Filtering by Category: just for fun

Just For Fun: Ikebana'GGuy

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Three years ago, we had some fun building a miniature soba shop. Remember?  This year, we made a miniature of our shop...and then some!

Before anything else, a little background.  Let us introduce Petit'GGuy (pronounce "poochi-guy").  Gunpla fans will be familiar with him.  He has a mascot-like existence in the Gundam franchise. He stands 36 feet tall and is very cute. He is also adept in the martial arts. ;-)



We made our version and called him "Ikebana'GGuy". (After all, "Gunpla is freedom!" right?)  He has our logo as his helmet.  The big Q on his chest stands for "Quinpool"--our street!  Here he is standing in front of our shop.  This is in 1/144 scale.

Let's compare the miniature shop with the real one!

And, to spice it up a bit, we installed LED lights!

Next time you visit the shop, say hello to Ikebana'GGuy...and turn his lights on!

Moribana Containers From The Past

Added on by the ikebana shop.

It is not unusual for us to receive our supply of flower containers wrapped in newspaper.  Well, recently 2 suiban arrived bundled in very old, yellowing newspaper...from Sep 30, 1972!  Apparently, these containers had been forgotten in some storeroom somewhere and were only unearthed recently.  Don't ask us how we found's a trade secret! 

Check the stock prices! Canon Inc on Sept 30, 1972 was worth 206 yen.  As of June 15, 2018, it's now worth 3752 yen!

Old newspapers are like time capsules.  See what's all the rage back then...

The latest automobile from Nissan, the Laurel. 
The latest microwave oven from National (Panasonic).
The latest 4-channel stereo from Toshiba...featuring The Beatles!

Oh, we almost forgot to show you... This is the suiban, half-moon in bright orange.  If it is still available, this link will bring you to our online shop.

Hydrangea And Iris

Added on by the ikebana shop.

June is the time of the year when the hydrangea (ajisai) and irises (shobu) bloom in Japan.  Hydrangea can be found most everywhere!

Location: Houkokuji (報国寺)in Kamakura.

Growing wild on the roadside...

In temples and gardens...

Irises are less easier found.  We went to a park in Saitama dedicated to irises.  It is called the Someya Hana Shobu En (染谷花しょぶ園) and it opens only in June every year, when the irises are blooming.

We feel very lucky indeed to catch the blooms this year!  After our walk around the garden, we treated ourselves to some wagashi sweets, appropriately iris-themed!

Creating Ripples With A Bird Mobile

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Have  you seen our bird mobile?

They are hand-made using cardboard stock and recycled fabric.

The birds are just for decoration but they do play an important role in the shop.  It's all about energy flows.  From the entrance to the back wall of our tiny shop is a straight line of walking space.  We needed something to create ripples of energy at the centre of the store without entirely blocking its path.  Our little birds are like rocks on a steady-flowing stream.  They disrupt the current and create a few magic waves that make everything around them more interesting!

On your next visit to our shop, please look up. :-)  


All photos by the ikebana shop.  All rights reserved.

Our Little Privacy Screen

Added on by the ikebana shop.

The byoubu is the Japanese folding screen adorned with beautiful paintings.  They are used ostensibly to separate spaces and create some privacy...but are also a way of displaying lovely art.

Image from Flickr. Please click on the photo to go to the original source.

Image from Flickr. Please click on the photo to go to the original source.

We took inspiration from the Japanese byoubu and made our own privacy screen for the shop's credit/debit machine keypad.  We didn't paint this.  Just recycled some fabric from kimono scraps.  

We used to make a conscious effort to look away as customers key in their PINs.  Now, we don't have to!  :-)

What we see.

The view from the side.

We hope the little space created to protect your PIN is comfy and pleasant!  


All photos by the ikebana shop except for the Flickr image.  All rights reserved.

Hariko No Tora, The Papier-Mâché Tiger

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

from The Tyger by William Blake, 1794.

Hariko no tora, the papier-mâché tiger, is a traditional Japanese craft.

In Japan, tigers are known for their bravery and also for having close-knit families. 

The papier-mâché tiger represents courage and family love.

The tigers are also there to help children grow strong and healthy.

Perhaps the more famous and interesting type of hariko no tora is the one with the bobbing head.  We have a big one in the shop to welcome you!

RAWR!  Don't be scared.  It doesn't bite.  :-)

We're not particularly big fans of GIFs but in this case, this GIF is probably appropriate to show you the bobbing head. :-)

Please visit the shop and pet our tigers!

If you are interested to learn about how the tigers are made, please visit this site.  It is in Japanese only but there are a lot of photos.  The paper they use is washi, Japanese paper.


All photos by the ikebana shop.  All rights reserved.

Origami Crane Tree

Added on by the ikebana shop.

Have you seen our shop window recently?

We made a Christmas tree out of origami cranes!

There are about 50 origami cranes per that makes about 250 cranes! (Disclaimer: We did not make an accurate count!)

We also had fun with the colours.  Do you like the rainbow gradations?  :-)

It's lovingly hand-made, of course!

...and look who is peeking underneath the tree.  :-)

Please drop by the shop and see the real thing.  It will be on display till the end of December.  See you soon!


All photos by the ikebana shop.  All rights reserved.

Lilies...And More!

Added on by the ikebana shop.

On the recommendation of ikebana student, Patti V., we visited Harbour Breezes on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.  It's a place that sells lilies and irises. 


The lilies were in full bloom!  We did not intend to buy any plants this time but the owners were very kind and told us to feel free to roam around and take pictures.  So we did!


They practically filled one side of a hill with lilies and other flowers!


The colours were, of course, incredible....


....and there was a good view of Jeddore Harbour too! 


Also, close your eyes and simply enjoy the myriad of scents! 


Don't forget the Japanese irises! 


Reminded us of Ogata Korin's Kakitsubata  folding screens.  They're depicted in the 5000-yen note too!


Other blooms could be seen too!   






We had a delightful time! ...and now we know where to buy beautiful flowers the next time we get into our gardening mood! :-)


If you want to find out where we had our meals and snacks, click here!

All photos by the ikebana shop.  All rights reserved. 

Making Our Own Sakura

Added on by the ikebana shop.

The temperatures in Halifax are still mostly below zero but we thought we'd hurry spring up a bit by making our own cherry blossom branch!

It's not a real cherry tree branch.  Probably maple. 

We made the flowers using Japanese watermark tissue.  It's very light, just like sakura petals.  Looks delicate but actually the tissue is quite strong.

Each petal was hand-cut.  The flowers were formed by rolling and twisting the petals together.

Then, the blooms were glued onto the branch!

It's hanging on our shop window.  Please come and see.  Hope you like it!

We have a selection of Japanese watermark tissues available at the shop.  Perhaps for your next project? :-)

(Photos by the ikebana shop.  All rights reserved.)