Sharing Temari… On A Boat

My husband and I went on the most amazing cruise last year — the JoCoCruise 2019. We met, played games with, crafted, and enjoyed the company of the most amazing 2000 people ever. And being huge Jonathan Coulton fans, of course we loved all the musical performances. (Can you guess who the cruise is named after?) If you haven’t heard of this incredible cruise, check out the NY Times review here: We don’t do a lot of vacationing, so after enjoying ourselves so much, we booked for the 2020 sailing. Aside from the official performers and events, the cruisers themselves host an insane number of events (a.k.a. “shadow events”). These range from writing seminars to science talks, from learning to lockpick to learning a new craft. Yes, they even have a crafting ROOM on board. So of course, I wanted to find a way to introduce the people on the boat to my passion of temari. After all, self described “nerds” that craft? What could be a more perfect audience? So I signed up last year to host a number of shadow events. I didn’t want to over-extend myself…after all, this was supposed to be my vacation. But I … Continue reading “Sharing Temari… On A Boat”

Reflections and Moving Forward

Like many people, the start of 2020 has me reminiscing a bit about this last year. For me, I have had some pretty exciting temari moments. Certainly, having my temari actually travel to Japan and participate in a show there is a high point I will not forget soon. I’m happy to have my “Inhalation/Exhalation” safely home, where I can enjoy it and everything that it means for my own journey of rejuvenation and faith. The fact that it has a neat little trophy next to it, still thrills me to pieces! Then there is the wild success of the Mushashino Flower stitch-a-long that ran in the Temari Challenge online group. I really wanted to push myself to see if I could write detailed directions for a seriously complicated ball, that would enable a wide variety of temari stitchers to complete it. This is one of my ultimate career goals, to turn “complicated” into “doable” for people who might not be able to deciper the Japanese publications. Well, the experiment was a huge success. It was such a pleasure to see so many people take up the challenge with me! My directions ended up being over 40 pages with over … Continue reading “Reflections and Moving Forward”

Holiday Temari at Longwood Gardens

Have you heard of Longwood Gardens? You probably have. It is a world famous and enchanting indulgence in plants of all kinds. Located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania on over a thousand acres, they are always changing up their displays, and have some very spectacular seasonal shows. Lucky for me, I’m only an hour away or so, and I love getting to stroll around the gardens and marvel inside the conservatories. And a million and a half people agree with me, and visit every year! But what does this have to do with temari? A few months ago, I was fortunate to meet some of the amazing people that work all year long on planning their seasonal displays. They develop coordinating themes and bring in artwork to enhance their botanical showcases. They labor months and months ahead of time, to come up with new and creative shows, and every year is different from the last. They had invited me to meet with them, and to show off some of my temari. I was able to explain to the team the history and traditions of this wonderful fiber art. But, as you probably know, seeing temari in person is always so … Continue reading “Holiday Temari at Longwood Gardens”

A Breath of Fresh Temari

As you may know, the last couple of years have been pretty tough for me. My father’s health has been ailing, and I had to step in and really take care of all aspects of his healthcare, even though I live about 3 hours away. During this time, I had to put many things that I love doing on hold, such as stitching temari. The hiatus came naturally, though, as the depressing nature of what I was going through sapped away my creative juices. Last fall, I was invited to give a talk about the art of temari to a fiber guild that I’m a member of . ( After the talk, I went out to lunch with a few of the guild members, whom I had not seen in over a year. I was discussing with them the creative funk I found myself in. It had been a long time since I felt inspired to make anything, let alone had any exciting ideas for original designs. Was I ever going to get that mojo back? One of my lunch companions related to me a story that she had seen on television, where they compared the act of creation to … Continue reading “A Breath of Fresh Temari”

Preparing for a Stitch-A-Long… A Challenge!

These days I have put my Japanese Temari Certification work on hold for a bit to focus on fulfilling a promise I made in January. The online community of temari stitchers knows as “Temari Challenge” is an open group of over 900 people that I am proud to be a part of. Each year, members of this group suggest temari patterns that they would like to learn to stitch, and volunteers step up to lead these as “stitch-a-long”s. During the year, the leaders study and stitch the patterns they have picked, and then break the process of making that temari down into steps. They lead the interested members through each step, giving plenty of time for questions and discussions after each stage. Finally, those that finish the ball share pictures of their work, and everyone is inspired by their accomplishments. Stitch-a-longs are a great way to expand your skills and try new patterns. The discussion periods help everyone involved, even teaching members things they didn’t think to question or examine! It really brings together members of the community in a fun way. Leading a stitch-a-long is also a wonderful way to get experience teaching. No matter how much preparing … Continue reading “Preparing for a Stitch-A-Long… A Challenge!”

A New Beginning

There are certain times in all of our lives when things can feel out of control. Tough times like losing loved ones, job loss, divorce, etc. can really bring a prolonged sense of sadness and depression. I’ve been going through such a time for the last few years myself, and it had really put a damper on my creativity. I’ve not been stitching many temari, nor really doing much other than dealing with “life”. For a while, it felt like it was never going to be different, and I would be stuck in this darkness forever. But I’ve been lucky to have friends and family remind me that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel, and that things WOULD get better. I’m grateful for their support through this wild ride, and I’m happy to say that I’m finally coming out of that funk! My needle is moving again, bright colors are coming back into my life, and I’m feeling a renewed sense of hope. I couldn’t be happier, nor feel more blessed. And I’m holding on to this newfound joy with both hands! To channel this new creative spirit, I am focusing more on my temari … Continue reading “A New Beginning”