In one of my temari groups we had a March Challenge, lead by Joan Z. You can see some of her lovely work here. This is the temari we planned on making, with Joan's help. She found the original pattern in one of the Japanese books and "reverse engineered" the pattern.
You can barely see the mari, it is almost completely covered. There are just a few places, between spindles, where you can see her mari is black.
It took me a while to get going on this, and then when I did, my supplies were in one place, and the pattern was in another. I thought I had read the instructions carefully, so I decided to go ahead and give it a try. This is what I came up with:
Even though I sort of followed the instructions, mine looks way different! The main problem is that I didn't start the kiku close enough to the center. That opened up the center, and it limited my space for the interlocked kiku/spindle combination, so the cream spindles turned out a little spindly. So then, of course, the blue spindles couldn't be bigger, because then they would take over the whole pattern, and the balance would be lost.
I actually like the way mine turned out. The pumpkin colored mari was my inspiration for the colors I used, and I would have been sad if the whole thing was covered up. The obi stitching was a variegated pearl cotton. I thought of using the DMC color variations, in the orange and yellow tones for the obi, but the orange/rust clashed with the mari too much. (So much for planning ahead!)
Of course, with all the open space at the pole, the embellishment worked out differently too. (Plus I still didn't have the pattern at hand to look at.) I sort of like the negative space flower that developed.
DH immediately said "Merry-go-round (in a good way)" when I showed it to him, and I agree. The obi stitching reminds me of the platform, the light blue spindles of the animals/poles, and the white and blue triangles remind me of the canopy.
Of course Joan didn't stop here. She adapted the pattern from a s16 to a c8 and c10!