February 28, 2015

Valentines Weekend Ikebana + a Date in Kimono

Ping Wei created this as we watched. The black vertical stripe is not part of the arrangement.

My last blog post mentioned Ping Wei, the Ikebana and ceramic artist from Phoenix- well, I finally got to take a class from him on Feb. 15th. He teaches Sogetsu Ikebana near my home once a month. It was very mysterious and fun and since it was at the local Japanese garden, it became a kimono-wearing opportunity. I even have a kappogi apron for the classes. I wore a basic komon with a hanhaba obi- an everyday look appropriate for the class. The great thing is, Mr. Wei saw nothing wrong with me wearing kimono- seemed normal to him.
Brand new, comfortable zori!
He brought lots of flowering peach or plum branches that were just budding, pink delphinium, tiny yellow mums, and large pinky-purple mums. We were to create free-style arrangements in vases we brought. I learned that free-style does have some rules! The challenge was dealing with the large branches- after awhile, it looked like a tree had exploded in the classroom. I did really well; maybe it was beginners luck? I was the only student that didn't need their arrangement corrected during the critique. I think I will try another class on March 15th. It is a challenging art form.

Mr. Wei critiquing our arrangements
My arrangement! 
After the class, I walked out into the garden to appreciate the changes in the season. I saw some spring flowers blooming and the recent rain was causing everything to wake up from winter a bit early it seemed.

After class, I went home, my brain full of new information. I was starving, so my husband suggested we go out- a post-Valentine's Day late lunch. (We missed going on Saturday). 
I was still in kimono, so I decided to keep it on. We went for pizza and wine at a local shopping area- one that happens to have really beautiful architecture. We sat on the patio, sipping wine. Afterwards, we got some gelato. My husband took some photos of me afterwards as the sun was starting to set. 

Of course by this time, I had been wearing a kimono for about 6 hours, so my obijime looks a little messy, but who cares? I wore this new rust red hitoe komon- very comfortable. It's probably wool or a wool-blend. It was overcast but actually in the low 70's. The obi is a wonderful cream and gold hanhaba obi. I added the navy polka-dot obijime at the last minute to dress up the obi. 

Next kimono-wearing event will be last weekend's Phoenix Matsuri! I'm still going through all of  the photos, so look for a post very soon.