Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 - a traditional temari gift for you

I have been so blessed, so lucky this year in all my temari adventures. Thank you everyone! A New Year's gift of temari from mother to child is a tradition in Japan. This is my gift to you - a sparkling New Year design. Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bright and cheerful purples!

Basketful of Purple Temari 

Cheerful purples for sale!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Japanese Temari Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

Are you feeling the rush to get ready? I sure am. There are so many people shopping online this year. I'm busy almost every day with my shop, trying to get temari and supplies in the mail and photographing more temari to add to the group for sale in my shop on Thank you so much to everyone who helped me move "stash" from my place to yours with a purchase. The sale was a huge success and I've sorted my stitching supplies and can actually find things around here again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Online Temari Class - Grandmother Star

At long last, I've got time to get back to teaching online! I hope you'll be able to join me in making Grandmother Star, a floral design stitched on 32 centers. This class was requested by several people recently so we'll start with this multicenters beauty.

Registration is open now. It closes Friday, January 6, 2012. Kits will be mailed by January 27, 2012 (by Priority to US or by First Class to Canada or by First Class to all other countries). Class begins Friday, February 3, 2012.

If you took this class from me before, please ask for the audit price (no kit).

Visit the class webpage to sign up

Thursday, December 8, 2011

TAST (Temari Variation) with Sharon B. 2012

Sharon B. will be running Take a Stitch Tuesday in 2012!

See the logo on the sidebar to the right? That's the page I've created where I'll share what I stitch. I hope I'm not the only one stitching on temari. If you are also in the challenge, let me know and I'll put your link on the page. I'd love help and inspiration for the extra challenge of stitching all those wonderful embroidery stitches on temari!

BTW, I'm tagging this post "Kindred Sister." Anyone who stitches as much as I do and shares it on the web is absolutely my sister :)   You're an angel, Sharon.

Here is the link directly to Sharon's site

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grandmother's Hydrangeas on Temari

It's a cloudy day in Raleigh, but I am forging ahead and photographing more temari for my etsy shop. 

Grandmother's Hydrangeas Temari by Barbara B. Suess
Japanese Temari on

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meeting kindred sisters in Kanazawa - was it a dream?

Photo in the stairway to Mariya 

We climbed the small staircase to visit a one-room shop on the second level above the busy street in Kanazawa. I knew our guide was leading us to a specialty shop called Mariya, where we would find temari and supplies to make them. The displays on the way up were promising!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Outer Banks Color Palette

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A temari outing: our day trip to Uji, Japan

We were so excited to meet Ai! After years of friendship on the internet, Glenna, Kathy, and I finally got to meet her and spend a wonderful day together. It was the first Saturday that we were in Japan - a day off from the tour's organized activities.  Ai met us in the lobby of our hotel and we took a taxi to the Kyoto train station.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Temari book from Japan - Dream in Temari 2010

It's always exciting to find a new temari book out of Japan. While visiting Japan, we saw a book from a group of temari stitchers called Non-Profit Organization Japan Temari Cultural Association. They have a website here....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Everything under one shop roof

No more foolin' around between website and shop for me! All temari goodies are in one place. There are sections so you can easily sort between supplies and books and other treasures. Thanks for looking and I hope you can put in your request for seasonal presents early!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Help! I'm drowning in stash.

Stash busting sale begins

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Shindigo" with Hiroyuki Shindo in Miyama, Japan

Our small tour group boarded a bus that carried us from Kyoto to the mountain village of Miyama. The ride through the mountains was filled with hairpin turns, cedar forests (perfectly groomed to produce long, straight planks), and villages with gardens in full production. Here is a link to my album of photos from the day.

The village of Miyama, Japan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy birthday to the Shining Needle Society!

I recently got this happy email from Kate from the Shining Needle Society:

"Happy Birthday to Shining Needle Society!

Today we are four years old and we have almost 4000 members.

When Marie-Therese and I started Shining Needle Society in 2007, we certainly hoped that people would join and want to participate in the classes. I don't think we ever thought we grow so quickly and we keep growing. :-)

Thank you for your support and I hope you continue to enjoy SNS' class offerings. I will strive to keep bringing you "the best of the best!"

Happy birthday to us!

Kate Gaunt
Shining Needle Society"

Congratulations for the successful venture, Kate!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More from the Nishijin Textile Center in Kyoto

Our first stop on a Sunday morning was to this colorful textile center in Kyoto. The second floor was filled with thousands of goodies to purchase and demonstrations in spinning, weaving, painting on fabric, embroidery and other textile arts. Of course, the temari grabbed my eye right away!

Temari at the Nishijin Center

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Temari on display, Japan Center in Raleigh, NC

What a delight is was for me to work with Dana and Keiko Raymond to put together a display for the upstairs classroom at The Japan Center! I learned so much about display and creating a cohesive show. Dana challenged me to combine nine to twelve temari in hanging displays to cover four different spots on the wall. I sorted the temari into four groups and constructed a bamboo hanger by bundling five thin pieces together. Dana and Keiko help me arrange the temari for each wall and I attached them to the bamboo rods with perle cotton.

Basic Shapes (from below)

Friday, November 4, 2011

We're back from Japan!

Safe and sound. Full of inspiration and admiration. Glenna, Kathy and I joined Kyoto Kimono's textile tour of Japan for two weeks of fun and learning. I've got lots to share beginning with this massive loom at the Nishijin Textile Center in Kyoto. No one was working at the loom when I filmed this video but I couldn't resist recording it's size and complexity. The fabric is very intricate!

Loom at the Nishijin Textile Center video on YouTube

I love the text on the main page for the Textile Center - 

"At Nishijin, each of the seasons is represented.
'Spring sings of the scent of flowers.
Summer speaks of days gone by.
Autumn indulges herself in simplicity and serenity.
Winter applies a delicate dusting of snow to the patchwork of roof tiles.
No one is inferior to any other in this world, lavish with beauty.
Savor contentment with the elegance of Nishijin, conceived in the midst of history and tradition.' "

I hope that in these autumn days, I can indulge in simplicity and serenity. I will not let the advertising world here in the US send me into a frenzy because of "the holiday season."  Gosh, the commercials here are almost unbearable! Culture shock.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Temari Glossary and Stitch Directory

It's Monday morning and I realize that, once again, I'm swamped! In a good way, for sure. As my time quickly winds down for our trip to Japan, I am also trying to finish several big temari projects. When a big project is completed, it's champagne time around here and I've chilled a bottle for Saturday night. My part will be done then.  I think there are always little gremlins waiting around to stir up trouble so I can't say the release date for this big project  is absolutely set. It's just an estimate and I'll let you know as soon as I can.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Temari Treasure

Temari Treasure
by Barbara B. Suess

An early morning visit to the antique market one fall yielded treasures galore – bits of antique chandeliers, beads, and metal medallions snipped from found objects. We sorted through bins to find the perfect treasures to repurpose in the creation of unique temari art.

This four inch diameter temari has a core of rice hulls and a rattling bell box filled with beads and positioned deep in the center. Thin black metallic thread makes an almost invisible marking (a simple 12-division).  Kiku herringbone designs stitched with satiny-looking rayon thread surrounds the antique metal medallions positioned at each pole, north and south. Coppery ribbon and sparkling green netted thread zigzag around the temari's equator and create frames for bamboo-colored embroidered flowers. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Harvest Moon Japanese Temari

Harvest Moon
Japanese Temari by Barbara B. Suess

Yesterday, cherry blossoms
Tomorrow, red maple leaves –
Today's moon. (Buson)

In Japan, a full moon symbolizes autumn, just as cherry blossoms signify spring, and snow is the sign of winter. 

Moon viewing parties introduced from China celebrate the full moon of mid-autumn. Offerings of thanks for a good harvest are set upon a small table facing east. A display of autumn grasses sets off a pyramid of balls made especially for the season from rice flour, or a careful arrangement of melons or other harvest fruits. This is a time to gaze at the moon, sip green tea, and reflect upon the wonders of nature.

Harvest Moon is a large 42 centimeter diameter temari wrapped with soft yarn and dark red thread around a five inch diameter Styrofoam core.  It was marked with fine gold metallic thread into 272 centers. Bamboo-colored perle cotton was wrapped over the marking lines. Triwings were stitched in blue, green, and red perle cotton. Small hexagons were then stitched around each center.

To display this work, a black stand purchased at the museum shop of the Japan Temari Association in Tokyo is included. Also included are a history of temari and a description of this particular temari, signed by the artist.

Shipping is by priority mail to US locations and is included in the price. If you are located outside the US, I will send you an invoice for the extra postage needed to send Harvest Moon to you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Unfolding Kiku

Unfolding Kiku
Japanese Temari by Barbara B. Suess

It's time for me to raise some funds for my trip to Japan and time to destash! I have a lot of temari that I need to find homes for and the first is up for sale in my shop. I'll put it on etsy as well. Please have a look at Unfolding Kiku and consider adding this unique Japanese temari to your collection of fiber art.

Link to this item in my shop

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moonlight Temari

Japanese Temari by Barbara B. Suess
A fellow temari stitcher recently wanted feedback on her stitching and reminded me of how nice it is to be inspired by haiku, like in my first book, Japanese Temari, A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft. She shared one she did with the moon as her topic. Got me going! I love reading through my haiku books and picked out this one by Issa.

Snowflakes fall
In twos and threes
A splendid moonlight night.

I stitched a temari that's tone on tone. 32 faces filled with layered kiku herringbone designs. Stitched with Vineyard Silk and Rainbow Gallery metallics. This one will be for sale very soon. 

And here's a variation in hot pink silk

Moonlight Temari Pink Variation
by Barbara B. Suess

Friday, September 23, 2011

Save the Date!

Japanese Temari Class at The John C. Campbell Folk School
One year from now, I'll be in the mountains of North Carolina for a full week, indulging in temari stitching. I hope you can join me. The Folk School is like camp for grown-ups where you do just your favorite activity for a whole week. Fun!

September 23 - 29, 2012

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update on Thread Sale

Wow! The thread is going fast.

I've sold out of Nordic Gold 300 yard spools in the gold color and all the Gold Rush thread.

There are still three colors of 300 yard spools of Treasure Braid Petite (1 gold, 1 copper and 2 silver).

I probably won't place another order until just before Christmas so please don't delay if you would like to get some nice metallics.

Japanese Temari Shop

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thread Sale

Rainbow Set of Nordic Gold

Metallic thread is a staple in any temari maker's kit and I've restocked the Rainbow Gallery thread that is so popular. A while back I posted a photo of the drawers full of thread here in my studio. Almost all of the spools sold out quickly and the sets of cards of thread were getting really low.

Sets of cards are 20% off now. The spools are always a bargain. Have a look and treat yourself to some new colors. Early Christmas shopping?

Japanese Temari Shop

300 yard spools of Treasure Braid Petite

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Exhibition at the NC Japan Center

Opening Reception: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 from 4 - 6 PM


We are now enjoying comfortable days. The summer must be coming to an end. We hope you are doing well.

The Japan Center wants you to join us at our reception celebrating the fall exhibition, which is coming right after the Labor Day weekend. This time we are presenting two artists, Reiko Chosokabe who is originally from Tokyo, Japan, and Barbara Suess from Raleigh, NC. Reiko has been living here in NC since 1992. Her whimsical paintings are abstract creations in acrylic. Some of Reiko’s inspiration comes from the Japanese language school where she currently teaches. She also works at the NC Japan Center.

Barbara Suess’s works are temari, which are intricate, decorative balls. She is an expert at this traditional Japanese craft. Barbara is a certified teacher and also a published author of temari books. She lived in Japan for four years in the 1980’s and continues to carry and develop the ancient techniques.

We hope you can join us and meet these remarkable artists. We are also looking forward to enjoying an interlude by Onju-kai, which is a musical combo including koto, flute, and viola.

We hope you can set aside this date to join us:

Saturday, September 10 from 4-6pm at the NC Japan Center.

The NC Japan Center’s exhibition program has blossomed with success due to the continuing generosity of support by Eiko Goti and Yoko Yamagishi. Our sincerest gratitude to both.

Southern Bridge Int’l, Inc.
US Remac, Inc.

Dana Raymond
Art Curator, NC Japan Center

Monday, August 22, 2011

Certification Classes for JTA 2011-2012 are open

JTA brochure

If you love making temari, you're self-motivated, and you want to experience a journey of challenge where you'll discover new techniques as well as improved stitching and pattern writing, then Japan Temari Association certification is for you.

Here is some information on the JTA.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Temari is so easy!" at the EGA Rocky Mountain Region 2011 Seminar

Beginner class in Japanese Temari
I've just returned from a long weekend in Denver, Colorado, where I taught a beginner temari class to a lovely group of gals who are members of the Embroiderers' Guild of America in the Rocky Mountain Region. The seminar was hosted by The Foothills Chapter at the Doubletree in Denver. The creative and joyous spirit of the seminar participants lingers with me even as I quickly try to prepare for another trip in just a few days. There were smiles everywhere, all the time, except perhaps when students were concentrating very hard to learn the new techniques. When the moment of understanding and accomplishment came, that smile reappeared. Yes, temari is so easy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daffodil palette in the color wheel

Yesterday, I shared one of my favorite color palettes for choosing threads for temari - a palette based on colors from a photo of daffodil blooms against a blue sky.

It seems too easy! Just to satisfy my need to look at how these colors are arranged on the color wheel, I returned to Kuler to play around with their interactive wheel. To get there, click on "Create" and then on "From a Color." Wow! What fun it is to slide around the wheel creating an infinite number of color combinations!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bright and cheery daffodil palette for temari

Daffodil palette for temari

How do you select thread colors when planning your temari? Often, we just look through our stash and grab a few threads that inspire us.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Temari in Indonesia

Thanks to Rebecca's blog at Temari Addict Australia, we know we have more kindred sisters in the South Seas!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Certification Classes for the Japan Temari Association

Are you interesting in challenging yourself to improve your temari stitching and pattern writing ability? In late August, I'll be starting classes for preparation for the examinations to be held in June, 2012. Please read the information on my website and fill out the form to add your name to my mailing list. I'll be in touch in August when I've got the class materials ready and the prices set. In the meantime, happy stitching!

JTA certification information

Monday, July 4, 2011

JTA certification results are in. It's champagne time!

Congratulations to Rebecca from Perth, Australia, and Glenna K. from California, USA, for passing their level certification with the Japan Temari Association in Tokyo.

Rebecca took my certification class for Level 2. She produced three temari with patterns with combination 8-division and three with combination 10-division. Her pattern writing is superb and her temari stitching is gorgeous!

Glenna is a friend who independently passed the TOP level - Level 4 - which means we can now call her Professor! Her temari are simply stunning. The level of artistry that she brings from other types of needlework to temari is so inspiring.

Congratulations to both Rebecca and Glenna and to all others who passed!

Brochure from the JTA

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Picking temari thread colors from a photo

Mother Nature and Kuler

Go to Kuler. Upload a favorite photo. Let the program pick the colors. Adjust if desired. Pull threads to match. Easy!

Cape San Blas, Florida - A little slice of heaven

Tide out

Pathway to heaven?

Speckled trout

Temari stitcher's husband

Shallow water - lots of life

Skate skating along

photo by Katherine

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On a break.......

On a break for summer fun!

I'll be back in plenty of time to share news of our fall trip to Kyoto and Tokyo. Glenna just got news that Takahara Sensei has agreed to meet us for a class and Ozaki Sensei teaches on the day we plan to visit the Japan Temari Association in Tokyo. Jackpot!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flower Temari Challenge - Forsythia

Forsythia stitched on a Japanese temari

Finally! Diagrams for forsythia! Time flies when you're having fun, right? Well, I've been having lots of fun for the past few months since I consider teaching temari fun :)   Now, it's time to catch up with a lot of other projects that have been on hold.

Divide each short line
into six sections.
So here I am, back to diagramming flowers. Forsythia has lots of tiny yellow flowers and is absolutely one of my favorites!

Guidelines - thin metallic. I used Treasure Braid Petite High Gloss Copper (PH13) by Rainbow Gallery to add the guidelines. I love this thread! It is strong yet fine and looks just like metal on the ball. Hint, hint - there are some 300 yard spools left in my shop if you hear it calling your name!

Yellow flowers - variegated yellow/orange. I used Caron Watercolors 275 Daffodil (separated to one strand). Filled with light yellow Caron Watercolors 131 Banana.

Brown twigs - light brown. I used the browner parts of variegated Caron Watercolors 189 Gingersnap (separated to one strand).

To make all the little flowers, I decided to subdivide the pentagon. The first step is to measure a short line, divide by 6, and place 5 pins along each line to divide each one into 6 sections. Then pretend like this is a multicenters temari and add guidelines until all of the pins are connected and you have a grid of tiny triangles all over this C10 pentagon. If you were dividing the entire temari like this, it would have 482 centers.

Stitch to connect pins and
create multicenters.
The next step is to find the smallest shape in the center - it's a pentagon. Stitch a tiny herringbone around that center with the stitches placed on the long lines, inside the pentagon. Place stitches on the short lines just outside the pentagon.  Then locate the five hexagons surrounding that tiny pentagon.

Stitch a tiny herringbone.

When stitching the hexagons, you will stitch inside the hexagon on each guideline. Place stitches outside the hexagon just over the flat side of the hexagon. There won't be a guideline there for you to use to place that stitch so just eyeball it and place it out over the side of the hexagon. Extend it past the side a couple of needlewidths so you'll have room to interlock it when you stitch in the hexagon next door. Interlock all shapes as you stitch by weaving under and over.

Using the same thread, fill in most of the hexagons with the exception of a few in each corner where you can place brown pine needle stitches to represent the twigs on the forsythia bush.

The last step is to stitch around each of the hexagon centers (one row) with light yellow to add a bit of fill for those flowers. I love the look of all these teenie flowers. Hope you do too!