Tag Archives: hand-made

Polkadot Flowers, Brown Eggs and Patbingsu

7 May

This weekend I was supposed to go to Gwangju. It had been planned for months, but in true Korean style a lot of other things then came up and so I was left with the potential of taking a 4.5 hour bus ride all the way to Gwangju to see some friends and then come all the way back in the same day. This is not so much my idea of a good day out anymore. Maybe I’m just getting old.

So, instead of going away I helped surprise one of my friends for his birthday and then spend a long time chatting with another friend. It was a very worthwhile night.

Then on Saturday I watch Bones (I love this show – I just started watching it and I really love it!) and knitting the blanket for my friend’s baby! Do you remember this post, where I talk about my 300 minute egg experiment. Well I think this is what it was supposed to look like when I cracked it open. These eggs are very common in Korea. I’m actually glad I didn’t get it right the time I tried as I didn’t like the taste and ended up throwing them away. Just goes to show…

No, really! Whoops!

Then on Saturday night I met up with my friend and introduced her to a Korea summer dish called patbingsu. It has crushed ice, a little icecream, nuts, red beans, fruit, ddok, and many other little bits. We had it at Caffe Bene but they are everywhere now the weather is getting hotter. Thankfully she loved it and we devoured it all over a long chat about life, love, religion and food.

Michi getting ready to dive in! It was so good we finished every last drop!

We called it a night early and after a good sleep I met with another friend, Jessica. She kindly offered to teach me how to make flowers in exchange for ‘helping’ her at the bank earlier in the week. They look so delicate and beautiful, I thought they would not only be very hard to make but they would take a long time.

So pretty!

Jessica made this so easy that in no time I had completed the bones of the flower. My centre is a little clumsy but all in all I’m very happy with it! And I will most definitely be trying this out again, in all different sizes and no doubt writing about it!

Jessica showing me how it is done. Working on her flower, adapting and changing as she went, until it was perfect!


This is my 1st attempt, and I’m pretty proud of it. The centre needs so working on, but that will come with practice ^.~

So, although I am really sad that I couldn’t spend time with my friends in Gwangju, there were other plans keeping me here, and look at what I achieved!

What did you do this weekend?


Not just for the kids!

23 Apr

I found this while I was working on a lesson plan for school.

I plan on trying it out tonight! Hopefully I’ll be able to post pictures as I go along…

I’m so excited!

Have you found anything exciting to make or share recently? I would love to know πŸ˜€


Getting Stuck In!

2 Mar

Getting Stuck In!

Yesterday I took my 2nd ever cooking class. This time with there were 12 of us in 1 room.

I honestly loved it! Everyone bringing ideas from their home countries and working together to adapt and build recipes. I certainly learned some new skills and tips that I hope to use in the future.

The 1st dish we made was Bread Tomato Soup. A very rustic, filling dish with rich flavours and wonderful colours. Here’s the recipe I used (I got it from here):

Bread and Tomato Soup
(serves 4)

You will need:
500g ripe cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
Basil (fresh if you can get it!)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 x 400g tins of (plum) tomatoes
500g or 2 loaves of stale bread

What to do:
Prick the cherry tomatoes and toss them with one sliced clove of garlic and 1/4 of the basil. Roast them for about 20 minutes. (if you don’t have an oven then skip this part!! You can do this in a pan with a lid over the top)
In a pot, add the rest of the garlic, oil and basil. Fry gently until soft. Add the tinned tomatoes then fill up the tins with water and add that. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Tear the bread up into thumb sized pieces and add them to the soup. Add more basil and simmer for 10 minutes. Your oven tomatoes should be ready now. Add them and remember to add all the sticky gooey bits too.
Stir the soup. Add 6 or 7 tablespoons of olive oil and serve.

This is seriously delicious. Try it!!



Delight Squared

29 Feb

Delight Squared

My friend is having a baby very soon.

To mark this very exciting event I have been working on an old family pattern for a square blanket.

It’s super easy, once you get your head around it. And the squares knit up really quickly.

It’s taken me a really long time to do this but only because of my growing kitten and his absolute LOVE of moving wool. Along with stationary wool, bundled wool, and anything wool based (including my clothes!!).

It’s not quite finished yet, but it doesn’t stop me from posting about it! I’m an excited little bunny!

For beginners of making squares I would suggest just practicing basic knitting skills before you do the one piece blanket. And the joy with this style is that many people can contribute to the finished product πŸ™‚

What you need:
~ a selection of colored yarn. I use double knit (worsted)
~ 4mm (US 6) knitting needles.
~ scissors

What to do:
~ check the paper band around your wool for details of how many stitches and rows make up a square of 10cm x 10cm (4 x 4 inches), It’s usually 22 stitches across by 30 rows. This is important to know, as you will need all the squares to be the same size for sewing up.

~ For this pattern, cast we’ll assume that it is 22 x 30 for a 10cm square.

1. cast on 22 stitches
2. knit the 1st row
3. purl
4. repeat 2. and 3. until you have 30 rows.
5. cast off

It’s really as simple as that. Make as many squares as you like. 100 squares will make a blanket 1 metre squared.

To Make the Blanket
~ Play around with your pairings and patterns of where you want your squares to be placed. Once you are happy I suggest taking a picture so you will remember what it all looks like. This stage could take some time to complete.

~ I would suggest some crocheting at this point. Take a contrasting colored yarn and simply crochet the squares together, working in a diagonal fashion:

1 2

Starting with 3 squares, crochet from the bottom of 1 and 2 and then 1 and 3, with the same thread. Then:

3 5
1 2 4

This time starting at the bottom of 2 and 4, crochet up diagonally. Making sure to secure squares 1 and 5 at the corner so there are no gaps or holes. Keep going until the whole blanket is complete.

~ Once this stage is complete you might like to add a border. For this I like to make it 50% bigger than the actual squares. Just knit it up and sew each side on as you go. If you want some more help on this one I’ll be writing more about it when I get to this stage of my blanket!

I love this blog post by One Crafty Momma. A very good look for the blanket. Something to aspire to πŸ™‚


Hand made makes all the difference

17 Feb

Hand made makes all the difference

On Wednesday I started my Korean tutoring classes with a really lovely Korean called Chris. She asked me to make a card for one of the orphans that she will see tomorrow.

Now I have a confession. I really don’t like making cards. I don’t like sending them, I do like receiving them, but mainly if they are filled with information from the person sending them. For example, my mother loves to send me these cute little cards. I love them because in the card she will write SO much information it takes me about an hour to read. Normally by the time I have read the whole thing she has spoken to me or emailed the information to me, but it’s nice to get non-the-less!

I am notoriously bad at buying cards. Maybe that is why I don’t like them. Haha. So I decided for this project a hand made beuty using hanji, a Korean paper. It’s really cute.

I simply took an A4 piece of paper, folded it in half and glued it together (this makes it thicker and more card like) I then folded it again to make it look like a card. On the inside I added a smaller piece of blue card, where I wrote a little message. I thought about finishing there, but it seemed to be lacking something. That’s when I thought about adding the strip of blue to the front. But it was still lacking.

I searched the internet for a while until I came across this link, which hasΒ a very easy step by step guide to making the ribbon. I tweaked mine a little but using just 2 strips of card, adding a contrasting color in the middle and then a cute little heart.

I’m calling it Korean style!

If you make cards, let me know, I love seeing the creative nature of people πŸ™‚

Vintage Cardigan with a Mordern Twist!

11 Jan

I love love love to knit. I love sitting in front of the TV, at my friends house, in a coffee shop…you get the picture…and knitting for hours on end. It’s esecially fun with a friend who knits or crochets too. We can talk about what’s happengn in life and as I knit I feel the stress of life just sip away. The thing that makes this better: knitting for someone else! Someone I care about or who I know will appreciatetheir gift.

I’ll let you into a little secret: I very rarely knit for myself!

There I said it! I am a very fussy knitter. I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I have been known to get 1/2 way through a piece and then simply give up because it just isn’t good enough. Now the effort endured for others makes it orth it, but when it’s for me, I see no point!

Today’s little item is partially copied but I added my own spin. It is a traditinal baby jacket with a ribbon trimming. I plan to develop this more, and it’s not my best work, but I love the concept and think I’ll b spending a lot of my time in the future mixing techniques to seewhat happens.

So, it’s a little upside down rght now, but I’ll sort it out for you all tosee properly. Using a simple k1, p1 repetition every 2nd row I produced a cut little pattern. the blue and white ribbon just adds some zig to the otherwise plain cardigan.

The next cardigan I attempt wil be documented fully and put up here for you all to try out yourselves.