"Rockhound geek posing as a jewelry designer. Hey, it works, right?"
And, now a not-so-short stroll down memory lane...
It all started in 1967. Yes, it's true, I am that old and more! I can remember the very first piece of jewelry I sold. It was a macrame bead bracelet in red and white and a very kind person bought it at the Sunset Beach Art Festival. Surprisingly, that sale led to the next and the next. As one can do in SoCal, I set up shop between classes on the sunny warm spot on the lawn between the LA4 and LA5 buildings at Cal State Long Beach (then known as Long Beach State). I opened my little case and presto, I was in business.
I am constantly surprised (in a good way) by the things around me so many of my pieces are inspired by my "life" in diverse cities across the country. I had the good fortune to grow up in SoCal -- so needless to say, the beach plays a significant role in many of my designs. The colors, the textures, as well as the shapes from that locale all show up in some form or another.
Then living in NoCal, I worked on Maiden Lane in San Francisco and lived just north of the city in what was then the sleepy hamlet of Mill Valley. Living in a glass tree house (yes, it's true); the sound of raucous raccoons on the deck put me to sleep at night, I was always hoping they didn't figure out that my front door didn't lock. I woke up each morning to the squeal of hundreds of squirrels jumping from redwood to redwood. Situated at end of the canyon and the base of Mount Tamalpais, on my hikes aka walks, I marveled at the colors of green in the verdant ferns and leaves in the woods, juxtaposed with the browns and the reds of the trees -- a veritable feast for the senses.
A side note with a lot of words and perhaps not relevant but here goes! While living in Mill Valley, I experienced the most magical moonrise of my life on a drive home from Bolinas one early fall evening -- it was so intoxicating, we had to pull off the road and just sit in awe, speechless, watching the golden glow touch the skyline of the city while it completely transformed the bay below. I drove away that night with a heightened understanding that we are just small players in this thing called life. It is a moment that I will never forget and so I couldn't mention Mill Valley without describing it.
In a crazy twist of fate, I fell asleep nestled among the redwoods one night and woke up the next morning to the sounds of honking horns, screeching brakes and sirens in New York City. My life had jumped onto a new and quite unexpected path, one that was full of a different kind of energy -- new sights, sounds, tastes and yes, even smells were all a marvel to me.
I feel so fortunate to have called New York City home for ten plus years. Life was good to me in that crazy place and I was able to experience so many things that are unique to that city -- stunning architecture, cobblestone streets, the always amazing Central Park, unique cultural experiences and rubbing elbows with all types of people on a daily basis. I loved that I heard twelve different languages being spoken on the subway every morning. It was an enlightening process that reconfirmed my level of gratitude and one I would not change for anything.
These days I am calling Oregon home -- never in my life would I have imagined me saying those words...again. You see, I did live here many, many years ago for a very busy but short period of time. In those few years I opened and sold two antique and decorative accessories stores, started a soft goods company, renovated an early 1900s home, and bravely ended a long-time marriage. Maybe too much information, but they are all experiences that color who I am today, so I am grateful for them all. Living here this time around, I am seeing a world that is diametrically opposed to my experiences past and it's been an interesting journey. So, that's it -- me in a nutshell. (Well, yes, a very big nutshell!) If you are even a little bit interested in knowing more you can go over and subscribe to my blog. While the blog started out solely about my jewelry it quickly became a journal of sorts, where like it or not, I share the ins and outs of my life -- some quite personal.
I do hope you continue to enjoy my jewelry designs and it is my wish that you always wear your pieces with laughter and in good health. I have so much fun scouting gemstones and coming up with new creations and I honestly appreciate your encouragement and support over the years. I still marvel at the fact that technology makes it possible for me to share my joy of and passion for something that got its start way back in 1967?
Hugs to all -- TRL
I know it is a lot of words; but hopefully you'll be kind by remembering I am also a writer or content creator as we are called these days! And, I promise, some day I will work on a short quick version...just not today!
You can reach me by email at tanya at tanyalochridge dot com.