Monday, January 31, 2011

Maedeup Monday!

As you can see in the photo, this necklace is missing a pendant. I made this pendant for Nan, my chilbo teacher as a gift. I'm going to let her decide which of her chilbo pendants she wants to use. My chilbo classes start February 9th. I would have loved to start this week but Wednesday is the start of the Lunar New Year and everyone is on holiday until Sunday.

I'm finally getting rid of all the fatigue I've had since we landed. We found out that we will be moving into our old apartment February 26th. I wish it were sooner but I'm so excited we were able to stay in our old neighborhood and our old apartment. It's going to be a long few weeks!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The First Couple Days in South Korea

The day we moved to South Korea started out quite early. We had soooo much heavy luggage. We had five checked bags and two carry-on bags plus we each had a computer. Somehow it all fit in my sister's car and we made it to the gate with plenty of time left over. We had to be at the airport by 7am to make our flight at 8am to Detroit. The flight was about 90 minutes and we had an hour layover.

Rocketman was able to upgrade us to business class and as you can see by the photo above, the leg room is unbelievable! We were surprised how empty business class was with many seats unoccupied.

They feed you way too much food in business class. Dinner started out with warm mixed nuts.

Followed by this. I did eat some of the pumpkin soup which was delicious and that was about it.

Next came the salad with ranch dressing.

For my main dish, I choose the beef tenderloin and shrimp scampi.

For dessert, I chose cheesecake. I was so full. The came around later in the flight with a snack tray with raw fish and other things like that. Rocketman got the tray but I passed. I was so full from dinner.
I tried to sleep on the flight but I think I was too wound up to be able to. We got through immigration and customs fine and were greeted by Daniel from the relocation agency. We hadn't seen him since we moved to Korea the first time. It was great to catch up with him. Jeff and Jennifer, our friends, were supposed to meet us by something urgent came up and they were called away.
We got to the Dormy in Suwon and we're happy to finally be here.

The next day we met Jeff and Jennifer to go to the apartment we had lived. The owner was living in the apartment but was willing to move out for us. The apartment was just like we left it except it had their furniture. We really wanted to stay there again and Jeff negotiated everything from utilities to internet access. It will probably take the owners a month to find a new place but as soon as they move out, we will move in. We also need to go shopping for furniture when we have a move in date.

For lunch, we went to the Nolboo where we went every Sunday when we lived in Suwon. The manager recognized us and was so excited to see us. She made us this special salad as a welcome gift.

We also had budae jjigae, my favorite. Afterwards, we walked to my old yoga place to check it out and on the way, I ran into Mrs. Choi who grabbed me and took me to yoga. There are many new people and only very few from when I went. I am going to start going again after the Lunar New Year. Even all my teachers were gone and working at other locations.
I haven't been feeling well since we moved. I'm exhausted and have little energy. I'm surprised because I've never had jet lag going West, only going East. It's lasted a few days now and I hope it ends soon. I have a lot more to tell but I need to rest again. I am so happy to be here!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm Leavin' On a Jet Plane...

My living room before the movers arrived this morning. We had two movers and it took them most of the morning to pack up our air shipment. Luckily, it all fit. We leave tomorrow morning at 6am. Sister Two is taking us to the airport at that obscene hour of the morning. We fly to Detroit for an hour layover and then then 14 hour 40 minute flight to Incheon.
I am beyond excited and so grateful to be able to return to South Korea. I will appreciate every single moment spent on Korean soil. This time I know my time there will be short and the year will go by so very fast.
I'm hoping to see my favorite KPop artist Kim Bum Soo in concert! I'd also love to see Kim Jong Wook but he is still serving his military duty. But I leave you with his last video before entering the military. My next post will be from South Korea!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Maedeup Monday!

On Saturday, I took time off from packing for South Korea to participate in the Korean Heritage House Annual Benefit. I had taught a few maedeup classes and the Heritage House to very enthusiastic adoptive parents of Korean children. I was so touched that they wanted to learn Korean culture to teach their children.

It was a last minute decision to go and I hadn't time to prepare a display so I showed up with my plastic bins of maedeup supplies. The benefit was from 10:30am to 12:30pm. I was shocked at the amount of people that showed up and I was swamped with business the entire time.

Rocketman took this picture while I was surveying the table. I had sent Rocketman to the St. Paul post office to retrieve some packages that morning after he dropped me off. Our forwarding agent started the process of forwarding our mail before everything had come in and it's rather a mess thanks to my last minute ordering. He ended up at three different post offices all over St. Paul and retrieved only two packages out of about 6.

It was wonderful to see so many of my students and then their children who stole my heart. It made me miss Korea even more. Many were surprised that we weren't parents of Korean adoptees given my strong affection for everything Korean.

I snapped a few pictures as the benefit started.

Rocketman and I were also treated to a Korean lunch. It was delicious and I ate a ton of kimchi. I packed up hurriedly and made my way home to more packing or should I say throwing it into the living room pile. The movers come on Tuesday and we must be ready for them. I confess I'm a little panicked at the moment and I believe Rocketman is too although he hides it quite well. I can tell though because he gets real quiet and has a pensive look whenever he looks my way. Better get to packing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eye Get It

Over the years, I have bought eye shadow from MAC and it's been piling up in my drawer. The sales clerk tells me to use so and so with so and so but by the time I get home, I've forgotten what she had to say. With the move coming, I wanted to bring these with me and actually use them so I got some white label stock and numbered 1-8 and cut out these tiny numbers. I stuck a number to each eye shadow and off to the MAC counter I went.

The sales clerk was wonderful and took my eye shadow and made all sorts of combinations on these tear sheets.

This is what I went home with. I am so excited to finally start using these eye shadows.

On the move to Korea front, we had a guy from the moving company come out to survey what we were taking. The company allowed for a 62 cubic foot container. It didn't take long to see that we would need an additional container. I thought the company might refuse but the request went in and was approved in an hour.

We booked our flights and are leaving next Wednesday. You aren't allowed to book a one way ticket out of the country so the travel agent will cancel the return tickets. Rocketman was able to use upgrades so we will be flying Business Class! I'm over the moon about that!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Review: Knot Another!

I was sent the book "Knot Another!" to review which introduces the reader to maedeup. It is written by South African artist Elsabe J. van Rensburg. A chance diplomatic posting brought her to South Korea where she discovered maedeup, taught to her by Kim Mi-Hae. She would keep a notebook where she would sketch and detail each step including hints to record even how to make the most difficult knots.

"Knot Another" contains 50 maedeup knots with clear, detailed instructions and beautiful photography. The book also includes instructions to make beautiful and unique gifts. Maedeup is not the easiest craft to learn but the satisfaction of what you can create is worth the price. It is rare to be able to learn such a craft from someone who has actually lived in the country and learned from the experts.
"Knot Another" will teach and inspire you. I was delighted to be able to review this wonderful book.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

FaveCrafts Blog Hop!

It's time for another FaveCrafts Blog Hop. This time I'm sharing a cute bead pen.

Polar Bear Bead Pen

By Becky Meverden

Tips: Make sure that the polar bear and beads fit on the barrel of the bead pen before you bake everything.

Kato Polyclay: White, black, green, red and turquoise (
Blue medium barrel bead pen (www.namebeads)
2 2mm smoke black micro marbles (
White paint
Wooden skewer
Round toothpick
Cotton swab
Paper towel
Circle template, optional


1. Christmas Wreath: Roll a 7/16” green ball into a 1 ¾” long log. Press the ends together and use your fingers to smooth out the seam. Use a toothpick to texture.

2. Berries: Roll nine 1/16” red balls. Press randomly all over wreath.

3. Bow: Flatten two 3/32” red balls into triangles. Press together over the seam of the wreath. Use a toothpick to indent the center of each triangle. Roll a 1/8” red ball and press into the center of the bow. Indent the center and set aside.

4. Beads: Roll two 9/16” turquoise balls. Press each ball onto a wooden skewer.

5. Crinkle a piece of paper toweling and place onto the baking surface. Set the beads onto the toweling. This will prevent flat spots on your beads.

6. Bake the beads and the wreath according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let cool. While still on the skewer, use the blunt end of a paintbrush to paint white dots randomly all over each bead. Set in a cup or glass to dry. When dry, remove from skewer and set aside.

7. Polar Bear Body: Roll a 11/16” white ball into a cone.

8. Legs: Roll two ½” white balls into tapered logs. Press the widest end of each log against a flat surface to flatten. Press onto both sides of the body.

9. Arms: Roll two 9/16” white balls into tapered logs and press onto both sides of the body.

10. Tail: Flatten slightly a 3/32” white ball into a teardrop and press into the lower back of the body.

11. Press the body onto a wooden skewer.

12. Head: Roll a 9/16” white ball into a rounded triangle and flatten slightly. Eyes: Press two micro marbles into the head. Use a toothpick to indent two squint lines by each eye. Snout: Flatten a 3/32” white ball into oval and press onto the head. Nose: Roll a 3/32” black ball and press onto the snout.

13. Ears: Roll two 3/16” white balls into 3/8” long logs. Fold in half and press onto each side of the head.

14. Use cotton swap to blush cheeks.

15. Press head onto the skewer on top of the body. The total length should be around 1 3/8”.

16. Bake on the crinkled paper towel according to manufacturer’s instructions and let cool. Remove from the skewer.

17. Screw the metal barrel onto the pen part of the bead pen. Thread the two beads and the polar bear onto the bead pen. Finish by screwing on the top of the bead pen.

18. If you have trouble removing the beads and polar bear from the skewer, just warm them up in the oven for a minute or so and they will be easier to remove.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Knitting Fool

I've been knitting and procrastinating on just about everything else in my life. I should be doing more with regards to the move. We had a Comcast remote die and it's been sitting here by the computer all week and I just haven't felt like calling Comcast. I should be making a list of the things I want to take to Korea and a shopping list of what I need to buy. I should do laundry more than once a week and the same with the ironing. Should of, would of, could of.
But all I seem to want to do is knit. I finished this blanket for our new grandchild. We find out on Friday if it's a boy or a girl. It is also the mommy of the new baby's birthday. How could our baby girl be turning 26!
I'm also fighting a virus that has kept my stomach upset most of the week and hot flashes have reappeared in my life. Thank goodness it's winter. It's snowed every day for the last 10 and it's snowing today again.
Still waiting on that final signature and it's driving Rocketman mad. I have an interesting story about Rocketman. Since we've been back from Korea, I've tried to find our safety deposit box keys to no avail. I had some car titles from the cars that I wanted to put into it. I called the bank last month to schedule having the keys redrilled. I tried three separate times and they always vowed they would call me back. Finally I had Rocketman take over and they listened to him right away and he met the drill guy at the bank yesterday.
Come to find out, we had closed the safety deposit box right before we left for Korea. Rocketman felt like a fool and so did I. Why didn't they check that when I called all those times. Luckily, the gal had some work for him or I think we may have had to pay the $150.00. I swear my brain just isn't working like it used to.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maedeup Monday!

Knitting is taking up the bulk of my time but I'm still working on maedeup projects to keep those skills up. I made this quick bracelet using 2.0mm cording. I usually work primarily with 1.5mm but the focal bead had a very large whole and this cording worked well with it. It makes for a more chunky bracelet.
I was sick the last few day with a nasty virus that kept me in bed most of the time. I didn't eat a thing yesterday and really don't have much of an appetite today but I will eat something. I also need to get to the grocery store at some point.

I am also going to start a Korea pile and begin to decide what to take and what not to. It will be hardest in my craft room and that is where I'm going to start. Last time, I took everything and you should have seen the looks from the Koreans when the third bedroom was filled to the rim with craft boxes. This time we have only an air shipment so I must be selective.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pile of Socks

This is what I'm working on at the moment, socks. Lots of socks. I have about four different pairs going all at once. I'm having trouble making the heel and have been getting alot of help from my knitting instructor. I'll come in on Wednesday either with a problem or a sock that I have ripped apart and can't get going. She patiently picks up my stitches and helps me to continue.

I think I finally got it but I'll let you know after I have a few more socks done. I do love the colors of the sock yarns. I am using Opal Sports for the yarn. I have a thought that I would make socks for the family for Christmas but we will see how busy I get this year.

The verbal approvals have been made for our move back to South Korea and now we are waiting on the formal approvals through the company's computer system. Rocketman is getting very impatient with it all and I don't blame him. There is a lot of pressure for him to get back to Asia and he is putting it off knowing this move could be approved any minute.

I should be deciding on what I want to take to South Korea but instead I'm busy knitting.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Korean Version of Aha's "Take On Me"

I loved this song from the 80's especially the video. Seo In Guk has recorded a modern version:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Maedeup Monday!

I bought this polymer clay pin on Etsy awhile ago. It's very easy to use a pin as a focal bead. The maedeup cording goes through the pin back and I secure the position with dorae maedeups on each side.

This necklace was the first time I used the largest diameter (4mm) cording I have in stock. It is pretty stiff and difficult to work with so I kept it simple. Su-Mi, my maedeup teacher would always demonstrate new maedeup knots using this cording.

I bought it to make garakji earrings and never got around to it. I still have plenty left to make those earrings if I can tear myself away from my knitting.
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