To market, to market

Hey y’all ~

The weather’s getting a lot warmer here in Korea. Pretty soon sleeve-less shirts and sandals will be a must. I love the warm weather with just two exceptions – 1) You get pretty sweaty. >.>  — and 2) I can’t run before twilight. The heat and humidity make it kinda crummy for running, so I’ll probably have to start my night running soon.

Anyway I’m coming to you with another mini-adventure from Seoul. I went up last weekend for the long weekend because of Buddha’s birthday (Thank you, Buddha~). Mostly just chilling and taking in what Hongdae had to offer. Friday night I met with friends and we ate at On The Border in Shinchon. I don’t care if it’s a chain restaurant, it was so yummy. Saturday I spent walking around Hongdae. Last year I went to the free market (read about here ~), and I’ve been itching to go back. I wasn’t disappointed! Check out my haul:

blue purse

First this cute purse and card holder. I bought a wallet with this design last year from this artist. I use it everyday and told her so. She looked very pleased that I liked her crafts so much. 🙂 I think I’m going to need to get a new wallet before the year is out, so I hope I can see her again and pick one up.

If you wanna check her out her name is Hye Jin Lee (이헤진). She has a cyworld here – http://cyworld.com/hjsamo .

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A crocheted animal… puppy? Bear? I think it’s a puppy haha. ^^

necklace and earrings

Last year I bought cute coffee cup earrings from this artist and I was happy to see she was back. I wore the earrings last Saturday and she was also pleased to see a happy customer. I can’t resist things with penguins so I bought this necklace and cute heart earrings.

20130522_163703A cute French flag magnet.

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This iPad pouch is quite nice. Leather on the outside, cloth on the inside, and each pouch has different colors and patterns. The artist even told me that since I live in Korea, if my pouch breaks then she’ll fix it up for me. Awesome!

You can find her site – toM – here: http://blog.naver.com/tomiscat

watercolorThe young lady who made this was very sweet. She had some rather nice drawings and watercolors. I asked if she was an art major, but turns out it’s just a hobby. She lived in France for several months and took some inspiration from her time there. Unfortunately I can’t decipher her blog name (I tried several variations). Jinkyoung ~ if you’re out there, I really like my drawing. 🙂

20130522_163437Ahhhh so cute! I can’t resist! These designs were calling my name. The characters are named Lala & Berry. Absolutely adorable. I could see these being very popular if the right people see ’em.

You can find her page at: peanutmellow.blog.me

heart print

The man I bought this from had some neat prints. Some were like this heart, some had Korean designs, and some were just — whatever haha. He didn’t sign or number these prints though! This kind of surprised me. I only took a semester of printmaking in college, but I feel like printmakers should at least sign their work. Putting that aside though, I liked this particular one. Simple and cute. 🙂

20130522_163540Last I picked up this bracelet. The artist had a totally awesome vibe. She lived in India for 4 years and everything she made was based on her time there. If I remember right, the skull on the bracelet is kinda supposed to take away your bad feelings and the other beads bring out the positive. Loving that concept. 🙂

You can check out her site here: www.lovejoypeace.net

I really do suggest giving this a look if you have the chance. There’s lots of talented people out there and you can get great souvenirs from your trip to Seoul. Don’t forget to explore the area too! Hongdae has lots of great shops, cafes, and restaurants. I found several places I didn’t know about before, and a couple I didn’t have time for (next time for sure!).

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Until next time, friends ~

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Hongdae Free Market

2 weeks back I was in Seoul to hang out with a few friends. As usual I booked a hostel in Hongdae. There’s quite a few in the area, and thus far they’ve all been decent enough (though some are much better than others). I’d never really explored Hongdae in the daytime. Everyone knows the area for the clubs and nightlife, but there was one thing I wanted to check out during the daylight hours: the Hongdae Free Market (홍대 프리 마켓)

I found out about it just doing a quick search for “things to do in Hongdae” on Google. The Free Market is basically an open air market set up in a park for local artists to sell their wares. Since my major was Fine Arts and I love making crafts I was excited to check it out.

Welcome to the Free Market

The market is every Saturday from March until November from 1 pm – 5 pm. It’s held at Hongik Children’s Park, right across the street from Hongik University, so it’s not hard to find. It was a great day to go. The weather was warm and the sun was shining. Just the right weather for admiring art and dropping some cash.

An intimate market

The park isn’t that big, but they pack it with plenty of talented artists showing their talents. There were so many cool things!  I wanted to buy much more than I did, but I restrained myself. All the more reason to go back, right? Of course I gotta show off the things I picked up —

This was my first purchase of the day (and the vendor’s first sale of the day as well). She said she came from California, and she was selling a variety of hand-painted shoes. I love the bright colors, and they’re actually pretty comfy! If you wanna check out her stuff she has a website – www.slow2go2.com.

I couldn’t resist these. The penguin is one of my favorite animals, so I grabbed this coin purse. It’s also big enough to hold cards. The camera is a neat little wallet. Both are made from felt and very sturdy. The coin purse was 10,000 won and the wallet was 12,000.

There was a woman at a table doing calligraphy on various bookmarks and cell phone straps. Turns out she teaches calligraphy to foreigners in Seoul. If I lived up there I’d love to go for lessons. Alas! I’m a bit too far south. But if you’re curious, go check out her blog – Boot Touch 붓터치. I bought a bookmark and asked her to write “happy Janelle” in Korean. 🙂 I also bought a cell phone strap for a friend. They were only about 3,000-4,000 each. They’re very cute and inexpensive gifts.

There was another woman who had lovely jewelry. I chose this bracelet made with lapis lazuli.

This is another fun purchase – a double-sided necklace. One side has the colorful glass and the other is the flat 2-toned rose.

The last thing I bought were these cute coffee cup earrings. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but I couldn’t resists these.

If you’re looking to hit up the market too, it’s just a short walk from Hongik station.

Go out exit 9 and walk straight until the 1st intersection.  Turn left and walk straight up the hill towards Hongik University. When you get to the end, right in front of the uni, turn right. The park is just around the corner on the right side. You can walk up some stairs or take the side street.

My advice is, if you like these sorts of things, take enough cash. However, if you run out there’s an ATM conveniently outside one of the nearby stores.

If you’re looking for a little more info, you can check out the website (only in Korean, sorry) – Free Market

And here’s just a few other pics I took while wandering around Hongdae ~

One of many streets with plenty of fashion to look at. A lot of the prices are low, so it’s hard to resists sometimes.

Oh, there you are, Perry.
(Phineas & Ferb reference btw)

I’m curious how one might be part of the market. I make accessories mostly for fun; however, most of the stuff I’ve made lately is just sitting in my craft basket. I may want to find a way to sell them. I suppose that’s one of my next missions!