Monday, November 26, 2012

Cookie Cutters?

It’s the season for shopping and it seems that so much of what I see looks the same to me. Is it just me or are all of the “big” stores selling identical merchandise? Of course, I look at jewelry a lot…come on, I design it, so it’s only natural I would look at what’s out there in the market, right? Spikes and skulls and druzy, oh my. While I am sure my likes and dislikes are age-related…after all I am no spring chicken. Hell, I am not even a summer or fall chicken…but I just can’t imagine wearing a piece of jewelry just because everyone else is wearing it, no matter their age.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

NYC, Sandy and Gratitude

Looking at images of NYC post-Sandy and I feel heartsick. I spent the better part of the last several days connecting with friends to make sure they were all right. I can’t help thinking that if I was still living there I could do something…anything; but I’m not there, so all I can do is sit and watch it all unfold. I was able to make a few monetary donations which in some small way helped assuage my feelings of uselessness. In my heart I was thinking it would be weeks…maybe even months before trains were up, bridges were open and life took on some semblance of normal again. Today I am amazed at the speediness of it all – trains, planes, buses, bridges and tunnels all seem to be returning to regular schedules and power is coming back to life, with some limitation.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Healing Energy of Rocks

Another month coming to a close - where or where does the time go? Another full moon and the celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival, which will actually be celebrated on October 4th this year. The weather in this part of the country has been gorgeous – make that Gorgeous…with a capital G! Nights in the 40s and days in the 70s and sunshine! All that clear sky means a good view of the moon and stars night after night after night.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Eleven years ago today, life as we knew it changed. Living in New York City on that day, I felt as if I was watching a really bad movie and just wanted to jump up and leave the theatre. But I couldn’t – it wasn’t just a horrible movie – it was reality. In the days following September 11th I watched a city rally and unite, each person doing whatever they could to help one another. While sitting in the neighborhood fire station with Agatha, my Norwich terrier, I watched as a young mom walked into the station with her small child. I cried (because it’s what I do) as the mom explained that her child wanted to help the kids of the firefighters who had lost their lives; and I watched the youngster offer up his small piggy bank. It was in that moment that Kids Make It Happen was born.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Test of Time

Seems like I blinked and weeks have passed since my last blog entry. Over the last several weeks I have been thrown into circumstances that have made me marvel at all the technology we have at our fingertips these days. And, I am very grateful for it all. However, on the other end of the spectrum, I am so grateful for the repetitive handwork it takes to create my jewelry designs – work that takes a significant level of skill and definitely work that doesn’t fly at the speed of light.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Inspiration: Pure and Simple

People often ask me where my inspiration for my out-of-the-ordinary color mashes come from in my jewelry. All I can say is "I just keep my eyes open." Mother Nature seldom makes a mistake when it comes to mixing colors. Last weekend, on a hike on the wooded nature trail at Champoeg Park, I stopped for a bit on a lone bench overlooking the river. I was the only one on the path and happy for the solitude.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Small Towns, Fourth of July & Rodeos

I love that I get my hair cut in Dundee, which is nestled in the wine country here in Oregon. The two-lane highway that I take winds through the flat part of the valley and is tossed with farm land, hops fields, hazelnut orchards and dairies for as far as I can see. I pass through a few small, small, small towns. Well, less than a few...I think I go through two to be of which doesn't have a stop sign and boasts a population of 354! Twenty miles west from me, across the Willamette River -- two towns later I arrive in Dundee, whose population has grown to 3,000! At last count, and don't quote me on this, I see that there are forty-six vineyards nestled in the hills of Dundee; with the first vines being planted in 1965.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Father's Day Reminder

Here we are again -- another Father's Day to celebrate. While there are a lot of dads to celebrate; today is also a day to remember those dads of ours who have left this place. Sadly, my dad passed in the summer of 2001. In our last conversation, my final words were "I love you...and I'll see you on the other side." In my mind, I was thinking that I would see him when he was out of the heart surgery he was being wheeled into when we spoke that afternoon via phone. I was living in New York and he was here in Oregon - there was a world between us and a flight that night which seemed like it would never land.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ari Seth Cohen & Advanced Style

After waiting for what seems like an eternity for my copy of Advanced Style to arrive, you can imagine my excitement when the mail carrier rang my bell this morning...signaling that there was either something to sign (ugh!) or a package that was too big for the mailbox. lucky was a box from Amazon! Based on it's size, I knew it had to be the long awaited Advanced Style.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Living in a World of Change

I don't like change...much. The older I get, the more I realize how true that fact is. When I read my astrology chart for 2012 it warned of major shifts for the year...a kind way of saying change. Well, lo and behold, the last four months have been full of major "shifts." I understand that change is part of life, it is part of what makes us grow; and at the same time, I want things to stay just the way they are. I wonder when in life I made the shift and ceased welcoming change.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The 60s Revisited

There is so much talk in the world of fashion about the 60s these days I decided I had to comment about it in some way. Yes, I can't lie (why would I start now?) I was in high school in the mid-60s. So if clothing and jewelry from the 60s is "vintage" guess that makes me "vintage" too! I have always thought of vintage as stuff from the 20s, 30s, 40s and maybe the 50s -- but now we can add a few decades to that term -- meaning that for me -- everything old is new again! Well, let's say all of my jewelry from that era is new again -- can't say that I am new again because we know that not to be true.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Saying Good-Bye

Saying good-bye to a little spirit is never an easy thing to do; and today, Beatrix and I had to do just that. Tori, the little Cairn Terrier rescue, whose story we shared here, crossed the Rainbow Bridge today. While I know in my heart she is in a better place - healthy, out of pain and chasing squirrels to her heart's delight - doesn't make it any easier to accept that I won't see her sweet face or hold her in my arms again.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Under the Tucson Sky

Yes, I said Tucson, as in Arizona not Tuscan as in Italy! I'm still here at the big Gem Show and enjoying every minute of it. Yes, I love all the rocks and gemstones that I see; but one of the things I think I might enjoy the most is the wide range of people that I meet. For many of the vendors in Tucson, this is the only gem show they participate in throughout the year. People come from around the globe to sell and to buy rocks, minerals and gemstones in all forms, shapes and sizes. Today I talked with people from Madagascar, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong, Australia, Afghanistan and Oregon. Yes, a gem cutter who lives just four hours from my home, but I had to come to Tucson to meet him! That's the wonder of this place -- the unexpected is the norm.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tucson Day One!

Well, it's not officially day one...since that would have been Thursday; but I figure I am close enough since this is my first official post from Tucson. If you didn't know -- I'm at the Tucson Gem Show scouting lots of new things for upcoming designs!! Along with that, it's a time for me to enjoy time with my niece, meet up with old friends and eat way too much good food.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sometimes I Don't Like Blogger

Why oh why does the formatting have to be such an issue for me on blogger? Case in point, my last post. Try as I might to get all the images lined up on the left side of the entry -- one or more tend to jump around at will. Preview looks fabulous but when I publish, it all goes to hell in a hand basket! I will figure this out at some the mean time...please overlook the zig-zag nature of the post! Thanks.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Opulent Gemstones or Rocks in my Head?

Honestly, sometimes when I am working in the jewelry studio I think I am nuts. Why you ask? Well, let's see: is it normal for a person to actual gasp when she sees a piece of pietersite? Does a sane person swoon over kyanite or labradorite? Does a woman with even a modicum of commonsense get giddy over a pile of rocks? To tell the truth...I'm not sure. But I do know this - what other people might see as just rocks, I see as opulent opaque gemstones in so many varieties that no one person has counted or seen them all!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What Story Will You Tell?

Unique or ordinary? Have you noticed that people tend to compliment and ask about the jewelry you're wearing? When it happens, and you know it will, you can respond with an "oh, thanks, it's plastic and I blindly picked it from thousands just like it at Brand-X department store just down the street." Well, that's exciting, right? I'm thinking...not so much. Now, let's rewind and look at the situation a little bit differently. Wouldn't it be much more fun to respond with a unique and interesting tale about the piece under observation, especially when the compliment comes from "the cute guy" standing in line next to you waiting for his venti Americano? (Interesting side note: no sugar, no milk, no froth...manly man. I'm guessing that just maybe you've noticed him before.)

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Touch, the Feel

The touch, the, surprisingly I am not talking about cotton. You're probably thinking "come on it is jewelry and it is all about the look, so what's with the touch and feel stuff." Well, while the look is important, for me jewelry serves another purpose. You see, I am a "fiddler" -- not the kind of fiddling associated with a musical instrument; but the kind of "fiddling" that happens when my fingers have to be busy. I've never been able to sit perfectly still -- no matter the location (frequently to the dismay of those in close proximity). I can't help it, I have busy hands and I am an annoying foot wiggler as well -- so I doodle and I knit and I wear jewelry all while wiggling my foot. Be forewarned - you might not want to sit next to me on a flight and I am okay with that!

Monday, January 02, 2012

2012? When Did That Happen/

Hard to believe, but here we go...a new year at hand. 2012...2012? How did that happen? At times I feel as if I am stuck in a time warp. While I think I keep up with the latest, I know that I cling to the past in many ways. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just what I do. To a certain degree, I think my environment spurs my longing for things past. You see, I live in a mid-century house. Well, to me it would be a tiny house built in the early 60s but to a designer it is "mid-century!"