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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temari #98- Black Trillium

What? You think there is no such thing as Black Trillium?

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A Trillium in a woodland plant that is native in temperate regions of North America and Asia. The flowers have only three petals. There is much variety in the shape of the flowers and the colors of the petals range in shades of red, purple, pink, white, yellow, or green,  but no black.

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At least no black Trillium flowers in nature, so I created a cluster of them on a temari. This is a C10 division temari that is stitched with hand dyed perle cotton thread in sizes 5 and 8.

Sadly, there are no Trillium in my yard garden, of any color. Maybe one of these days, my garden will be graced with a Trillium, and any color would be fine with me as they are all lovely.

Library Temari Display

Beautiful things should be shared, not hoarded or stored where they can’t be appreciated. Temari by their nature are things of beauty: an art form based on geometry. They are artistic interpretations of spherical polyhedron structures, using line and color of thread to redefine the surface of a sphere.

Many of my temari creations have been temporarily freed from hiding in storage, to be displayed at our local library, for others to enjoy.

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Three display cases at our local library are filled with many of my temari creation and will be on display for the whole month of December. It took a little longer to set up the display than anticipated since about a dozen people stopped by to ask questions and make comments. They all thought they were beautiful, but only one knew what they were and had made one before.

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The display case in the picture above is the one on the left in the first picture. The top shelf has simple division temari, including a temari that measures only 3/8″ in diameter.

The middle shelf also has simple division temari. The three black temari with white thread are marked with simple, combination 8 (C8) and combination 10 (C10) markings with an explanation of markings to go with them.

On the bottom shelf in the front are the stages of producing a ball with written explanation to go with them. The temari behind them are some of my more adventuresome temari which experiment with different materials such as felt, lace, thread scraps as well as altered temari form such as a pumpkin form and a pollen grain form.

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The tall middle cabinet houses C10 temari on all the shelves and on the bottom are three kimekomi balls that have temari stitching added to them.

A temari the size of a basketball sits alone on the next to bottom shelf.

The C10s on the top two shelves range in size from a 7″ diameter ball (on center of middle shelf) to a 1/2″ diameter ball (center front of top shelf).

The 7″ temari has a black background on which seven different knot patterns worked in the  pentagons and triangles. This temari is actually a scaled down version of a temari that is three times the size in diameter. The larger version was about 1/2″ too large to squeeze into the case.

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The last display case contains C8 temari. The one on the top shelf, left hand side in purple, white and gold was the first temari I made.

Also on the top shelf, in the center, is one of my favorites because of the challenge presented by using several different types of embroidery stitches to create the flowers. Many stitches are difficult when stitching on a ball because it is three dimensional. Stitches that are easy on fabric do not necessarily translate to easy on a ball. In fact, they are usually more challenging. The French knot was a real pain to work on the surface, but worth it for the effect.

With each new temari, there is always something new to explore: a different marking of the ball, different color combinations, different kind of thread, different stitches, new materials, different arrangement of design elements,etc. The possibilities seem endless, so my explorations in temari continues. Who knows, maybe I will have a whole new set of temari for display in a year or two.