We had an unusually cold and snow February, but I only had to cancel classes for one week.
I did another special project for OpenRoad Mercedes Benz in Surrey. This time they only wanted white flowers in black, white or silver containers, with the emphasis on height and formality. Another challenge….The caterer was impressed with my work and asked if I would consider providing some of her clients with my style of floral arrangements. Certainly! Just waiting to hear back about a couple of weddings and a reception at a winery later this year.
I also held a workshop at a seniors’ facility in West Vancouver. We made Valentine’s arrangements using pussy willows, and red and white flowers. The ladies enjoyed it so much, they asked me to return in April. Easter ikebana, coming up!
The Vancouver Ikebana Association (which I am president of) held its AGM on January 12th. We celebrated New Year’s with a lovely luncheon consisting of traditional Japanese New Year’s foods, and Ikebana made with traditional elements, such as pine, bamboo and plum. Many of the dishes were made by the members, and some were bought. Most of the dishes had an in depth traditional meaning to its ingredients, such as the use of lotus root, which has holes throughout its length, which symbolizes looking into the future, and burdock root, which is a very long root which symbolizes long life.
Lessons resumed after our Christmas break, and three new ladies joined our Beginners’ group. Our Intermediate ladies are happily creating more intricate ikebana, as well as the Advanced group. I am kept challenged to keep up with new ideas for everyone to try out.
A lady from the Burnaby Public Library asked me if I was interested in doing an ikebana demonstration at one of their branches again. I suggested having an Christmas Ikebana Workshop instead. We had to limit the number of participants due to the size of the room, so fifteen people registered to have a “free” class. They were delighted with their creations which included red dogwood branches, three red carnations, variegated holly, and some pine, and a pine cone. My name was even mentioned as the Sensei who taught the class, on the front page of the local newspaper along with a photo of two of the participants and their creations.
For our final class of the year, I gave each of my continuing and advanced students a small container to make their arrangements in, and keep. The former class used red dogwood, baby’s breath, pine and Gloriosa Lilys. The advanced used dendrobian orchids, the baby’s breath and skimmia with the branches. We ended the classes with tea and goodies. Everyone brought something, and there was more than enough! ‘Tis the season!
I was able to get away for four days in October to attend the Sangetsu Seminar for instructors in Tucson Arizona. It was a bit tricky since I had three classes to teach some weeks, but everything fit in nicely. It was quite a reunion of Sangetsu teachers since people gathered from all over the US, as well as two of us from Canada. I even led a class on “Korinka” using protea, palm fronds and eucalyptus bark. It is really interesting how each arrangement turned out so differently from one another, although we all used the same type of material.
Time to return to classes again. We started our advanced Ikebana class at the home of one of our long-time students who has generously offered his dahlias and other plant material for us to choose from, and to create our arrangements. Thanks again, Jack!’
Two students and I displayed our fall ikebana at VanDusen using the Point Grey Chrysanthemum Association members beautiful blooms
Another thank you to my son’s good friend’s parents who let us use their waterfront home on Galiano Island for the weekend, for family time. We took turns making meals and had a very nice time together. We did some hiking with our three dogs, and enjoyed the scenery of the rocky shore.
The Rhododendron Festival at Burnaby’s Deer Lake had Cecily of Ikenobo and me making ikebana arrangements throughout the day, and had them on display. We were able to incorporate rhododendrons into some of our arrangements, to go with the festival. We also promoted our upcoming Spring Show in Burnaby, at the Alan Emmott Centre, and tried to attract new students to take our classes.
Our Spring Show was a huge success, using haiku as inspiration for our displays, and also for our demonstrations. Additionally, this was the first time that we offered workshops for people to create and take home their own ikebana. Everyone left with a big smile on their faces
as they showed off their arrangements!
Sakura Days, at the Cherry Blossom Festival at VanDusen Gardens…the Vancouver Ikebana Association participated with a display in the Discovery Room. Most arrangements included branches of cherry blossoms to go with the occasion. Five arrangements were on display by members of our school, Sangetsu. Three other schools participated, displaying 16 arrangements in all.
Classes continued, on three different levels.
Another busy month with flowers. Having stepped into the position of President of the Vancouver Ikebana Association, in January (for the third time), I have been busy helping get the VIA newsletter together, as well as editing a semi-annual newsletter for Sangetsu North America.
We have gotten a committee together to plan our upcoming Spring Show in May, with haiku and poems as inspiration for our arrangements. This is a new undertaking, and over one hundred haiku and poems have been collected, which range from old masters of the seventeenth century, to some from the Vancouver Haiku Group, as well as our association’s international haiku champion, Inga Uhlmann.
Classes continue, although the afternoon ladies have taken a two week break to be with their children who are on Spring Break. Here is a picture of an arrangement using local flowering current, and iris.
Happy New Year!
I was invited to attend a New Year’s celebration at the Japanese Consul General’s home. Mrs Okai hosted the luncheon, which started off with the ceremonial breaking open of a sake barrel. Delicious traditional New Year’s food and specialty sushi was plentiful. On the front porch of the mansion in Shaughnessy, two huge matching New Year’s Ikebana were displayed.
October saw the start of a group of brand new students. Now we have three classes a week! Well not every week, since my continuing students get together every other week…We have been making fall arrangements with flowers and leaves in the yellow/orange/red range. We even made Hallowe’en arrangements with home grown Chinese lantern and wisteria branches. You can check out more pictures of our arrangements and gardens by following me on Instagram @joanfairs