How to Create a Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Picnic at Home

As mentioned in my previous post about hanami (complete with origami cherry blossom tutorial), I wanted to recreate a cherry blossom viewing picnic scene that’s very common in Japan right now.

Japanese washi - cherry blossom

I decided to use a variety of cute sakura kirigami/origami to create a peaceful hanami atmosphere, then I added some common hanami staples like a cute plastic ground sheet (used as a tablecloth), cherry blossom chopsticks, onigiri (rice balls), noodles, grilled fish, sweet snacks, and the last but not least, beer and wine.

Japanese bento - cherry blossom picnic

Japanese bento decorations


Japanese bento deocrations - takuan


Japanese hanami picnic spread

To stay on theme, I also used my felt cherry blossom coasters, kirigami cutout sakura placemats, sakura printed placemats, and a couple of mizuhiki sakura that I made a few years ago.

Cherry blossom coasters


Cherry blossom toothpick holder


Japanese mizuhiki cords - cherry blossom


Kirigami cherry blossom

Please let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear suggestions for future picnic setups!


Cute Japanese Bento Accessories for Hanami

Before I show you the complete hanami lunch setup, I want to show you some of the adorable bento accessories that I have straight from Japan (you can also find some through Amazon here).

This is a lovely metal cutout set that you can use one cheese, deli meats and vegetables like carrots:

Japanese metal bento accessories

This is a very sweet set that has a variety of shapes, including individual petals to decorate dishes.

Cherry blossom Japanese bento accessories

It even comes with extra decorations that you can add in your bento boxes.

Hanami Japanese bento accessories

This mini mold makes cute little shapes for tiny onigiri (rice balls).

Cute Japanese rice ball shapes

You can make bento with mini rabbit heads, star shapes, flowers and little bear heads.

Japanese rice molds

A three set of rice ball shapes. These are medium sized and some with three different shapes.

Japanese rice shapes

You can make rows of hearts stars and bear heads…. aren’t they cute?

Cute Japanese rice shapes

You can make the shapes as simple or as decorated as you like. Most people like to make the onigiri shapes and decorate them with Japanese nori (dried seaweed paper). I don’t have any special seaweed shape punches, so I’m stuck cutting everything out by hand, but you can get seaweed shape punches on Amazon.

Toronto National Home Show 2014

I recently went out to the National Home Show & Canada Blooms. There were 700+ exhibitors showing off environmentally friendly products and services for everything your home would need indoors and out (including tons of landscaping ideas).

We spent about 4 hours walking around to see as much as we could, but we still didn’t manage to see everything.

To give you an idea of what they had, check out these photos:

air plant

Lovely air plant in a shell



Beautiful azalea in a planter box.


Hanging tulip display

I love this hanging tulip display.



Typical example of an Ikebana arrangement.


Yellow Ikebana

Yellow Ikebana arrangement.


3D art

Interesting painting with a 3D metal wire tree.


Modern wooden outdoor decor.

Artistic outdoor decor. Find out what the cream wall really is in one of the photos below.


Rock wall with moss

A rock wave feature with moss.


Potted plants

Large potted plant arrangement.


Mini orchids

Mini orchid arrangement.



A collection of paintings.


Wheelbarrow flower arrangement

A wheelbarrow flower arrangement.


Decorative wooden wall

I would love to try a wall decoration like this.


rock table

I absolutely love this rock table!


Indoor flower field

A field of flowers.


String vases

Here’s a great idea for decorating plain vases with colourful string.



Great succulent arrangement.


Rock arch

This rock arch display must have taken a lot of work.


Outdoor rock feature wall

Simple rock wall feature to double as shelves outdoors.


wooden outdoor room

Love this hidden room.


Pink flower

Interesting pink flower. Anyone know what it’s called?


Moose cutout

Also love this moose cutout.


Mini flower arrangement

Smaller flower arrangement I’ve ever seen.


Colourful Japanese maple leaves

Japanese maple leaves.


Tropical ikebana

Tropical Ikebana arrangement.


Simple Ikebana

I love the simplicity of this arrangement.


Black Ikebana

I love the striking colour combinations for this arrangement.


Hanging flower chains

This would be a pretty flower display for parties.


flower bikini

Nartural flower bikini.


Elephant outdoor fountain

Outdoor fountain… not sure about the elephant though.


flower dresses

Creative dresses.


Purple flower dress train

I love this purple flower dress train.


Flower carousel

This is the cutest flower carousel ever!


A New Project Using Felt

I’m excited about a project that I started working on. I have a special little girl who will have her first Birthday this summer and I would love to give her something special. I’ll post photos from start to finish, but just to give you a sneak peek, here’s a photo of one finished piece:


Handmade Felt Strawberry

Handmade Felt Strawberry

I know it has a couple of unpolished edges, but it was my first one and I’m pretty happy with it so far. If you have any suggestions to make it better, please let me know!

Winter in Canada 2014

This winter has been exceptionally cold and snowy…. basically as Winter in Canada should be (according to the rest of the world).

Since the season feels VERY long, I like to break it up by doing fun things in the snow. If all you ever do it commute from home to work, then it really brings you down (and can make you quite grumpy after a few months. I’ve found, if you find something fun to do, and share it with good company, the season is great!

Here are a few photos from this year (so far):

The Distillery Christmas Market

The Distillery – warm up stations

Beer can coated in ice

More ice

Beautiful blanket of snow

Beautiful blanket of snow

A snow trail on a frozen lake.


Frozen kayaks

Lovely wintery painting

Swans and ducks enjoying the sun.