My Dad

still believes in Santa
taught me how to drive stick
let me play with his art supplies
has an inappropriate sense of humor
made up the best nicknames for his kids
was my softball coach in elementary school
refinished furniture with me to take to college
was one cut-throat racquetball player in his day
shares my obsession with order (that's a good thing)
is reflective enough to change his political views as he ages
makes a mean grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch
went to every one of my Girl Scout square dances
taught me how to eat clams in Nags Head, NC
is the best grandfather a kid could hope for
tells wonderful stories from his childhood
is back at work and on his motorcycle -
no accident can keep him down

Happy Birthday, Dad.
I love you.


Would You Please Move in Next Door?

Really. You guys are so sweet. Won't you be my neighbors? Thanks for all of the lovely notes yesterday. You really know how to warm a girl's heart. And several of you have pretty good suggestions for wide calf boots, too. I just may have made some headway on that front.

Because you were so supportive and a few of you expressed worry about how I'm doing, I feel the need to explain here that the questions I'm asking myself are not pressing - many of them won't be decided for months, maybe years - nor are they seriously upsetting. Truly, all of them have arisen out of pretty positive circumstances. The issues of stay/go and east/west have arisen because there are such good elements on each side of each case, that I feel a bit torn between them. But torn in a good way. I mean, I'm really choosing between wonderful options. The issue of my current job versus teaching is on my mind because I work with a fabulous group of women in a lovely setting that I'm happy to go to everyday, but teaching brought me immeasurable satisfaction because I thought I was doing a pretty good job in a rather tough environment. Again, either way, the options are pretty great. And the blog or not to blog question? That's something that I think goes through most bloggers minds at some point. It's currently flitting through my head because I'm out enjoying life so much right now that I find I have less and less time to sit at the computer, but the friendships the blogging has brought me and the daily jolt of inspiration I get from your blogs are so valuable to me that I can't imagine giving the old blog up. Really, guys, things are good. There' just a lot swimming around in my head right now. And too much on my plate at once makes me a little nutty. Thanks for all of your encouragement about the stuff in my head, and rest assured - everything is all right.

Barry and I did have an awesome day yesterday, working on ideas for our handmade gifts, strolling around our neighborhood, looking at boots (Barry was a serious trooper), and getting in the holiday spirit. In fact, I started a garland project that's been in my head for weeks now, and will hopefully have photos to share tomorrow. And there's been a holiday shop update, too, starting with a bunch of beads with festive sparkle (or as much sparkle as I can handle). Several more updates will follow every few days. For now, you can find these guys in the sulu-design esty shop... sorry I can't bring myself to type suelieu first. I hope you're holiday preparations are getting you in festive spirits, too. Thanks again for your supportive words and your friendships.

The images above are direct links
to each item's listing in my esty shop.
Have a great day, friends.



Check out this sad Christmas tree in the park near our apartment. It's finally been topped off, but man, it was in a pathetic state last week. I know how this guy must feel.

Long-time sulu-design blog readers know that when I resort to Original Intent posts for a week straight, something is up. Something - actually some things - are up that have been occupying my thoughts a lot recently, making me unable to focus on bloggy and crafty pursuits that I'd like to be working on, especially at this time of year.

Nothing big or catastrophic has happened, and I'm not facing any serious life-altering decisions, but I've got a lot of nagging debates going on in my head right now:
To stay or to go?
Urban apartment or more space in a house?
East coast or west coast?
Stress-free job or job with social relevance?
Back to school or back to teaching?
To blog or not to blog?
Oh, and the futile process of hunting for boots big enough to get over my wide calves isn't making things any easier. Boo, hoo for me. What a troubled life I lead.

The fact that these issues - some silly some not - are taking up brain space now, when I want to be thinking about cookies and garland and wreaths and presents is irritating me all the more. So for the next two days (my weekend of sorts - that's how it goes when you work in retail), I'm pushing all of those thoughts aside and putting on some serious Christmas cheer. I've taken the handmade holiday pledge and Barry and I plan on making most of the gifts we'll be giving, so I'm off to get my creative juices flowing. I'll be back soon... and I'm laying off the Original Intents for a while. Thanks for bearing with me.


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred Eight

port-o-potties, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred Seven

bold paint job, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred Six

shrink wrapped boilers on pallet, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred Five

coffee shop stool, portland

inspired earrings found here


Reasons to Eat Cake

I'm so pleased to be able to mention here that Shari, the thoughtful blogger with the keen eye who pens The Glass Doorknob, has featured my work in her holiday gift guide today. More than just being smitten with the complimentary attention (and oh, am I smitten), I'm in complete awe of Shari for the colossal amount of work that she undertook in interviewing for and organizing her holiday guide project. And if you haven't been following along with it this week, you should check out the other artists and designers that she's already featured. To be in the company of these talented people flatters me to no end. Thank you, Shari.

And if that weren't reason enough to eat cake, the fact that my brother, Peter, celebrates his birthday today seals the deal. Flourless chocolate delight shall be consumed with reckless abandon tonight. But first, I'm headed off to work. By bus. This is my first time exploring Portland's public transportations system. I'll miss my daily drive over the Fremont Bridge (oh, the sights you see from it!), but I always look forward to a little reading time while someone else is driving. Enjoy the weekend, and eat some cake, too, while you're at it.


To The Rescue

You guys are stinkin' great. Thanks so much for you words of support and encouragement yesterday. I can't tell you how much you lifted my spirits. Now that I've been able to get that mess of my chest, I feel so much better - I've got a clear head to focus on what I need to do to move ahead. Thanks to you, friends, today is a much better day than the past several have been.

In fact, it's a great day. I'm beaming over this adorable book sleeping bag (not it's official name, I'm sure) that my new blog friend made for me. Ain't it cute? Yeah, those are nesting dolls on that back fabric. Andrea is so sharp and sassy. And she's been a breath of fresh air here. Thanks for the perfect gift and new friendship, Scout!

And last might, my big brother (the one who publishes posts for me while I'm out of town) and his wife came into town for a week-long visit. Woo hoo! Their presence alone would have been enough, but people... they brought bagels. Real New York City bagels. Saints.

So I'm going to be a busy bee this week, trying to get things in order with the sulu-design... I mean suelieu shop, and hanging out with my much loved and missed family. But I'll definitely be checking in tomorrow with some lovely news. Have a great weekend, and thanks again for your friendships. You guys are the greatest.


In Lieu of sulu

I'm trying - trying - to take the high road and not bitch and moan about this. But seeing as this is the first time that I've allowed a swear word (swear is what we said back in Ohio... it's a curse word for those of you who don't speak Midwest) to sneak it's way into a post, you can probably tell that my feathers a more than a bit ruffled.

I've been dealing with a trademark infringement accusation that a company in Germany made to Etsy against me, and with the amazing help of a brilliantly skilled and knowledgeable intellectual property rights lawyer, was able to prove that I have committed no such infringement. Unfortunately, Etsy is more motivated by the German company's threat than by my year-long loyalty to Etsy as both a customer and paying shop proprietor, and they will not recognize the validity of the legal evidence that they were provided until they hear back from the German company, who is suddenly not responding to any of Etsy's e-mails.

So I was forced to make changes that take effect today, and I'm completely sick to my stomach about it. Etsy demanded that I change my shop name from sulu. This was really hard for me, as I've honestly busted my butt for the past several years to build up some sort of name recognition to go with my designs, and now I feel like it's being pulled out from under me. With the holidays coming, and what I was hoping would be a successful Etsy season for sulu-design on its way, I'm now worried that shoppers won't find me on-line. I asked the Etsy team for assurance that those who attempt to visit my shop at www.sulu.etsy.com will be redirected to the new shop. It doesn't look like that's going to happen.

I've been trying to put this all in perspective and find whatever humor I can in the whole thing, and Barry has been helping immensely. In fact it was he who came up with the new shop name (which hopefully will one day be changed back, when the German company acknowledges their misinterpretation of trademark law). Initially, Barry thought that playing on the "lu" in "sulu" would be funny... like in lieu of "sulu".... "sulieu." As we continued brainstorming, Barry came up with an even better idea. Since I am forced to change the name of my shop since Etsy fears legal action from the German company, the new name is really a move to keep Etsy from getting sued. Therefore, may I present you with my my new etsy shop: suelieu. Same prices, same designs, same pronunciation. New insanely contrived spelling.

www.suelieu.etsy.com is open for business
Thanks, friends.


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred Four

vinyl seat at barbecue joint, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred Three

car parked on mississippi, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred Two

creamer at fuller's lunch counter, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred One

centerpiece at gravy restaurant, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day One Hundred

blue garbage can and fence at alpenrose farm, portland

inspired earrings found here


Feelin' It

From the early morning moody fog that
has been rolling in with some frequency...

...to the industrial buildings in my neighborhood
and the dramatic skies 'round these parts...

...I've been happily devouring my surroundings.
I hope you enjoy wherever you are today.

I've been busy working on earrings inspired by these places,
too, and on updating the sulu-design etsy shop.
Check it out here, if you'd like.


Convention Centers are Scary...

and so are 95 percent of the people who do their bead shopping at them. I'd like to think that I'm in that remaining five percent, but who am I to say? I did pick up a few strands of pretty beads at Portland's bead show yesterday, which will show up in earrings sooner or later. But for now, I'm hoping someone can explain to me why bead sales are such magnets for the throw-back, post-hippie, wannabe Rasta crowd? Or maybe that's just the way Portland rolls. I mean, I love The Harder They Come soundtrack as much as they next guy (probably even more), and I've burned Nag Champa in my apartment once or twice, but really folks...


Psst... You're All Wearing the Same Dress

Congratulations and best wishes to Christina, a friend of my friend Dana. Christina's getting married today. Dana and five other bridesmaids will not only be wearing the same dress in her wedding, but will also sport the same sulu-design earrings and matching necklaces. I'm so happy to be a part of their special day.

And as I have the day off, it's a special day for me, too. A big bead show is in town (squeal!) and I'm going. I'll report back, if I don't fall into a bead-induced coma. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends.


Amandajean for President

Seriously. This woman is amazing. Amandajean has been one of my best blog buddies for quite a while now, so I should know that she doesn't play around. When she says she's sending a house warming gift, she's sending a serious gift. Check out the insanely gorgeous pillow that she made, which has found a happy home in out living room:

This piece is perfection. The varying red tones (we love red 'round these parts), the play of symmetry and asymmetry, the cross theme that pops up in little doses around our apartment... I mean, it really is perfect. And being a bit obsessive compulsive, I'm so appreciative of well-executed details. Amandajean is the queen of attention-to-detail. Check out her beautiful patchwork and the lovely curly quilting:

I'm still in awe of the fact that this pillow is in our home. Thank you, Amandajean. You've made out new apartment warmer and far more attractive. I thank the blog heavens that our paths have crossed.
Now... what to send Amandajean for her new home?