Posted on

Halfway through January

I read yesterday that January 16 (or maybe 15) is the day that depression hits people the strongest, because of let down from the holidays, realization that too much money was spent on the holidays, winter weather, and unfulfilled resolutions. To combat this for me is to make a new piece of jewelry or see a necklace I made online for public viewing. You may combat the depression my looking at my collection of necklaces in my Shop.

In my last post I said I was going to submit ideas to different online blogs/magazines. I did that and one of my ideas appeared in a blog today. You can see it at http://jewelrymakingjournal.com/landing/eacvazvx317/, the latest issue  of Jewelry Making Journal. You need to scroll  down the page but you’ll find my Kumihimo and Glass Necklace. This necklace is not for sale because there are no earrings to go with it.

I also submitted an idea to another online publication and rejected the idea. This is a handmade chain with hearts.

   

I think it is a nice chain. I’ve never seen a chain made like this and I thought it was quite special. Well, the magazine didn’t want it so it’s now in my Shop for sale.  I really like it and it would make a nice Valentine’s Day present.

I’ve also started an Instragram account at https://www.instagram.com/charthiessen/. I don’t have a lot there yet, but follow me and you’ll see what I come up with.

Posted on

New year, new things

Now it’s  a new year and on to bigger and better things. I’m not sure what that will be but there will  be something to catch my interest that I’ll get into. One of the daily emails I get said this was the year to learn a new jewelry making technique. Maybe this year I’ll get over my fear of open flames and learn how  to solder the copper and silver things I make. Something about a flame just freaks me out! That’s why I’ll never do lampwork (which is making glass beads sitting behind an open flame and manipulating glass while holding it in that flame.) That is something I just can’t see myself doing. I’ll keep doing the stringing and wire wrapping because those are things that I can do without much effort, mainly because I’ve done them many times. I have to keep reminding myself when learning something new that the  ease and comfort of doing the technique  comes with practice.

Another new thing I am going to focus on will be submitting articles/pictures to different places online and in print that showcase handmade jewelry. When I get things accepted and online, I’ll post them here so you can follow me in those places. It is a thrill to get an email stating that I’ll be in the next edition of Jewelry Making Journal.  In fact if you go to their page (http://jewelrymakingjournal.com/) you’ll see my Steampunk Bee jewelry set. It’s the third entry in the Jewelry Making Journal. Go take a look and let me know what you think. If you’d like to own this set, check it out i my Shop at https://charsobsession.com/product/gold-chain-with-gears-and-bee/. Just think, you  could be wearing a necklace featured in an online blog!

Posted on

Haven’t done much lately

I haven’t made much jewelry lately or posted anything here. Maybe it’s the season with all  kinds of other  things going on in my life. I’ve been working a bit with glass and made a nice plate and a cat picture. I’ve got an idea that has been stewing in the back of my head since June and that  is to create an urn for the ashes of the dog we lost to lung cancer. I have the frame for the urn and the pictures I want to use on the frame but  I don’t have the right color glass for the dog. I need to get to the glass store to look for that.

Recently  I got involved with genealogy. I have a good idea where my family comes from but once a person jumps into the ocean of genealogy, there are many people who suddenly are related to you in some way. Most of the people I found that I didn’t know about are long gone but it’s been interesting (and time consuming) to  look at them and their families. There  is one relative of mine (my grandmother’s second husband’s grandfather) who had 16 children (and only one wife!). Checking the background on that many children is time consuming and can be confusing. What I’ve found most confusing is that my ancestors had no imagination in chosing names. Girls are named Aganetha, Anganetha, Agatha, Agnes or Marie or Mary and boys are name Johann or John, Dietrich or Heinrich. And sometimes the same name was used twice in one family, just having different middle names. Or boys are named Heinrich Heinrich or Dietrich Heinrich and Heinrich Dietrich. Very confusing. But it’s been interesting to find so many people who I am related to in my past. I’m still trying to figure out how some of the people I know I’m related to fit into the whole scheme of things. Guess that’s part of learning about your own genealogy.

I’ll get back to creating jewelry and posting pictures in the next week or so. In the meantime, check my SHOP to see what is there.

Posted on

Time of Sharing

If you take a look at my shop you’ll see that there are fewer items there. Each year at Christmas time I donate some of  the necklace sets to the United Methodist Outreach Ministry (UMOM) New Day Center. UMOM provides a shelter to mothers and their children who are survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. There is always a large Christmas party where people donate toys for the children who are living at UMOM at the time, but I donate for the mothers who are living there. I feel that they need something that will make they smile and be happy about themselves. That is what jewelry does for me. Every morning I get up, get dressed, and decide what jewelry to wear. Even if I don’t leave the house, having a pretty necklace and matching earrings makes me feel good about myself and brightens my day. That is what I hope to do for the mothers at UMOM.  I never know who gets my necklaces but just thinking about someone having something pretty to wear makes me happy.

I hope you all find a way to make the day brighter and happier for someone else this holiday season.

Posted on

After all the shopping

I hope  you all had a good Thanksgiving and the shopping didn’t wear you out too much. I do almost all my shopping online and never attempt to go out on Black Friday. I hate crowds and won’t put myself into a situation where I know there will be crowds.

I was at my son’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. My daughter and husband and son were there, along with my son’s wife and son, mother-in-law, father-in-law, ex-husband, and my husband. Made for a good crowd with lots of good food.

I haven’t been blogging much because I’ve gotten hooked on genealogy. I’ve always known where my grandparents came from but beyond that I really didn’t know. I now find that my father’s mother had a lot of family in Nebraska, but by father’s father and my mother’s grandparents are as far back as I can find information. They all came from the same area in the Ukraine after the Russian revolution and there are no records. I’ve looked on the sites maintained by the LDS church and they don’t have anything, so I’m assuming there just isn’t anything to be found. It’s hard to trace a family when the records are destroyed by warring factions.

I haven’t done much with my jewelry either. I’ve made a few necklaces and have posted some of the bracelets in my Shop.

Take a look a the bracelets. There may be things in the shop that you’d like. The bracelet that was on the Jewelry Making Journal  in October is now available in my Shop. The link to it is  https://charsobsession.com/product/black-with-dichro-glass/ ‎

Posted on

Bracelets

I’ve spent the last weekend photographing and organizing my bracelets, as I said I would. As I was doing that, I had some “jewelry thoughts.”

Bracelets come in different lengths. A 7 (18 cm) inch bracelet fits most women, an 8 to 9 inch (20.3 to 22.8 cm)  bracelet fits a man. This doesn’t mean the wrist is 7″ in diameter, but the diameter around the knuckles if the bracelet just slips on. Bead size also determines the length. Bigger beads mean a longer bracelet.

As a side note, I found the following on Medline Plus (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/17182.htm) “Body frame size is determined by a person’s wrist circumference in relation to his height. For example, a man whose height is over 5′ 5″ and wrist is 6″ would fall into the small-boned category.” I never knew that measurement of a person’s wrist can determine body frame size. Check out the site to find out what body frame size you are.

I pondered over how to photograph the bracelets and after looking at display set ups for craft shows I gleaned a small nugget of information for photographing bracelets. Slip the bracelet onto a paint roller to hold it for the photo. A brand new, white fuzzy paint roller makes the perfect display for a woman’s average size bracelet.

The pictures aren’t put into my Shop as this time, but will  be by this afternoon. Be sure to take a look at them when they are available. Or just go there to look at what I’ve made. You may be surprised by what you see there. And remember, Christmas is coming and even you deserve a gift!

 

 

Posted on

Back from vacation

I’m back from my trip to Kansas to visit my family. We had a nice Thanksgiving gathering last Saturday night with all the family there, except one nephew who had to work. We were at my niece’s house where she made the turkey and stuffing and everyone brought the other  parts of the meal. There were good conversations and lots of laughs.

While I was there, of course, I went to a thrift store and found some inexpensive necklaces that will be deconstructed and I’ll be able to use the chains from them in other projects. I’ve  found the buying inexpensive, ugly necklaces (in my opinion) is a great way to get chain for very little money.

Chainmail flower pendant

Though I make most of my necklaces with gemstones, occasionally I put pendants on a chain, as above. Many times I’ll use chains to create earrings, like this:

Blue/clear beads on chain

The trip was successful in that I saw my sisters, brother, and my  folks plus bought some chains that will appear in something in the future. Keep an eye on my Shop and you’ll see them appear there.

Posted on

Shopping

Last Saturday I went to a flea market here in Tempe called the Thieves  Market. It sets up in the parking lot of a large wave pool that isn’t open in the  winter and the vendors sell handmade, vintage, or antique items. I’m thinking of joining this group for one of their monthly Saturday markets and wanted to see what it looked like.

There were about 50 vendors set up and they did sell vintage and antique things. There were 3 jewelry sellers there, so I think I will be joining  them. The best part is they only charge $45 per space. Other places start at $250 a space and go up. Yikes!

While  I was there I did some shopping and at one place bought a box titled “jewelry parts.” In this box (about 4 x 6 x 2 inches) was  an assortment of small plastic bags that  were vintage and destroyed by heat and time. I got the contents out of the bags and came up with some interesting things. The bags all had the same type of label — from Greiger’s supply with an address in Pasadena, California. Here’s one of the labels:

I  looked up Greiger’s in Pasadena and found that the store was run by  Paul Greiger, who was a well-known mineralologist and gem collector in the Pasadena area in the 1930s through the 1960s. At one time, he had 35 people working in his rock shop, which he touted as the “World’s largest and best Source of Supply,” as you can see from the label. He died in 1981 and after that the store just petered  out and is no longer in business.

My box of jewelry parts had many flat-back rhinestones and other rhinestones in red, blue, greens, and white. There were small findings that can be glued to the back of flat-back rhinestones. Therer were jump rings, screw-on earring findings, assorted bead caps, two sweater clips, and several tie tacks. I may see if I can use the rhinestones is something and jump rings are always useful, so I  think I got a good deal for  my $2 buy.

Until I get some of these rhinestones incorporated into my jewelry, go to my Shop and check out what is there. Don’t forget, Christmas is coming and you know you need to buy  someone something special, like a  necklace/earring set!

Posted on

Random thoughts

I was going to photograph the bracelets, as I said in my previous post, but life has gotten in the way of that.

My veterinarian told me that my dog had a heart murmur and sent me a cardiologist where she had an echocardiogram. That showed that she has a leaky mitral valve (the cause of the murmur) and an enlarged heart. This doctor told me she was on her way to congestive heart failure but it would be 18 months  or so until that happened. He had done a clinical trial with the  medication given to dogs who were in congestive heart failure and found that dogs that had the same profile  as mine (heart size, murmur, etc.) would go into CHF up to 15 months later than dogs who weren’t on the medication.  So, we now have a dog cardiologist and a dog taking heart medication. What I thought was interesting was veterinarians do clinical trials with dog the same way the clinical  trials are done on humans and the medication given to my dog  is FDA approved. Who knew?

I’ve also been getting things ready at home so I can leave for a week to visit my sisters and brother in Wichita, Kansas. I was in Kansas in September but spent most of that time with my folks, so now I’m going to see my sisters. My husband keeps asking me about things that he might need while I’m gone, like enough dog and rabbit food and enough food  for him. You’d never know that he lived alone for 20 years after his divorce. Guess that means I’ve moved into his  life and he doesn’t want me to leave. That makes me feel warm inside.

Now, I’ve got an appointment to get my hair cut. I feel like I’ve moved into a frumpy stage and need to update things. Cutting my hair will help. Maybe  I need to throw out  some of the clothes I’ve been wearing all summer. I wish it would really cool off here in Phoenix so I would feel like wearing long-sleeved shirts. I  have a lot of those, but it just hasn’t been cool enough. I’ll be able to wear them in Wichita and maybe Phoenix will have cooled down by the middle of the month!

I haven’t made any new jewelry in a couple of weeks, but check out my Shop. There are some pretty necklace sets there and remember, Christmas is coming!

Posted on

Web page and time

I’ve been working on this web page, making a few changes to the Shop link, adding some new pictures and new products. It is amazing how much time I can spend just adding things to the web page. I must have spent 2 hours this morning just checking to make sure things are working. I have a Square account that I use at arts and crafts fairs that I managed to get working with this web page to be able to accept credit/debit cards. I actually ordered some earrings and saw that the order went through Square. I also have PayPal working through this web page an d can take credit/debit cards through that also, as well as accepting PayPal payments. When you want to order something, I’ll be able to accept payments and send the item to you. Check out the Shop link to see the new listing of earrings, which are $7.50.

I have a box full of bracelets to get added to the store, but first I have to take pictures of them. That will be my project for this afternoon and tomorrow. That’s another thing that takes a lot of time. I have a set up to take the pictures, but I  have to get things arranged and then get the  product on the pad created for the pictures, get the camera set up, and then take the picture. But first I have to make sure the camera battery is charged. Projects like this always take longer than expected.