Ikebana is Japanese for ‘flowers kept alive’. The emphasis is on line, shape and form as seen in the flowers and plants. This is a disciplined form of art in which nature is the foremost element. The practitioners observe silence and concentration with appreciation of nature. Maki started learning ikebana at the age of ten. She enjoyed quiet time to learn the lines, shapes and space between flowers, leaves and branches. She advanced her practice by taking vigorous examinations and received the shihan master degree from the Hongen Enshu School of Sendai after ten years of training. She applied her ikebana training to establish Viola Floral Design, based in Sonoma, where she provided exquisite floral arrangements for weddings and winery events throughout the Bay Area for more than 15 years.