Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year from Kumo Temari! (to rise above little things)

One resolution I have made, and try to always keep, is this: "To rise above little things."
— John Burroughs (1837–1921), American naturalist and essayist

The seventh in the series of temari I have made specifically for the New Year. Two four-petaled kiku herringbone flowers layered, with layered tips over the obi and extra space between the inner and outer rows of each petal. It's like lattice work; I will try to find out if there is an official name for this technique.

Thread wrap in midnight blue; S8 division in perle #8; embroidery in two shades of blueish-green, two shades of silver-blue, and dark pewter. The quote above by John Burroughs is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings (for upcoming 2012). Circumference: 10 inches / 25.3 cm; diameter: 3.18 inches / 8.03 cm. Completed 30 December 2011 (no. 083).

Update, January 2: Want to win this temari? Kumo Temari is the featured solo exhibit and interview on To win "To Rise Above Little Things" head on over to the interview and leave a comment; the winner will be chosen Sunday January 8.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

every moment is a golden one

Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
— Henry Miller (1891–1980)

No. 80 got me thinking about diamonds. That one used kiku flowers with layered tips and ended up forming diamond shapes, but I wanted to stitch diamonds proper. I have seen many temari with diamond shapes, but chose not to follow a pattern or look at any photos in constructing this one, and just find the right measurements and placement and design to match what was in my head. I thought I'd just be doing four diamonds around the center but realized that was bare, and added a second layer of four diamonds.

Thread wrap in medium brown; S8 division in metallic copper; embroidery in eight shades from dark brown to golden yellow to light gold. The quote above by Henry Miller is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings (for upcoming 2012). Circumference: 10.75 inches / 27.5 cm; diameter: 3.42 inches / 8.75 cm. Completed 28 December 2011 (no. 082).

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

use the experience wisely

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.
— Auguste Rodin (1848–1917)

A traditional kiku chrysanthemum for the new year. Garnet is the January birthstone so I worked garnet into the palette.

Thread wrap in slate gray; S16 division in #8 DMC perle; embroidery in two shades of garnet red, two shades of silver gray, and two shades of light golden brown. The quote above by Auguste Rodin is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings (for upcoming 2012). Circumference: 10.75 inches / 27.2 cm; diameter: 3.42 inches / 8.65 cm. Completed 26 December 2011 (no. 081).

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braided herringbone (uwagake chidori kagari) + layered petal tips

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.
— T.S. Eliot (1888–1965)

Having learned braided kiku herringbone — uwagake chidori kagari — with no. 74, I wanted to add the layered petal aspect of nos. 76 and 77. It kind of worked and kind of didn't, and I think what doesn't quite work for me is that as it's just one five-point flower at each pole, rather than two layered flowers, the spacing between rows is more obvious (compare to no. 74). On the other hand, I think that the layered intersections look neat as they form diamonds, and now on my list is trying a design of large open diamonds around the temari, with layered tips forming compact diamonds around the center (regular kiku herringbone, not braided). On this one, the top and bottom have little five-point kiku (Christmas) stars.

Thread wrap in violet; S10 division in #8 DMC perle; embroidery in purple, two shades of dusky lavender, and three shades of green. The quote above by T.S. Eliot is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings (for upcoming 2012). Circumference: 10.5 inches / 26.8 cm; diameter: 3.34 inches / 8.53 cm. Completed 24 December 2011 (no. 080).

Many pictures, for my personal archive . . .

Friday, December 23, 2011

the sun on every field

first day of the year:
it's the sun on every field
that brings such longing
— Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694)

I was looking at photos for ideas of field- and grass-evoking weaves. I already knew what colors I'd be working with, and thought about amime-giku, but that didn't seem quite right. I found and studied this photo of an example of a "merry-go-round" variation on, the website of Barb Suess (a link from the stitch glossary). The merry-go-round stitch (jyouge douji kagari) is a stitch that travels north to south to north, over the equator, around the whole temari. I've done this in a different variation before, in my first set of temari (companion temari no. 2), but for whatever reason I wasn't able to puzzle it out. Rather than going back to those instructions I just sort of "winged" it. I ended up alternating colors of threads so the overall pattern is layered. It turned out pretty much how I would have pictured it — if I'd had a clear picture in my mind.

Thread wrap in a sort of ochre dark gold; S8 division in matching #8 perle; embroidery in dark and light sage and dark and light yellow-gold. The haiku above by Bashō is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings (for the new year 2012). Circumference: 10 inches / 25.5 cm; diameter: 3.18 inches / 8.1 cm. Completed 23 December  2011 (no. 079).

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in utter simplicity

The new year arrived
in utter simplicity —
and a deep blue sky
— Kobayashi Issa (1763–1827)

Another swirl temari, for the new year.

Navy blue thread wrap; sort of a C10 division, though it's actually a variant of an S4 division, and there are no marking lines. Embroidery in medium silvery blue. The haiku by Issa is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings (for the approaching year of 2012). Circumference: 9.5 inches / 24 cm; diameter: 3 inches / 7.6 cm. Completed 22 December 2011 (no. 078).

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

new year's day

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
— Edith Lovejoy Pierce (1904–1983)

The next attempt at what I first tried with no. 76 — layered kiku tips of the flowers of opposite poles. Temari are traditional as New Years's gifts, particularly made by mothers for daughters. I chose this quote as my first in a series of New Year's temari.

Thread wrap in dark midnight blue; S8 division in medium silver-blue #8 perle; embroidery in three shades of silvery blue, pearl gray, and four shades of brown. The quote by Edith Lovejoy Pierce is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings (for the approaching year of 2012). Circumference: 10.5 inches / 26.5 cm; diameter: 3.34 inches / 8.43 cm. Completed 19 December 2011 (no. 077).

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interwoven kiku petals - attempt one

I've seen photos of kiku petals that are "interwoven" — I don't know what else to call it — though to the best of my recollection I usually see C8s with six kiku flowers, or this method done as different shapes or stitching methods, like HHG (hito hude gake) — I think — a method I haven't learned yet. Anyway, I wanted the two four-petal layered kiku flowers at the poles, but to "join" the tips of the petals of one of the flowers at one pole with the tips of the corresponding flower at the other pole. I took a wildish guess at how to do this, and it worked well. It worked even better the second time around, no. 77.

Thread wrap in burgundy (I found it very hard to photograph); S8 division in burgundy #8 perle; embroidery in burgundy, purple, and dark golden orange. A personal quote is in the bell box along with 11 brass rings. Circumference: 10.5 inches / 26.5 cm; diameter: 3.34 inches / 8.43 cm. Completed 18 December 2011 (no. 076).

update, 21 December: I found out the proper terms, with some help over at Temari Challenge — at each pole there are two 4-petal flowers that are interlocked. The petal tips around that are at the center are layered.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

twelfth month (2)

snow is upon snow . . .
can tonight be the twelfth month's
full and whitest moon?
— Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694)

The rose garden design, in pentagon form — like no. 71. A winter version (a rosy winter). "Free-stitching" embroidery in two shades around the center.

Thread wrap in medium gray; S10 division in medium silver gray #8 perle; embroidery in black, two shades of lavender, rose, and four shades of gray (the lightest of which is pearl gray). The haiku above by Bashō is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings. Circumference: 10.75 inches / 27 cm; diameter: 3.42 inches / 8.6 cm. Completed 6 December 2011 (no. 075).

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Every single soul is a poem. (2)

Every single soul is a poem.
— Michael Franti (1966–)

A new stitch: braided uwagake chidori kagari — or braided kiku herringbone. Each pole has two four-pointed interwoven kiku flowers, but if you look at the inner petals on the close-ups, you can see that each round picks up just the round before it, and doesn't wrap around all the previous rows, as with traditional kiku herribone. I've been wanting to try this for while, and worked it out from some photos; I love how it looks, it's very much like a fish spine.

One star is more teal, the other more blue (I switched these two colors but not the others while executing the design) so it has a kind of kaleidoscopic effect. Free stitching around the obi.

Thread wrap in dark chocolate / coffee brown; S8 division in #8 DMC perle (before now if I used perle, I used #5, same as the stitching); embroidery in teal, blues, violets, and lavenders. The quote above by Michael Franti is in the bell box along with 12 brass rings. Circumference: 11.125 inches / 28.5 cm; diameter: 3.54 inches / 9 cm. Completed 11 December 2011 (no. 074).

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

our imagination flies (2)

Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.
— Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)

Like nos. 40, 45, 60, & 62 — I've come to think of this as the "dragonfly eye" pattern, for lack of any other name. I tried something different this time — with a grid of 7 x 7, I kept wrapping until all of the thread wrap was hidden by the grid.

Golden yellow-orange thread wrap; embroidery in violet, butter yellow, with an obi & bundles in purple. The quote by Nabokov is in the bell box along with 9 brass rings. Circumference: 10.125 inches / 25.5 cm; diameter: 3.22 inches / 8.11 cm. Completed 9 December 2011 (no. 073).

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Friday, December 9, 2011

moment after moment (3)

Our way is to see what we are doing, moment after moment.
— Shunryu Suzuki (1904–1971)

This is the largest temari I have made to date, I believe, though not noticeably so. It's an asymmetrical variation of the kiku (chrysanthemum) pattern; the kiku at the top has multiple stitches that reach out from the previous points, to create a filigree effect. The kiku at the bottom is purposefully smaller and secondary. I think it looks a bit like a Native American vase or other vessel.

This is truly wabi sabi — that is, "perfectly imperfect" of "flawed beauty" — with emphasis on the wabi. It's round, but for some reason when I did the measuring to set the pins for the outer petals, I measured down from the poles rather than up from the equator, which I long ago learned is the preferable way. This resulted in very uneven ends of the main petals around the center. I had already intended to do some "free range" stitching of the last rows of petals, but emphasized them even more so to help fill the space. It's lovely, but yes, flawed. I won't put too fine a point on the resulting irony of the quotation in the center.

Thread wrap in black; S16 division in black perle; embroidery in two shades of golden yellow and three shades of silver gray. The quote above by Shunryu Suzuki is in the bell box along with 11 brass rings. Circumference: 11.5 inches / 29.5 cm; diameter: 3.66 inches / 9.4 cm. Completed 9 December 2011 (no. 072).

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

long before it happens

The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.
— Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)

A variation of the rose garden pattern (like no. 42 and no. 64) — this has pentagon-shaped layers rather than squares. I think I prefer this to the strictly alternating squares like no. 42 but like it as much as the "spiral" squares of no. 64. "Free" embroidery in two shades, a herringbone merry-go-roundesque pattern, around the center.

Thread wrap in dark moss green; S10 division in dark green perle; embroidery in brown, two greens, "tinted" beiges (brownish, greenish), light butter yellow, cream, and dusky lavender. The quote above by Rilke is in the bell box along with 7 brass rings. Circumference: 10.5 inches / 26.5 cm; diameter: 3.34 inches / 8.4 cm. Completed 6 December 2011 (no. 071).

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

genius, childhood

Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.
— Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867)

A kiku (chrysanthemum) variation, with 8 rather than 16 points. There's a gap between the last two rounds of each petal, so the thread wrap shows through, and extra "guidelines" added (though not all the way to the poles) to connect the inner points (a visual device). It looks a little like a small eggplant; this makes me happy.

Thread wrap in purple; S8 division in dusky lavender perle; embroidery in sage/artichoke green — three shades, from greenish white to darker sage. The quote above by Baudelaire is in the bell box along with 9 brass rings. Circumference: 10.25 inches / 26 cm; diameter: 3.26 inches / 8.3 cm. Completed 2 December 2011 (no. 069).

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