Temari 107 to 110: being patient

Being Patient. For me, temari #107 to 108 represented the state of being patient.

For these temari, I was patient by both commonly used definitions: “Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” and “A person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.” Not surprisingly, the origin of the word patient means suffering.

Temari #107 was begun in May, before a series of surgeries. It went with me to quite a few doctors’ appointments. This is a C8 temari stitched with hand dyed #8 perle cotton threads and a silk/bamboo yarn.

I am very pleased by the effect of contrasting the light/heavy threads and delicate/bold design elements.

You can see part of my temari project bag to the right of the picture. This is a newer style of my temari tote bags. Maybe this will be the subject of a future post. My original style of temari tote bag had a hexagon base and a drawstring closure which went through a several revisions.

When I finished this temari at one of my appointments, I was so excited that I took a picture and texted it to a friend. I never did rephotograph it with a better background, hence the hospital gown as the background.

Then, I started another temari so that I would have something to work on while recovering from surgery. I was excited about the diamond design and looking forward to finishing it.

Then there was a long gap of a couple months before another temari was finished.

During a period of a month, I had four surgeries and an emergency room visit with hospital stay. During that time and for weeks afterwards, I did not feel like sewing, nor much of anything else, not even even read a book nor listen to music. Pain, lack of energy and just not feeling well were not good motivators for even favorite activities. The not feeling well was in part due to a mystery infection that prompted an emergency room visit and subsequent several day hospital stay between a couple of the surgeries.

But, in the thick of it all, I did find a couple days where I was inspired to and had enough energy to make a small temari. The diamond temari had to wait for a while longer.

Temari # 108 is a mini. It is a C10 temari with a diameter of about an inch or a little less. The design is the same as temari #100, but in a different color scheme. The threads are: perle cotton #10, three strand embroidery floss, two strand embroidery floss and single strand embroidery floss. Only the perle cotton threads are hand dyed.

It was made under a magnifying glass and made for one of my surgeons. He is a microsurgeon who uses a microscope to perform surgery. My work was not nearly as complicated nor as challenging as his was, but the gift was well received.

I think my next mini temari challenge will be to work in finer thread to achieve greater detail.

After quite a few weeks of waiting, mostly sleeping and trying to be patient and not get frustrated by a lack of energy to do anything, I finally picked up the diamond temari and started stitching again.

The diamond temari, # 110, was actually finished before #109, but I forgot to photograph it and number it before its predecessor. My temari are numbered by order of finishing, otherwise it would get confusing since I often have several in progress at the same time.

Unlike the previous temari design, this one was completely unplanned from the beginning.

The threads are all hand dyed perle cotton. When I first started this diamond, my vision of the design did not go beyond the larger diamonds. Next the smaller diamonds were stitched. At this point, the design was missing a critical element to visually tie the diamonds together, which turned out to be the hexagons. Lastly, little diamond were stitched since the hexagons needed a connecting element and something to finish the diamond spaces. 

With the diamond temari done, another temari project was needed to keep me occupied at upcoming doctor’s appointments. Thinking to make a simple design, I embarked on a C8 temari with large and small squares that woven together with triangles. I thought I had come up with an easy design that would not require much concentration, but nope. I kept messing up the under/over start of a band and would have to rip it out and start over. Doctor’s offices can be rather distracting. It could have been a real trial of patience but I never did get frustrated.

Temari #109 is a C8 stitched with hand dyed perle cotton threads.

Before and between surgeries there were a few sewing projects on the sewing machine that demanded my attention. These were projects that I felt could not be ignored, things that made my life a little easier or less painful such as making a comfortable surgical drain holder, a seat belt pillow and altering post-surgical garments.

I used to wish I was a more patient person. I know better now. For me, developing patience means trials that will challenge me to develop patience. That type of challenge is often not very pleasant. Overall, I have been a patient patient, and since I must go on being a patient with many more doctor’s appointments to go, I might as well continue to practice patience about being one. 

With the distractions of health issues, it would be easy for that to become the focus of my life, rather than a distracting part of it. Admittedly a very distracting and disruptive part of my life. Most of the time, I remain patient with where I am at in my recovery and work towards being able to fully return to my normal activities that are central to who I am.

Fortunately, temari making is a good activity for me to indulge in while waiting until I am able to do more physically demanding activities.

Currently, I have another temari almost done, and plans for many more. And then there are other non-temari sewing projects too, which I will write about another time.

 

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Temari #106: a snowman temari with a mini snowball temari

temari-106-snowman-with-mini

 

Temari #106 was inspired by the current season. We have not had a snow yet this winter in our area, but there is still plenty of time in the season for snow.

This temari is really four balls wrapped in white thread, of which only one is stitched as a traditional temari. Three are stitched together to make a snowman. The fourth separate ball is a miniature traditional temari.

Making the snowman and his snowball presented interesting challenges and learning experiences.

four-ball-temari-in-progress

In the previous post, a hint of a snowman to be was given in the picture above. If I had shown them arranged as in the picture below, it would have been obvious what was to become of the three balls.temari-106-in-progress

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As you can see in the horizontal picture above, the third ball is an unwrapped polystyrene ball. The core of all three are open cell polystyrene balls. Normally, I do not use foam balls for the core of my temari, but this is one of the few exceptions.

The reasons for using polystyrene balls is that they are deformable. I wanted to balls to be slightly flattened so they would “fit” together and so the base of the bottom ball would be flat enough for the snowman to stand without any support.

temari-106-in-progress-3

As for the the use of open cell versus closed cell, the open cell is easier to deform and keep its shape and with the rough surface, the layer of batting and thread sticks nicely to the ball rather than sliding off a smooth surface.

To give a little more stitching room between the foam and the thread, a single layer of polyester batting was wrapped around the sides of the deformed balls. Only on the sides of the middle and bottom balls, as I did not want the batting to round out the flat surfaces.

temari-106-in-progress-2

The third ball for the head was a bit too tiny, so the whole thing got two layers of batting.

The fourth ball does not have a foam core. There is a tiny bell in the center.

Using plastic canvas, an X shape was cut out and the bell tied to the center of the X.

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Opposite ends were brought together and sewn, creating a cage for the bell.

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A little thread was wrapped around the cage to prevent the layer of batting from getting inside the cage and dampening the sound of the bell.

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Finally, more thread was wrapped around the tiny ball to give it a finished layer for stitching into.

The final wrapping also helps to round out the rather lumpy ball. It is still a bit lumpy in the picture below as the wrapping is not quite finished.

temari-106-in-progress-6

The mini snowball temari was marked and stitched as a C8 division. The marking and the snowflakes were stitched using single strand silver embroidery floss. The metallic floss was an incredible challenge to work with. It likes to shred as it is not smooth and does not like to lay flat either since it is not smooth. So the little snowflakes have a bit more character than was intended, making each one more unique.

Working with the metallic thread was rough. So was trying to stick pins in the ball to mark it. The pins kept falling out as I could not stick them in very far due to the bell cage and size of ball. Eventually, I gave up on the pins and just marked it by eye.

temari-106-mini-without-its-snowman

When it came time for assembly and embroidery, I got so wrapped up in the project, I forgot to take more in-progress pictures.

The temari snowman needed some”stick” arms that are posable so he can hold his mini snowball temari. Separate stick arms made of thread wrapped wire bent into arms with three fingers. The thread was white,  a little bit of brown acrylic craft paint transformed them to stick color. To stick arms into the ball, a large needle was used to ream a hole into the ball from the shoulder all the way through towards the waist for each arm and excess wire shoved back into the ball.

The little felt hat and scarf set started off being a crocheted set. My patience for crocheting and the fact that the hat just did not look right, made me switch to felt.

The first felt scarf was a single piece of felt. It was stiff and looked stiff. So, I cut it into three narrow strips to braid. Nice idea, but not long enough. I was working from a small leftover scrap of felt, so I had to cut three more pieces and stitch them to the other three to have three longer ones, ones long enough to braid. And the connection had to be done carefully so as to not be visible. That made a softer scarf and one with more character, especially after adding bells to go with the one on the tip of the hat.

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For some reason, the cute grin in the front view ends up looking slightly mischievous in this side view, almost as if he is contemplating throwing the snowball at someone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing, Finishing and Starting: three concurrent projects

In the previous post, a preview of  a winter themed temari showed the start of the temari in the picture below. The couching is finished and now I am continuing with beading. It is slow going, so it will be a while before a picture of the finished temari is posted.

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Stitching and things fiber are not my only skills or medium I work in. Occasionally, a drawing gets produced. It has been too long, so I had forgotten how much I enjoy working with graphite pencils and drawing. Now, with a new pad of paper I received as a Christmas gift today, there might just be more drawing in my near future.

Our wonderful dog was the subject of the drawing below and a gift for my husband. With being unable to do much with my dominant hand for over a month, my plans on getting this drawing and several other projects finished well before Christmas was impossible. So, the drawing got top priority when my hand was ready to draw, finishing it just in time. The other projects will just have to wait on my to-do list.

drawing-of-our-dog

Although I have not finished the turquoise winter temari, I have started another one. Yes, one even though the picture below shows three balls. In fact, a fourth ball and smallest one is missing from the picture. No, I will not tell you what it will be until it is done. And work in progress pictures would probably give away what it is supposed to be. Anyway, it is coming along quickly enough that it should be posted soon.

four-ball-temari-in-progress

Can you guess what the four temari balls will be?

Temari: #102 & #103

Temari #102 and #103 represent all my temari production for the past couple months.

 

The one above is #102, a C8 division. If it looks suspiciously familiar, it is because it is a C8 version of my temari #101, which is a C10.

There are less Shasta daisies on this one, but the flowers are a bit fuller appearing since there are more petals per flower.

The perle cotton threads on this ball are ones I hand dyed.

The next temari, #103, is a C10 division. There are six bands that make up the wider nine thread bands. The sixth band is a zigzag that circumscribes the ball instead of a straight line.

The remaining negative spaces were highlighted with narrow three thread bands.

A pastel variegated thread alternates with black in the wide bands. Although this might no show well on the computer screen, in person, this creates a subtle dynamic quality to the design.

Only the pale peach thread used in the diamonds and to tack down intersections is one of my hand dyed threads.

Only two temari to show for over two months is very low production for  me. With a number of health issues that are as tangled as a ball of thread after a cat has played with it, I am pleased to have achieved this much.

There is another temari in the works that is going with me to doctors appointments. Lately, the wait times have been relatively short, so not much progress at appointments.

A new C10 temari, maroon background with twelve stars, is going with me today to an appointment. What will go in the hexagon negative spaces between the stars is yet to be decided. Postponing that decision gives me something to look forward to.

 

Temari #101- a dozen daisies

This is temari #101, just finished. It is a reflection of our yard garden, with brightly colored  summer flowers in bloom.

temari 101 view 2

There are twelve daisies on this ball, in six different colors. The pair of each color is on polar opposite sides of the ball, so that only one of each color can be seen at a time.

temari 101 view 1

This is a C10 temari that is 4″ (10.2cm) in diameter. It is stitched with hand dyed #5 perle cotton thread.

Temari #100- a mini c10

This is my 100th temari that I have made.

temari 100 view 2

It is a mini c10 stitched with embroidery floss (single, double and triple strands) and perle cotton #8. The perle cotton is hand dyed.

temari 100 view 1

It is 1 1/4″ in diameter.

 

 

 

 

 

Temari 95- blooming

Observing the energy and beauty of Spring season is always a source of inspiration; both to work in the garden and to create art that reflects what I see in the garden.

The last temari, #94, was inspired by ferns unfurling. This temari, #95, is obviously about flowers blooming, with no reference to a particular flower, just symbolic of flowers blooming in general.

temari 95 view 1

This is a C8 division temari, so there are 6 faces that are “square” and the tips of each leaf go to the corners of the squares. See where three leaves meet? That would be a corner on cube.

temari 95 wip 1

The leaves are really just two overlapping pointed ovals.

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An X was stitched across the center of both. The X marks the spot that will be the center of the flower. A pin through the flower and into the center of the X made alignment easy.

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Next,  a long stem lazy daisy stitch was used to create stamens and to secure the flower to the ball.

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An X was stitched in the center of the flower as stitching guidelines.

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The flower center was stitched.

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And the last little finishing detail is the little triangle stitching at the intersection of the leaves.

temari 95 view 2

Hand dyed perle cotton #5 thread was used to stitch the leaves and to embellish the flowers. The flowers are made of hand dyed rayon/wool felt.

Temari 94- unfurling

Here you get to see row by row, how  the spirals in temari #94 grew. Four different embroidery stitches, one crochet stitch, and eight different color threads were used to  create the spirals. The threads are perle cotton in sizes 5 and 8 and all are hand dyed except the red.

The layout of the spiral design is on a simple division, an S4, with no markings.

  1. An open network of thin pale green spirals was stitched with a stem stitch.
  2.  Using a crochet hook, a row of a brighter green chain stitching was added. This gave the next row something to stitch through so the first row would still be completely visible.

temari 94 view 1

3. Next, a row of scroll stitching in a green/turquoise variegated thread was added.

temari 94 view 2

4. Basque stitch in a darker green was used to build on the scroll stitch. With this stitch I was able to vary the width of the spiral lines and create open spaces in the stitching.

temari 94 view 3

5. Another layer of stem stitching was added in a pale bright green.

temari 94 view 4

6. The next round of stitching did not add to the width of the spirals, but added color and interest. Turquoise french knots were stitched inside each of the open spaces of the basque stitches.

temari 94 view 5

7. A row of a peach color was stitched on both sides of the spirals, outlining them with a color that is not quite a complimentary color.

temari 94 view 6

8. The final outlining of the spirals was stem stitched in a complimentary red. I was ready to be finished with this temari after the french knots were added, but it just needed the outlining with the contrasting warm colors for it to appear finished.

temari 94 view 7

Finally, after close to 2,400 stitches, it is done.

temari 94 fininshed

 

 

Three Purple Temari

Purple: it is a color that tends to show up in my creations quite frequently. These three were not made consecutively. There was another temari that featured felt flowers and leaves which was made after the first one shown, then the next two purples were finished.

There are usually at least two temari in progress concurrently, but mine get numbered according to the order in which they are finished.

temari 90 view 1

This S8 is temari #90. It was designed and created for a demonstration that I gave for the quilt guild chapter for which I am a member. For the demo, it was a work in progress so that people could see how the stitching was done. There were examples of temari in all the stages up to finished to further illustrate the process.

temari 90 view 2

Although this is a traditional appearing temari, various embroidery stitches that are not typical for temari were used in addition to traditional stitching. For example the little flower in the middle of the star utilizes a long stem daisy stitch.

temari 92 view 1

I am not entirely sure of what was my motivation for making this S8 temari, which is #92.

temari 92 view 2

The next temari, #93, is a C8. This one helped pass time while waiting at a couple of doctor’s appointments and was finished this morning. It is always fun to see if anyone will ask what I am making or comment on it when I stitch on a temari to while away waiting time. They usually provoke at least one comment or question.

temari 93 view 1

The open network created by the stitches created a delicate appearance compared to many of my bolder designs. A double thread border was added between the squares and triangle to create better definition of the spaces and eliminated an awkward space between them.

temari 93 view 2

All three of these are made with #8 perle cotton thread that I hand dyed. I just found out yesterday that my source for cones of white mercerized #8 perle cotton thread is out of stock with none in the foreseeable future as their supplier does not have it anymore. I hope to find more  as there are a few colors that I would like to dye to round out my color palette in the weight thread.

The three current temari in progress all have green in them. Each one is taking much longer to make than most of other ones I have made of comparable size. They are labor intensive. One is getting near done, the other two will be much longer until finished.

Felt Leaves and Flowers Temari

Looking forward to spring, this temari was inspired by my love of gardening.

illicium floridanum in snow

There is a wonderful bush in our backyard, Illicium Floridanum, also known as Star Anise.  It is a Florida native that is not supposed to do well outside its deep south native area, but for some reason it does well in our yard in Virginia. The picture above was taken this morning and the one below was take in May a few years ago while it was blooming.

illicium floridanum

It has small dark red blooms that are mostly hidden beneath the canopy of the bush’s leaves. The flowers are charming, but not showy. This bush was the original inspiration for this temari.

illicium floridanum

The first set of felt leaves just looked too big for the ball, so I made them narrower. This, of course, made the triangular areas between the leaves larger, and would thus make the flowers more exposed. With the new leaves, the design no longer reflected the idea of Star Anise flowers being mostly obscured by leaves.

temari 91 c8 felt leaves and flowers

With the design change due to the leaves, it seemed appropriate to change the flowers to suit the new open space.The flowers became a brighter, more stylized and more showy rather than representational of star anise flowers.

This is a C8 division temari. The felt is a hand dyed rayon/wool blend and the threads are hand dyed perle cotton in sizes 5 and 8.

Those too wide leaves that were set aside have a new destiny in another temari, which will be in an upcoming post, if I can work out a couple technical issues.