Friday, November 30, 2018

Horizontal Composition

I have not been writing my blog for two months since I returned home from Taiwan. I got sick and suffered severe nerve pain from Shingles (in my left upper leg). It will take a long time to be completely recovered. As of now, my nerve pain has gradually been getting better. I finally am able to update my missing articles. This "Horizontal Style" arrangement was one of November's class assignments. I arranged it at home using bittersweet, mum and hosta with a ceramic container.

Arrangement Using Midolino (paper string)

I made this midolino structure last September, and I used it in my arrangement with Spray mum from my garden, hydrangeas, plus a Ceriman. The container is metal and crescent moon shaped with a stand.   

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Traveling Around Taiwan's Hakka Culture Centers

I am back from Taiwan, but still very tired. These two weeks from October 13th to the 26th, I was away in Taiwan with my husband, plus three hundred more people from all over the world, for two Hakka conventions.  We visited the country's Hakka cultural centers, gardens, villages, parks and temples. We traveled all over the island to many places that we've never visited before. A minority group in Taiwan, the Hakka people have a unique culture and have worked to preserve its heritage and traditions. The Hakka language is now considered a national language of Taiwan and is taught in schools.

hand craft oil paper umbrella
Female Hakka outfit in olden times

Hand made crafts using Hakka fabric

Hakka Lanterns

Hakka women wore costumes to welcome all of us

Hakka children singing Hakka songs

Washington, DC Hakka chorus team competes with other teams

Hundred of years old majesty residence of Hakka officer

The old temple in my home town

The Flowering Tree of Hakka Symbol - Vernicia Fordii

The first three pictures are taken from a book.  They are symbols of a Hakka flowering tree. They bloom around April to May in a Hakka town in Taiwan. The falling petals are called "May Snow".
Vernicia Fordii (oil tung tree)

Blooming in the mountain and road side

May Snow

Park near the Hakka culture center, same as below three photos

we saw a lot of these flowering trees along the road side

Cosmos in the field just starting to bloom

Cycling around the rice field
Bicycle kites

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 associations 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?