Right Now

...Abby's Summer Social shop is open, offering goodies from lasts week's event to those who couldn't make it there in person. A couple sulu-design necklaces and several pairs of earrings are available there, along with great photos, prints, paper goods, linens from amazing Portland-based artists and designers.

...Barry and I are on a morning date, checking out the Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibit at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery before it closes on Saturday.

...I'm looking forward to a weekend filled with good visits: first with my cousin, her husband, and their two sweet daughters who live in Seattle, and then with long-time blog friend, Bethany.

...I am psyched about the drop in temperature in Portland.

...I'm wondering why we don't go to the Living Room Theater more often - Barry and I had a great time there Tuesday night.

...I'm hoping you all have a fabulous weekend. What are you up to?



Above images are links to shop listings.
Too hot to say anything else right now...


Goldilocks and the Three Pairs

For a long time I avoided wearing gold-tone jewelry, but in the past couple years I've started to wear bits of it here and there, often layering it with silver-tone pieces. I've become a big fan the look of mixed metals (case in point: the second necklace below). Today's sulu-design shop update is for those of you who like to wear a little gold-tone, too:

(find a similar pair here)

Click images above for shop listings.


Summer is Not Joking

Holy scorcher, people. It's been hot as heck here in Portland. Today's sulu-design shop update is, accordingly, full of hot reds, oranges, pinks, and purples:

Click on images above for shop links. Stay cool if you can. More on the way...


Hardware That's Easy to Wear

The first of many sulu-design shop updates this week is all about a group of necklaces I made using found bits of hardware and metal. I've been holding on to a few of these little washers and doodads for years now. Inspiration finally struck:

(this one isn't made from old hardware,
but it looked like it wanted to hang out with the others)

Click images above for direct links to listings in my etsy shop. Please note that the pieces I used in these necklaces have some rust and wear to them - that's what made them beautiful to me. I've rubbed them between my fingers and on cloth, and no rust is wearing off of them, so in my book they're good to go.


Portland Needs No Photoshop...

but the photos of my jewelry do. I'm hard at work on this searingly hot day preparing photos and etsy listings for a ton of sulu-design shop updates that I'll be posting over the next several days.
Last night's Summer Social was truly awesome - I can't tell you what a knock-out job Abby did with decorations, with food, with her photos, and with assembling a wonderful variety of vendors. Thanks so much to Abby, to her husband, her sister, her brother-in-law, and mother who made it all happen. And thanks to those of you who stopped by last night. It was really amazing how well-attended the event was. I had myself a grand old time.
Now... off to wipe my brow and work on listing those unsold necklaces.


Glutton for Punishment = Glutton for Gluttony

For some reason, when it gets really hot outside, I get the urge to take it one step further by making our kitchen swelter. When I should be making nice cool salads, I torture myself by turning on the oven and letting the sweat pour (not on the food - never on the food). Part of it is grill envy - I've been using the oven's broiler to make dishes that I'd love to be grilling up in a backyard this summer... if we had a backyard. A current favorite? Salmon brushed with olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice. After broiling the fillets for 5 minutes or so, I brush them with a mixture of lime juice, honey, and coconut flakes and return them to the broiler for two or three more minutes, and serve 'em up with spicy black beans. The heat's not just coming from the broiler, though. I've done a bit of baking, too:

It was this recipe for chocolate black pepper cookies that heated up our kitchen this morning. Oh, sweet gluttony.


Summer Goes Swimmingly

You can chalk up my recent absence on-line to my thorough enjoyment of summer. Morning bike rides to the park with a book, breakfast with friends enjoyed al fresco, early morning Tour De France viewing at a lovely French bakery, nights at the ball park, a beer festival or two, dips in local watering holes, a trip out of town for a mountain bike race... we've been busy and we've been loving it.

This week, I'm keeping myself occupied with final preparations for the Summer Social that takes place this Saturday, the 25th, from 4-8. I hope that those of you who are in Portland will stop by. Abby has planned a really spectacular event - she's left no detail unattended. And I'll have plenty to offer, too - tons of necklaces, new earring designs, and lots of earrings on sale for $5 and $10 a pair. Enjoy the summer goodness, friends, and I'll see you back here soon.


Eggers and a Photoless Dinner

Dave Eggers is haunting me. Marissa recently suggested I read his book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, after my mention of The Road started a little back and forth between us about book recommendations. I checked it out of the library and was reading it last week when my in-laws were in town. My father-in-law, seeing the book on my bedside table, said that he really enjoyed reading it. Then I saw Andrea's recent post in which she included a quote from the book. Several people left comments on her blog about how much they liked it as well. I'm in the minority on this, I guess, because I wasn't a big fan of Eggers' book. My blog friends loved it, the press adored it, heck - it was a Pulitzer finalist. But it didn't float my boat. However, there were a few passages of the book that really stuck with me. Like this one:

"...I know what I am doing now, that I am doing something both beautiful but gruesome because I am destroying its beauty by knowing that it might be beautiful, know that if I know I am doing something beautiful, that it is no longer beautiful. I fear that even if it is beautiful in the abstract, that my doing it knowing that it’s beautiful and worse, knowing that I will very soon be documenting it, that in my pocket is a tape recorder brought for just that purpose – that all this makes the act of potential beauty somehow gruesome. I am a monster."

This sentiment relates (it's definitely more intense, but it relates) to one that I've had recently as I've decided what and what not to document and post about here. A few nights ago, while plating our dinner (doesn't "plating" sound formal? it wasn't), Barry asked if I wanted to take a photo of the food for my blog. I'd spent a decent amount of time in the kitchen preparing a yummy soy and ginger salmon recipe and an improvised Asian-inspired slaw that I was compelled to make after hearing a recent episode of the Splendid Table with Sally Schneider. But no, I didn't want to take a photo of what turned out to be a darn good meal. I just wanted to eat it. Sure, I wanted to share the recipe links with you guys, but I wanted to share the experience of the dinner with Barry, and not be bothered with thinking about lighting, camera angle, to zoom or not to zoom... Thinking about so much of the good things in my life in the context of how I document them on my blog makes me feel kinda lame at times. How about you, fellow bloggers? Ever feel like some of the beauty of an experience is taken away by posting about it (or by doing the work it takes to post about it)? Or is blogging simply a nice way for you to collect and share snippets of beautiful (and/or not-so-beautiful) parts of your life? Or maybe blogging is more than that - maybe it causes you to see and experience beauty that you hadn't before. Maybe it's all of the above. Discuss. And have a great weekend, whether you document it or not.



I'm getting older, people. I know we're all getting older day by day, but I'm getting decidedly older in mindset. Case in point: my grumpy reaction to the goings on at the bar across the street from our apartment. The bar has picnic tables out front on the sidewalk and the staff there serves customers outside until 2 am every night of the week. And as you might imagine, people who are out drinking until 2 am aren't the quietest group. Years ago (okay, to be honest it was over a decade ago), I was occasionally (fine, I'll be honest again - I was rarely) one of those people who was out at that hour. No longer. I'm all about early to bed early to rise. So now, I am the person woken in the middle of the night by those people. I am the person who calls the bar at 1:30 to tell them to quiet their customers down or bring them inside. I am the person who calls the non-emergency police line several times a week to have a patrol car swing by to put a damper on things when I'm awakened by bar noise at 2 in the morning. I am the person who sends in official complaints to the state liquor licensing commission regarding the sleep-interrupting noise that projects from the bar on a nightly basis. I am tired. I am grumpy. I am a curmudgeon.

I took this photo - yay for Christmas lights in July! - down the block from my favorite neighborhood bar. Like the annoying bar across the street from our place, my favorite neighborhood bar has outdoor seating. Unlike the owners of the annoying bar, however, the owners of the New Old Lompoc have consideration for their neighbors - they shut down patio service at 11 pm.


Run-On Necklaces

People, I was a necklace-making machine today. Between the encouragement of Patricia at Bonnet, who I can't thank enough for her support of my designs - especially my necklace designs, as well as the promise of an amazing upcoming sale at Abby's place in a couple weeks (have you seen the awesome blog she set up for the Summer Social and the beyond sweet feature she posted on sulu-design?), I've decided to seriously focus my energy on getting some new pieces produced this month. (I should, perhaps, be focusing my energy for a moment on adding some periods to that insane run-on sentence you just read. But right now I'm typing as I would be talking. And I'm excited about all of this, so I'd totally be run-on talking, too.)

Today I finally broke down and worked with pieces that I've been holding onto in my stash for years - found bit of metal from the streets of Queens, bits of old jewelry from a table at the former Chelsea Flea market in Manhattan - as well as with some new-to-me chains and beads.

I was listening to NPR for several hours while my fingers worked away today. I wish I had a nickle for each time the phrases "President Obama and his Russian counterpart" and "the architect of the Vietnam War" were uttered. Where's a thesaurus when a reporter needs one?

Okay, too much coffee and too much jewelry-making has me a little wired. I'm heading to the kitchen to put my energy to a different use now, making this with turkey sausage for dinner. Thanks for stopping by, friends. Hope your weekends were wonderful.

Edited to add: Abby's Summer Social takes place on July 25th. I'll list remaining necklaces in the sulu-design shop after the sale.


No Intent

The little run of Original Intent posts I'd done last week had me excited again about using my camera in conjunction with working on jewelry. That project always seems to give me a kick in the earring-making pants when I need it. Sometimes, though, I like to head out to take photos knowing that I'm not going to use any as inspiration for jewelry - to just shoot what I like. That's what I did recently in Portland's Sellwood neighborhood. The light of summer is making me camera-happy.


Al Fresco

Trying to soak up all of the goodness of summer, Barry and I have taken to eating dinner on our fire escape. Homemade pizza (made with a simple and delicious dough recipe from my usual go-to, Mark Bittman), turkey burgers with jalapenos, and fish tacos have been in heavy rotation. How about you? Any good ideas for healthy summer dinners?