Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

I actually made this temari (quite) a while ago, inspired by the forsythia that were blooming at the time, but they were gone before the temari was finished, and then I kept putting off photographing it until I could get a sprig. Now that spring has finally rolled around again, I remembered!


(Yes, yes, I know forsythia have four petals, but work with me here. I was experimenting with trying something unique with interweaving offset spindles.)

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Temari: Christmas Quilt

I actually made this temari last year and have been saving it to post this holiday season. This one is done entirely by wrapping the thread around the ball in a specific pattern, as opposed to stitching, so the making process involves a lot of pins to hold everything in place until the end. But the final result is nice, so it’s worth it!p1020638

Pictured here with one of the Santa Clauses I inherited from my grandmother’s collection.


Merry Christmas!


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I’ve always liked stained glass designs, so when our Campbell students started asking about how to do the rose garden temari pattern last month, I decided to finally do one in stained glass colors, the way I’d been meaning to for probably years. I think I need to play with this concept even more, because I really like how it came out just on a simple 8.



And then I had the bright idea to stage a shot with the little stained glass hummingbird I bought in the gift shop this time, which led to a hilarious extended photo session with me trying to hold the hummingbird above the temari by its invisible fishing line with my right hand and the camera in my left hand, just waiting for the hummingbird to stop spinning long enough to take a picture with it at least briefly at the right angle… How I suffer for this blog.


Not the most elegant temari shot I’ve ever staged, but not bad for having to take all the pictures with my off hand. I was amused, in any case, and later I managed to get both the ball and the hummingbird arranged on the same ornament stand, so now I can continue to enjoy them without making my arm sore.

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Temari: The Cake Is a Lie

I’ve been working on this particular temari for a really long time, and I’m excited it’s finally done!


(Yes, I really did bake a cake just to use as a photo prop.)

This started as a challenge from a friend to do a ball based on the Portal video game (hopefully you could tell), with the idea of making the two halves of the ball represent the two halves of the portal. The swirl stitch seemed like the most obvious way to create a portal-y pattern, but really does not lend itself easily to being divided in half.

The solution I eventually landed on was to use a C10 division, which does have lines that continue all the way around the ball, and use the small triangle faces instead of the more usual pentagons. To color-divide the ball, I put one line of blue and orange around the equator, then traced over the scrap thread C10 lines already on the ball with the appropriate color. The scrap thread all got cut off at the end. (If you try this, be sure to tack your scrap thread with your base wrap color and save yourself some time.) The only downside to this color-division technique that I found is that the outlines of the triangles can get a little loose, since they’re not actually held taut by traveling all the way around the ball. Be sure to anchor firmly!

Originally I was going to swirl clockwise on all the blue triangles and counter-clockwise for all the orange ones, but it turns out the triangles are too small to build a satisfactory swirl on their own, so I started over and went with alternating CW/CCW triangles, which make those nice fan shapes. It’s a little more of a fractured look than I was originally thinking of, but using the portals can be kind of disorienting (and someone posted a video of their character trapping herself intentionally inside an infinity-looped portal that was awesomely glitchy), so I figure it still works.

Process photos:

Anyway, this temari was a cool puzzle to figure out. It’s probably the most technical fiddling I’ve ever done with a design, and there were no examples to go off of, so I’m pretty proud of it. (I don’t want to swirl again for a while, though. There are a lot of triangles on this ball.)

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I just realized I haven’t posted a new temari here in quite some time! Sorry about that. Here’s one I had been trying to figure out for a while, so I was very pleased when some other people in the JTA online study group figured it out and wrote up their notes, because it turned out to not be too hard.


I like how it turned out!

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Temari: Peppermint Candy

Happy Christmas Eve! I actually stitched this temari last spring as one of my potential JTA submissions, and I’ve been saving it to post at a festive time. It’s one of my favorites, out of all the ones I’ve done.



May your holiday be full of delicious things to eat!

(Do you know how committed I am to staging these photos properly? I went to four different stores trying to find peppermints that swirled properly. These were the best I could do, and I’m still irritated about it. What is wrong with the stores around here?!)

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No Halloween costumes in our house this year, but I do have this temari all dressed up as a Golden Snitch from Harry Potter! (I was originally saving this for Harry Potter’s birthday, but I missed it, so Halloween it is!)

The Golden Snitch with a professorial referee.

The Golden Snitch with a professorial referee.

The witch standing in as a Hogwarts professor here is a kitchen witch corn husk doll from the teacher in the classroom next to ours last year at the Campbell Folk School.

For the snitch, I did alternating clockwise and counter-clockwise swirls within all the triangles of a C8 division, because it creates the effect of wings all over the ball.

Wingaling things!

Wingaling things!


Fly, little snitch, fly!

Happy Halloween!

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