My Makes · My Neighborhood

Crafting updates and my favorite local bakery

Happiest July 4th to all my American family and friends! I’ve been spending the weekend (since Thursday) wrapping up the semester, hosting a beautiful little dog for a night, cooking, crafting, and enjoying the fruits, flora, and fauna of my Korean neighborhood.

On Thursday, I went to Siji, a neighborhood about a 12-minute bus ride away, so I could visit the traditional market for some flowers, produce, and baked goods. There is a tiny French boulangerie/patisserie there called Clos du Pain. Choi Chul (Monsieur Choi) and family run this delightful treasure of a place, and it was packed as usual on Thursday, which is market day. There are only three tables in the place. I usually go on the weekend, so I can get my own table and linger. The only downside to weekends is they don’t have baguettes available then.

Not to worry; there are many other delights available, including several types of whole grain bread, some with nuts or fruits. Monsieur Choi’s croissants are the best I’ve had in Korea. He perfected his skills while studying his craft in Paris. He also does a beautiful nougat, elegant madeleines, and an assortment of pastries and cakes.

I’d heard about this place long before I stopped inside. What finally brought me in was his signage outside, which showed the French tricolor in reverse. I went inside to have a coffee and treat, and to tell him about the sign – then we started chatting in French, and that’s how I learned his story. Imagine a Korean lunch and French pastry on the July 4th weekend. My entire life seems to follow this pattern of hybridized experiences. I love it, especially now when Covid has exiled me from so much.

Crafting has kept me sane during this unprecedented time, too. I’m a person who lives in her imagination. I like to make things for people that have some usefulness, such as garments. I’ve changed the motif a bit on that repurposed jean jacket I mentioned in a previous post, having been inspired by the summer daisies. Check back in my next post to see the finished article!

Another WIP that ‘s giving me a lot of pleasure is a new shawl, using 100% lace-weight merino. Now, I have two laceweight shawls in the works. This one is definitely moving faster, though. It’s a design by Annelies Baes called Tramonto. You can find her work on Instagram (try going through the link in my Insta post, if you follow me there). The shawl uses V-stitch, double crochet clusters, and shells. It should be stunning after it’s blocked.

I’ll leave you with photos of my shy boy Bodhi enjoying his time with best bud, Gryffin, who is my friend’s dog (just watching for the night). I love seeing my boy happy with other dogs. He is so much more confident than he was when I first brought him home, last August.

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