We survived the last week of school! Phew! It has been very busy around here lately with Baby J's birthday party, end-of-the-school-year activities, sprained arm [Big J], tackling a long list of birthday/farewell gifts [8 down, 15 more to go...no joke!], dealing with some unexpected changes and preparing for new adventures this summer.
So in the midst of a hectic week it was really refreshing to take time out to share a meal with some wonderful friends. My dear friend Sarah invited six of us over to her apartment for lunch. Sarah is an amazing cook [she makes THE best salads ever], wife, mother and artist. And she really knows how to set a beautiful table.
She is also one of the most thoughtful people I know. Sarah gifted me with one of her custom fiber art pieces and I couldn't be more happy!
I love all the details in her work. She uses beautiful hanbok [traditional Korean dress] fabric and adds texture via machine stitching and embroidery. And of course she already knows me so well, do you see all the grey?
I love the fact that this piece will always be a reminder of our friendship--a Norwegian-American from Norway and a Korean-American from the U.S. who met in beautiful Busan, South Korea.
Although I've been a bit quiet lately we've been having a full, fun
spring so far. We had our third visitor[s] from Oregon a few weeks ago [Mariko
and her peeps], celebrated my 35th birthday, then it was Big J's 6th birthday party and for the past
few weeks we've been hosting my sister + her family who are visiting
from California. The cousins are having fun playing together and the
parents have been enjoying several quiet dinners after the children
have gone down for the night [thanks to my mother who has been doing
her fair share of babysitting]. The weather has been really incredible
and since Appah had three days off for the holidays [Labor Day,
Buddha's Birthday, Children's Day] we have been enjoying morning runs along the beach. I love spring!
It is hard to believe we've been living in Busan for six months. Our whole family has adjusted quickly to life overseas and we love the conveniences of living in the "city" where everything is within walking distance--markets, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, shops. But one of the things I do miss about living in the States is the easy access to craft and fabric stores [although my pocketbook would disagree]. I was assuming Busan would be similar to Tokyo with its abundance of arts and crafts stores. I was wrong. I'm told it is a different scene up in Seoul, but in Busan the only "real" fabric store is the Busan Jin Market [a 30-45 minute drive across town]. It is a four story building that is overflowing with bolts of fabric [imported and domestic]. You'll find fabric used for traditional Korean dresses [hanboks], ribbons, buttons and all sorts of crafting goodness. Although I still haven't found pattern paper or interfacing at the market it is a real treat to see the variety of fabric they have to offer.
My first trip to the market was back in October of 2008, a week after I arrived in Busan. I was so overwhelmed by all the organized chaos that I left empty-handed. But to my surprise the friend whom I was accompanying was able to navigate the narrow walkways and find her way around. After several more trips I'm slowly remembering the location of my favorite stall for ginghams and the other stall that sells cute simple cotton prints. Oh, and this is one of those places where you need to snatch up any fabric that you like because you never know if you'll find it on the next trip.
It wasn't until my trip to the market with Mariko that I remembered to
bring my camera though these photographs don't do the market justice.
Needless to say if you are a fabric lover this is a must-see for anyone
who visits Busan.
Tomorrow Big J goes back to school and this week I plan to work on Big J's party preparations, go on a field trip with Big J's class, do my homework for my Korean lesson, catch up on emails [or try my best!], try out some new recipes, bake some lemon glazed cookies, exercise and spend some time with a friend who will be visiting from Oregon. Looks like it will be a good week! Have a good one! [Happy Easter to those who are celebrating!]