Archive for the ‘miniatures’ Category

Halloween Polymer Clay!

September 8, 2012
Copyright 2012 Becky Meverden
Polka Dot Pumpkin Magnet
by Becky Meverden
Polymer clay – For pumpkin: orange, brown, white, black, Polka dots: magenta or purple
1/2″ round magnet
3/4″ round Kemper cutter, optional
E6000 adhesive
1.  Flatten a 1″ orange ball into a 1 5/8″ circle.  Use your fingers to flatten the ball and  have the center thicker than the edges.
2.  Use a toothpick to indent lines on the pumpkin.
3.  For the stem, roll a 5/16″ brown ball into a 1/4″ long tapered log.  Use a toothpick to indent lines all over the stem.  Press onto the back of the pumpkin.
4.  For the eyes, flatten 2 3/16″ white balls into teardrops.  Press onto pumpkin.  For the pupils, flatten 2 3/32″ black balls and press them onto the eyes.  Use a toothpick to make two squint lines by each eye.
5.  For the eyebrows, roll two 1/8″ orange balls into 1/4″ long tapered logs.  Press above each eye.
6.  For the nose, roll a 1/4″ orange ball into an oval and press onto the pumpkin.
7.  For the mouth, press the lower half of a round cutter into the pumpkin.  You can also use the lid of a tub margarine container.  Cut a 1″ x 2″ strip, use your fingers to curve one end and press into the pumpkin.  Use a toothpick to place a hole on both sides of the mouth.
8.  For the polka dots, roll 1/8″ magenta (or whatever color you choose) balls and press randomly all over pumpkin.
9.  Bake in a preheated 265 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Let cool.
10.  Glue magnet to the back of the pumpkin.
We broke out the polymer clay while Noah was here also.  I forgot how much I love the stuff!!  I made the pumpkin refrigerator magnets and Noah made the pumpkins in the photo above.  He loved it!


I Miss Dollhouse World!!

August 22, 2012

I was scheduled for one last class at Dollhouse World in Suwon and was so looking forward to it.  Unfortunity, the owner, Jung-Mi’s father-in-law had fallen gravely ill and as the wife of the eldest son, the hospital vigil fell on her shoulders.  She spent every hour of every day at the hospital keeping me informed (through my Korean girlfriend) his status and the possibility of still having my class.

But he ended up passing right before we left so I was unable to have that class.  But I did stop in one more time to pick up a few supplies.

 While her sister (who owns the coffee shop adjacent to the shop) scurried around collecting items along with some phone calls to her sister looking for things, I took some photos of all the talent.

                Then I stayed for lunch and had a bittersweet meal with her.  Her shop is so cute.

I just love this bagel sandwich of hers.  It had egg, bacon, lettuce and mayo.  Yummy.

If you every are in Suwon near Sungdae Station, stop by.  She has kits available too.  If you have two full days, have a Korean friend give her a call and see if she can schedule a class for you.  It will be one of the best things you ever did in Korea.  To get to Dollhouse World:  From Sungdae Station, walk West for a few blocks until you past a gas station.  Take a right at the next street, its’ a steep one and walk.  You will see the coffee shop and Dollhouse World on the left.  You can’t miss it, it’s the first building when you take that left.

There is a huge miniature show in Chicago every year and she would love to go.  I’m trying to convince her to go and that I would drive down and help her with the show.  I’ll let you know if she ever takes me up on it.

My Miniature Korean Pojangmacha (Street Food Cart)

December 19, 2011

I finished my Korean street cart yesterday in class.  I was amazed by the details my teacher included from the toilet paper (used as napkins) to the plastic bag that covered the ddukppoki (떡볶이) plate.  We worked hard and my teacher worked especially hard helping each of us out.

                                              I was absolutely thrilled how it turned out.

                                                     This is a look from the backside.

                                                     Side view.

         Here are my bungeo-ppang (fish-shaped bread filled with red bean paste).   Aren’t they cute?

               Here’s my teacher.  She knows her way around power tools.  She is really amazing!

                                                         My odeng ready for the broth.

              Rocketman showed up at the end to take me home.  He was amazed at what I had made.

 My teacher is on the left of me and her sister is on the right.  She owns the coffee shop right next door and she makes us our lunch.

Everyone is busy working.  I finished first and that was still way after 4 pm.  I finished at 6:15pm and I left happy but exhausted.  I don’t have anymore classes lined up but I’m hoping to learn some more before we have to leave.

Korean Miniature Class – Street Food Cart

December 11, 2011

This is the Korean street food cart that we were going to construct in class.  Everything you see is handmade.  It was the largest class yet for me with six students including myself.  It was also the first class I had ever had that was taught by the owner.  You can see her to the right of this photo on her smartphone.

                           The first thing we did was to cut out the stools and glue them.

Next we cut out the tops of the stools and had to sand them.

                          These are my stools, spraypainted and glued together.

Next was welding.  We welded the top of the cart.  My teacher had a chart and all the pieces were cut to size.  I was lucky that she used constructing mine as the demo so I didn’t actually do any welding.

The top was first cut out in cardboard and then the awning was cut out.  Both were patterns we traced.  Then we used doublestick tape to attach.

This was a piece of foamcore board without the cardboard on top which makes it soft and easy to score.  That gave the bricks their realistic look but I never know it could be so easy.  I used a pencil to score it.

                  This is what it looked like when finished and it will be the base for the display.

                                                   Next we made the fence.

The last thing we did was make the cart top.  I had a great time and I can’t wait for next week when we finish the cart and make all the street food.  I don’t know how we will get it all done in six hours.

I usually find it difficult to catch a taxi after class but today I got lucky.  When I got in, the taxi driver immediately understood where I wanted to go (maybe my Korean is improving).  Then he did something surprising, he changed the radio station from Korean trot to American music.  He smiled at me when he did it and I told him thank you in Korean. 

It would have been a perfect day except Rocketman left this morning shortly after 7 am to fly to Japan.  If you are keeping track, he’s been gone for the past three weeks.  But at least he is home for part of the weekend, usually arriving Saturday afternoon and leaving Sunday morning.  But it’s better than if we were in the States because he would be gone the entire time including weekends.  He is also less fatigued, instead of the 14 hours, it’s 3.  He figures it will be crazy like this for 4-6 months.

Miniature Korean Food Class – Fruits

December 1, 2011

These are my finished miniature fruits.  We made apples, bananas, tomatoes, lemons, tangerines, strawberries and kiwis.

 I even got to do a little millefiori.  It had been a long time since I had done any and that’s how we made the kiwi slices.

 Here we are from left to right, the miniature shop owner’s sister who runs the coffee shop next door and feeds us lunch, my teacher, me, Nan-Young – fellow student (same name as my chilbo teacher) and the miniature shop owner.

I had been asking for awhile if there could be a class on Korean street food and I never got an answer.  So I thought that this could possibly be my last class ever.

The owner let me know that she is teaching on class on Korean street food and making the street cart you see in the photo above.  We will just be making the street cart and the food.  I was over the moon and told her that it was the best Christmas present ever.  It will be a two day class, December 11th and 18th.  If they do have any classes in January, I will take those also.  I love it even though I come home exhausted.  Happy, but exhausted.

Korean Miniature Class – Tol (Korean First Birthday Celebration)

November 27, 2011

 I had a special miniature class where we made a tol (Korean First Birthday).  It was a recreation of how they would have done a tol in the olden days.  Korean first birthdays are still celebrated in a big way and we have been lucky enough to go to quite a few.

I was really sick last Friday when the day long class was held.  It was the first full day of my cold and I had two episodes during class where I could not stop coughing to the point I was losing my breath.  The cure is lots of water and it worked after a few minutes but it was darn embarassing.

I was told the class was until 5 pm but when 5 came and went, I asked the teacher how much longer.  She was a new teacher to me and spoke really good English.  She said about 40 minutes.  I waited a while longer and called Rocketman to pick me up on his way home from work.  But when he arrived we were no where near finished.

The teacher saw how tired and ill I was and she offered to come in after my other class the following Thursday to finish everything up.  I couldn’t believe how generous she was and I took her up on her generous offer and packed my things and left.

These pictures are of the finished project.  My teacher came in about 2 pm and my class ended up finishing around 4pm.  We started right on it and finished at 6 pm.  I asked her how long class went after I left and she said it everyone finished at 8:30 pm.  I would have been toast by then.

 These are the choices a child from the old days would have to chose from.  These days I have seen things like a mouse (gamer) and a microphone (singer).

 I am beyond thrilled at how it turned out and that I made it all.  It was a ton of work but I will have this forever.

 Here is an idea of how it all started.  When I say I made everything that included even building the case.

                                                 These are the parts to the hanji lamp.

 We glued a piece of hanji paper to one board and a piece of vinyl to the other.  Then we glued them together.

                                                       I painted the hanji lamp pieces black.

                                             I glued hanji paper to the hanji lamp frames.

                                                 Then they were cut out and glued together.

I also had a lot of food to make.

                                                 Here is myself and my teacher.  I was so excited!!!

Miniature Korea Food Class – Fruits!

November 10, 2011

 This month’s miniature food class is all about fruit.  It is the third in the “Master’s” series.  It is more expensive than the regular classes and we leave exhausted.  For this series there was only one other student, so I’ve really gotten to know her pretty well.  She speaks a little English and seens to understand me very well.

Her name is Nan-Young just like my chilbo teacher.  She just got back from a vacation in the U.S.  They spent it on the west coast and stayed in San Francisco (my suggestion), Los Angeles and San Diego.  They even went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.  When she was planning the trip originally, they were going to go to Florida too.  She had no idea how far it was from Los Angeles and they were only going to be in the States for a week.  She was very happy with my recommendations.  They also LOVED San Francisco.

 Back to miniature class, the owner had a new display she had just completed.  Isn’t it amazing?  She also sold it as a kit for 25,000 WON ( $23.00 USD).

 I was early for class so I took some pictures of some of their other miniature food that they had on display.

 Then class started and we made all kinds of things.  This photo is lemon and tomato slices, and the logs on the right will be more lemon slices.

                                                                 These are bananas.

                                                         How cool do these tomato slices look?

                                         Then we even made our own silicone molds.

I saw this during lunch and couldn’t wait to buy it.  It was only 10,000 WON ($9 USD).  Our next class on November 24th.  But I signed up for an additional class, the Korean Tol (First Birthday).  Nan-Young is also taking the class which will be on November 20th.  Rocketman doesn’t like it when I have classes on the weekends but it happens so rarely that I’m sure he won’t mind.

Rocketman called me at class to let me know that he had an unexpected company dinner tonight so I didn’t have to worry about rushing home to make dinner.  I stopped across the street from our apartment building to pick this up for dinner at Paris Baguette.  I LOVE that I can just walk a short distance to the grocery store, bakery and restaurants.  I only ate two of the four sandwiches but I’m sure Rocketman will finish them off when he gets home tonight.

Korean Miniatures – Rice Cakes and Fish

October 18, 2011

 We had a very busy class finishing all the different kinds of dduk (Korean rice cakes).  I always end up getting home and just crashing.  But doesn’t it all look so real.  It just blows me away.

 The owner came in with a box of one month old guinea pigs that she had gotten for her two children.  She didn’t want to leave them at home so she brought them with her to her shop.  They were really cute and we spent time trying to determine which were male and female.  Luckily, having raised many gerbils, a quick look at their behinds told the story.  The two on the left are male and the albino is female. I told her she would be having babies someday if she didn’t have her fixed and we all had a good laugh about that. 
 Here is one of the rice cakes.  The one on the left is before being tweezed and the one on the right if after being tweezed.

I also bought a couple of phone charms that they were selling.  Her stuff is sooo cute.

Tomorrow Rocketman has a teleconference with his boss regarding our stay in South Korea.  The official paperwork states that we must return by 12/31/11.  If we were to extend the stay, it would take a bunch of paperwork and approvals.  His boss really doesn’t think this would be likely but we will know more after tomorrow. 

I knew that our stay here would be short but I forgot how fast time flies especially when you are having the time of your life.  I’m so glad that I packed this year with all the Korean craft classes that I did.  I can relax when we are back in the States.  I’ll keep you posted on what the future holds.

Korean Miniatures – Rice Cakes and Fish

October 6, 2011

 This is what we are making this session of Korean miniature foods class.  I also found out that they are offering a new class in November, Korean Tol (First Birthday Celebration).  I am so excited and if you are wondering what that will involve, you can go here to see a sampling of the food I will be making.  Coincindently, we have a tol that we will be attending in a couple of weeks and you know how much I adore babies. 

 Back to this class, the first thing we made was a fish.  This started with a ball of clay that we shaped into the fish.

             Then came four coats of paint in varying shades to get just the right look.

                                    Then we used a knife to cut out the stomach.
 The rest of the class was all about dduk which is Korean for rice cakes.  They come in all sorts of shapes of and sizes.  We made some of the most popular kind.

 This is pumpkin that will be sliced up and used in one of the dduk.

This is the dduk I came home with.  Next Thursday is my next class.  Rocketman is at his third dentist visit and this one is for two hours.  He won’t be home till late and he has a teleconference with the U.S. at 10:00pm.

Tomorrow I have hanji class than Nan wants me at her place to attend the big festival that is going on.  I can’t wait!

Korean Miniature Class – It’s All About Meat!

September 23, 2011

 And seafood!  We were soooo busy yesterday in miniature class.  I’m always amazed at how efficient my teacher is and how hard working.  Everyone goes at their own pace and she is quick to instruct you on the next step.  This is what we completed yesterday.  There was only two of us and still I didn’t leave until after 3 pm. 

 The lettuce had to be painted.  It was three different coats of blended paint.  My teacher wants it to look like the real thing and it’s amazing that it does.

                               These are the green onion after two paintings.  I had a third to do.

 We put sand on the mackerel to make it look more authentic and I there were five different coats of paint to get them to look real. 

                                                     Here is a closeup of the squid and mackerel.

                                    This is called bossam and it is a pork dish in Korea.

These are typical choices of meat at most Korean barbecue restaurants.  We’ve had it all and there is something about meat cooking over a hot grill.  The photo is only lacking all the sidedishes.