Have you seen these amazing things?!
Amazingly detailed, hand-embroidered Christmas ornaments? No, although they would be perfect on my tree! These are called temari balls. I had never heard of them before, so just in case they are new to you too, here’s a bit of Wikipedia info:
Temari are highly valued and cherished gifts, symbolizing deep friendship and loyalty. Also, the brilliant colors and threads used are symbolic of wishing the recipient a brilliant and happy life. Becoming a temari artist in Japan today requires specific training, and one must be tested on one’s skills and technique before being acknowledged as a crafter of temari.
Traditionally, temari were often 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 his or her mother had made while making the ball.
Lovely. Beautiful on the outside, and so, so sweet on the inside. The temari balls featured in this post are the work of an 88 year old grandmother. Since the 1960s she has literally made hundreds and hundreds of them, and recently her granddaughter, Nana Akua, documented them – thank goodness!