Oh. The necklaces.

More resin "ohs" are in the sulu-design shop, as are these:

Click on photos for links to their listings.
Back again soon, friends!



It was a gorgeous weekend here in Portland.
We're having a fabulous time with my in-laws,
eating our way through the city.
Off for a trip to Oregon's wine country today.
Some "oh" earrings... until I pop in again:

Have a great week, and thanks, Mrs. French!


Were I Prone To Using Emoticons...

you'd see lots of colons and parentheses all over this post, the former mostly of the closed variety (think happy faces). While my tone is often misunderstood and I could probably benefit from throwing some sly smiles into my posts when I'm using a little sarcasm, I still have trouble getting myself to use punctuation pictures, so I'll just have to spell out some recent smile-inducers 'round these parts.

But first, an open parenthesis (think frowny face). I'm sad to report that JetSet, the cutest and by far the friendliest boutique in Carytown in Richmond, Virginia has closed it's doors. Amy, the owner, had carried sulu-design earrings there for years now, and along the way became a friend of mine. Her lovely shop will be greatly missed. However, one of the reasons for it's closing gets the biggest smiley face of them all. Amy is now the mother of a beautiful baby boy. Congratulations and best of luck to Amy and her new family!

More smiles in anticipation of seeing Angie tonight on Alberta Street's last Thursday event. Her beautiful artwork will be on view at Idom, and I can't wait to see it and to meet her in person, too.

Smiles, also, for a freshly restocked sulu-design selection at Moxie, as well as in the sulu-design etsy shop:

Here's hoping your day is full of closed parentheses.


Dear Erin,

When I read your post yesterday, my heart sank for you. It. Sank. For two reasons:

First, had it not been for your mention of training for a half marathon many months ago, I never would have undertaken a twelve week training program myself - a program that was grueling at times, but was truly one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I wasn't so sure that I was up for the challenge when I said that I'd train virtually with you, but your e-mails along the way kept me going. I often thought to myself that if a mother of two who works and is the most prolific crafter around can stick with this program, I have no excuse not to. I have you to thank for the idea, for the inspiration, and for the support. And I can't thank you enough. It was an awesome experience just to participate in the training, an experience I wouldn't have had if it wasn't for you. My heart sank because if anyone should have the satisfaction of completing the race, it is you, Erin.

My heart sank, too, though, because I know exactly how it feels to be unable to complete a race for which you've trained so hard. As you know (but most of my blog readers don't, since I hadn't mention the race here before), I was scheduled to run my half marathon here in Portland on April 13th. I started the race with some stiffness in my legs, but soon found my groove and was running comfortably at a pace I was really pleased with. But by mile six I wasn't feeling well, and at mile nine I had to drop out. My legs and lungs felt great, but other issues with my body demanded that I stop. My initial reaction was devastation. I know how it feels to train so hard and so diligently only to have the satisfaction of completing a race taken from you.

I didn't want twelve weeks of hard, satisfying work be overshadowed by the uncontrollable events of this one race day. I was lucky enough to find another half marathon scheduled for the following week. Nevermind that it was located two hours north of Portland. Barry, my parents, and I schlepped it up to Elma, Washington, where I was able to complete my first (and, I think, my last) half marathon. I know, Erin, that our situations are different, and that your injury is going to take some time to heal. But there will be other half marathons if and when you're ready. Honestly, though, I think that completing the training program that you were kind enough to share with me is a far greater accomplishment than completing one isolated race. What I accomplished in those twelve weeks far outshines the events of that one day in Elma. Thank you, Erin, for playing such a huge role in my training experience. You have much to be proud of.

Wishing you a speedy recovery, friend.

P.S. I also owe thanks to Barry (a great coach and cheerleader), to my parents (who traveled across the country and endured an additional 240 mile drive to see my little 13 mile run), to my sister (for being an major inspiration by successfully competing a triathalon), to Ursa (for her encouragement and expertise), and to Terry (who provided some great advice on stretching that kept me moving throughout training).


With my sweet parents back in Cleveland safe and sound after a wonderful visit here in Portland, I've been busy with preparations for the arrival of my soon-to-visit in-laws. I've got a few things to tell you, but I'll have to save them for a day when I've got more time. Until then...

... a quick splash of the pieces I put in my etsy shop last week (some of the big brass leaf earrings and a resin oval necklace have been restocked, too). Click on photos for links to their listings. I promise to be back here soon. Hope all is well with you!


All Quiet...

on the Pacific Northwestern front.*

My parents are coming to Portland tomorrow for a visit that I have been happily anticipating for weeks now. Pre-parent preparations are in full swing - I took a toothbrush and bleach to the shower grout, have gotten on my hands and knees to scrub the floors, and am about to embark on a serious laundry mission - which is why things have been a little quiet 'round the old blog recently. I plan to be quiet here for the next week or so as well, while Barry and I show my parents what a beautiful city we've moved to. If any of you are fiending for earrings, though, have no fear. I'll be updating the sulu-design etsy shop little by little each day, even while my parents are here, since I've been working on lots of new pieces recently. I'll see you back here in a week or so, when it'll be time to start preparing for a visit from Barry's parents. I love an excuse to scrub grout!

*I must admit that I never read the book that this post title refers to, although it was assigned reading in a history class I took my first year in college. Until that point, I was a pretty serious student and never would have skipped reading an assigned book. But freshman year threw me for a loop, being away from home in living in New York City and all, and I did some... ahem... pretty uncharacteristic things. I'll never forget the day we discussed this book in class. You'd think I would have sat in the back and tried to make myself as unnoticeable as possible since I didn't have a clue about the content of the book. Instead, I sat myself right up front and decided to chime in to the discussion. Oh, the nerviness of youth. At one point, I got so passionate about whatever the heck I was saying that I dramatically moved my hand and knocked my unread copy of the book off my desk. In a total slow motion scene, my book, fresh and clean as the day I'd bought it weeks prior, sailed down to the ground - with the eyes of everyone in the room fixated upon it - and landed with a thud that punctuated the declaration: "Look, professor! Look, students! My spine hasn't been cracked! My pages haven't been turned! I am unread!" Traitor.


Photo Bug

One last blove post today, this time with a photographic theme. And even though it's completely unconnected to anything I'll mention below, I can't post about photography and not include an actual photo, so I'm throwing in a recent snapshot for good measure:

Portland litter is pretty.

Okay, on to the good stuff. First, do yourself a favor click over to Cally Creates, which is chock full of Cally's simple yet gorgeous photographic images that are often stunningly paired. Check out these recent pairings in particular. But don't stop there... scroll though her older posts, too, many of which feature images of Cally's paper cutting work as well as the play with light and shadow that she's done with these pieces. Drool.

Next, you ought pop over to Asphalt and Air, a blog by a friendly fellow Portlander who has serious skills with a camera. Between the two of us, a little e-mailing occurred, a swap was arranged, and next week, I'll be the proud owner of prints of these two images. Lovely.

Thanks to Ms. Asphalt and Air and to Ursa, I finally got off my rump and did something that I should have done long ago. I finally put all of my Original Intent photos on a disk, and can now easily take them to get printed. So, it's finally happening. Original Intent images are now for sale in the sulu-design etsy shop. We'll see how this goes. It may be a brief run , depending on how smoothly (or not) the whole process goes. But several of you have asked, and I try to be accommodating...

And last but not least, congratulations to Hip Mama Crafts for guessing the date closest to my last hair cut - which was right before Christmas (I had to clean myself up a bit before seeing the family around the holidays, you know) - and, therefore, for winning Rob Ryan's beautiful calendar. A happy weekend to you all!


LA LA Lovin' It

Some quick blove as I run out the door this morning... We're having an early meeting at work today and I volunteered to pick up bagels for it. I'm way too excited.

Fans of LALA Dex Press know why Shona has been a little less frequently than usual with her posting as of late. She has recently become a proud first-time homeowner, and is dealing with lots of the stuff that initially comes along with that. But somewhere in the midst of it all, she managed to put together the sweetest surprise package for me, including this vintage white ceramic piece:

which is perfect for holding the pretty letterpress postcards and stationary she sent, too. An aside: if you look hard enough, you'll see that my new stationary holder is happily sitting in front of a photo from one of my all-time favorite bloggers. You may have to squint. Lok right behind the owl's head.

I'm surrounded by blog goodness these days. Thanks, ladies. I'll spread a bit of that blove around when I announce the winner of the Rob Ryan calendar giveaway tomorrow morning. Guessing is open 'til midnight tonight. Now... I have some carbohydrates to tend to.


Rob Ryan Helps Me Count the Days

Ever since I saw the pretty cut paper images by Amy of Angry Chicken and by Alicia of Posie Gets Cozy a while back, I've been thinking of trying my hand at a paper cutting project myself. In my internet perusal of the craft, I came upon the blog of Rob Ryan, whose work knocks my socks off.

Rob made the generous offer on his blog to send out free copies of his lovely remaining 2008 desk calendars, and I was lucky enough to receive one before he ran out of them. Actually, I was lucky enough to receive two. I smell a giveaway. And I smell a random guessing game to go along with it. If you're interested in receiving Rob's calendar, leave a comment here guessing the date of the last time I got my haircut (cut paper... hair cut... humor me, I know it's a stretch). It was within the last year (so guesses going back to April 2, 2007 are appropriate), and bang trims don't count. Leave your guess by midnight tomorrow, April 3rd, Portland/Pacific time, and I'll send the calendar to the closest guesser before the weekend. Oh, and if you have any great paper cutting references, I'd love to hear about those, too. The blove marches on...



If I could fold up Jen Judd-McGee of Swallowfield and put her in my pocket so I could take her and her astounding drawing/design/collage talent with me wherever I went, I would. But since I can't, I'll have to settle for hanging her bold, modern prints all over my home:

There's the punchy red and blue piece that hangs on our kitchen bulletin board (above a National Parks postcard series from the WPA Federal Art Project that I became obsessed with over the past couple years),

and then there are these two drawings-over-text that adorn our dining room wall,

and finally two of the happiest, brightest prints ever, which have made their way through several spots in our home now, as I just can't seem to commit their cheeriness to one permanent place.

Visit Jen's blog and her esty shop, since the pocket thing is just not an option. The week of blove has begun...