Monday, May 30, 2011

Capri and Magnificent Surprises

People often ask me where I find my inspiration -- not only for the styles of my jewelry pieces but for the color combinations. My response is by "simply keeping my eyes open." Mother Nature is the perfect provider for tons of color combos and ideas. In my mind, there is no better model. Case in point. When I first saw the lampwork beads that eventually found their way into this necklace, my mind immediately went to crystal clear Caribbean oceans that truly captivated me years ago. I just remember diving and snorkeling in the waters of St. John's (which was a fairly remote place all those years ago) and being in awe at the colors that surrounded me. Having grown up on the beaches in SoCal, up until my first brush with crystal blue waters, I think the clearest water I had ever experienced was around Catalina Island. While it was beautiful in it's own way -- it is nothing like the color of the waters found in the Caribbean. I knew that I wanted to try and capture that memory with the aqua lampwork beads that have been sitting in my studio just waiting to fall into the perfect piece. This necklace is the result of that long wait.

It's funny how paths cross -- no, hang with me here, this isn't a random thought. Over the last few days, I have so been enjoying looking at the pix posted on Facebook by the editor of Gladys Magazine, Andrea Patrick Forte. She and her husband have just returned from what looks to be a glorious time in Italy and lo and behold -- this image from Capri was included in her photo posts. Wow -- pure and simple. For a writer, my response was pretty lean. The captivating colors in the waters of Capri left me speechless. This time however, my thoughts went to the lampwork beads -- remember, when I first saw the beads on the vendors' table in Tucson, my thoughts went to water. This time around...the water directed my thoughts to the beads. Obtuse, I know...but i'm just wanting to be sure that you haven't dozed off. When I first had the experience of the Caribbean waters, when I first laid eyes on the simple yet stunning aqua lampwork beads, and when I saw the waters of Capri, my beliefs in the unsurpassed talents of Mother Nature where reaffirmed. I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is that if we really pay attention to what comes in and out of our lives, no matter the size, we are gifted with so many magnificent surprises -- miracles of sorts. And, in my mind, that is something to be very grateful for...and, without doubt, I am.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Golf -- It's Just a Game

On my way out of town I decided to stop and snap a pix of one of the three golf courses in this little community I call home. Yes, folks, that is the "clubhouse" of this public golf course. I have no idea who maintains this little piece of green -- since it is out of City limits -- but I do see people playing there whenever i pass permitting. I am not sure if it is just a driving range or a 9-hole course or something in between. What I do know is that Beatrix, the wonder Cairn, has many golf balls from what I am sure are disheartened players. You see the Beck Farm we frequently visit is located just across the highway and without missing a day there are new golf balls to be found in the fenced portion of their property.

I learned to play the game way back when -- in my first years at Cal State Long Beach physical education courses were still a requirement. Yes...students were actually required to stay in shape. I figured that golf would be the easiest since it required no special clothing and the minimum of equipment that I could easily carry, so it was my choice for several years. While I never gained any real skill at the game, I did, over time, learn to appreciate it for being much more than what it seems to the innocent onlooker. Golf is a game of consistency -- therefore it is my feeling that unless you play every single day, it is really hard to excel at it. That being said what I did love about the game was the camaraderie of the group I was playing with. In those days we did a lot of hitting the ball and walking (yes, we carts were we covered the course the old fashioned way...with our feet) which left us a lot of time to just talk about life in general. Those early years came and went in a blink; but the good times associated with golf never left my memory. Over the years, I dated many a man who fancied himself the golf expert -- hey, now that I think about it, one was a golf pro at a beach side golf course, wonder what happened to him? I have memories of riding along -- not really playing -- at some beautiful courses, usually in the early morning hours, in the desert of SoCal and the beaches of NoCal (well, more central than north). It seemed that no matter where I was at the moment, there was a place to play golf -- case in point, this tiny little golf course. As I went on my way to Dundee, I wondered if people around the world really play for the "score" or if they play for the friendship that comes out of sharing a game together? I'm going to have to ask my brother-in-law who, as far as I know, still gets up at 4:00 every Thursday morning to meet his friends on a local golf course for a friendly game. Yes, they do wear hats with "headlights" on them -- and yes, they are all crazy, but wouldn't miss a game. I have to believe it is for more than just hitting a ball and driving around in a golf cart...don't you think?

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Look Back & A Glimpse Into the Future

I drive by this historic building several times a week. Located in the historic part of the City of Woodburn, this beautiful building once housed the City Hall. Today was the day I decided to stop for a few seconds and study the building, snap a few images and jot down the information on the For Sale sign that has been posted on the corner in front of the building for several years now.

When I think about expanding Tanya Lochridge Jewelry at some point in the future, I always envision a property of some sort that harbors my home, outbuildings for the jewerly studio/factory and a childcare center that includes a kitchen for preparing the kids' and employees' meals. Grandiose, I know...but it is good to have a dream. While this building doesn't fit into the "farm-type" property I have been thinking about -- with some careful renovation it would be an interesting environment. After checking it out online I figure the top floor would include my living space and the bottom floor would house the jewelry studio/factory, the child care center and the small kitchen. This particular property is zoned commercial so not sure it could be converted into a live/work space and since it is a historical site, the exterior of the building can not be changed...which is fine with me. While there is significant water damage to the interior, there is something about the stately nature of the building -- today surrounded by much newer buildings with little personality and graced by several 100-year-old Victorian homes. While it's historical nature makes it an interesting option -- the best thing is that it is right around the corner from my favorite taqueria in town. Boy, oh boy -- the best food in the world...well not that I have eaten all the food the world has to offer -- but for me, at this moment, it doesn't get much better than Luis's and to think it would be a stone's throw away. So a little something to think about.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Primavera è qui!

While it sure takes a long tme for spring to reach this part of the world -- it is well worth the wait. It seems that Mother Nature understands our plight of living in the long, long, long (get my drift) cold gray rainy days of winter and, as a reward, she blesses us with some of the most glorious colors in the way of flowers and blue sky. Perfect example -- rosemary in blossom and some yellow flower that I know nothing about. I remember the rosemary growing like hedges around many of the homes in Mill Valley and surrounding valleys of NoCal. The fragrance is heavenly -- if you like rosemary -- and it's perfect for snipping and using in cooking and on the grill. The color of the blossom is a bit unusual -- in that it is vibrant and soft at the same time. It might be that the blossom itself is very soft in design -- which in some way tempers the purple color. The deep green of the leaves is a perfect complement. And, the little yellow flower -- well, what can I say? These are the brightest and cheeriest yellow in a blossom I think I have ever seen. If anyone knows what this plant is -- let me know. Every year I think I am going to take a little snip of it to one of the wholesale nurseries here and ask about it; but I seem to always think about it once I am out and about. Hope you enjoy and that spring has shown up on your doorstep, too!