Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I looked out our sliding glass door and found this little guy eating crabapples off of our crabapple tree. I grabbed my camera and got a couple of pictures before he saw me and ran off.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We are spending the day with family and will be eating massive amounts of turkey with all the sides we love so much. Do you think they would notice if I snuck in a dish of kimchi?  I think the smell would tip them off for sure so I better not. It's definitely an acquired taste and smell:)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Ceramics!

When I met Rocketman the summer of 1979, his mother was into ceramics. I had never seen anything like it and I fell in love with the craft. She was really talented at ceramics although she would scoff if you would tell her so and I did often. She took classes throughout the 80's and then the popularity waned and that was the end of it. I was always thrilled when she made me something and I have quite a few Christmas ornaments and decorations that she made. I put up my decorations this weekend and decorated our tree and the house with the ceramics she gifted me through the years.

I couldn't get enough of ceramics so I took classes in the late 80's with a girlfriend from work. We would have class once a week in the basement of this chain-smoking gruff lady. She was a hoot and we had a lot of fun. Here are a few things that I made.
Darlene, my ceramic teacher, would paint the eyes for a buck a pair. She was so good that I always had her do that for me.

She would also tell us what colors to use which I really appreciated. Now you would think that my mother-in-law's house would be full of ceramics and indeed it was. We were there during what happened to be one of her final weeks and she took me into one of the extra bedrooms and opened the closet to show me the shelves stuffed full of ceramics.

She knew how much I loved them and told me to take whatever I wanted because she didn't need it anymore. I declined because I thought it was just so sad and I regret doing that. Fast forward to this year and I finally got up my nerve to ask my father-in-law for a piece or two of her ceramics. Everything was gone! Not one piece was left and he said he has no idea what happened to all the ceramics. I was shocked and bummed but it just makes the pieces I do have all the more valuable to me.

Someday I will share the story of me and my mother-in-law. It was a complex relationship to say the least and only at the very end did we truly become friends in every sense of the word.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hanji Project - Tissue Boxes

This is probably the last hanji project I will be doing for awhile. I need to finish a baby blanket for grand baby #3 that is coming in March. These are tissue boxes. They were so easy to make and I had a blast picking out the colors for each one.

But picking out the colors leaves my craft room looking like this. Whenever I dig into my hanji paper box, it makes me want to hop a plane to Korea to buy more. I had a hanji shop just a few blocks from our apartment in Korea that sold only hanji paper. It didn't even sell any forms. I never did quite figure out why.
             My kitchen table looked like this was I was cutting the papers out and getting ready to glue.
After the hanji papers were picked and cut out, it was time to glue the forms. They come looking like this.
                                                           Gluing was easy-peasy!
                                                So was gluing. It went pretty quick.
Here is a closeup of one of the tissue boxes. They turned out beautifully. I still have a ton of hanji forms and paper so stay tuned. But for now, it's back to knitting.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bojagi Wrapping Cloths DVD by Young-Min Lee

I was so excited to receive a copy of Young-Min's bojagi DVD to review.  There is so little information in English out there on bojagi. So unless you could travel to Korea and spend months or even years there learning this amazing craft you were out of luck until now. Young-Min has brought bojagi to you.

The DVD is broken down into 6 sections:
1. Introduction and History of Bojagi
2. Supplies
3. Basic Stitches
4. Seam Techniques
5. Projects - Young-Min's demonstrates how to create three bojagi projects
6. Conclusion

The DVD is 2 hours long and covers everything you need to get started. I really loved learning more about the history of bojagi and I loved seeing all the samples of bojagi Young-Min presented. The camera work is also phenomenal and from my experience working on The Carol Duvall Show, I know how difficult it can be to get those close-up shots. Young-Min is very thorough and covers every step needed to insure success.

Even if you weren't necessarily interested in doing bojagi, it is a fascinating look at a piece of Korean culture. The DVD is now available on Amazon.  You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hanji Jewelry Boxes

My next hanji project was to make some hanji jewelry boxes. It was the very last thing I made in my Korean hanji class before we returned to the States.

               I used the same design for the top of the boxes. But I still had a lot of cutting to do.
This is what my kitchen table looked like all week. I did clear a space for our dinner plates each night. Rocketman did not complain once.
Here is a closeup of one of the boxes. I also cut out a design for the front of each of the boxes. Don't you love the hardware. It's a hole-in-the-wall shop near Dongdaemun in Seoul that sells these the real cool hardware. My hanji teacher took me there once.
The inside has a tray which lifts out.
I needed Rocketman's abilities to attach all the hardware. I would have made a mess of it and he didn't mind at all. They turned out great and wait till you see what I'm making this week:)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Maedeup Monday!

I have really been getting my hanji (Korean papercrafting) on and I had bought a bunch of key chain hanji forms from my Korean hanji teacher. The key chains were a perfect canvas to add some maedeup and I made a jamjari (dragonfly) maedeup for each keychain. To be perfectly honest, I had forgotten exactly how to make a jamjari maedeup but luckily I have videos of all the knots with my maedeup teacher, Su-Mi demonstrating them for me.
I have these available in my Etsy store and until Thanksgiving, I am giving a 20% discount on everything in my store. Just use the code THANKS to receive the discount. These key chains are a great and unique gift for anyone in your life.  Once they are gone, they are gone until I return to Korea and pick up some more forms.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hanji Project - Jewelry Boxes

I have done very little hanji (Korean papercrafting) during the past year. I came home from Korea with a whole lot of hanji forms and paper in 2012. I also added to my collection when we vacationed there in April of this year.

So I knew as soon as I finished my bojagi curtains, I wanted to do some hanji. My first project was to make some jewelry boxes. This is how the kit comes.
The first step was to glue everything. Sides are glued using Korean super glue and when I need to glue form on top of form I used a special glue which is very sticky which I also got from my hanji teacher.
I also measured and cut out the hanji paper I would be using. Hanji forms are covered 100% with hanji paper. As you can see, my kitchen counter top did not stay empty for long.
I also used my Korean gloves to keep the glue from sticking to my fingers. It's the way I was taught by my hanji teacher.
If you are ever in Korea, you would notice that Korean men also use these gloves when they are working like moving boxes.
Finished with part one. Hanji along with just about every Korean craft I learned is not for the impatient crafter. I've learned that the hard way and I am still a work in process as far as that is concerned. Stay tuned for part 2.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Family Time!

I love my crazy family! My folks came up from Rockford, Il for a visit and we had a big family dinner on Sunday. Both our kids were able to come which is rare especially since my son works all the holidays and lots of weekends. My sister, Wendy, and her hubby, Colin, were also able to come over. Little Ez fell asleep on the long drive over so he was a little cranky at first.
                  I tried to get a photo of Ez with his great grandma but he was a little reluctant:)
                                    But as you can see, it didn't bother my mom one bit.
My mom brought a bunch of steaks and Rocketman's ONLY job for the day was to cook them. That turned into a huge ordeal when 20 mph cold winds kept the grill from warming up properly. It took a long time to cook the steaks but no one was bothered with delay except for me.
Wendy made our favorite cheesy broccoli side dish and I also made baked potatoes in the crock pot. I don't recommend trying a new recipe when you are having tons of company but the potatoes turned out great. I had rubbed them with olive oil and then sprinkled kosher salt over them and wrapped them in tinfoil. I cooked them in the crock pot on high for 4-5 hours and they turned out perfect. My mother was impressed with my cooking prowess. I was just thankful they were not undercooked.

          Ez opted for an apple. A rather huge red delicious apple from our local apple orchard.

This photo is of our son-in-law, Brent, daughter Laura, sister Wendy and my Dad. He really liked our Korean coppee.
               Our son, Luke, came with his new girlfriend, Lessa. She is really a sweetie!

This is my Mom asking if I will be putting all these photos on Facebook. She tells me she hates Facebook yet whenever she visits, she loves to look at it. Hmmm.
                                                  Noah was a cutie as always. 
                                               Ez was a hoot and so much fun to watch.
                                          The grandkids LOVE their Uncle Luke!
                                                                      Wendy and Mom
                                            My folks with Luke, Lessa and Noah.
                                                             Laura, Colin and Wendy
                                                                  Ez with his Uncle Colin.
      The boys found the pillows from the couch piled in the corner and had a blast playing in them.
 Brent, Laura, Ez, Noah and my folks.  It was the best day ever!!!! When your folks get up in their 80's, you really appreciate these moments all the more.
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