lizbeth packs – the Ice mix and Sunkist mix – in size 20. The balls have shade numbers but no names and I was going to go to the HH website to hunt down each. With the catalogue in hand, I simply ticked off the fun names.
I needed solid colours to use for my pattern samples/models. We easily find conversion tables between Lizbeth 20 and other brands, unlike Anchor. I have listed a few in the Resources page (click on Tab) and will soon add more. 

So many goodies and it’s not even my birthday yet ;-P

ps: I’m most definitely not on the take ;-P I have long standing offers from generous tatter/blogger friends which I have steadfastly declined (entire loss being mine).

Can’t thank you enough, Denise ! 
You are a gem & I treasure your friendship.

Friday, 8 June 2018

that one magic node

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Inkscape hack #3

Be it any medium, I am a freehand, freestyle person. 100% accuracy and precision takes a huge toll out of me. Freehand makes me joyous, even if minor flaws creep in. Trading practicality and hedonism for perfection - my mantra or excuse?! ;-P

I had been pleasantly engaged in drawing a seemingly complex tatting diagram for my mate. It consists of many parts that are not all symmetrical. The many sized rings and chains not only face in different directions but some elements have lots of picots.

For picots, I find it easier to draw small straight lines individually with the Bezier (or pencil) tool – trying to orient as I draw. This gives me a quick first draft. Then I group them together and change their value, colour, etc.

Length and orientation may still need tweaking when the whole element/portion is done. Earlier, I would select each picot and use the arrows to do it. Not always convenient since the lines are relatively small and the arrows come in the way (how much can one zoom for each picot – my old compy can’t handle it ;-D)! Further, unless the Control key is held down, the thickness/value of the line changes. This meant an additional step to bring back the required value.

This time I discovered a very easy and sure-fix method that has multiple advantages. All we need is Just One Node! Quite magical, I’d say :-)

We can use a single end node to increase/decrease length and tweak direction. We can also shift the start/end nodes for proper alignment with other elements.
The greatest advantage, besides ease and speed, is that the thickness of the line does not change at all! And it is great when drawing asymmetrical diagrams

Robin’s tutorials cover symmetrically placed elements, and she uses the pencil tool to draw picots

I. Straight Line (Picot)
Choose just one ‘end’ node to change length or direction ! 
(see diagrams below)

Fig1 shows the first draft lines for picots. 
After selecting the picot to be tweaked, I choose Node tool. 
One can choose either of the 2 end nodes. The chosen one will become red coloured to show it is active. 
Then drag 'outwards' (in relation to the line/picot) to increase length (fig3) ; 
drag 'inwards' to decrease length (fig4) ; 
or drag sideways to right or left to change direction (fig5).

II. Curved Line/Arches (Chains) :
Choose just one node to shift arches - length or position ! 
(see diagrams below)

You might remember my quick and easy way to draw a continuous line of chains and create arches between two nodes. Sometimes, after changing the value or on close inspection I find that the points are not aligned correctly - 
one point may either not touch the ring (fig3); 
or may have invaded inside the ring (fig4); 
or may be misaligned (fig5).
All we need to do is select that point, convert to Node and move it in desired direction !

I'm sure this hack is nothing new. But for me it was an exciting self-discovery !!!

Related Posts :
Inkscape Hack #1 - drawing continuous chains
Inkscape Hack #2 - designing from pre-existing template 

hope this shortcut is helpful too...