My Ikebana: Unbalancing Act

Added on by the ikebana shop.

I have this vase that is round and hefty, with 2 symmetrical openings like teddy bear ears at the top. The challenge for this arrangement was to upset the balance provided by the container and disrupt the view into something more alive and moving!

Curled aspidestra leaves complement the roundness of the container while thin, narrow pussywillow branches provide the contrast and sense of motion.

I hope you like it. —Miyako

Store Holiday Announcement

Added on by the ikebana shop.

We are shutting down for a while and going on vacation!

The brick-and-mortar store will be closed from Jun 23rd (Sun) to Jul 4th (Thu). We will re-open on Jul 5th (Fri).

The online shop will remain “open”, which means we will be able to accept your orders. However, we will respond with shipping cost estimates and final quotations only after July 4th.

Thank you very much for your understanding and patience while we go and recharge ourselves!

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My Ikebana: Improvising With Paper

Added on by the ikebana shop.

When I was about to start on this ikebana arrangement, I was shocked to find that the flowers I had prepared were already wilting! No good for an arrangement! So, I was on the spot and needed to improvise.

Luckily, the Sogetsu School allows for the use of unconventional materials. There were some bright red paper lying around the studio…and they were transformed to replace the flowers!

 

Here is the whole arrangement.

 

I hope you like it. —Miyako

Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition in Lunenburg NS

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition was held on June 1-2, 2019 at the Lunenburg Library in the historic town of Lunenburg, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Founded in 1773, the town itself is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its narrow streets and well-preserved architecture. It is also the birthplace of the famed Bluenose, a racing schooner built in 1921, which lives on in the Canadian ten-cent coin. Lunenburg has a very vibrant arts community and ikebana fit right in. The library is housed in the Lunenburg Academy, an imposing 3-storey Victorian building, built in 1893-95.

The Lunenburg Academy.

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This exhibition’s theme is “connecting”. Through ikebana, we connect people, nature and cultures. It is also an expression of our wish to deepen further our bond with the South Shore. We thank the South Shore Public Libraries and the staff of the Lunenburg Library in particular for your very warm welcome and your patience as we prepared for this event.

This exhibition is also part of the on-going celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations.

Welcome arrangement by Miyako.

Group Arrangement by Val S, Susan R and Miyako
Three arrangements all using a red furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) as a unifying theme.


Arrangements by Lely A
Lely created 4 arrangements in the basic styles and peppered them all around the library. Her work exuded a lot of tranquility and somehow brought a feeling of kindness to the library. Many people commented how they loved seeing the ikebana tucked in the little corners of the library.

The small arrangement placed right on an old water fountain was a big hit! Nobody imagined that could be a place for a floral arrangement.


Arrangement by Val S
Val paired her arrangement with a woodblock print by artist and master printmaker, Robin Wall. The artwork, titled Light/Boat Patterns (1989), depicted boats at North Head Harbour in Grand Manan, NB. Val introduced nautical elements in her work with mesh wire, branches and grass, intricately put together into a shape that brings to mind the prow of a boat, or perhaps fishing nets being dried on the wharf.


Arrangements by Susan R
Susan, who is based in Mahone Bay, was our point person for this project and did a lot of the legwork!

Wall arrangement. Susan liked the "boxiness" of the euonymous branches. She then added a smooth willow branch for texture contrast and a bit of quince for colour contrast. One visitor exclaimed: "There's so much je-ne-sais-quoi in this work!"

An arrangement with driftwood and obi spilling down to the bottom…did you notice the blue-painted branches in the back that provided beautiful colour contrast?

…and a simple coffee table arrangement!


Arrangements by Miyako
The centrepiece for this exhibit is this large work that showed a clash of curly and smooth branches…but ultimately making a connection in the middle.

And some smaller arrangements: table top and door hanging.

Miyako’s demonstration was very well-attended. We loved the audience enthusiasm and interest! There were audible gasps when Miyako took out some weeds with big leaves from the bucket and started using them in an arrangement. Yes, weeds can be ikebana material too!

Photo credit: Daphna L. Thank you!


And here’s the gang that made this exhibition possible. Thank you very much Val, Susan, Lely and Martin (who worked behind-the-scenes!).

My Ikebana: Asian Heritage Month Demonstration

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Last Saturday afternoon (May 25, 2019) was the Asian Heritage Month closing celebration at the Halifax Central Library. There were many wonderful cultural performances from India, China, Philippines, Japan etc. We were honoured to participate and present an ikebana demonstration.

Our many thanks to our kuroko , Karen B for helping us in the shadows, on- and off-stage…and to friend, Christina K for taking the great photos!

Photo credit: Kent Martin


Here’s a fun photo with the St. Mary’s University Wadaiko (Japanese drums) group. They gave a very exciting performance too!

Press Release: Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition

Added on by the ikebana shop.

For Immediate Release - May 18th, 2019

Ikebana on the South Shore of Nova Scotia!

Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition will be held at the Lunenburg Library on the weekend of June 1-2, 2019.

Ikebana is the art of Japanese floral arrangement. This exhibition’s theme is “connecting”. Through ikebana, we connect people, nature and cultures.

This event is part of the 90th anniversary celebration of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations.

The exhibition will be presented by Miyako Ballesteros (Sogetsu School of Ikebana) and her students. Please come and enjoy the ikebana.

Admission is free.

Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition

Jun 1st (Sat) 10 - 5 p.m. *
Jun 2nd (Sun) 12 - 4 p.m.
*Short live demonstration on Saturday, 2:00 p.m.

At the Lunenburg Library (Lunenburg Academy 1F, 97 Kaubach St., Lunenburg NS)

We hope to see you there.

Surprise! - An Ikebana Exhibition

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Surprise! - An Ikebana Exhibition was held last May 10-12, 2019 at the Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax. We chose the theme “surprise” with the bold mission to surprise people with what they can do with oft taken for granted plants that are easily found in backyards and roadsides! So in this exhibit, you’d have seen familiar things, —pine and spruce branches, magnolia, quince, bridal wreath and lots of tree bark—alongside blooms from the florist! Thank you to all who visited us! We hope you enjoyed the arrangements as much as we did creating them!


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We are very grateful to the Keshen Goodman Library who let us use their beautiful space. The staff were all very welcoming and helpful! Special mention to Dacia M. for her patience with us. Preparations and take-down could not have gone any smoother!

This exhibition is part of the on-going celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations. It also coincided with the Asian Heritage Month festivities in Halifax.


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To the people who made this possible: Val S, Susan R, Nina D, Media C, Jean H, Robert L, Brenda D, Heather N, M. S., Linda K and Cody O. A very BIG thank-you! Your hard-work and dedication to ikebana are very much appreciated. We hope to do another exhibition next year!

(Photo credit: Kent Martin)


Arrangement by Jean H
We are welcomed to the exhibit by this floor position arrangement by Jean H. Hydrangea, magnolia and delphinium.

 

Arrangement by Val S
How Val deftly peeled away the bark from a fallen birch tree is beyond us! Pink lines and pink blooms accent the white bark perfectly.


Arrangement by Susan R
A lovely vase (origin unknown but acquired at the local Xmas market in Mahone Bay!) paired with driftwood from Nova Scotia’s shores. Something very wabi-sabi about this!


Arrangements by Nina D
Nina uses spirea branches called bridal wreath. The shrub with droopy branches grow all over Nova Scotia and blooms with little white flowers…but for these arrangements, Nina uses them not for the flowers but to show lines.


Arrangements by Media C
Exotic-looking vases! Gentle curves of delicate grass contrasted with a chunk of rough, fallen wood!


Arrangement by Robert L
Robert says he never heard of Bells of Ireland till he started ikebana lessons…and now he just absolutely loves them!


Arrangement by Brenda D
Brenda tells us that weeks before the exhibit, she already mentally placed “reserved” tags on select branches of the spruce tree in her backyard. ..and behold, a nageire with very strong lines. The addition of a piece of bark at the bottom anchors the forceful upward surge of those branches.


Arrangement by Heather N
Quince branches and lilies. This arrangement was evolving as the lilies started to bloom during the 3-day exhibit!


Arrangement by M.S.
May is the month when irises bloom in Japan as well so this arrangement connects us to the seasons in Japan as well! Irises normally grow straight up but M.S. bends these irises to her will!

(Photo credit: Robert L)

(Photo credit: Robert L)


Arrangement by Linda K
This arrangement is meant to be seen all around.


Arrangement by Cody O
In ikebana, the clearness of the water is an important element. Cody O gives us more to appreciate by adding some blooms in the water!


Arrangements by Miyako
A convolution of corkscrew willow branches, crisscrossing in brightly painted red and natural colours. (Thank you, Nina D, for bringing these branches, freshly pruned, from the Annapolis Valley!)

(Photo credit: Kent Martin)


There is a pine tree in our backyard that fell after a strong storm some years ago. Recently, its old bark started coming off…and this is showcased in this arrangement. Miyako inserted some pine needles to remind us that the bark was from a pine tree. With the aged bark, Miyako added some young, budding magnolia branches! The vase is by local pottery artist, Sally Ravindra (Purcell’s Cove Pottery).


These uncannily curving branches were found on the roadside. Arranged on a tall vertical vase with a few tufts of moss added to give some sense of motion…like a pinwheel!


(Photo credit: Kent Martin)

Last but certainly not least…thank you, Kent Martin, for visiting the exhibition and allowing us to use your photos. Kent Martin is a professional photographer/film producer who is currently working on The Halifax Project—a documentary of our beloved city, Halifax NS!