Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Hanji Ladies Lunch

 Maybe I started a trend but Rocketman and I found ourselves this past Friday at one of my favorite hanji student's home for samgyetang (Korean chicken and ginseng soup).  It is a common meal during the Korean hot summer days.  This is a picture of our table without the rice which was also served with a piece of ginseng and jujubes.

 Our hostess was the one in the yellow apron.  She was so excited to have us at her home.  It really is a privilege to be welcomed into a Korean home.
 Here's everyone else waiting for the meal to start.  Hannah, my Korean hanji teacher's daughter was our interpreter along with Rocketman who's Korean is pretty good too.

As we finished up our lunch, they asked in Rocketman had eaten a chicken wing to which he answered that he had.  They all started saying "wow......" and laughing hysterically.  We were told that if a man eats a chicken wing, he will find a girlfriend because the chicken wing is the most delicious part of a chicken.  I even asked my Korean girlfriends about this and they knew about this belief.  It was too funny.
Our hostess is AMAZING when it comes to hanji.  I found out that she had been taking hanji only three years and two of those years she went very little because her husband had been so ill.  He had passed away last year.  This piece above is all done with hanji paper.  The flowers look like they were painted on but they were created by tearing hanji paper.
 She encouraged me to do some exploring with the rest of the girls.  This was her craftroom and I found a lot of hanji in it too.

 I thought this was too pretty to be in the corner of her craftroom.

 This real stuffed bird was given to her by a dear friend.  It is suppose to bring good luck and it was from China.
                  So much gorgeous hanji and to think she had only been taking lessons basically for a full year.
 Here is a second chest she had in her living room.  It was wooden and covered inside and out with hanji paper.
 She also showed me this contraption.  Can you guess what it is?  It's American counterpart is Maalox or Pepto-Bismo.  I had heard all about this years ago from my Korean girlfriends but they just carried needles.  This is for upset stomachs.  It's like a pen with a tiny needle in the end and when you have a stomach ache, you poke the outside of your thumb, below the cuticle.  If the blood is dark, you are very sick and if it is red then you should feel better by relieving the pressure in this way.  She gave one of the blue plastic needles to us to take home.  I don't think I'll be trying it anytime soon.

 The Japanese lady who was hugging Rocketman last week gave me these coin purses from Japan as a thank you for the food I had sent home with her.  They are so cute and cats are very popular in Japan.
                        Another lady gave everyone these strawberries.  Guess what they turn into?
A shopping bag.  They are so small, they are great to keep in your purse.

Rocketman jets off tomorrow for Taiwan for a few days, returning on Thursday.  I also have Hannah coming Wednesday for a sleepover.  We always have a great time.  Now if we could get the rain to stop here, life would be perfect.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chilbo (Korean Enameling)

 I went to chilbo twice this week, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I finished up on the flowers on the left and also made a butterfly pendant.  I ordered two wooden jewelry boxes which should be in next week.  I'm going to make a chilbo jewelry box for each of our children.  Laura's is going to be the flowers above.  They are sooo beautiful.  Luke loves cats so his will be cats.  It will take me a few months to complete but they will each have a handmade keepsake from Korea.  I had wished I had done this the first time we came to Korea but then forgot about it this time.  Luckily I remembered before we ended up back in the U.S.
 I always love to see what Nan is working on and she showed me these pieces.
                                                             And these.
 My Wednesday class was making chilbo caricatures.  These were Nan's samples.
This is what I did.  It was a lot harder then I thought.
 We ate lunchee at Young-Soo's before class started on Wednesday.  I wonder if this will be a weekly tradition.  I would love it.
She loves to cook and she made us some kimchi bokumbap (kimchi fried rice).  It was delicious and she also had some of her homemade kimchi.

Tomorrow we are going to Seoul to meet Hannah for dinner. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wicked Weather in South Korea

If you haven't heard, we have been having dangerous rain here in South Korea.  The rain has been relentless since it started Tuesday afternoon.  So far the rain totals here are at 537 mm which is over 21 inches.  That doesn't include today's total.  Many people have died in the flood and in landslides.   Gangnam which is a
popular place in Seoul is underwater.

The video above I shot on my way to yoga this morning.  It is nowhere near what they are dealing with in Seoul but it shows you how bad it is here. The rain is suppose to subside by tomorrow.

This is a video I found on YouTube showing one of the mudslides.  Amazing footage.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ajumma Feeding Frenzy!

 On the bus ride home from Young Soo's restaurant, I saw a bunch of ajummas (older Korean women) in front of a bedding store.  They were having a huge sale and I knew I had to check it out.  Rocketman finished the bus ride home while I made my way to the store.
 I took this picture through the window of the bus.  These two cutie patooties were holding their mama's purchases.  I think she went back for more.
I got this summer quilt set for 20,000 WON ($18.00 USD).  I didn't really need anything but that never stops me from picking up a good deal.  It was crazy busy with ajummas grabbing everything they could get their hands on.  It felt good to join in.  If you want to find a good deal in Korea, just follow a group of ajummas.  They are a walking advertisement.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bojagi Class

 My bojagi window covering is coming along slow, very slow, and steady.  I'm just adding little flashes of color to the white.  I can't believe all the work.  It is sure keeping me busy.
KJ, my bojagi teacher, made a nabi (butterfly) for me to stitch.  I had no idea you could do that and it is so cool.  I'm not sure it would work in other fabrics but it works really well in ramie. 

Rocketman has a typical Korean company dinner tonight.  We'll see how late he is.  I shouldn't complain because he rarely has to go to them unlike his Korean co-workers.  But it just makes for a really long day for him and morning comes way too soon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Maedeup Monday!

I haven't made time to do any maedeup but with my friend Sarah's imminent move back to Canada, I had a great reason to dig out my awl.  She has lived in South Korea for almost 10 years where she met her husband and they had a little girl.  I found her blog back in 2007 about her life in Korea and her love of crafts.  We were going to get together before she left but her little girl came down with hand, foot and mouth disease THREE times during their last months here.  She left Korea this morning.

I used one of Nan's chilbo pendants and I mailed it off to her so she would get it before she left. I thought it would be a great memory for her of Korea.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Young-Soo's Noodle Restaurant Opening

 Saturday was the opening of Young-Soo's noodle restaurant which is right next to Nan's (my chilbo teacher).  See the maedeup on the sign to the right, Young-Soo learned maedeup from my teacher Su-Mi also. 
 We brought a plant because in Korea that is what you do when a friend or family member opens a restaurant.
 Here is Young-Soo in the kitchen which is in the rear of the restaurant.  She was hostess, waitress, cook and dishwasher all rolled into one.  The restaurant was busy with steady customers while we were there.  She also makes the kimchi so it's always fresh.
 She has two choices of noodles.  I had kongguksu which is made with soybean broth and noodles.  It was served hot.
Rocketman had bibim guksu which is spicy noodles.  These are your two choices at her restaurant.  I must say they were delicious but the bowls were huge and the portions huge.  Even Rocketman was stuffed.  Her kimchi is the fresh kimchi so it's not as tart as good old kimchi and not as spicy.  It's what is commonly served here in the summer.  Both of these dishes are considered summer food so I wonder if the noodles will change in the winter.  I hope I'm here to find out.
I also went looking for the wood sign guy who went with me to the opera concert a few weeks ago.  He said he was my bodyguard.  He does amazing things in wood but of course he wasn't in his shop.  Isn't it cool?  I love that picture of him you see in the back.

We'll be going to Young-Soo's a lot to support her.  She wouldn't let us pay for our lunch so we left it as a tip and told her it was "American style."  I've never had a friend open a restaurant before so it was wonderful to share this moment with her.  I hope it's a great success.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Hanji Friends Visit My Apartment

 My hanji class came to lunch on Friday to eat some Western food and to see my apartment.  They were curious on both parts and for most of them, their only chance to peep into the world of Americans.  I was expecting ten but Hannah, my hanji teacher's daughter who know English called to tell me that there would be seven and that they would arrive around 12:30.  Rocketman took the day off and was there for morale support and to help out.  He had only met my hanji teacher and the hanji girls had really wanted to meet him.
 I decided to go with our favorite spaghetti sauce from our favorite restaurant back home, Donatelli's.  I had everything except tomato puree so I substituted crushed tomatoes and it still tasted fantastic.  I had some frozen from the U.S. garlic bread that I had bought at Costco and I also made a salad which I served with my favorite Paul Newman's dressing.  I also made some brownies and bars for dessert.

 This hanji lady is Japanese and moved to Korea 17 years ago with her Japanese husband.  She is a sweetie and she couldn't believe how tall Rocketman was.
 Do you want to know what they loved the most?  They did love the spaghetti but they went crazy over the garlic bread.  They wanted to know how I made it so I sheepishly went into the garbage to get out one of the empty boxes to show them.  Then I told them that they just need to be baked or pan fried.  Hannah provided translation for me.

                                               Rocketman took a picture of all of us.
                                                            They really enjoyed to food.
                              They brought a watermelon and my hanji teacher cut it up for us.
 Where did she learn how to do this?  Luckily, I had the tiny fruit forks because here in Korean you just don't pick up a piece of watermelon and eat it.

              My hanji teacher also gave me this beautiful plant and told me to water it only once a month.
                                    Here are some shots that Rocketman during the lunch.
 They explored our entire apartment.  Even opening our curio cabinet to look at things closer.
 I had everyone help their selves to the spaghetti so they could get as much or as little as they wanted.  I had so much extra that I sent everyone one home with some.  They loved that.

 This is me with my hanji teacher.  I have no idea what I was doing but I was pretty nervous during the lunch.  I just wanted everyone to have a good time.

They loved my craft room.  They couldn't get over all the maedeup cording on the wall and they wondered why I had done that.  There were a lot of questions and they learned a lot.  They were also curious about our little area rug under our coffee table in the living room.  They were surprised that we didn't know who made it or what it was made of.  They found that really strange for some reason.

I definitely want to do it again.  It was so much fun and I think everyone had a great time.  Now, I just have to recover from it.  I'm not the best entertainer in my opinion, I'm always worrying about something.  I got to learn to just relax and enjoy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Foam Art!

Tuesday was my last stryofoam or as my Korean teacher says "stee-ro-foam."  I've really enjoyed what I've learned but I'm glad I have another free day.  I was starting to burn out with all the classes I was doing.  Now the only days I have class every week are Mondays, Wednesday, and two Thursdays a month.  Nan, my chilbo teacher wants me to come to class on Tuesday also but I'm not sure if this will be all the time.

I rushed home from miniature class to start getting ready for the hanji girls tomorrow.  I made pot of homemade spaghetti but was out of tomato paste.  Rocketman thought it was a good idea to get what I needed tonight so we ate out and off the Home Plus with my grocery list.  I am making a salad and would you believe they were completely out of lettuce?  I was so tired and stressed that I came home only to discover I forgot the tomato paste!

I went to a local market near our home and found two cans of tomato paste so I bought them but I'm still short two.  They also had lettuce but I decided to run to Home Plus tomorrow morning to get the tomato paste and hopefully lettuce. 

I also made a dessert and I'm going to see if I have time to make some brownies in the morning.  I'm exhausted but looking forward to the girls coming over.  They are so curious as to what we eat and where and how we live so it should be interesting.  Rocketman is also taking a vacation day to help me out and to meet the girls.  Here's hoping it goes well.
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