Friday, February 24, 2012

be the change

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
— Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)

All-over swirl time again. Each time I work on one of these, I practice getting my stitched closer and more uniform. These take hours!

Dark charcoal gray wrap; sort of a C10 division, though it's actually a variant of an S4 division, and there are no marking lines. Embroidery in burnt coppery orange. The quote by Gandhi is in the bell box along with 17 brass rings. Circumference: 9.625 inches / 24.5 cm; diameter: 3 inches / 7.8 cm. Completed 23 February 2012 (no. 102).

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Friday, February 17, 2012

anything can be

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
— Shel Silverstein (1930–1999)

I've seen a couple photos of temari made in Japan that feature kiku herringbone flowers, but with extremely narrow (tight) kiku points. Usually the inner kiku points are triangular and tapered but these were like long lines, with the petals bursting out at the bottom. I have no idea how this technique is achieved; and before I start asking around, I thought I'd try some ideas. This is my first attempt. While it did not produce the intended effect, I like the very narrow points a great deal. The resulting shapes remind me of sand dollars.

Thread wrap in deep midnight blue; S10 division in metallic copper; embroidery in very pale pastel blue, very pale pastel green, and a darker pastel blue. The quote above by Shel Silverstein* is in the bell box along with 13 brass rings. Circumference: 10.375 inches / 26.5 cm; diameter: 3.3 inches / 8.43 cm. Completed 16 February 2012 (no. 103).

Anything Can Happen 
Listen to the Mustn'ts, child, 
Listen to the Don'ts 
Listen to the Shouldn'ts 
The Impossibles, the Won'ts 
Listen to the Never Haves, 
Then listen close to me— 
Anything can happen, child, 
Anything can be. 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

breathing room for the spirit

What art offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit.
— John Updike (1932–2009)

Another pattern like no. 94: a 20-point kiku herringbone design (uwagake chidori kagari) with a second round of kiku stitched in the opposite color under and around the points of the first.

Thread wrap in medium gray; S20 division in metallic silver; embroidery in dark pewter gray and light moss green (chartreuse). The quote above by John Updike is in the bell box along with 9 brass rings. Circumference: 11 inches / 27.7 cm; diameter: 3.5 inches / 8.81 cm. Completed 14 February 2012 (no. 101).

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

the art of simplicity

The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.
— Douglas Horton (1891–1968)

This temari features another use of the reverse kiku stitch (used in no. 93). This time, the temari is divided as a combination 8 and six small interwoven stars are stitched in reverse kiku. Each star is made of two colors, resulting in 12 colors total.

Thread wrap in dark chocolate brown; C8 division in matching #8 perle; embroidery in 12 shades of mossy and silvery greens and browns. The quote above by Douglas Horton is in the bell box along with 11 brass rings. Circumference: 11.325 inches / 29 cm; diameter: 3.6 inches / 9.23 cm. Completed 11 February 2012 (no. 099).

Friday, February 10, 2012

discover new oceans

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
— André Gide (1869–1951)

This is a new (for me) variation on a kiku design. Two five-petal kiku flowers, interwoven, at each pole. Then starting from the centers of those petals, two more that have their petal tips layered at the equator with those from the other side. One side goes from light to dark, the other from dark to light; the centers are the same color breaks.

Thread wrap in navy blue; S10 division in medium silvery-blue #8 perle; embroidery in four shades of blue (three are silvery-blue) and four shades of coffee brown. The quote above by André Gide is in the bell box along with 17 brass rings. Circumference: 10.875 inches / 27.8 cm; diameter: 3.46 inches / 8.84 cm. Completed 9 February 2012 (no. 098).

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left: dark to light; right: light to dark

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

grandmother star - or, how big is a temari?

Temari range in size from very small (marble sized?) to very large (very, very large). I'm taking the "Grandmother Star" class from Barb Suess. It's from her that I took my first class for my first temari in her "Morning Glory" pattern.

This is the largest temari I have made to date. Most of mine average 25 to 29 centimeters in circumference. In the photos, the purple temari is no. 93, and is 27 cm / 10.625 inches in circumference, which is 8.59 cm / 3.38 inches in diameter.

The tennis ball is 21 cm / 8.25 inches circumference (6.68 cm / 2.62 inches diameter).

And, the large prepped off-white mari is going to be the Grandmother Star. It has 6 cups of rice hulls inside (I usually use a little more than one cup) — and its circumference is 41 cm / 16.125 inches (13 cm / 5.13 inches in diameter).

Stay tuned! This is temari no. 100 (I number them when I start, and don't always finish in order — though I have yet not to finish one).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

i wait for my arrival

Beyond myself, somewhere, I wait for my arrival.
— Octavio Paz (1914–1998)

Another braided ribbed kiku herringbone, with two interwoven five-pointed stars at each end. This is a brilliant stitch, so effective . . . but I need to go slowly to ensure the proper tension of all the stitches.

Thread wrap in medium dark gray; S10 division in gray #8 perle; embroidery in ecru, and three shades of pewter gray. The quote above by Paz is in the bell box along with 9 brass rings. Circumference: 11 inches / 27.7 cm; diameter: 3.5 inches / 8.81 cm. Completed 3 February 2012 (no. 097).

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

TAST 2012 - week 5 - herringbone

Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST)week five is the herringbone stitch. This stitch is perhaps the most fundamental stitch in temari making, because you must anchor your embroidery to the threads on the surface of the temari. Usually it is stitched flush in rows to form bands of color, and is used to build up rows, shapes, or for a spiral effect; there are variations on the stitch like kiku, or ribbed.

Since this is not a new stitch for me, I decided to try something that was — a temari design that is made entirely of "individual" stitches, rather than layered in rows. I did two versions — an initial version, then a second to improve aspects of the first that I wasn't totally happy with.

In the photo above, no. 95 is on the left, and was the first. You can read about it and see more photos by clicking here. No. 96 is on the right, the "improved" version; you can read about it and see more photos by clicking here.

happiness is like a butterfly

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
— Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864)

Upon finishing no. 95, I immediately wanted to make another "individual" herringbone stitch design to change parts of the design that I thought could look better (number of petals, length of petals, treatment at the equator)—and this version is much improved. Three layers of kiku herringbone petals; the first round has four five-point stars (which have layered tips across the equator), each in a shade of orange; the second round has four stars in four shades of blue and purple; the third round has four stars in four shades of green. On each round the stars are offset by one guideline — a spirograph-like effect. I chose "butterfly colors."

Thread wrap in black; S20 division, guidelines removed after stitching; embroidery in 12 shades of oranges, blues, purples and greens. The quote above by Hawthorne is in the bell box along with 11 brass rings. Circumference:10.75 inches / 27.2 cm; diameter: 3.42 inches / 8.65 cm. Completed 1 February 2012 (no. 096).

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the breaking of a wave — individual herringbone stitch

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.
— Vladimir Nabokov

Lately I've been thinking about how to create an interesting design with "stand alone" herringbone stitches. I divided this temari as an S24, and chose two color palettes of three colors each. I did one round of 8 petals, then another round of 8 offset by one guideline, then a third round of 8 the last guidelines. Over this I did the same, with shorter petals. So essentially 6 layers of single-stitch flowers, with kiku herringbone at the poles. Spirograph!

Thread wrap in ecru; S24 division, guidelines removed after stitching; embroidery in 6 shades of blues and greens. The quote above by Nabokov is in the bell box along with 9 brass rings. Circumference: 9.875 inches / 25 cm; diameter: 3.14 inches / 7.95 cm. Completed 1 February 2012 (no. 095).

No. 96 followed right after, trying to address some of the issues I was unhappy with in this one.