Thursday, December 15, 2011

busy discovering

Freer Museum: Japanese black lacquer tea box with inset mother of pearl and brass wires

This past week has been busy discovering new people and places and enjoying the many projects I have under way. My partner Keith Stanley has made great efforts to stick to his plan to keep making a new Ikebana arrangement each day and photographing and posting these for the world to see. That is a huge commitment of effort and time and daring to promise one's self that you will do this for 365 days consecutively with no holidays! I want to salute him for his efforts and success with this creative Ikebana blogging project as well as completing his teacher training certificate to be certified a full Sogetsu Ikebana teacher . If you haven't seen it, you ought to take a few minutes to review some of the 150 arrangements that have been done since he began. 

As a result of his work and displays on the Internet he has made friends around the world with similar interests in Ikebana flower arrangements. One in particular who also just completed his training to be a Sogetsu Ikebana teacher is Lennart Persson who also blogs about his work in Norway The Nordic Lotus Ikebana Blog. The fun part of this friendship for me came this week when Lennart and his husband Svein arrived in Washington DC and contacted Keith to say they would like to meet us. We spent a couple days visiting and touring together while they also visited a 19 year old niece who is here studying journalism for a year in Northern Virginia. We shared a visit to the Sackler and Freer Asian Art Museums with a tour through the lovely Peacock room decorated by Whistler and currently installed with a huge collection of Asian ceramics. Then last night we took them on a special nighttime tour of some of the big monuments and the Christmas tree at the Capitol. They were great fun to visit with and we found we had lots in common, not just ikebana flower arrangements.
Keith, Lennart and Svein at the Moon gate garden between Sacker and Freer art museums 

Keith passing by one of the displays of Japanese ceramics 

Chinese brush painting of plum blossoms and pine

Japanese 12th century temple guardian figure 
Demon suppressed by the guardians 
another demon underfoot all wooden sculpture with polychrome decorations 
Svein and Lennart at the MLK memorial camera ready 

Svein and Lennart at the MLK memorial

The new MLK memorial is very dramatic at night 
four of us at dinner taken by the waitress at Svein's request! 

Svein's photo of us at Jefferson Memorial 
We finished up our evening tour at the huge and colorful Christmas tree on the lawn of the US Capitol grounds. I didn't get photos of it but it is spectacular and Keith mentioned how he had missed seeing it for a number of years. There it was getting cold and we were hungry so we drove over to an old favorite spot of ours to eat dinners late. The neighborhood bar and restaurant Mr. Henry's was the perfect way to finish up our tour. Both Lennart and Svein are ministers in the Norwegian Anglican Church and they were very excited and delighted to find the offices windows of Caldwell Real estate Brokerage full of delightful Christmas decorations. Apparently this is much more elaborate decorating than anything they have in Norway during this holiday season. Svein took lots of photos and promised to share them with us when he gets a chance to download his cool Olympus camera, a digital that was modeled to look much like a vintage camera.
In between visits with the Nordic fellows I have been working on bookbinding, crazy quilt patch working and my daily sketches.
8.5 x 5.5 inches my new sketchbook covered with paper stained to look like old leather.

Inside the new sketchbook is the Williamsburg marble paper we bought  in late October

New sketch book has Tortoise shell colored glass beads

Virginia's red cedar branch I did back in 1999 is added in now

foxglove or digitalis embroidery adding in to the new block

New crazy quilt block before the line embroidery is added 
Several new blocks laid out together almost ready to attach and embellish 

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