This small succulent pair has grown well all winter long on my balcony. I brought it inside for a few days on our window seat. This is one of the first ceramics I made at my in-laws’ crafts studio, Kuge Crafts. I’m working with them now to create a new website for their studio.
Here is the new year’s decoration (shimekazari) I created at Shiho studio for our front door. Although there’s a common look to commercial ones, including these at Muji, there’s a lot of variety in terms of shape and materials.
Below is Kuge sensei’s lovely arrangement at the entrance to her studio. The tiny black ball with three colorful petals is a traditional toy played with a badminton-like shuttlecock. Longtime Shiho studio student Hagiwara-san led the workshop and provided these amazing materials, including red berries, pine, paper, and seed pods.
This lovely lilac flower with an odd name, Scabiosa blue balloon, is one I don’t remember seeing before. It’s native to southeast England, and developed into a garden cultivar. I like to mix up nostalgic plants like daffodils with ones I’m not familiar with.
It was nice to re-pot my favorite hand-made ceramics with fresh flowers. I love daffodils for being so cheerful, with a high contrast between fresh green leaves and yellow buds.
手作りの植木鉢に入れたミニ・サンフラワーの写真を撮りました。友達の @cpalmieriの高度なカメラを借りて、最後のブログはLumix GF2を使いました。東京グリーン・スペースのプロジェクトのおかげで、写真への興味が深まりました。
I took some night and day shots of this mini sunflower inside a hand-made flowerpot in order to try out a more advanced camera. Plenty of close-ups had poor focus, light balance, and other problems of my making. Frankly the sophisticated camera’s Japanese language menu was overwhelming, but I like how these two images turned out.
Two weeks ago my friend @cpalmieri lent me his Panasonic Lumix GF-2, one of the smallest DSLR cameras. Usually I use a Canon S90, and when I’ve forgotten it, sometimes my iPhone. The S90 has great low light sensitivity, it’s small, and I am not too concerned about dinging it.
But this project is making me more and more interested in photography, so perhaps a DSLR is in the future. It was fun to pose a plant and to experiment with different types of lighting; I think the most successful was bouncing the LED desk light off the white wall.
A few friends asked if I grew the sunflower. No, I purchased it for 150 yen (2$ US) from a big box garden store. It last one week, and now it’s going to seed.
Construction sites in Japan, unlike in the United States, are almost always concealed behind shiny white walls. Recently, I have noticed more and more of these temporary walls being decorated with plants.
Above, three simple flower pots seem like a small an and informal gesture. Below, ivy is built into the wall itself. Somehow, given the humbleness of the plant material and scale, the less designed plants seem more generous and heart-felt. What do you think?
The first photo is from a development called Nakano Twin Mark Towers. A short while after taking the photo, I noticed a hand-made sign on the back alley complaining about its massive scale: a residential tower that will be 29 stories high, at least twice as high as any neighboring building on the south side of the station. I am surprised by its height, and also wonder whether the developers will succeed in finding such a luxurious clientele in this rather humble residential area. Below is a developer’s image from the website.