Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#collectandstyle - November Monthly Favorite

OandYStudio, Andrea from OandYStudio, hoop art, wool hoop art, handmade hoop art, handmade wool hoop art, transferware, blue flow transferware, vintage flow transferware, vintage blue flow transferware

Hello everyone, and thank you for visiting Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog! I'm so excited that you're here, and thrilled to introduce you to this month's #collectandstyle Monthly Favorite: Andy of oandystudio!

As you can tell from the image above, Andrea Brinkley is both a collector of vintage blue and white china ware, and also a master fiber artist. Andrea creates one-of-a-kind hand embroidered wool art, or 'stitch painting' as she likes to call it, featuring botanicals and flowers.

She had posted an image at #collectandstyle a few months ago of a very unique blue and white teacup and saucer set that she had given to her mom when Andy was fourteen. I immediately was taken by how she had connected a lovely story from her past, to her current love of collecting blue and white china:

#ihavethisthingwithblueandwhite, blue and white teacup and saucer, O&Y Studio, Andrea Brinkley of O&Y Studio, vintage blue and white teacup and saucer

Since that time, I've enjoyed seeing more of Andy's images of her beautifully styled blue and white china ware, along with her delicious looking French tarts, flowers, and the landscape and scenery surrounding her adopted town in North Carolina (Andy is from South Africa). Then, I noticed a shift in focus, and with this image, Andy began talking about how she is intentionally working at fulfilling a creative dream:

O&Y Studio wool fiber art, wool fiber art by O&Y Studio, oandystudio on Instagram

When Andy posted the above image, she wrote:

"For several years I've been writing down ideas and aspirations in my Big Ideas notebook. I have let many interruptions (big ones like illness and a wedding and small ones too mundane to mention) delay my goals. With much prodding, love and encouragement, I am happy to say I've been making a good start lately. I'll be sure to keep you posted."

And in just the past couple of months, BOOM! - Andy opened her Etsy shop, oandystudio, and has been hard at work, stocking it full of her gorgeous original hoop embroidery designs such as the first image you saw at the top of this post.

Do you find this story inspiring? Do you have a creative dream? My feeling is that for all of us women in the creative community, there is a lot of value in watching another's dream come true. It can inspire us to take up challenges we have set for ourselves, to inspire others, and to work to lift one another up.

I plan on continuing to follow Andy on her creative adventures, both on Instagram and on Etsy and I hope you will too! You can also find Andy on her website, and on Facebook.

And don't forget, if you are looking for a unique gift for someone special (or for yourself!), I'm sure Andy would be happy to help you choose just the right hoop embroidered floral or botanical wool art piece, lovingly handmade in North Carolina!

Thank you for joining me for the #collectandstyle November Monthly Favorite! And if you would like to know more, and how to join in on all of the fun, please visit my blog post, Collect And Style, A New Instagram Hashtag, right here at Under The Plum Blossom Tree.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden, The Flat Garden at Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Oregon Japanese Garden, hira niwa, sea of raked sand, sake cup, gourd-shaped bottle, Circle Island, Gourd Island

As the days here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon passed from late summer into early autumn, the leaves on the trees in our yard and in our town began to turn from bright green to tinges of yellow. Then, mid autumn came, with its brightly colored orange, gold and red tones, and the change in season brought with it an enthusiastic desire for adventure.

The Portland Japanese Garden, with its spectacular display of autumnal colors, quiet inviting mood and powerful meditative symbolism, was the destination of choice for James and I on a recent Saturday. The Flat Garden, or hira niwa, shown above, is one of five garden areas in the 5.5 acre park, located within Washington Park.

The Flat Garden is a dry landscape style garden, where the design is a purposeful balance between the ground plane and the volume of stones and clipped shrubbery, creating a sense of depth of space. This living sculpture features a sea of raked sand which suggests water, while mountains and hills are depicted in the shapes of azalea shrubs.

Portland Japanese Garden, The Flat Garden at Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Oregon Japanese Garden, hira niwa, sea of raked sand, sake cup, gourd-shaped bottle, Circle Island, Gourd Island

Through a series of extended pathways, one can meander throughout the entire park, viewing the various stone, water and plant elements in all their glorious landscape-style interpretations.

So join us for a moment and catch a glimpse into this magnificent garden, proclaimed by His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, former Ambassador of Japan to the United States, "the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan."

One of the first sights to behold when entering the park is an antique 5-tiered stone pagoda lantern that was given to the city of Portland by its sister city Sapporo, Japan.

Portland Japanese Garden, antique 5-tiered stone pagoda lantern, autumn Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden in Autumn

And in the Lower Pond area of the Strolling Pond Garden, or chisen kaiya shiki niwa, are a pair of stone cranes, symbols of longevity.

Lower Pond of the Strolling Pond Garden Portland Japanese Garden, stone cranes in Portland Japanese Garden
A ceremonial Tea House, called Kashin-Tei, or Flower Heart House, is located in the Tea Garden and was created in Japan by master craftsmen using wooden pegs in the traditional Japanese style, and reassembled at the Portland Japanese Garden.

Portland Japanese Garden Kashin-Tie, Portland Japanese Garden Flower Heart House, Portland Japanese Garden Tea Garden

There are at least two machiai style meditation shelters - this one was near Kashin-Tei.

Portland Japanese Garden machiai shelter, meditation shelter at Portland Japanese Garden

And of course a blazing Japanese Maple tree just beginning to lose its autumnal leaves.

Autumn colored Japanese Maple at Portland Japanese Garden, Japanese Maple tree Portland Japanese Garden
Autumn colored Japanese Maple at Portland Japanese Garden, Japanese Maple tree Portland Japanese Garden

Another stone lantern. This one was next to another machiai shelter.

stone lantern Portland Japanese Garden

It was a surprise to see this beautiful 'living topography' sculpture by Anne Crumpacker.

Sculpture in Portland Japanese Garden

Ponds, streams, and waterfalls all play a significant role in the Japanese garden. Another type of water feature is the water filled basin. The first one shown below is mechanical in that when a section of the lower bamboo piece on the right gets filled with water from the higher bamboo stalk on the left, the weight of the water pulls it down and it then releases the collected water, after which it quickly springs back up into its original position.

water basin Portland Japanese Garden
water basin Portland Japanese Garden

Zoki no niwa, or the Natural Garden, is an informal garden with streams that meander under small bridges. James is standing on one of them while he concentrates on his photography, in this case taking a picture as I walked over a stone path bridge.

James Aoyama in Natural Garden at Portland Japanese Garden
June Anderson in Natural Garden at Portland Japanese Garden

A leaf composition taken in the Natural Garden.

Natural Garden Portland Japanese Garden

And one more stone lantern.

leaf composition by June Anderson at Portland Japanese Garden

Karesansui, or Sand and Stone Garden is another example of the dry landscape garden style, expressing the beauty of blank space, or yohaku no bi. Weathered stones rise up from a bed of sand raked to suggest the sea.

Sand and Stone Garden Portland Japanese Garden
Sand and Stone Garden Portland Japanese Garden

Also featured along one wall of the Sand and Stone garden is a lovely stand of bamboo.

bamboo at Portland Japanese Garden
bamboo at Portland Japanese Garden
bamboo at Portland Japanese Garden

From this vantage point, as James and I stood under a Japanese Maple at the Pavilion Gallery, we could see Mt Hood, which in this setting is very reminiscent of Mt Fuji, in the distance.

Japanese Maple Leaves Portland Japanese Garden
Mount Hood as seen from Portland Japanese Garden

As we walked back to see the antique 5-tiered pagoda one more time before leaving, this striking scene caught my eye.

autumnal scene Portland Japanese Garden
autumnal scene Portland Japanese Garden

Our last stop was the gift shop, where I was taken with how the colors of this koi banner hanging just outside of the shop were delightfully similar to the colors in the leaves of the trees behind it.

koi banner Portland Japanese Garden
Thank you for strolling along these beautiful and intriguing garden paths in the Portland Japanese Garden with me. To see even more beautiful images of our day in this wonderful setting, you may like to go to James' blog, Origami Night Lamp.

June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog at Portland Japanese Garden

Oh, and one last thing! One of the highlights of the Lower Pond is to stand on the Zig Zag Bridge and watch as graceful koi swim to and fro - a beautiful and mesmerizing sight to behold!

June Anderson at Portland Japanese Garden


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

Vintage W.T. Copeland & Sons Abbey Ruins Transferware Teacup and Saucer Sets, Antique Haviland CFH GDM France Limoges white with gold trim teacup, vintage Price Bros white with painted gold lustre grapevine leaf teapot

Hello everyone! Just a quick post to bring you up to date on the latest vintage and antique items listed in my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures.

• Four antique W.T. Copeland & Sons 'Abbey Ruins' transferware teacup and saucer sets.

• A vintage Price Bros octagon-shaped teapot with a painted gold lustre grapevine leaf pattern and gold gilded trim.

• Antique Tressemann & Vogt (T & V) France Limoges white teacups with gold trim and gold painted handles and feet. Shown are two of four available. I also have six of the exact same teacup marked CFH GDM (Haviland), for a total of ten gorgeous Victorian era teacups!

If you have a desire to own some pretty vintage or antique tableware for the upcoming holidays or are looking for a gift for someone special, perhaps you'd enjoy visiting Vintage Tea Treasures at Etsy, where you can find all the details about the above items, and see even more 'Classic Teatime China Ware' listed for sale.

Thank you, and have a wonderful week!

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