Friday, 28 August 2009

Back in the Stitch

The Postman visited me twice this week and I am all stocked up with threads again.  That also means I am back stitching my little heart out.  Our group of stitchers are attending the Perth Waldorf School Open Day Fair on Saturday August 29, 2009.  We will all have some temari on display and are inviting people to come and take a temari class with our group.  Hopefully the weather will remain pleasant and attendance will be good. 

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Break from Temari and sitting on the mailbox

I am on a mail man imposed temari break. On the last night of my recent 101 course I parted with the last of my stock of metallic marking threads. Now I am completely out of thread (insert sobs here) so I am back to wrapping blanks etc for future temari. I have 2 orders winging their way to me.... one from the US and one from Japan but everyday this postie has gone right on past my mailbox. I am experimenting with shredded paper as a core for temari. The weight is between foam and rice hull and I wont know how it works out until I have completed the thread wrap. I am not sure if it will be compressed enough and keep its shape... although the yarn layer has rounded up nicely. I will keep you posted.

I have finally completed the pictures of my newly purchased books and updated the post about Japanese and English temari books in my stash.
I have been making something a bit different: little brooches in a temari style.

I have been using up all my thread leftovers, and threads I don't usually use in temari, perle8 and kreinick etc and also some old blue, black, red, and green velvet. I saw the basic idea in a Vandervoort book (meaning how to put it all together) and then stared my Zen stitching. My favourite type of stitching is Zen stitching. It is easy to do too. I clear my mind and then just let my hand pick up what ever thread colours it lands on and just work the needle with no clear plan.... I like to see what emerges. Usually what ends up happening is that I see something I like beginning to form then my brain takes by asking "what will happen if we do .....?" I am not sure if I prefer the squares or circles... my favourite one is the red on black with the filled center at the bottom of the 2nd photo.
Anyway... they are a fun experiment and whilst I don't like them all, they do recycle a lot of otherwise useless materials.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Temari 101 Graduates

Thursday night saw the end of the recent round of Temari 101 classes. Four more shiny new addicts have joined the ranks. I particularly enjoy sharing the craft of temari and watching how each group develops from their first class, when everyone seems so unsure and perplexed over the possibilities, through the second class, when I can hear all the little penny's dropping and then into the third class when everyone settles into their stitching groove. The one thing that never amazes me is how quickly the addiction to temari sets in.

As part of the class we examine the various resources available for temari in Perth. I always show some books and give hints about where to purchase the most suitable materials and the price range to expect to pay. It is important for those of us that have found our own way through the myriad of possibilities to share what works for temari and what wont. I think half the frustration of being new at temari is not knowing what to use - or worse not being able to find what is recommended. For most items Spotlight is you first point of call - Yarn, Cotton Perle#5, foam balls, pins etc. Textile Traders often has a bargain on sewing thread. For other items such as metallic marking threads and cotton perle #8 it's off to the needlecraft specialty stores which can be a bit hit and miss (I do believe it supporting your local needlework store) but this often requires special orders. Other things such as suitable needles, good quality fine metallic thread, non-cotton threads, rice hull and books - well I have spent hours (read weeks or months) trolling the www to find good suppliers who can sell these directly to me. This saves me a lot of bother and is also helpful to our stitching circle as I can help them get the items they need.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know which books I recommend and so it is not at all surprising to note that every student in the recent class (actually every student from every class) ends up buying the same book first. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the book by Barb Suess you would be right. I believe (and most other temari makers I know will say the same thing) that if you work through each project in order you will quickly become proficient at making temari.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Japanese & English Temari Books in My Stash

When I venture into any new craft I do it "big". Whether it be stamping, card making, sewing, scrap booking, lead lighting, quilting or beading; I need to know everything and buy all the stuff to do it- call it a compulsion - and temari is no different. Here is a visual list of the Japanese and English Language temari books I have acquired. There are several I have purchased that are still making their way to my mail box, but all the images here are books I have on hand. (as others arrive I will add them to this list). Note that they are all numbered and at the end of this post you will find the ISBN and title.

Japanese Language Temari Books.

1 2
One of my students purchased these 2 books on a visit to Kyoto recently and was kind enough to leave them with me for a look. What can I say, I know I won't be able to part with them so I have purchased copies of my own. These were purchased on
3 4


These were my first Japanese texts and were purchased together from ebay. As most things sent from Japan are shipped via EMS it is cost effective to purchase several books at once (the postage is usually about 50% on top of the purchase price. The ebay price on Japanese texts is far in excess of the shelf price - but this is the price you pay for purchasing in English.

 6 7

These three came from, international postage with these guys is quite expensive as they use FedEx (twice the cost of one of these books) but adding extra books is really cheap. (About JPY300 per additional book) So of course these were purchased together... I did order Cosmo #7 but they couldn't source it. See below where I eventually found it.

9 10

Cosmo book (number7) which is on its' way from Ai's shop. The other two came from Book #11 was purchased after I saw a pattern on a web page that showed the scanned page from the book - sometimes sharing a page on the internet does add to the artists income rather than detract from it.

12 13

Book #12 was from and #13 was, believe it or not, second hand from Etsy -but was really brand new and it was soooooo cheap too (in comparison with ebay). Yes it is a little pamphlet sized book - and not worth the price on it gets listed for on ebay - but still a lovely thing to have.

14 15

Books #14 and #15 are on their way from Ai's store. They are both second hand and #15 is the purple Olympus book and #14 was only JPY400 so I got that too - it is a nice basic little book that seems to be sponsored by Olympus Thread.

English Language Temari Books.

16 17

Both purchased from, but I later discovered that I could have purchased a signed copy #16 directly from Barb's Site.

18 19


These 3 were purchased separately from Something I will not do again - the postage almost crippled me as they came from different sellers.

21 22


These 3 books were purchased directly from the Authors own website:


This one was picked up second hand on Etsy. It was too cheap to refuse it and the postal rate was amazingly cheap too.

1 ISBN4837707904 Shiki no Temari Kagari / Temari for Four Seasons Vol. 1.

2 ISBN4837706908 Temari Junikagatsu / Temari for Twelve Months, Vol.1.

3 ISBN4837702791 Yasashii Temari / Easy Temari, aka Cosmo Book 1.

4 ISBN4837702805 Sousaku Temari / CreativeTemari, aka Cosmo Book 2.

5 ISBN4837702813 Atarashi Temari 3 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 3.

6 ISBN4837702821 Atarashi Temari 4 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 4.

7 ISBN483770283X Atarashi Temari 5 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 5.

8 ISBN483770784X Atarashi Temari 6 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 6.

9 ISBN48377008854 Atarashi Temari 7 / New Temari, aka Cosmo Book 7.

10 ISBN4837704867 Watashi no Temari Nyumon / My Temari, Beginner's Course.

11 ISBN483770199X Yume Temari / Dream Temari, Classic to Modern.

12 ISBN9784837703082 Yubinuki to Hana temari / Thimble Ring and Flower Temari.

13 ISBN427749045X Hajemete Tsukuru Temari / Creating First Temari.

14 ISBN ?? 67577-30 Handcraft Series #30 Temari.

15 ISBN45290027821 Utsukushi Temari / Beautiful Temari - aka Olympus Purple.

16 ISBN9781933308128 Japanese Temari: A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft.

17 ISBN9781844483990 The Simple Art of Japanese Temari.

18 ISBN0855326530 The Craft of Temari.

19 ISBN1579902251 The Temari Book.

20 ISBN1861080808 Temari: A Traditional Japanese Embroidery Technique.

21 ISBN0870409832 Temari Treasures.

22 ISBN0870409492 Temari Traditions.

23 ISBN9780971658714 Temari Gifts.

24 ISBN4889960384 Temari Adventures.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Well July is over so my Christmas theme has come to an end. Pink is the 'new' red, green and white. I have been experimenting with some designs I haven't done before the first is Jyouge Douji which you can see in the first two photos. It is a concurrent North/South stitching pattern and in this instance it is representing Sakura or Cherry blossom. I really like the white crystal thread used at the poles.

Next is a rose garden. I have done them before with Squares but this is my first attempt with Pentagons. I really wasn't too fussed with how it was turning out as I stitched. The pattern didn't really emerge until I completed the last round and when I held it back a distance I saw the rose pattern. This one has a Yubinuki style obi - which we wont talk about - other than to say that I now know that Orange can be written in Kanji as well as Katakana and not to try Yubinuki stitching while watching TV as it is a recipe for wonky-donkey edges.

Last, I completed my Mitsubishi temari recently. The one on the left I LOVE! But I can't say the same for the right one. I really love the concept of it but the colours are just not to my taste. This was my last Christmas coloured temari. It was a learning ball so I can live with the execution of it being so-so but I can't get past the colours. I am sure next time I make this one it will be less wabi-sabi and more in colours I love. I also plan the remake the ball on the left. I have a feeling of blues and purples for it. For some reason it reminds me of hydrangea flower and I'd like to try it out in graduation... I might think on it a bit longer.