Saturday, January 29, 2011

Birthdays and Memories

This past week was my dad's birthday -- he would have celebrated 89 years. So, naturally, I have been giving him a lot of thought. He was a creative guy with a very dry sense of humor -- things I admired in him. I do think that he inspired me in those two areas. Creativity has always been part of my soul -- and it's not just about jewelry. I have spent the better part of my life looking for ways to channel my creativity. I do believe that he felt that creativity could be a salve, of sorts, for the soul and I carry that thinking through my life. It was always fun to share my ideas with him. He simply "got it." He understood the creative process and the isolation that comes with it at times. Here's a perfect example -- this image from a letter he wrote and illustrated to his sister from Iwo Jima, World War II, where he was stationed. Even under the most dire of circumstances, he was able to find humor in his surrounding -- this ditty about the mice on the island is a glowing example of using his humor as a way to cope with the trials and tribulations of life. So with the passing of his birthday, I want to thank him for the special gift of creativity that he gave me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just the Perfect Combination

Today this was just the right combo to wear -- but I did add in the green aventurine number shown in my last post to the mix. I know, I know -- it's a lot of beads; but that's the way I like it. Thinking about the upcoming Chinese New Year -- Year of the Rabbit this morning and for some reason the red poppy jasper, green aventurine, smoky quartz and carnelian just made sense to me. I know it sounds weird -- but many times I think my jewelry picks me. Yes...I said it picks me. While this has been in my collection for quite some time, it's been a long while since its last wearing. And, this morning, when I was scouting to see what jewelry "felt right," this just jumped out at me with a big "choose me!" So that is exactly what I did. Layered with the early Joan Rivers enamel bangle and the green aventurine simple bracelet -- it all has good energy. I do think there is something to the power of colors -- but I won't do into that right at the moment. Heck, I have a newsletter to get out. Can you believe, January is almost over and I haven't done one e-mail newsletter yet? Better get scooting. Enjoy your day -- and wear some color!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Solitude, Quiet and the Magic of Beads

While I want to be Susie Sunshine most of the time, there are times in my life, as I am sure there are in yours, that are a bit more challenging for me. For the last several years, I have been struggling with shoulder issues -- too many sports-related injuries as a kid, too much computer time, Blackberry and...heavy making. Yes, jewelry making. You'd never think that it could be physically difficult but believe me...the way I do it, it can be. I was so lucky to be in the hands of a wise Chinese medicine doctor in New York City who worked his magic with acupuncture and ancient "hot ginger treatments" when I would get into a flare state. Sadly, try as I might, I have not had the good fortune to find someone here who can do the same and believe me I have looked. I thought I may have met his match several weeks ago; only to be told yesterday that he was not able to treat me any longer since we were not making as much progress as he would like to see with acupuncture and physical therapy and that it was probably best to see my "doctor" for tests. Well, clearly, I was not ready to hear those words and, yes, in his office and then out in the car, I had a complete meltdown. It doesn't matter your age -- we are all entitled to meltdowns, to just let it all out no matter the place or time and just give in to ugly-face crying. That is what I did. My little Beatrix sat in her carseat offering compassion and love as only a four-legged furry friend can do -- and I love her for that, more than words can say. Well, I finally drove home and rinsed my face with cool water hoping the puffiness would subside before I ran the rest of my errands. Heck, I could have saved myself some time by just hanging my head out the window on the ride home, letting the cold rain that was falling depuff me. But, clearly, I wasn't thinking straight!

This morning I was still feeling a need for solitude and quiet and peacefulness all around. It was a perfect day for the simple yet strong green aventurine and crystal quartz bracelet that always brings me a sense of peace and grounding. It makes me feel peaceful when I look at it; but it also works like worry beads when I rub it. I worked through the day, with breaks here and there and exercises to try to work through the pain. I am convinced that I can make the shoulders better if I just keep a positive attitude about it and keep working on them. So, as evening comes, I honestly understand that my shoulders are no greater than a fly speck on the wall in the grand scheme of this thing called life. I'm lucky really, it's just my shoulders. I am fully aware that there are people with much greater challenges in their lives and my heart and love goes out to them. So, maybe it's the magic of the beads or maybe it is the magic of the years of life I have been fortunate enough to live. I do feel better tonight...if not physically...definitely emotionally.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making My Own Sunshine

When you live in a part of the world where days and weeks and even months can pass without seeing or feeling the sun, you've just got to learn to make your own light and warmth. So, that is exactly what I did this morning. I donned this lovely yellow jade, crystal quartz and smoky quartz super long necklace -- worn over an ivory turtleneck. It's just what I needed to spark the day. No sunshine always makes me think back to some time I spent in Oslo (yes, the Oslo way up there in Norway). I happened to be there during the time of year when the sun really never sets -- it just moves from one side of the sky to the other. It is a strange sensation -- hard to keep track of time without looking at your watch. I suppose that if you live with that experience year after year you get used to the idea. But for me, those were the longest 10 days of my life, which really felt like one day that just wouldn't end. I remember complaining to some Italian docs I was working with about too much sun and too much light and they kindly listened to my whining as we sat outside in the sunlight of a restaurant in the middle of the early morning at a time when most people were at home sleeping soundly. Well, maybe living in the Pacific Northwest these days is payback for all that silly whining -- a personal lesson for me in the joy of sunshine and how there can never be too much!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Gladys Magazine -- You're A True Beauty

Oh the splendor of seeing the oh-so-handsome Vincent Irizarry in the latest issue of Gladys Magazine that arrived in my mail box this afternoon. Yes, the same Vincent Irizarry that you know as Dr. David Hayward in "All My Children" -- gee, a handsome guy who can write -- always a thrill for me. (It's true -- he is a regular contributor to Gladys.) It's almost too much for my mind to absorb. Gosh, I am so easily distracted these days -- so back on task here. I wanted to let you know that jewelry from the Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Collection is featured once again in both The Jewel Box and the Secret Shopping Treasures sections of the magazine. And, as if those two things aren't treasure enough -- it is fun to to see a wide variety of people and their pets. The special tribute to Max Forte -- the wonder dog -- will touch your heart -- so get out those tissues before you read the magical words that finish out this issue.

I can't leave without thanking Andrea Patrick Forte and everyone involved in the publication for the beautiful images of Greece. Sitting here in the gloom of the Pacific Northwest, I'm wishing that I was Samantha Stevens and with just the twitch of my nose I would be transported to those lovely islands for some sun, good food, the sea and time with wonderful people. Since I am not of Bewitched fame, I'll be happy with looking at the glorious photos that so capture the beauty of all that is Greece and leaf through the pages of Gladys when I feel the need for sunshine and inspiration. The heavy sighing you hear will just be not to worry. If you want to share in the fun, Gladys Magazine has national distribution and can be found at most Barnes & Noble locations. Visit for a taste of what they're all about.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Girl Gone Mad!

Just when you think you know my style of design I go and do something that throws you off...but just a little. I have long had a fascination of all things small (thus explaining many of the men I dated over the years!) -- and many of those tiny things can be found in the least unexpected places, including hardware stores. Sigh...should a normal girl (I use the word loosely today as a self-descriptor) get giddy in a hardware store? All those nuts, bolts, wire, slugs (not the squishy kind that grow to the size of manatees here in Oregon, but the metal kind of slugs is what I'm referencing), cording, rope -- oh the list is endless. While it wasn't really a hardware store, one of the many part-time jobs I held while in undergraduate school was working for a sailboat manufacturer in Belmont Shore. Anyone who has ever owned a boat knows how many bits and pieces of things it takes to keep them sailing. And, in those days all those glorious bits and bobs were all brass. Well, no surprise, I had a blast finding the most creative way to incorporate those pieces into bags and jewelry -- even then, back in the day, I was clearly well on the road to lunacy -- finding a way to work small things into my life.

That being said, while in Tucson 2010, you can imagine my joy when my niece discovered a vendor who carried tons of twisted wire in all kinds of metals, sizes and shapes. It was a proud moment for an aunt...knowing that I have had some influence on the girl over the years! She finds the best things -- and since she is quite young, her vision is much better, so often she finds things I miss altogether. She's the perfect picker and Tucson Gem Show shopping companion! Over the months I have played with several of the those magical wire beads -- working them into pieces that showcase my personal spin. I love surprises -- mixing metals, textures, colors and the totally unexpected and I think it shows in my jewelry. Here are two pieces that have recently been added to my web site, which means they are at this moment in time, for sale -- and don't despair, there are similar designs sitting on the bench in my studio as we speak. But, believe me when I say that most of these pieces are truly "one-offs" -- meaning there is only ONE of each design. So my best advice to you -- if you see it, buy it. Nothing is worse than seeing something, deciding you can't live without it, going back to buy it and truly make it your own only to see that darn "Sold Out" tag at the end of the item description. Bummer! Okay, back to work...for all of us now. Oh, I am at work right now. I have so much fun with the business of jewelry, I sometimes forget that it is actually what I do for a living! Hope you're as lucky as I am -- I love what I do!!!