Friday, February 27, 2015

G for Grades

With age and maturity, there comes a time in your life when you really understand something! Grades isn't everything. Getting good marks may get you into better school, may help you getting into the job market with an edge, but does it matter so much in life? Marks may give us a jump start, but I find attitude towards others and self confidence makes us the person who we really are!

Happy with that notion, both my kids went to The Valley School when we were in Bangalore. That school promises holistic education to the children (and their parents) and showed me a more interesting tendencies of my child . There was no marks in my kids report card. Instead, there were pages and pages of information about how my child faces each subject, what subject is he curious about, does he try hard to understand the problem and does he strive to achieve the solution by himself and much much more. There is no marks, ranking, comparison and peer pressure. All were fee and equal. All kids had fun at school. 

Moving to Seoul, it was a bit hard to get accustomed to the International school here. Driven purely by grades and points, this system was very hard for us to accept and adjust to. Though the grades of the kids are not known to the each other, it is enormously stressful to the kids and more importantly, makes the parents competitive :( There are just letters marking the grades my son has got and the corresponding marks associated in the report card now.

But having successfully stumbled through this system for three years now, I was pleasantly surprised to see words written by the teacher, commenting on his efforts for his Science project! It made my son and me so happy than the grade he achieved for the project. Made him like the teacher a little bit more. Made my day :)

G for Grades for ABC Wednesday

Thursday, February 19, 2015

IKEA in Seoul

Happy Lunar Year to all my friends in the blogworld! Welcome to the year of the Sheep :)

It is a time of the year when Seoul is empty as this is a time when Seoulites visit their family back in their hometowns. So, we took this opportunity to visit the massive IKEA Furniture store that has opened on the outskirts of Seoul. It took 2 subway transfers and one taxi ride to reach that place.  

IKEA in Seoul
IKEA, close to Seoul

IKEA has been so crowded ever since it was opened in Korea few months back. That is why we took this opportunity to go there on a less crowded day.
2nd biggest IKEA
This supposed to be the 2nd biggest IKEA store in the world. Believe me, it was massive. We just skimmed over the store. The chocolates were the reason we went there in the first place :)

pretty pieces in IKEA
pretty pieces in IKEA
 The store was not so crowded as it was a few months ago, it was still filled with shoppers doing their holiday gift shopping.

IKEA Seoul
As usual, the furniture there were stylish, cheap and colorful

Thankfully, it was not too crowded on this day!

IKEA Seoul
Beautifully packaged furniture.
 Not wanting to do 2 transfers back home, we decided to take the KTX back. The KTX station is so close to the IKEA, only 10minutes by walk.
KTX station close to IKEA
The KTX station.

The long walk through the station

I slipped on the station while climbing down the stairs and ended up having a sprain and out of commission for 2 days atleast :(

F for Furniture and Sprained Foot  for ABC Wednesday

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Drawing Seoul

Yet another interesting week! I had entered my drawing for the Seoul Typography contest held by the Seoul Metropolitan Government on the first week of January. I have a passion for doodling and I had used doodling with the idea of depicting the four seasons of Seoul as my entry for the contest. I was selected for the final round last week and this week, my drawing was selected to be one to receive the Special Commentaries award :)

Special commentaries at the Seoul Typography Award

Feeling soo happy! My drawing is now under the copyright of the Seoul city so I am not able to display it to you all. Anyway, here are some more of my doodles. Do see more of my doodles in instagram account here.

Cheers to life! 건배 :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chilbo - The art of Enameling

How time flies when you are having fun!

The past weeks have kept me really busy learning some quite interesting crafting techniques. I have been trying out Chilbo art or Enameling. In this art form, 7 kinds of precious items gold, silver, lapis, crystal, coral, agate and pearl have been used in the earlier days to make jewellery.

I was able to attend this program because of the Itaewon global center in Seoul. I am so glad I live so close to this center that enables me to take part in all these fun activities and explore more and more about the Korean culture. We could do the enameling on pendant or a broach or a key chain. First, inability to choose between broach or pendant. Happy to say, I overcome that indecision by choosing to make two: pendant and broach :)

Chilbo art on a broach
The broach base

Chilbo art on a broach
The pendant base on which we used the Chilbo enameling

The base was available in many different colors. I had a tough time choosing the base color.

Base color choices for the Chilbo art in Seoul
Too many choices for the base color!
We used a fine spatula to coat the base with glass powder mixture. We also had the option of using a transparent or an opaque base! More choices :)

After finally choosing my base color, we used different colored glass pieces as opposed to the real precious stones. We used fine tweezers to make designs on the pendant. 

Learning Chilbo art at Itaewon
We used glass beads to decorate instead of the precious gold, silver, coral 

Chilbo pattern using glass beads in Itaewon
My Chilbo pattern 
 This was my pendant design. Apparently I had used a thick layer of the base glass mixture and the glass beads design that I had used was small.

We then "cooked" the glass pieces in this special oven at around 800 deg C (!) melting the glass and giving it a lustrous shimmer. 

My piece looked a totally different color when it was hot and turned out to be in another color when it cooled down. Another interesting technique was to wear some heat resistant gloves and use a thin metal rod to mix the glass beads into a mosaic pattern. That stirring of the liquid glass beads made very interesting patterns on the pendant!

My mosaic pattern. It was quite a thrill to stir in the glass mixture at high temperatures! I was quite pleased with the heart-like design that the random stirring resulted in!

Beautiful Chilbo patterns done by the Teacher
Beautiful Chilbo patterns done by the Teacher!

E for Enameling for ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

D for doodles

Doodles to brighten up the day!

Red Doodles for the sun
Sun in red doodles

Doodles for the Valentine's Day
For the valentine's day coming up!

Flower doodles
Just a flower doodle

doodles in black
Just a doode done on a cold foggy day

D for Doodles for ABC Wednesday
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