Thursday, 31 December 2009

Now there's some nice lint balls!!

I had been saving dryer lint over the winter months and have recently worked my first temari using them as the core material.  I made the mari back when the TC Thread Challenge began so I was inspired by pink and purples (not what I usually stitch with).  The temari on the left and right have been detailed in previous posts but the central one was made during Christmas week and is based on Ice Crystals from Barb Suess' book. 

One of the ladies from our May Temari 101 class called saying she was having trouble with the stitches laying flat on this pattern and (although I hadn't stitched the design before) I offered some advice that I thought might help her.  As it turned out what I suggested did help when I used the same advice to stitch this ball.  I admit that while I don't actually like how my ball turned out (the colour choice and lack of sparkle is at fault not the design) I think I will try it again at another time.  I tend to stitch designs as pattern blocks (work up one shape then move to the next... I like to achieve in blocks) and as this one is stiched in woven layers (all the shapes are stitched in each round). 

I am trying to use up the Patina from our thread challenge.  It is lovely but too thick, I much prefer the rayon sold in our store. I did attempt to ply the Patina down like Debi A did in her challenge ball but then tried to stitch instead of wrap it. BAD MOVE!!! It didn't work for me at all!!! I just ended up ripping it out and doing this design instead.  I hate to waste thread so I put all my rip outs into my lint bag for another mari. 

A note on  using lint for the base... I wrapped 'Goldilocks' balls during my experiment with lint.  The first one was too soft, the second (of course) was too hard but the third... it was .... just right.  I have been experimenting with several core materials including shredded paper (not yet stitched on) but I must admit I am a rice hull girl at heart and it is my preferred temari core. 

Well this is my last post for 2009 so have a safe and happy New Years and catch you back here for 2010. Wow I can't believe I just wrote that... 20 something years ago I remember a group of friends working out the ages we would all be in 2010 and how old it seemed.  Now it doesn't seem too old at all. 

My new 'stitching' years resolution is to get out my list of designs to try and make 2 a month... that'll take care of 24 out of the 100's I have on the list... oh and to finish the quilt I began in 2007... still only 100+ blocks to go!!!!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Hello Beautiful Temari People,

Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas (to those that celebrate it) and Happy Holidays (to those that don't). Thank you for taking time out to read our blog throughout 2009. I know that many of us are not so lucky to be physically surrounded by other temari makers.

I have just turned off my oven for the first time in 3 or 4 days.  I've had no time for stitching this week because I've been madly making my Christmas lunch contribution which is 'Desserts'.  We all have a designated 'course' to provide for our family luncheon.   We have a mass of people for lunch... and it gets bigger every year... we always invite friends who may not be able to be with their own family on the day - our motto is no one should be alone at Christmas - so it is a mish-mash of odd chairs, glassware, plates and cuisine (because eveyone brings something).  We always have the most lovely time.  A fun thing we do it a secret santa.  Everyone brings one wrapped gift that they can purchase (worth no more than $20) or make (or be something regifted - you know useful and nice but not for the current owner) and we draw numbers from a hat and take turns in selecting a gift from under the tree.  Last year (and because it was so fun we will do it this year) we made a new rule that the successive gift takers could opt to take the gift from anyone who had previously opened a gift should they like it instead of choosing a wrapped gift then the giftless person gets another pic.  Last year someone put in a Japanese dancing dragon figure (the type that dances at new year) ... wow did that get stolen over and over... In previous years it has been large bags of fertilizer with potting mix that were stolen again and again.  This time I have put in a huge box of luxury toilet paper rolls (I checked it would be ok with Suzanne first) we both believe it will be the present to beat this year.

I am lucky to enjoy baking so I can avoid cooking the roast meat or going to the fish monger for the seafood.  This year my contribution is the following: Baby Toffee Tartlets with Pecan & Macadamia, Mini Pudding Cakes with lashings of Brandy Butter, Smashed Raspberry & Meringue Icecream, Hazelnut & Kaluha Chocolate Icecream Cake, Vanilla Baked Cheescake and a Second Birthday cake for my little Niece who is lucky enough to have her birthday on Christmas Day.  I don't know what else we will have on the table but I am sure that there will be no shortage of sweet things to eat...

I hope you find something lovely under your tree, the weather not too hot or cold whereever you are and you are surrounded by those that you love. Best wishes, stay safe and I look forward to posting to you all again in 2010...

Saturday, 19 December 2009

What's new pussy cat?

This last 7 days have been a whirlwind of anticipation, happiness, worry, sadness, joy, hope and relief.  The net result is we are again glad for the marvels of modern medicine, hopeful that all we endure really is part of the great plan and trusting that we can make great lemonade anytime we are offered lemons.

One of my best friends almost always begins a conversation with me by asking 'What's new pussy cat?' Well what's new is amazing... actually it's whose new... Miho (my SIL) has delivered their new son.  The labour was surprisingly long and Suzanne (our Mum) and I stayed for support.  He weighed in at a sumo sized 4190g (9lb4oz I think) - no wonder the labour was so long.  He is gorgeous, just like his big sister and even bigger cousin.  Miho did an amazing job using just a little laughing gas and nothing else.  We are so very proud of the amazing person she is.

Here in Perth we have newborn screening tests and thankfully when our newest fav little guy was screened he raised a red flag.  So all were packed up and rushed into our local children's hospital for futher tests... Very greatfully he is heading in the right (safe and healthy) direction (30 years ago the outcome would have been gravely different and we are thankful for all the medical wonders we take for granted most of the time).  Whilst his Mum and Dad were busy worrying, not sleeping and pacing the hospital floor yesterday, I was blessed to have my niece for our first overnighter together.  Getting her to sleep was a bit tricky... it took me a while to remember which rocking action is the one that makes toddlers fall asleep in your arms (it is figure 8's in case you are wondering) We made penguin waffles for breakfast and I can't resist sharing this pic of our happy bunch.

 I usually don't put personal pics on this blog but this one really is gorgeous and shows pure joy... over the smallest of things... homemade waffles for breakfast.  They were all just out of bed about 10 mins and my neice is doing her famous "Yatta!!!"  My son is stamping his own 'style' on being in the pic and DH is surprisingly chirpy for 6:30am on a Saturday.

In the few quiet times we had this week between hospitals, school, shopping, cooking for christmas and doctor visits... I managed to bang out another ball with my temari challenge challenge thread - no this is not a misprint ;).  I have done the pattern before but I do love it and this time I just used the mandarin (bamboo) floss, RG nordic gold purple and added some threadart perle 8 cotton. This ball was the smallest I have done so far as a C10 and it must have taken me 4 goes to get the marking close to right.  I didn't count the rows just filled up the 6 part triangle spaces and moved on.  I think by the end I may have gotten the hang of  keeping the floss flat (when that's what my actual intention is).  Anyway have a quick squinting look so you don't see too many of the flaws...  It wasn't quite finished when this pic was taken but you get the idea.

It was also the last week of school for my son (and thousands of other Aussie kids) as the next 7 weeks are summer holiday.  Next February there will be a new teacher and new room/grade etc so when I asked what do you want to give your teacher for Christmas I was surprised when he said "a nice temari please because she wont already have one".  He picked one from all the temari I have made and I was amazed that he picked a previous version of the same design as I had been stitching this week. So here is the temari for his lovely teacher Ms Murray.  I don't usually do the tassles but this one was for a special gift. I added two gold stardust beads and used gold twilleys goldfingering for the hanger and tassle.

We got our forcast for Christmas day tonight and it will be 36 or 37C (close to 100F) I am so glad that 2 of the desserts i am making are icecream based!!  What will the weather be where you are this Christmas?

Well that's the wrap up... At least all that I am sharing today. I have been up for 18 hours (after a 4 hour night sleep), made waffles, choc chip cookies and  pizza on homemade bases for dinner, danced around the whole house with my niece, coloured in lightning mcqueen pics and played wii fit and watched a movie with my son, travelled 2 & 1/2 hours and fought the Christmas rush at the Joondalup mall for a dippin dot fix for the gang... and now I think I need to sleep.... in my bed rather than on my keyboard so until next time....

Sunday, 13 December 2009

TC Thread Challenge Ball Number 2

This is the progress shot of the second ball for the TC 2009 Thread Challenge.  It is a pattern on page 53/55 from 4837704867 (click link to go to my book post, it is #10 on the list) The division is a bit dodgy (see note below about core materials) and the mari is smaller than the recommended size so I skipped one row of colour.  I used Nordic gold in Purple and Pale Gold and the two colours of Very Velvet Petite.  I considered using the Mandarin Floss but thought it would be too blue. I also thought of plying down the Patina to outline the shapes but thought a contrasting colour would be better.

All said I am pleased with this ball even though it has some very obvious flaws.  It is my first dryer lint ball and was a little squashy and slightly off round... I am so used to the firm base provided by using rice hull for the core.  The texture of the needle going into the ball took some getting used to.  I missed the usual noise of the needle occasionally brushing the hull.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like...


I can't believe it is December already.  We always (or at least always try to) get our tree up on December 1st each year.  We always had a real tree when we were kids but these days I prefer to leave the trees in the forrest where they can offset some of my carbon footprint.  So we have a... what's the sofisticated way of saying it... Simulated Natural Tree.  Ok it's fake; completely and utterly but it looks nice when it is fully dressed up and still looks green on Christmas morning (which I couldn't guarantee of a real tree with the hot summer weather we have in Perth and my black thumb).  Anyway here are a few progress shots of the tree 'dressing' coming together.  We are at the lights, Advent stockings and Temari ball stage.  I couldn't get the whole tree in a picture because it is so tall and wide (we need to bend the top over so we can get the star on top) but you get the idea

I don't really know the protocol for dressing a tree is it lights first or lights last? I'm sure we debate the point every year in our family but this year I was sneaky because we are decorating the tree on Thursday (instead of our usual 1st December due to scheduling issues) so to appease my son we decided to put the tree up and string the lights on it as a compromise then finish the rest with the extended family. 

This year I made mini stockings for my son's advent calendar.  Forever we have used a long divided box with little covers that spell out 'Merry Christmas to you' after each day has been opened (and treat inside has been eaten).  I made it when he was only 1 yo so it has been retired in favour of the new system,  which he loves cause these hold bigger treats. 

The little stockings are made with felt and ribbon and I think they are so cute.  I stamped the numbers on little cards in gold or silver and attached them with fancy paper clips.  I like them so much that I made a few extras and filled them with sweets to take for the kids at my DH's work Christmas party.  I am sure that they will be popular with the kids... maybe not so much with their parents. ....insert manical laugh here ; )

Til next time...

Monday, 30 November 2009

Now for something not temari....

I have been mentioning my other pursuits in recent posts so I decided to pop up a couple of pics.  Here is a little icypole soap I made for my son.  He loves icypoles and thinks this one is great even if he can't eat it.  I made 4 altogether this day but only photographed one.  The others have red and orange in them and they all smell like crushed strawberries.

Here are a few pics of the rings I made recently.  The sparkly one is with a 12mm swarovski crystal and the others are made with stones or glass pearls.  Everyone I know really likes them and I keep having them stolen off my finger... even though the photos aren't too fab they look nice in real life.

Like temari, even if you hope to make two identical pieces it never happens.  Each one is 100% unique.

Well hope you like this diversion from temari making as much as I have.  But my next post is going to be about Christmas preparations.... surely that will involve temari?!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Thread Challenge Ball #1

Over at Temari Challenge we have been working on a thread challenge.  The task was set to choose several threads that we hadn't used before for temari making from the Rainbow Gallery ranges.  A poll was taken for colour themes and thread types and when the results were in the winners were announced.  We ended up using Very Velvet Petite, Nordic Gold, Mandarin Floss (made with 100% bamboo), and Patina (a lovely Perle 5 sized twisted rayon).  The colour selection was pink, purple and blue tones.  I chose a design from the Purple Olympus book as my inspiration but made a few changes here and there.

The base is white cotton thread with a flat Silver metallic embroidery thread wound randomly over the top layer.  The marking is S8 in Silver nordic gold.  Then there are 3 rows of Very Velvet Petite in Blue and 2 rows of Nordic Gold in Sapphire; 3 rows of Very Velvet Petite in Pink and 2 rows of Keinick #16 Braid in Pink; 3 rows Patina in Purple and 2 rows Nordic Gold in Purple.  At the Octagon created at the poles I stitched a small spiderweb stitch in Mandarin Floss Light Blue then flattened out the floss to stitch a star burst to radiate from the circle to the edge of the octagon.  At the obi I wrapped 8 wraps of the Mandarin Floss and then secured it with a single herringbone stitch around with Nordic Gold in Sapphire.

I actually didn't intend to have a white base - I planned on a beige or creamy one but this ball was already wrapped, I didn't really have the motivation to create one from scratch and the other balls I had wrapped were bright red or forrest green.  All in all I think it turned out fine.  I love rayon to stitch with (the Japanese thread in our store is rayon though slightly finer thread than the Patina) it always slides through your fingers and feels lovely to work with.  The Velvet was surprising to work with, I thought it would kink and play up but it was well behaved and adds an interesting dimension to the temari not to mention a lovely feel.  Ok the kreinick was not part of the challenge and neither was the silver threads or the sapphire one but I think we were allowed to add some other threads to complete the challenge.  The only thread I didn't enjoy using was the floss.  I don't know what it is about floss but I just can't get the gist of it.  It goes flat when I want it plump and plumps up when I want it flat... of course I know that is probably more the fault of the stitcher than the thread.  I will continue to try to work out the floss issues because there are so many lovely temari patterns (that I just adore) made with floss.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Temari Class rescheduled.

At the fetes we attended this year several people comment how it would be great to have a temari class at their school.  Given the nature of temari it certainly encompasses geometry, art, language and history.  When I gave a friend of mine a temari recently we talked about this and she invited me to do an incursion at the high school where she teaches Japanese.  I had been so excitedly preparing kits for the temari class but unfortunately we have had to reschedule it until next term due to me being a sickie last week.  I was so sad to let them all down, but it may turn out to be a good thing as in the new year the class will be full of Japanese exchange students so it will be even more fun.  I wonder how many of the students from Japan will know about or have made temari.  I will keep you posted on the outcome of this class next year. 

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Long time no type!

Hello world!  We have had a very busy patch for the last month and I know it's not going to get any quieter before January so I have wrung a few minutes out of the day to add to our blog.  Thanks to all our visitors over the last month... even when there was nothing new to look at...

All the house moving is finally finished... although there are still some boxes to unpack.  The new baby (my Bro and SIL's) is almost here... we are running a pool and my money is on December 8 which would make exactly 2 weeks between each of the kids birthdays (Dec 8, Dec 25 and Jan 8).  The last month or so has been jam packed full of bad vibes, family drama, broken toilets, damaged boats, re-called cars, dodgy ISP service and arguements with the Insurance company.  In addition I have let myself get a bit distracted from actual temari making and have been working on making soaps and wire jewellery.

But I am back in the temari stitch because I realise I can't quite make sense of the world without it.  I hadn't stitched more than a few stitches for almost 5 weeks and over that time I became so stressed out, run down and sick I spent 4 days in hospital last week with some mysterious and inexplicable illness.  No Doctor can quite work out what went wrong or how to fix it (despite 2 biopsies, 4 sets of blood work and a swab test) so I eventually came home with 3 more courses of antibiotics... a nice addition to the intraveneous and oral antibiotics I've already had over the last 10 days.

People often find taking on a hobby to be therapeutic and I often tell people I do temari to keep me sane.  They give me a strange look when I tell them this, but I really believe it is true.  Life can be so hectic with it's hurly burly and hustle bustle.  There seems to be endless complication and noise, so it is so lovely to have a craft such as temari to take one away from all the mayhem and be instantly transported to a peaceful space.  Once I begin to stitch the rest of the world just melts away and all that seems to exist is calm and quiet.  Even when stitching a 'challenging' design it is amazing how relaxing it is to work out the puzzle of how each stitch works in concert to build the pattern.

So whilst I am fairly sure and very hopeful that I will make a complete recovery in the near future.... here is what this experience has taught me.

Distraction is sometimes the best medicine - use your hobby to help you process your life (or escape it temporarily) If you don't have a hobby get one... may I recommend temari?

Eat well: include lots of fresh fruit and veges, drink lots of water (thanks Mum)

Try to sleep whenever you can and keep yourself recharged. You can burn the candle at both ends but you risk burning yourself completely out.

Clean out the people who continually make your life hell - even if they are in your family or friend network. Sometimes these people are making you sick.

Go to the Doc if you think you don't feel quite right, and I they can't/don't help change Doc's or atleast get a second opinion.

Always have some cash in your rainy day fund.

Don't keep the 'yucky' perfume in the heavy glass bottle on the toilet window sill - it will eventually get knocked onto the bowl and smash it!

Surround yourself with people who support you (and who you can support) in good and bad times.

Sometimes you need to be a little selfish and take some me time.

It helps to have a friend that works at the hospital you are admitted to... especially on the ward you end up in.

And last of all....  A stitch a day keeps the Doctor away!!!  So stitch every day!!!

Since I started stitching again while in hospital this week our insurance company has come good on the toilet claim, the recall on the car has been resolved and we have won the lottery twice (two draws in a row - just pizza money but it is still a win)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Temari Supply Store Update.

Rayon Temari Threads.

We are excited to announce that we have been able to source Rayon temari thread directly from the supplier in Japan.  We love stitching with this thread and find it is a perfect size for using with Nordic Gold by Rainbow gallery.  Together they produce stunning temari balls that are as lovely to hold as they are to look at.  As far as we can tell no one else sells this in Australia... we looked pretty hard for it and sheer desperation has meant we found it for ourselves.  There is a colour chart on the store site.

We still get our Nordic Gold directly from the US and this allows us to competitvely price it (actually it is cheaper than any thread shop I have seen in Australia and we have the whole colour range - not just gold and silver). There is a colour chart on the store site.

Cosmo Books for Sale.

We are also proud to announce that we now stock the Cosmo series 1-7 which comes directly from Japan. This means we can sell it at a better price for you and you don't have to fork out for the expensive EMS postage.  Our price is cheaper than any price listed currently on ebay for these books.
We may be able to offer other books in the future email us the ISBN of Japanese temari books you are interested in and we will be glad to investigate this for you.

Interested in looking at our supply store?  Just click on the supply store button to the left of our posts.

Friday, 30 October 2009

.... And were back!

Just when you thought we temari addicts had fallen off the planet... were back!!

Phew... what a busy month.  So much goes on at this time of year there hardly seems a moment to stop and stitch.  Ok that is a smallish fib.... truthfully there has been time but my 'temari mind' had been a subborn and petulant child of late and has been wandering off to try new and exciting projects such as soapmaking, wire jewellery, dressmaking and so on.

So here is a little update to get back on track. 

We are all happy campers again, all fit and healthy too.  The majority of our group are still on their holidays to Japan and Egypt etc and the rest of us are busy moving houses etc... (one house moved and only three to go...) and one of us is counting down the weeks to the birth of baby #2.

We had a great day at the Steiner School open day in Nollamara last weekend.  Our stall was a conglomerate of sorts consisting of all our various crafty pursuits and several of our crafty buddies also joined in with their wares.  Our stall had temari (of course) some for sale and some just for display, stone art plaques and brooches, button & fabric hair accessories and rings, jewel and button magnets, jimbei (Japanese style childrens pjs that are just too cute), bath salts, tablecloths, caramel corn, wired jewellery, journals, bookmarks and so on... a real cornucopia of items.

We filled my fave big silver display bowl and decorated a small table top Christmas tree with temari balls.  It looked so cute, I really need to get cracking on some balls for our tree... perhaps it can be a long term plan for next year....

As usual I got too busy chatting about temari and I forgot to take photos but some of the other girls did so I will try to get some posted here.

We all had a fab day even in the heat and despite the fact Miho, Suzanne and I were exhausted from stripping wall paper and shifting boxes the previous day.  There were loads of lovely things to see at other stalls and most of the girls at our stall wandered off to spend their takings at other stalls.  I remained with our store all day as I was under strict instruction to NOT BUY ANYTHING from my DH.... boys... they just don't understand sometimes!! LOL

I have purchased a pop up light box to use to take temari pics from now on so I hope that future pics will be gorgeous!!!  Just need to get into stitching again so I have something to photograph {big wide grin here}

Well that brings us up to date again.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Life's small changes!!

Well we have had to drop out of the Japanese School open day.  We have a sick Brother/Husband (My brother who is Miho's husband) and 3 houses to move very close to the date... and a new baby due to arrive just a few weeks later... so prudence says to pass on this year and ear mark it for next.

I have updated the original post but if you had already read it and marked your calendar for this one please come to the Steiner School day instead.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Upcoming Events in Perth - Mark Your Diary!!

Not too much actual temari stitching this last week, about ten rows to be precise. 

But we have been busy planning for our next fair.  West Coast Steiner School Open Day and Spring Fair on 25th of October. The fair will run from 10am-3pm at 15 Mayfair Street, Nollamara.  We will present many handcrafted items made by our group including toddlers jimbei, journals, wristlet and hand bags, wired jewellery, brooches, bookmarks, hair accessories, munchy crunchy corn.... and of course there will be a display of temari and some of the group will have temari items for sale. 

So if you live in Perth please come along and visit us at this open day.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Amazing Temari from a Japanese Master

On Temari Challenge this week a member (I think it was Barb Suess) posted this link to the most amazing temari show I have ever seen.  There are more than 400 photos in the collection all made by an 80+yo lady who began making temari in her 60's.  Check it out here.  I must admit that I have had this pop up open all week long and have sat watching amazed as the pictures display in a slideshow.  There are too many to view in one go... so I have been watching maybe 30 or 40 at a time... I recommend you take a look if you need temari inspiration!!!!

I hope one day to be able to make even 25% of these patterns as well as this lady.  And also to be able to photograph the temari I can make as well too.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Feels like spring

The first flowers are starting to open on our Flowering Plum tree... a sure sign that spring weather is just around the corner.  This is our version of the Cherry Blossom - Perth doesn't get cold enough for Cherry Blossoms to set flower.  We have a bunch of blue Iris and several Tulips in blooming in the garden too.  There has been no sign of the Ranunculus and Anemone we planted..... I wonder what we did wrong with them. 
Let's hope for gentle breezes this spring so we can enjoy seeing the blossom on our plum tree for as long as possible.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Madeit Store and a Bigcartel

I finally got around to listing temari on our madeit store today.  OK technically not all temari so let's say ..... temari-esque.  The little brooches from a previous post and some teeny temari (from a much earlier post) that have been reinvented as bookmarks.  I wouldn't have thought to offer them for sale, but some folk seemed to like them at the fair we attended recently so I thought we'd try them out in the store - I feel too sad that it has been sitting empty for so long.  My second motivation is that I have officially run out of storage room for made temari so I need to sell or gift some items.  If you want to check out the store hit the little round button on the left side of this blog. 

We are also getting in more and more Nordic Gold thread for students so we have put it on the supply store site (the button above the madeit one).  Perth, now don't get me wrong I love it, can be frustrating to source anything a bit different so I have always got it here myself.  Case in point Rainbow Gallery thread everytime I have been told it is a special order and it will take 6-8 weeks possibly longer..... so now I source it from the US.  If you want some we got it cheaper than any other website in Australia and not just Silver and Gold.  Needles are also bothersome in Perth... you can get one in a multi pack but end up with many useless (for temari that is) needles so we've got them too.  Miho is just finalising things with Japan to bring KYO rayon temari thread out here.... I haven't seen it on any Australian websites or in any stores so we'll get that on too. 

Current Temari Projects

S4 Masu Kagari (Square Stitch)
So I am revisiting the S4 square stitch temari - I have only done a few when I first began making temari and have either wrapped over, given away or otherwise vapourised them so I need to begin from scratch. I only have one face done so far - this pattern really tests the roundness of the mari and reminds me that I should at least try not to drop them so often on the tiled floor as nothing flattens out a mari like being dropped from the kitchen table onto tiles. The picture above is a progress shot with just one and a half squares completed.

S6 Mitsubane-kikkou Kagari (Triwing or Trefoil Stitch)
I have also tried out the S6 tri-wing with hexagon (I have never made them with the hexagon in the middle before) I think it turned out ok. I quite liked it actually and filled the negative space with a 1/4 and 3/4 starburst running around the equator.  As you can see from the photo above I am still using up some of the remaining red, white and green balls from the 27 I prepared in July so I have limited my colour scheme to include greens, white and black.

S8 Jyouge Douji Kagari (Merry go Round Stitch)
I also made a S8 JD-esque temari from the front cover of a little Ondori booklet that Michelle (check out her blog Little Rabbit Miniatures) and I both have. I like it but I can see where I screwed up the stitching so we'll call this one a 'learning ball'. It was fun to stitch because every second guideline was stitched from pole to equator and the others were stitched equator to pole.  In the pic above you may see where I have forgotten to keep the needle over the thread as I exit the ball in one of the early rounds so I have two threads that lie side by side... it is a pity and I probably should have ripped it out but it was a fun practice and I learned something too.

S12 Uwagake Chidori Kagari (Kiku Herringbone Stitch)
To know this pattern is to love it. I have made a lot of this one, but I do tend to make a ton of this and then none for a few months.  Ok this one is no where near completed but I figured that I'd add it too.  This is the ball I was playing with when we were at the Waldorf School Fair.  I am not sure where I want to go with this one so I haven't added more yet.  When I finish the masu (square) temari I will come back to this one.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Back in the Stitch

The Postman visited me twice this week and I am all stocked up with threads again.  That also means I am back stitching my little heart out.  Our group of stitchers are attending the Perth Waldorf School Open Day Fair on Saturday August 29, 2009.  We will all have some temari on display and are inviting people to come and take a temari class with our group.  Hopefully the weather will remain pleasant and attendance will be good. 

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Break from Temari and sitting on the mailbox

I am on a mail man imposed temari break. On the last night of my recent 101 course I parted with the last of my stock of metallic marking threads. Now I am completely out of thread (insert sobs here) so I am back to wrapping blanks etc for future temari. I have 2 orders winging their way to me.... one from the US and one from Japan but everyday this postie has gone right on past my mailbox. I am experimenting with shredded paper as a core for temari. The weight is between foam and rice hull and I wont know how it works out until I have completed the thread wrap. I am not sure if it will be compressed enough and keep its shape... although the yarn layer has rounded up nicely. I will keep you posted.

I have finally completed the pictures of my newly purchased books and updated the post about Japanese and English temari books in my stash.
I have been making something a bit different: little brooches in a temari style.

I have been using up all my thread leftovers, and threads I don't usually use in temari, perle8 and kreinick etc and also some old blue, black, red, and green velvet. I saw the basic idea in a Vandervoort book (meaning how to put it all together) and then stared my Zen stitching. My favourite type of stitching is Zen stitching. It is easy to do too. I clear my mind and then just let my hand pick up what ever thread colours it lands on and just work the needle with no clear plan.... I like to see what emerges. Usually what ends up happening is that I see something I like beginning to form then my brain takes by asking "what will happen if we do .....?" I am not sure if I prefer the squares or circles... my favourite one is the red on black with the filled center at the bottom of the 2nd photo.
Anyway... they are a fun experiment and whilst I don't like them all, they do recycle a lot of otherwise useless materials.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Temari 101 Graduates

Thursday night saw the end of the recent round of Temari 101 classes. Four more shiny new addicts have joined the ranks. I particularly enjoy sharing the craft of temari and watching how each group develops from their first class, when everyone seems so unsure and perplexed over the possibilities, through the second class, when I can hear all the little penny's dropping and then into the third class when everyone settles into their stitching groove. The one thing that never amazes me is how quickly the addiction to temari sets in.

As part of the class we examine the various resources available for temari in Perth. I always show some books and give hints about where to purchase the most suitable materials and the price range to expect to pay. It is important for those of us that have found our own way through the myriad of possibilities to share what works for temari and what wont. I think half the frustration of being new at temari is not knowing what to use - or worse not being able to find what is recommended. For most items Spotlight is you first point of call - Yarn, Cotton Perle#5, foam balls, pins etc. Textile Traders often has a bargain on sewing thread. For other items such as metallic marking threads and cotton perle #8 it's off to the needlecraft specialty stores which can be a bit hit and miss (I do believe it supporting your local needlework store) but this often requires special orders. Other things such as suitable needles, good quality fine metallic thread, non-cotton threads, rice hull and books - well I have spent hours (read weeks or months) trolling the www to find good suppliers who can sell these directly to me. This saves me a lot of bother and is also helpful to our stitching circle as I can help them get the items they need.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know which books I recommend and so it is not at all surprising to note that every student in the recent class (actually every student from every class) ends up buying the same book first. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the book by Barb Suess you would be right. I believe (and most other temari makers I know will say the same thing) that if you work through each project in order you will quickly become proficient at making temari.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Japanese & English Temari Books in My Stash

When I venture into any new craft I do it "big". Whether it be stamping, card making, sewing, scrap booking, lead lighting, quilting or beading; I need to know everything and buy all the stuff to do it- call it a compulsion - and temari is no different. Here is a visual list of the Japanese and English Language temari books I have acquired. There are several I have purchased that are still making their way to my mail box, but all the images here are books I have on hand. (as others arrive I will add them to this list). Note that they are all numbered and at the end of this post you will find the ISBN and title.

Japanese Language Temari Books.

1 2
One of my students purchased these 2 books on a visit to Kyoto recently and was kind enough to leave them with me for a look. What can I say, I know I won't be able to part with them so I have purchased copies of my own. These were purchased on
3 4


These were my first Japanese texts and were purchased together from ebay. As most things sent from Japan are shipped via EMS it is cost effective to purchase several books at once (the postage is usually about 50% on top of the purchase price. The ebay price on Japanese texts is far in excess of the shelf price - but this is the price you pay for purchasing in English.

 6 7

These three came from, international postage with these guys is quite expensive as they use FedEx (twice the cost of one of these books) but adding extra books is really cheap. (About JPY300 per additional book) So of course these were purchased together... I did order Cosmo #7 but they couldn't source it. See below where I eventually found it.

9 10

Cosmo book (number7) which is on its' way from Ai's shop. The other two came from Book #11 was purchased after I saw a pattern on a web page that showed the scanned page from the book - sometimes sharing a page on the internet does add to the artists income rather than detract from it.

12 13

Book #12 was from and #13 was, believe it or not, second hand from Etsy -but was really brand new and it was soooooo cheap too (in comparison with ebay). Yes it is a little pamphlet sized book - and not worth the price on it gets listed for on ebay - but still a lovely thing to have.

14 15

Books #14 and #15 are on their way from Ai's store. They are both second hand and #15 is the purple Olympus book and #14 was only JPY400 so I got that too - it is a nice basic little book that seems to be sponsored by Olympus Thread.

English Language Temari Books.

16 17

Both purchased from, but I later discovered that I could have purchased a signed copy #16 directly from Barb's Site.

18 19


These 3 were purchased separately from Something I will not do again - the postage almost crippled me as they came from different sellers.

21 22


These 3 books were purchased directly from the Authors own website:


This one was picked up second hand on Etsy. It was too cheap to refuse it and the postal rate was amazingly cheap too.

1 ISBN4837707904 Shiki no Temari Kagari / Temari for Four Seasons Vol. 1.

2 ISBN4837706908 Temari Junikagatsu / Temari for Twelve Months, Vol.1.

3 ISBN4837702791 Yasashii Temari / Easy Temari, aka Cosmo Book 1.

4 ISBN4837702805 Sousaku Temari / CreativeTemari, aka Cosmo Book 2.

5 ISBN4837702813 Atarashi Temari 3 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 3.

6 ISBN4837702821 Atarashi Temari 4 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 4.

7 ISBN483770283X Atarashi Temari 5 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 5.

8 ISBN483770784X Atarashi Temari 6 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 6.

9 ISBN48377008854 Atarashi Temari 7 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 7.

10 ISBN4837704867 Watashi no Temari Nyumon / My Temari, Beginner's Course.

11 ISBN483770199X Yume Temari / Dream Temari, Classic to Modern.

12 ISBN9784837703082 Yubinuki to Hana temari / Thimble Ring and Flower Temari.

13 ISBN427749045X Hajemete Tsukuru Temari / Creating First Temari.

14 ISBN ?? 67577-30 Handcraft Series #30 Temari.

15 ISBN45290027821 Utsukushi Temari / Beautiful Temari - aka Olympus Purple.

16 ISBN9781933308128 Japanese Temari: A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft.

17 ISBN9781844483990 The Simple Art of Japanese Temari.

18 ISBN0855326530 The Craft of Temari.

19 ISBN1579902251 The Temari Book.

20 ISBN1861080808 Temari: A Traditional Japanese Embroidery Technique.

21 ISBN0870409832 Temari Treasures.

22 ISBN0870409492 Temari Traditions.

23 ISBN9780971658714 Temari Gifts.

24 ISBN4889960384 Temari Adventures.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Well July is over so my Christmas theme has come to an end. Pink is the 'new' red, green and white. I have been experimenting with some designs I haven't done before the first is Jyouge Douji which you can see in the first two photos. It is a concurrent North/South stitching pattern and in this instance it is representing Sakura or Cherry blossom. I really like the white crystal thread used at the poles.

Next is a rose garden. I have done them before with Squares but this is my first attempt with Pentagons. I really wasn't too fussed with how it was turning out as I stitched. The pattern didn't really emerge until I completed the last round and when I held it back a distance I saw the rose pattern. This one has a Yubinuki style obi - which we wont talk about - other than to say that I now know that Orange can be written in Kanji as well as Katakana and not to try Yubinuki stitching while watching TV as it is a recipe for wonky-donkey edges.

Last, I completed my Mitsubishi temari recently. The one on the left I LOVE! But I can't say the same for the right one. I really love the concept of it but the colours are just not to my taste. This was my last Christmas coloured temari. It was a learning ball so I can live with the execution of it being so-so but I can't get past the colours. I am sure next time I make this one it will be less wabi-sabi and more in colours I love. I also plan the remake the ball on the left. I have a feeling of blues and purples for it. For some reason it reminds me of hydrangea flower and I'd like to try it out in graduation... I might think on it a bit longer.