Some crafters like to connect meaning to their works for special occasions - members of the discussion group have offered this info.
This first information is from the book Fantasies & Flowers: Origami in Fabric for Quitters by Kumiko Sudo. It actually is talking about the Japanese art of ikebana, or flower arranging. In Japan each month is celebrated by different flowers, allowing each ikebana piece to suggest the season in which it was created. One of the objectives of ikebana is to make a statement so the symbolism of certain flowers becomes important, both to inspire the maker and enrich the experience of the observer. These same symbols could be incorporated into a temari design alone with a note explaining the symbolism.
January: Pine. Pine represents eternal life, suggesting tranquillity, faithfulness, and integrity. Pine with it's twin needles is also used in weddings to symbolize long life, however if one of the needles dies, so does the other. Pine and rose used together represent the Japanese love of contrast or the attraction that opposites have for each other , the traditional concept of yin and yang. Pine is masculine, bold, vital. The rose is feminine, colorful, fragile representing love, beauty and sentiment.
February: Plum. Good fortune.
March: Peach and Pear. Peach blossoms represent life and also the feminine qualities of gentleness and mildness.
April: Cherry. The cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan symbolizing loyalty and filial love. They are liken to the samurai, who spends his life preparing for the battle in which he is killed.
May: Azalea, peony and wisteria. Azalea symbolizes family devotion because the blossoms lie very close to the parent stem. Peony: happiness, prosperity, love and affection. Climbing vines such as wisteria, sweet peas, ivy, clematis and morning glory all indicate affection.
June: Iris. Strength, vitality, boldness, power and eloquence. Often a choice for one of Japan's national festivals Boy's Day on May 5.
July: Morning glory. Affection.
August: Lotus. Life, immortality, meditation. Often used at funerals.
September: The 7 grasses.
October: Chrysanthemum. Strength, courage and dignity. Used to provide encouragement to one who struggles.
A few other flowers and their meanings: Lily, respect and purity. Magnolia, feminine sweetness. Nandina, frequently used in a household after a family member has had a nightmare. Said to prevent the dream from coming back. Primrose, youth. Willow branches. perseverance.
The following information was taken from the book A-Z of cut flowers by Gilly Love. Here different flowers and colors are designated to represent every sign of the zodiac. While not a Japanese tradition, these could be used to make a special temari for some one born or married during these dates.
January 20-Feb. 18: Electric blue, turquoise, gardenia,
Feb. 19-March 20: Soft green, silvery white, lily, daffodil, white orchid, zinnia.
March 21-April 19: red, rose, muscari, dianthus.
April 20-May 20: pink, pale blue, pale green and emerald green. Poppy, rose, lilac, acacia.
May 21- June 20: yellow, lily, lily of the valley, tuberose, sweet pea.
June 21-July 22: Smoky gray, silvery blue, iridescent blue, iris, white rose, calla lily, Queen Anne's Flower, Lace Flower.
July 23-Aug.22: orange, yellow orange. palm, peony, sunflower, marigold.
August 23-Sept 22: navy blue, dark blue, green, violet, phlox, veronica, stock, Bachelor's Buttons or cornflower.
Sept 23-Oct. 22: pale pink, pale blue,pale green, harmonious greens, Lupines, large roses, Hydrangea, Gentiana.
Oct. 23-Nov 21: deep red, maroon, scarlet, red chrysanthemum, red lily, Hollyhocks.
Nov. 22-Dec. 21: red purple, dark blue, red, royal blue, Dianthus, Golden Rod, Globe Thistle, Carnation, Sweet William.
Dec. 22-Jan. 19: dark green, gray, black, brown, indigo, Ivy, For-Get-Me Not, Cornflower, Snowdrop.
Just in case anyone feels the need for more inspiration, the
is from the book Color Harmony: A Guide to Creative Color
by Hideaki Chijiiwa a professor at the Musashino College of Art.
This, by the way, is a great reference book to get ideas for colors to
use on your temari and also comes with large samples of 61 colors that
you can cut out and experiment with using the different colors together
and also see how they look on different colored backgrounds. If
your browse magazines, books, design stores, catalogs etc you can come
up with some various directions:
Red: passionate, the color of hearts and flames, attracts attention and speed up metabolism. Pink is associated with romance. Deep red looks aristocratic.
Yellow: Lively, happy, the color of sunshine and daffodils. Bright yellow can be oppressive, pale yellow breezy and springlike.
Green: Tranquil, pastoral, the color of trees, grass. Associated with spring, fertility, poison, jealousy. Dark green is eloquent bringing to mind the deep quiet of a pine forest.
Blue: The color of sky and sea it has a calming effect but is also powerful, the strongest of the colors after red. Light blues looks young and sporty, navy dignified and wealthy.
Purple: Sophisticated, associated with royalty.
Brown: Rich, fertile like soil. Also sad, wistfullike leaves in autumn. Also suggests a rustic, natural or opulent look as in leather.
White: Purity, virginity, innocence, peace. Can also be associated with sterility and winter.
Black: The color of night and death, often linked with evil, wealth and elegance.
Warm Colors: From red to yellow, including orange, pink, brown, burgundy. Bright, splashy, aggressive, attract the eye, excite emotions, heightens motivation, makes us work faster, grab our attention, can be brash, cheerful, exuberant.
Cool Colors: Green to violet, including all blues and
Remind us of snow and ice, slow down metabolism, used to calm, can be
oppressive or clean and inviting or cool, refreshing and sanitary
Can also be associated with loneliness or alienation.
Light Colors: Includes light shades of all colors including orange and purple. Give a soft, ethereal look, have a gossamer, fairy-tale quality. Effective in a quiet way.
Dark Colors: Black and other dark shades. May feel heavy, strong, solid, be associated with royalty (dark purple, red, green and blue) or dignity. Can look expensive.
Vivid Colors: All have powerful personalities and stand out (such as red), are vivid (such as blue and yellow) and also includes black and white. Too many used together can result in cacophony - too many voices shouting at once.
Dull Colors: Colors with gray added to them. They can be soft or muddy, vague, diffuse, blurry, help reduce tension, give a meditative, dreamlike mood.
Striking: Colors that almost jump off the page. Catch the eye, makes things seem larger and closer. A striking color scheme should contrast dark colors with light colors.
Tranquil: A tranquil color scheme uses cool colors like blue and green and avoids strong contrasts. Often secondary colors like green, turquoise and purple are more tranquil than primary shades, pastels more tranquil than vivid shades. Gray more than black and white. Conveys a sense of quiet and familiarity or may seem old -fashion.
Exciting: Makes use of bright red and strong contrasts, but instead of using the red with other primary colors uses secondary colors like yellow-orange or pale green or purple. Exciting colors tend to clash and this heightens the sense of motion and excitement. A dark color like black can be used to mediate.
Natural: Subtle, complicated hues, often dark and muted. The colors of nature.
Young: Any colors that young people are wearing at the moment. Tend to favor extremes and reject, safe-middle of the road colors. Either extremely bright or extremely pale. Sharp contrasts or almost no contrast. Powerful, energetic primaries or black and white.
Feminine: Colors that are eye catching and chic but less startling than the young preferences. Often contrasting hues from the same color group such as red and pink or purple and lilac or if different color groups are mixed, the value or lightness tends to remain the same- for example light shades of blue with light shades of green.
Surprising: Colors and combinations not often seen together in everyday life. Three colors not often seen together in nature,: magenta, cyan and yellow. Colors that run contrary to their natural brightness, for example dark yellow and orange or very pale blue or green. Color combinations that do not take contrast into consideration: blue/green, magenta/purple, magenta/red.
Other links for like info: