A handful of the earrings and necklaces you saw here at the beginning of the week are on their way to gals who e-mailed me about them, and all the rest are now available at Tender Loving Empire - one of my favorite shops in Portland. (Did you see the postAndrea put together about Tender Loving Empire on Poppytalk?) I also added few pairs of earrings in the sulu-design etsy shop - the cupboard was feeling a little bare.
I've been to LA and back and found myself much more at peace with this trip than with trips I've taken there in the past. Funny what a little positive thinking can do (you're always right, Mom). It helped, too, that my sweet friend Marie e-mailed me a chapter of The Beauty Myth, which I read before the trip. It not only reinforced the ever-present challenge to be more accepting of myself but also focused my thoughts on being less judgmental about the women I come in contact with while in LA.
Barry and I have also been to Virgina. We were there last week to be with his family after the passing of his beloved Aunt Jeannie. Jeannie always welcomed me into her home like one of the family long before I was family. She hosted a bridal shower for me before Barry and I were married. She and her husband, after whom Barry is named, had us over for Easter and Christmas celebrations year after year. She was an amazing wife, mother, and grandmother, and she was not only a sister but a best friend to Barry's mom. She was also an artist and an active volunteer in her community. We miss her terribly and feel so fortunate that we were able to be with family last week.
Now we're back in Portland, saying goodbye to some of our best friends, Holly and Mike, who are moving to California soon. If it hadn't been for them, Barry and I might not have discovered what an amazing city Portland is. It's been wonderful having a couple here with whom we get along so perfectly and who have been so supportive of us. We're going to miss them, their cute daughter Chloe, and their pup Josie.
I'm also back to jewelry-making, as evidenced in yesterday's post. Thank you, friends, for your comments there - they really meant a lot to me (probably more than they should have, but I'm in that kinda mood). Getting to work on jewelry has been very challenging for me recently. I'm taking today, my first real day off to myself in a while, to get back on track with it - with making, with photographing, and with listing in my etsy shop.
Today there will also be several cups of coffee, a bit of strolling around town, and lots of snuggling with the dog we're watching this week. Kato's big eyes broke me immediately - it took two minutes of him being in our place before I called him up on the sofa. An hour and he was on the bed. I might cry when he has to go home. That's pretty much where I'm at.
But it is your birthday, and really aren't all birthdays big ones? My mom, dad, and mother-in-law all celebrated the same big birthday this past year. My father-in-law is a few years behind them all. Mike has a wonderful sense of humor, great taste in music (I won't comment, though, on his choice of movies), and has generously introduced me to lots of great food, wine, and travel over the many years that I've known him. He also recorded countless episodes of the British "What Not to Wear" when it was on years ago so I could watch it when Barry and I went to Virginia for a visit. He's one fantastic father-in-law.
If you're in Portland and you're free this evening, you should stop by Union Rose between 6 and 8 for their annual Spring Cleaning Sale. I've dropped off lots of sale-priced sulu-design earrings for the one-night event, and I got a sneak peak at some great pieces by other local designers who are offering amazing deals on their handmade jewelry and clothing. I'd make a night of it, with dinner nearby at The Country Cat to follow...