Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ladies Dancing and Korea Tour Day 9


Nine ladies dancing. NINE of them. That's nearly 12. Only 3 more days and the countdown will be over. This is a real countdown friends. This is not a drill. This is not a joke.  It should not come as a surprise to you at this point in our blogging-internet-relationship-life-thing.... but I live in South Korea. And I mail Christmas presents. It's what I do. At least, it's what I do in November. I have to get my presents mailed by December 3rd for them to have any hope of actually arriving at their intended destination before the big day of love and giving. (And also eating of chocolates. It's a tradition at our house. I may have started it.) I have 3 more days. And 3 more blog posts. And then I shall have a large party at my house with ice cream and chocolate and I will call it The Annual Celebration Of All Presents Purchased.  And then I'll have a giveaway on my blog so you can be excited with me.


Apparently, ruffles are kind of a big deal for dancers. At least for 2 year old dancers, they are. I used a #104 tip for the ruffles. Start with the cookie upside down if you are right handed. Line the tip up with the bottom (now the top) edge so that the wide end of the tip is facing her feet. Then make a bunch of squiggles. You can make the ruffles by moving up and down as you come across the cookie, or like I did by piling the icing back on top of itself in waves as you come across. It's up to you and how you like your ruffles. Do one line of ruffle with thick icing and let it dry for about 30 minutes. And then follow up with another line of ruffles.


1. Using a #2 tip and thick black icing, outline the cookie. Start with the left shoulder and come down to the ruffles. Then do the right shoulder and come down again to the ruffles. Outline the hair, then the face and neck. Do the arms and then the feet last. Let the outline dry for an hour.
2. Flood the dress with red icing. Use a toothpick as necessary to guide it into the ruffles.
3. While the red is drying, fill the remaining areas, being careful not to overfill. To avoid craters use 23 second icing or put in front of a fan, dehydrator or heat gun to set the icing. Allow to dry overnight.
4. Add ribbon sash and two adorable little eyes. Add a mouth if you like. (I kind of wish I hadn't...but that one is your choice. I won't judge you either way.)


KOREA TOUR DAY 9

Do you want to know what my Korea apartment looked like? (Please say yes. I'm still in love with it and I don't even live there anymore. Is that weird?)

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get some kind of statistic on the proportion of South Koreans that live in apartments vs. houses. I failed... so I'm just going to make one up. From my experience, I would guess that roughly 75% of South Koreans live in apartments. The 15 floor variety seem to be the most popular. They are usually built in complexes that have 8-10 buildings in them. This was my complex. There is another row of apartments behind the apartments on the left. If you wanted to, you could imagine me carrying my children and groceries in one trip between that parking lot and the door to the immediate right of this photo. It seemed like a much longer distance in my head.

With all of the apartments here, you can believe that they have figured out the most efficient way to move people in an out of a home. And it doesn't involve the stairs or the elevator. They have a giant lift truck that zips a platform carrying household goods up and down the ladder-type thing. (Do any of you live in large cities anywhere else? How do you move your stuff in and out? I've been wondering since the very first time I saw that moving lift truck.)

When you walk in my apartment, you see this. Except this picture was taken while the previous occupant was moving out, so you wouldn't actually see anything on that MARBLE  floor right there. And those walls are embossed. For real. I lived there.

And let's just get right to the bathrooms, since I'm clearly bent on showing you all Korean bathrooms I encounter. Notice there is no shower curtain. They don't use them here. The whole room is the shower and there is a drain under the sink for the water. I want every country in the world to adopt this idea of floor drains in bathrooms. Cleaning a bathroom is so much more fun when you can just spray everything down and walk away.

This is the kitchen. I feel compelled to once again let you know that these aren't my belongings. My husband took this picture and the other one when he went to go check out the apartment for the first time. The oven is completely deceiving. I don't know if you can see the window on the oven inside the black square... but THAT is how big the oven is on the inside!!! No joke. It was 13" by 13".

And if you were to turn to your right and look toward the living room, this is what you would see. Behind me is another enclosed balcony that was home to my washer and dryer. (Many Koreans don't have a dryer, so there really wasn't room for it. Mine was hooked up immediately in front of the washer. Which...for the record...made laundry just that much more of an adventure.)

What the South Koreans don't have in furniture they make up for in ornate fixtures and decorated walls. This apartment had marble walls and dark hard wood flooring. And this.

This is the living room. Notice the enclosed balcony with lots of light. That's where I took my pictures. In the left corner is a standing AC unit. For the entire apartment. We didn't use it a lot though because in the summer it could cost up to $600 to cool our house for a month. Beyond the window are all those rice paddies you saw yesterday.

And this is the view from the washer and dryer balcony. The funny thing about this playground was that there were no stairs to get up to the slide. There was a giant ladder that had rungs 2 feet apart. Also...the best thing ever... there was a closed circuit TV camera on the playground. I could hook my TV up to the cable in my living room and watch the "playground channel."

My favorite time of year in that apartment was Christmas. Everything reflected light. If we turned off the room light and left the tree lights on, it would be reflected hundreds of times in the balcony glass doors on BOTH sides of the house. And in the marble walls. And the shiny wood floors. It was... amazing. 

CLICK HERE to see all 12 Days of Christmas.

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