My Favorite Ikebana Arrangements in 2018

My Favorite Ikebana Arrangements in 2018 

This post is another post on art therapy, but it’s a bit different since I’m talking about my love and interest in ikebana. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a dream of opening up my own flower shop. My love for nature’s beauty has always been with me, and it was always encouraged by my mother and grandmother, both of whom were masters in their own right when it came to flowers.

I decided to showcase the first half of my 2018 ikebana arrangements by dividing the year up into two parts. I’ve created well over one hundred arrangements in the past nine months. Here are some of my favorite ikebana arrangements in 2018 from January to June.

Finding forms of art to help cope with illness is terrific for your mental health and physical well-being. I hope you enjoy these and find some joy or inspiration in my post today.

Purple Vanda Mikasa Orchids
Purple Vanda Mikasa orchid arrangement 

Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you. Click To Tweet

My grandmother practiced the art of ikebana for many years. As President of the Garden Society in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, she was often called in to judge ikebana competitions and she worked closely with the Japanese Embassy whenever visiting delegations were in town. I like to think that I got my talent from her, and I wish that she had lived longer to see how her granddaughter is doing her best to follow in her footsteps.

My mother is still well known for her stunning gardens around our home – although these days she’d tell you they’re a mess because she never has time to care for them. What I saw this summer were still the gardens of my youth in Canada. She gave me a rich love and knowledge of gardening and learning how to work with flowers.

As a small child, I remember holding her hand and walking through the fields looking at wildflowers, and I’d listen to her ideas for what she was going to plant each year, from poppies and peonies to iris, lilacs, and all sorts of other gorgeous pleasures.

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One of the best things about going home is seeing the beauty she has created with the landscape around their home.


Serene Dream – Stargazer lilies, lily leaves, and orchids.

The focus of 'Flower' is emotion and to make you feel peaceful. Click To Tweet

After I got sick and realized that I was going to end up spending way more time at home than an average 43-year-old woman should, I figured it might be wise to start engaging in more meaningful activities at home, and thus my passion for ikebana and floral artistry was born.

This form of art has been in my family on my mother’s side for many years, passed down from my grandmother to my mother and finally to me. It seems fitting that I can continue in and create these arrangements, keeping true to my grandmother and my mother’s love of flowers.

I like the idea of working with living art by creating Japanese flower arrangements that change each day.

My regular readers might remember that I have a fascination for all things that are related to Japan. I’ve always loved the art and handicrafts of Japan – not the mention the food and their love of nature and quirkiness. To bring some of these ideas into my own home seemed very natural given how much appreciation I have for Japan.

Carrie Kellenberger - Floral Artist

Summer Lovin’ Sunflowers and pink roses.

Take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. ~Georgia O’Keeffe

Ikebana which means living flowers, is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is also known as Kado, which means the way of the flowers. This is the path I’ve tried to follow in my own quest to become a better floral artist.

The tradition of creating Japanese flower arrangements dates back to the 7th century when floral offerings were made at alters. Later, these arrangements were moved to special places in the home, usually in a tokonoma (alcove) in the home.

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By the 16th century, Ikebana had reached its first peak under the influence of Buddhist tea masters. Since then it has grown over the centuries, with over 1,000 schools in Japan and abroad.

Ikebana arrangement: Hot pink Gladiolus, lily leaves, white chrysanthemums
The Sword of Truth and Enlightenment with hot pink Gladiolus, lily leaves, and white chrysanthemums.

Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star. Click To Tweet

An ikebana arrangement made by floral artist Carrie Kellenberger using golden mokara orchids and blades of grass

A Balancing Act – Golden Mokara orchids and blades of grass.

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.Spirited Away Ikebana Arrangement

Spirited Away – An ikebana arrangement that evokes the feeling of movement in the wind with allium, turmeric flowers, and globe amaranth.

The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.~Auguste Rodin

Girly Pop Floral Arrangement by Carrie KellenbergerGirly Pop with mokara orchids, chrysanthemums, and lisianthus in raku pottery.

I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty. Click To Tweet

A Hot Mess floral arrangement by Carrie Kellenberger

A Hot Mess is comprised of wang peonies and yellow freesia. This is a direct interpretation of my pain today.

To be free to paint a tree or a flower or a sunset, you have to feel what it conveys to you: the significance, the meaning of it. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

Working with flowers and creating living art allows me to cope with my pain and it distracts me from what is happening with my body. The pain is still present, but the process of creating overrules the signals that my body is sending to my brain. This is my answer to those days of darkness and sickness and how I build on my own strength and resilience when I’m not feeling like I can move much from bed.

Art is where I redirected my focus and all my attention in an effort to alleviate some of the stress and heartache I was going through with these diseases. Click To Tweet

Dancing Lady Orchids by Carrie Kellenberger

Dancing Ladies – A spray of bright yellow oncidium orchids seem to dance in the wind.

Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.

Stargazer arrangement
Tower of Flowers with stargazer lilies, fuchsia carnations, lily leaves and blades of grass.

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The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life. Click To Tweet

The arrangements presented in this post are 12 of my favorite arrangements from the first half of 2018 – from January to June. I chose two of my favorite arrangements from each session to show you today, leaving the rest on my Way of the Flower Instagram page if you’d like to see more of my work.

Please free free to leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you have a favorite arrangement here. I hope you have enjoyed these images and that they make you feel the way they make me feel – happy and at peace.

Wrapped White Roses
It’s A Wrap – This simple and zen ikebana arrangement is a fine balancing act with two white roses wrapped in a blade of grass.

The rose is the flower and handmaiden of love - the lily, her fair associate, is the emblem of beauty and purity. Click To Tweet

Teacup and Red Rose“Where there’s tea, there’s hope.” Creating magic in a teacup with a red rose in bloom.

The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous. Click To Tweet

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Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian who has been living in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. I'm an experienced businesswoman and have worked in many leadership positions in Asia. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. I started writing about my health journey in 2009 after being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. In 2014, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, which came with other massive health issues. These diagnoses were the start of my journey as a health advocate and patient leader. Since then, My Several Worlds has been recognized worldwide as a top site for AS, fibromyalgia, and chronic illness by WEGO Health and Healthline.

7 thoughts on “My Favorite Ikebana Arrangements in 2018

    Marina

    (November 12, 2020 - 8:21 am)

    Aw i love this! Art is such a beautiful outlet for those of us with chronic illness. I’m not as talented as you but I love coloring and painting for fun with my kids and it helps me to take my mind off the pain.

      Carrie Kellenberger

      (November 15, 2020 - 3:56 pm)

      Thank you so much! Yes, it really helps so much, whether you do it on your own or with your kids. I also color a lot and I was at a loss for what to do with the coloring books afterwards. I made them into cards and wrapping paper and my gifts always look very unique! 🙂

    Nikki Michelle Albert

    (November 12, 2020 - 8:41 am)

    I do art therapy- drawing and watercolour painting. But This is so wonderful and beautiful to me. I could never do it and find your work spectacular!

      Carrie Kellenberger

      (November 15, 2020 - 3:55 pm)

      Thank you so much, Nikki! That is a wonderful comment coming from someone as talented as you!

    Alison Hayes

    (November 13, 2020 - 4:01 am)

    Carrie, these are beautiful! I love all of them, but I think my favorites are ‘summer loving’ and ‘ A Balancing Act’. I feel like my whole life is a balancing act, and the combination of the beautiful yellow flowers and the very long grasses kind of captured this sense of beauty bordering on overextension that I tend to do. I need these long extended periods of calm in order to create beautiful flowers in my life. These are beautiful and inspiring

      Carrie Kellenberger

      (November 15, 2020 - 3:58 pm)

      Thank you so much! I understand what you are saying about A Balancing Act. Sometimes these arrangements are really representative of my own life, but I try to let viewers interpret in their own way. You’re spot on!

    Sheryl Chan

    (November 24, 2020 - 5:06 pm)

    I’ve always been a big fan of all your art and love your consistent Ikebana Instagram updates! Keep showing the joy!

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