Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's not just for cross stitch any more

My biggest announcement of the year! I love coloring mandalas, and now YOU can color my mandalas too. I've been working on a coloring book, and now it is ready. It's got 20 different mandalas ready for you sit back, relax, and color.

Ink Circles is publishing a coloring book. This is what the cover looks like.
It's called Peace of Art, a little pun because you will be creating a piece of art and you will be enjoying the peace of this relaxing art form.  If you've been watching at all, you'll have noticed a stream of interviews/programs/studies in the social media that tout the benefits of coloring as an adult hobby.

In what may be either a brilliant or a foolish move, I have chosen to distribute through Amazon as my primary fulfilment vehicle. You'll get Prime 2-day shipping; you'll get their price breaks (if they discount it); you'll be able to write and read reviews; I'll get a huge potential audience.

If you're not seeing the link directly above because of Adblock or your firewall, you'll need to go to Amazon and search the old fashioned way. It says order, but technically it is "pre-order" until Nov 10th.

Some of the choices I made in putting this together that might set my book apart from others:

  • Single-sided (8.5 x 11"), so you can cut out pages and frame (or hang on your fridge) without losing a second page.
  • Cardstock pages, so you can use colored pencils OR marker, or maybe even watercolor pencils without the page bleeding through or rippling.
  • Spiral wire binding, it folds back flat to whatever page you choose. No coloring in the binding area.
  • Spiral at the top: both my kids are southpaws. That side spiral gets in the way, so this works great for right or left handed colorists.
  • A color test area on each page so you can check if your shading works or that pink is as bright as you hoped. It's designed such that it can be cut out to make a bookmark afterwards.
One of the 20 pages. You can see the binding and the bookmark in this photo.

Pick the colors that make you smile. Relax, there is no wrong way to do it.

Complete with a real ISBN: 978-0-9969675-0-1
I feel so official!
I'll be adding this to the Ink Circles site for ordering, as well as my Etsy shop, in the interest of complete marketing options, but don't feel bad getting it from your cheapest easiest source. (Only feel bad if you are getting it illegally from a scanned pirated posted copy.)


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Canadians!

There is a lot of weird nonsense going on in the world right now, but there is also plenty to be thankful for. Monday is Thanksgiving Day for our Canadian friends, of which I am happy to have many. I was pleased to be asked by Thread & Eye in London, Ontario (the same shop that let me pilot the Roll Your Own Mandalas) to extend my Reflections series to include Canada. Challenge accepted.
Reflections of Canada 
Canada has no shortage of cool cultural icons, and I tried to balance some from both from modern society and the native peoples. Throw in a few common non-human residents and add a generous sprinkling of the traditional maple leaves and... Voila! Reflections of Canada.

Ingredients: Hockey sticks, teepees, Inukshuk, beavers, pine trees, Parliament building, geese, moose, totem pole, RCMP, the CN tower, dogwood flower, and maple leaves.

This chart is currently available exclusively through Thread & Eye. Neale and Kathy are happy to do mail order.  It's shown stitched in Dinky Dyes Warratah silk on 32 count Vintage Smokey White linen by Zweigart, but it will obviously adapt to just about any color scheme.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Freshly Harvested

Ask your favorite LNS or ONS for these fresh picks from Ink Circles
This fall was the first in many years when the TNNA (national trade organization for needlework) didn't organize a fall needlework market for wholesale buyers. To fill the gap, two different efforts created new shows using new concepts as a way to bring a surge of fresh designs for the fall.

Norden Crafts generated quite a buzz last month with their show and over 120 new designs from your favorite designers, everything ordered through and shipping from Norden. This month, the gals from Shepherd's Bush coordinated an online show where contributing designers made little mini-shows on their own websites and handled orders directly.

It may have been a bit tough for individual stitchers to sort their ways through these new formats, but recognize the result being HUNDREDS of new designs being made available in the cross stitch market within the last month. With that, I salute the efforts made for both shows and proudly present to you the six new designs released by Ink Circles, including Second Spring in collaboration with Hands On Design. Contact your favorite shop to order any of these charts. I do have an online web shop, but I don't add new releases for a few months in an effort to give shops first crack at sales.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Love and Let Love

Here is a special mandala for you. Some of you...if you're not into this sort of thing (tolerance) please just scroll along to the next blog/post - no comment is necessary. If you'd actually like the pattern to stitch this gratuitous profusion of rainbows, hearts and little ♀♂ in various combinations see below.  

Uses 10 skeins of DMC (3 of which are black); 115 inches square; suitable for aida, beads, etc.
Colors called for, but you can pick your own rainbow.

READ ALL THESE WORDS BEFORE YOU BUY: A pattern for this cross stitch design is being offered in pdf format, rather than the usual norm for me which is printed only. Also unusual, is that I am not specifying a price; you put in a number that is right for you, like a tip jar. I'll be donating the funds from this one to an appropriate local org. This is NOT an automatic download - you have to wait for me to email you the file, which I will make every effort to promptly do. I will send it to the email PayPal tells me, unless you say differently. I will not be doing anything ever with the email you use other than sending you the file. The file you receive is copyrighted and is NOT to be posted on any web site or forum, disassembled, scanned, etc. If your friend wants a copy, please send them the link instead and encourage them to chip in a buck or two.

If you run a shop and are interested in printed copies of this, send me an email and I'll be happy to set you up.

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: