Monday, January 23, 2012

Flowers in the House

恭喜发财 or Happy New Year! 
The Chinese celebrate their new year exuberantly for 15 days.  

When my friends Vicki and Peter traveled to Dalian, China for a three year assignment with Intel, they were so impressed with all the festivities surrounding the New Year.  We received pages of email descriptions of the festivals and fireworks.  On their return, they brought back some decorations for "The Year of the Bear" which I used for a party last Friday.  My husband is planning an Alaskan kayaking adventure and the planning needed was a good excuse for a party.  We celebrated the "end" of the old year, (since the new year for Chinese starts tomorrow) and will be that most auspicious "YEAR OF THE DRAGON".
Flowers for a Party

Today I am linking to the Small But Charming blog about using flowers in the house,   Here I used three chrysanthemums in a very simple style...what I imagine might be arranged for a tea ceremony or for use in front of a scroll... set it into an Imari (Japanese, not Chinese) plate and added clementines for luck.  The little strings of chilies hanging from the candlesticks are typical of Chinese luck charms, but also very typical of New Mexico. Click here to go to my daughter, Camille's, post on Christmas in New Mexico to see more about chilies.  

Also a very simple arrangement on the sideboard with a pastel painting of clouds by my artist friend, Wendy Fidao as a backdrop....

If you would like to see more about the party for which these were designed, scroll on down.
 Usually these decorations would be attached to the front door, but ours is glass and all four pieces would not fit into the glass portion, so I put them on the wall just inside the entrance to the house.  The top section says "Happy New Year"  the center section is the symbol of the bear and I haven't a clue what the side pieces say...hoping it is something wonderful!  Anyone read Chinese?
Below is a close up in case you can translate for me.

The scroll hanging on the chest in the background has the symbol of the dragon to foreshadow the coming year.  

Borrowed decorations include some charming little astrological animals from the year of the bear and the year of the bull.  Holding the mercury glass globe is a brass piece with three dragons as well.

Hanging from the chandelier are paper cut-outs, a form of art at which the Chinese people excel. 
Tall ceilings encourage large decorations
 Here I secured three bamboo sticks in a beautiful brass vase made by a friend of my mother.  Paul has since died, but his metal work and jewelry reminds us of his wit and skill.  Hanging from the bamboo are various paper decorations.  That little chinese figure is a wine bottle cover. 
And a good time was had by all.....


  1. Welcome and thanks for bringing such colors and festivities to FITH this month.

    This is what I mean by Flowers In The House!

    Now we know where Camille got her talent:)

    xo Jane

  2. Love the flowers and festivities!

  3. The decorations are wonderful! Looks like a great time was had by all.

    Nice to see you at the party!

  4. Hi Mom, it DOES look like a good time was had by all. I see that you were up to regular, fantastic use of decorations for parties. And the trio of three flowers is perfect.

  5. Do love decorating for parties. Do you remember your Dad's fortieth birthday when your godfather talked me into a hiring a belly dancer?

  6. Hi Steve, not sure where my reply ended up. Will try again. Although certainly present at the party, there are no photos of me as I was the only one with a camera. Must invest in one of those cute little tripods.


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