Thursday, March 28, 2013


I am a sporadic student of ikebana - it is all dependent on my flower orders.  I always learn so much when I go and I think it is having a positive effect on my work.  It is a study for a lifetime and occasionally I get a glimpse of what it is all about.

Anyway, yesterday the practice was shoka shimputai.  3 different types of materials in a line, front to back with a couple of inches of clean stem showing above the rim of the vase.  I bought some wonderful arrowhead shaped anthirium leaves and had the yellow ranuculus on hand.  My teacher grows black pussy willow which I am trying to root so I can grow it myself. 

The large leaf is of course the star, but the pussy willow and the ranuculus are fine supporting players.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Woven twigs

Another experiment.  I was working with some birch twigs - I always have a lot on hand - my neighbors in back have a row of river birches that shed their branches constantly.  I was going to do a french weave on the inside of the vase and instead hooked the twigs onto the rim and had the longer sections fall outside.

I filled the inside with carnations and like how their fluffy soft look contrast with the spiky twigs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Today I am messing around.  I saw an incredible arrangement on Facebook and am shamelessly lifting from the design.  I made a wall of red twig dogwood sticks around the perimeter of the gold vase and then put a garland of flowers on top - I love this idea.  I used green cymbidium orchids, and green spider mums on the top with some seeded eucalyptus and philodendrum, aspedistra and ruskus leaves.

Luckily I have a stash of dogwoods at the house and have now chopped them all as low as I can to get the sticks I need.  I may have to head across the street to my in-laws to get to more.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

CARE reception

Last week the people from CARE had a reception at the French Embassy.  They chose orange and yellow tablecloths and I used pink and coral flowers to make it all a bit spring like.  I used pink roses, green spider mums, pink and apricot carnations, pink and yellow alstromeria and yellow button mums with a touch of silver blue eucalyptus to tone it all done a bit.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ikebana freestyle

Last week in ikebana class we did freestyle arrangements with wired narcissus leaves.  It was surprisingly easy to thread a fine wire up thru the entire length of the leaf and then bend it into nice curvy shapes.  In this piece the flowers stay below the top curved leaves and are not the real focal points.  I wanted to echo the curve of the container and the curve of the orange tulip stems.  The last part was the curved and folded aspidistra leaves on the left.