Friday, October 12, 2018

My Back Yard Japanese Touch Garden

My husband and I always wanted to have a Japanese touch garden, but it was difficult to find a landscaper who knew the concept of a Japanese garden. After many years of dreaming and moving to a smaller home, we decided to take action. We finally met a landscape designer who knew what a Japanese garden is all about.
My husband drew an outline and described what we needed, emphasizing simplicity. So we and the landscaper worked together to reach an agreement on a final plan.
We went to a quarry together to find these perfect boulders, which was the most difficult part of the work, because we needed to select the right size, shape and color, and place them in the right location and the right position.  Since the boulders are extremely heavy, you will never be able to lift the stone up to change the look, and you will feel uncomfortable with the rest of your life. We also went to the nursery to select some plants, such as black pines and Japanese maple trees.... Again, you need to choose the right one that you will not grow tired looking at them. We still need another black pine, which we are still looking for.
Whenever, you stare at the stones over and over again, you can feel the essence and the touch of the Japanese garden. It is a tranquil and peaceful garden! We just love it! 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Demonstrations and Luncheon by Kika Shibata Sensei,Riji

"Shibata Sensei is frequently invited by various organizations, school, museums and professional floral association to conduct the demonstrations and workshops. After over 50 years, Shibata Sensei still remains a devoted teacher, dedicated to sharing the joy of Ikaban!"
"In 1964, she received her teacher's certificate from the Sogetsu School. In 1989, she earned the prestigious title of Riji, the highest degree offered by the Sogetsu School. In 2013, she was appointed Sogetsu West Coast Coordinator of US. In 2014, she celebrated over fifty years teaching as a teacher."

On September 27, 2018, Ikebana International Philadelphia chapter proudly presented Kika Shibata Sensei as our demonstrator.  She had done 11 unique and beautiful demonstrations and the last huge one for stage arrangement before the luncheon, and did another 4 workshops for the next two days.
All of which we had seven study group members work and assist her behind the scenes during her demonstration. 
Hallway center arrangement at Radnor Valley Country Club

floral tissue paper with rose and antherium

The vine is cherry branch

The huge stage arrangement at last

we helped to make this basket
love lies bleeding plant

This is dogwood branch cut to many pieces

Table Center Piece and Arrangement for Raffle

Since our Sogetsu BuxMont Study Group has accepted the challenge for hosting the September's opening luncheon, demonstration and workshop programs, our group has been working very hard to prepare everything for Shibata Sensei's requirements. We have been cutting branches as much as we could and gathering all the materials that she might like to use for demonstrations and workshops. Besides, June and I were assigned to make centerpieces for 13 dinner tables, and Pat made origami cranes to add in the design. It's our study group's team work behind the scenes. Teacher Lin as a leader worked extremely hard to lead us to follow Shibata Sensei's orders and needs.
I am posting 3 centerpiece arrangements here (13 centerpieces in total), plus five arrangements created especially for raffles made by our 4 members and me.  Every table has a similar design but different look.   All of the arrangements and the centerpieces were raffled off at the end. 
My arrangement for raffle (Fall color, seasonal materials)
Tried at home, which one do you like?

Kika Shibata Sensei's Workshops

There were 4 workshops conducted by Shibata Sensei in the morning and afternoon sections on Friday and Saturday. I only attended two afternoon sections, because I was too tired to go in the morning.
#1: Composition Expressing a Movement, Book 5, Lesson 18. ( I took pictures but didn't attend the workshop that morning).
#2: Aluminum wire and paper composition using unconventional materials, any style container.
#3: Techniques for advanced students, fixing a stable, freestanding structure and using with a container. Book 5, Lesson14.
I attended #2 and #3 afternoon sections. All the materials were provided except the containers.
#1 by Shibata Sensei

#1 by Shibata Sensei
#2 by Shibata Sensei
Shibata Sensei and her demo
#2 by one of the students, best of all arrangement
#2 by me, I cut a few pieces of square shaped
 papers to match the ceramic vase

#3 by Shibata Sense, technique for advanced students
#3 by me, Shibata Sensei gave me a very good comment about
my technique fixing and arrangement. It made my day!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

September Orchids Bloom

9/20/2018 is our first BCOS (Bucks County Orchid Society) meeting this season. I only have two blooming orchids to show and compete at the show table (Divided to two groups: the window sill growers and green house growers). My orchids collection has been down sized a great deal, because of my busy schedule for Ikebana work, and I paid less attention to my poor orchids.  

Cat. " Lady of the night"

Cat. "roman holiday" another bud forming

One fade, another one bloom but smaller flower

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ikebana Class for September

The Main Line Sogetsu Study Group resumed our Ikebana year and started in September. I am so glad that Hata Sensei is looking good and energetic as usual.  
We continued studying the basic lessons interspersed with freestyle and creative arranging.(9/17/2018)

Lesson 1: Variation No.6  Horizontal Style Moribana or Nageire
My arrangement Nageire ( Burning bush and Mum/ ceramic)
 Lesson 2: Variation No.7  Floating arrangement
Hata Sensei's demo arrangement
My arrangement: Ivy and Mum / ceramic
One of classmate's arrangement
  Lesson 3: Seasonal Plant Materials, (Autumn) book 5-1
Hata Sensei's Demo arrangement
My arrangement: Magnolia, bittersweet, Mum and some green

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Time to Say Ciao (bye) - My Thought

Our family vacation trip has ended. It's time to say good by to Italy! Even though my grandchildren said they didn't want to go home to America. Everyone loved Italy, the town Todi, the house, the pool, and all the sightseeing trips. I am so grateful that everybody got along very well, were cheerful, loved and cared for each other.
The weather was perfect! It's hot during the day but cool at night. We didn't need air conditioning because this house was built hundreds years ago with very thick walls. So, it's cool in Summer and warm in Winter. We cooked several times in house, it has commercial kind of kitchen, well equipped. We ate out a lot times after sightseeing, I think we had enough real Italian food like prosciutto, all kind of pastas, truffle oil dish ....and wine.
Umbria, the place we chose was full of ancient history. My husband loves history, he helped me to write each subject's history behind it. I truly appreciate his patience.
Although August is a peak season for travelers, the places we visited and did sightseeing were not crowded at all. (Only in Rome and London, airports were so crowded, it's jammed). The weather was hot but not as hot as here. It's gorgeous there!
We all are glad to be home. And back to real world! Until next time. (8/26/2018)
Long private driveway to the house up on the hill

We saw many Sunflower fields, almost end of season

Our house keeper (next to my grandson) cooked for us twice