Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chilbo Chest

Along with learning maedeup while living in South Korea, I also had the opportunity to take classes in chilbo (Korean enameling). I found the shop while shopping near Paldulmum in Suwon.

I had been taking classes for a few months when I noticed this jewelry box in the window. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen and I wanted it. My teacher removed it from the window and put it on the counter for me to take home after my class.

As luck would have it, two ajumas (older Korean women) walked into the shop during my class and were immediately drawn to the jewelry box or should I say MY jewelry box. The Korean was flying between the women and my teacher and I started to get worried that she was going to sell it. The women were clearly getting agitated and in Korea, ajumas are known for always getting their way. But after about 10 minutes or so they left without the box. I have no idea what was really said except that they did ask how much it was and I will never know if they ordered one or not.

This is a close up of the top half of the box. I love the dragon flies. They remind me so much of Korea.

This is the bottom half of the box.

This is a picture of me with Nan, my teacher. She always greeted me with a big smile and even though we didn't really couldn't communicate due to language barriers, in the crafting world we spoke the same language.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Unique Find in South Korea

The last week we lived in South Korea was spent shopping in Seoul. There are so many little stores all over the city. We were shopping with Hannah, my Korean girlfriend, when we walked by this jewelry shop. It was the size of a large walk in closet and the inside was filled of unique one-of-a-kind creations.

The shop owner was sitting on a stool diligently working on a pair of earrings when we walked in. He told us that he made all the jewelry including the lampwork beads and metalwork. He used buttons and dice to make earrings. His jewelry also incorporated found objects and showed how talented he was.

I did manage to talk my husband into buying me this necklace. I could have spent a fortune there. I wish I would have asked if I could have taken some pictures. I definitely want to see his shop again the next time I visit Seoul.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I received two advance copies of my maedeup book. It was beyond exciting to see all that work in print and also a little bittersweet since I wrote the book while we were still living in Korea. I miss something about Korea everyday. Today, I thought how I could walk to the grocery store and now I have to drive my car. I'll had to be more aware of what I bought since I had to lug it home a half mile. Sometimes I didn't pay attention and bought too many things only to end up home with aching arms.

The book gives step-by- step instructions for 1o maedeup knots and 30 projects. Here is a sneak peak.

I also included stories about some of our adventures in South Korea so you not only learn a traditional Korean craft but you get a look into Korean culture. The book is available for pre-order at

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


One of the perks of traveling outside of the U.S. is to check out bookstores in other countries. I bought this book while visiting Taiwan. It was in the Illustration section of the bookstore and it's filled with color palettes.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle for me when starting a maedeup or beading project is determining the color. What looks good with what.

Here is a page from the book.

They had several books like this and now I wish I had bought more. If I'm having trouble deciding about a color, I'll ask Curt. He's really got an eye for it and gives me an honest opinion. Speaking about eyes, his eye is healing nicely and he has adjusted to driving while only being able to see out of one eye.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Beaded Ring

I love to bead and there is so much on the world wide Internet. I found this website called beAd Infinitum. It is owned by two talented women, Florence Turnover and Gwen Fisher, who design amazing beads. They sell kits and patterns and I bought the Flower Ring kit. This is a picture of my finished ring.

This is the kit I received with the beads clearly marked and plenty of supplies. I also received a 10 page instructional manual with 40 pictures. I had a lot of fun making it and the instructions were easy to follow and very clear.

Curt had his follow-up visit with the retina specialist and I am happy to report that he is healing well. He doesn't have to keep his eye parallel with the floor anymore. He still cannot lay on his back, do anything strenuous or lift anything heavy. He can only see shapes out of that eye right now but they say that will improve over time.
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