winter peony

Flower Asks

Daisy: Every birthday, do you see yourself being one year older as one year wiser or one year more confused about life?

Water Lily: When you develop an obsession, do you stick with it or get tired of it quickly?

Tulip: Would you rather travel into your favorite book/movie, or bring a character from it out to our world?

Poppy: What’s your favorite book to read on chilly winter days?

Peony: What’s one scenario that you replay in your head over and over again, trying to decide what you could’ve done?

Crimson Rose: What color strikes an emotional meaning in you?

Daffodil: Do you hold grudges or let things go after they’ve happened?

Sunflower: Would you rather make yourself a settled home or explore new realms?

Geranium: Are colorful clothes or muted outfits more to your liking?

Black Eyed Susan: Do you prefer Summer or Winter, warm or cold weather?

Iris: Expenses covered, what one place would you visit?

Tina Tamashirou’s bright geometric furisode design uses camellias (a winter flower) with botan peonies (an early spring flower) and a couple of bold ume or sakura (also early spring), which marks this kimono as intended for January or February-ish.

Wait, Coming of Age Ceremony is always held on the second Monday of January! 

Indeed, this kind of furisode, with its super bright colors, joyously playful patterns and youthful makeup is intended for Coming of Age Ceremony wear (when girls turn 20 years old and become adults). 

I lve the use of the bright fluorescent fuchsia with the odd magenta purple in the obi, the lime green with the emerald green, and sky blue tying it all together. The use of a bright crayon-green eri collar is a bold move, since the other two greens are a teal and that lime green. It’s a totally different color temperature but it bounces between the creamy color and the sky blue like a slash of jewel tone and somehow it all works. What a great coordination.

How I imagined the Rampion Gang:


Cress: A sweet, naive, girl, like Starfire


Scarlet: A butt-kicker, who lived on a farm, that reminded me of Artemis


Cinder: Excelent mechanic, all powerful niece of Levana, who’s the Sass-Expert


Iko: The Kai obsessed mess, that acts like me, as a fangirl


Winter: Crazy little princess


Thorne: Sarcastic a-hole, who has a soft spot for Cress


Wolf: A tomatoe loving guy, that reminded me of Connor Kent (Superboy)


Kai: The Emporer that has a crush the size of Jupiter on Cinder.


Jacin: Sass-Expert 2.0

TLC Character Alignments

Sorry if it’s been done

Lawful Good - Kai, Torin

Neutral Good - Cress, Peony

Chaotic Good - Cinder, Winter, Iko

Lawful Neutral - Wolf

True Neutral - Scarlet, Dr. Erland

Chaotic Neutral - Jacin, Thorne

Lawful Evil - Sybil

Neutral Evil- Adri

Chaotic Evil - Lavana

Winter peonies

Tōshō-gū in Ueno Park has a beautiful peony garden that is open to the public twice a year: early January to early February for winter peonies, and mid-April to mid-May for summer peonies. 

There are about 40 varieties of winter peony in the garden, but it’s so difficult to cultivate the flowers in winter that less than 20% blooms, according to the garden’s website. The winter flowers are not as spectacular as their summer cousins, but I go every winter to marvel that such fragile flowers can bloom in such icy cold weather. This year I went after a light snowfall, and patches of snow/ice were still visible in shadowy spots.

Peonies are called botan in Japanese. It’s usually written in kana as ぼたん or ボタン, sometimes in kanji as 牡丹. The flower was brought to Japan from China in the Nara period (710 to 794). It was celebrated not only for its beauty, but also as a painkiller and anti-convulsive medicine. 

If we are amazed by the stars and all the wonders of nature, can we not also be moved to tears by the grand composition that God is doing to us? 

T.B. LaBerge // Go Now

This month I will see some of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. I will travel to places I’ve never been and see forests and mountains and cities that will take my breath away. But I know it’s the people I meet and the transformation I see in myself that is going to most move me. 

Fuji X-T1, @athenagracee