Etsy Love

In my manic state last Friday, I forgot to post about how thrilled I was to see not one, but two of my blog friends featured on the Design Sponge Guest Blog and the Design Sponge Letterpress Guide in honor of their wonderful notecard designs. I was plesantly reminded of their mentions when a julieriffic package appeared in my mailbox today:

Julie's notecards are flying out of her etsy shop, and for good reason. She's used such simple, graceful images and lovely spring colors in her inaugural batch of designs. I can't wait to send my first letter written on one of these beauties.
And have you seen what Shona's been whipping up lately? In preparation for an upcoming show, she's put together some fabulous books with funky retro fabric covers... so cool. And she's updated her etsy shop with a new batch of her gnome t-shirts, too.
The etsy love is going on hardcore over here - having a week off of work allowed me a little extra time to roam around the site. I'm overwhelmed at the amount of drool-inducing creations available there. You can see several more shops that I've marked as my favorites on the sulu-design shop site. And I'd love to know about some of your favorite etsy shops, too...


Original Intent (Revisited): Day Thirty-Three

old dry cleaning business sign, astoria

inspired earrings found here


Looking Back, Getting Ahead

Recently, a friend of mine posted an entry to her blog about some problems she'd encountered while selling her creations in brick and mortar shops. And she wondered why more people don't post about the troubles they encounter, too, in selling what they make. Specifically, she was curious why more bloggers don't talk about the rejection of their wares. I've been thinking about her question for a while now, and I've concluded that in my case, rejections from stores (or poor sales at some stores that have accepted my jewelry) is so frequent that it doesn't even phase me anymore. It's the success that I've had a a handful of shops that is somewhat rare and the great time that I've having with my etsy shop that seem exciting enough to post about.
I don't come home from work every day and tell Barry about the little boy in my class who tells me that he has a "bathroom emergency" every time I give his best friend permission to use the restroom. This literally happens every... single... day. But I did come home from work one day recently and went on and on to Barry about that same little weak-bladdered boy (it's a joke guys - I wouldn't make fun of a child's health condition - I do know some boundaries) who apologized to a little girl, whose feelings he hurt, without me having to tell him to do so. He and I have been working on the apology thing for months now, and finally - a breakthrough!
Likewise, I don't post pictures of the bowl of Kashi cereal with skim milk that I have five mornings a week for breakfast. But I do like to show you the special meals that I occasionally get a chance to whip up, like thec scrumptious proscuitto and ricotta paninis that I made for lunch today, using the bread that I swear I'll stop talking about someday soon. (By the way, Gloria is completely right - the bread is best when eaten right out of the oven, which is about how long it lasts at our place. It is, however, great in various toasted forms a day or two later.)

Similarly, I don't post about all of the times I've contacted shops about carrying my jewelry and have been told, "No, thanks. It's just not right for us." Or the number times that shops have sent my consigned merchandise back to me because it's not selling well. Although I just opened up my etsy shop around seven months ago, I've been selling my jewelry in stores for three years now, so I've been turned down plenty of times. I guess that I just see this rejection as a pretty regular part of the whole process of finding those special stores that "click" with my designs. And I don't take it personally (at least I don't take it personally now - the first few rejections were a little rough, I admit) when a shop owner thinks that my pieces and her store just don't fit. So if I don't post about all of the rejection, it's not because it doesn't occur, or that I'm trying to present a false impression of some overwhelming success I'm having, it's just that, well... it doesn't seem like much to talk about.
Anyhow, all that being said, I have found a few special shops where my jewelry seems to be doing well, and I am enjoying the whole etsy experience. If anything, more than the affirmation I get from knowing that there are people out there who like my designs, the best part of this whole sulu-design experience has been getting to know so many people - the unbelievable shop owners, the inspiring bloggers, and the wonderful customers with whom I've come in contact. It's those people who allow me to keep my chin up when I face rejection. It's those great people who encourage me to continue on...
and on and on and on...

Thanks to you all.


The Bangles Had It All Wrong

Bear with me here, I'm in the oddest mood. If you can't deal with some serious randomness, scroll down for photos. 'Cause here I go...
When I was in the sixth grade, my enrichment teacher assigned our class the task of writing the script for a dinner table conversation that might exist if we could gather fifteen or so of the world's most influential people, living or dead, together for supper. Once we wrote the script, each of us had to play the role of one of those people and act the meal out. I recall that as a group, we chose to include figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Louis Pasteur... and (remember, we're talking the eighties here) Susanna Hoffs, the lead singer of The Bangles. I was totally obsessed with the band at the time, and was beyond giddy when I was chosen to play her in our dinner play.
That being said, I think The Bangles missed the target a bit when they recorded their hit, "Manic Monday." First off, I think the girls were more stressed than manic (this is scientific - I'm basing this conclusion on the lyrics of the song). Manic means excessively enthusiastic, or being in a state of insanity characterized by great excitement. They just seemed to be annoyed that they had to get out of bed and go to work. And secondly, they got the day all wrong, too, because here it is, Friday, and I am in a completely manic mood. I guess, though, that "Manic Friday" isn't as catchy a title as the original. Anyhow, my fits of excitement today have been brought on by many factors, and seeing as I was up late enough last night to catch David Letterman (perhaps lack of sleep plays a role here, too), I figured I'd do a little Top Ten list of my own. Drumroll please...

Top Ten Reasons That Suzy-Q is Manic Today

10. I finally got around to making my own granola with dried apricots.

9. Another batch of no-knead bread is currently rising in my kitchen,
this time with rosemary and black olive additions.
(No, I'm not receiving payment for my endorsements every time
I mention this recipe on my blog - I just love it that much.)

8. Julie opened an etsy shop - finally!

7. Traci is back in business - I was going through Little Messes withdrawl.

6. I picked up my knitting needles again and I'm working on a lace pattern.
And I'm actually liking it. Having a sunny corner to knit in really helps.

5. I've been rocking out with The Black Angels and The White Stripes all day.

4. Speaking of black and white, the bathroom (and, for that matter, all of the rooms in our little apartment) are spic and span thanks to a work-free week.
I love cleanliness!

3. This old lamp (the one that I use to light the sulu-design pieces that I post here and on etsy) that Barry and I picked up in a thrift store in Austin a couple years ago while we were on vacation is reminding me that even though mid-winter recess is coming to an end, spring break is right around the corner!

2. Being home when I can photograph in natural light is heaven. It's making me see our place in a totally new light (no pun intended), so I've been bouncing around all day, snapping shots of little corners, like this one (where one of Cynic the Lamb's squirrels lives).

1. My little vacation has ended, but now it's the weekend!
I hope your weekend is magnificent (not manic - it's a tad bit too intense)!


I Wish This Was My Day Job

As promised yesterday, I've updated the sulu-design etsy shop with several pieces that are similar to styles that I've posted in the past. My blue obsession is apparent in many of them. These and a few others can be found:

and here.

I was also able to get over to Loveday 31 in Astoria today, where twenty new sulu-design earrings are on display (including some funky plexiglass pieces that I designed especially for the shop), and to the post office, where I shipped off forty pairs of earrings to JetSet Boutique in Richmond, Virginia. Phew... if only non-vacation days could be so productive!


Last But Not Least of Many

Today's final etsy update is pretty special to me. It includes pieces made with beads and findings that I am so excited about. Of all of my pieces, these, I think, express my own personal taste and aesthetic the most clearly. That's probably why each of them paired so easily with things that Barry and I have chosen over the years as we've decorated our apartment. And since I was home today to enjoy our place as seen in natural light, this post is not only about my etsy shop update, but also about the corners of my home. I love the way that the depth of rich wood, the lines of vintage Danish furniture, and simplicity of teak trays can compliment heavy industrial pieces, worn metal, and vintage paper products. Perhaps you'll see bits of these in my final pieces for the day:


Thanks for hanging in there with me today through all of my posts. I'll be back soon with several more pieces in different styles. Stay tuned...

The Second of Many

A United Nations inspired post? Hardly. While the most recent additions to the sulu-design etsy shop may be appropriate for Canadians, Irish, and those who love them, they're also perfect for vintage charm lovers, like myself. This shop update includes a little nod to the maple leaf flag-wavers to the north and our rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed friends across the Atlantic (for whom I'm always confused, especially since I married a boy with the O' thing in his last name), but non-Canadian and non-Irish are more than welcome here:

Lucky Charms
and another clover pair here

More earrings (without charms) soon to follow...

The First Of Many

I've been sitting crossed-legged on my living room floor for over four hours now (how I envy those of you with studios), working on making earrings and necklaces with the stash I brought home yesterday. My knees and my stomach are telling me to take a break, so now seems like the right time to post the first couple pairs of earrings that are going into the sulu-design etsy shop today. After I got several requests to stock the shop with the earrings that I made for myself, I went out hunting for the beads that I had used in my original pair. Alas, they were nowhere to be found, but I think I found a pretty great stand-in. A few pairs can be found here.

And while I wasn't able to find the bead (okay, it's really a button in the originals) in blue, I did find cool pink buttons, which I used to make these.

Expect multiple shop updates throughout the day. As my legs and tummy need it, I'll be taking etsy-posting breaks. Enjoy this beautiful day (at least, I hope it's beautiful where you are, too)!


Tuesdays Never Felt So Good

Since today is the first day of NYC public schools' mid-winter recess, I got to stay up as late as I wanted to last night. Hours and hours of working on jewelry resulted in a ton of new pieces, including this necklace, found here.

The start of mid-winter recess also allowed me an entire day to poke into lots of jewelry part stores, where I picked up an overwhelming amount of supplies. Once I get over the shock of how much I hauled home, I'll work on a few new things to be posted here and in my etsy shop...


Original Intent (Revisited): Day Thirty-Two

empty handball court, astoria

inspired earrings found here


Do For Me, Do For You

Once a year or so, I actually make a pair of earrings for myself. Three years of making sulu-designs, and I've got three pairs to show for it:

New York City Schools have mid-winter recess this week, so expect lots of new pieces in my etsy shop by Friday. Enjoy the long weekend!


Treats All Around

Mike and Judy, Barry's parents, treated us to a fun evening and tasty dinner at Porchetta on Smith Street in Brooklyn last night (vegetarians need not apply). And we're on our way now to have dinner at Tournesol, one of my all-time favorite Queens restaurants.

To show some thanks for the great evenings of eating, I made a batch of the raspberry and ricotta muffins that I found on Sweet Little Treat weeks ago. They're even better the second time around...


papered together

Now that his birthday has passed, I can finally post about the birthday card that I picked up for Barry five months ago. The second I saw it featured on Funky Finds, I knew it was the perfect card for him. Bicycle themed, vintagey image... so Barry.

It's from an etsy shop that I adore: papered together. Krista uses such sweet, simple images, precious fonts, and the perfect ink tones on her notecards. I'm smitten.

Barry's parents will be in town tomorrow to extend the birthday celebrations, so if I post, I post. If not, I'm off having a fabulous weekend, and I hope you're doing the same.


Eating Fest, February 2007

I have a valid excuse for my postless day yesterday. I was preparing for today, one of my favorite days of the year. No, not Valentine's Day (although I have nothing against the holiday). Today is Barry's birthday. As is our habit on birthdays, we spent the day enjoying wonderful meals. There was a photo exhibit and some gift-giving mixed in there somewhere, but what is truly post-worthy is the eating experience:

Breakfast? Balthazar.

Lunch? Lovely Day.

Dinner? Domestic.

I'll be back tomorrow, once I've finished digesting.


Original Intent (Revisited): Day Thirty-One

peeling paint under 5 train trestle, the bronx

inspired earrings found here


Just Do It

Pairs of earrings are currently strewn all over our coffee table... which is a good thing. I was able to make around thirty pairs this weekend, several of which are destined for local shops, and a few of which I've posted in the sulu-design etsy shop:

these can be found here

these are here

and these, here

It felt so good to be productive this weekend, and am looking forward to my next chance to sit for hours on end and play with bead combinations. I hope your weekends were satisfying, too. Barry, I think, is the most satisfied of all - he ran his first half-marathon today, and finished with an awesome time. Yea, Barry!


Oh Happy Day

new beads
an uninterrupted weekend to work with them

fifty new sulu-design earrings dropped off at Flirt,
where there is a fabulous 3 Free trunk sale in progress

coffee and an everything bagel enjoyed with a friend

successful birthday shopping trip for Barry
(the Valentine's Day baby)


Don't You Dare Say It's Just Bread

I'm sure that those of you, my dear blog friends, who have not yet tried the New York Times no-knead bread recipe are having trouble believing that it is as earth-shattering as my recent posts suggest. In fact, Connie over at Life Love Chocolate is so dubious that she asked me to post photos of the wonder loaf in question. It's no lie - this bread has changed my life! I have officially crossed the line into the world of bread-bakers (where I'd never tread before) thanks to three simple ingredients: flour, salt, and yeast, that did all of the work for me. On this, my third go at it, I did add black olives, but honestly, the original recipe without the bells and whistles has been the best. Here it is, Connie, it all of its homemade glory:

here, after rising for approximately 18 hours,
the dough is about to go into the oven

in prepartation for panini-making,
I sauteed a few vegetables

by the time the bread and veggies were ready,
I decided that there was no time to deal with the panini press
(maybe next time)

Okay, enough with all of this food! I hope my final attempt was enough to convince those of you who haven't yet converted to the no-knead way of baking bread to try it soon. I'm actually going to take a break from singing its praises so I can post about some jewelry in the next couple of days. Have a fabulous weekend, all!


Or Perhaps It's Time to Hibernate

I was able to come up with three legitimate reasons to start baking at 9:00 last night. What's my excuse now? In preparation for portobello mushrooms and sweet onion paninis that I hope to make for dinner tomorrow, I decided to start the no-knead dough process again tonight (it can take up to 20 hours for this dough to rise, in case you haven't checked out the recipe yet). This time, my third go at the recipe, I mixed some chopped black olives into the dough and used a 50/50 combination of white and wheat flour. Tomorrow's dinner can't come fast enough.
If the winter temperatures have got you in a hibernating mood, check out Julie's lovely post regarding winter (you'll like this one, Ma). Then head over to Erin's blog and get all warm inside as you celebrate the thrill that is her work being published!