What you do you when your sweet newish friend invites you to a dinner, served family-style, prepared by her chef of a husband (literally) at a fun nearby restaurant? Why, you eat so much bacon-wrapped pate, octopus salad, grilled shiitakes, rotisserie lamb, and beets in shallot vinaigrette that you're full well into the next day. But not too full to eat the leftovers that you took home in a moment of greed the night before. Yum.



If you happen to be in Baltimore, Maryland (a.k.a. Charm City, as the adorable Traci prefers to call her stomping grounds), and if you're into bright bold colors or wooden beads like these:

you should stop by Doubledutch Boutique- the newest shop to carry the sulu-design earrings pictured above. Thanks to the owners, Megan and Lesley, for getting in touch with me - I'm just thrilled with this arrangement.

I'm in the middle of one of the most hectic weeks I've had in a long time. I hope to be able to catch up with blog reading in the next few days. I miss you guys! Be well.


If Cupid Wore Earrings...

I don't know if it has to do with Valentine's Day being right around the corner, but recently I've received several requests for red earrings in the sulu-design shop. Eager to please, I posted these in the shop this morning:

As always, click on images for direct links to their etsy listing, or view all of the shop's offerings here. Hope your week is off to a lovely start!


Did Someone Say Mini-Update?

Click on the images above for direct links to my etsy shop listings
and stay tuned for another shop update coming soon.
Have a fabulous weekend!


Baby, It's Cold Outside

But my neck is toasty warm thanks to the sweet scarf that Ursa sent me (back in December...). Aside from being a huge inspiration to me in the running department - she's run a couple of half-marathons - the girl is crafty, too. The fact that she blogs in English and Slovenian (spoken, too, by my brother-in-law) makes her posts extra fun for me. Thanks, Ursa!

It is bitter cold here in Portland, but there's no snow to speak of. No snow, and no rain, thankfully. It's been beautifully crisp and sunny here, with glorious light streaming down all week long. The early morning light here has been such a pleasure to wake up to. So I decided to take on Shari's Winter White Week challenge by snapping photos inside our apartment. And I'm cheating a bit, jumping in a few days late and posting all five days of winter white at once:

Please pardon that painfully literal shot up there.
Keep warm, friends!


Inside A White Apple

When you do a swap with April of White Apple, you get a package wrapped up in the sweetest way possible. And inside you find a gorgeous piece of jewelry, like this necklace that I'd coveted from the moment I saw it in her etsy shop. Thanks, dear April!

P.S., April: Does this post count as a response to the the tag that you bestowed upon me? 'Cause you know I don't do tags...


When One Door Closes...

two more doors open. Or at least that's been the case here recently - knock on wood. Just after the holidays, the sweet owner of Noun decided that she was no longer going to carry sulu-design earrings in her shop any longer. The earrings sold quite well there, but the store is limited in space and the owner was interested in pursuing a few other jewelry lines. It was nice while it lasted. Thanks to Stephanie at Noun for giving sulu-designs a chance in her adorable little shop.

However, I'm happy to announce that in the past week, two other Portland shops have begun to carry my earrings:

Moxie is a fun women's clothing shop on Burnside. Their mid-century furnishings drew me in to the store, and the funky, sometimes quirky (and I mean that in the best sense of the word) designs made me linger.

Olio United is a fabulous new-to-me shop on Water Street that is dedicated to "green, sustainable, story-driven" designs for men and women. And they blog. Thanks, Andrea, for introducing me to this stunning shop.

I've been quite busy working on new designs for these and other stores, so please pardon my recent absence. I honestly had the intention of joining Shari in her Winter White Week. Perhaps I can catch up...


Beautiful Film Week, Day 5

The Proposition, directed by John Hillcoat.
Extremely gritty and graphically violent.
You have been warned. Again.
Full darkness has descended, folks.
Soundtrack by Nick Cave, a personal favorite.

Much thanks to Abby, the gracious host of Beautiful Film Week.


Beautiful Film Week, Day 4

Breaking the Waves, directed by Lars von Trier
(whose Dancer in the Dark could have easily made the cut, too).
You may recall my mention of this movie long ago.
It makes me bawl non-stop. Totally devastating.

I'm linking to the trailer here -
it contains explicit scenes of a sexual nature.
You've been warned.


Beautiful Film Week, Day 3

The City of Lost Children, by the much loved
Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.
The darkness begins.


Beautiful Film Week, Day 2

Triplets of Belleville, directed by Sylvain Chomet.
The only animation you'll see on my list. Stunning.


Beautiful Film Week, Day 1

A short while ago, Abby (blog and real-life friend, yay Portland!) proposed that Jan. 14 be the start of a Beautiful Film Week for those bloggers who wanted to join in. Feel free to hop on board - I'm putting my two cents in, but with a few warnings. First, I don't watch many movies. A few of the ones I'll mention this week are movies that I haven't seen in years, so my memory may have altered their beauty level a bit. I'm also not what one would consider a decent film critic, so I decided that I'm not going go too heavy on the text. I'll provide you with a few links and leave any exploration that you might want to do up to you. My final warning is about the nature of a couple of my choices. My definition of beautiful my seem a bit twisted by the end of the week, once you see a few of the movies I mention here. Many of the movies to which I am drawn tend to be... oh... somewhat on the on the dark side. I'll give up a heads up when that's the case. I'll start out, though, with one of my favorites that isn't least bit dark. As the week goes on, expect darkness to descend. But for now:

The Straight Story, directed by David Lynch.
It was actually rated "G".
Did you know David Lynch was capable of a "G"?

Hopefully by the next post, I'll have figured out how to embed a video on my blog. Until then... a link to the trailer on YouTube. And thanks, Abby, for your wonderful proposal!


Kristine Mays

In the flurry that was my handmade holiday, I neglected to post a photo of the beautiful wire sculpture that I received in a swap just prior to Christmas from the talented Kristine Mays. Her "O" has been a lovely addition to the pieces that I surround myself with in my studio. Who am I kidding - my "studio" is a little built-in desk in our living room... nevertheless, it looks wonderful there. Makes me wish I was more adept with wire. You can purchase Kristine's work at her etsy shop.


Paying it Forward

I'm hitching a ride on the pay it forward wagon. Patty offered to send the first three people who commented on one of her posts a handmade treat, as long as they'd promise to send three gifts off to others. So I commented, I promised, and voila! The first three people who leave a comment here will be the recipients of a little sulu-design surprise, as long as they, in turn, promise to continue the goodie-giving. The original rules as posted on Patty's blog indicate that you are supposed to have a blog to participate, so you can post about your giveaway there, but I trust that those of you who are not blog readers can be crafty enough to get your three goodies to some worthy recipients. Happy weekend, friends!



I've been thinking about making some changes to the way I manage my etsy shop for quite a while now, and the start of a new year seemed like the perfect time finally take the plunge. So here I go.

Posting the listings for my earrings on etsy had begun to take considerable time away from the precious hours that I have to actually make earrings, so I've decided to make duplicate pairs of some of the designs that will be available in the shop. The duplicate pairs can be listed all at once, as opposed to the tedious one pair at a time routine, which will keep the shop better stocked and keep sulu more sane. First problem solved.

The second change wasn't as easy for me. Most earrings in my shop have been listed at $14 per pair or less. The increase in postal rates that took effect last year have impacted my expenses since I don't charge a shipping fee. Leaving New York City has meant an increase in expenses, too. While there are several bead wholesalers in New York, I haven't found one here in Portland, so I've been buying beads at higher retail prices while I explore options of buying beads on-line. I am relying on my NYC source for hooks and pins and such, so I'm also paying shipping costs that weren't a factor before. I'm hoping that a one dollar increase in cost per pair will be enough to offset some of these new expenses without being too much of a stretch for my loyal etsy shoppers. Fingers crossed.

I'm a bit anxious to see how these changes will work out. For now, I leave you with my first designs to be affected by them. Click images below for direct links to their sulu-design shop listings.

If you want to hear about shop updates immediately after they happen, you can e-mail me at sulu-design@hotmail.com and put "shop update" in the message. I'll be happy to add you to my mailing list, and you'll hear about shop updates a day or two before I post about them here on the blog. Thanks, friends. Now, Wednesday is my weekend, so I'm off to explore lovely Portland. Have a great day.


Deconstructing Handmade Holidays

It was the best of Christmases,
it was the worst of Christmases.

The handmade holiday pledge made quite an impact on my December. And initially it wasn't pretty. For the entirety of the month, I was stressed out about the gifts that Barry and I were making. I spent every moment that I wasn't working obsessing about what we'd make and how we'd make it. And honestly, I threw in the towel about a week before Christmas. I decided to cheat - to buy gifts for my nephews and niece. And then my sister posted a comment on my blog about an assignment that her son completed in school, which involved listing his top ten favorite gifts. A scarf that I had knit for him a year or two ago made the cut, and my sister said that she and her kids were excited to see what handmade gifts we'd be giving this year. Handmade Christmas had been a lesson in the labor of love for the kids, she wrote. Man, how could I cheat knowing that? So I scrapped the store-bought gifts and went back to the old drawing board. Literally.

The end result was indeed wonderful. It was so touching this year to open gifts that were crafted especially for us by our loved ones. And the scale of the gift-giving seemed more appropriate than ever. My family intends on going handmade again next Christmas, which is why I'm so glad that I learned what not to do through my trials this year. The handmade pledge I'll take next year will have a few additional stipulations:

I promise that I will not wait until December to start making gifts for my entire family.
I promise that I will not start to make gifts using a craft or technique that I am generally unskilled in, hoping that the gifts will miraculously turn out to be amazing. Such foolishness results in thrown away projects. That's no fun, and doesn't help the time constraint issue.
I promise that I will not hem and haw over the perfect gift that will be both useful and gorgeously designed. I will simply make something that is from my heart to the recipient.

Now, a glimpse of what was given...

for my sister, earrings and a matching necklace:

for my brother-in-law, a print of one of Barry's photos:

for my niece, a jewelry box and necklace
(with enough pink to choke a fairy princess):

for my nephews, personalized bulletin boards:

for my brother and my sister-in-law, neckwarmers
(and matching wrist warmers, not pictured here)
with vintage button closures:

and what was received...

napkins and napkin rings to match the
place mats made by my sister-in-law:

notecards of a favorite Portland image by my brother:

a necklace by my metal-smithing sister:

I hope that you and your families had wonderful holidays.
Happy belated New Year to you, too.