Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lingering in the Splendor of Fall

Is it just me or have retailers been pushing christmas and gift-buying a bit earlier than usual this year? Seems that emails about getting a jump on Black Friday and the holidays and “last chance” opps are triple what they have been in the past.  Yes, I’m a retailer…but I’m not ready to push the holidays just yet! I remember, back in the late 70s (yes, I am that old) when I had my Country Peddler brick and mortar stores, my clients would clamor and beg for holiday decorative pieces to be put out in September instead of the first day of November. I made the mistake of sharing with a few of them that all of the holiday items were ordered the prior January, received in July and were sitting in the Country Peddler warehouse, tagged and ready to go when I made the switch from fall to Christmas and Hanukkah! Big mistake! The second year, I did acquiesce and changed the shop over to holiday on October 10th!! Loyal customers were parked out front waiting for me to open the doors at 10:00 just so they could get first dibs on all the delightful goodies.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Looking Back: The Fantasy of Joan Rivers Jewelry

Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Agate, jasper, avenutine, quartz and Kazuri Bracelets

Living in New York City all those years ago, yes back in the dark ages when Starbucks was just a dream in the minds of New Yorkers (hard to believe I know), I was so lucky to be exposed, in a good way, to the world of Joan Rivers Jewelry. I eagerly watched as her line of jewelry launched on QVC; exciting times for so many reasons. I started collecting immediately with a heavy emphasis on her enamel pieces. In the early years, many of her pieces were made in Rhode Island. Yes, that Rhode Island. Believe it or not, Providence was a Mecca for jewelry design and talented designers and the quality of the craftsmanship of the pieces flowing out of the workshops was magnificent.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Layer or Stack? Stack and Layer? Neither or Both?

Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Smoky and Rutilated Quartz Gemstone Necklace

So much confusion – do you layer or should you stack? The question is are these two very different styling mantras or are they really just different words for the same thing? Personally, I think I use the words interchangeably; but maybe I’ve been wrong all these years? Sure as heck wouldn’t be the first time and I am sure it’s not going to be the last! Do you layer necklaces but stack bracelets? Head spinning? I know mine is…well, it does all the time; but that’s another story best left for another day! Back to the jewelry and I’ll try to stay on track here! Lay down your bets now!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Not Your Daughter’s Baubles

Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Carnelian Gemstone & Gold Vermeil Necklace

I know, I know, the line usually goes something like “not your grandmother’s pearls” – but in thinking about jewelry, I believe there comes a time in our lives when we move out of the disposable jewelry and clothing category and step up to the investment clothing and real jewelry category. I’m not saying that we limit ourselves to just wearing precious stones and own just one or two pieces that we wear every single day; but I do think that, as women, we want to not only make a statement with our jewelry – we also want to leave the right lasting impression with it all.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Skin Cancer: Not a Laughing Matter

My original plan was to share my basal cell carcinoma experience in September when I was six-months post-MOHS, but there have been circumstances in my life that pushed me into writing about it now. Recently a dear friend was diagnosed with, and is treating, a melanoma on her cheek...cause of said melanoma...the sun. Over the past few years, I have lost two friends both the result of sun-related skin cancers. Me? Yes, in the last year I have had three basal cell carcinomas removed — one from my calf, one above an eyebrow and the most recent from my nose. The pix here is me today...healing but still feeling a bit battered, bruised, swollen and scarred but happy to be on this side of the treatment process. All of the pix in the post are documents of my surgery that I had in March and my recovery over the last four months. Warning, the pix that follow in this post are pretty graphic so if you are the least bit squeamish you might want to skip this entry.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Pantone Summer 2015: Custard

Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Yellow Jade, Smoky Quartz, Crystal Quartz, Calcite, Carnelian Necklaces

Oh how I wish I could; but alas I can’t. Describe Pantone’s Custard, that is, any better than the creatives at Pantone. They make it sound so dreamy: “sweet and sunny...a cheery tone that brings thoughts of pleasant relaxation and comfort food…full of good feelings.” The writer in me is at a loss for words – what can I add? I suppose I can tell you I love all rocks and gems that are soft yellow aka custard in color…yeah, that’s what I can say. I could add that I love the neutral nature of the soft color – it works well with just about every color in the universe, right? Let’s see – thinking, thinking, thinking. Nope, can’t think of one that it clashes with…can you?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pantone Summer 2015: Aquamarine

Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Aqua Lampwork Bead & Pearl Necklace

Always a sought after color – Pantone describes aquamarine as being an airy blue with a dreamy feel. Sounds tranquil, doesn’t it? Add to that cool, calming, open and expansive and once again Pantone says it all. I often wonder how many writers they have working on the task of color description! Way more than one I assume! As for the energy of the color – it is thought to help reduce stress and give you courage! I don’t know about you but I can sure use that these days! Life seems to be spinning so fast that at times all I can do is muster the courage to hang on tight and wait for it all to slow down a bit.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dads, Encouragement & Gratitude

I pretty much think of my dad on a daily basis. Since today is officially Father’s Day it seems like the perfect time to share a little look-see into his life with all of you. My first thoughts when asked about my dad? He was cute and talented in oh so many ways with a very long and diverse list of interests and skills.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fruit, Flowers & Country Roads

Earlier this week, after morning meetings, I met up with my sister-in-law, my niece and two grandnieces to make strawberry jam and pretty much chat and giggle the time away. Well, I say “making” like I was in the thick of things sweating over a hot stove stirring sugar-laden bubbling strawberries; when in reality, I was merely lending support, standing on the sidelines sipping a refreshing herbal iced tea! I think not doing all the work might be one of the benefits of growing older and having granny status. It's time to step back and let the kids do the cooking while the elders stand back and give sage advice on both the making of jam and the living of life, right? Although, to be fair, my sister-in-law was making pie crusts for the two strawberry pies that were also in the works. Fun fact – she was using my mom’s pie crust recipe – a recipe that I have never used!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Eyeglasses, Warby Parker, Great Customer Service & Good Deeds, Indeed

I have been talking about them since their inception — Warby Parker that is. The main attraction for me is their business model which is a take on the one-for-one model. The other big reason is my love of eyeglasses — lots of glasses. Long ago I figured if I have to wear specs they should enhance my personal style not just be a mindless add-on. Over the years, I have owned and worn hundreds of pairs (of glasses that is) and the overall style of the WP inventory appeared to be a good fit with my style aesthetic. (Oh god, did I just use the word aesthetic?)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pantone Spring-Summer 2015: Strawberry Ice

Both subtle and charming, Pantone’s Strawberry Ice, is the perfect color for the season; and, in my mind, it’s a fabulous color to wear all year long. First of all, wearing the color close to your face just brightens your entire look, making you look healthy and happy. Try it, then tell me if you don't agree. Pantone even speaks of Strawberry Ice as being a confection color that gives you the look of being “in the pink.” Coinky-dink that there has been an All Things Pink category on the site/shop since its inception? I think not.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pantone Spring-Summer 2015: Toasted Almond

Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Taupe-Cream Pearl Charm & Czech Glass Bead Rope Bangle

“Celebration time is here…come on!” Yes, dating myself again; but I’m old…so what…it’s expected, right? Song lyrics aside, it is that time of year when we gravitate toward sun-kissed neutrals in fashion. We dance for joy as we put away our heavy coats, scarves  and boots and look forward to putting together looks that are a bit lighter in fabrics and, sometimes, in color. Toasted Almond, one of Pantone’s Spring-Summer 2015 Collection colors, certainly leads us in that warmer direction. (Is it just me or does that last sentence sound a little fashion editorial-like?) Surprisingly, I do have quite a few items of clothes in my wardrobe that are similar to Toasted Almond – but it is odd; taking a quick glance in my closet, I see the color primarily in comfy over sized sweaters that are perfect for colder days of fall and winter. But wait – that doesn’t stop me from wearing the scrumptious Toasted Almond during the warmer days of spring and summer. How?

Friday, May 08, 2015

Inspiration: Irises, a Ferry & Fields of Life

It’s true. I no longer walk by or through Bergdorf’s, Bendel, or Barney’s on a daily basis. After all of these years of not living in New York City, while I do cherish the joy and inspiration  those activities lent me; it seems so far in my past, it is almost as if I dreamed it and didn’t really live it. This morning as I went about my Friday list of errands I was once again reminded of how different my life is here in the Willamette Valley and, surprisingly, how much it feels like home these days. If you asked me ten years ago if I thought this would ever feel like home I would have had a good chuckle, looked at you like you were nuts and “never” would have most likely been my speedy reply.

Monday, April 20, 2015

1894, a Honking Horn & a Fabulous Family Farm

You know how it is…you go to the same place on a regular basis so that place becomes kind of commonplace to you, right? Today, I decided to look at things a bit differently and bring you along for the adventure. Destination – Bauman Farms.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Inspiration: Blue Skies, Streaks of White & Roiling Bubbles of Gray

Yes, roiling – a term used in the world of gemology and frequently by rockhounds. And, that would be me! If you look at a pot of boiling water, you can see the general “roiling” effect as bubbles leave the bottom on the pot and roll to the surface. There – that’s what we mean by roiling and it does appear in gems and rocks, as well! And, without a doubt it also happens in the sky – at least in this part of the world.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Inspiration: Spring, Longer Days & Invitations

I know that it’s on its way. Spring, that is. While we had hints of it a few weeks back these last few days we are back to rain, clouds and lots of wind. Funny, I do love the change of seasons; however, the winters in this part of the country just seem to drag on for some reason. I shouldn’t really complain, this year we squeaked through without snow or ice unlike many parts of the country. The no snow and ice thing was a really nice change from the norm here. During our spring tease I had a gigantic case of spring fever. The longer warmer sunnier days were so tranquil and the cute little bench in my garden was so inviting.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Pantone Spring 2015: Scuba Blue

Turquoise by any other name, including Pantone’s Scuba Blue, is still just turquoise right? Clearly, a lovely choice for the Spring 2015 Fashion Forecast and always a favorite of lots of people. I have long been a fan of the color turquoise, little known fact about me – the walls in my bedroom as a kid at one time were the most soothing shade of turq. Yes – with frilly white curtains and comfy white bedding. Think St. Lucia and you’ll get the idea. That being said, one would think that my closet would be overflowing with clothes in various shades of the color. Wrong – I have never really felt comfortable wearing articles of clothing from the turquoise family.

Friday, February 06, 2015

February: Happy Heart Day, First Friday & My Anniversary!

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Like magic.

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I'm so excited to see what you choose
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Birthdays, Dad & Craftsmanship

Today would have been my dad’s 93rd birthday. Wow, is that right? Yes, it is. Not really sure what I want to say that hasn’t been said here before – I think about him every day and will always be grateful for the impact he had on the person I’ve become. The crinkly pix here is from an article that ran in the community newspaper in May 1982. Not sure how it came to be, but a reporter visited and interviewed him about his guitar playing and making. Yes, my dad built guitars, as a hobby for many years; and, yes, I have talked about that fact several times here on the blog; but to me it’s impressive, so I can’t help myself!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Zen and the Art of Jewelry Making

Tanya Lochridge Jewelry Red Poppy Jasper, Carnelian, Smoky Quartz, African Opal & Aventurine Gemstone Gold Vermeil Bracelet

There is something intrinsically Zen about the making of jewelry. If you’ve ever taken a look at my jewelry you’ll know that I employ a wide array of techniques in my pieces. Long ago I stopped using any technique that requires top-grade ventilation, fire and strong chemicals for my safety; but most importantly, the safety of others! While I loved metalsmithing all those years ago, at this time in my life, my preference is one of wrapping and twisting wire, tossing it with gemstones, rocks, glass and chain and discovering just what turns up when all is said and done. Unlike the old metalsmithing days, nothing I do today starts with a sketch or drawing of any type; and I like that. I’m very kinesthetic and so I dump beads of all types onto the work bench, and play a game of mix and match until I am happy with what I see. No design technique really or is there a method to my madness?