With all the flooding going on in Thailand right now, Bangkok has been on my mind a lot lately. I felt the urge to go back and share some of the happy times I had there this summer. It's resilient city, and I know, with time, it will recover. My heart goes out to the good people in this trying time.
When I was in Bangkok this summer, one of my favorite days was the crafty "girl's day out" my Thai hostess invited me to. We left the husbands and her kids snoring away, and were on the road by 8 a.m. to discover the crafty treasures awaiting us in the labyrinthine corridors of the Sampeng Market.
Located in Chinatown, this market tends to be a bit off the tourist trail. Though, if you have a crafting bone in your body, Sampeng is a must-see. It's jam-packed with fabrics, notions, yarns, and beads, as well as hair decorations, school supplies, toys, clothing, housewares, and "exotic" snacks (oh, how I miss you, salted snow plums). Even better, it's all relatively inexpensive, though it really helped that I was with a local who could help me haggle.
Our first crafty stop was at one of the biggest bead stores in the market. I was drawn in by the walls lined with bags of colorful sequins, and followed the glittery trail back to find a cavernous room lined with sacks of rhinestones and beads. It took me a bit to explain to the nice employees that I wanted smaller quantities of beads, not smaller sizes of beads themselves, but once I did I walked out with some gorgeous rhinestones and hand-made polymer clay flowers.
I have to admit, I felt a bit like an adult sitting at a child's table, though by then I was getting used to being the biggest person around. You can see just how little the stools were from the background of this picture. Comfy for Thais, not so much for plus-size Farang women.
After a tasty lunch, we browsed some more. I was in high shopping mode. I picked up a Japanese quilting magazine for my mom, tons of beautifully patterned cotton fabric, numerous spools of thread, and some fine crochet yarn for my friend back home. It was a beautiful, crafty haul.
I haven't begun projects with most of the materials yet, but I'm waiting for the right ideas to strike. These are once-in-a-lifetime treasures for me, so when I finally do make something, I want it to be the right something.