One Person's Trash...

On our walk home last night, I got a kick out of noticing that Peter, Barry, and I all engage in the same habit. We all check out other people's trash. As we passed piles of garbage that residents had dragged out on the sidewalks for this morning's collection, each of us let our glances linger on the contents, hoping to find some amazing piece of furniture, picture frame, or who-knows-what to save from ruin. Peter and I come by this habit honest - my mother loves to remind us of the beautiful plant that she saved from death by plucking it from a garbage pile so many years ago. And Barry is a champ at finding treasures in the trash. So today, I looked around our apartment and took photos of some of the great garbage finds we've picked up over the past few years. Below is the just the short list. By the way, the soft lighting and out-of-focus state of several of the shots are not my attempt at being artsy. My husband is a photographer, I clearly am not. But I digress. Without further ado, ladies and gentleman, may I present:

this table in our entrance hall
- okay, entrance cubby -
folds up flat
Barry found it and it's twin, below, a few blocks from our place

behind the vintage dentist's lamp,
which was a gift from my sister, Maryanne,
is the twin table in its folded position

storing cd's causes such strife for order-obsessed people like me
luckily we found this huge crate outside our local bagel store
turned on its side, it holds cd's perfectly

my parents were visiting from Cleveland when we saw a pair of
industrial-looking stools on the street - the one we kept is a perfect plant stand
(thanks for carrying it, Dad)

my personal favorite - a Danish-looking sewing box
that now holds some of my jewelry-making supplies
we found right down the street from our apartment

a cart from a sewing studio in Soho ended up on the street
and later ended up as our bar cart/cookbook shelf

a Dansk piece that Barry found on his bicycle ride home from work -
I plan to use it to pot some low-lying succulents

a vintage Detecto scale that we rescued from our incinerator room

Astoria Nights

Last night, my husband, Barry, and I had an early dinner at Aliada, a Cypriot restaurant here in Astoria. I had a delicious grilled seafood salad, and he had a tasty sandwich and Greek beer:

He was wearing a shirt and a watch that he found in two different vintage stores on Magazine Street in New Orleans. I just had to capture them on film (or more accurately, on memory card). And I was wearing a necklace that I made from a random metal piece that I found in a junk bin at Exile, a cool store in Richmond, Virginia. So Barry snapped a photo of it for me:

We met up with my brother, Peter, after dinner and went to Hell Gate Social, a bar in Astoria that's been getting some good press recently. The bar owners show movies, projected on the wall of a neighboring building, every Sunday night in their back garden area. Last night, they showed the latest in the Hell on Reels series, a exhibition which promotes short format films.

Peter relaxes inside post-films

Our walk home through Astoria from Hell Gate Social inspired a little project that I'm working on today. Check in later for the outcome...


Lighting is Everything

Ha! I thought posting my so-so pictures would get this darn jewelry out of my mind for the evening. Fat chance. Instead, I obsessed over getting some decent shots of my remaining necklaces and recent earring designs. Finally, I realized that the photos of jewelry that I have been happiest with in the past are those taken in the natural sunlight in my living room (as opposed to those taken in the artificial light in my bedroom... I mean studio). So I dragged everything into the sun and came up with these:

New Orleans grammar award necklace

New Orleans fan necklace

fan necklace detail

more anchor earrings

carved mother of pearl earrings

Now I can finally sleep! Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I think I'll take a day off from blogging tomorrow as I've now posted four times in one day.

Posting three times in one day???

I have been trying all day to take some decent pictures of the necklaces I made from my New Orleans junk finds and I just can't seem to get them right. But in order to put this project to bed today so I can get on with other things, I'm posting some images of one of the necklaces. They're by no means great pictures, but I have to get today's attempt out of my system.

just a glimpse of the front-
the necklace is 36" long

the closure allows for three additional inches-
perfect for just above the navel length

I guess my to-do list for tomorrow will start with reading up on tips for taking good photos of jewelry. Once I get that figured out, I'll post more of the other necklaces and recent earrings. Maybe the light will be better tomorrow. Yeah, that's it... the light.

It's Official

I'm still working my way through banners and bios and all, but I have finally posted a few items for sale on etsy! You can view/purchase items by visiting my etsy shop at sulu.etsy.com (just in case that link bugs out). I hope to improve my photographs a bit and need to add several more pairs of earrings, but like I said in my very first blogger post... I'm taking baby steps.

Civic Duty Called

I woke up two days ago, excited to get a start on my to-do list for the day: photographing the four necklaces I made with my New Orleans finds, picking out pieces to list on etsy, and setting up the etsy account. Then it dawned on me - I was supposed to report for jury duty... and I was already 30 mintues late for it! I tore out of the apartment and made it to court just in time to sit for three hours, during which time I worked on knitting my fak-o scarf. It's fak-o since I don't consider myself a "real knitter." I don't get excited about the next issue of Vogue knitting, I don't read many knitters' blogs (unless they include other juicy content), and I don't start shaking when I touch really amazing yarn. In fact, I refuse to knit with anything other than the $1.99 junk I get at a discount store here in Astoria. I only knit to justify meeting up with the Long Island City knitting group once a week. They're a fun and inspiring group of women, many of whom do a lot more crafting than just knitting. So I have keep up this charade, which is currently resulting in this:

After two days, I was finally dismissed from jury duty, and I'm only a little bitter about not being chosen for a case. Long story short, I'm way behind on that two-day old to-do list. I have at least picked out the pieces that I plan to list on etsy. I've got to photograph each of them individually, but here's a sample from the group I'm starting with:

Once I get these up, I'll be posting several new pieces here, including the necklaces, that I was working on before the justice system intervened.


New Orleans Treasures

The wedding that brought us to New Orleans this past weekend allowed my husband and I to poke into several of the antique/vintage/junk stores on Magazine Street that we love. At one, Aesthetics & Antiques, I was overjoyed to find a tin of old, junky pieces of broken jewlery, mismatched earrings, and oddities that the store owner had tossed all together. I love rummaging through that kind of stuff. After digging through it all, I came up with a little collection of odds and ends that I intend on working into some necklaces. I'm thinking about incorporating some strips of fabric with them, too.

There is a fabulous jewelry store on Magazine called Dark Charm, owned by Robyn Lewis. Many of the pieces there have vintage finds incorporated into their design, too. If you're in New Orleans, make sure to check out Dark Charm (and you ought to check out Trashy Diva, the clothing store just down the street owned by Robyn's friend, Candice, as well).

Loveday 31, Astoria

In my mad rush to leave for a wedding in New Orleans last week, I neglected to post information and images on another shop that carries sulu-design earrings. Loveday 31, at 33-06 31st Avenue in Astoria, Queens, is by far the best place to shop in my neighborhood.

The owners have paid such great attention to detail - from the bold window displays, to the cool store fixtures, to their selection of merchandise - that the shop has an awesome, hip atmosphere. It is an oasis for Queens shoppers within the shopping district of Astoria.

Loveday 31 specializes in vintage clothing and accessories for men and women. They carry a carefully edited selection of dresses, tops, pants, skirts, belts, shoes, boots, bags, sunglasses, and, of course, jewelry.

Just look at the amazing selection of bags and boots! Queens shoppers are so lucky to have this in Astoria. And those who don't venture off the island of Manhattan to check out this store are missing out on great merchandise at affordable prices.

In the midst of all that great vintage, you can also find sulu-design earrings (displayed right there on the counter). The owners were sweet enough to veer a bit from the vintage focus to support a local desinger's endeavors. I don't mean to sound like a paid advertisement, but I highly recommend stopping by Loveday 31. I promise that you'll make yourself happy, and you''ll be supporting a local business that has serious style!


Subdivision, Long Island City

My second delivery this week was to Subdivision, a boutique/gallery space in L.I.C., Queens.

Subdivision is awesome because it is both a cool shop for men's and women's clothing and accessories by independent designers, and it is a gallery that exhibits work by local artists. And to top it all off, they throw amazing openings (see the d.j. table up front?).

I don't know of any other boutique in the entire borough that carries such a unique collection of fashion designs. And it's surrounded by all the great bars and restaurants on Vernon Boulevard!

Eva, Subdivision's manager, is a talented designer herself, and she handpicks the sulu-design earrings carried in the boutique. Her choices from this week's delivery include pieces made of the plastic chain I'm obsessed with recently (see my first post, below) and charms like anchors and horseshoes.


Flirt, Brooklyn

Today I made a jewelry delivery to one of the very first stores to carry my designs:
Flirt in Brooklyn. Almost exactly two years ago, I walked into their adorably cozy store at 252 Smith Street and showed several pairs of my earrings to Seryn, one of the owners of the shop. She was ridiculously encouraging and consigned some of my piecces on the spot. She and the other owners of Flirt, Patty and Heather, carried my designs in their Smith Steet location for several months. Then, in the final months of 2004, they announced that they were opening a second location at 93 Fifth Avenue, also in Brooklyn. This location is much larger, but maintains the warm feeling of the first. Both locations carry unique clothing, jewerly, shoes, purses, and other accessories, some by their own Flirt label and others by various designers. You can find sulu-design pieces at both locations. The owners of Flirt have been so supportive of me from the start of sulu-design and are such inspiring entrepreneurs that I wanted to showcase them here in my first "Where You Can Find sulu-designs" post.

Flirt's Fifth Avenue storefront

accessories as Flirt

jewelry at Flirt
(with the newest sulu-design pieces, still on tags, lower right)


Old School

While I'm working on getting my recent batch of designs out to the lovely shops where they are sold (more on those shops coming soon, hopefully), I thought I'd post a few images of sulu-designs from the past. It's strange to look at some of the older ones now, because I feel like my direction has changed quite a bit. For example, a group from the beginning of 2005:

I'll be posting a few of these "flashback" designs this week while I'm out making deliveries (and, alas, not working on earrings). Stay tuned for features on some of the shops where you can find them.


Two Plus Five Equals Seven

Two more that I couldn't fit in my earlier post:

gold tear drops with smoky beads

gold tear drops with chain on hoops

They Just Keep Coming

A few more samples of recent designs:

the sulu-design tag

clusters with rectangular drops

anchors with coral

hoops with gold chain and amber

hoops with gold chain, ice blue bead, and gold drops

More to come - I've got to figure out how to post more than five photos at once!


Baby Steps

Those of you who know me well know how intimidated I am by computers and the internet. So you know, then, what a huge hurdle I am jumping over by starting a blog.
Many people have asked if my jewelry designs are available for sale on the internet, so this is my attempt to at least showcase a few pieces that I've made. And perhaps if I can gather up a bit more courage, I will eventually open an etsy account through which I'll sell some of these designs. For now, though, let's see how this goes. You know, baby steps.
The photos below are examples of pieces that I've been working on recently that are inspired by good luck and nautical-related charms, as well as by this awesome black and white plastic chain that I came across recently.
As I get more comfortable posting here, I'll add more images. I've made more than one hundred one-of-a-kind pieces, so I better get a move on!