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Textile Tuesday: Temari Balls and Yubinuki

If nothing else ever comes from my journey through hand worked textiles, then the people I have met along the way will have made it all worth it. Especially these days. The internet really has made it a very small world!

A few months back I mentioned my new found interest in temari balls, and the similarity to the work involved in them to the original button making techniques. I love the way in which skills develop in different countries, and how they evolve, often quite independently. There are many different hand works skills that illustrate this. 

Scarlette's temari by Gina BarrettMy most recent temari ball, still rather simple, was created for my great niece's 1st birthday. So, it was shipped off to the US quite a while ago now, but the big day has come and gone so I can now put a picture online! I decided to make a simple ball - and one that she can play with. After all, that is what these were originally designed for. So, I put a bell inside for a little jingle, and made the whole with new cotton (there's a teeny bit of metallic thread - but a synthetic mix, nothing that might cut or hurt!). I figure, cotton is probably the best if it goes straight to the mouth, as most one-year-olds try that at least once! 

As her name is Scarlette Rose, I used the rose motif to decorate the ball. I worked the roses not only in reds, but in oranges, as the scarlet pimpernel flower is really quite orange and I like the way colour words have changed over time. 


Yubinuki by Gina BarrettAbout the same time that I was working on this, Yoko in Japan contacted me, after she had read my blog. She agreed that button making was very similar, and asked if I had ever tried Yubinuki (embroidered thimbles). Between me using google translate and she writing in frankly great English, we managed to strike up quite a conversation. It turns out the Yoko has used my DVDs and book to learn button making, and she is excellent. You can see some of her work through her blog - (google chrome is great for translating the blog pages). She kindle sent me a book and kit - and although in Japanese, I figured it out! And even better, Yoko translated some of the design names for me.

The photo shows my first (at the back) and second attempt. The first time I misunderstood how to work the divisions so couldn't quite complete the design. But as I worked I figured it out. So, I started again. I really enjoy these and have already bought another book from Japan with designs to try to figure out. (I must admit that i also enjoy the challenge of looking at a forein language diagram and trying to get it 'right' without written instruction).

This correspondence then led to Yoko 'meeting' with Sabine, the Austrian button maker that the 'Sabine's Star' button in my book is named for. (You'll find Sabine's website and recent publications here). Now Yoko is having to use google for German translations too! So, in the same way that I have met up with German button historian Monika through Sabine, our little world grows. A picture though speaks a thousand words, and so between us all we are sharing skills, ideas and friendship, despite none of us speaking the same language. 

It would be lovely for us all to be able to meet up one day!


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