Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A few of my favourite (temari) things......

So given it has been whole year since I started making Temari, I thought I'd share a few of the things I have discovered that have made things that little bit more extra-enjoyable.

The first is that, as several people have mentioned, temari making is highly addictive. For some reason there is always that urge in the back (and sometimes the front) of my mind to do something temari related. It could be as simple as wrapping a mari (or ten), or deciding on which pattern to do next. Stitching might take your fancy, or you may just find yourself peering into the vast array of colours in your (somehow ever-growing) thread stash and letting your imagination come up with all sorts of colour combinations. Whatever it is, it seems to creep into my mind most days. If you told me a year ago that I would be orbsessed and totally absorbed with stitching patterns onto balls made of thread there is no way I would have believed you.

The next few things are tools that make temari making even more enjoyable for me. The first are a pair of snips that I got for Christmas. I love the rainbow colour on them (it always helps me if my tools are pretty as well as practical), and they are easier for me to use than traditional scissors.

This second image is of a little quilted bowl I picked up at a handmade stall. It's perfect for holding/protecting the current project in my workbasket and protects it from getting tossed around quite so much.

This is a pic of my work basket. I have had it for years, sitting on a shelf filled with shells, and have repurposed it to become temari related. It is just big enough to hold the quilted bowl, current temari and some threads/snips etc.

This one is a binder I found that reminded me of temari. This binder holds patterns and instructions/diagrams I have printed and keeps it all neat and tidy and ready for use.

And finally, this last image is of a couple of 'tools' I made to help groom the threads. I rolled some handles from 'Sculpey' (polymer clay is not yet one of my hobbies, hence the plain colour/design)

It's a Temari-versary!

I realised the other day that it must have been about a year since I discovered (and subsequently began making) temari. When I looked it up on the computer, sure enough it was the 19th of April last year that I began making my first ball.

As previously mentioned I am a bit of a serial hobbyist, and so I didn't count the anniversary of temari making from the start of the creation (because it may never have been finished)- but from the completion of the project, which was exactly one year ago today! When I mentioned this to my husband he was suprised that it had been that long already, and that I had stuck to a hobby for more that a few months!

So, in commemoration of this grand event, I decided to make a ball especially for the day, and I finished it off this morning. It is a 6 SD, Mitsubane Kikkou design worked on a 24cm ball. I have used this colour combo before on a white ball and really like the effect, so this time I did it on a black ball. I love the brightness of the colours - they are happy colours, which represents what I like about temari making - it brings more happiness into my world. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

And to make the day even more special - there was my latest order from Temari Addict waiting for me when I got home last night. I ordered some Cosmo threads and a new Japanese temari book - Azuma Temari!! Click here to pop over and see the fantastic things you can get from Rebecca's store!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Purple flowers

Well, if you have payed close attention to the temari I have made and posted about in the blog, and to the blog design itself, you will see one colour keeps appearing - purple. It would have to be my alltime favourite colour, and appears constantly in things I make or buy. This new ball doesn't even begin to sway from that path! I would say that I'll try to change colours for the next one, but I already have them picked out, so unless the ball becomes a UFO, then it too will contain some wonderful shades of guessed it.......purple. Maybe I should challenge myself to make several balls in a row without touching the purple draw of threads, to try and break the habit. Maybe I should stickytape that draw shut for a few weeks. Anyhows, here is the latest.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Promising starts

A little while ago I heard a story on the radio about a volunteer program called the Pyjama Foundation. The Pyjama Foundations tries to encourage a love of reading and learning by sending volunteer 'Pyjama Angels' to read to children in foster care. Take a look at their website here for more information on the Foundation. I really believe in what they advocate, and so I signed up to become a Pyjama Angel. About a month ago, I received a call from the coordinator to say that she had found a child that may be suitable for me to work with. The Foundation matches you up with a child who is in a similar area to you, with times that are convenient for both parties etc. I met Max (for privacy reasons I have used a false name), and his foster carer. Max is 9, and I have read to him 3 times so far. Sometimes we play an educational game as well as read a book. While it's very early days, it looks like things are going ok and getting a little better each week, and I'm hopeful that things will continue to be positive.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting back in to stitching.....

Taking inspiration from the last temari I made, I have finished off this new ball this morning. In the last design, the corners of each square were interlocked (?) and I had wondered what it would look like if I did each square one round at a time, so that the corners formed diamond shapes. I also wanted to use the black/white/colour concept again, but with more focus on the black and white and using the colour for accent rather than to dominate. I also decided that 'something' needed to happen in the centre of the squares.

I had originally thought of using sakasa uwagake kagari, and then thought about an 8 point kiku, but thought it may look a bit odd as what I already had on the ball seemed to scream 'lines' and 'angles'. So I hunted through my pictures of temari, and came across a picture with two interlocked squares. I used this for inspiration for the square design I used on each face.

It was a lovely ball to stitch, and worked out really nicely considering it came from a combination of stitches I have learned and was not any particular pattern. Now to decide what's next.......!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Drawing homework

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been taking some botanical drawing classes. While this does cut down on my 'temari time', it is also something Ireally enjoy doing, and hope to get better at. I am doing a beginner painting class in a couple of months, which should also be very interesting - as normally, no matter how small the paint job, no matter how careful I am, I end up with paint all over me! Anyhow, I thought I'd share some of my classwork. The first is a bell pepper, or mini capsicum. Then we worked on some gumnuts. And this is the waterlily drawing I have been working on. It's not finished yet, but I'm getting happier with it.

Hopefully in the painting class I will learn enough to paint the lily. It was a spectacular pink colour that will (fingers crossed) look amazing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New temari

This is my latest temari. It's taken me a while to do it, because I marked it and chose the threads and then it sat in the basket for a couple of weeks until I sat down for a couple of hours and stitched it. It is quite an easy C8 design, and I can see how the techniques could be used in different ways in other patterns.

I wasn't so wrapped with my colour choice (Unintended teamri pun!!I really like the black and white, although next time I would do more rows of each. The purple Nordic Gold didnt 'pop' against the pink background either, but overall it's not too bad.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Drawing Lessons

As I mentioned in the previous posts, I have been taking a few botanical drawing lessons. So far, we have been focusing on outlines. I'm really enjoying the classes, and looking forward to the next four weeks, which will focus on shading and adding depth to the pictures. I thought I'd post my picture of the orchids I drew. I chose to draw this plant because it was beautiful and the lines/shapes of the flowers/leaves etc were clear to see. And.....I had only bought it a couple of weeks ago, and I have never had any luck with orchids in the past, so I wanted to try and draw it before it went to plant heaven! I have also taken a couple of photo's, so that if I reach the stage where I get to add colour, I will have a reference. The flowers are a beautiful shade of orange. The drawing is very light, as it's only an outline, but here it is:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pretty in Pink

So this is the JD that I mentioned in the previous post. JD stands for Jyouge Douji, and translates to 'concurrent north-south' stitching. It is also know as the"merry go round" stitch, as the stitches zig zag up and down from half of the ball to the other. It is also one of my favourite types of temari to make.

I used the pink coloured Nordic Gold thread from Rainbow Gallery for the marking, and DMC perle #5's for the colours. It was fun and relaxing to stitch these colours.

Also, I just finished wrapping my ball for the Flower Ball Challenge over on the Temari Challenge Yahoo Group. The aim of the challenge is to create a ball stitched with flowers. I have decided to attempt to mark a C10 - it will be my first ever. Hopefully, with time and patience, it will be a successful endeavour. I have prepped a 43.5cm ball on a 5" styro base in nice dark green thread, but I still need to decide on what marking thread to use.

I'm also working on a list of possible flowers. My original idea was to do all Australian native flowers, but I think I will do a combination of my favourites, native and not. There are a few 'must-haves' on my list - Flannel Flowers and Fringed Violets, Serruria and the Giant Waterlily. The Fringed Violets should be interesting - I'll have to use a heavily textured thread to create the fringe. It should be quite effective if I can get it right. I'll try to post regularly about it, so you can see the progress too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Every cloud has a silver lining...

This last week was a very busy one. I had a botanical drawing class on Saturday, worked the following 6 days, had another botanical drawing class on the next Saturday, and then drove to my old workplace and particpated in a silversmithing workshop. I made the bangle pictured below.

Somehow I also managed to finish off two temari, and nearly finished a third. I completed the temari for the Lunar New Year GITS, but I cant show you a picture of this one yet!

I also decided to do another version of the squares pattern. This time I decided to differentiate the colours by putting stripes of dark purple in between the blue and yellow. I learnt that this makes any slight differences in stitching stand out, but overall it's pretty good.

I'm working on a JD with kiku's on the poles, it's going ok and I'll post a pic of that one in the next couple of days!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

K is for.....Kokeshi

Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to receive these lovely Japanese kokeshi dolls as a birthday gift from my sister. They are the contemporary variety, done in brighter colours and a more 'modern' look, as opposed to the traditional style. I was randomly googling temari one days and the doll in the centre of the photo popped up. I was amazed, and instantly fascinated.....she's holding a temari! From then, all I wished for my birthday was this kokeshi, and my lovely sister was thoughtful enough to order her for me (thanks H!). So now she lives here, with four of her friends, overseeing the craft/creation/cats room!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two new additions

It's taken a little bit of time to get these balls done and this blog entry posted as we've had some minor water damage to our carpets and the house is in disarray. I'm not so happy with how these worked up - both seem to be lacking in something, or I havent got the colours quite right. The squares pattern has a few errors on it - which I'm not too worried about as it's the first time I have done the pattern, but the colours are not quite right. It's actually a more purple colour in 'real life', but it still doesnt quite work for me. It still need some metallic embellishment on it. Maybe that will give it a bit of zest.

The second ball is a pattern from Debi A. Debi has some fantastic patterns on her website - Temari Math -go and have a look. I've used these colours on a ball before and they worked really well, however this time they left me feeling a little less impressed. Maybe it was because they were a slightly darker shade.
Not to worry. There are plenty more temari to make, in plenty more colour and pattern combinations. Part of the reason I think I love making temari so much is that there are an infinite numbers of ways to combine colours and patterns, and each one gives a different effect.
My next challenge is to create a ball for my GITS partner for the lunar new year GITS. It will certainly challenge me - the colours I need to use are red, green, white and gold, or somehow incorporate a rabbit into the design, as 2011 is the year of the rabbit. I'll post a pic once my partner has received it. I'm thinking ahead to next year - the year of the Dragon - and an idea is already forming for a pattern....!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kyo Kiku

I thought I'd pop up a pic of my latest ball too. This one is an S12 kiku, and is done in shaded pink Kyo Rayon threads. I'm just starting to work with these threads, and I noted a couple of things about them: They are difficult for me to get a decent photo of due to their incredible shine/lustre. They are also different to handle as they seem to be quite fluid in how they move. And thirdly, they are absolutely beautiful. This picture doesn't do the threads any justice.

Starting off the year.....

I realise this post is a little late in coming, considering it's about the New Years GITS that I just participated in. In this swap, each participant had to send a temari to their swap partner, and it had to arrive by New Years Eve, so it could be opened in the New Year. I was partnered with Sue in New York, and my parcel arrived with plenty of time to spare. At 11:59 on Dec 31, I was waiting with scissors in hand to cut the tape on the box. I was amazed at the temari that emerged. It's a beautiful C10 in blue/green and lilac. I spent quite some time turning the ball over and over and looking at the stitching. I haven't progressed to the C10 division yet, and am so excited to see one 'in person'. Here it is:

And here is the ball I sent Sue in the same swap:

They say you should start the new year off as you intend to continue. I think having a temari in my hands was a great way to start, and it's how I hope to continue. My creative new years goals are to improve my temari by studying and practicing more, to try my hand at yubinuki (thimble rings) and complete an 8-week introductory Botanical Art course that I have been looking at for a while - which is yet another endeavour, but I don't think it stands a chance at replacing my temari obsession!!!

I hope you all had a fantastic new years and wish you all the best for 2011.