Psssssst......Wanna hear a secret?

It'a a secret to some, unless you live downtown. I'm talking about some of my secret sources for containers for ikebana, and I am going to tell them to you now. The first one is Miss Pixie's at 1626 14th Street NW, here in Washington,DC. Miss Pixie's has a small, eclectic mix of items and things go quickly there. It'a a place to hit often to see what's new. I grabbed this ceramic vase there for only $12.

It did have some white paint on it, but with a little delicate scrubbing I was able to restore it just like new! Miss Pixie's website has a unique "window shopping" section so that you can get a preview of what is currently in the shop, hooray!

We'll continue down 14th street to my absolute favorite Ruff N' Reddy at 1908 14th Street NW. Open from 11AM to 6PM on Saturdays and Sundays ONLY, but well worth the wait. I have found an absolute treasure trove of items there. Be forewarned, it's chocked full of stuff and can be difficult to navigate due to narrow pathways thru the store. Here's the view from outside:

Here's the view inside, just so you see why it is much like a scavenger hunt. I must admit I would crawl through hell and back for a great piece of japanese pottery or antique bronze container.

Here's what you might find if you look long enough:

Glorious Blooms in the Urban Summer Garden


Since my partner and I moved into our current apartment six years ago we've been working hard on our urban backyard garden. It's great for growing flowers to use in ikebana, and in my mind that makes them the best kind. We've dug up lots of the backyard(with permission from our landlords) and created a space we love and cherish. Every year brings new things and a sense of excitement before, during and at the end of the growing seasons. I try to choose plants that I know will make great flowers for ikebana, but always seem to also get things that can be difficult to use. That's part of the challenge of ikebana, the mystery of what the outcome will be. If we knew exactly how it would turn out, some of the fun, challenge and discovery of creating would be lost.

The arrangement that you see here is made entirely with flowers from our garden . I wanted to used all blue flowers, since that has been our featured color this summer in early plantings. However I also used some violet colored flowers, and some chartreuse plant materials and I figured since they were all located together on the color wheel that they would be perfect together. I included lisianthus in both violet and white with a blue rim, blue balloon flowers, blue echinops, green spearmint and scented geranium leaves, blue angelonia and some stems of lavender. You might wonder what this arrangement has to do with ikebana, and there is a good answer. This would be considered a Moribana arrangement which literally means "piled up". If you would like to know more about ikebana , you can visit Ikebana International.

Blog Triage Begins

It's been a while since I posted, I got busy and I also ran out of steam. For a while I have been thinking about what I could do to get myself to post, and what I could write about. So to help me out a bit I decided to take the Blog Triage course with Alyson B. Stanfield and Cynthia Morris . With their knowledge and creative efforts and the support of other artists striving to improve their blogs, I can't fail.

Now on to my very first lesson , which is about who I want to read my blog. Who am I writing for ? I guess first and foremost I am writing for anyone who is interested in ikebana and flowers in general. I want people to share my journey, and maybe also to share theirs as well with me. But I also want artist of all kinds to come here also. Sogetsu Ikebana has a long history with arttist of all kinds: painters, ceramic artist, sculptors, glass artists, installation and environmetal artists and others as well.

I also want to make connections with other artists, not only ikebana but other types as well. It's a big world out there and there is so much to see and do. So feel free to leave a comment and share a little too!

This blog was started originally as a way for me to show my work, maybe get some feedback,and to chart my progression. I thought it would also be a really great way to encourage me to do more, and to some extent it has greatly helped.

It's not easy for me to write, as you may be able to tell from this post. That's going to be the one thing I really need to work on. I'm looking forward to see what I can do with this blog in the next month and beyond.
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