This photo is of me with the owner of the Fine People convenience store located behind the Dormy. We lived in the Dormy while our apartment was prepared and it is also where we stay when we visit Korea. It's close to Suwon Station and my Paldalmum where I take my craft classes.
I met him in 2011 when it took 5 weeks for our 10 day air shipment to arrive. I was rarely without a Pepsi those days and every few days I would pick up 4-5 cans and that's how I got to know him. He also gave me a free brown egg every once in a while as a thank you which endeared him to me. He knew very, very little English but you know that has never stopped me from communicating.
He was always having trouble keeping a girlfriend because of the hours he worked. I think the store is 24 hours and he was always there whenever I stopped by. I felt so bad for him. I reconnected with him during our trip in April. He hadn't changed a bit and was still having trouble getting and keeping a girlfriend. This time he told me he wants an American girlfriend.
It was really wonderful to see him again.
I also took a video of Vomit Alley. It was really funny when my Korean girlfriends came down to visit when Rocketman was in the hospital. They would walk that way to catch the bus back to Seoul at night and they couldn't believe the vomit piles they saw. They told me that it was awful and not like Seoul at all. So they understood how I came up with the name.
I was contacted by Trina Williams, a contributor to PolymerCAFE magazine, a few weeks prior to our trip to South Korea asking if I would like to be their next featured artist. I was so surprised and happy for the opportunity. I had met Trina years ago during a taping of The Carol Duvall Show where she interviewed me along with other polymer clay artists there on that day for an article she was working on for the Polyinformer.
She started by emailing me a list of questions which I answered and emailed back. Then we spoke on the phone for some final questions and thoughts. They also wanted a polymer clay project to go along with the interview. I decided to put my love of Korea into the project and I made a Korean hanbok girl.
She turned out great and I love the photo Rocketman took of her. You can find my interview and the instructions on how to make the hanbok girl in the August 2013 edition of PolymerCAFE. I want to thank Trina for doing a wonderful job on the article. I am truly honored to be part of this wonderful magazine.
Thursday was Marketfest in White Bear Lake and it is always a fun place for kids. Noah loved the attractions.
He was so patient waiting for his turn.
Time to buckle up.
And Noah is ready to jump to the moon and back. He had a blast. He ate some cheese curds and we went home with a bag of cotton candy.
Korea has some of the cutest air-dry clay kits. They are not cheap, though. This one was about $18.00 but it comes with everything you need. You don't find much polymer clay because most Korean kitchens do not have an oven.
This is what the kit looks like when you open the box.
Each kit comes with step by step instructions along with photos to make all sorts of things.
We made the penguin.
The week of crafting ended with painting drinking glasses.
Noah did a great job and he had a lot of fun too. So now his momma has some new glasses.
This week Noah fell in love with Sam-Shik, the pig from the Korean drama "My Name is Sam-Soon." I had bought the pig during our first stay in South Korea.
The week with Noah just flew by although not for Louie. Being terrified of everything except Rocketman and myself, Louie spent the week hiding under our bed. He would come out at 10 pm only when he was sure Noah was asleep.
Continuing the summer tradition, we had the pleasure of having our 7 year old grandson, Noah, for a week. We started the week with our annual journey to The Red Balloon Bookshop, a wonderful children's bookstore. It always brings back so many memories of bringing his mama and uncle there when they were little. He was so excited.
They have the best selection of children's books I have ever seen. It truly is a magical place.
These were the books he chose, some with grandma's help and he even picked out a few for his little brother Ezra.
The next day we were off the see my sister to get Noah an extra pair of glasses. He breaks his often and then he is without glasses for sometimes a few weeks.
He loves his great Aunt Wendy and she is so wonderful with kids.
We were told the lenses were in stock so we had about a 1 1/2 hours to kill. We ate lunch and we rode the merry-go-round.
I had also signed him up for some kid's classes at the White Bear Center for the Arts. This is what he made the first class.
We also made some homemade strawberry popsicles with real strawberries.
I was in charge of filling the popsicle containers.
Here they are ready for the freezer. These were really cool popsicle containers. They worked great!
I got the recipe for the strawberry popsicles from this book. The popsicles were delicious and so easy to make.
Noah's second class was all about Native American art. It was a two day class and these photos are what he made in the two day class.
But we are not done with the week yet. There is still a lot more to come. Stay tuned.
As KJ and I were making our way through the exhibitions, she took me to a nondescript building to pick up something. Little did I know that she had made me a chasu (Korean embroidery) piece for my very own.
It was better than Christmas and we were picking it up at a Master framer's studio.
He is amazing and all he does all day is frames by hand. KJ told me that instead of gluing the chasu to the backing, he stitches it like they did in olden times. This is a photo of him wrapping my chasu so I could get it home safely. He had a pile of things waiting to be framed so I could tell that he is one busy guy.
It took him awhile to wrap my frame up and while we were there I looked around and found this painting just hanging on the wall. He told KJ that it was over 300 years old. I was shocked, knowing Korea's history, that it had survived. I then told KJ that I was amazed to see something that was older than my own country, the US. She translated what I had said to him and he stopped working thinking about what I had just said. Then he laughed and I think he was surprised to realize that my country is really not that old.
The chasu made it home safe and sound. She could not have given me a more precious gift and it's something I will cherish forever. And whenever I look at it, I think of her and all the good times we had together.
For some strange reason Blogger did not post all the bojagi photos from the bojagi exhibitions I had attended in Seoul. So this post to correct that error. Enjoy!
I'm working on a big bojagi project at the moment but I am really itching to make some pin cushions. Bojagi pin cushions are so colorful and each such a work of art. More on the rest of my visit with my bojagi teacher, KJ, in my next post.