Thanks for being patient with all of the recent Italy photos, friends. At some point during the past two weeks while all of those comment-less entries were posting here, it hit me that I finally feel back to normal. It took me over a month following our two trips, but my sleep schedule is back on track, my energy level is where it ought to be, I've gotten caught up with my pesky to-do list, and I'm just about back to my pre-Italy weight (I gained five pounds in 14 days, people - but every last ounce was worth it).

I also met up with the lovely Patricia of Bonnet (thanks, Betsy, for the introduction). Bonnet is a sweet little hat shop in Portland's Pearl District, where you can now find sulu-designs. I've worked on special pieces for the shop that are a little different than what you can find in my etsy shop and in other boutiques that carry the sulu-design line (think clusters of weathered charms and long feminine necklaces). But have no fear - I've worked on lots of new pieces to add to the sulu-design etsy shop, too. The latest additions all look a bit icy to me, which can be kinda nice to wear on a hot summer day (reason number one for the lame post title above):

Click above images for direct links to shop listings, or check out the entire selection here.

The second reason for the lame title? I've been consciously working on chilling out recently (strange to actually work at relaxing, no?). I'm trying to throw in the towel on things I used to fixate on that really aren't all that important (maintaining a pristine apartment, committing myself to too many social obligations, being totally caught up with blog reading) and focusing more energy on the things that are truly valuable to me (talking with my family, spending time with Barry, taking care of myself, enjoying the outdoors). I've noticed in lots of your recent blog posts, too, that many of you are on the same page. So, have you changed any of your on-line habits? Are you spending less time on the computer? Do you miss it? Do you feel guilty about not commenting or posting as frequently as you once may have? Omitting the comment option on my last two weeks' worth of posts, I must admit, meant that I had fewer e-mails to respond to (which meant more time for all that other good stuff), but also I felt a little disconnected from everyone. I'd be curious to hear if any of you have found ways to happily manage your time on the computer. Happy weekend to you all.

P.S. I'd like to wish safe travels to my dad who's setting out tomorrow on a cross country trip on his motorcycle. Way to get back on the saddle, Dad. Talk about enjoying life...



Barry and I like to play a game with our in-laws at the end of a trip together: Top Five. You know... top five restaurants, top five dinners, top five desserts (yes, a lot of them are food-specific), top five medieval towns. Assisi is my number one. It has a special place in my heart. Sure, it's super touristy. But it is one of the most beautiful, serene towns I have ever been in. I was moved to tears in the Basilica of Saint Francis. And I have such fond memories of a trip my parents and I took there over a decade ago.


Cemetery, Volterra

Volterra's cemetery was beautiful, too.


Cemetery, Assisi

On most trips, Barry and I spend hours in local cemeteries.
The one just outside the walls of Assisi was gorgeous.



Looking Down, Inside

I was pretty taken with Italian floors, too.



Some people go to Italy and take hundreds of photos of the breath-taking cathedrals. Others marvel at the green rolling hills of the countryside. Me? I was mildly obsessed with the groupings of chairs that popped up around every corner.


Putting Our Feet Down, Italian Style

Dealing with my photos from Italy could have been the death of me if I didn't finally put my foot down. I've been struggling for weeks to seriously edit down the number of images I took, to put them in some sort of order, to figure out what is worth sharing here and what would be of interest to only me. I've been overly critical of them as a whole, thinking too hard about the fact that I didn't take gorgeous travel shots and instead have tons of my usual random pictures. Letting this project linger had begun to make it more chore-like than fun, and the last thing I want to do is turn my memories of an amazing trip into a chore, so I finally said enough is enough. What I got has gotta be good enough.

For my upcoming series of Italy photo posts, I'm going to be turning the comment section off. Honestly, friends, I'm tired. I'm still trying to catch up with real life. And to do so, I need some time away from the computer. I hope you're enjoying some time away from it, too - it's nice outside. We should all be out there playing.


Restock Round Three

One final update:

All of these designs are available by clicking the images above or by visiting the sulu-design shop. By the way - and this is for my fellow grammar sticklers out there - etsy doesn't allow item's names to have any sort of punctuation in them. I know this listing should have an apostrophe in its name (time + is = time's), but etsy just won't have it. It kills the elementary school teacher in me.


Restock Round Two

I'm still sifting through those vacation shots, but these are ready now:

Click above images for direct links to listings or check out everything that's in the sulu-design shop here.


Restock Round One

I'm hoping to buy myself some time to go through my photos from Italy by coming to the table with lots of new selections in the sulu-design shop. A couple more days of earring photos should give me enough time to get caught up with all of those vacation shots. Until then:

All of the earrings above are available in the shop. As always, you can click on the images above for direct links to their listings. Back tomorrow with round two.