Friday, May 29, 2015


I've apparently not posted since January? That's a bit embarrassing, and not for want of content. Some mandalas to stitch... here are the monochromes.
A Holly Jolly Mandala
A Spirited Mandala
Wings and Things

Friday, January 16, 2015

TNNA Phoenix

Two new Ink Circles charts debuted in January at the TNNA Phoenix tradeshow last weekend. Shops that attended were able to pick up or order these through Wichelt. They are going this week to shops on automatics from me, and they'll be with all the distributors within a few weeks (i.e. available everywhere by then.)

The first is a set of sewing implements that fit inside this little tray. When I first saw the tray, my first thought was of an antique bed. So naturally, it needed an antique bed covering. The set grew as I thought of more things that could fit into the bed.

The set is called "Cover Story"

The set includes a scissor keeper, pinkeep, needlebook, the coverlet, and some throw pillows.  The chart pack includes all of the finishing instructions for each item. I chose Red, white, and blue silks from Treenway. The fabric color is important to be darker than the white, but not much. Heroic by Picture This Plus worked out perfectly. Below is an example of the overshot woven coverlets that inspired these designs.
Read more about coverlets here
The second new piece is a followup to the popular Reflections of Paris and Turrets and Town pieces. This time we visit London. If you look you can see most of the popular landmarks with everything from police boxes and double decker buses to Underground signs sprinkled in.
Reflections of London
I find this style of design fun to draw as well as enjoyable to stitch. Given the encouragement and the popularity, I'm planning more. It's only a question of which city/country/area to do next.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


New RYO colorway called Rainier: 311/322/828, 961/962/963, 3844/3846/3811, 501/3052/524. These are the 2014 mandalas:

Friday, November 28, 2014

Open letter to Amanda

Hello Amanda,
   I'm not sure what your financial and moral situations are that led up to you joining the Chinese pattern sharing forum. I don't have any vendetta against you in particular, you just happened to be more obvious than most of the thieves so it was easy to single you out for example.
   It always leaves me with a knot of anger in my stomach when I see my charts posted up on the sites for the downloading.  Seriously, how would you like to see something that you've spent hours developing as a saleable product being passed out for free. Actually it's worse than just giving them away for free. To download them, I know that you have to further propagate the piracy by uploading different charts to the forum. I wonder who you sold out to download my pattern.
   My daughter's college doesn't take "gold coins" for her tuition. The grocery store doesn't accept them either, nor the vet, nor the power company. Perhaps you think we designers are swimming in dough from all the legal sales and don't really miss the gravy. If you were to look at how many of my charts were posted in that forum, and calculate how many downloads each, and how much lost sales, you might be surprised at how high the figure was. Perhaps you don't realize what a small percentage of the retail price from a legal sale ends up in an account from which I can pay for those groceries.
   From your Facebook pictures, I can see you have a young son. Are these the lessons you are teaching him? He'll grow up to be a real gem, I'm sure.
   I particularly like the way you waved your arms around and Facebook deleted everything from my timeline, including my own photos. It's as if NOTHING happened there. I called you out as a thief, with the hard evidence to back that, yet somehow I was the bully. But not before 4,000+ people saw what you did. 
   There's not much I can do to stop the root problem. Those foreign sites don't comply with legal requests and takedown notices. You've changed your screen name, as if that will protect you or somehow hide you from view. Lawyers to chase infringers and shut down sites don't work within the salary limits I have, and further dealings with you will only depress me.
   Besides there is a different morally decrepit soul over on Google docs that I'm turning my energies toward today.  She somehow thinks that if she recharts my patterns into the cross stitch program herself, that she can copyright the output. And as I speak, a friend just sent an email pointing out that some bitch on Pinterest is sharing scanned images.  Ah what a respected and rewarding career.

May karma bite you on the ass,

Monday, November 10, 2014

Where did October go?

Somehow in all the hubbub of preparing for the big Trail of Orts tour, I neglected to update the blog and the Roll Your Own Wiki with the latest mandala in the series. The charts went out to all the subscribers on October 1st, but nobody else got to see and I didn't preview it in the typical variety of colorways. October was the 7th and final installment in the Merry Go Round RYO series. These were all named after lines of latitude, and October was the Arctic Circle. Whether or not any visible cues from where I drew my inspiration still remain distinct in the design is open to your judgement, but these always do end up being a study in abstraction.

Arctic Circle in its titular colorway:
Navy 336/312/334; Christmas Green 701/703/472;
Jade 561/562/564; Desert Sand 632/407/950.
Here she is in some of our other colorways. It's always fun to see how the different colors tend to accentuate one part of the design or another. As usual, it's going to be a tough choice to pick colors for stitching.
Top Row: Clean the Fan, Orchids, Halloween
Middle Row: Zaszlaja, Basil, Tropic of Cancer
Bottom: Seahawks, Fall Daisy, Geode
This series is available as PDF charts for a while longer - through the end of the year. After that, I'll be switching them over to hard copy only charts like I did for the 2013 series.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November New Releases

Two new charts for November.  If you ran in to me on the Trail of Orts Tour, you will recognize the Spot On set of mini-mandalas that I brought along.  Susan at Red Gate Stitchery makes these very cool little drilled pendants of wood and acrylic and my thoughts immediately ran to tiny kaleidoscopic jewels that would fit just perfectly. You can ask your favorite LNS to stock or special order the pendant blanks, or you can buy them directly from Susan in her Etsy shop. The chart is $10 and should be available from your favorite shop.

DMC and a few hours to make a sweet little necklace!
 The Stitchers' Village is sponsoring a series of charts themed by asking where several designers' ideal home would be.  Ink Circles was #3 in their series, with the chart Village Square. (Rosewood Manor and Glendon Place were #1 and #2.)  "My village home is in a small town full of parks and trees and flowers. I can easily walk to the bookstore, the stitching shop, and the pub." I stitched it in Gloriana's Bluegrass Silk (you'll need 2 skeins) and Picture This Plus Icon Belfast linen, but it will obviously adapt to many a combo.
Village Square - #3 in the the Village Home series.
So, wherever it is that you call home, I invite you to pour a mug of your favorite brew (be it coffee, tea, or beer) and sit for a while and stitch. I'm pretty sure you deserve a little break.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Trail Leads Home

It's taken a few days to get everything back to normal after our ort-sprinkling journey across the country. Cathy Habermann of Hands On Design joined me on a seven stop hop that took us to two shows and five LNS shops in between.
We started in St. Charles MO at the Celebrations of Needlework.
I taught a class the silk-sequencing technique
I've been playing with. Alyse is showing off
her finished class piece.

Stitches Etc. is right there in historic downtown St. Charles.
Hanging out with Cathe Ray from Needle in a Haystack, Gail Zumwalt of
Stitches Etc, and Cathy Roginela of Inspired Needle. The Cathe/y contingent were
all in town for the Celebrations show.
Susie has an amazing shop in Evansville IN.
Stitches From the Heart, the second shop on the route, was filled to the brim
with good stuff. Our little table was equally packed. We could have spent days there.
The Stitchin' Post in Nashville was shop #3. Again, we got to meet some
amazing ladies and see a wonderful LNS.
Anyone would be happy to be able to call this their LNS, and we were
lucky to have a little shopping time here.
Cindy welcomed us at shop  #4 - Dixie Darlin in Pigeon Forge. She was getting ready
to join us at Stitching at the Beach, our final stop.  You might know Cindy from her design
work as Foxwood Crossing (lots of sleds) but she also keeps a fully stocked
shop in a historic touristy area.
It was easy to see why stitchers living a four hour drive away call the Stitch & Frame Shop
 in Rock Hill, SC their "local" needlework shop.  We even had a few of the not-so-locals
drive up for the day to meet us on our trip.
Stitch & Frame's building was perfect for a shop - light and airy, with high windows,
ledges and cubbies everywhere that were filled with models.
Cathy drove up and brought in her finished 99, which included
a custom bottle she swapped in. I love it!
And onward to the Ocean.
Stitching at the Beach is a lovely retreat with a shopping boutique area in the room.

I got to see a few friends from the Branson retreat last summer,
as well as meet a few friends from Facebook. Many of them brought
in finishes. Such nice work - I am so proud!

I have such wonderfully nerdy fans! And such accomplished
stitchers. All of Janel's work on the table there is over 1.

We kept busy enough that not much actual stitching was done, and we left very few orts in our wake. The weather at Myrtle Beach was fabulous, and after days of driving in the torrential rain that was very welcome. Wish we could have found a little more time for the sand, but we enjoyed every minute of it.

I have no clue whether factors will ever align to let us plan something like this again, so I am truly thankful to everyone that came out to meet us and all the beautiful shops that opened up their doors. What a trip!