Saturday, August 20, 2011


The daylily is native to Japan . It was cultivated as early as the twelfth century in China, and appeared in paintings, on fabrics and porcelain as decorative embellishments for the Asian culture. 

 It is often called the " plant of forgetfulness ", because it was believed to cure sorrow by inducing memory loss.  In Oriental Medicine , it was also used for relieving pain and cleaning the kidneys....and  the dried blossoms of the daylily are often used in cooking. Try  the  unopened buds in your next salads....Delicious !!!

" The soul is supposed to take the form of a flower, such as the lily " .. at least that's what folklore says. If I were to wish to be any flower, it would be the lily, whose beauty is thought to be sacred. There are  so many positive and beautiful omens that have guided this lovely flower through the centuries... No wonder it has become a protective and  cherished icon.

These old fashioned orange or tawny common daylilies, grow 5 feet high, with trumpet shaped flowers, 3 to 4 inches, rising above clumped foliage. The strap like leaves grow 2 feet long and tend to gracefully arch. They normally bloom in June and July, however this year they are a common midsummer delight .

I'm enjoying the Autumn  show of  lilies and cultivate various varieties  in both Japan and Canada. The pictures above are from my country home in Canada.  

I once read that the genus name ( Hemerocallis) comes from two greek words , hemera, meaning "day" and kallos  meaning " beautiful ". The name amptly describes these lovely blooms that last for only a single day. 

However when one is blessed with fields of daylilies , it's a delightful  month long  journey of tripping the light fantastic, amongst the daylilies with the fairies.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Who doesn't love, " BAUBLES, BANGLES and BEADS" ...  It's simply the creative  " THING " to do in the Asian world.  I started dabbling in jewelry arts in Kitakyushu, Japan in 2009, now I'm hooked on this elegant and innovative art.

The key to tying this type of creation together is to slow down and answer a few basic questions ... "Which bead will I choose to go with the next bead "? .... " How many twists and how high should they be to look symmetrical "? .... " Where, oh where, should they be artistically place"? .... (decisions, decisions).  What the heck...I decided to " LET GO "  and cast my  beads and ingenuity  to the wind.

Soon my brain was starting to ache ....  Luckily, the healing powers of the amethyst  seemed to be  a tonic for my pounding headache. Encouraged by my sensei(teacher) to draw a blueprint , I started to become focussed on the gems, shapes, colors, sizes and logic of  design principles. What a gift ....  One thing at a time grasshopper !!!

Certainly, creating jewelry is no fly by night craft. It takes patience and a lot of beaded sweat  to create these ornamental works of art.  After creating a few necklaces, brooches, rings and bracelets, my new found respect for wearable art had become  paramount.

(back of necklace)

This was my third lesson and quite frankly, I was  nervous about the task that my Japanese Sensei had laid before me in the form of  beads, wire and a homemade coiling board. Yes, the Japanese still make their own unique craft tools. There's no Michaels in Japan ( Ha Ha)  Their ingenuity is AMAZING,  isn't it !!!!

                                          ( Thing-A-Me-Bob)

 I was up for the challenge ...   but goodness how clumsy can one person be, while coiling wire around a "thing-a-me-bob" .... practise, practise , practise. It took  me about a week to warm up to the tool and acquire the precision needed to  create and keep all the  circles perfectly round for this project. The  only other option was to use a pencil to coil the wire around...that was fun( Ha Ha )

                                           ( Sensei /right)
(Television Host left )

WELL..The  lessons turned out to be successfully, enjoyable, THANKS to my Japanese  Sensei
 ( right) .   I was over the moon,when the local television station host ( above left) came to showcase my creations ... however it did help that I was the only foreigner taking the classes... Tah Dah ... My moment of Japanese Stardom.

No matter how daunting a task may be ... creating with baubles, bangles and beads will definately challenge the creative juices and  mind blast  you through the trials and tribulations of being  a shy crafter.

 May I suggest, that you  take on the ULTIMATE  challenge  and  wear your  artistry with pride.  There is  great satisfaction in knowing that you DID IT !!!!