Have you ever visited the Baubles blog? I love looking at Marcie's beautiful baubles. I didn't even know what these were called but the lovely different kinds of handwork on each sphere makes each one ethereal.
The other day I was cleaning out a drawer and I came across two baubles of my own. These are called otemari in Japanese. Years ago just after we were married and before I had found quilting, Tetsu and I lived in a tiny town in northern Japan. One of the traditional handicrafts of the area was otemari and I found someone who would teach me how to make the absolutely simplest of designs. It looks complicated but as I recall it wasn't really.
I think I wrapped a straw, handsized cushion in thread for the longest time until it got a certain size and then with decorative threads marked the quadrants and then took various sized stitches until the designs were sewn on.
I made quite a few of these in the year that I lived in this town and gave most of them away as presents but no one, not even me, could ever figure out what to do with them! They are so beautiful but baubles (as Marcie) writes, don't really do anything except be decorative.
"Baubles are purely for fun, decoration and creative challenge."
Unfortunately as we acquired cats, these baubles took a beating because the cats decided they were excellent cat toys! They roll around, claws get caught in the threads, they can be chased. My poor baubles are now frayed and some of the threads have been torn loose. So that is why they live in a drawer...
Please visit Marcie's blog (and do scroll down and look around!) and see some of her wonderful creations.
If I could teach these cats to leave the baubles alone I might want to try making a couple more...