Monday, March 29, 2010

Maedeup Monday!

This is a bookmark that I made while living in South Korea. Su-Mi, my maedeup teacher had me make a bunch of maehwa (plum blossom) maedeups. I then strung them on a 1mm cord using wae dorae maedeup to keep them from all bunching up. The funny thing she had me do beforemaking the maehwa maedeups was remove the white filler inside the cording. It made the maehwa a lot smaller and less bulky. I also added some silver garakji maedeups. The chilbo piece is one I had purchased from my chilbo teacher.
Rocketman called yesterday from Korea and said he went with Hannah (my Korean girlfriend) to get glasses in Seoul. He needed some to get him through this time during which his eyes are still healing and adjusting. The Korean optometrist was very thorough but it was a much different experience than here in the USA. Instead of looking into a dilator, the optometrist attached one to his head.
After he made the adjustments he wanted Rocketman to walk around the Home Plus (like a Super Target) to see if it was alright. Rocketman had some dizziness which was expected. He refused to do that and just walked around the office a little. The glasses came to 170,000 won which is about 150 US dollars. Quite a savings. I can't wait to see what he picked out.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I was at our favorite Italian restaurant yesterday for some delicious Italian food. Rocketman and I have been coming here for almost thirty years so most of the staff (except for the new ones) knows us. Since Rocketman is out of town, I still made the Saturday drive for lunch and the staff feels bad that I'm alone so usually someone sits and talks with me for a bit.

Yesterday it was one of the owners and she was upset. She was putting an ad for the restaurant in local flyer (not in our city). The powers that be at the city council of that city felt that the slogan in the picture above was too racy. I was really floored at their reaction to because when I first saw this slogan their ad agency came up with, I found it to be clever and catchy.

They catered our daughter's wedding a few years ago and I must tell you that I have never eaten at a wedding where I felt so inclined to seek out the bride's family to rave about the food. But that is indeed what happened at our daughter's wedding. The food had been a point of contention between me and my mother. Yes, this was my daughter's wedding but my mom had to put in her opinion when she found out we were serving just Italian food. She wanted to know where's the chicken. You can't just have Italian. What if someone doesn't like Italian. We had several Italian dishes and salads also. It was served buffet style and all you could eat (my mom's favorite).

It turned out that Italian was the perfect food. The food was hot, perfectly cooked and delicious. My mom did tell me after the wedding how wonderful the food was. I can't tell you how many weddings we've been to over the years where the chicken is dry or the steak is the size of a quarter (little exaggerated). More than once we ended up stopping somewhere to eat afterward because Rocketman was starving.

I'm not in marketing or have a degree in advertising but I think people need to lighten up. By the way, this restaurant has also appeared on Food Networks Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

David Choi

I discovered David Choi while living in South Korea. He is a Korean American singer songwriter with an amazing voice and equally amazing talent. I found out recently that he went back to Korea to visit his family. This is a video he recorded with his Korean grandparents. They are singing my favorite and most popular Korean folk song "Arirang."

Here is another version of "Arirang." Arirang means beautiful and dear in Korean. It's one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard and it gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.

This is the first song and video I had ever seen of David and I loved it. He can sure write and sing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Maedeup Monday!

This is Su-Mi, my Korean maedeup teacher. She taught me everything I know in maedeup and we became very good friends.

She married last April and on February 22, 2010, she had a baby boy.

His name is Go Yeon-U. Go is his last name. I was hoping to see her during our visit to South Korea but they have strict rules about newborns. The baby is not allowed visitors for the first 100 days except for very close family. This is a tradition that is very old and is based on a high mortality rate of babies from olden times. I was so honored to get an email from her inviting us over for dinner.

In Korea, when a woman has a baby she cannot bath or shower for the first 30 days. She eats seaweed soup every day, usually three times a day, to help gain her strength and there is always someone there to help take care of the baby and you. If you don't have a mother that can do it or mother-in-law, the government will send someone.

The new mother can't eat anything cold and needs to be bundled up even if it is summer. If you don't, you could have achy, arthritic joints when you are older. They can't really do much of anything for the first three months to recover from childbirth.

Some things I've heard Korean grandmothers doing to the baby:
1. Pinching or rubbing the nose to create more of a bridge.
2. Massaging the joints, usually twice a day.
3. Massaging the tummy, keeps the stools regular.
4. Rubbing their eyes to create the eyelid.

Babies can't be carried on the hip like we do here in the West. My Korean girlfriends told me that Koreans bones are too loose after birthing and they can't carry a baby that way. Everyone carries their babies strapped onto their backs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Quilt

I got the quilt sewn together and it turned out great!

The border is very special to me. The striped satin is common used for the sleeves on the Korean hanbok and was bought in South Korea. It really seemed to frame the quilt beautifully.

This is going to be the backing fabric. What a story this was. I thought I calculated correctly the amount of fabric I needed which was 4 yards and I went to the quilt store yesterday to find the backing fabric. I was surprised when this one caught my eye because I've never been a big fan of orange.
The store was packed and everyone was waiting for fabric to be measured and cut. I ended up waiting 20 minutes. I was also short again on black and found they had that restocked so I bought some more.
I got home and preshrunk the fabric. I laid the fabric over the quilt and saw that I had miscalculated by half. I needed another 4 yards. Did I ever mention math was my worst subject in school? Where is Rocketman when I need him?
So today as soon as the quilt store was open I was there. Luckily it wasn't as crowded as Saturday. I had a swatch of the fabric and went to the section where I had purchased it yesterday. It wasn't there. A shop employee even helped me looked. I couldn't believe the entire bolt had been sold.
As I looked further around the room, I saw a fellow shopper with a bunch of bolts of material laying on a table and one of those bolts was my fabric! My stomach dropped and I felt sick. I got up my nerve and went over to her and asked her how much of that fabric she needed. She smiled and said that she just needed half a yard. I asked her if I could get 4 yards from it and she gladly handed over the bolt to me.
I quickly had it measured and cut, returning the bolt to her while thanking her profusely. I left the shop relieved and thinking that I had never had so much trouble with a quilt before. First not being able to find plain black fabric and then this. I'm glad I'm almost finished.
I have a few more things I finishing up and then I will email the lady that does the quilting for me with her long arm. She does a fantastic job.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I started out using my rotary cutter to cut out the satin into 4 1/2" and 5" squares. I had a very hard time finding black fabric. I called many quilt stores in the area and they were out. Finally, the fourth one I called had some so off to Stillwater, MN I went. I could have bought some at JoAnn's but their quilt material isn't as thick as you would find at a quilt store so I always opt to spent a lot more and get my fabric from a quilt store.

Louie was very intrigued with what I was doing.

He patiently watched as I pinned the fabric.

Here I put him on quality control as I sewed. He loved watching the fabric come through the sewing machine and not once did he put a paw on it.

Here is the top all finished except for the border. I'm working on that now. I have a professional long arm quilter who finishes my quilts for me. She does a fantastic job.
Yesterday I got an email from my 76 year old Korean yoga buddy. He fell a few weeks ago while hiking on the mountain behind his home and ended up in the hospital for a week. He had surgery and has a six week recovery. He is really looking forward to our visit.
When we lived in Korea, I honestly could not keep up with the guy. We would go to yoga every day where I groaned and moaned my way through the 1 1/2 hours only to stumble the 1 mile walk back to my apartment. Choi would walk an equal distance to his apartment, eat a little lunch and then hike his mountain for a few hours. I usually spent a hour or two on the couch recovering from yoga only to do it again the next day. I miss those days!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Maedeup Monday!

I was revisiting the sunnabi (male butterfly) maedeup and it's quite the complicated little knot. Constructing the knot is a challenge in itself but I find tightening this one to be the most difficult. It's one of those knots that you need to practice a lot to get comfortable with it. But when you see how it turns out it's all worth it.

I am getting my shopping list together for our trip to South Korea. Not only will I be seeing all our friends and doing a bunch of classes, I'll be shopping. Seoul is my favorite place to shop in the world and Rocketman knows that! I'll be picking up a lot of cording at the maedeup shop along with many other things.

It's also been in the 60's here in Minnesota which broke a record yesterday. I have one snow pile still in the front but I think that will be gone this week. We can see the grass on the lawn which we hadn't seen for many months. We're not out of the snow yet. Here in Minnesota it can snow even in May but I look forward to Spring.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


The colonoscopy went pretty well except for the wait. I was told when I got there that my doctor was very popular and she always ran late. That's great! Of course after hearing this news they decided to get my vitals and get me prepped. My pulse was 102 and they were surprised at that but I told them that I was nervous. I also told them that it is hard to get a line in my veins and so they brought in their pro who still had a little trouble but found one on the second poke. Then I sat for an hour waiting.

While I was sitting (which by the way isn't too comfortable after two days on the toilet) a guy came in and said that another doctor could "do me" right away. I asked if it was a man to which he answered ,"yes" to which I answered "no thank you, I'll wait."

When they finally came to get me I was glad I waited. The doctor was so nice and just wonderful. She could give Rocketman's Dr. NBM(No Bedside Manner) some lessons! She said that since my heart was racing like a bunny she was going to make me feel really good. I don't remember a thing until she said that she was done and then the next thing I remember was Rocketman's smiling face.

I was really out of it most of the night. After not eating for two days, I wanted Red Lobster. I should have listened to Rocketman and passed but I can be a stubborn lass. We ordered and I ate my salad when I started to feel really bad. I asked Rocketman for the keys to the car and went to lay down. I don't remember the ride home or much else. He did get my shrimp to go and I ate that later.

We had our 3rd Ikebana class and the first in our teacher's home. Our next class is in April. The first one is mine.

The teacher had these plastic koi fish she had bought in Japan. They were so cool.

I'm working on a quilt right now and that is why I've been so quite on the blog. I really get into a zone when I'm constructing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Time to Clean!

I am definitely on a quilting spur and I dug into my stash of fabrics to take out all the beautiful satin I bought when we lived in South Korea. Among all the hanbok booths, there is a tiny booth of satin fabrics. I paid 7000-8000 a meter and I will definitely be going back for more.

I'm going to make a quilt using these fabrics and the shoo fly quilt pattern. The background color will be black. I also have a local quilter that does a marvelous job of quilting the layers together so I just have to complete the front. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Today is also cleaning day but not what you think. I get to ingest everything you see in this picture. I started the day with only clear liquids and will continue with a MiraLAX and Gatorade cocktail from 4-6. I don't like the taste of Gatorade at all but when I think about the magic juice I drank in Korea, this should be a piece of cake.

Tomorrow I'm having a routine colonoscopy. Rocketman has already had two and he has prepared me for what will happen. I am still nervous and will be sticking close to home today.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Maedeup Monday!

While shopping at JoAnn's, my eye was drawn to these pendants and they reminded me of some of the funky pins my mom used to wear in the 60's and 70's. I bought them and decided to use them all together in a maedeup necklace.

It turned out pretty cool. I am working at finishing a couple of baby quilts that I made while in South Korea. Su-Mi, my maedeup teacher had a little boy on February 22nd and I'm going to bring one of the quilts for her.

I have to start getting organized for our visit to South Korea. I still have a long list of those I need to buy gifts for. You can't go to South Korea without bringing gifts for your friends and our list is quite long.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rocketman Update

Rocketman is getting very familiar with the equipment at the retinologist's office. Dr. NBM (No Bedside Manner) was in fine form at this week's visit. He did finally admit that two spontaneous detached retinas (involving both eyes) was extremely rare. He attributes it to plain old bad luck.

This is what Dr. NBM puts onto his head when he wants to look deeply into Rocketman's eyes. He didn't use this during this visit. He said Rocketman's reattached retina is healing very well and he has been cleared for takeoff.

Noah, our grandson, also came for a visit and spent the night. There just isn't anything better than grandchildren. He always gets a little weepy for mama at bedtime and this time he told me that he didn't want to come to my house anymore. But morning brought syrup and waffles and all was forgotten. He loves my craft room which he calls the art and craft room. We always find a fun project to do. This time he wanted to make a necklace for his daddy.

He's going to be 4 next month. I can't believe how fast time flies!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Have You Never Been Mellow

I was working on this blog entry listening to my IPod when "Have You Never Been Mellow" by Olivia Newton-John came on. I hadn't heard this song in ages and it was one of my favorites back in the 70's. I also can't remember the last time I used the word "mellow" in a sentence.

I looked the definition of "mellow" up on the internet:

1 a of a fruit : tender and sweet because of ripeness b of a wine : well aged and pleasingly mild
2 a : made gentle by age or experience b : rich and full but free from garishness or stridency c : warmed and relaxed by or as if by liquor d : pleasant, agreeable e : laid-back
3 of soil : having a soft and loamy consistency

I hope as I age to be "mellow." Made gentle by age or experience. What an amazing thing to be.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I have long admired my friend Linda's talent with a needle. She is an amazing designer and her work has been featured in too many magazines to name. I found a box left by our postman recently and opened it to find this pillow made by Linda.

Again, I'm not sure why Blogger chooses to randomly rotate my pictures but it's dang annoying.

But at least you can see up close some of her work. I have this pillow proudly displayed in my family room and it brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.
Tomorrow Rocketman has another post-op visit with Dr. NBM(No Bedside Manner). He has plans to rocket off to Asia in the near future and we will see if the Retinologist agrees.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Maedeup Monday!

This necklace was so fun to make because I incorporated one of my very first pieces of chilbo (Korean enameling).

Most of the time these days I don't plan out the project. I cut the cording and start letting my crafting muse take over.

This is how the sebeolgamgae maedeup looks after you have finished assembling it. It looks a little intimidating to say the least, doesn't it?

Here it is after some organizing and tightening. The first thing to do is find the four sides of the square and then the lines inside the square.

Here is the sebeolgamgae maedeup all tightened up. On this particular day, it looked a little plain to me so I decided to add...

a flower.

The sebeolgamgae maedeup flowers are so pretty and add dimension to the piece.

When working on a maedeup project, it is better to end with too much cording than too little. This time I finished with about 2 feet of cording on each side. Now in the past I would have tossed the excess but look at what I would have been throwing away!
I was able to make two bracelets. How's that for recycling?
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