Asymmetry Inspired by Licorice, and a Sale

The very first store to sell my jewelry designs is no longer around. It hasn't been for years now. Licorice in Long Island City, Queens, was a cute little shop run by Heather, a part time art teacher. I was reminded of her and of Licorice yesterday morning. As I was getting dressed, I dug through a jewelry box full of pieces I'd made that I haven't worn in years. The one I choose to put on was a long asymmetrical beaded necklace - similar the first necklaces I'd made which Heather sold in her shop years ago. I felt inspired to return to the asymmetrical necklace design again:

These are now in the sulu-design etsy shop (click on the photos above to take you there). There are still a few chain necklaces left in the shop, and I put a bunch earrings on sale, too.


Billy Goat Vintage... A Door Opens

A sweet vintage clothing shop opened up at 2407 NE Alberta Street this week. Go see Deni at Billy Goat Vintage for cute, affordable pieces for guys and gals.

In the department of a door opening when one closes, I'm sad to say that Life and Limb will no longer be as of the end of this month. Everything there is 25 percent off until Sunday, and starting Tuesday everything is 40 percent off. If you're in Portland, swing by and pick up some beautiful succulents and pots for them to live in - while you still can.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.


Thank You

Your thoughtful, positive comments on Monday's post really meant a lot to me. Thank you for sharing your insights on the subject of body image, which is a sensitive one for me. Amy e-mailed a link to an article on the topic that you might enjoy - sounds like the sales gal in the beginning of the story has an experience similar to mine.

And thanks for the anniversary wishes. To celebrate, Barry and I tried out a new-to-us wine bar and then feasted at one of our favorite spots in town, Toro Bravo. A life lesson worth learning: never say no to olive oil cake, people.

For some reason, as I've mentioned before, Blogger only e-mails me a few of the comments posted here - the rest I read by looking directly at the blog. If you left a comment this week and Blogger e-mailed it to me, I responded by e-mail to your note. If you didn't hear from me after commenting on that post, it's because I was unable to respond directly to your comment through e-mail. Blogger, being free and all, isn't big on customer service, so I don't know if this issue is ever going to get fixed. Please know that I love reading your comments, and that the notes you leave me hear are truly appreciated. Thanks again, friends.

P.S. In case you're interested, on our anniversary, I wore a knee-length dress with bare legs. Earth-moving, huh?


Eight Years

I cook.
We eat.
He does the dishes.
I'd say we make a great team.

Happy Anniversary, Barry. I love you.


Getting Over It

Apparently, when I was around 5 years old, I had some crazy issue with the way my shoulders looked, and I wouldn't wear anything that allowed them to be exposed. My sister tells me my little five year-old self was pretty adamant about it - no tank tops, no sundresses... I probably wore a t-shirt over swimsuits back them. I eventually got over this fixation and moved on to another: my discomfort with my rosy cheeks. I purchased and wore green tinted make-up when I was in high school - the idea is that red and green are complimentary colors on the color wheel and are supposed to sort of cancel each other out. If you mix red and green paint you get gray. Gray cheeks, I guess, seemed more appealing to me at the time than rosy red ones, so I wore that wretched foundation for a couple years. I can only imagine how silly I looked. I've still got the rosy cheeks but have pretty much gotten over worrying about those, too. My most recent and longest-lasting fixation is on my legs. Their shape, their size, the broken blood vessels on my left shin - I'm pretty hard on myself about most everything about them. I hate to admit that I'm hard on myself for something so petty, but I am.

I work in a boutique for women. I see women - all types of women - in various states of dress on a daily basis. Young and old, short and tall, little and big. I see how they look at themselves in the mirror; I hear what they say about their bodies. More often than not, as you'd probably guess, I hear them make negative comments about their bodies. The funny thing is, rarely do I notice the features that they're unhappily fixating on until they make disparaging comments about them. Even then, I usually have to try pretty hard to see that their shoulders are small in proportion to their hips or their calves are on the wide side or they don't have much of a waist or... whatever. The things that so many of us choose to fixate on about our bodies are usually inflated in our own heads and are often completely unnoticed by others.

What kills me is that knowing all of this and deeply believing that in the long run what we look like is really of minimal importance, I continue to unhappily fixate on the appearance of my legs. When it comes to my legs, I don't often think of the 20 miles or so that they run each week. I don't think of all of the bike rides that they allow me to enjoy, or of the long strolls with Barry that they take me on. But I'm trying. I'm trying to think about how lucky I am to have a strong, healthy body. I'm trying to wear clothing that I like, not just clothing that hides the parts of my body that I don't like (that means skirts in the summer, when there are no tights and tall boots to hide behind). I'm trying to imagine myself down the road as a little old wrinkled lady looking back on my life - will I still be fixated on my legs, or will I regret the amount of energy I wasted on feeling bad about myself for so long?

I'm not quite sure why I shared this with you here. I guess that admitting I have these feelings that I'm not proud of is part of my attempt at doing something about them. How about you? Got anything to get off your chest so you can get over it?


And To All A Good Night

Barry and I got a great night's sleep last night. Wanna know why? That bar across the street from our apartment that had me feeling all curmudgeony this summer has enforced a new policy: no outdoor seating after 11 on weeknights and midnight on weekends. Not bad. Wanna know why there's a new policy? Last night, the owners of the bar agreed to meet with me, Barry, and a group of our neighbors to talk about the noise issue. And guess what? The owners are actually really nice guys. Although I'd called the bar countless times and spoken to bartenders there, the owners weren't aware of the noise problem until the liquor licensing agency to whom I'd sent complaints intervened. They put us in touch with the owners and we were able to get the problem settled in a really informal, friendly way. Gosh. I'm just so pleased with how this all turned out. I'm gonna sleep like a baby tonight. And for the rest of the summer.

Before I wish you all a great weekend, I want to mention a giveaway going on at Trailer Treasure, a super crafty blog written by Erin. Erin is marking her 100th blog post with a giveaway of several items, including a beautiful linen bag that she made, a yummy-looking bar of soap, and a sulu-design gift certificate. Thanks, Erin, for including my designs in your celebration.

Okay, happy weekend all. See you back here on Monday. Sleep tight.


Customer Service

A couple weeks ago Barry came home with a nice hand-written note from one of his customers at work. It had been written to his boss who passed it along to Barry. The customer had written the note to let his boss know what wonderful service Barry had provided her. I love the note - it's written in a sweet, loopy, old-fashioned handwriting, and of course it makes me really proud of Barry. It's hanging on our refrigerator now. It got me thinking about all of the times I've received great service and not done much about it. Just this weekend, a salesman at a local kitchen store was amazingly helpful to me and Barry. I thanked him profusely before leaving the shop, but seeing Barry's note on the refrigerator this morning made me do something else - I e-mailed the salesman's boss a note about this wonderful employee. I am all too aware of and vocal about any poor customer service I receive. I think it's time that I do something more about the great customer service that I receive, too. I'm making it a point to contact employers more frequently when their staff members do great work. Do you have any great customer service stories to share?


Abby's closing up the Summer Social shop this Sunday, so if you're hankering for any of these:

...you should grab 'em up now. Click on photos for shop listings. You should also check out the gorgeous textiles, photographs, paper, and artwork in the shop before it's gone. Have a great weekend, friends. I'm trying to finish up a long to-do list today so my weekend can be all about fun.


Dinner with Blog Friend Leads to Shop Update

The beyond-talented Bethany and her truly awesome son, Jacob, are in Portland as a stop on their road trip from California, so I had the honor of meeting them here in person. Bethany, being the sweet gal that she is, was wearing a pair of sulu-design earrings when we met up. They were a nice compliment to the fabulous top she was wearing, which she no doubt made herself (have you seen what this gal does with a sewing machine?). Her earrings were made with beads that really excited me when I first came upon them in the bead shop, so at the time I bought several of them and made lots of different designs - you may recall pairs that were similar to those that you're seeing above. Now I'm down to the last couple of pairs made with said bead. Seeing them on Bethany gave me a needed kick in the seat of the pants to list them in my etsy shop. They're all in the sulu-design shop now. Click on images for direct links to listings. Happy travels, Bethany and Jacob.