Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Holly Daze Chabako 

Yesterday I stopped by one of my favorite resale shops and found this cute holiday recipe box (Size: 5 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches) and a set of nesting wooden snowmen boxes. It will be a perfect holiday chabako to take on my trip to visit my parents and sister in Illinois next week, where it's probably more like winter than here in Austin.

Luckily I already had a very small tea whisk and a snowy white teabowl made by Angela Rogers. I will paint the round wooden box (tea caddy) to look like a piece of red & white peppermint candy; varnish the inside of the snowmen - the larger one for hard sugar candy, and the smaller to hold the chakin (white wet cleaning cloth). The red & white cloth underneath will become the kobukusa (small napkin) and tea scoop cover.

Chanoyu is a meditative practice, but I think that it's ok to create some child-like cheer on a cold dreary day. Have fun this winter!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cowboy Picnic Chanoyu

Vintage leather box made in Texas and Japanese nodate set.

Nodate 野点 is a general term for a picnic style tea ritual often done outdoors or in more casual situations. The most informal nodate set includes a little basket with brocade fabric top and drawstring closure that holds a small teabowl and very small powdered tea container called ko-natsume. The tiny bamboo tea whisk and tea scoop travel along in a small bamboo tube-box attached to the drawstring. The tea scoop folds in half and goes inside the handle of the tea whisk - so neat!  

My friend knew that I had been searching a long time for a leather box for Cowboy Chabako and was thrilled when her friend out in the country offered her an old one made by Nighthawk Saddlery in Bandera, Texas. I am so grateful to receive such a well-made box! It's not quite tall enough for a standard chabako because the lacquer tube for the tea whisk won't stand upright inside it. But, it makes a fun and very informal hybrid chabako-nodate set. 

Here it is with the wonderful chawan my friend Angela Rogers made especially for my cowboy chabako set. The glass boot will hold the damp white chakin (cloth for cleaning the teabowl). I look forward to taking it along on a day-trip to the country soon.
Teabowl by Angela Rogers
"Happy Trails to you."