Go Away Gray

Portland is having a seriously gray Spring. Not that I'm complaining... just sayin'. So last weekend, I decided to change things around a bit in my little workspace, saturating the desktop where I make jewelry with as much color as I could.

I don't think I've ever shared a full-size image of my workspace in our apartment with you, probably out of my dislike of the look of our clunky t.v. set that dominates the top corner of it. You can imagine how the electric cords (the ones that are smack dab in the center of that middle shelf, see?) drive my anal-retentive side nutty. But I digress.

The owner of our apartment converted a Murphy bed that was original to our unit into this built-in desk. I'd kill for that Murphy bed now. Our overnight guests know what I mean - thirty-one is too old to be sleeping on an air mattress in the dining room. But the desk is also a great feature as it's an out-of-the-way space for me to work on sulu-design pieces. The cupboards on either side of the chair hide my cases of neurotically organized beads.

The punchy colors that now stare me down when I sit at the desk must have rubbed off on me, as the most recent additions to my etsy shop continue to boom with brightness:

Images, as usual, are links to the earrings' listings.
Oh... did I mention? I'm offering clip on earrings now.
E-mail me if you're interested in having a pair converted:

Here's hoping for a bright weekend for us all!


Hip Hop, huh?

My interest in hip hop began back in junior high, when I first began to be consciously aware of race - others and my own. Listening to music that was largely produced by Black people was one way for me, a young White girl, to comfortably explore one small aspect of a culture with which I had little interaction and of which I had little knowledge. By the time I got to high school, I'd grown extremely interested in the history of race in America, in the roots of racial tension here, and in the social movements throughout history that have attempted to address racial inequity. Much of the music that I sought out at that time was related - some loosely, some directly - to those interests. Then college brought me to the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop, and there I learned the history of the genre/social movement and it's connections to these issues that had interested me for so long. While I'm saddened by the gross turn that mainstream hip hop has taken in recent years, with so much focus on money, violence, and exploitation of women, the roots of hip hop (along with some amazing underground hip hop that doesn't get recognition in the media) remain near and dear to my heart.
Being as interested in race relations as I am, this New York Time's article about race and gentrification talks in Portland (with specific mentions of the street on which I work) caught my eye this morning. Portland is a rather White and segregated city, which has given me a very different experience of race than that which I had in New York City. Read and discuss.

fence, alberta street


As A Wise Man Named Ice Cube* Once Said:

I gotta say it was a good day.

Had a beer outside at a local watering hole
while enjoying a good book.

Tooled around on my bike through the industrial parts of my neighborhood.

Smoking Area, No Spitting

Checked out the newest shop in my neck of the woods,
Folly, which is now carrying a few of my earrings.

*Did you know my love of hip hop runs deep?
Have we discussed that here? Probably not...


Smooth Sale-ing

The car is back in working order, it's Friday - one day away from the start of my official weekend, and I've got an extra day off next week. Ah... what a difference from Monday! To spread some of my new-found cheer around, I created a sale section in my etsy shop this morning, and added several pairs of earrings to it. Maybe something there will make you smile. Enjoy your weekend, and to my friends in the U.S., have a wonderful Memorial Day.

random, but good


Everything's Gonna Be All White

Simple pieces with mother of pearl are currently in the shop.
Images are direct links.
The weekend is drawing near!


Chipper Up

In the shop.
Click photos for links.

Wood chips... get it?
You're in for a week of posts with bad puns for titles.


Looking on the Bright Side

all in the shop now
click on images for links over there
Happy day to you, friends!



The pistachio bars I attempted to make this weekend were a total flop. I'm not even bothering to post the recipe here.
Turns out salted oatmeal cookies are actually better when made with white chocolate as opposed to dark chocolate. Believe me. I tried. Who would have thought?
Two days ago, an angry insect got caught under my shirt and bit the hell out of my back. Sleep has been fitful for a couple nights now.
Our car broke down today. Hello and goodbye, stimulus check.

As I'll be relying on the bus for the next couple days and my commute to work is going to take a bit longer than usual, I'm going to be quiet around these parts this week. I'm looking forward to the uninterrupted reading time public transportation is so good for, but I won't be in front of the computer much. I hope to post a couple photos a day of those earrings I promised last week. I'm off now to work on making lemonade from these lemons. How painfully perfect are these guys (in my etsy shop now):


You Were Expecting Pistachio Bars?

Me, too, until I realized at nine o'clock last night, the new baking hour around here, that I don't have the rimless baking tray that the recipe requires. So I scrapped the baking and decided on earring-making. Did you know I still do that? Probably not, since I haven't posted about it in ages. Anyhow, I got a huge earring shipment together for Flirt and made a ton of bright summery pairs that will make their way into my etsy shop soon. I got into bed way too late, and I'm exhausted this morning. So in lieu of pistachio bars and earrings (both of which you can count on next week), here's an homage to my favorite place in our apartment, a place I had had trouble prying myself away from this morning:

I've already introduced you to our unmade bed.
But have I shown you all of the little decaying treasures
that we keep on a shelf above it?

I don't know which I love most: the vintage post card that Barry hunted down for me me which pictures a lodge we loved visiting in Texas, the old wire arm and shoulder casts with their yellowing tags still attached, or the framed postcard from the "Home for Friendless Children, Bronx, NY." I'm a big fan of rusted metal and crusty old mirrors, too. I think I'm going to hide out under these guys for a few more minutes...
It's going to be an awesome weekend here, friends. I wish you the same where you are.


I Hate White Chocolate

Hate it. So what on earth would possess me to make this cookie recipe from Smitten Kitchen last night? Simple: my hatred for white chocolate is far surpassed by my love of salt. And a cookie recipe that calls for salt to be dusted on the top of cookies before baking them is worth trying in my book. The verdict: white chocolate can be my friend as long as salt's around.

As Portland braces for an insane heat wave, I'm firing up the oven to bake every night. Tonight, I'm thinking pistachio bars.



Thanks, Bluelines, for finding a simple, worthwhile use
for the pretty vintage buttons my mother has collected for me:

Have you ever tried to take a photo of the back of your head?


Angel's Rest

After months of juggling our schedules,
Barry and I finally have the same two days of the week off of work.
We spent yesterday enjoying one of them with a hike at
Angel's Rest in the stunning Columbia River Gorge.
And while my first instinct is to gag
when I come upon the insanely huge slugs here,

I actually thought this guy was pretty amazing up close.


Crystalized Ginger Saves the Day

We don't keep sweets around the house.
But we do have the ingredients necessary to quickly
whip them up when we need a little Sunday night treat.

Yesterday evening, a somewhat desperate search
resulted in this easy recipe for ginger honey cookies.
Sweet tooth satisfied.


Happy Mother's Day

My mom rocks. Have you seen the cute comments she leaves on posts here?
My sister is an amazing, inspiring mother of three cuties.
My mother-in-law incites envy in my friends 'cause she's so darn sweet.
I hope you're surrounded by fabulous moms, too.
Thanks, ladies.


Off The Wagon

No sooner did I post about my spending discipline at Goodwill than I came across a lovely cashmere sweater there in one of my favorite shades of blue for $6.99. It would have been a crime to pass it up. My will was broken... temporarily. And I should have kept my trap shut about stopping my ugly buy-and-return cycle, too, as this dress is going back to it's former home as soon the store opens this morning. I couldn't resist the fabric. But a blurry photo of it will have to suffice. It is not moving into my closet.


Over the Border to Broder

Oft-blogged-about Broder was the spot for one happy breakfast get-together yesterday morning. The ridiculously adorable April, cute broach-maker extraordinaire, brought her talented illustrator friend Alice, visiting from London, down from Vancouver, B.C. to hang out in Portland for a few days. And I had the pleasure of meeting them both. The ladies are were lovely, as was the little on-the-house treat that our waiter brought when he heard the girls were from out of town. If only all days could start so sweetly.


Living Quarters

I've been spending lots of time thinking out on our balcony (ahem... fire escape) the past couple days. As we think about buying a home, a debate is raging in my head: apartment or house? I'm fearing that our choice is going to define parts of me that I'm not ready to set in stone. Then again, it might just open some doors to parts I never knew were there.



Barry and I. Two cups of coffee. Long walk, cameras in hand.
I'm digital, he's film.

Bizarre how often we stop to shoot the exact same scenes.
Each of these three made both of us pause.