Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wrap again

A few posts back I shared two wrapped band temari I had stitched. I was planning to do the black base one again on a S10, well that didn't happen because I accidentally marked a S6 again. So I decided to mix it up again by changing the way the bands were laid out.

This time I again laid two bands in each colour but the difference was that I laid them running in the same direction on two sets of lines next to each other instead of in a V on one set of lines.

I imagined a spiral look to it with all the threads moving in the same direction, probably should have done just one row in each of the nine shades, maybe it would have made the spiral work better.

As you can see I used the same colours as the last temari but this time on a cream coloured base. I used the same amount of thread on this temari which means there is still about a third of a skein left in these shades for my next go. Don't you think this temari reminds you of candy or icecream? Maybe it is just me but I ate a bunch of Peppermints the day after I stitched this one... Maybe it was just because I found a bag of peppermints.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Japanese food party

The last few weeks have been a little rough, lots of overtime at work and general business. I haven't had a second to put towards temari making.

Last night we did take time out to celebrate our Mum's birthday with a Japanese menu. Miho and I prepared the menu and my DH helped by cooking the Karaage.

It was so yummy. Here a few of Miho's pictures.

Table set and ready to go

 Yum loaded up and about to dive in

 Mmm Chicken Karaage

The menu included all the Japanese favourites, to be honest this mostly isn't everyday food, but their was plenty of dishes. We has individual cheesecakes for dessert. It was a great night.

What is your favourite Japanese food?

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ireland part 4, The Finale

Our last few days in Ireland were spent in and around County Cork. We visited Cobh which is the last place the titanic took on passengers before its fateful voyage. We visited the Titanic Experience
Picturesque little town, we took our lunch at the Titanic Bar and Grill restaurant under the White Star Line building. The food was A-mazing, and we tried an interesting lemonade that was brown in colour.

Titanic Passengers waiting to be ferried out of the Harbour
White Star line building today, we stood on the same balcony!
We stayed at an amazing B&B in Blarney and travelled around the area visiting lots of attractions most notably Blarney castle where we managed to climb to the top and kiss the Blarney Stone. The headless image below is me actually doing the deed. I am grateful for the grating under the stone, I could imaging one could accidentally slide right through the gap to a squashy fate without them.
I kissed the Blarney Stone

Blarney Castle Estate
W and my Hubby also got to visit the Cork University Hospital to have W's permanent cast put on his broken wrist. I think I forgot to mention that two days before we left Australia my son broke his wrist at school. While they did that the rest of the group went to the English Market in Cork.

We left Ireland from Cork, but my folks continued to travel around to Northern Ireland before arriving back to Dublin.

Where did we go next? The Netherlands! More on that next time.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Ireland part 3

We hired a car and travelled from Dublin to Cork.

My favourite place in Ireland that I visited... it is hard to say but, I really loved Kilkenny. I could see myself living in a place like that! All the streets are full of blooming floral baskets and the buildings are ancient and gorgeous, it really is such a pretty town set by the lovely River Nore. Kilkenny Castle is an imposing building but lovely and grand too. The grounds are quite huge to walk around. We didn't go inside, instead we took a ride on the Castle Tram around town and took afternoon tea at the Design Centre cafe.

Kilkenny Castle
We ate dinner in the red building on the left side of the picture. It is called Matt the Millers and the food was amazing! While we ate we watched them resurface the bridge, what would have taken weeks back home was done unbelievably overnight. They also had a live band playing real Irish music. Irish singing always have such a good fun vibe, how can you not have a good time when you hear it. It was magic.

We had a pub lunch at Syd Harkins where we enjoyed the most delicious Soda Bread ever. The publican was very kind and gave us lots of local info.

We also got in a bit of shopping at Dunnes Department store and Mr W's highlight was the massively huge ice-cream cone he got at Kitty's Cabin lolly shop

Ah Kilkenny I love you!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ireland part 2

After a few days in Dublin we headed out west. We visited Cashel Rock which was in an amazing state of decay. The guides were incredible and we learned so much. None of us could quite make our hands meet around the totem that assures you will never have another tooth ache so we all have to keep looking after our teeth. I must admit we added this to our itinerary so we could sing It's a Long Way to Tipperary but we really enjoyed the visit too.

The country side is amazing and green. Even though it was July it was still chilly (by Aussie standards) but the sunshine was lovely.

If you look closely in the photo above you can see the bishop's walkway just under the 3 windows. It is designed so he could walk around without being seen, unless he wanted to and then he could be above the parishioners. Behind (on the town side) the castle there is an extensive grave yard. Until recently if you had a relative buried here in the graveyard you had the right to be buried here too.

Wow it was awesome and imposing!

More Ireland next time.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Latest mini

I've already experimented with 9 sized silk, six strand cotton floss, 12 sized perle cotton and the like and still felt it wasn't quite right for my mini Temari making. So I purchased some 16 sized silk thread from Japan recently to use on these minis.

This one is a S10, I was tinkering with the idea of doing another S16 but somehow I distracted myself and ended up with this division. I actually think this may be the right size thread for this size Temari. It is easy to forget these are tiny Temari. What do you think?

I put the second photo in for perspective, it is sitting next to one of my spoon rings. Did I mention the spoon ring before? I love it, and purchased it from Etsy late last year. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Seeing stars

I've been playing with stars again lately and because this one was badly marked it has wonky stars which remind me of the meteor that streaked across our sky before it allegedly hit somewhere in WA last week.

This one is a small regular sized temari. I wrapped it in bright golden yellow and added some fine Indian metal threads to the top layer. The stitching has been done in royal blue and the stars outlined in gold cotton thread.

Seriously bad marking on this one, I will try it again with a more accurately marked base. It did turn out very sparkly.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The event that consumed 2014

I noticed at the beginning of this year that I did not post last year. NOT EVEN ONCE! Oops, but I spent the first half of the year planning a family holiday which we took over 5 weeks during July/August and the second half of the year recovering from it. LOL

We visited a lot of places in Europe, the UK and Ireland but although we saw and did so many things we barely scratched the surface.

I am going to post a few moments from our trip over the next few months. Hope you don't mind... actually hope you enjoy seeing these posts.

We travelled from Perth, stopping at Doha and Frankfurt, to Dublin.

I remember the flights were long!

We forget how far away we are in Australia until we decide to travel to the Northern Hemisphere. We flew with Qatar Airlines to Frankfurt where we got lost in the airport and somehow managed to get out of the transit lounge which meant I got a very intense pat down in the middle of the airport while going back to board the plane. Not sure what warranted it but let's say there wasn't much that was left un-felt. Ick what a violation of my rights!!

We flew Air Lingus to Ireland and the thing that struck me the most was how truly green the land was as we first saw it. Well it is the Emerald Isle after all but I still didn't expect the green to be so green.

We took a Green Bus Tour and hopped on and off around the city over two days. Some of the drivers we absolutely hilarious as they gave live commentary including on occasion commenting on the crazy traffic conditions. We stopped by to visit Oscar Wilde (his statue anyway) and the Little Dublin Museum. The men went to Temple Bar.

I really loved the afternoon we spent at Dublinia where we got to experience the long history of Ireland, Vikings, Middle Ages and more were all exhibited in interactive displays.  Of course no trip to Dublin could be complete without including a visit to the Guinness Storehouse (where I couldn't bring myself to drink more than a sip of my pint).

The pint I couldn't drink, another in our group was so happy!

More of Ireland next time.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Its a wrap!

One  of the things I like most about Temari making is that the design possibilities are endless. Even using the same technique yields different results by simply making changes in number of rows used or colour selection.

I like wrapped bands temari patterns, and it has one of the easier to remember technique names in Japanese - maki. Just think hand rolled (wrapped) sushi. Mmm now I want Japanese food for lunch.
No seriously, I want Japanese food now!!

Image from

This style of temari works up quickly too, so you get to see your efforts produce results pretty quickly. Another reason to love wrapped bands, many designs look like nothing for a good while before finally coming together near the end of stitching.

Here are a few I've done recently, in Diana Vandervoort's 1st book this pattern is called wishing papers but I have heard it described as sheaths of rice elsewhere so not sure of the actual correct name. These have the thread pass the equator and the growing bundle of threads are kept tamed by two pins placed there. I've seen it done on S8 but these ones are S6.  The Temari at the back is in seven rainbow colours (did you spot that already?) and looks far more busy than the front one which has 3 sets of colours in 3 shades (9 colours altogether).

I wonder what it would look like on S10? I think I might try that soon.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Girls weekend away for International Womens Day

Last weekend we packed up to head to Busselton which is a seaside getaway just a few hours south of Perth. I left the city a bit later than I had hoped which meant driving in the country at dusk and in darkness so I was a bit rather worried about hitting a roo* in my little nissan pulsar.

We stayed at a gorgeous resort called Aqua. All I can say is that it was LUX!

Two of my best girlfriends, my goddaughter, her nan and my mum all spent the weekend together leaving all our men at home and it was wonderful. We spent some of Saturday being pampered at a day spa. We all had something different, but I chose a to get my lashes and eyebrows tinted then have a back, shoulder and neck massage followed by a facial and foot massage. It was wonderful!

We ate plenty of yummy food, there are a lot of great food producers in the south west so there was lots of amazing cheeses, fresh foods and even delights from a french bakery eaten over the weekend. We even has several bottles of champagne and more of sparkling local wine too.

We wandered around the Sunday market, went for an early morning stroll along the ocean and even dipped of toes in the amazing infinity pool at the resort. We had lots of laughs and although we only spent 2 days away, we thoroughly relaxed and it seemed like we had been away for much longer. None of us wanted to leave so we even organised late checkout until 4pm!

We got back to Perth (and reality) at 6:30 on Sunday afternoon and drove past 3 roos road kills ranging from tiny to gigantic so despite my hubby saying there are no Kangaroos on the Forrest Highway apparently he is wrong! Glad we didn't meet them ourselves.

I included a few pics of the resort. I was amazing and I do hope to go back sometime... Might even take the boys next time. Lol

*A Roo is a Kangaroo

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

You can't grow raspberries in Perth

I love raspberries but have always been told you can't grow them in Perth. Last year I decided on a whim to put in a small berry garden in an unused bed in our front garden. We put in 2 blueberry bushes, a blackberry bush, four strawberry plants and a raspberry bush. I got them from Wandilla nursery.

Well the blackberry and two blueberry bushes went to heavens garden, but the strawberries have flourished and even started sending out runners. Now the surprise is that the raspberry bush has started to do the same.

We even got about a dozen berries off it this year. I know that seems a bit sad but I'm really pleased I took a punt and decided plant it. I keep accidentally eating them before I got them in front of the camera. The fruit is tasty when picked at the right time, something I am still perfecting. There was the very last raspberry on the bush last Thursday that just didn't look ready and I forgot to pick it over the weekend so I got it today. It's a little over ripe but still good.

I also  picked these strawberries today. They are so red and juicy looking. I'll pop them in the fridge and share them with W after school.

More temari next time.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

It didn't feel finished

Sometimes you think you finished a project only to realise it is still tapping on the back of your brain. I seem to get that a lot. I made this hair pin a while back but it just didn't feel done.

I added a small swarovski faux pearl and now it feels more done. I had these left over from my phase of making the wrapped bead rings a few years ago.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

And then she used the awl

A couple of posts back I mentioned I had misplaced my awl. Well I still haven't found it but I ended up buying another one.

So I got to easily insert the hair pins into some more mini Temari. Yay! No busting off my wrist, squeezing the heck out of the poor little darling, or getting frustrated and saying bad words.

So here is my next hairpin. I must say I do love this one.

I even dug out some stone and glass beads to hang off the end of the pin which match really well. I am not that good at making the little loops at the top of the headpins but I purchased a looper tool which makes it much easier.

Not sure why but this colour combination always makes me smile.

What colour combinations make you happy?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Girls crafty day

This week we had a girls day for crafting. My Mum, sister in law and stepsister all got together for lunch, but before that we played with our craft supplies.

We made hair stuff. Miho made a cute elastic hairband, Mum made some hair ties and so did I.

I never liked anything with even the tiniest hint of bling a few years ago, as I get a older I'm getting more comfortable wearing some sparkle. I made the hair accessories in the two pics above.

The hairslide below I purchased very cheaply but I do love it. I had been wearing those skinny elastics and kept finding my hair was breaking off. So now I have hair sticks, two of the slides below and the nice new soft elastic hairties.

I am noticing a bit of a trend in my growing hair accessory collection. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A matter of perspective

In the various Temari groups I belong to we often share images of or links to Temari we love. One got shared last year and while I had seen this Temari before but had never quite realised how truly huge it was. Like most Temari makers I like to *try* to reverse engineer Temari from photographs I see. My biggest stumbling block is determining the size of the Temari that I am trying to work out.  If the image has something of known dimension it is much easier to reference the size of the Temari... but let's face it, usually the it is alone on a plain background or amongst a group of other Temari (whose dimensions are also unknown).

Try these examples on for size (pardon the pun), how big would you guess these babies are:

Judy Tepley’s balls


Would you have guessed the right size without the reference point?

I have been making studies of several Temari images that were passed to me many months ago. One of these Temari was in an image passed to me by a friend that visited an exhibition several years ago in Japan. True to form, this Temari was pictured alone on a plain black background (not a reference point in sight), so could I work out how big it is?? Well I didn't really know the right answer so what I ended up doing was just having a guess and hoping I was right.

Well this was the long way to get the job done... in fact it took me 3 Temari to get it right (or at least close to right). I admit that the first Temari was done smaller that I thought it would need to be just because I wanted to work out my theory for the layering of the banding.

When I thought I had worked out the weaving I made my next Temari much larger... but not large enough...

In hindsight perhaps there are a couple ways to work it out.

1. How many rows are in a band or area in the front of the image? What is the thread used?  For me laid side by side I know the 10 rows of #5 Perle cotton is about 10mm (1cm) so referencing that I can work out how many rows there are and use that to judge the diameter of the base.

2. Can I see a short line in a pentagon on a C10? Use it to work out the size by doubling its length and checking it on my Vruler magic number, and seeing what circumference it matches to. (for example 5.5 is about 31.5cm)

3. Can I see a whole shape face on a C8 or C6? Many years ago we had access to an online Temari Calculator created by Debi A. If I could measure a side or a long line in a shape I could put in various numbers into the calculator and determine the size of the Temari (for example a 5cm pentagon side is a 43.5cm circumference base) I wish we could still use that resource, I'm no math guru and have no idea where to start on creating my own although I have made my own calculator for simple divisions... if it was an app I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

So how do you work out the size of a Temari from a photo?

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Redo of a few

I recently posted a pink Asanoha temari hairstick with a grey tassel. You might recall I wasnt sold on the whole tassel look, I decided it was the colour, it just seemed to heavy. I have some bead caps so I that decided to make another but this time with the base thread. It looks much better now. What do you think?

Also in the last post I wrote about the S16 stitched on 4 paths that I wanted to skip a path on to see how it looked. This time I used a double thread of #12 Oren Bayan cotton that I got on sale last year. It is actually not too bad in terms is thickness for mini temari, seems just a little thicker than single strand floss.

IMHO It doesn't look as flash on the small size base. Either that or it needed a more contrasting base to make the negative space pop. It looked a bit blah (one colour) when I was finished so I added a row of single thread on two of the paths. It seems a bit lacey now, like laced feathering on a wyandotte chicken... Maybe it is just me. O.o

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Another hairstick

That little stash of mini bases I have amassed keeps calling to me. Today I have one to share that is stitched with a double strand of embroidery floss. In Japanese books it is called #25 and in English it is just floss or stranded cotton. I had this left over from my stint of embroidering some tee shirts for the kids at Christmas a few years ago. I like the idea of using the silk thimble thread but it is really thin (even thinner than the wrapping thread). This temari was marked by eye, the design is a S16 and is a pretty basic uwagake chidori kagari.

I have done this on much larger temari bases and thought it might be problematic on such a small size.  When I started this one I consciously decided I wanted to leave one of the four paths off the ball to see what it looked like on this size.  I have done this with the larger versions I've stitched and I love how it works. A square forms at the pole and who doesn't love a square on a circle right? I want Cheezels now!* Actually the tricky part turned out to be using the double strand because there is not enough room to groom with my tekobari while keeping hold of the base and needle.

This one again is on the plain stick type temari. I really must find my awl because getting these onto a thick pole is very difficult. I purchased the good beads that look like a temari some time ago but never opened the package. When I opened them recently I noticed one was broken so I popped the teeny red base from my stash inside it and put a headpin through them to lock it together again.

I think it might need one more thing on this hairstick because two balls together just looks a bit wrong in my hair. It might just be the angle of the photo though as it doesn't look strange in the top image. Mr W took the picture of the back of my head and we couldn't quite communicate the shot I hoped for. This was the best of the 4 that he could be bothered to take for me. Teenagers! Yep my gorgeous baby is now a teenager and has already perfected the surly attitude... And in under a week no less. :)

* Cheezles are an Aussie snack that are only slightly older than me. I loved them growing up and Mr W loves them too, they are a cheesy, salty, unhealthy snack. You can pop them on the ends of your finger as they are ring shaped. When I was a kid they had a jingle that said 'you can't put a square snack in a round hole'.

Saturday, 31 January 2015


Playing with some jewellery this week in an effort to practice making loops on headpins. I think they are getting better. I have a home for these little Angels to go to. I haven't worn earrings for years, and when I did only ever wore the type with a post and backer because my hair pushes these shepherd style ones out of my ears. I might go and look for an old pair of earrings to see if the piercings are still open.

I've seen the little wing beads in the past and wondered what on earth they would be for. I got this as a little kit and when I opened it up the penny finally dropped. D'oh

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Hair stick #2

I turned the mini pink Asanoha design temari from my last post into another hair stick. I used a different type of stick which proved interesting... and slightly more challenging than I expected. The temari needed to be threaded onto the thick stick itself. I need to find my awl to make this process easier. I added a velvet tassel (which I might still take off). This stick needs something on the end to stop the temari from sliding off. Anyway here it is.

Sorry again for the fuzziness of the image... I most definitely need longer arms to take a decent image of the back of my head. Oh I tried to crop out that funny ear but this was the best pic out of about 50 taken. On the upside my hair colour is looking very dimensional... And not too grey! Thank goodness for digital images where you can afford to take so many shots hoping for one good one. Lol! At least the temari itself was captured well in the previous blog post.

Temari is totally absORBing!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Mini mini mayhem

We all had some time off work over the holidays and our extended family went camping. I went for the first 3 days and then my hubby switched and stayed for the next 3 days. One of us had to stay home and look after the dogs and chooks. While I was home alone I made some mini bases. Well 48 to be exact. The smallest one is 5.7cm and the largest is 8.5cm circumference. These are made from scratch using some fibre wadding as the core which is wrapped directly with overlock thread. Previously when making minis I used a 1inch styrofoam ball as the base. They are huge compared to these little babies.

Here are the first two I stitched on. The burgundy one is stitched with gold Gutermann lame thread. I think that is what it is called anyway. The code on the spool says CA02776 at the top and W331 at the bottom and it is a 50m. I think it is the right gauge for this size temari but it is a devil to use because it unravels badly. The pink one is stitched with the silk thimble thread. They are exactly the same design but seem to look different to me.

I turned the burgundy one into a bookmark but haven't decided what to do with the pink one. I took the picture above recently to share with some folk that had made email contact with me. It wasn't until I saw the photo that I realised that the design is the 3D version of the design on the silk thread box. Weird what you miss in real life but notice in a photo!

I need to find my awl so I can try to slide the pink one onto a straight hair stick and maybe make a tassel to hang on the end like the cover of the mini accessory book.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mini Temari Hair Accessory

I think I mentioned that I am a bit obsessed with mini Temari. I am a more than surprised by this because I have steered well clear of these for the longest time.

I mostly use #5 perle cotton, sometimes use KYO rayon for stitching gifts and occasionally use #8 perle cotton. None of these IMHO look decent on a mini temari, by this I mean 8cm circumference or less. I do have a nice stash of #9 silk threads that I use for thimble stitching and it occurred to me that it might be nice on a mini temari.

In my recently purchased book of mini temari accessories they use #16 but I have no idea how this size relates to threads available outside of Japan so I decided to give it a crack with my thimble threads.

Mini accessory book released Dec 2014

Using this little book as inspiration along with my tiny threads I had a go at making my first hair stick. I wore it in my hair to my work Christmas party in December. It turned out kinda cute. I like wearing hair sticks and used to wear them a lot when my hair was longer... Maybe a reason to grow it out a touch.

Here it is in my hair, I like it even though I never wear green but seeing a I had a sparkly Charcoal outfit I though a bit of Christmas colour would be nice. I did intend to do some type of red feature near the pole, french knots or the like but then I thought it didn't really need it... And I didn't like my chances making nice compact french knots in such thin silk thread.

Sorry the image is a bit fuzzy, but if you have tried to take a photo of the back of your head with an iPhone you understand. Lol!

Temari is totally absORBing!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

1975 Temari book again

In my last post I showed the first temari I tried from this book. I am really glad I got it and have at least another 10 Temari I'd like to stick from it.

The week before Christmas I had a few quick moments to stitch so I made a version of this temari featured on page 25. I was really drawn to the red and blue on white. I have usually seen this design as an all over without the thick coverage on the marking lines.

It is an Asanoha based design. I am really into these at the moment. One of those easy designs that trapped me up for a long, long time. My version is below, Christmas had me on a red and green vibe. I went a  little off the reservation with this one. I didn't like the large blue starbursts so I omitted them from my ball. Also I only outlined the red shapes in metallic. My base was a bit smaller so I changed the width of thhe bands and left out the pale blue rows.

I would have added a string to this to hang up but our tree was decorated in silver and shades of blue this year. I like it and it was quick to work up despite the design changes as I went along. Did you make new temari for your holiday decorating last year?

Temari is totally absORBing!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

1975 Temari book inspiration

After my recent splurge on books I decided to start with the oldest book of the bunch. I love that I found this one, I have been looking for it for a few years, yes I am a collector of temari books and am always on the look out for older out of print books.

So the image below is from the book. It is featured on page 27 and is tucked behind another ball. I was immediately struck with the rainbow colours. I do love rainbows, they remind me that everything will be ok and sometimes I need a reminder of that.

It was a little tricky to start, it is a wrapped temari but it doesn't wrap around the circumference. It is wrapped through the centers of the six part triangles so you need to leave the pins in until the entire first layer is wrapped, after that the threads grip each other and stay in place. I followed this pattern fairly closely except that the size is a bit different so I had to change the number of rows on some of the colours a little. Also because of the size I didn't want to fill in the last row (an extra) with more red, I felt it would be too heavy so I added white. Still I like how it turned out.


I actually think the white helped to pop the star shapes. Did I mention rainbows make me happy? Hope this one gives you a cheery boost if you need it today! 

Temari is totally absORBing!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Resuming transmission in 3. 2. 1...


I got an email last week asking if I still existed, lol, yes I do. I have been very quiet online as I have been locked out of blogger for a while and took a break from temari making for most of the last 12 months.

We took ourselves on a self guided tour of Europe in July and August 2014 and dedicated much of the six months prior to research and planning. It was our first time and we visited Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland, England, France and Italy.

We missed our Southern Hemisphere winter and today sitting in 44.4C heat I realise we have had nearly a whole year of Summer Weather.

So I am venturing back into temari making after having a major buying binge on new books from Japan.

The first set of books are he Harmony series which are published by the group that publishes the Dream in Temari series, speaking of which pictured below.

These last books are written by various authors and include a second hand copy of a particularly old book published in 1977. There is also the two newest temari and yubinuki books to be released.

I am a bit obsessed with mini temari lately thanks to the little red covered book.