Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Thimbles a go-go. (Yubinuki # 8 and #9)

Two posts in one day??? Technically Yes but actually No... I just forgot to publish the previous one yesterday.

It seems I am hooked on thimbles right now.  Not too sure why, but my next project is definitely a temari because my eyes can't take the tiny stitches without bright light... and I am going to end up with work lamp tan if I make any more this week.

These are my latest efforts. Both are stitched with Gutermann 30 Sulky rayon in 4 colours on 6cm bases one has yellow bias and the other is navy.
You will notice the top one is fairly flat looking and I didn't really like that look so I plumped up the base on the next one to give it a little more curve. I am not sure it this flat look is due more to the height of the thimble rather than lack of padding. But adding a bit more thread to the second pink one certainly helped. 

The Gutermann thread is definitely not as nice to use as the Japanese thread but given that my thimbles are a little taller than the one I stitched in the Japanese thread the stitch angle may have contributed to the look.

If you are wondering 'Hey what happened to Yubinuki #7?' Well that is the one I have made for my Mum's birthday so I wont be showing it until next week. Sorry folks... check back next week :)

Making blanks

I love stitching temari and yubinuki.  Notice I say stitching. Prepping bases isn't a horrible job... but when the mood takes me to stitch a design the last thing I want to do is make a base.  This is why I regularly have blank making sessions.  I love having a stash ready to go.  This week I made 16 Yubinuki bases (4 each in blue, black, red and yellow) and 20 temari bases (8 black, 6 red, and 6 white). So I am all ready for the next pattern that jumps off the page (book or Internet) grabs me by the collar and demands to be stitched immediately.

I have finished a really lovely yubinuki tonight but I'm not ready to show it yet because it is a gift for my Mum's birthday next week.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Anzac Day Traditions

Today is April 25th. Every year we celebrate ANZAC Day on this day to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.  More recently it more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for Australia and New Zealand.  Many people begin this day by attending a dawn service in their local area. Other people line the streets for a parade where returned servicemen and women wearing their medals march to honour the fallen.  There is also a dawn service held at Anzac Cove, which is the small cove on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey, the site of World War I landing of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) on April 25 1915.

This ode is read at the dawn service:
They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them.
The crowd then responds with:

We will remember them.
Lest we forget.

This is a day to give thanks to all those that gave their lives to provide us with the many freedoms we enjoy today and to celebrate and keep alive the ANZAC Spirit which is based on qualities such as endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, larrikinism, and mateship. The first ANZAC soldiers are perceived to have been innocent and fit, stoical and laconic, irreverent in the face of authority, naturally egalitarian and disdainful of British class differences.  Many of these qualities are the core of our Australian identity and I hope they remain so for many years to come.

There is another ANZAC tradition that most Australians know... making ANZAC biscuits (not to be confused with the ANZAC tile/wafer - biscuit recipe at the bottom of linked page).  I made a batch today (as I do every ANZAC day). I am glad I will be sharing them with my loved ones who are all safe at home with me today.

They are made using rolled oats, flour, coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I.  It is said that the biscuits were sent by wives and mothers to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. These biscuits are an Australian favourite and are readily available in grocery stores.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Video Temari Tutorial Series released

I have been quietly working on this video tutorial project over the last few months and now it has been released in our supply store. Books and Internet sites are both fantastic (and highly recommended) resources for learning temari making but (if you're like me) nothing sinks in like an actual live demonstration.  I need to see what happens between the photos.  This tutorial series shows you how to make your very first temari.

There are five episodes (40+ minutes in total) demonstrating every step from how to prepare the temari base through to measuring & marking with pins into a Simple 8 division and laying the guideline threads. This series shows you how to make a classic simple obi and includes two traditional pole designs using Herringbone stitch. Use the two designs on the same ball or make two temari using a design on each.  A handy temari supplies shopping list and printable copy of the instructions are also included on the disk. 

A handy temari supply shopping list, history, colour & motif information and a printable copy of the instructions are also included on the disk.

I planned to offer this series as a download the file but size was just too large to allow it. You'll have no problem viewing the tutorials on a Window Media Player, it is a WMV file. (Mac: You may be able to download a converter from the Internet... and if you are a mac user you probably already know how or have done it.)

This is the ONLY item in our store that is set up to ship to locations outside Australia.  Visit our store to see all the details.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Free temari patterns and cool books you can buy

OK so you've discovered temari making and your mind is agog with potential, but you can't lay your hands on any books today so where do you go for a starter project or two?  So here is a little list of places to visit for some free temari patterns.  Don't we all love that word?! Free!!

Japanese Temari by Barb Suess (you can also order a great book written by Barb).
Temari Kai you need to click through to the pattern pages.  There are a variety of submitted patterns from many members ranging from beginner to advanced.
Math Info by Debi Abolt. There are many pages of patterns and very useful investigations about all things temari related.  Debi also has an awesome blog where she has been sharing her Yubinuki pattern studies.
Kathleen Hewitt's web pages have several free patterns to try.
WikiHow on this page you will find how to construct the base ball with a inserted bell.  Instead of using batting, I use a layer of wool wrapped in the same manner as the thread layer shown in the tutorial.

There are also some really great Yahoo groups to join:
Temari Challenge
Talk Temari
Thimble Rings

So until you can get your own copy of at least one of the great temari books available you've got some links to patterns to get you going toward your new addiction.  Our store sells many of the Japanese language books.  Click the supply store link  in the left column to see what's available.

Yubinuki # 6

I think I am getting into the swing of making the yubinuki now.  Today I am unveiling the 6th installment of these adventures into thimble making.  I have decided I can't make out the patterns too well so I am doing what I did at the beginning of temari making... just stitching away trying different things and seeing what comes out.  Although this seems wildly unscientific I found that once I had tried several different ideas on my own the patterns from Japanese books seemed to make more sense to me.

This thimble ring was made using a 6cm circumference nivea lipbalm case for the mold, yellow 12mm bias tape, yellow polyester sewing thread for the padding and 4 colours of Gutermann Sulky Rayon 30 thread.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Yubinuki #5

It has been a while since I finished a Yubinuki due to the Sunflowers class I was taking. I have finished this one and started a new one too.  I can't read the patterns too well.  Advice I have recieved tell me that the book I have is a little difficult to follow.  I need to save up for the hardcover book which I am told has much easier instructions.

This thimble was made with a 6cm mold, Navy bias tape and sewing thread for padding, and 2 colours of Gutermann Sulky Rayon 30 thread.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Sunflowers are all done [insert sad face here]

Ball 3 is all stitched and Barb's Sunflowers class is completed.  Here it is.  Thank you Barb for being such an awesome teacher... I need to start saving my pennies for another class. 

I really love how simple this one was... it was the perfect wind down from the previous balls.  I definitely think I will be doing this one again soon because it is one of those quick hit projects.

Here is my little sunflower family all together.

Sorry for the rather dodgy pictures in today's post. In the last 2 weeks we have killed a mobile phone, printer and now our computer... so this post was created on an alternate machine with rather limited programming.

Within half an hour of finishing the last class ball I had picked up my latest thimble project and got back into it again.  No picture yet but it is in red and white with a navy blue base.  I just can't keep my hands still.

I ordered two (yes greedy me) pin cushion kits from ma mercerie on etsy.  They are so lovely and I have admired the completed ones that Chloe Patricia sells from time to time.  I have had one of 'those' weeks and needed a little treat to help the medicine go down and who needs a spoonful of sugar anyway?

I have also earmarked a future project.  Glenna K has made the MOST beautiful wreath from temari. See pics of it at her webshots  album.  Now I just need to work out how to distract my DH while I gather the supplies needed for making the 72 balls.  Glenna kindly sent me some formula to work out how to make one.  This will be a long term project... so I had better finish off the quilt I started about 2 years ago first.  I just need to unearth it from amongst the UFO pile I have accumulated.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

My Lazy Daisy Haze

I am working ball two of Barb's Sunflowers class this week.  I am totally enjoying it. This week I have learned that the Aussie colloquialism of 'She'll be right mate!!'* does not work in the world of temari making.  Put another way... if the instructions have notations that are printed in bold red and include the word 'not' in capitals... it is a jolly good idea to follow those instructions in a fairly specific way.

Save it to say that my ball was not exactly to the size specifications on the pattern and I needed to make some slight alterations to the pattern to fit it all in.  I know you read my blog Barb and I offer my unequivocal apology for the outcome of my ball.  Having said that I did unintentionally learn a lot about adapting a pattern. But I promise ball 3 will be perfect.

My lazy daisy stitch is really quite awful on some of the faces but they got better as I continued around the patterns.  I finally understand the french knot which is brilliant.  I don't know why some instructions don't penetrate my brain but I have never quite got the concept of how to make french knots until yesterday. (Yes you are all allowed to giggle at this) I can for example work out this formula but I have never mastered the times tables.
 (BTW it is part of the Black and Scholes option pricing model and I am learning the times tables with my 8yo son) If your brain just bugged out seeing that formula, you'll know how I feel whenever anything math related is discussed in temari... although Debi A's math info site is a great remedial help when taken with a small piece of chocolate.  Mmmm chocolate.... what was I writing about again???

Ah yes! OK on to some photos

The faces are 1>4 going clockwise from top left. The lazy daisies are progressively less dodgy on each face.  I might go back and do some more french knots on the 1st face and I didn't have space to finish the final row on some faces so I left it off all of them.
I have started the 3rd ball for this class... all marked up and the first few rows are completed on each end.

* 'She'll be right mate' translates to Don't worry, No problems or It will turn out alright.  We use it even when we know it probably wont be... see the link above for examples.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Needles down... let's break out the board games

First a little update from last week's Easter post...  I wanted to add pics of the little Easter bonnets I had made and here they are better late than never.  Thanks Miho for taking the photos.
Easter has come and gone and now we are settling into the 1st week of school holidays.  I use the term 'settling' very loosely because the post chocolate binge seems to have caused raging tantrums in many households.  What is the thing I love most about holidays??? Undeniably it would be the sleep ins!!!  Next week my DH begins 2 weeks of holiday leave... it will be awesome to have some family time together before school starts back for the next term.  I am sure I will have my son trying to kick my butt at Babanuki and Monopoly more than once this holiday... We taught him too well!!!

All this means I will only have a tiny bit of crafting time available in the next few weeks.  I aim to get my 2nd sunflower ball completed this week and hope to finish off my half made thimble too.
Both images from Bakerella see link below

Regular readers of this blog know I love all types of crafty things and how much I like to mooch around in other peoples 'Blogs I read' lists.  Recently I came across the bakerella blog in a cakewrecks post. It is devoted to the most gorgeous tiny cakes I have ever seen.  The image above is little Easter Chickens and today's post (I am now a follower of so many blogs) showed these cute little hats.  Aren't they just so cute?! The cakes on sticks are made with balled up cake which is dipped in what I imagine is melted tinted white chocolate.  All I can say is WOW. I want to try this out!

A fellow temari maker (Glenna K) posted about earthquakes in Baja last week sploshing water out of her pool and knocking over things in her home.  It got me thinking about how lucky we are in Perth to not get earthquakes.  I did a little investigating and made some interesting discoveries and it seems I was wrong.  In fact we've had 22 since 1 January 2010 in Western Australia, the last four of  were here:
2.3 at Mukinbudin, WA. 3 April 2010
3.0 and 2.0 at Burakin WA. 30.March 2010
2.7 at Kalgoorlie Districts, WA. 28 March 2010
So we do have them but we just don't feel them because they are minor quakes that occur in mostly outlying country areas.  Another interesting discovery (well probably just to me) is that there is a place in WA called Mt Rebecca which had a 3.8 quake this year.  OK that is enough Geoscience for one life time.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter

What a busy week this one has been.  I haven't even started stitching my 2nd Sunflowers Class temari and it is already Saturday!  I have been busy crafting but this week has involved felt, papier mache, paint, glitter and foil.  I have also started a new Yubinuki but not enough is done to show it right now.

This week I have completed 3 Easter hats.  The first one was for my Son's Easter hat parade at school.  He was so pleased to win a prize for it.  I was also happy because it was the first time we had ever tried making something with papier mache.  The picture below right is an actual Cadbury Creme Egg on which the design was based. The 'creme' part was made with 2 layers of white felt a small circle of orange felt and had some wadding sewn between the layers to make it puffy.  These eggs are really popular here at Easter time (the only time they are sold) and our boy loves them... IMHO they are too sweet and can almost feel my teeth begin to decay just looking at them.

The other two hats were from a free project by PurlSoho. I made one exactly from the pattern with pale pink ears for my niece and one at 85% size with pale blue ears for my nephew. I changed the ears a little by cutting them out with pinking shears to make them look more cartoonsy and handmade.  I also made the ties from 3 lengths of Perle 5 cotton which I twisted to form thick cords.  The kiddies looked so cute with long eared bunny hats on... but I forgot to take a picture... I think their mum took one so I will try to get a copy.

Image from PurlSoho Blog see link above.

We had an awesome BBQ today at Kings Park.  Tomoko, Miho Suzanne and I (from our temari group)were all there with our families along with a bunch of other friends to celebrate my brother's birthday.  The kids had an Easter egg hunt, and played cricket, soccer, and rugby - all which helped to burn off some of the sugar rush.  Before we knew it the clock read 5pm and it was time to pack up.  

Thursday, 1 April 2010

And the winner is.....

Our 1st anniversary competition has closed.  Thank you to everyone for showing the world that you're a proud temari addict too.

To draw the winner from the entries I printed off everybody's name and placed them into the hat, gave it a shake and the judge (my Son) drew the winner.  You can see the draw process was captured in the photographs below.  You can see it was a totally random draw and he nearly broke his neck making sure he kept the draw honest by not looking into the hat. Scroll down to the last image to see who the very lucky winner is. 

Congratulations Valerie!!! I have sent you an email to confirm that you are the lucky winner.  I hope you didn't think it was an April Fools Day joke... what was I thinking drawing a competition winner on the 1st of April?  Please just reply with your postal details and colour selection.  I will pop to the Post Office as soon as I hear back from you.