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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

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!

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(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: Capturing Spring

One of the designs I’m working on for my Level 3 JTA certification needs a “net” effect. The obvious technique there is the one called “net stitching,” but I had also seen another technique that looked like it might work for my purposes in some Japanese books, so I wanted to give it a try. However, since I have already spent about a week doing all the stitching that will be underneath the net, I decided I needed to try the technique out on a lower-stakes test temari first.

Pole view

Pole view

I did a variation of the design pictured in the Japanese book I was working from. Since the netting ends up on top, the first thing to do is stitch flowers, one at each pole and then several more randomly placed around the ball. This does mean that you can’t just put on division lines and start stitching away, but I found that I could add my own “division lines” wherever I wanted them pretty easily by using hatch-marked paper circle guides of varying sizes, which I used to place evenly spaced pins and then stitch a 10- or 20-spoke circle with pine needle stitching.

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The net technique is hard to diagram, given that it works from pole to pole and one side of the ball to the other for each wrap of thread, so I wasn’t really sure I understood it correctly. As it turns out, I didn’t, but my mistake became readily apparent once I started working. (Hint: There is basically no stitching except to start and stop the thread at the very beginning and end; everything else is continuous wrapping.) Sometimes, loath though I am to admit it, you just have to do before you can really understand.

A large and small flower, randomly placed.

A large and small flower, randomly placed.

I worked on this most of Friday night and Saturday, and then on Sunday, the temperature got up into the 60s, so I can only assume that applying the golden net functioned to trap some spring weather!

The large purple flower, trapped.

The large purple flower, trapped.

I’m quite pleased with this! I’m definitely glad I took the time to put on all the flowers, rather than just jumping in and trying the net, because now I have this beautiful finished piece. Educational and artistically satisfying!

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One of my great sadnesses about our current yard is that I have nowhere to grow clematis. Ideally, it would be growing up a trellis-like mailbox post at the end of the driveway, but all the mailboxes on our street are one-side-of-the-street-only, and it’s the other side from our house. Fortunately, one of our neighbors on that side and a few doors down has me covered. While it is not my most beloved bright purple clematis, it is a really interesting stripey kind that I hadn’t seen before.

Striped clematis

Striped clematis

Standing out from the crowd

Standing out from the crowd

Climbing the mailbox post in the traditional manner

Climbing the mailbox post in the traditional manner

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April has come to a close, so I think I’m going to finish out this particular photo series as well. Here’s a pathway looking forward, hopefully to a happy late spring of consistently warm weather.

A walk into spring

A walk into spring

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By returning to the Gardens a few weeks later in April, I also managed to catch the tulip beds in much fuller bloom. Have some exuberance!

Candy stripes

A sea of candy stripes

Wake up!

Wake up!

Overflowing with sunlight

Overflowing with sunlight

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Today’s post features two more views of the tea pavilion, both taken with my wider angle lens. (The more recent trip to the Gardens involved a lot of switching lenses to test things, since I was by myself this time.

Decorative rain chain

Decorative rain chain

And the other side of the tea pavilion, entering from the “front” path this time. If you look under the shoji-covered windows, you can see a little square of wood in a track on the right side. (It’s kind of half-hidden behind the low wall on that side.) This is the nijiriguchi, or “crawling-in door,” which I mentioned last time is the way you would traditionally enter the space to take part in a real tea ceremony.

Tea pavilion from the nijiriguchi side

Tea pavilion from the nijiriguchi side

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This picture is technically from the second April trip I took to Duke Gardens, about two weeks later, so the cherry trees were done blooming and more of the other trees had leafed out. However, this time I had my zoom lens with me, so I was able to get a good picture of The Bridge. I don’t know that this bridge actually has a name, but everyone who goes to the Asiatic section of the Gardens has to take a picture of The Red Bridge.

The red bridge, April 23

The red bridge, April 23, 2014

When I was there earlier in the month, I did get a shot that isn’t actually bad, but is somewhat lower quality due to having been “zoomed” by cropping quite severely. I’m going to post it anyway, though, because the little weeping cherry on the right end of the bridge was blooming. It will also definitely give you an impression of how quickly all the trees decided to change once they were convinced spring was finally here.

The red bridge, April 10

The red bridge, April 10, 2014

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