craft and folk art

OK! I’m in total awe!
Take a closer look! Are you seeing the detail in this stitching?
Courtesy of Brenda’s Needlepoint Studio

Design by Susan Hoekstra, called Feuilles d'Ananas (Pineapple Leaves), is a study in values requiring 11 different threads from dark to light.“ Brenda chose a different pallet for her block. Rather than the yellows of a pineapple, she worked with this incredible combinations of blues.

Charlotte, on Altars

Altars, in my opinion, are highly personal. They are sacred by nature. What that means is up to the architect.

Some channel gods, some channel personal magical rituals. Mine is an ongoing dedication to myself, my beauty and my power. It includes not only tributes to myself and a myriad of small charms, but dedications to goddesses, both religious and secular.

Included on the shelf-top is my jewelry box, which holds multiple enchanted pieces. I have a lucky bamboo and a money charm (my tips in a jar on top of a piece of hematite to draw more my way), a rose candle for Aphrodite and a white candle for Hestia, honey-rose incense to make me feel like a goddess myself. The ashtray was an heirloom from my late grandmother with a Victorian couple taking a walk, and now it holds a variety of objects important to me, such as an opalite, a bone, a bead, and two rose hips. I have two fairies (one on the mirror and one on the wreath), and an unfinished picture of Ophelia in the river. The last object is a “Secular Saints” candle featuring my idol, Frida Kahlo. 

To finish, a quote from her that sums up my altar space: “ I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.”


The Ancient Art of Temari

Temari (手まり?) balls are a folk art form that originated in China and was introduced to Japan around the 7th century AD.  Historically, temari were hand ball toys constructed from the remnants of old kimonos.  Temari were given to children from their parents on New Year’s Day.  Inside the tightly wrapped layers of each ball, the mother would have placed a small piece of paper with a goodwill wish for her child.  The child would never be told what wish their mother had made while making the ball.

Although mothers still made temari for their children, as time passed, traditional temari became an art, with the functional stitching becoming more decorative and detailed, until the balls displayed intricate embroidery.  Temari became an art and craft of the Japanese upper class and aristocracy, and noble women competed in creating increasingly beautiful and intricate objects.

Temari are still highly valued and cherished gifts, symbolizing deep friendship and loyalty.  The brilliant colors and threads used are symbolic of wishing the recipient a brilliant and happy life.

Photography by NanaAkua