Friday, October 30, 2009

Korean Airlines

Rocketman's recent business trip included a leg on Korean Airlines. He usually flies Northwest Airlines which co-shares with Korean Airlines. I've flown them several times and Korean Airlines is my favorite. The coach seating area is wonderfully spacious considering it is coach. It's a long flight to Korea so the amount of space you have in your seat is important. The flight attendants are eager to please and very accommodating. He brought home their magazine because of it's cover: maedeup. I love the colors.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A LIttle Piece of Korea in the Twin Cities

What to do on a rainy day and Rocketman at home...check out a Korean restaurant. It's called Kings and we had been there shortly before we left for Korea but that was a few years ago. We got there about 11:30 am which is when they opened. They had a buffet and we decided that sounded perfect. They had delicious kimchi! I thought after so many months without it I would think it too spicy. But it tasted just like kimchi back home in South Korea. This is Rocketman's plate.

This is my plate. It really felt like home to me and made me miss all my friends in Korea. We ate a lot of good food together.

This is a picture from the inside of the restaurant.

Conveniently located two doors down from the restaurant was a Korean market. WooHoo! It was just like my Home Plus back in Suwon.

I am inching to make some buddae jjigae and got the ingredients I needed. This is everything that we bought.

I passed on this.

But picked these up for our grandson. I don't know about the nude Pepero, the chocolate is on the inside instead of the outside.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How To Dance KPop

After my post this week about my favorite KPop songs, I had to include this video from Simon and Martha. I've been a fan of their videos for some time now. They have a lot of good information on their website about living in South Korea.

Rocketman and I were not teachers when we lived in Korea so my interaction with Korean kids was limited to the ones who were brave enough to run up to us to say, "Hi!" and children of my friends and Rocketman's co-workers. I was quite the baby magnet while living there. Koreans loved to have me hold their babies. One time when Rocketman had to go to the hospital, we weren't there five minutes when a grandfather handed me his grandchild to hold. I loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Batman and Batgirl for Halloween

When the kids were little I loved to make their Halloween costumes. They would tell me what they wanted to be and I would head off to my local JoAnn Fabric store to find a pattern. It was definitely more expensive to do it this way than to buy a pre-made costume but I enjoyed making them and they were always unique.

Rocketman and I were at the retinologist last week for a post surgical exam. It has been four months since his detached retina. Due to the steroids he was prescribed during recovery he has developed a significant cataract in that eye. He is having surgery in a few weeks for that.

I must say this waiting room is one of the most interesting ones I've sat in. The average age of the patient is 70 and I hear all kinds of stories. One lady told me about death of her hubby over twenty years ago and her love of yorkies.

Another patient when hearing that he didn't need to be seen for 4 months yelled out, "Four months! I could be dead by then!" It was one of the funniest things I've ever heard. When scheduling the appointment, he also let us all know that he preferred a morning appointment since they schedule all the afternoon ones for the same time and you wait forever standing because there are usually no chairs unoccupied. We have discovered this too and it's soooo annoying and ridiculous.

I happen to be sitting next to the door when this gentleman left and he told me the same thing that he could be dead in four months. I just smiled at him and disagreed while inside I was thinking we all could be dead in four months. Tomorrow is never a guarantee.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Korean K-Pop!

I know a lot of people think Korean K-Pop is cheesy but I can't help it, I LOVE IT!!! Thanks to Youtube and I can keep up on all the new music. This is the latest from FT Island. Lucky for me Rocket Man has occasional business trips to Korea so he can pick up the latest CDs. Or I order them from

This is one of my favorite all time songs from the soundtrack of Full House. Full House was a popular Korean drama a few years ago and made a name for Rain (Bi) who played to male lead role.

DBSK is the band and the last I heard were fighting a legal battle with their record label. When these boys were signed, their contract stated that the record company would own 90%. This is the norm in South Korea and it's what you have to do to get a deal. The record company spends years training you to become a singer and dancer and then if you are lucky puts you into a group hoping for stardom. But the members of DBSK clearly were being worked to death, sometimes cross-crossing the Korean pennisula in a matter of hours for promotion tours. It is not uncommon to see stars involved in accidents because of their unrealistic schedules and the driving skills of their managers. These guys decided to take a stand and have taken the record company to court. I've also heard that a normal contract is for 12 years. I wish them well!!!

This song was huge when I first moved to South Korea. It's very catchy.

This was a huge hit for Park Ji-Young who is know as the creator of the Wonder Girls. The dude can dance!

This is my favorite song of the Wonder Girls so far. They have even debuted on Billboard's Top 100 at 76 this week. Go girls! They do this song in English too but I'm partial to the Korean version. You should have seen my family last Christmas when I demonstrated some of the moves from the video.

I have to include my favorite Korean singer, Kim Bum-Soo. His voice is amazing. My Korean girlfriends told me that he wears glasses because he is so ugly. I didn't believe them at first but they were serious. I have four out of his five albums and his face is always show from the side or with him wearing glasses. I don't agree with them but they said that is what the Koreans think.

Big Bang also has this new song out and it's fantastic. When I left Korean in April, this was the most popular band among the young Korean girls.

I had fun putting this list together and I hope you like the songs as much as I do. There is an amazing amount of talent in South Korea.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Polymer Clay Projects!

Halloween is coming next weekend and it is a great time to share some Halloween polymer clay ideas:

Halloween Pumpkins
By Becky Meverden

Polymer clay: orange, white, black, brown and green
Round toothpick
Small paintbrush
Plastic straw, optional
Circle template, optional for measuring ball sizes

1. Condition clay according to manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Pumpkin: Roll a 7/8” orange ball. Use a toothpick to indent lines around the entire ball. Stem: Use the blunt end of a paintbrush to make a hole in the top of the pumpkin. Roll a ¼” brown ball into a teardrop. Press the widest end of the teardrop against a flat surface to flatten. Use a toothpick to indent lines randomly around and on top of the stem. Press stem into the hole. Leaves: Flatten two 5/32” green balls into teardrops. Indent veins onto each leaf and press leaves onto both sides of the stem. Vine: Roll a 1/8” green ball into a 1/16” diameter log. Use your fingers to coil and press onto pumpkin.

3. Eyes: Flatten two 5/32” white balls into teardrops. Press the narrowest ends together slightly and press onto the pumpkin. Pupils: Roll two 1/16” black balls and press onto each eye. Nose: Roll a 5/32” orange ball into an oval and press onto the head below the eyes. Eyebrows: Use a toothpick to indent. Mouth: Press half of a straw end just under the nose and remove. It leaves a great smile. A toothpick can also be used to indent the mouth. Use a stylus (or toothpick) to indent both ends of the smile.

4. Bake in a preheated 265 degree oven for 30 minutes.
This is a paper mache box that I covered with polymer clay using a pasta machine.

Here is another polymer clay covered paper mache box. Say that fast three times!

This is a necklace with polymer clay ghosts representing see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.

Of course, what is Halloween without a black cat in a pumpkin.
We have had three days this month with snow and I'm hoping it's not a hint of the winter to come. While living in South Korea, we rarely got snow and when it did, it would be usually less than an inch and didn't last long. The shop owners would come out with their brooms to sweep the snow away from their storefronts. I never saw a shovel being used the entire time I lived in Korea.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


While living in South Korea I felt I was back in the 70's at times. The Koreans LOVE ABBA especially the song "Dancing Queen." The movie "Mama Mia" had also been released during my stay and it was also very popular there.

Once when I was getting my hair done, they put in a DVD of "Mama Mia" and I was lucky (joking here) enough to watch it twice while I was getting my hair done. It was the only Engish song that I heard on a regular basis and it also was a popular choice at the noraebong.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chilbo (Korean Enameling) from Korea

Rocket Man (new name for hubby Curt) recently returned from a business trip to Asia which included my beloved South Korea. He was able to stop in and visit my chilbo teacher, Nan. I think he bought her shop out. She was thrilled to see him.

I am planning on incorporating these into my maedeup and make a bunch of necklaces for my Etsy store.

He loves her birds and so do I.

I've always loved her chilbo flowers.

This has really got me inching to get out my chilbo supplies and start creating. I just need Rocket Man to drill some holes into the copper pieces and I'm all set. Maybe this weekend!

She is very talented and had her own show in Itaewon a few weeks ago featuring her designs.

On the kitty front, the fighting is still fierce at times and unnerving for me. Louie has lost quite a bit of weight in the aftermath. I happen to catch Louie and Finnigan in a calmer time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Trip to the Mall

I had our grandson, Noah, for an overnight and I like to take him to the mall. They have a play area and he can run and play with other kids. While I was there with my mom, a Korean dad sat next to me with his little daughter.
I started a conversation with him and told him about my recent return from Korea. He is a Korean citizen and going to school here on a education VISA but would like to live here permanently when his schooling is finished. We talked a lot about Korea and I don't know about him but it made me homesick for Korea.
He wrote down instructions on how to get to a great Korean market. He said it had great kimchi and mandu (Korean dumplings) which are two things I have been craving. I'm planning to go to this market next week and I'll take my camera. I'm curious to see how it compares to grocery shopping in Korea.
The maedeup piece in the picture is going to used as a lanyard for my next trade show. How better to advertise the beauty of maedeup then by wearing it myself.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spooky Seoul

This is the picture that got me semi famous in the Korean blog sphere. We were out in Seoul the day after Halloween last year looking for a certain Mexican restaurant (not many in Korea) when we ran into this spider guy. I still find it today the most creative costume I've ever seen and in a country that doesn't celebrate Halloween.

I wish I had shot some video but to be honest I was freaked out by the spider guy. He seemed to walk in my direction and I didn't want to get too close.

He never said a word.

These are a bunch of police officers staying out of his way. We found the spider guy near the Blue House (Korea's version of The White House) which always has a large presence of officers. The spider guy walked towards some of the officers and they were jumping to get out of his way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Korean Fashion

While living in South Korea, I would pick up Korean fashion magazines. They are huge, over an inch thick in many instances. Compared to U.S. magazines they were a steal at 5000 - 8000 WON (5-8 USD).

This is one of my all time favorite pictures. The baby bunnies are so cute.

I feel the Seoul is one of the hidden fashion meccas of the world. Just stand on any street corner and watch the fashionistas walk (or run) by. I found a great source for Korean fashion at feetmansoul. I always felt under dress when in Seoul with my jeans and tennis shoes. I still wonder how the women manage the uneven pavement, subways and stairs with 4-6 inch heels. My Korean girlfriends were pros.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It Begins With A Pendant

Most often a maedeup project begins with a pendant. I found this pendant on Etsy and fell in love with it. It is made by Lilly Allen Designs. The pendant is a Christmas present for my mom and has each of our names along with our birthstones. I used black cording because it goes with everything.

Making gifts is a great way to practice maedeup and the design possibilities are infinite. You just have to remember to use enough cording. My Korean maedeup teacher was so precise with figuring how much cording was needed for a project.

Here is a picture of the entire necklace.

I looked out this morning and saw that my grill (which was off at the time) was steaming. It was the strangest sight and I'm sure there is some physics explanation that would be way over my head. It was just something that made me go hmmm.

The tale of the three cats continues. There are still raging hissing matches from time to time so I was shocked to walk into the room to discover this sight. Louie is in the middle keeping an eye on the other two.
The good news is I got a full night of sleep without any interruption.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Say It Ain't Snow!

I woke up this morning and looked out my front window to this blanket of snow. The leaves are still on the trees for the most part. I was hoping the weatherman was wrong but it looks like we ended up with about four inches of snow. Luckily, it was too warm for it to stick to the driveway and roads.
Finnigan decided to give me a wake up meow at 3 a.m. which was answered by a hissing Louie. I really tried to get back to sleep but it was sporadic at best. Louie was exceptionally crabby this morning going at it with both of the cats. I can't think of a worse sound than two cats fighting. It freaks me out! Here I was worried that the two cats would pick on him.
I did run out today to pick up a few things. I had never used the defrost on our Sonata before. I drove all the way to the store and back before I found the button. It is a little rectangle with squiggly lines on it. How was I suppose to know that meant defrost! Oh the challenges of living back in the United States.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Tale of Three Cats

There's been a lot of hissing going on around my house lately. My daughter and son-in-law recently put their house on the market and asked if we would watch their kitties until their house sold. It's hard to say no to your kids when they are grown (it was much easier when they were young) so of course I said sure.

My only concern was that we already have a cat, Louie, who has his own set of weirdness. He has always been terrified of everything so most of the day is spent under our bed. He could be the poster cat for the term "scaredy cat". How would he react to two additional cats? Would he ever come out from under the bed? Would the two other cats pick on him?

I glad and proud to report that Louie has found his backbone. He's not letting the two new kitties push him around and he is letting them know regularly who the Alpha male is. The picture above is of Louie (on the left) and Finnigan.

I'm one proud mama to find my Louie hissing and standing his ground with the hair on his back standing tall. I've even found him to be the aggressive one. The only problem I've encountered is that I've been awoken a few times to cat fights going on under my bed. It's hard to get back to sleep after being awaken by two angry kitties.

I worried that Louie would be at a disadvantage since he is declawed and the other two are not and he only has three legs (I'll tell that story in the future). I was wrong to worry. He has risen to the occasion and isn't taking any guff from the two visitors.

The other kittie is a female, Meesery (or something like that) and she stays out of it most of the time. She prefers to spend her time eating me out of house and home. I am going through a bag of cat food a week with her around. She eats constantly while the other two barely eat at all. Louie will occasionally get in her face with a few hisses from time to time just to let her know too who the boss is.
The following picture is not for the squeamish so you have been warned.

This morning I woke up to the strangest sound. I thought it was the wind although it didn't sound like anything I had ever heard before. I fell back to sleep for awhile but finally decided it was time to get up. I went into my bathroom to find this! Ewwww. Louie has never done anything like this so I knew it was probably Finnigan.
The new kitties also like to walk all over my craft table. Now I admit that my table is not organized and is covered with stuff. I do try to keep it clean but when I'm in my crafting zone, the table always looks like a tornado came through. I find containers of supplies have been knocked over even making it to the floor. I could get mad but it has been a good excuse for me to take the time to clean it up.
We are supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow overnight and for once I hope the weatherman is wrong. We rarely got snow in Korea and when we did it was usually just a dusting. I never drove while we lived in Korea so I know that my winter driving skills are rusty. I'm just going to hang around home tomorrow and referee the cats.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recycling Old Maps

I was going through a huge pile of things from Korea when I noticed that we had accumulated many maps of Seoul. It brought back a lot of memories looking at them. I had bought some cork squares on EBay and never got around to using them and they were perfect for my project. Map coasters!

All you need is cork squares, an old map, Exacto knife, glue stick, bone folder, Mod Podge and a paint brush. I began by tearing the map along the fold lines which was slightly larger than the cork square.

Use the glue stick to coat the entire surface of the cork square and press the map onto the top. Use the bone folder to smooth out the air bubbles. Then use the Exacto knife to cut around the cork square and remove the excess map pieces.

It will look like this when you are finished.

Get out the Mod Bodge and paint a coat onto the square.

Let dry and repeat with a second coat. Finished! These were so much fun to make. These make a great Christmas gift and it's never too early to think about Christmas when you are a crafter.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...