I like mandalas. I draw mandalas. I paint mandalas. I stitch mandalas, and when I do, I chart them so that you can stitch them too. I do other stuff too, but we'll talk about that later. One of the hardest, yet funnest, part of making mandalas is deciding which colors to use and where to put them. For some of my stitched mandalas, I had been giving you explicit instructions on how to color them. Every stitch corresponded to one specified shade of DMC floss. Here is an example of a mandala like that. Everyone who stitches it creates something virtually identical:
I did a little project with an LNS up in Canada where I tried something new. I created a "generic" mandala that could be colored in using a special system. Stitchers could pick their favorite colors and create a custom looking mandala, the system took care of all the shading and the color placement. It went over really well and the SAL group made some fantastic pieces.
|The same mandala colored with 9 different palettes.|
This is the newest installment: "Return of RYO"
Expanding on that idea and refining my system, I've made more of these mandalas and am hosting an interactive coloring experience. I've set up a Yahoo Group that we use for sharing the basic files and photos. It's $15 to join the group. Once in, you have access to the chart files (pdf) for the first of the mandalas and instructions on selecting the colors. You can select colors one of three ways: A) Copy one the existing 100+ combinations that we have posted, B) go to your DMC box/rack and pick 4 different (not shades of the same color, btw) colors that you think look nice together, or C) Send me a photo or describe something to me that you would like to inspire your palette.
These four colors become four sets of three shades each, for a total of 12 colors (+ black). As we assign them to the color key for the stitching, the shading happen automatically. I will run a computer-generated preview and share it within the Yahoo Group's photo albums and add the list of specific colors used to our database so anyone else who likes those colors can use it. The process can be iterative, if you request, for example, "Can you make those purples a bit more towards the blue side," or "What if we swapped the pinks and greens?" When you're happy, you can stitch it. You can stitch the mandala as many different colorways and times as you like.
In some cases, more is better. We started the group with one mandala that everyone was working with. I've since expanded the concept into a whole series. There are 6 sequels to the original mandala, coming out monthly. I've just released the penultimate chart (the 9-piece montage above); one month left to go. The mandalas all use the same coloring system, so you can use any of the colorways we've established in the group. You can make them all the same or you can pick new colors each time. Once in the group, stitchers can buy into the sequels for $5 an individual chart or $20 for all six sequels.
Here are some of the other mandalas in the series, showing off a variety of different color ideas.
|Bride of RYO|
|One month, I did 3 minis instead of a big one: "Spawn of RYO"|
|Revenge of RYO|
|This is the Original RYO|
RYO charts are now available only in printed form from your favorite shop or directly from my webshop.