Friday, 25 November 2011

Pudding Coins

In Brittan a traditional food to end the Christmas meal is a pudding. It is a sweet spicy boiled dense cake concoction that is served hot (sometimes served flaming with brandy) with custard or brandy butter etc.. Despite the fact that it is summer time in Australia many families eat Christmas Pudding too. Must be something about our country being colonised by the British and carrying on their traditions from home in this new land.

Now I don't actually like Christmas Pudding, it usually has dried orange peel in it (which I find quite revolting) and I can't really understand why anyone would want to eat a hot dessert when it is 41C outside.

What I do like is the idea of Pudding Coins, a rather old tradition where the discovery of a coin in your slice of Christmas Pudding is considered good luck and provides health, wealth and happiness to the discoverer. Coins used for this honoured Christmas custom are the pre-decimal sixpence and threepence and of course they must be Australian currency. I have always wanted a set of pudding coins. A few years ago the Mint decided to not continue making these available for sale. But last week I decided to go on line and see if I could find some.

The Australian mint had none in stock, the Perth Mint  had them for $29.95 for a set of nine coins. I found them in Queensland and they were just $12 for a set of ten coins (I purchased 2 sets). They didn't come in a cute red bag but were $17 cheaper and I have lots of little bags to keep them in anyway.

Now I just need to find a pudding recipe I like perhaps this site will have something nice.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Hinata Gallery Cafe round up

This stall is Riin's, her brand is Handmade by Riin. She makes lots of beautiful things as you can see in the pictures. I love the bibs... makes me wish I had a dribbly little one again just so I had a reason to buy a bib. Also there were sets of felted hungry caterpillar toys which were so cute and my Mum purchased 3 strings of bunting (which is why Riin is sticking up another set of bunting on to the wall in the first photo.

I asked each stall holder if I could take photos. I took the picture on the left and then I asked if I could put a link onto my blog and quickly she said wait wait wait and picked up a stock item for her photo. So funny and such a sweetheart too!

Here is Chiharu's stall. Her brand is Senhouse. This stall had the most beautiful bags and house slippers among other things. In fact her bags were so beautiful (and in demand) that I heard a lady near my table quietly willing another to not buy the bag she wanted so she could swoop across the gallery and purchase it. So funny... we've all that moment haven't we, when we can't quite make up our mind and another person suddenly takes interest in the object of our desire.

The last stall I managed to take photos of was Tomomi's. Her brand is called Japanese Gifts. I love the tee shirts in Tomomi's range (especially the one in the second picture).

I did miss photographing some stalls because I couldn't manage to ask the stall holder's permission to take a photo. I am sorry if yours was a stall that did not appear on this blog.

Now this weekend was also a Japanese cafe experience. The food was WONDERFUL. Such a treat for the taste buds and eye too! There were also 4 demonstrations of the tea ceremony in the cafe area. I didn't get to see the whole demonstration but I did take some photos. 

Genki Japan donations were collected throughout the weekend and when Tomoe came past me with her smiling face I grabbed up a 50 and tossed it into her collection basket. I have managed to donate whenever there has been an opportunity this year for the Fukushima appeal. There are still many thousands of people displaced from this area, many will not have the opportunity return to their homelands for the remainder of their lifetime. Tomoe looked at my donation and asked if I really wanted to give that much, all I could say is what I always say. Without Japan there is no temari, without temari there is no happy me. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

More Hinata Gallery Cafe

Here are some more photos of the stalls at the 2011 Hinata Gallery.

The first two photos are from another lady called Naoko. Her stall was next to mine so we spent two days chatting between serving customers. Such a nice lady and she sold beautiful handmade cards using Japanese papers and lace. I loved the display items at her stall and had to share them. I also fell in love with some cards she had for sale when I was taking the photos... I had to buy them of course!

I love the little fabric acorns and the teeny blue flowers.

Here are two of the cards I purchased, the lace edged one was calling me, the tree one was too amazing so I had to get another to make a happy number.

Next is Chie at her Calicot stall. So many lovely things, beautiful clothes, cushions, hair accessories. I love her old typewriter too!

Last stall for today is Yoshiko's weaving stall. It is amazing to see such beautifully textured fabric made into unique items. Her loom was also on display.

I'll share some more tomorrow.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hinata Gallery Cafe

Here are a few pictures of the stalls at the Hinata Gallery Cafe. There was a really wonderful collection of handmade items for sale.

Here is Naoko at her stall. She makes the most beautiful artwork, and painted the image used on the advertising posters for this event.

Next is the beautiful jewellery created by Ryoko and branded Zelkova. The display here was so beautiful including a large whitewashed tree branch. Her daughter make the cutest felt creations, so tiny and intricate. It is a very small world here in Perth because I met Ryoko and her husband at my friend Suzie's wedding earlier in the year. She said 'Oh yes I know... you are the temari lady.'

 Last stall in this post was run by Sachiyo. Her brand is Angel Beads. Her stall has very interesting display objects for her products to sit on and besides jewellery she also had lovely soaps and crochet scrubby cloths.

I'll share some more photos in my next post.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Hummingbird Cake

Laura asked what Hummingbird cake is when I mentioned I had made it in my last post. The name conjures up all kinds of strange possibilities but it is simply the yummiest, most moist cake on the planet. Here is the recipe I use to make my Hummingbird cakes.

Hummingbird Cake
450g Crushed pineapple in syrup
150g All purpose flour (Plain Flour)
75g Self raising flour
1/2tsp Baking soda (Bicarb Soda)
1/2tsp Cinnamon powder
1/2tsp Ginger powder
220g Soft brown sugar
45g Dessicated coconut
1C Mashed banana
2 Lightly beaten eggs
180ml Canola or vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Icing
30g Butter at room temperature
60g Cream cheese
1tsp Vanilla extract
240g Powdered sugar (Icing sugar mixture)

Cake Method:
Preheat oven to moderate (350F or 180C) Grease 23cm square pan (or use cup cake papers this makes about 12 medium cupcakes)
Drain pineapple pressing with a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible, reserve 60ml of the syrup.
Sift flours, spices and sugar into a large bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients including the syrup saved from the pineapple. Pour into pan(s).
Bake about 40 minutes (cupcakes about 20 minutes). Cool in pan for a few minutes then cool right side up on racks. When cold cover with icing and try not to eat the whole cake ;)

Icing Method:
Beat butter and cream cheese with vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar.

I like to top the cake with toasted coconut shavings.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Hinata Cafe

Today I have been participating in the 2011 Hinata Gallery Cafe. It is a pop up market organised by a group of Japanese artists/crafts people. I am the only non-Japanese stall holder. It was a really fun day today... almost like being back in Japan with all the happy faces and chattering Japanese voices all around me... except it is just a 3 minute drive from my house so I didn't get lost on the JR on the way there (like I do every time I catch any form of public transport in Japan).

I took along temari, yubinuki, kanzashi and several other types of crafts I make. I made a small table on which I had a display of temari along with my most recent JTA certificate.

On my larger table I had lots of things for sale and some items that had very small signs that said Not for sale.

I took these photos as I was setting everything up on Friday afternoon so not all the little signs are up and everything isn't quite ready but I guess you can get the idea.

I also made 6 types of cupcakes which were sold in the cafe: Lemon, Banana, Hummingbird, Orange White Choc with Cranberry, Double Chocolate and Cinnamon Caramel Apple.  Of course Mr W had to taste test every type but instead of having 6 whole cupcakes I cut them into thirds so he had a bite sized taste. I think my favourite is a tie between Apple and Hummingbird (I had a third of each and DH had the remaining third in our tasting party)

I really love spending time talking about temari and thimble making. I also love sending my creations off to new happy lives with people that fall in love with them. Thanks to everyone that stopped by today. I really enjoyed meeting and talking with you all.

I'll try to remember to get around to some other stalls and take photos tomorrow.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Just what I needed!

Fellow Aussie temari maker Rosa O and her husband Brian from Bundaberg have been holidaying in WA this week and were kind enough to stop by for a visit at my house on their way back from Margaret River..

After a rather stressful week, their visit on Sunday was just the pick me up I needed to get me out of the funk.

Brian does wood turning so I gave Rosa a set of music box stuff  with the thought that perhaps he could turn a box to make a stand for one of Rosa's temari.

Rosa showed me a simply amazing piece of tatting she was working on and also an amazing rosebud design kumihimo braid.

We talked and talked about all kinds of things for ages. I love how sharing our passions for crafting can bring strangers together like this.

Thank you so much for visiting, I enjoyed meeting you both so much!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hinata Gallery Cafe 2011

If you are in Perth next weekend come and see what is on show at this boutique craft event. I will have a stall of temari, yubinuki and other items. Here is some more information about this two day festival.

Teeny Yubinuki

You have probably seen some teeny temari before but you may not have seen teeny tiny Yubinuki. Check out the Thimble Japan website to see the post written about these. The photo below shows just one of the beautiful thimbles featured at this website.

All I can say is WOW!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bye bye Fur Baby

Today was a sad day in our home. Our Chilli died today. He was part of our family for 15 years. He'd been sick for a while now due to a tumour growing in his snout. Even so he was still happy and enjoying life, some days he could still dart about like a pup and other days he was a little slower on his feet. Overnight his condition rapidly deteriorated so when we took him to the vet today, we had no option but to put him to sleep. We all got to have a last pat and say goodbye.

Here is a happy memory, the very first photo we took of him when we brought him home as a puppy.

With a cute face like that it is no wonder he managed to wriggle into our hearts.

We'll miss you Chillibilli boy.

Today I made...

Pendants with clay.

I made some of these a while back. I really enjoyed it and now that I have a little time I've made some more.

I have been experimenting with different designs and techniques.

Unfortunately my camera (more accurately Me the operator) can't quite get the colour represented right, the colours look nicer in real life. I really like how most of these turned out... even if some aren't quite right.

Can you see the little chain on the square purple one? I think I can see that one hanging on my temari scissors in the future.

I think my DH is a little frustrated with all the crafting going on in our house lately. He'd prefer I spent my entire day cleaning and cooking treats to eat. So yesterday I did a bit of folding... and now I can see my family room sofa again. I also baked a delicious salmon impossible pie for dinner.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Chick Magnet

I'm not sure how popular the term Chick Magnet is around the rest of the globe, but it is often used here in Australia. It is usually used to describe a male that has an amazing (almost magnetic) ability to attract lots of women (chicks).

Well here is a picture of my little 'Chick' Magnet.

The little chicks were 9 days old in these pictures (taken on Sunday) and took their first field trip onto the lawn in front of the cubby house which we have used as a nesting box. I was a bit worried that they wouldn't be able to get back up the step to the house, but after a few failed attempts they all managed it.

I hope that these are the only type of chicks Mr W attracts for a few more years!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Today I made...


Well actually these bead style Yubinuki took more than a day to make but you get the idea. They are threaded onto my Tekobari case so they didn't roll away.

I use fine silk threads to stitch the designs and fluffy silk topps to pad the base. Lucky me, I got all these supplies when Miho went to Japan last year. I have such an awesome sister.

You might remember a while back I made a bunch of forms for my Yubinuki so I had evenly spaced marking lines... they worked a treat. The Yubinuki above are S11 (purple/blue and green/magenta), S15 (blues/white) and S8 (blues and in-progress gold/bronze).

The S8 ones could have been stitched on S4 but I used the additional 4 marking lines to place the thin stripes.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Super cool way to mark a C10

Yesterday Barb and Kathy shared a snappy tutorial video they made about a way to mark C10. They learned this from Ozaki Sensei during their recent visit to the JTA museum in Japan.

There are several ways to mark a C10 and this new (to us) way looks like a really great method which takes less thread and (if practised) seems like it would be quicker and more accurate too. This method is outlined in the Japanese book Owari Temari  ISBN483770391 on page 22-23

I am going off to look for a nice practice ball so I can try along with the video.

Thank you so much to Kathy and Barb for sharing this with everyone. I think Barb will be sharing lots of information about the Japan trip at her blog so bookmark for future reference.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

To remove or not remove... now that is a question

I noticed on TT this week a thread started about the merits of removing marking thread. Everyone has their own feeling about this, and it prompted me to reflect on mine.

I guess I really love to see sparkly marking lines on most temari (for a gal that wears no jewellery - except my wedding ring - I sure love my temari bling) so I love to leave those marking lines on the temari. If it looks good I leave it.

I find it very difficult to ignore 'inconspicuous' threads, they just never seem to fade into the thread wrap for me. I have tried matching Perle 8 or a thin embroidery satin thread but they are quite obvious. I find using two wraps of the base thread just hopeless as I tend to stitch more at night when the lighting isn't as perfect as it could be. There was a time when I would have been too scared to remove my marking threads for fear the whole temari design would explode off the surface. These days I am more confident about the security of my stitching (nice thick base thread layer and I ensure I take a good bite off it with my needle at every stitch) and as I understand the divisions better it is easier to remove the marking threads I don't want to leave on the ball. If the design calls for having inconspicuous marking threads I am usually inclined to mark with a contrasting sewing (serger) thread and just remove it at the end.

I guess we all do what we like (and feels comfortable for us), and as our experience grows so does our safety zone. This means we all eventually amaze ourselves when we realise what once seemed impossible (or daunting) has become a part of our regular routine... and we hadn't even noticed.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

A dozen flowers... round up and a new bunch

So all in one post here are the images of my recent bunch of flower temari. Actually, although the post titles in this series we labelled A dozen flowers technically there were two dozen.

First, here are the twelve C10 faces.

Next is the same designs all stitched on S10.

I've also started restitching these designs on my football (soccer) temari. This temari has been wrapped and sitting in a drawer for about two years (maybe even longer) so I have been feeling a bit guilty about neglecting it for so long. The circumference on this one is 42.5cm so I should be able to get some nice detail down with pearl cotton #5.

I've got this one labelled with tags so I know which face to stitch each design on. I've also added the extra marking lines. This time I am stitching in 3 shades of pink, 3 shades of blue and 3 shades of purple so theoretically I should end up with 4 faces of each colour set. I don't expect I'll have this one (the third dozen) stitched before Christmas (although I just might surprise myself).
I am working on another temari (34cm) which I would like to show soon but it is still only half done and it is turning out too lovely to share an 'in progress' image.

Friday, 4 November 2011

TT Renzoku Stitch Along

Ok I didn't actually plan to do this stitch along but decided at the last moment to try it out. All the talk about Renzoku/HHG designs lately has got my interest peaked. I remrember seeing this design on TK but it didn't strike me as one I wanted to do.

I have really enjoyed making this one. It came together fairly quickly, once the path was established, and needed only a small amount of ripping out.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Gotenmari exhibition in Akita

Here is a link that was originally shared by Glenna on the message boards at the Temari Challenge Yahoo group. I'm not sure if I have shared this link before, but go check out the eye candy.

There are some really amazing temari in this slide show.

My understanding is that this competition is held annually in Akita, Japan in the last weekend of October.

I love so many of the designs, some of my favourites are slide 18 and the top left of slide 23. I adore the bullion rosettes on the ball in the lower center of slide 26. Now I want to learn how to stitch bullion roses, I wonder how many there are on this design.

There are two many beautiful temari for me to pick a number one. Which one is your favourite?