The blog started live over on “Blogger” on the 18th June 2009! For those of you who can remember that far back, here’s that very first post!
If you can’t remember that far back, never mind, have a read anyway!
So, who am I..?
My name is Caroline, but I prefer Cazzy or Caz. Most people who know me online will know me as Gatchacaz. “Where does such an unusual nickname come from?” I hear you ask … well, I’ll tell you.
Obviously the ‘caz’ bit is easy (that’s short for Caroline).
The ‘Gatcha’ bit comes from Gatchaman or, to give it’s full title “Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman” (科学忍者隊ガッチャマン) or “Science Ninja Team Gatchaman” (to give it its English title). It’s a Japanese anime made by Tatsunoko Pro in 1972.
We known it better in the west as Battle of the Planets (or G-Force). I used to watch Battle of the Planets during the early 1980’s but didn’t get into the original till much later. Obviously, the original is far superior as it has all the violence that is glossed over in the BotP version by a silly robot!
BotP does have a better soundtrack, but both are fun to watch!
I used to draw a lot when I was younger, but didn’t get into cross-stitch until 2002. I had always wanted to give it a try, but instead would buy kits for my mum to stitch for me. I used to think I would not have the patience for it … oh how times have changed.
That change came (thankfully), when I went to a stitch show in Manchester with my mum and sister-in-law. As we all know, craft shows are awesome and I couldn’t resist the temptation to give it a go and see why my mum enjoyed it so much.
This Dinosaur kit by “Mouseloft” was my first attempt at cross-stitch!
I stitched it that evening!
Needless to say, I was hooked and I’ve never looked back since.
My Dad got me into charting. He bought a copy of Jane Greenoff’s Stitching software (I forget which one), as he wanted to do some charting himself. He never took it up, but I swiped the disc when I left home and started dabbling … only with small stuff to start with, and then getting more ambitious!
Here are some of my first attempts at charting…
“Cloud in Stitches” is my most popular deviation over on deviantArt, and you can stitch him too for free … just click on the “Archives” tab above! (>gaming patterns >in stitches).
By the time the blog came about, I had charted several patterns and, at first, I would just email them to people who asked me for them. It became obvious they needed somewhere to live.
So, that’s why I started blogging, so my patterns could have a home. I knew several people through DeviantArt who were just setting up blogs for the same reason and it seemed like a good thing to do as well.
This “Triforce Logo” was the first pattern I posted on my blog.
The “Triforce Logo” pattern I uploaded then was just created in word and saved as a .jpg file. It’s not there anymore, but you can still download the pattern via the “Archives” tab (>gaming patterns >legend of zelda).
I upgraded my charting software later that year to Patter Maker Professional [ver.4] as this was the version all my other bloggy friends were using. There are better programs on the market, but for what I’m doing at the moment, I like it very much. It has certainly helped me to create better looking charts than the ones I was doing in the Jane Greenoff software, and I like the export function as it lets me get the legend information to create the pattern info part of my patterns!
Eventually, I started to convert my patterns to .pdf format and in looking for somewhere to host the patterns, I used the free site “110mb.com.” I had a LOT of problems using this site (as I know some of my other bloggy friends did too). In the end, I was forced to abandon it and now you’ll find all my free patterns and downloads are stored via BOX.com (which is much easier to manage).
It hasn’t all been plain sailing.
Life has an annoying habit of getting in the way, and there have been times when I haven’t been able to update as often as I would like. The fact that the blog is still going though is a testament that I am determined to keep it so, and I hope it can continue on for many more years!
Over the years, I have become a better cross-stitch designer and from those first pixel patterns I posted way back at the start I now chart much bigger and more detailed stuff. As my loyal followers will know, I have become a big fan of the blackwork technique and most of my designs are charted this way.
I know I’ve provided “how tos” over the years on how I chart my patterns, but for those of you who don’t know, here’s the low down:
- I do not import any images to chart into my Pattern Maker software.
- ALL my patterns are charted by hand, first on tracing paper and graph paper before being transferred as a grid into my charting software. I use (predominantly) Anchor threads, and I have a shade card with actual thread swatches that I use to choose the colours for my designs. I also like using DMC’s Color Variations and Light Effects threads for that extra “wow” factor.
- My charts contain both legends for Anchor or DMC threads (except where the colours cannot be converted), You can find conversion charts for both ‘Anchor to DMC’ and ‘DMC to Anchor’ via the “Archives” tab above (>downloads).
As previously mentioned, the export feature in my software allows me to obtain the legend information (ie; symbols, colours used, design size etc…). I then use this to create a ‘pattern info’ file as a Word document. This will then be printed and merged with the Pattern Maker chart to produce the .pdf’s I upload onto BOX.com (or sell via Ko-Fi).
My patterns contain:
- Chart (with black and white symbols)
- Pattern info (Including legend for threads, symbols etc…)
Pattern files sold via Ko-Fi have an addition chart with colour symbols, and additional info, which is referred to in the individual listing.
So there you have it…
To those of you who’ve been following me long-term, thank you for your continued support … it remains, very much appreciated.
And, if you’ve only just hopped on board … greetings, I hope you enjoy the ride! X