This week I played with Temari Balls.

I belong to a couple groups online and one is doing a beginning study. While I have been doing Temari Balls for a long time, I do not consider myself anything but a beginner. I think in order to advance you should work at the art regularly and I am sporadic at best.

I can do most of the simple divisions and some of the complex divisions. I am not at all familiar with the terminology, especially the Japanese terms that true Temari artists use. I call a ball stitched with spindles and “spindle Temari”; while a true Temari artist calls this “Tsumu kagari.”

But I like to keep my beginning skills up and so every now and then I join in rather than just lurk all the time. If you would like to explore the two sites I frequent most, here they are: they just recently changed web hosts and I think you have to ask permission to join but that should not be a problem.

Temari Challenge for Everyone: https://temarichallenge.groups.io/g/Main

Temari Talk Companion group to Temari Kai (see below)  https://talktemari.groups.io/g/main

 

And here are the Temari sites I explore most:

Barbara Suess: http://www.japanesetemari.com/index.html

Temari Kai: http://www.temarikai.com/

Temari Obsession: http://www.npcdesign.com/index.html

This study (Beginning Basics) appealed to me because it was the perfect opportunity to explore some concepts that I had been tossing around in my head while also honing my beginning skills and practicing stitching  a spindle.

In my Temari Ball mind I have wanted to play with DMC #3 and #5 perle cotton to see the differences in making a ball. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore this concept.  I learned that two rounds of stitching with #5 perle is about equivalent to 1 round with #3 perle. It is kind of an eyeball adjustment and a judgement call but at least I have an idea now.

 

In the past some of my spindles seem to pop out of place and now I know why. I was not allowing enough space between the stitches. I have decided that a good rule of thumb for stitching spindles is that there should be at least the diameter of the thread between stitches. And if you lay the thread where it should be placed you can see where to take the next stitch. Following these personal observations, my Temari spindles turned out very well.

 

Another thing I gleaned from this study is that if you are using more than two threads of the same color from one source, make sure they are the same or at least compatible. I used #3 and #5 perle in three colors: the white and dark blue were the same but the light blue was two different colors (even though they were the same number). When placed next to each other under a bright light, one had a blue-green cast while the other was a true blue tint.

 

I also experimented with stitches at the pole points. This one I used a Smooth Spider Web stitch.

I also tried using a double silver thread and twisting it in the needle before stitching. Both of these experiments worked fairly well.

This was a fun experiment and I considered it a great learning experience, so  I am going to try and continue following along and practicing…never know I might consider myself an intermediate Temari Ball stitcher when I get.

I am going to get back to needlepoint and I have been stitching. I’ve been stitching on a secret project but I did take pictures and so when it is completed and given as a gift I will post all about it. And as a matter of fact going to do another one as an experiment. More later.

Would also like to get back to finishing needlepoint as it is mounting up. And I haven’t told you everything I did last summer and this summer is already about half over. I made a list of things to write about and I don’t think I’ve covered more than a couple….see how I get distracted. Okay off to finish another non needlepoint project….but next week I will share needlepoint.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

Do I have Stash?

Someone asked me if I had much stash and how I stored it… Well yes, but not as much as some others I know… but I do have my fair share…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince I do several needlecrafts I have a large overlapping stash…(my DH calls it my mini Hobby Store…This is from a man whose workbench and area looks like a hardware store after an earthquake..don’t tell him I posted this picture!)… mine is very well organized even though it does take up a large portion of our home. I dabble in any needle art, but my favorites are needlepoint, temari, needle felting (new), knitting (learning), crochet and sewing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a library…it has all needle related books.  I have a stitching area in here but seldom use it.

 

In our office I have a stitching chair too, but use it mostly for selecting threads. I have closet with threads and beads; these are stored on wire shelves in plastic boxes and drawers. Most are stored by type (i.e DMC #5 Perle, DMC Floss, Kreinik #8 Braid, Rainbow Gallery silk, Silk and Ivory etc….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin the box or drawer, it may vary as how I store each thread: DMC and Rainbow Gallery Silk are stored by number, some Rainbow Gallery, Silk & Ivory and all Kreinik and beads are stored by color.  All threads and beads are clearly marked by number as well as who produced it and name (if applicable.) It is whatever I find works best for me and the particular thread or bead.

My general supplies are stored in clear plastic containers or bags and marked in my master bedroom closet: I have painted needlepoint canvases, cut plain needlepoint canvas
yarn (for knitting a & crocheting), leftover yarn from crochet projects is wound into bases as I go to desired sizes) I use this bases not only for temari balls but also for needle felting balls. When I’m making a temari, I chose the ball and wind with sewing thread.


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My sewing threads are kept in the sewing area with finishing supplies for finishing needlework.

 

I also keep  a box and/or bag for each type of needle art tools/supplies:
I have a bag and small tin for knitting and crochet OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
tools…haven’t been in to this long enough to mass great supplies.

 

 

 

I have a lunch OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
box with Kumihimo disks, and weights.

Bobbins are in a plastic bag.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemari has it’s own lunch box of tools.

 

 

 

I have plastic boxes with stitching tools for beading. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

Since I started needlefelting I purchased a set of rolling drawers. I store some supplies and  needle felting roving in here. I also have a plastic box for tools and a couple containers with tools I use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut needlepoint takes up the most areas.  I have a couple stitching nests; each has a floor stand, light and comfy chair for stitching. One area has a set of drawers to keep extra supplies and dodads.

 

I have three bags of stitching tools; one large with seldom used tools, one small that I take to classes and seminars and one I use all the time. Not to mention my collection of needlework tools that I have blogged about before.

So yes, I guess I do have stash! I’m lucky I have a pretty good idea what stash I have and where to look. I can go right to it without much trouble.

I would love to take over the living room (we live in our family room) as an art area but DH has drawn a line in the sand, says he can’t turn around now without fearing for his life of being stabbed by a needle or pair of scissors…men!)

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue


 

Creative week but no photos

Okay, there is one photo here but only because I just took it…I really need to remember to use my camera more. I have missed several photo opportunities to use here and all I can say is I was so enthralled with the art and people I forgot. It has been a fun and inspiring week for me.

Several weeks ago a good friend of mine and not a needleworker told me about a fiber show she thought I would like; she’d heard about it on the news. Since we were having lunch in mid-town we decided to venture downtown to see this show.  Once we got to the main library we found out the show didn’t start until the next week…oh well we had time to look around the library and it is a beautiful place; and again no pictures, too busy gawking.

The next week, when the show opened; we ventured down again and oh my way is worth it. Jason Pollen is having a celebration of his 30 years in Kansas City with a 2 part show: Unfurled (http://www.kclibrary.org/event/jason-pollen-unfurled) . You can read all about Jason Pollard here: http://www.jasonpollen.com/www.jasonpollen.com/bio.html.

14-10-24 Jason Pollen BookI felt immediately drawn to this art work, it spoke to me and I could have spent hours just sitting in the area looking at the works. Every time I looked at a piece of this artwork I saw something I had not seen before. I was fortunate enough to pick up one of the books on the exhibit and although I did not read it at the time I have read it until some of the pages have become loose. I then returned to the exhibit, book in hand and spent several hours just looking. I want to return again and look some more and maybe this time I’ll remember to take pictures.

This week I also attended a lecture Jason Pollen gave at the library (It was the first World Series game between the Royals and the Giants too, but that’s another story.)  I was torn between the Royals game and the lecture but knew if I did not go I would regret it. So off I went…and it was so much more than I expected. The first time I saw the exhibit I had written in the guest book that I would like to just sit and watch him create. I still feel the same and even more so after meeting him and listening to his lecture.. I came home and on the internet found several articles from others who have taken classes from him and now I know that I want to do this too. I am going to make another trip to the first part of this exhibit and I am definitely not missing the second part of this show.  I also have the opportunity to visit his studio next month. I am a happy person; hope I can remember to use my camera.

Then later this week I receive an email asking if I still taught Temari and would I be interested in getting together so I could share my Temari knowledge. The email was from another Sue, visiting her family all the way from Australia and so I figured it was the least I could do. My Temari knowledge is limited, I am not Barbara Suess (http://www.japanesetemari.com/) and I have no desire to really teach anymore…BUT I feel that we must share our knowledge no matter how limited with others, otherwise the art of the needle or for that matter any art will be lost. So I wrote back that I would be happy to share my limited knowledge and resources and when would it be convenient to meet. Yesterday Sue came by to spend some time with me. I had gathered all my Temari information together so that she could see what she was most interested in. I shared with her my limited knowledge, let her take pictures of anything she wanted (you would have thought that would have jogged my memory to take some too, but no it didn’t.) I gave her a couple different needles that I use making my Temari,  an extra copy  of a beginning Temari book written in Japanese and even let her pick a Temari to take home with her.

I shared with her that I do not use anything but a Kleenex as the core for my Temari and I am going to try making muslin strips of fabric to try also. I used to use 3 styrafoam peanuts in a plastic bad but seceded that was not environmentally friendly and I was also not sure how the plastic would react over time with the yarn used to make the ball. I even promised to email her the instructions I have written for a class I did teach years ago.

It was a fun visit. Sue is a fabric dyer and so she has promised when she gets home to dye some threads for me using Australian natural dyes; I can hardly wait.  First Sue is off to Canada for a dying class and then when she gets home she will dye my threads. Will share when it comes.

So even though I have no stitching to share and no pictures (I am going to get better at this) I have had a very creative week. I am inspired to do some drawing and also designing needlework. I But right now I need to get back to some unfinished business I have waiting on my desk.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! (I will stitch during the baseball game tonight and every night until the Boys in Blue win the World Series…Go Royals!) ttfn…sue

Sharing 1st finish of 2014

Life is hectic and cold in the Midwest right now. We have been 12 days in subzero temperatures…Alaska has sometimes been warmer. BUT today we are supposed to reach a whopping 32 degrees…a heat wave is coming!

Yesterday I received my first finish of 2014…my Raymond Crawford Acorns pillow. I can hardly wait for this year to pass so I can put it out on display. (Oh I just didn’t write that did I? …time flies by for me and I’m wishing it to pass quickly…I must be nuts.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sent the canvas last fall to Chaparral Needlepoint (http://www.ndlpt.com/) to have them finish into a pillow using ribbons…I just love the way they incorporate ribbons into their finishing…And it was worth the wait. The finishing is absolutely OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstunning…and it makes my stitching look even better.

I incorporated padded acorns with 7 or 8 different stitches and using Vineyard silk, Rainbow Gallery Splendor, Elegance and Neon Ray, Kreinik braid, and floss and pearl cotton threads. I have a four page stitch guide to go with this if anyone is interested; email me for the details. (Email address is located on upper right column of this blog) I know I am sounding like a broken record but I hope know that I have three things to put on the web site and husband is retired this is my year for a website otherwise may just have to add a page to WordPress and go for it myself.

I am still working on Shades of Gray. I have given it to a friend to look over and give me some feedback. And I still have a few things I like to do in this area but the study of color and design is an ongoing thing and so you may hear about it for some time. I’m also thinking about an online course where we could share out ideas…any suggestions?

I also promised to re-write my instructions on how to use my graphics and layout program, Canvas from ADSee (http://www.acdsee.com/). I wrote the first one in 1991 using Canvas version 3. So much has changed over the years and even though I do not use all the capabilities of the program I am comfortable in the program and get the job done.  I have obtained permission to capture screen images and so I am researching Canvas 15 to write again. I know there will be a limited market for these instructions but I feel like it is important to share my limited knowledge with others who want to do this.

Sharing our knowledge and love of something is so important…our legacy; if we don’t share what we know, our knowledge will die. There are several examples of this…look at the art of Temari…up until 5 years ago few people had ever heard of this old oriental art form. Barbara Suess (http://www.japanesetemari.com/index.html) and Ginny Thompson (http://www.temarikai.com/) have been very instrumental in spreading the word and knowledge of this old art form and it is gaining importance again in the needlearts.

A couple weeks ago in  Plays with Needles Blog, (http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2014/01/bead-chains-of-1830s.html), Susan wrote about another almost lost needleart…bead weaving. These are beautiful works of art and we should preserve and pass on the art form.

The American Needlepoint Guild (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php) in its purpose states: ANG is an educational, non-profit organization whose purpose is educational and cultural development through participation in and encouragement of interest in the art of needlepoint. We can only do this if we share.

When I started this entry for my blog I was just going to share my first finish of the year but as I started to write this entry a theme started to develop and I realized that this is my goal for the year…sharing. Sharing through writing this blog… sharing my limited knowledge with my friends at guild meetings and stitch-ins… and yes, maybe even teaching someone younger about needlepoint or at least some form of needleart.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today and share something with someone else! ttfn…sue

Let it snow,let it snow , let it snow

It has been snowing here since about six AM and I don’t here many complaints…we need the moisture! Our states (Mo and KS), many cities in and around Kansas City, and the counties have declared a State of Emergency…and so you should not be out unless it is an emergency. And you know it must be bad when our 24 hour grocery stores are closing until further notice and UPS has even suspended deliveries today. Roads and Interstates are closed all over the place. I’m glad I don’t have any place to go. And this is supose to keep up through tomorrow…we are expecting 12-18 inches of snow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is what my back yard looks like so far and Lucy got a walkway shoveled for her.

I finished my Ninji Temari. It was an online stitch-in prepared by Jane Z for the members of Temari Challenge group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TemariChallenge/). This was a fun ball to stitch as well as a learning experience 13-02-21 temariand inspiration. The instructions for the ball are on the website, I think you just have to be a member and membership s free. As I was stitching the ball I saw many other possibilities and made notes so I could make more.

Making a temari has many challenges because they are hand wrapped balls. Some people use styrafoam balls as a base but I hand wrap mine from a tissue core. I start with a tissue and wrap the tissue with yarns and thread. They are really spheres and not perfect round balls. This was the biggest problem I had this time…Because after you get the temari made then you  measure and divide it according to the design.   I could not get my temari to divide correctly. It took me a couple days of measuring and adjusting to get the pins placed to what I thought was acceptable. I usually do not have this much trouble but it was a challenge this time. I even asked Jane Z if there were any tricks I needed to know and all she could offer was, “sometimes a ball is just a difficult challenge. ”

You can wrap a ball to an approximate size but this will usually vary a centimeter or so…at least that happens to me. This particular ball was made at the large of the suggested size range and therefore I thought needed an extra row added to each color wrap. Of course this made each step need a correction, but I did it. I’m lucky because I can see these in my mind and adjust pretty easily. And as I was stitching I saw other possibilities so I made notes on this so next time I can try one of the new ideas.

I also think the base thread color of the ball (black in this ball) should be used in the design portion of the temari. It will make the unevenness of the ball stitching appear less noticeable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo since I am not going anywhere today, I think this is a cover up, keep warm and stitch day for me and a cup of  hot chocolate will work (I’ll have two marshmellows , thank you.) I think I’ll have to share my space with Lucy too (she’s not liking the walkway idea much either.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you are in this snowstorm too, keep warn and safe and if you are in the path (east and north of the Midwest) of this storm, look out here she comes! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

What a week!

The old saying, “Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.” is apropos for this week.  This was the week that was…and truly it went by much too quickly…I’d like another, thank you very much. If nothing else was going on this week the weather was beautiful…and I caught a sever case of Spring Fever!

I could barely keep myself inside this week and had the doors open on several occasions…in February! Lucy sniffed every blade of grass in the yard and even wanted to play soccer. From 2 feet of snow on the ground to 70 degrees, love that Mother Nature!…but Jack Frost will be heard from again and not in the too distant future I’m sure.

It was also Valentine’s Day this week. My valentine bought us a picture I have wanted for a long time…Thomas Jefferson painted by Bob Holloway a local artist. I have several of his pictures and love them all. http://www.bobholloway.com/

I also purchased supplies to try needle felting. It looks like fun and something that could be applied to needlepoint as embellishments. I made a ladybug just to see if I could. Since I am not sure yet…was searching the internet last week and bookmarked several stops but haven’t gotten back to them yet. There will be more to come about needle felting I’m sure.

I also picked up a couple packages of rick rack to make rick-rack flowers. Kathy’s blog Shakl http://www.shawkl.com/search?updated-max=2011-02-11T09%3A21%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=10 told how to do them and I thought they looked like fun and something else that could embellish a needlepoint. When I was a the store picking up needle felting supplies I also picked up two packages of rick rack, I didn’t read the blog close before I left home to know which size to buy. I also bought a rick rack that was one sided (painted). I just had to cut my rick rack and make a couple adjustments. It would have been easier with one color but these turned out just fine for my first try.

Also made a large temari ball. I thought I might participate in Barbra Suess challenge but I may not have enough time since I played this week. You can read all about it and see Barb’s beautiful temari on her blog http://temaribarb.blogspot.com/  or her website  http://www.japanesetemari.com/ . But at least now I have one very large temari ball…unstitched

And poor bunny…well, he is still on the stretcher bars. All the black (except ears) is stitched. Started working on the turkey tuff tail but between the nice weather; trying my new projects; and oh yes I am suppose to be doing computer graphics for a teacher (sh-h-h, maybe she won’t notice it is taking me forever) I haven’t made much progress. I tried to stitch six thread lengths a day but I am about 24 threads behind this week…but who’s counting.

And that’s the week that was in the Midwest…and now I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Lucy and I are taking a walk and then we are cooking on the grill tonight. If Mother Nature wants to tease us, we are going to enjoy every moment!

 I hope everyone has beautiful weather too and if you can squeeze it in…time to stitch!  ttfn…sue