>This is Great Grandma H.

> This photo was taken for her eighth-grade graduation. Her mother made the dress. Out of all the pictures I have seen of her, I think this is my favorite one. My husband and I received this as a gift at the memorial service. I am grateful to have it.

I really do not know much about her because she was a very quiet woman. What I do know amazes me. She raised two sons after her husband died, in an era when it wasn’t normal to be a single mom. She did lots of handwork and traveled a lot before getting married in her 30’s, also not normal for the time.

memories of great grandma H

She will be greatly missed. The other Grandma H (GH or MIL) in the family, my MIL, has given us a few of the items we have given great-grandma (GGH) over the years. I am now wearing a ring that I gave to GGH. I am wearing it next to the ring my husband gave me for our tenth anniversary.
My MIL has also given us a free-form temari ball I made for GGH and the wood stand with metal hook my husband made to hold the temari ball.

wood inlay for great grandma h

We also received back a wood plaque that my husband purchased for GGH when he lived in Brazil for a few years. I have never kept one of my own Temari balls, so this has extra meaning in that not only is it one I gave to GGH, it is also one of my favorite free-form ones. When my husband lived in Brazil he only purchased gifts for his family; I didn’t know him then, so we didn’t have any of the wood plaques from Brazil. Now not only does this symbolizes his grandmother, but his two years of missionary work in Brazil.

>Happy Chinese / Japanese New Year


Chinese New Year

I do know a few of these items are Japanese; I just like them together.

>Over the years

>I have made lots of things for my husband over the years. Here are a few of the items he has received.

First is two crochet ornaments that I made for him for Christmas when we lived with his parents about five years back. I picked a heart for him because he is my love. (Hey, it is close to Valentine’s; got to keep that theme going!) He picked the star because he liked the way it looked more. So when I made them I decided he could have both.

Next is a cross between bead work and a temari ball. The base of the ball is traditional for temari as is the division of six marked on it. But that is where I deviated; I did what would be the usual thread work in beads that where pinned onto the ball. The white big beads are Mother of Pearl and the gray ones are hematite, the rest of the beads are blue and white seed beads and bugle beads.Funny, I didn’t know I had a theme of blue when I was making all these. That is just the color that he and I happened to pick. I didn’t want to do something too girlie, especially since it was already hand, lacework and bead work.

>Part 2 : Vacation in California: some of my work

>While in California we decided to get a few pictures of things I had made for my Vova in the past.

About five Christmases back, when I lived with my in-laws, I made everyone in the family (and a lot of our friends) glass ornaments covered in crochet. Some of the ornaments where frosted glass and some hand blown. Some had intricate shapes like stars, drops, hearts, trees, snowmen, the list went on and on.

They where all crocheted in just one color. My husband’s siblings all received white ornaments because before Christmas I decorated my-in-laws tree with them and wanted them to sorta match. They where lots of different shapes, though, to make them different. My siblings and cousins and family received all kinds of different colors, but theirs had to go through the mail that year, so I made theirs all the same shape. This made for ease in shipping and none of them broke. This is the one my Vova choose. For the ones in California, my older sister and Vova got to pick the ones they wanted, the rest all had labels. Meaning if they didn’t like the one that I had picked for them, they got to change the label to the one they liked. My Vova chose one that had Irish Crochet on it and was blue like the dishes she likes so much.

The ones on the left are how she keeps them in one of her china cupboards. The pictures on the right are the photos I took when I removed them from the cupboard and placed them on the tree so I could have a more natural light photo.

In this same cupboard was a Koma I had made for my Vova
one Easter. A Koma, if you don’t happen to know, is a Japanese spinning top. This one is for decorative purposes only and doesn’t function as a top. It is a type of thread work similar to a Temari. While there that Easter, I also made a few others, but I don’t know what happened to them as they where just study tops to show one of my cousin’s kids how to make one; while showing my cousin I was also showing my Vova.

There is a small Christmas tree in this cupboard made out of Romania Lace. When making it, I used antique variegated green and white, size 30, crochet thread. My Vova keeps it pinned to the Temari ball that is also in this cupboard.

Lastly, the sister to the Koma is the Temari Ball, which you already know is in this cupboard as well. I made this one for her for a Mother’s Day gift one year. There are other things I made in this cupboard, like some hand made wax ornaments in the shape of an Angel and a Nutcracker, but I forgot to take pictures of those items. Ceramic cookie molds where used to make those. Maybe next time I go that way I will get them in a photo for you to see. My Vova was a master florist, and I worked my way through collage being a florist. So I figured it was only fitting to put flowers on hers. The base of her ball is a traditional pattern in Temari. The rest of the ball the silk ribbon embroidery, known as free-form Temari. This is one on my most favorite balls I have ever made. I worked on this for over a month. I have never been able to get a real good picture of it that I like. For some reason, it is like an elusive photo that I just can’t seem to take. So in real life this is much prettier than it looks.

>Time to start decorating…..


Usually I start to decorate the day after Thanksgiving if I am home in Utah.

This year has just been so hectic I have not had a chance to really even start yet.

These nut crackers have been out for about three months on top of my china cupboard in my front room. My children are collecting these. It is a thrift store thing; they have found all of them for less than two dollars each. As you can tell, one has had a rough life and needs a new beard. The girls like him, anyway, and one day I will fix him. They just think it makes him more like the broken nutcracker in the play. If you haven’t guessed, this is why my daughter wanted to make Russian needle punch Nut Cracker . The little Santa tin is also a thrift store find; he was $0.75. He is actually two tins; his head comes off to reveal an opening in his body, and his hat comes off to show an opening in his head. That just sounded painful!

If you noticed the wood blocks in the picture, my Vavo makes those each Christmas (and a lot of other holidays) and special events are depicted in these. I have one for each of my graduations, my wedding, children’s baptisms, Easter, thanksgiving, 4th of July; you name she has made them. They are one of my favorite things she has made for me. This is an angel that used to hang over my Vavo’s mantel in California. She was kind and gave me one a few years back. I love it so much that it stays up year round in my front hall. The angel is always heralding love and good will, in my opinion.
The above ornament stays out year round, too. There are a few new ones that I have received from the cake and pie ornament swap. The silhouette tree is one of those as is the knitted sweater and the pynsanky egg. The big temari ball, top right, is actually from Japan, as is the little one in the back right. The black temari with the red and orange embroidery is the only temari ball my husband ever made. It is only half done, and I think it will be that way forever, but it means so much because he made it. The temari ball on the bottom left is my very first temari; very ugly, but it is my first so I keep it. If you notice the one on the stand, front right bottom, I have improved a lot. I do have to admit that my husband divided the ball and I embroidered it. The wood ornament is from a wood tuner who used to live in West Jordan, Utah. He mainly made bobbins for bobbin lace, but one year he made these, and I got it from him. I actually have a few others from him, just smaller. The paper angel in the back left is from my church tree. It is a giving tree; we help a family out who is less fortunate than our selves.

>Temari Ball

>It is a grey sort of blustery day here.
I was wanting to look at something a little bright and cheery. I saw this sitting on our upright and thought “That works.” I made this for my husband a few years back as a gift. It is call a temari ball, which is Japanese for hand thread ball. The design on this one is known as a complex 10, meaning the ball is divided into 10’s in all directions. Then it is embroidered on.

>A Child’s Touch Poem

Into each life a little color must pass….

what to do with it is up to us.

A Child’s Touch

A child’s touch tender enough to stroke velvet wings;
Delightful enough to make birdies sing;
Willing enough to wish above;
Strong enough to hold lots of love.

-Author Unknown