Sunday, 31 January 2010

C8 frustration and what happens when plan B happens.

Ok so after making two C10's in a row I decided to try a C8.  I had seen a lovely set of snowflake inspired temari on Jane C's blog World Embroideries a while ago and really like the idea of trying something similar. In the image below you can see the red ball I was aiming for.  The pattern is in Cosmo 2 Page 4 ball 6. I really liked the idea and I set to work with a small 21cm ball and marked the C8 and wrapped the bands on the S4 & Eq. Given the limited amount of text in the pattern (which I admit I didn't even try to translate) and the funky diagram I decided that perhaps the next thing to do was the band on the 6 part triangle.  Then that is where I got stumped.  I don't know why but I just couldn't work out the rest.  My brain just stuck in neutral I was grinding away at the gears but none were engaging.  In the end I had a smallish size tantrum and decided to forget the pattern tidy up the ball and go to bed.  So this is what I came up with.

I knotted the 6 part triangle intersections, on the band intersections I stitched a single square over them to keep everything ship shape.  I quite like how the ball turned out even though it was NOTHING like the original design.  Looking again at the pattern today I can almost follow it and I am sure I have this design in one of the English books in my collection so I will go back to the drawing board and try again... when my brain is a little more rested. 

Second C10 for 2010

The second C10 for 2010 is from Cosmo 2 featured on Page 3 is ball #14.  As you can see from the inset picture it didn't turn out exactly right.  There are several factors that I think contribute to this. 
1 The ball was perfectly (insert not 100% but pretty darn close) round but was marked at the pool while watching swim classes and chatting to folk - so the marking is a bit off. 
2 The colours are not as striking in contrast as the original.  The orange should have been a deeper shade.
3 The measuring from center was not spot on and also the mari is different size than the pattern.  So the problem is that the pink diamonds were not started in the correct place so the open space is too big... then the burgundy diamond was a little squeezy and the orange hexagons did not meet in the centers of the diamond. 

Actually I could probably go back to this one and stitch some more around the hexagons to bring them more toward the center but there are 20 hexagons and the space between the diamond is a little tight to be stitching in so I will probably leave it as is... sigh... a lesson learned.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Australia Day!!

On New Years day I was reflecting on how lucky my life has been so far and wondered how much of my luck was connected to being born in Australia, which has long been considered the 'lucky country'. I always feel patriotic in January due to our Australia Day celebrations, but given all ups and downs of 2009 I can't help but feel more connected to my family, my friends and my country this year. 

It has been XX years since I was in school learning Australian history but all this nostalgia made me realise I had forgotten a lot of what I had been taught about our flag.  I remembered that our flag was chosen through a national competition and that it was first raised on 3 September 1901, also it features the five stars of the Southern Cross, the Commonwealth Star, and the union of crosses (Union Jack) which represents Australia's early settlers. The Commonwealth Star with its seven points represents the unity of the six Australian states and the seventh point stands for all Australian Territories.

So off to the internet  I went...   Now these are the things I did not know...
  1. The flag contest attracted 32,823 entries from men, women and children 
  2.  A sum of £40 was paid to each of the 5 designers who had all submitted similar entries

  3. THE CROSSES – THE SAINTS: The three crosses, St George, St Andrew and St Patrick (all components of the Union Jack) serve to represent the principles and ideals on which our nation was founded and is based on today; including parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
  4. THE STARS – THE SOUTHERN CROSS: The constellation of the Southern Cross indicates our geographical location in the southern hemisphere. This constellation of stars relate to the various indigenous legends and remind us of our rich and precious Aboriginal and Torres Strait heritage
  5. THE COMMONWEALTH STAR – NATIONAL FEDERATION: The large seven pointed star is the emblem of Australian Federation. Six points represent the states and the seventh all the federal territories which together constitute the nation, the Commonwealth of Australia
Well you might ask why the history lesson?  Well ....Why not.. anyway who knows when you might be glad you learned this information.

One of my resolutions was to work on my long to do list of temari patterns... and while my first temari of 2010 was not on the list it did use some of the stitch elements I am hoping to incorporate into my stitching this year.

So in time for our National day here is my first temari for 2010 sitting atop a jar of our nations favourite sandwich spread.  Yep most people the world over hate Vegemite... I joke that it is the Aussie version of Japanese Natto... but you can't call yourself a dinky di Aussie unless you love it.

I marked this ball with a removable thread as a S4. On one half is the Union Jack and Commonwealth Star then on the other half I placed the Southern Cross. I made the stars with Sakasa Uwagake Kagari. The Union Jack was created by stitching woven bands then placing a box of base wrap thread around the perimeter to keep it all neatly squared off.  I stitched the temari from memory and after it was done I found a flag from last Australia Day.  I noticed that my design was a little off (but this was my first attempt at placing a flat design on an orb) and I am letting myself off. I really love the deep blue and they way it makes the white stars pop. I want to make a bunch more temari using this blue as the base colour... I just have to remember where I purchased it because I only have a teeny bit left.

I hope we get see our flag fly at least once or twice next month at the winter olympic games in Canada.  We don't get much snow here but hey if Jamaica could have a bobsled team.....

Happy Australia Day!!!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Lots of awesome Japanese Temari Books

Now in stock

In my last post there was a note about new books becoming available in our Supply Store.  They are now featured in our store.  The books are listed in price groups and have images of the book covers with the ISBNs underneath.  The titles are listed in Japanese and English to assist you in locating the book you are interested in.  There is also a page entitled Temari of the Week where we aim to showcase temari made from designs in our range of books.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

New Temari

Following my grand plan for making 15 each of C8s and C10s in 2010... Here is the first C10.

This temari is featured in Cosmo Book 2 Page 1 Middle.  I have included  the picture from the book as an inset into the pic of my interpretation.  I thought it turned out a bit too bright when I completed it at 2am this morning... but now I have seen it a few times in the daylight ... I quite like it.  The base mari was 2cms smaller than recommended in the pattern so the hex and pentagon are a little crowded but I still like it.  My next temari is also going to be a C10 from the same book but this one will be number 12 from page 3.  I will post it on completion... it may take a while as I am currently translating the pattern into English  :-s

In other news we are about to expand the book range in our supplies store... To have a look at the range click the link on the left bar.

Monday, 18 January 2010

To Dooooooooo - well its a very long list

Today I had a spare few hours due to the heat (today we got to 43.0°C - the hottest January day on record was 45.7°C on the 31st in 1991) so I gathered all my Japanese temari books to make my temari to do list. I had previously decided to only look at Cosmo 1-7 and a few others but when I had done that I figured hey how could it hurt to look through the rest as well.....

I broke out a brand new 220 page A4 sized Journal and started taking notes of the balls I want to make. I can t believe that I filled 5 pages of the book. There are 66 temari patterns on listed on the first journal page alone - and that is just for Cosmo 1-3.

On the yahoo temari groups some members (I am one) lament the fact that many of the lovely temari featured in the Cosmo books have no pattern. I discovered today, by the process of examining all the books within a few short hours that many designs featured in the earlier books are actually explored in the later books. Also many books have very similar designs in them which lead me to question the reason for this... is it because there are so few authors or is it because there really is an actual limit to the variety of ways to place the thread on a ball??? Well I probably wont be able to answer the second guess in my lifetime.... I may not ever finish my to do list as I am sure it will be added to when the 3 new temari books arrive from Japan this week.

I also have to try out the Stitch Along balls made on TC and TT last year. I only had time to do the yubinuki obi ball in 2009 but I have printed hard copies of the instructions for all the others so these are on the to do list too.

I also made 6 new temari bases so I am ready to commence my list. Here is a picture of my base stash. It is a little on the light side (meaning a bit empty - only 12 in there) but that's ok I plan to make some more over the coming weeks. Today I was finished off a rice hull bag and it was too hot to go ripping into a new one. The larger bases are made with almost 2 cups of rice hull (28cm). The smaller sized pink one is made from wads of dryer lint (21cm). The medium size temari in red and green are (24cm)... this is the size I usually work on.  The meduim size temari fit nicely in my hand and feels comfortable to stitch on.  All good for simple division temari and less complex combination division but I feel that I need to move up to the larger size now for the C8 and C10 work I am planning for the next few months.  TC has a HHG project starting around Feb 1st and I am going to try to follow along with it so one of these balls will be set aside for that.

My goal is to make at least 30 C8 and C10 balls this year .  Next year I hope to use what I learn and move into Multis... I keep raising that bar don't I?!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

My latest temari set finished

I have been working on this temari set for months trying to get it PERFECT for submission to my temari mentor.  Usually I make temari just for me and rarely fix mistakes because I like to see how my ball making has progressed (of course when making temari for other people I do want them to be perfect too).

Now I have finished these and sent them to my mentor I want to share them with you.  Top left is a S4 Masu Kagari (Square Stitch), Top right is a S6 Mitsubane Kikkou Kagari (Triwing Stitch),  Bottom left is a S8 Jyouge Douji Kagari (Concurrent North South Stitch) and Bottom right is S12 Uwagake Chidori Kagari (Kiku Herringbone Stitch).

I think this is the last time I will be stitching with this colour palette for a little while, I have been using these colours so much since July I really need a change.

I am beginning my study on C8 now and to facilitate this I have pulled out all my Japanese Temari books (ok not all of them just the Cosmo 1-7 series and a few others).  I seem to have lost my list of dream temari to make so I am going back to the drawing board so to speak and selecting balls I want to make.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Blogs I love to read.

I love to follow other crafters work and find their blogs educational and inspiring.  I always check out the list of blogs each crafter reads.  Ocassionally when I am at a loss for useful things to do (or blog about) I browse other random blogs by hitting the 'next blog' button at the top of my dashboard.  This can be a risky activity - sometimes I end up seeing something I wish I hadn't, but generally it is really fun. 

Here are a few of the temari places I regularly visit & some other places I have recently stumbled onto but really like.

I enjoy learning something new or being inspired and some of these blogs do both.  I particularly enjoy the Soap Queen blog right now.  Soap is one of my new things to make, and Annmarie (the blog owner) is really inspiring and blogs about all facets of her life and business.  I always feel recharged after I read her blog.  So next time you are searching/reading your favourite blogs checkout what author is reading.

I hope to get into making a new temari this week while my son begins his 2 week summer holiday swimming classes... So I aim to have a new temari ready for my next post. Yay!!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

2010: A Temari Odyssey

2009 is done and dusted!!! Many people I know only barely survived it intact... making it to 2010 was indeed a celebration for removing the shackles of a tough year. Even I wanted to dance around singing 'ding dong the witch is dead' (let's return from Oz now shall we).

Having settled nicely into 2010, we are making temari again. I hope to work on the long temari to do list I have tucked away. This year I hope to work towards extending my skills as a temari maker and move into progressively more challenging patterns.  I plan to blog more often and include more pictures, conduct more classes, participate in more fairs and even place a temari into the Royal Show this year... but I need to research a category for that one.  I also aim to be more consistent at photographing and writing in my temari notebook.  I am at the point where I can no longer remember how I made every single temari and keeping a record is a much better use of my time than trying to reinvent the wheel whenever I want to re-make a design.

Right now my heart's greatest desire is to produce a perfect S4 Square stitch (Masu kagari) ball.  It looks like the simplest thing in photos but it really is a tough one to get just perfect.  The ball must be completely round and accurately divided, then each stitch needs to be precisely executed to ensure that all the corners meet evenly.  I am a frustrated perfectionist which leads me toward being a 'nudge and fudge' crafter.  Designs that have a bit of wiggle room to get them looking right are my thing. 

My little shoulder angel and devil are constantly battling it out trying to guide my stitching (I watched Disney's Emperors New Groove this week).  I most often begin judiciously following a pattern only to take a major right turn half way through the project (when the lil devil says 'hey what'll happen if we do this?') and end up somewhere else completely.

I have already made my first temari this year but wont be unveiling it until Jan 26th.  It is the first in the odyessy (or perhaps oddity) for this year.  I hope to get stuck into the next challenge tomorrow... but might need to tidy up my office first so I can find my notebook of temari 'to dos' and I should probably pack away all the Christmas decorations too.  Don't you hate it when life encroaches on crafting??