These intricate and extraordinarily beautiful embroidered silk balls are a form of Japanese folk art called Temari, which means “hand ball” in Japanese. These particular temari are even more impressive because they were handmade by a 92-year-old grandmother in Japan.

"Although she only learned this elaborate skill in her sixties, she has since created nearly 500 unique designs that have been photographed by her granddaughter NanaAkua. Impressive does not even begin to describe this feat of dexterity, imagination and keen eyesight. The difficult process of becoming a recognized temari craftsman in Japan is tedious and requires specific training and testing. This grandmother must certainly be one motivated and talented woman. And if that was not enough to garner your complete admiration, she now volunteers every week teaching others how to make their own temari.”

Temari have been made in Japan since the 7th century and are still highly valued and cherished as gifts symbolizing deep friendship and loyalty. They are traditionally given to children by their parents on New Year’s Day. Mothers place a small piece of paper with a secret goodwill wish for her child inside the tightly-wrapped ball. Alternately, some temari are made as noisemakers by placing rice grains or bells in the center.

Visit My Modern Metropolis to view more of NanaAkua’s photos of her grandmother’s beautiful handiwork and learn more about this stunning Japanese holiday tradition.


William Morris is probably one of the best pattern and textile designers of all time. Morris is know for being the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris was inspired by the Medieval arts and believed in returning back to traditional methods of designing. His patterns clearly show this by creating everything by hand and being anti-industrial.


Last year we featured Christa and Volker Kraft’s incredibly awesome tradition of decorating a tree in their garden in Saalfeld, Germany with 10,000 Easter eggs.

The couple has been decorating their tree in this fashion for over 40 years now and, as you can see in the photos above, this year the Easter tree is looking more splendid than ever. 

Photos by Jens Meyer

[via Design You Trust]


Made not Manufactured:  A beautiful photographic project by Steve Kenward.  Steve has been travelling around the UK photographing craftspeople.  It really is a beautiful project and well worth a proper look.  

“Meeting the makers - highlighting some of the talented craftspeople that the UK has to offer. People that use traditional crafts to make something that still has relevance today. They are passionate about what they do and take care in everything they produce.”