Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More Temari

I have gone temari crazy. My life revolves around phases, and this phase is no different.  I managed three balls in a week! One is not shown, the pink one is a prototype and will be given away, and the purple one goes in the shop.  The red orange yellow kiku with no obi now belongs to my daughter, and the grey and blue one belongs to my best friend in the whole world, who gracoiously let me have it back to take pictures since I had none. 

There are several others I have done, but are lost to time and damage.  I never expected to get back into temari, I always figured it was a passing fancy, another Japanese craft to learn.  But the wrapping of the mari (base) is so relaxing for me I could do it all day.  In fact I enjoy making the thread ball more than I enjoy stitching it. 

I am going to finish two or three shop quality ones before I put them in my shop.  But I will keep up the blog and facebook with progress shots.  Keep checking back with us, more to come!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Temari Fun!

Temari adventures are back in full swing.  I have already completed this ball, in a kiku design and a wrapped green obi.  The purple on purple final effect didn't go as well as I had hoped.  I will take some pictures as soon as I finish the other temari I am working on.  Its a rose pink base with gold guidelines with an interlocking diamond pattern.

I also went shopping (with coupons of course) and picked up some higher quality serger thread spools in fuchsia, teal, deep grey, and a light grey-blue. For the teal I grabbed a special light aqua, teal, and white variegated perle thread that I am very excited about using.  The grey is an old standard, it tends to make bright colors really pop.  Not so sure about the light blue grey, I was thinking a yellow and variegated blue with maybe some navy, or for another direction pale green.  I have lots of pink in mind for the fuchsia, a rose garden probably, with deep green leaves.

If you have an interest in Temari, I strongly suggest you visit the Temarikai website!  There is a listing of patterns and designs to learn from without buying costly books. 

I will have more on Temari in the coming weeks, but there is a two fold reason why I am making these.  I have them listed as an item in my shop, yet I haven't made any in a while.  I am drawing up business postcards instead of just business cards, and I want the temari to be pictured on the card.  Which means I have to make some to take pictures of to put on the card.  Hopefully to be printed and have in hand to pass out at AKON in Dallas this year.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Back to Old Paths

Ok so I haven't been able to thread wrap the pieces for the kiku bridge yet. Last week was spring break for the kiddos and I had them to myself all week.  I am afraid when I have both of them home for the summer that I will have to stop taking custom orders, because I have NO IDEA how much work is really going to get done.

 It is for that reason I decided not to enter any of the conventions this year.  Frankly I'm just not ready financially to make the investment into display cases and signs and new cards and table fees.  Makes me very sad but I have a family and small children to consider first.

After I have finished posting the last of the pieces I have been working on, I have decided to go back to temari.  I still have all my supplies, and I want just a few to have in the shop to show.

I have also been working in new mediums, moving back to satin kanzashi in a new technique learned from a friend, ImlothMelui.  She has such great talent, and I have been studying her hot glue technique in order to make a few satin kanzashi for the top hats I have stowed away and never finished.  I'm doing a prototype for my daughter, and we shall see how well it goes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Leaves Complete

Ok so the leaves are all finished.  Dark Green Tea chirimen with memory thread stems in the traditional Japanese style.  Fourteen in all.  So next up is thread wrapping the wires in my tea green color of 2ply nylon thread.  Then I will do something a bit different, and mount the leaves to the flowers before positioning them on the bridge frame.  With as many wires as I had on the white and gold bridge, thread wrapping the base is going to be a bear.  Hopefully I can cut down the wire bulk and make thread wrapping the frame much easier at the same time. 

It wasn't so long ago, about three years, that the land of my dreams was devastated by a tsunami of epic proportions.   Please keep the people of Japan in your hearts and minds this week while they mourn the loss of families and loved ones.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Its been a week of slacking off for me, I have done only 4 leaves out of the 15 or so I have to complete.  And they are not exceptionally difficult.  I have been distracted like crazy and have been focused on other things.  But I am back at work and hopefully completing more than 2 leaves a night. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mardi Gras Kanzashi

I managed this piece the day of a Mardi Gras party I attended in downtown Dallas this past Friday.  Its a Kiku on a 2.5 inch base, making it roughly about 3 inches across.  That's fairly large for a chrysanthemum. It has four tiers of shidare falls, with silver and rhinestone accents. The shidare is rotational, which took some real engineering.  It's two pieces of 20g wire with a loop at the top and bound just underneath with some 26g, both in gold.  I had originally intended the charms and bells to be in gold but I couldn't find anything.  Dallas isn't very good for Mardi Gras selection, and I made this piece at the last minute.  No time to order specialty parts.   It is well secured at least, I wore it the whole night with only half my hair up and it never moved.  The charms and size of the kiku make the weight of this piece pronounced though.  I could tell I had something in my hair, though it didn't pull or move. I would give this one a medium weight grade.  
I am still working on the chrysanthemum bridge.  I started the leaves last night but didn't get past 2 pieces since I was very tired from being up late the night before.  But it's still a start.  I will hopefully be working on more later today.