Holy Toledo!

Thanks to my adorable friend Meg,
who is the owner of one seriously hip shoe store,
sulu-design earrings will be available at Scarpe
in Toledo, Ohio, starting late November.
Thanks, Meggums!


Good Eatin' Round These Parts

The kitchen in our Portland apartment is a good deal larger than the one we had in New York. Maybe that explains whey Barry is spending so much time in it. He's made some amazing dishes recently, including this really tasty trout, and a birthday cake that makes me shudder just thinking about how deliciously rich it was. I've been spending some time in the kitchen myself, but it's often as I'm dashing from one place to another. My mom recently forwarded me this recipe for Chickpea Potato Curry from Hands-Off Cooking: Low-Supervision, High-Flavor Meals for Busy People. It was quick and simple, and perfect for the fall weather that we've been experiencing for quite some time here in the Pacific Northwest.

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
One 14 1/2-ounce can stewed tomatoes
One 4-ounce can of diced green chilies
6 baby Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), quartered
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large pot, combine the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, butter, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Stir to mix. Set the pot, uncovered, over medium heat. Simmer vigorously for about 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add more salt to taste. Serve the curry in bowls over Jasmine rice.


Mod Squad

These bold colors and shapes, along with several others,
can now be found in the sulu-design shop.
Click images above for direct links.


Running is Good for You

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again.

This time, we found two original Bertoia Diamond chairs
at a yard sale after a run in the glorious Forest Park.
Serious score.
Happy weekend, all!


I Got Friends Who Are Crafty On the Needles

How freakin' cute is this pouch that my sister-in-law,
Jennifer, made for me for my birthday?

And this head warmer by blog friend, Mary Beth,
who also celebrated her birthday this week? Adorable.


Restocking the Shelves

Thanks you for all of your sweet birthday wishes. I enjoyed an absolutely perfect day for my thirty-first. Days of birthday celebrations preceded by a week of sulu-design giveaways kept me from blogging about my etsy shop updates, but it didn't keep me from making them. All of the earrings above can be found in the shop (click images for direct links to particular styles, or visit the sulu-design shop here).
Giveaways and birthday celebrations didn't keep me from scoping out some Portland bead shops, either. I checked out Beads Forever, where the staff was beyond friendly. My Portland experience continues to teach me that it's not weird for people to be friendly to strangers, but it's still taking some getting used to... And Beads at Dusti Creek had beads in really unique shapes and finishes. Keep your eyes out for designs with these babies, to be in the sulu-design shop soon:

And if you'd like to be notified when new pieces are listed in my etsy shop (since it often takes me about a week to mention them here on the blog), you can add your name to my mailing list by e-mailing me at sulu-design@hotmail.com. Thanks.


Thirty Rocked

Last year, I entered a new decade in my life, and if that first year is any indication of the next nine, my thirties are going to be great. That's not to say that there weren't some seriously trying times this past year, but all in all, some decisions I made about they way that I want to live my life and the changes that resulted made my thirtieth year my best year yet. Whether it is due to these changes, or simply to growing older, I can't say, but this year so much of the insecurity and self-consciousness that prevailed in my twenties began to shed away, and I became a lot more comfortable in my own skin. Piggybacking off of Andrea's wonderful birthday list, here's my list of thirty changes that I made last year that made being thirty fabulous.
1. I ran approximately 20 miles every week. I am not a natural born runner.
2. I read several of the books that I'd been meaning to read for a long time.
3. I stopped taking taking cream and sugar in my coffee.
4. I started wearing less make-up.
5. I regularly stayed up late to watch Seinfeld reruns on weeknights (a.k.a. school nights).
6. I paid attention to Barry's tips on camera use.
7. I stopped shopping as a sport.
8. I relaxed my obsessive tendencies - just a bit.
9. I took advantage of my MOMA membership.
10. I indulged in good wine and beer.
11. I made an effort to meet new people.
12. I cut out white flour from my food choices.
13. I made exceptions to rules, especially when a good baguette was involved.
14. I finally let myself take a break from teaching.
15. I started valuing my personal time as much as my professional life.
16. I got over my fear of computers.
17. I figured out that splurging on one great piece is better than getting lots of cheap mediocre stuff.
18. I gave sincere compliments more frequently.
19. I stopped fretting about my ultra-rosy cheeks. Hopefully by the time I'm forty I'll be over my ankle and calf fixation. Check back with me then.
20. I got rid of more stuff than I brought in to our apartment.
21. I carried my camera with me everywhere I went.
22. I started wearing skirts and dresses.
23. I said no to unwanted commitments that I would have felt obligated to accept in the past.
24. I got over my fear of driving a car with a standard transmission. (It'd been a long time...)
25. I swam deep in blog waters.
26. I spent plenty of time by myself.
27. I stopped eating fried food.
28. I enjoyed the company of my family every chance I could get.
29. I moved across the country with Barry.
30. I decided that my life can be anything I want it to be.
I hope that thirty-one proves to be as great as thirty was. I'll let you know tomorrow, when it becomes official...


And the final winner is...

Artsy Momma, who guessed 438 in yesterday's giveaway, hitting the nail on the head of the randomly chosen number. Please send your shipping address to me at sulu-design@hotmail.com, Artsy Momma, and the super simple circle earrings will be in the mail to you right away. Thanks to each and every one of you for playing along with me this week. I'm glad that I got to know new names and blogs, and hope that we'll be visiting each other regularly. And to those of you who have been longtime blog friends, thanks so much for you support. What was life before blogging? Have a great weekend, all!


Friday's Blog Reader Love Giveaway

My best-selling sulu-design earring style is wrapping up my week of giveaways. Here's your last chance to pick a number - this time between and including 401 and 500 - and leave it in the comment section before midnight tonight, Pacific Standard time. These super simple earrings will be sent to the person who guesses closest to my randomly chosen number. The winner of this pair will be announced tomorrow. The same style can be found in my etsy shop, here.
Congratulations to the blogger behind Funky Finds, who is the winner of yesterday's giveaway. She guessed 372, coming closest to the randomly chosen number 371 (Sorry, Beth and Mary, she grabbed a hold of 372 first... I guess there weren't too many numbers left to choose from!). Please send your shipping address, Ms. Funky Finds, to sulu-design@hotmail.com.
Thanks so much to you all for playing along this week, and for being a consistent source of so much encouragement and inspiration. Have a fabulous weekend!


Thursday's Blog Reader Love Giveaway

Earlier this year, I became borderline obsessed with various shapes of this smoky brown bead. I've made countless designs with them, and this one can be yours if you pick a number between and including 301 and 400 and leave it in the comment section before midnight tonight, Pacific Standard time. The closest guesser can share in my obsession. The winner of this pair will be announced tomorrow, when a new pair of earrings will be up for grabs (the last pair in this giveaway series). Pairs of earrings made with similar beads can be found in my etsy shop, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Congratulations to Kate, yesterday's winner, who guessed 277, coming closest the the randomly chosen number 276. (Sorry, Luv Abby, you guessed 277, too, but Kate beat you to the punch.) Kate, please e-mail me at sulu-design@hotmail.com with your shipping address. And to all others who have been playing along, thanks! Can you keep it up for two more days?


Wednesday's Blog Reader Love Giveaway

These earrings first came about through an Original Intent post. Some of my favorite bloggers own versions of this design. If you want to join their ranks, pick a number between 201 and 300 and leave it in the comment section before midnight tonight, Pacific Standard time. Check out the rules of the giveaway here. One guess per reader, please. The closest guesser will officially be inducted into the non-exclusive white square earrings club. The winner of this pair will be announced tomorrow, when a new pair of earrings will be up for grabs. Similar pairs can be found in my etsy shop, here.
Congratulations to yesterday's winner, the blogger behind Hip Mama Crafts, who came closest to the randomly chosen number of 124 with her guess of 123. Hip Mama, please e-mail your shipping address to sulu-design@hotmail.com. Many thanks to all of you who keep playing. You hopeful little comments are so fun to come home to (but they do make me sad that I can't send a pair to each and every one of you)!


Tuesday's Blog Reader Love Giveaway

I've been wearing a pair of these sulu-design earrings for a week straight now. If you fancy them, too, pick a number between 101 and 200 and leave it in the comment section before midnight tonight, Pacific Standard time. The closest guesser and I will have matching lobes! Rules of the giveaway are here. The winner of this pair will be announced tomorrow, when a new pair of earrings will be up for grabs. Similar pairs can be found in my etsy shop, here and here.
Congratulations to "J" from Nearby the Sea, the winner of yesterday's giveaway. Her guess of 2 was closest to my randomly chosen number 3. J, please send your shipping address to me at sulu-design@hotmail.com. And to the rest of you who participated, thanks for playing along. Don't you go getting shy on me now. Go ahead and comment all week long!


Monday's Blog Reader Love Giveaway

If these big, bold (yet surprisingly lightweight) sulu-design earrings float your boat, pick a number between 1 and 100 and leave it in the comment section before midnight tonight, Pacific Standard time. The closet guesser gets 'em! The rules of the giveaway can be found here. The winner of this pair will be announced tomorrow, when a new pair of earrings will be up for grabs. Similar pairs can be found in my etsy shop, here and here. I hope your week is off to a lovely start, blog friends!


The Week in Numbers

Lots of special numbers flitted through my world this week:
Barry and I celebrated out eleventh anniversary together (not our wedding anniversary - that passed almost unnoticed in the midst of the moving frenzy a couple months ago).
I reached my ninety-ninth Original Intent post. Does it all end at one hundred? Should the hundredth one be special in some way? I'm still figuring that out. Got an opinion on the matter? Let me know.
My etsy shop reached its five hundredth sale. That one bowled me over. I am so appreciative of the support that my blog friends have provided me along the way that I figured it's time for a giveaway. And because I'm so touched by the kindness that brought me to five hundred sales, it's going to be a week-long giveaway.
Here's the deal. Each day this week, starting Monday, I'll post a photo of a different pair of sulu-design earrings. I've chosen my all-time favorite, super basic - but bold - pairs. If you like what you see, leave a number guess (based on the guidelines below) as your comment before midnight Pacific Standard time on the same day that the earrings are posted. I'll reveal the name of the person who guesses closest to my already randomly chosen number the following day, along with the next pair of earrings. I'll keep it up until Friday.

On Monday, choose a number between 1 and 100.
On Tuesday, choose a number between 101 and 200.
On Wednesday, choose a number between 201 and 300.
On Thursday, choose a number between 301 and 400.
On Friday, choose a number between 401 and 500.

You can enter every day if you'd like, but once a reader wins one pair, she's out of the running for the rest of the week. Sound good?
Thanks so much to you, dear blog friends. I wish you could all come over for dinner to celebrate these numbers with me, but I hope this week of giveaways will do instead. Now, let the games begin!


Mr. Coffee and the Trunk

In preparation for my mini-trunk show tonight at Tumbleweed, which is part of Alberta Street's Fashion By Flashlight, I've hunkered down with a pot of coffee and my bead stash. I'm hoping to put together several more pieces for my first-ever in-store appearance. I'd love to meet any of you who may be in Portland. Stop if you can between 5 and 9.

I'm getting a few pieces ready for a sulu-design giveaway that's in the works, too. More on that to come next week. And speaking of giveaways, have you seen the giveaway extravaganza going on over at Crazy Mom Quilts? Holy cow. I don't think I've ever seen such a long comment list.


Original Intent: Day Ninety-Nine

moroccan restaurant window, portland

inspired earrings found here


I Don't Write, I Don't Call...

What, there are no phones in Portland?

My recent blog absence - pointed out to me by family and friends (it's only been four days, guys) - is making my mother antsy. The week of Original Intent photos that I recently posted apparently offered little satisfaction. So, to answer questions about where I've been and what's been keeping me away from blogging, I present you with my list of things that have recently taken precedence over sitting at my desk, uploading images to Blogger.

I've been working (at a boutique, for those of you with inquiring minds). I've thought a lot about opening my own store one day, and figured that working in an independently owned shop would give me insight into whether it's really for me or not. I promised myself a break from teaching this year, but may return one day. Don't hold your breath.

We had fabulous house guests last weekend. Estate sales, art shows, tasty Portland restaurants, restaurant openings, and generally laughing our butts off with Traci and Jeff made for an awesome visit.

Barry has started racing in the Cross Crusade, which brought us to the lovely Alpenrose farm yesterday. Spending Sunday mornings sipping a thermos of hot coffee while standing in the amazing Portland light watching Barry race makes me so content. It would be perfect, if only I could find a great bagel in Portland to eat while I cheer.

Speaking of Barry, he's been consistently posting on his photography and found images blogs, which are knocking my socks off.

I participated in an earring swap with Jenny from True Nature in Argentina. This girl's work kills me. Stunning.

I've been cooking a lot, and trying to stick to fall-appropriate meals. This meant making bulgar stuffed squash last night. It's a recipe from one of my all-time favorite food bloggers, Connie at Life, Love, Chocolate. I'm devastated (I'm prone to hyperbole, folks) that she's recently decided to move on from blogging. Her posts added so many tasty yet healthy recipes to my rotation. Thanks, Connie.

I've been meeting up with blog pals and people who contacted me after the Design*Sponge post about our apartment. Yay for new Portland friends!

Oh, yeah... jewelry. I've been working my fingers to the point of blistering, preparing for a trunk show of sorts at Tumbleweed this Thursday (as part of the Alberta Street Fashion by Flashlight evening), and getting shipments together for Site and Loveday 31, both in Astoria, Queens, as well as for a new shop, soon be announced. I also updated the sulu-design etsy shop last week. If you want to hear about those updates when they happen, don't forget to e-mail me at sulu-design@hotmail.com and put "mailing list update" in the subject line.

I hope your days have been as fun-filled as mine. And if you don't hear from me in a while, know that I'm loving life... and will be back to post about it soon.


Original Intent (Revisited): Day Ninety-Eight

red church, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day Ninety-Seven

wall and road, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day Ninety-Six

bus grill, portland

inspired earrings found here


Original Intent (Revisited): Day Ninety-Five

bright restaurant seating, portland

inspired earrings found here