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  Noisemakers in the  Dodai Mari

        Something that can make a temari even more fun is to pop a noisemaker in the mari as you are making it. It adds just another little element of surprise and fun to the finished temari. Generally this means a small jingle bell or rattle. It's easy to do no matter what you use for your mari base....  here are some helps on doing it have it still make noise when you are done (this is the thing that catches most people - depending on what the mari base is made of and how the noisemaker is made, your noise plans can get muffled). It also adds another traditional element to your work - noisemakers (mostly rattles of whatever materials and types) have long been used in temari - remember, temari were originally toys that were indeed played with.

Almost anything used as the core when making a dodai mari. will tend to muffle the ring of a bell. A little ingenuity will keep a bell jingling, though. Rattles tend to be ok.  Either way you'll need to find or make a hollow container for the noisemaker that you can bury inside the mari as you form it. Keep an eye open for any small container that you can use (limited only by imagination and size!), or you can make  a simple one. This can be done very easily by making a tiny box out of a lightweight piece of cardboard, such as card stock.  Remember  - it's deep inside the mari, so this is one time when neatness does not matter - no one is going to see it. Focus on getting good sound but you don't have to worry about what it really looks like as long as it "works" for holding the sound.

Bells need to be fit rather precisely into their holder if they are going to ring rather than rattle, and/or be suspended within the holder. This can be done using a small piece of wire to hold the bell aloft in the container. The quality of the bell you use will make a difference. If you want a nice jingle/ring, don't expect to get it from the most inexpensive bells by the bag kind. They are made of metals that don't "ring" but rather just make noise, and in particular when there is a bunch of them together. Try to find bells of decent quality brass or nickle. As mentioned above, another tip to get a good "ring" is to size the bell container appropriately - if the bell has a lot of room to bop around you'll get more of a rattle as it hits the container than a ring. It needs a little wiggle room but the object is to move the clapper ball in the bell, not the bell itself. Also, be sure that your container for it is sturdy enough that it will not collapse in the wrapping process, especially if you are using soft mari materials. While you may start out sure that the box is fine, as you wrap the pressure of the wrapping gets distributed through the stuff of the mari (it's a law of nature so there isn't anything you can do about it). If the box or container collapses around the bell, it will become more of a rattle and be muffled than if it remains "free". I've found two good options for clear "rings" - even though I make my own mari cores, I will purchase small (key word - small -) styro balls, and  carefully split & hollow them open to pop a bell inside the 2 halves. I then use this as the bell container (remember, I said small styro ball) and make the mari around that, using my regular methods. Another great close sized-to-fit container are the little capsules that hold gumball machine trinkets. One more tried and true is the little lattice ball with a bell inside it that is a cat toy. However, you need to put it in a baggie before putting it in the core, or the materials you are using for the core can get inside the lattice and stop the sound.

        Rattles are a bit easier, and actually more traditional than bells. Moms and grandmas were putting a few stones inside sea shells in the middle of mari hundreds of years ago, when one could not jaunt down to the corner craft store and pick up some jingle bells. One of the easiest things to do is to pop some dried peas or a few grains of rice in between 2 soda or water bottle tops (either pry off or screw off), tape the 2 tops together, and inside the mari core it goes.

       There is no about what to use; anything small that can be adapted to hold something smaller will rattle or ring. As long as you can insert it into the center of your mari base and it makes noise, it works. For rattles, think of things like dried peas, beans, rice, small stones or pebbles, beads, marbles, steel shot or bb's, small fishing weights, paper clips.... (you get the idea)....   if you want a bell, any craft store will have small jingle bells available. Quality can make a difference - better quality bells will be made of different metals that "ring" with a nicer and clearer tone so if you really want a good clear bell effect, consider going a bit more upscale for bells. Very inexpensive jingle bells can end up "rattling" rather than ringing, and this can be due to the type of metal the bell is made of. Similarly, the larger the pieces of stuff you are using for rattles, the different the sound the rattle will make. The container you use for the noisemaker can "adjust" the sound the bell or rattle makes, especially when combined with the mari materials and density. Hard containers - plastic, metal, etc, will give a sharper sound than something like a card stock box. Experiment with different types of containers and rattle materials - since each combination will sound a bit different: some very brash and others rather muted.This often becomes just a matter of personal preference - when you find something you like, you'll end up sticking with it.            

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