Thursday, July 31, 2014

Temari Teachers around the World

To learn, read.
To know, write.
To master, teach.

This was printed on the back of the label with my Yogi Tea bag this morning. Wise words, indeed!

Below is a list of temari teachers sorted by location. Many will travel outside their area. Send the teacher an email to ask! And ask them if they have a mailing list so you will know when they offer classes and where they are held.

If you would like to be added to this list or have a correction, please contact


National - travels all over the US
Sandra Arthur -,
Glenna Kipp – Orange County,
Sherry Menne - San Francisco Bay area,
Robin F Stein - Sacramento & Auburn & Placerville,
Jean DeHaven - Denver/Littleton area,
Jim Samson– Centennial,
Jane Compeau - south Chicagoland, NW Indiana,,
Karen Heppin and Jen Weber, The Temari Twins – Maryland and east coast US,,
Joan Zakas - Peabody and North of Boston area,,
Sue Dulle – Kansas City,,
North Carolina
Barbara Suess – Brasstown and online,,
Dana Watson - Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill),,
Ellen Turner - Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC Metro area,
Rosemary Bell - Mineola, TX 7577,
Susan Catron - Chilhowie,
Trish Harris - Round Hill and northern VA area,
Kathy Hewitt - Seattle/Tacoma area and Whidbey Island,


Rebecca Armstrong-Koelma – Perth,,
Rali Doneva-Koeva – Varna,,
Jessica de Boer - Beerta and the rest of Holland on request,,
Hong Kong
Carmen Chan -,
Meg Welch – Chisinau,,
New Zealand
Jenny Warren,
Manoli - Barcelona, Santurce, Santo,,
Natalie Schütz - Rüti ZH,,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

All new Facebook page

If you enjoy visiting Facebook to keep up with your friends and interests, please click the thumbs-up and "like" my new page. I'll always post new blog entries there. You can add your comments and post your temari pictures and links. More temari fun!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spectacular wedding kimono makes a perfect backdrop for hanging temari

If you've been following my temari exploits for a while, you've seen this photo. I'd like to share with you the story behind this display that now hangs in our living room in Raleigh.

Hanging temari display by Barbara B. Suess

It's huge! But that's OK because the setting is our great room where the ceiling is vaulted - not super high, but enough to give us lots of light and plenty of head room.

I fought for this kimono. When we lived in Yokohama, Japan, during the late 1980s, Takashimaya department store held a sale two times a year. A big sale! One floor was filled with used kimono and wedding dresses that had been in their rentals department long enough. Some were stained or worn a bit. Some were downright ugly, but probably only to my Western eye. There were all sorts of other garments and accessories but it was the wedding attire that drew us to the sale. A group of us gaijin (foreign) gals would get up early and take the train to the store, stand outside in a line, and charge inside up to the sale area when they opened the doors. It was quite a sight to see and so much fun!

Takashimaya also sold Western-style wedding dresses - the big, puffy, ruffly kind worn by Princess Diana. These went for a song (around $25 dollars each) so I got several for my daughter. Just a toddler then, she loved dressing up in these fancy dresses. I cut the bottom off one so it just touched the floor. Others I left long and flowing. Over the years, she and her friends had a ball dressing up.

Playing dress-up
Back to the kimono hanging on our wall. It cost me 10,000 yen, the equivalent of $100 dollars at the time. The metallic copper background and gold and silver embroidery are just stunning. It's filled with auspicious symbolism - cranes and pine trees and cherries and maples. It's heavy as heck and I can imagine how a young bride would strain to stand wearing this as her outer layer. I think I'd just faint!

I made the temari for a show at The Japan Center here in Raleigh in 2011. The curators challenged me to make four of these hanging displays and, thank goodness, helped me with the arrangement of the temari on each of the hangers. I sold the others but kept this one because I just love the colors and the geometric designs. I made the hanger by lashing together five thin pieces of bamboo. The temari are attached with a knot that I found in a book about building bamboo fences. Each string of balls is made with just one strand of #5 pearl cotton - a very long one. I couldn't stitch right through the center of each ball, so stitched into the north pole, around the edge by the equator, coming out at the south pole, where I secured the thread to the ball with a big knot. Then on to the next ball with the same thread.

The curators for the show at The Japan Center told me that one way to figure out an arrangement like this is to pick your favorite piece of music. Then arrange the balls so they mimic the notes on the page. I was really pressed for time when putting this show together so I didn't use this tip but will try it sometime in the future, for sure.

Every time I see this display, I'm reminded of three good times in my life - rushing the Takashimaya sales, watching my daughter and her friends play dress-up, and participating in the show at The Japan Center. Feelin' good!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Only a few days left for the sale!

There are just a few days left to use the 20% off coupon in my etsy shop. Please stop by and check out the new Kreinik sampler sets that I've put in the shop. The coupon is good for these as well. Kreinik makes a very high quality thread - strong and beautiful too. I've picked my favorite colors to combine into sets I think you'll like. If you've ordered Kreinik thread from me, I will be contacting you soon to complete your order. 

I've restocked Rainbow Gallery threads - you guys really cleaned me out when this sale started. Thank you very much! If you missed getting a cone of thread, there are now more here for you. 

Also, I have a few more sets of blue to go with the Snow Crystals temari pattern. When you checkout, enter the code TEMARISALE2014

Happy shopping/happy stitching!