nana akua’s grandmother

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!

{via Colossal}

comments (8)

  1. Jessica /// 12.24.2013 /// 9:57am

    Amazing. Amazing. Amazing! I want to become a Temari artist.

  2. Kelsey Lynore /// 12.24.2013 /// 12:32pm


  3. laura redburn /// 12.25.2013 /// 10:33am

    i just can’t get how special and amazing these are, i love the colours and designs too!

  4. Maggie /// 12.26.2013 /// 10:29am

    I never had heard of temari balls. So beautiful, but I love the meaning behind them even more!

  5. the jealous curator /// 12.27.2013 /// 8:49am

    me too! so lovely.

  6. claire /// 12.27.2013 /// 2:16pm

    love these.

  7. northierthanthou /// 01.03.2014 /// 7:44pm

    Wow, these are beautiful.

  8. Rosemary /// 04.30.2014 /// 12:08pm

    I made some of these balls a few yeary ago after going to a ladies evening group I have added to these each year and have about 55 now which I put on my Christmas tree I’d how a few ladies how to make them but it’s the first time I have seen these since the first ones I made

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