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.