The Cynthia Collection: One Designer’s Keen Eye on Design

Designer Cynthia Bigony is one of the most creative individuals I know. Her simplicity, grace, and sophistication dictate her design choices.

Last year Cynthia launched The Cynthia Collection–one of a kind belts and jewelry.

Cynthia’s belts are all about the exquisite re-moveable buckles which are made from all natural,  one of a kind materials– sliced agates, geodes, druzy crystals, fossils and petrified woods.


I love the natural, organic feel of the belt buckles, the natural elegance of each carefully selected stone, and the practicality of having a couple buckles that I can interchange.

Cynthia lovingly picks out each stone and finds herself attracted to the white crystals that swirl around inside the sliced agates. And there is a thoughtful reason for Cynthia’s selections. “In summer time, I like my belts to be worn with white jeans and sandals and in the winter with blue jeans or black corduroys and a white tee shirt.”

Cynthia’s jewelry became a natural extension of her one of a kind approach. Again, each stone of every earring is hand picked by Cynthia, and like her, is simply radiant.

The bottom stone is a druzy crystal and the top stone is a semi-precious faceted gem–the intent is contrast, shiny and rough–the look is playful.

The Cynthia Collection offers inexpensive accent jewelry that can be worn day or night.

When the sun hits the stones, they glitter and light up…


…just like Cynthia.

The Cynthia Collection is available at The Store  in Mill Valley, California.





Bright and so Patricia!

Patricia loves color. It goes back to her Provençal roots or maybe she just
likes to add color to the foggy days that we see in San Francisco.

Here she looks playful with her Anthropologie dress of many colors. It’s easy to
wear but because it is so colorful, Patricia keeps her accessories to a minimum.
She contrasts the sweetness of the dress with a modern twist–an orange rawhide

Check out her shoes. The designer, Castaner, is Spanish and she picked them up
in Barcelona for $170 Euros.

Dress from Anthropologie

Rawhide bracelet from Francesca’s: :$12.00

Eye Protection, Accessory, or Invisibility Cloak?

That’s a photo of me.  I’m Terry Castle and I’m the veteran blogger in the group.  I have blogged about my kids’ leaving home, the “B” horror novels I published last year, and now I am back with Mit Schlag and ready to have an adventure.

The photo was taken in late August at dusk at a wonderful restaurant called Al Venuu in the town of Tremezzo, overlooking Lake Como. The food was amazing but the view was spectacular.

I really didn’t need my sunglasses but they offer so many different services to me.  First, they protect my eyes from too much light, they hide the loose skin hanging over my eyes, and they keep me protected from the outside world, or so I think. I have no idea why I think my sunglasses are my “invisibility cloak,” but I do.

I bought my glasses at SEE Eyewear in San Francisco for $90.00. I usually wear black sunglasses, but I decided to try something different.

Meet Patricia Blanc. She is fearless. She is originally from Aix-en-Provence and she always has a pair of sunglasses on her lovely face.  I asked her why.

“If I wear my sunglasses I can pretend it’s sunny every day.”

Patricia is writing this blog with me. And it’s a good thing ’cause she is always styling.  In the posts that come you will see her sense of style. So very French.

Together we popped into Rims and Goggles, an eyewear store in Mill Valley, California.  Why am I not surprised that Patricia found the newest French eyewear designer, Carolin Abram.

She fell for the “Elfea” style. For $525.00, Patricia can feel like the sun is constantly shining down on her.  But after you get to know Patricia you will know that regardless of her sunglasses, the sun always shines down on her.

Joan Dauria is my Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis.  I think she is lot of people’s Jackie O. Look at those cheek bones! Here she is styling a pair of “Dita” sunglasses she bought in Westport, Connecticut–at Westport Specs.  She tried something new with the tortoise shell frame. It suits her well, don’t you think?

Joan, too, wears her sunglasses to protect her light-sensitive eyes. She also has gotten quite used to her sunglasses for all the Greek Island hopping she has done.  See, so much in common with Jackie O.

When Joan was a kid she does remember Jackie sporting her infamous large round black framed sunglasses and her Hermes scarves.  Jackie O’s sense of style rubbed off on Joan!

I can’t wait to share more of Joan’s passions for life, for travel, for food, for knowledge. Joan is a consultant and executive coach. You can find her company at

We’re lucky to have her on board.

To know Juliette Ambatzitis is to love her, no is to adore her. Her style mimics her graceful, whimsical, charming personality. I promise that you will all fall in love with Juliette through these posts.

When I asked Juliette why she wears her Ralph Lauren sunglasses that she bought at Nordstrom’s, she immediately said’ “To protect my little eyes.” She quickly added, “Also, they look cool! ” Everything looks cool on Juliette.  But when pressed she confessed to wearing sunglasses so she could spy on people without being caught. Juliette is always curious about the world around her.

And the world around her is curious about Juliette. A few years back famed photographer and New York columnist Bill Cummingham snapped a photograph of Juliette for his “On the Street” column for the New York Times. He just liked her style. So will you.

Juliette ran a Traverna in Rhodes for 15 years–Xenomania!   I am sure, in posts to come, we will hear loads of stories about her life running a restaurant on a Greek Island.

Today Juliette works as the assistant to Isabel Allende.

So now you have met the women of Mit-Schlag even if you haven’t yet seen our eyes.

I promise you will.