Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dongdaemum Shopping

 After foam class, I hopped a bus to Seoul and Dondaemum.  It's the blue line I take to Dongdaemum and the stop is number 421.  Use exit #9 to find the shopping complex I talk so much about.  I was waiting for Hannah and for once, took the time to take in the sights.  Right now there is huge construction going on in what used to be the parking lot, they are building a Marriot Hotel.

This parking garage is so unique in that it is vertical parking. You have to drive your car into an elevator which takes you to the floor to park.
 You never know what colorful things you may see in Seoul.
 Watch out for these guys.  They move so fast and seem unafraid of scooters or cars.  I've never seen one walk, only run and make sure you stay out of their way.
 I visited my favorite satin guy and got these beautiful colors to add to my collection.  He only charged me 6000 WON ($5.60 USD) per meter.  I finally asked him for a namecard because I can never remember where he is and I spent 10 minutes looking all over for him.  He is near the hanbok makers and he usually is always busy.  He is on the second floor and the booth number is 2135.  His satin is beautiful!
 I also went up to the fifth floor and bought some things.
 I bought pairs of the two lower findings thinking to make quick earrings.  I left the shopping complex sweaty and happy.  It was so hot in there and you wouldn't believe how hot it gets in summer.  It's like an oven but that won't keep me away.

Rocketman comes home in a few hours.  It stormed all night and has continued all day.  I love the sound of rain and today was a great day to get caught up on my chasu homework.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Foam Art!

 I am taking foam classes twice a week to try and complete the course before I travel back to the U.S. for a short visit.  I made this picture frame for our new grandbaby and I think I will carry it in my purse so it isn't crushed.  That's the bad thing about styrofoam is that it breaks and you have to be careful with it.
The second thing I made was this toilet paper holder.  I'm not sure a heavy roll of toilet paper would hold up for any length of time. My class lasted just over two hours and then I ran home to drop everything off.  I was meeting Hannah at Dongdaemum to visit my maedeup shop.  I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.

I've spend the evening watching the Royal Wedding.  It was wonderful to watch what everyone was wearing and some of those hats I saw, wow!  I think Princess Diana would have been very proud of William and his choice. I'm sure she is smiling in heaven. 

We are supposed to have thunderstorms and lots of wind tomorrow so I'll be sitting tight in our apartment.  Rocketman flies in from Taiwan tomorrow night and I'm hoping the bad weather will be done by the time he lands.  My heart goes out to those in the South who's lives have been devastated by the tornadoes.  I have a crafting friend in Birmingham, Alabama and I pray she and her family are safe.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chilbo (Korean Enameling)

 One of the things I love about my weekly visits to Nan's is never knowing who may walk through the door.  Her shop is on a side street where you find apartments along with shops and restaurants.  There is always someone walking by whether it's a government official or a student.

Sometimes Nan's sister stops in and she is quite the pistol!  She always has a bright smile and now knows how to say, "Hi Becky!" in English.  She lives in a small apartment building right across the street from Nan's shop.

This week, the lady who I helped with the rice cakes stopped by with some treats.  She stayed for quite a while and even helped Nan sand some finished pieces.

 I was busy working on these four plates.  I still have to put the finishing outlining on them and paint the faces which I will do next week.
I also saw these gorgeous pendants and had to buy a few.  She told me she was getting ready for Buddha's birthday which is in a couple of weeks.  Tomorrow I have another foam class and then it's off to Seoul to visit my favorite maedeup shop.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Foam Art!

 I was looking for a restaurant the other day when I passed this new shop that had recently opened.  It is a craft shop that uses styrofoam sheets to make cute decorations. 
 I went in and met the owner.  I asked her about classes and she gave me a flyer.  I showed it to Hannah and told her I wanted to take lessons.
 Hannah called the shop owner and I started classes on Tuesdays.
 Hannah went with me to the first class to translate.

 I bought this foam saw which uses heat through the wire to cut the styrofoam sheet into the shapes.  Then I used paints to put two coats of paint onto the shapes.
 This is what I made, two butterfly magnets.  It was a lot of fun and I can't wait for the next class.

Hannah hadn't had any lunch so we found a budae jjigae restaurant.  It was delicious and I'm definitely coming back with Rocketman.

Korean Chasu (Embroidery) and Bojagi Class

 Chasu homework for this week is to fill in the body of the bird.  This is a popular chasu pattern.
 I also have this new piece to do but my teacher didn't give me any homework on it yet.
 She also came bearing material.  My kind of girl! This is going to be for my next project, a table runner.
 She also brought show and tell.  This is a bojagi piece.
 Closeup of the piece.
 She added chasu to dress up the bojagi.  You can see why bojagi and chasu go so well together.

 She also brought this table runner. It is very long, over two yards.  This will be my next bojagi project. Here are some closeup shots of the table runner.

Tuesday was a rainy day and I got to yoga while it was still drizzling.  I was surprised to see there were only five of us instead of the usual 16-20.  This gave the teacher time to go around and torture help each of us.  She came over to me while I was trying to keep my legs in the air for 10 minutes.  She always is able to find a part of my body that with one touch can feel like a knife.  She used that pointer finger to press on the center of my breastbone.  It hurt so bad and the more I moaned, the harder she pressed.  I don't know what the point of it is, but I sure feel better when she stops!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Craft Show in Suwon

Nan, my chilbo teacher, asked me on Wednesday to come to the craft show on Saturday.  All the shops on her street were going to have tables set up outside and were going to do demos.  It turned out that Rocketman had to go into work on Saturday so I thought I would hang out at the chilbo shop.  I got there at 10:30am which is when Nan wanted me to arrive to find no Nan.

I sat down and waited for Nan to return.  The lady at the next table was busy prepping for food.  She came over to me with this big bowl of rice cakes and fish cakes.  The rice cakes were stuck together in bricks.  She showed me how to pull them apart and walked away telling me to separate all the rice cakes.  It took me the better part of an hour to do this.  Nan showed up shortly after I started and laughed seeing me working.

You should have seen the looks I got from cars that drove by and people that walked by.  Many stopped and stared so surprised to see this foreigner ripping rice cakes apart.  While I was doing this, the lady began to make dukbokki.  I watched as she added each ingredient to a huge electric skillet.  Then she came over and grabbed a handful of rice cakes and fish cakes and threw it into the skillet.  Soon it looked like this.

Some government officials came by and were also surprised to see a foreigner.  I collected quite a few namecards (business cards) throughout the day.
They seemed to congregate in front of me which made others walking by stop to see what was going on.

Nan took this picture of me collecting 1000won (.90USD) for a cup of dukbokki.  I was given lots of toothpicks to help myself.  It was delicious.  Nice and spicy.
There was also a couple of bands that played.  I managed to video a few songs.  The guy in the black baseball hat sang Kim Bum Soo's "Bo go ship da" to me.  The guy on far left grabbed me and brought me to this bar.  They wanted me to drink but I had a coke.  I wasn't hungry but they really wanted me to eat so I had a few bites.  I stayed for a little bit then when back to the chilbo shop.
This was the badge that Nan made for me.  I also demoed some chilbo.  Kids could make chilbo keychain for 5000 WON (4USD).
A pottery artist came over and gave me this sculpture as a gift.  Do you wonder why I love it here so much?!!
I also bought this necklace for 18,000 won ($15USD).  The pendant is made with dried flowers.
Closeup of the pendant.  I left about 4:00pm and waited for Rocketman to return from work.  He was really tired after a stressful day and bummed he couldn't have gone with me.  It was super windy that day but at least it didn't rain so the day was a success.  Nan was so glad that I came and I hope she knows that I would do anything for her.

This first video is "Bo Go Ship Da":

This band was really good and sang in English.  I got quite a few videos of them.  If you watch the "Living La Vida Loca"  you will see a guy on stilts that was pretty hilarious.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Maedeup Monday!

 I was working on this necklace shortly before we moved back to South Korea.  I love to wear crosses and I had bought this pendant at JoAnn's.  I love just a simple chain of dorae maedeups with  accents of silver garakji maedeups. I found the pendant which was so small task.  Our Korean apartment comes with many drawers in which to store things and I couldn't remember where I had put my maedeup supplies.

I also found out a few months ago that a dear friend had lost his battle with cancer. I have known him and his wife since I was a teenager. I was able to witness firsthand how they fell in love and married.  Debbie even officiated at our daughter's wedding.  I wanted to make something special for her and their two daughters.  I had bought these crosses at Dongdaemum and thought they would be the perfect pendant for the maedeup necklaces.  I hope they like them.

Rocketman had an interesting weekend.  He took Friday off which ended up being a rainy day so we just hung around home.  He got an urgent call at 5 pm from his company's plant manager.  There was  a major problem and would he be able to work on Saturday.  He thought he would only be there a few hours but it turned out that he worked all day.   He was bummed because there was another festival that he wanted to attend with me.  He came home tired and had to pack because he was leaving Sunday, Easter Sunday, for Taiwan for the week.  I went to the festival without him and I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.  It was incredible!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Making Cookies in South Korea

I had promised Jeff that I would teach him how to make cookies.  We had talked about it when I was looking for a blender in South Korea.  They are impossible to find and very expensive.  He wanted to know why I wanted one and I told him to make cookies and other things that you bake.  He told me that he had never made cookies before, not even as a child.  He was very excited to learn how.

I had made some oatmeal cookies earlier in the day to test out the gas oven.  I've never baked cookies using gas before.  They were a disaster with many ending up either burnt or undercooked.  For Jeff's first time, I decided to go with Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies and used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip cookie bag.

Everyone came down to bake cookies so I also made tacos.  Jeff hadn't had tacos since he lived in Los Angeles years ago.  Everyone loved them.  Then we got to the serious business of cookie making.  I had him read the recipe and we started by measuring the dry ingredients and putting them on a piece of wax paper.  He carefully added the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl.
I showed him how to pack the brown sugar into the measuring cup.

He added the dry ingredients to the bowl like a pro.
I also had to teach him the important part about licking the beader.  He was a little hesitant and used his finger to taste the batter.  Hannah and Jennifer also tried the batter.  I'm sure it was probably the sweetest thing they have eaten in a long time.  Korean recipes don't use anywhere near the sugar that U.S. recipes call use.
The most touching part of this incredible evening was watching Jeff as he watched the cookies bake in the oven.  He was so intrigued as the cookies baked and changed shape.  He had never seen anything like that before.
I was also touched to hear Jeff say that watching his cookies bake was like watching his babies grow up.  Before this, baking cookies was just a chore that I did once in awhile or for a special occassion.  I will never look at it this way again. 

I baked cookies with our grandson once in awhile before our move. I will change that when we move back to the States.  This night I learned that baking cookies is not just about the act but it was more about the fellowship and spending time with those we care about.  Thank you Jeff for teaching me a valuable lesson.
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