I had a wonderful time at home in Arkansas over Christmas -- lots of shopping and eating and visiting with family, and a relaxing new year here in Japan. I've had a little over three weeks off from work and have enjoyed every minute of it. I hope I can remember how to teach when I have to go back to work tomorrow. . .
The first ikebana that you do for the new year is called 初生け, hatsu ike. Usually, I don't do much during this time of year. There are no lessons, and I'm usually too busy relaxing to do anything. But this year, a friend of mine asked me to do something for his shop window. I had never done anything like this before, but I thought it would be a good challenge for me (I want to challenge myself more this year in ikebana) and get the new year started off right.
For New Year, pine is a popular item to use. It is a long lasting material, strong in the cold weather, and green during the white winter. I thought that I would use three different types of pine to make an arrangement. My friend had a beautiful vase that his grandmother had made, and I thought it would be perfect for the arrangement.
After finishing the arrangement, I thought that it looked good, but it was missing something. It needed a little something to make it gorgeous, to show it off for the New Year. I went home and made a small pick of gold to go in the arrangement. I used some gold paper to fold a couple of fans and then used mizuhiki to make some bands of gold to go along with it.
I think the little bit of gold sets off the arrangement and gives it the special "New Year" feel. I have to admit, I have driven by the shop several times to see the piece in the window. You don't often get to see your works out in the public like this. Kind of exciting!
It was a good experience for me and got me motivated to do something at home.
|New Year's Eve|
|New Year's Day with the morning light on the flowers|
While home for Christmas, I also did a few arrangements.
|Mom's dining room table|
|Five little arrangements along the table runner.|
|The red lamp was my father's mother's lamp.|
|View from above|
|Circular Form with calla lilies|
I think I have started the year off right. I plan on challenging myself more this year and hope to grow more in my ikebana.
I hope everyone has a great New Year! May the year bring you family, friends, laughter, and love.