Bobbin Lace
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About this Page

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© 1996 Christiane Eichler
All rights reserved.

About this page

Key to symbols used in Dreams of Lace

The colored balls lead you to the main areas of the page
The blue diamond leads to subareas of main areas
The puple diamond leads to topics on the same page (on long pages)
This is an external link, which leads you out of this site to the WWW
Link to a German page

The concept of this project

"Dreams of Lace"
is the name of this page, because lace is a fabric that is delicate, but strong at the same time, that is transparent, and at the same time covers. I called this project "Dreams of Lace" for yet another reason: I like to dream about lace I'm going to make. I dream lots more than I can ever put into realty, but some of my dreams have come true already. Sometimes I simply dream about doing this or that pattern, for example when I browse though magazines and books. Sometimes I dream about learning a new lace technique (two of these dreams have fulfilled already, namely learning how to tat and to do bobbin lace). Dreams are also the basis of my creativity, which sprouts into my own designs and experiments with technique

The "Dreams of Lace" projects want visitors interested in lace to feel at home. I put my emphasis on Lacemaking, as the title of the page suggests. But I do many different crafts, so there is room for them, too. The Showcases are for people who just want to look what can be done. I put there some of the projects I have done so far. The other parts are for people who want more information about a lace technique. From these pages there is a link to the corresponding showcase as well as to other information. You will find Photos of technical details, tips & tricks, articles, history and reference.

The German-English and English-German Dictionary of Crafts Terms is a section of its own. It is designed to help unearth the Information in both languages. There is lots of Information to have, and it would be a pity if it was only the language barrier that keeps you from using it. Using the Dictionary you will be able to understand some of the pages or discussion, or they will help you find the topic of your choice.

Of course there has to be a part about me (in this part I played with the layout a bit), and not to forget a links page. On the links page I gather what belongs with the Dreams of Lace topic, but in my bookmarks file you will find other things I loved on the net.

The Design of the Dreams of Lace Project
When I first started out with this project I wanted to use the standard Internet gray as a basis *and* a challenge. At the same time I wanted to combine readability, aesthetics and clarity of presentation with short loading time. Another important basic idea is that layout and clipart are not important in themselves, but they have to help to present the information given on the page.

I always love to use simple means to reach my goals, not because I don't want to learn how to use complicated HTML-code, but because for me it is a challenge to stretch simple means as far as I can. The same basic principle is true for lace: I always prefer simple means, not because I don't want to learn complicated HTML-code, but because I like to stretch the possibilities of simple meanst to the extreme. That is one of the characteristics of lace: Very simple basic structures make up very rich and interesting fabric. HTML for me is a means of transporting information. That is why I prefer to use my time for contents than playing around with midi or other knick-knacks.

During the development of this project there were three intermediate stages of layout, which also showed my progress in HTML. At first there were only horizontal rules, and a plain grey background. Then I introduced the main table. There every subtopic had its own logo. For getting logos I searched the Web for free graphics, because I'm not good drawing things, and the free graphics saved me lots of time. There were only a few exceptions, namely the logos and the background graphics that I made with image processing programs from scanned photos. To help navigation through my pages I used very simple pink arrows. The last addition in this stage was the background graphics, with which I'm not yet really satisfied. But it helps keep the pages together.

At some stage the main table got too big, and it wasn't easy any more to find your way. That was the reason for the last big remodelling of the layout, and I developed the concept you see now, which uses the look of frames, but actually has no frames. Again the goal of simplicity.

I'm very skeptical about frames. I have seen too many projects overloaded by frames, which were used in a very unmotivated way. Very often lack of contents is covered by extensive use of frames (look, I can program frames!), and people with lower resolution monitors are simply forgotten. There are good examples of frame usage, but they are far and apart. For this project I have considered using frames several times, but every time decided against it, since the disadvantages of frames were more than their advantages.

Of course a project about crafts needs lots of photos, because you want to see what is talked about. Good fotos use lots of space, and connected with that loading time. As long as there are one or two photos on a page this is not a problem, but I have lots of fotos. So I decided to solve the problem combining small previews with the good photos. I also try to use the GIF and JPG formats to minimize space used. I often edited palettes of GIF images by hand to make a multicolored background of a single color, and tried to find a good compromise between clarity and reduction for JPG files.

Perhaps you are now interested in the programs I use. I'm a OS/2 user, and hence I try to use OS/2 software as much as I can. The HTML-code is handwritten with HTML-Ed, which helps using difficult structures, but allows you full control over the code. I don't like all the rubbish that wysiwyg-editors put into your code. I process my images with PM-View, which has very "clean" programming, and makes intensive use of the multitasking abilities of OS/2. I can also use this program with my photo-CD. When I have to draw myself I use Corel Draw 3 (Windwos), for example for the tatting patterns. I check the look of my page with Netscape, although I try to minimize the use of Netscape specific commands. Of course I use Netscape for surfing as well.

As every good page there should always be a construction sign somewhere on my page. I don't use it because there is lots of information now to be found on these pages. When I add new things I try to do that coherently and completely before actually updating on the server. Of course I see to it that al my internal links work, and now and again I check my external links for validity as well. I also see to good spelling and wording of my texts, but since I'm not a native speaker of English I apologize for glitches. (If you see something offensive, please write me an email! I never meant to offend in the first place.) Every help to improve my project is very welcome.

Right now I'm working on a solution for the up-arrows. If the solutions seem inconsequent at times I ask your forgiveness.

I don't want to forget to thank all the people who help me maintain this project. I'm the one who decides on contents, layout and does the HTML-programming, but without my husband Ralf this page would be only half as good. Again and again he helped me debug the code, made constructive suggestions, browsed the Internet for graphics, proofread all pages and gave me all emotional and technical help he could. I don't want to forget to mention that he photographed most of my crafts projects.

I also want to thank Renate Lenz, who with friendly as well as professional critique helped me to improve this page. She also made some photos with her digital camera for me.

My brother-in-law Gerd Eichler is very important for this page. He scanned noumerous projects or photos of the projects. With his help it is much easier for me to put newer projects of mine onto the page. Otherwise it would take a long time to process the film, collect the photos and put them on Photo-CD.