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Category Archives: Ink Circles

Tracy from Ink Circles has created a new stitchalong. A maṇḍala with nine premade colour options and instructions & assistance for you to make your own colour variation. All the information to join the SAL and the yahoo support group is on the Ink Circles website.

RYO2013 Nine Official Colour Combos

RYO2013 Nine Official Colour Combos

The SAL has been live for around a day and a half and already there are already over a dozen more versions available through the yahoogroup. I’ve decided to stitch this design twice.  A bright jewel tone effect on black with silver outlining (dreamt up by me – similar in concept to my BoINK) and an elegant version of all greens on white, dreamt up by Tracy. Below are my starts and floss tosses for both versions:

Jewel Tones

Jewel Tones




Ink Circles - Phlox Box

We know how hard it is to get our hands on magazine titles sometimes, so I thought I’d spread the news here.  If you want the latest Ink Circles design, Phlox Box, grab a copy of the current issue, May 2012, of Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine.

I confess I’m also putting this here as a reminder, as these magazines take three months to reach news agents in Australia.

Also, Tracy of Ink Circles is running a contest on her FaceBook page and twitter this weekend.  If you follow her on social media, check it out for a chance to win a copy of the magazine.

If like me, you have more than enough charts already and it’s painful to getting hold of this magazine, never fret.  I believe the copyright on this design should revert back to Tracy in about a year (or two) and she should be able to sell it as a standard chart at that time.

Now I can really see that design done in hues of greens on black fabric with touches of colours here are there for the blossoms …

Seeing as I lost all of my photo galleries in the blog move, I thought it time to start a new one.

Here are my picks from Nashville 2012 for those who didn’t see them come through via Social Media as I surfed 🙂

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.


Yes alright, I haven’t actually listed a stitching update for a looooong time, so here’s your three months or more catchup 🙂

Back in October 2011 I did finish Midi Mystery I. I only started it in August 2005.

Chatelaine Midi Mystery 1 - Parts 1-6 Complete

Midi Mystery I complete

I tried The Great Escape, but had problems, so I unpicked it and moved onto the next Chatelaine, Friendly Fullmoon Witch. Unfortunately, part way through this one, I discovered that I was doing my over one stitches with two strands, the same as my over two stitches. The thought of cutting out the over one stitches which I had stitched in-between the over two stitches and then having to stitch both the over one *and* the over two stitches was most disheartening.  Also it was this close examination, that I discovered that my tension was all over the place.  With my migraines I had lost my fine eyesight and I hadn’t noticed that my tension was slipping, so my top stitches were loose.

I was obviously so very depressed about this that I’ve put that project someplace very special – I’ve spent two days tearing the house apart and I cannot find the project to photograph it!  Included below it an earlier photograph of the same photograph – not the current stage including the one over one stitches and lack of tension that need to be removed.

Chatelaine Full Moon Witch

Friendly Fullmoon Witch - Start

After this disappointment, I simply stopped stitching for the rest of the year.  On New Year’s Eve I finally felt well enough to pick up a small kit and start some stitching, So I started Ink Circles – Reindeer Games: The Huddle.

Reindeer Games: The Huddle by Ink Circles

Reindeer Games - Progress

After this, I tried The Great Escape twice more and frogged it twice more.  These times, I had the Montenegrin stitch down, but I misunderstood the instructions on how many stitches to do on each row.

After all of this I decided to pull out the one WIP that is the simplest and yet gives me a lot of pleasure. So I spent one night on Angle of Love and got a start on the next section of it.

Cross Eyed Kat Angle of Love

Angle of Love - Progress

Other than this, I’ve spent a fair bit of time this January re-organising my blog and my physical stash.

I’m also have a lot of fun with the Project-of-the-Day. Most days I am just walking into my stash room opening a folder or box at random, thrusting my hand in and pulling out a chart.  So it’s a surprise to me as well as everyone else as what get’s posted each day.

I’ve learned a couple of things from posting the Projects each day.

  1. Just because I post an item that I have almost kitted up, I do *not* need to spend money to finish kitting it up right now. I have 365 of these to post, that could add up to a lot of money!
  2. Who knew that posting these would help me prioritize and declutter?  I’ve discovered that posting these has helped me really look at design and ask myself “Do I still love this? Will I really still stitch this someday?  Is that someday soon?”
  3. By the end of the year I should have a smaller, more organised group of charts and kits I know I still want to stitch and a clear shopping list of exactly what I need for just these designs. Who knew this would be an outcome?

I have decided though, from here on in, any chart I post, that I want to give away, I will give people a chance to comment for a period of time (say a week or a fortnight) and then choose randomly from those who ask for the chart within that time.  First in best dressed isn’t a fair system if I’m going to do this regularly.

I’ve still got to talk about the two Christmas presents I stitched up (and all the ones I didn’t) and send out thank you’s for all the Christmas presents that have started to arrive – but I think that might be another day.  I think this update is long enough already 🙂

Mum looked over the Needlework Show pages and told me to order the following five charts! She said these interested her too and “one of us would start some of them shortly”.

I’m not sure which charts will end up in my stash and which in hers, but hey!  It looks like Mum’s interested in stitching again!

Needlework Show October 2011

Lili Soleil (Dessins DHC) - Alphabet Bartok

Needlework Show October 2011

Ink Circles - Til Karin: 4 Elements


Needlework Show October 2011

Ink Circles - Metamorphosis

Needlework Show October 2011

Hinzeit - Last Stitch Cemetary

Needlework Show October 2011

Rovaris - R71 A Home is not complete


While I’ve been gleefully plotting and planning Kay’s birthday surprise with a few of her friends for the last month, some people have done some plotting and planning of their own!

Junior Mints Dinky Dyes Socks

From Sisu

From Sisu I received some of my very favourite American chocolates ever!  Yes you see empty packets in this photo!!  A pair of socks to remind me what my very favourite American chocolates are – Sisu is very thoughtful as she knows how shockingly poor my memory can get 🙂 Finally there is the most gorgeous bookmark chart and floss for me to make up as a memory to Trubs.  You picked well Sisu – the cat in the model even has one ginger hind leg like Trubs did …

Thank you so much Sisu – it is a wonderful parcel full of thoughtful perfect gifts!



Vickery Collection Carries Threads Inkcircles Scissors Fob

From Rosanne

From Rosanne I received her copy of Mike Vickery’s Celtic Cross Stitch book.  I discussed stitching some of my secret Christmas stitching projects from this book and Rosanne offered to send me her copy.  Not only did she ignore all offers of payment, she also sent me the cutest little scissor fob – a beaded one that Abby hopefully wont focus attention on.  And if that wasn’t enough she also included four skeins of Carries silks, for the Ink Circles chart, Red Square.

Thank you so much, the inclusions were a real surprise, and your letters brought tears to my eyes.  You wouldn’t accept payment for the book, but I’ll figure out something!


Chatelaine Debbie

From Debbie

Debbie sent me the kit (minus fabric) for Chatelaine Midi Mystery IV!  Such a generous surprise! I’ve barely finished Midi Mystery I, but as Debbie says I now have no excuses not to finish the set!

Thank you Debbie, your kindness is as usual, overwhelming!  And thank you for the mystery!  Over a week of wondering who this as from!  This is karma for the fun I was plotting for Kay – wasn’t it ….



Thank you so much my friends – you never cease to amaze me!

Has everyone seen the Ink Circles ornament in this year’s JCS Christmas Ornament issue? It’s a book!

Just Cross Stitch JCS Christmas Issue 2011

Photo used with permission from designer and photographer, Tracy Horner.

I think it’s a fantastic design!  The inside, instead of being felt, could have a separate small stitched for each family member. Or if you like the design but don’t “do” Christmas, change the wording on the front and it is a perfect Needleminder.

In her blog comments Tracy says:

PTP has a few other fabric colors that I have been eyeing that look like other antique leather colors – a dark brown and a blackish one. I’ve thought about doing a small group of books with the full finishing instructions as a leaflet. Thoughts?

Have a look at Tracy’s blog post and let her know in the comments what you think of her idea? I really think it is brilliant, but then I *am* biased 🙂

Maybe we should start giving Tracy some ideas of book titles to go with her projects?  Or maybe her fertile mind already has those decided upon?

Ink Circkes Quaker Floral Puzzle

Oh My Goodness Kay – what a parcel !!!!!!  I am gobsmacked !!!!  surreptitiously asking me about the chart for Tracy’s Quaker Floral Puzzle and then sending me chart and fabric and the silk conversion pack !!!!  Well I know what the next “for me” stitching will be …. or is it the next “for Kay” stitching 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂  It’s all wrapped up ready to go in that beautiful bag.  I’ve checked – it will fit everything needed included the q-snaps 🙂

I love the bag!  Will fit any of my projects except the current one requiring the 17″ q-snaps 🙂

Also in the birthday bundle is Calico Crossroad’s Puurfect Pitch.  I’ve just been reminded that these charts have all been discontinued and I cannot find them for sale anywhere, so thank you thank you thank you!

As well as the chart for Xs and Ohs Seanicorn Family, I see you’ve tracked down the Ribbon Band fabric to turn the completed piece into a bell pull.  I’ll have to track down the cute castle shaped bell pull rod.  Chele – do you have ideas where I could source one of those?

The bookmark and the chocolate box full of tea sachets brought tears to my eyes.  You are such a fantastic friend and you have “been there” for me through everything this year and last year and the year before and the year before that …..

Truly you are a fantastic person and I do not deserve such a fabulous friend in my life!

Kats by Kelly Puurfect Pitch Seanicorn Family Birthday

Well June started off so well in the Stitching department ….

Abi’s Tree of Stitches is now up to and including Part 7

Tree of Stitches

We determined Mystery Start #2 is actually Cross Eyed Kat’s Angle of Love

I stitched up an alternate version of  Ink Circles’ Love Letters Celtic

Love Letters - Celtic

And I started Fanta Cat’s Dragon Feathers Afghan

Fanta Cat Dragon Feathers Afghan June Progress

But then around mid month I got bit by an organising bug. With mum’s help, I went through all the boxes of stuff that came back from Perth and pulled out all the cross stitch stash.  I admit it, I have SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy).  Also with various house moves and whatnot I am rather disorganised.

So I’ve spent some time putting fabric in with the charts I’ve bought them for and updating my lust lists with threads still needed etc.  OK I spent days doing this.

Again my Gen X Librarian experience kicks in and yet again I wish I had an electronic catalog / stock management database in which I can list all my inventory of stash (including where it is stored in the house) *and* where I can list all the materials required for each chart in my stash *so*  I can see at a glance whether I have all the materials needed for a particular  project and where all those bits are 🙂

I know there are some stitching inventory programs out there like Organised Expressions and Stash Can, but they only do the first part of the job; listing the inventory.  And they do it badly – last time I looked none of those programs handled  hand dyed threads or fabrics well or any companies beyond the major manufacturers.

Over the years, I’ve had a couple of IT-savvy friends offer to write a program but so far nothing has come of it – probably because this is a major project – not something that can be whipped up over a weekend.  The scope of the project would stretch any friendship so I am not surprised and certainly bear none of them any ill will!

The final suggestion is to learn MS Access and design a database myself. This has always been at the back of mind for when I get the time.  Well now I have the time, I simply don’t have the cognitive abilities 🙁

So what does everyone else do?  Or is this a first world problem and I should just give away all of my stash and go back to stitching one project at a time and then this would no longer be a problem for me?

Suggestions? Advice?  Thoughts?

A few months ago, Tracy of Ink Circles shared with me part of a new design she was working on.  I selected a few colours and a scrap of fabric from mum’s stash and stitched up the motif.

Love Letters Celtic

As you can see, because we used mum’s stash instead of mine, there is no black fabric, no garish, in-your-face colours 🙂  instead it is a rather tasteful, refined mix of colours 🙂

The threads are Carrie’s Fall limited Edition Pack: Golden Oak, Autumn Harvest, Winter Wheat and the red is Merlot. The fabric is I believe the last of our Zweigart Blue Dynasty.

When the final design was released, my scrap of fabric wasn’t quite suited to the design as originally laid out.

Love Letters Celtic

I did however like the colours and motif I had already stitched, so I had a plan to move the elements around to just the three lines of text instead of five. Tracy very very kindly took pity on my migraine-brain and moved the elements of her design around for me.  If it wasn’t for the complicated evolution of this piece, I would never have mentioned my difficulties in placement to her!

Anyway Tracy is a complete sweetheart and the result was this:

Love Letters - Celtic

So that is the evolution of a Sekrit Project and how my design looks so much different to the original ….

Can’t wait for the next design in the series now 🙂 🙂

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