Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jet Lagged Ramblin's

It seems so bizarre to tell you that this morning I was in Tokyo eating breakfast with my fam and now I am in Seattle eating a turkey sandwich and drinking a massive coffee but it is really still the same day?....!! jet lag, what a bitch right? So now begins phase two of the deezarock's world tour of '02; Pilchuckin'. But before we get to that I thought I might just spew out a few Japan thoughts while they are fresh (and before my computer's life carks it, here goes;

These are the things I learnt in Japan:
- Japan has 5 kinds of recycling but for someone who values recycling so highly, you will come home from the 7-11 with a million plastic packagings for that one piece of candy you bought, go figure.
- For a nation who is known for their politeness, snakes alive are they brutal in the subway. The amount of times I got cut off, stepped on and generally shoved out of the way, but hey I guess they gots to be at work I guess, a million trains to catch I suppose
- eating your lunches from a convienience store is awesome.
- green tea flavoured kit kats are also awesome
- you can still smoke inside but not on the street, only in certain spots
-  japanese transportation is amazingly efficient
- everyone has buns of steel from the masses of stairs they climb everyday in getting to the subway
- japanese telly is hilarious and informative at the same time
- weiner dogs are the dog of choice in Tokyo
- dressing your dog up and pushing it in a pram is also the way to go
- a bare minimum of 3 people is employed to do 1 persons job, for an outside job, there is always someone wearing a hard hat
- meat on a stick is the best
- beauty can be found in the everyday
- izakeya's don't open until 5...
- avoid catching a train at 8:30am...
- everyone rides a bike
- 100 yen shops are the tits
- japan on the whole is mild mannered and quiet I feel like it has made me quiet and I look forward to laughing loudly again
- sleeping on the train is big
thats all i got for now, my brain is starting to turn to mush. I'll try and get my Ikebana findin's out while they are fresh too, but thats for laters

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Roamin' my hood

Tokyo you really gave me a swift kick in the ovaries (both literally and figuratively unfortunately..). She's a tough city Tokyo, kind of makes me think she can chew people up and spit them out pretty quick smart. I have heard a couple of people use the phrase "Tokyo tired"(Check out this lovely blog. I'm pretty sure I heard this lady say it first) It's not that you are tired of Tokyo but I totally get it. Maybe thats why every second person you see is trying to catch a sneaky snooze? Everywhere! on the train, job site, car, even standing up! I often wonder how many people actually miss their stops on the train? Even I was doing it the other day! I had like 5 stops til Gotanda and I was just like ohhhh close those lil shrimp eyes and catch a breather, heaven!

Tokyo is the city people come to get lost in. Nobody gives a fuck what you look like, what you like to wear (many I have seen some crazy westerners in some fucking craaaazy get ups!! I'm pretty sure I saw a chick donning a black sequin top hat yesterday, a foreigner!!) or what you are doing really. Here you can just fade on right in to the big smoke and lose yourself. I think it could get lonely but at the same time I get that it is an escape from whatever it is that you are running from. It is just so consuming. There is always noise, there is always a million things going on and lets not forget that trying to find street signs is almost non existent. It is tiring. Tokyo tired; I get it.

So to recharge we spent the day around home.

It was fantastic.

Had a snooze in, cooked a nice breakfast, did some washing, played some Spongebob (ahem..) then I decided to hit the streets. Just a nice, leisurely stroll round our hood all on my lonesome. Again...

It was fantastic!

So beautiful, this is the Japan I came for. I just can't get enough of the suburbs here. They are gorgeous. There is so much beauty in the everyday. In a sea of grey there are pops of greens and blues with splashes of orange. People seem to take so much pride in the little space that they have. Maybe thats the key? Instead of wanting more, make the absolute best of what you have already.

Now get ready, I have like a million snaps I want to share with you....

And one of the best things was this tiny second hand shop I found. Inside I found the perfect present for my husband who is working away tirelessly at home; a Japanese edition of Abbey Road on vinyl. Hope you like it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

So very very tired...

I am so raggedly tired, this is how I'm sure I look.
We have just been gunning it, trying to cram in as much as possible. Ikebana classes, sight seein', big crazy design festival, about a million flights of stairs, 20 bajillion trains and one matcha flavoured kitkat (that was probably my highlight for today).

So in lieu of sleep deprived (Tokyo is just giving me the crazies dreams) I just wanna share some photos with you instead, be prepared for ramblings when I feel like it...

I would like a Japanese garden on my little balcony when I get home.

Big fan of the radish at the moment, thinking I might like to make one in glass, but then again who's gonna want to buy a glass radish?..

This ones for your Shellsy! Is this not the coolest little lamp you have ever seen?

I wish I could take one of these guys home with me.

Maybe this is why we get lost so often.....

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flower arranging like a boss

So I get this email from my dear friend, goes a little something like, love the blog, looks like you are having an amazing time, yadda yadda yadda, aren't you supposed to be doing some work over there?...

You got me.
You are dead right lil lisa. I am a man with a plan. I came here for one thing. One thing only! And it's not swan boats or cat buses and it's not delectable peach treats no matter how delicious they may be, it's for......

I came to research and learn from the ancient art of Japanese floristry; Ikebana. I want to then translate these findings to glass and design a range of vessels for Ikebana but catered to Australian natives. So now that the Tokyo information overload has kind of subsided I can get down to work. 

Had my very first class at Sogetsu a massive Ikebana headquarters. The first class was the real deal and it was in Japanese....we were lucky enough to have a lovely translator, phew! Like most things I do, I guess I just like to dive in at the deep end and this was no different. The building itself was very intimidating, not much signage some crazy big sculptures in the foyer so after standing around awkwardly we just had to take a punt and hop in the elevator. Eventually we did find our class and maybe I got the times wrong but they were in full swing by the time we got there.

First you get to chose your materials, one greenery,
One flowers and they already had a vessel out for us to use, a big round low dish. I was kind of hoping to pick from something like this;

So you walk in and there are maybe 30 plus people seated and working on their arrangements. I think it was good to do this class first because you got to see all the other skilled practitioners working. It was pretty beautiful in there, (i wanna say real classy like, but then you will peg me for the real moron i am) they were playing soft classical music and the view from up there was spectacular.
We had a lovely lady helping us (and when I say helping she really made it for us) I get the impression this is what happens on your first lesson. It's just like a teaser, we'll show you the basics kid but look around at what all the big kids are playing with, we know you'll be back. Cunning.

So my first lesson was for a 'basic upright style'.
You use 3 main pieces, the Shin, Soe and lastly the Hikae. These pieces make a triangle (i always knew  3 was a good number) The tallest is the 'shin', this is double the hight of the vessel plus the diameter, this guy goes at a 10 - 15 degree angle. You always make them facing you. The next guy is the'soe', he goes at a 45 degree angle from the shin. Last in the frame, is the 'hikae' which is the flower and goes at a 75 degree angle. 
By the way all these are attached to the kenzan at the bottom of the vessel (spikey guy). So these are your main points then you kind of just add more to cover the kenzan. There are lots of cool tricks to keep weaker stems in play and cutting on the angle and things like that. 

The teacher gave an example of two different styles. The second was of a straight and curved line arrangement together, talking about harmony between the two.

I really liked seeing what the other students were up to. It seemed as there were a mix of skill levels in the class, some were from all over the world (i think we had a lady next to us who was kind of a big deal in denmark..)

Loved this crazy vessel.

Ladies workin their magic.

If there were classes like this, I would go every week. Then at the end the teacher rolls round and critiques everyones work (apparently you should bow lower than the teach, i missed this and gave her the upwards nod, you know like the 'sup' teach kinda nod by accident)
Then at the end of the class you dismantle your arrangement and wrap up the blooms in paper to take them home! Kawaiii! 
Next lesson I am going to be there earlier and get my pick of the blooms! (i actually was there early, like an hour earlier but i was killing time in the park!!)