Mimosa, Mimosa and Mimosa

You might have seen many photos of Mimosa flowers last week and wondered why these flowers now? It was because the 8th of March was the Mimosa Day. Actually it was the International Women’s Day and the flower is the symbol of the day. I was not planning to make any sweets that day but when I heard it was the “Women’s” Day I thought I had to do something to celebrate particularly for this day. I made some sweets with a Mimosa design but I could not take photos quickly enough for posting to my Blog here in time on the Wemen’s Day. However, as I believe “being late is better than never”, so here it is.

Mimosa Sweets

As soon as I had Mimosa’s image in my mind I got some idea. I tried making these three types.

Mimosa 1

The image in my mind was lots of fluffy tiny yellow pompoms on the tips of every branches that reach out with the blue sky as the background.

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My New Tools and the First Attempt

When I come back from Japan my suitcase is always full, actually too full and overloaded which means sometimes I have to remove some stuff from it. It’s normally filled with Sencha green tea, sweets and some other Japanese food that are either difficult to find or too expensive in London. However, when I returned this time in February there were something different I brought back in my luggage.

They were my brand new tools for making Japanese sweets. Now I am back in London and started creating Japanese sweets. I could not wait to see if I could use them properly. I have seen that many professional sweets makers were producing beautiful sweets by using the same tools and could not wait to try out how I can use this.

Practice1

This sweet is the very first trial I made as a practise, so it is far from the perfection. I realised that controlling the grip of the tool is the key to producing a great result and I need a lot of practice. One of the petals came off by cutting too deep, but I am quite pleased to see the outcome as this was my first attempt. I don’t know how it looks to you but I hope you can see this as the shape of Chrysanthemum or some kind of flower. I am going to carry on practising and hopefully I can show you the great result of a Chrysanthemum by this autumn.

Blue Hibiscus

hibiscus-oiseau-bleu2During later summer there is one shrub that gets lovely bluey flowers in my garden. It is the Blue Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’). As I am not good at pruning the shrub lost its shape a little but after many years of neglect it still gives us beautiful flowers every summer.

There is another thing in nature that gives me huge pleasure during this season. That is the sight of the abundant crop of Blackberries in the fields. I went to pick some and by seeing its beautiful shiny crop I thought that I should use them for my sweets. The Blue Hibiscus flowers and deep reddish black colour of blackberries combined in my mind to be my next sweet design idea…

Blue Hibiscus

So that is how this creation was born. It is my Blue Hibiscus as the Japanese sweet for August.

Blue Hibiscus2

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Mochi Rose

In February I created a Japanese Sweet in a Rose shape for Valentine’s Day. It was a type of sweet called ‘Nerikiri’. This month I made another rose shaped sweet and this time it is Mochi Rose. ‘Mochi’ is a sticky and gooey rice cake that is getting so popular in London but actually it is not the easiest material to make into some shape. This Mochi Rose is my second attempt in a flower shape by following the Clematis I created in May. I like trying to create something new.

Mochi Rose

Unlike the pink Rose in February for Valentine’s Day, the colour of the flowers I had in my mind for summer is orange and yellow.

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Weekend Photo – Miracle Bulldog

Bulldog 5

Here is another sight of my British Bulldog. I made him to support England in World Cup and he certainly created a miracle in the last England match (really?). Because England is going to face Sweden this afternoon in the quarter-final, I post him here again in the hope that he might create another miracle this afternoon!

Have a happy Football viewing!!

Tanabata Bamboo on the 7th of July

Tomorrow, the 7th of July, is a day called ‘Tanabata’ Day in Japan. It is not a national holiday but we have events and festivals on that day all over Japan. It is based on an old story that a young couple (stars) who fell in love with each other far too much and neglected their work made the God got very angry. The God decided to make them live separately on each side of the river (the Milky Way), however, seeing that how sad they became, he felt sorry for them and gave them permission to cross over the Milky Way once a year on the night of the 7th of July if the weather is good and the sky is clear. I posted this story in more detail two years ago so if you are interested to know please visit the post.

1280px-___(19545533256)This is the story that happens in the sky above us, so what can we do down on the earth? We wish it’s going to be a clear sky on the day so that the couple will see each other. As the gesture that we are wishing for their happy meeting we put a bamboo outside our houses and write our wish on a piece of colourful rectangular paper called ‘Tanzaku’ and hang it on the bamboo. Around this time of last year I was working with a British retailer in London. He placed a bamboo outside his shop and asked his customers and passer-by to write their wish and hang the Tanzaku on his bamboo. Amazingly to me it was a huge hit. All people loved the idea and enjoyed the sight of it so much.

Tanabata Bamboo

By imagining the sight of Tanabata Bamboo I created this sweet for July.

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