Open-Hearted

I don’t know about you, but 2017 felt like a long and stressful year.

And here we are looking the clean new slate of 2018. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. But I do like the quiet time of winter for reflection, focus (or maybe refocus), and look ahead to what might be in store. I love the ‘choose a word for a year’ idea, and I have done that but I missed out in 2017.

On my mind

Open-Hearted

Sometimes an idea or word keeps bubbling up. When this happens, I try to take a minute to notice. This year, it was ‘open heart’. I struggled a little with that since it sounds like … it could mean open heart surgery. Yikes. Not that.

What this term meant to me was to have a fresh perspective. To have an open-hearted view. Spread some kindness in this often divisive and angry world.

I didn’t write it down or journal my thoughts. I did make a small charm though, that I was wearing as a reminder. A few days later, one of my friends posted a note on Facebook that resonated with me. I am posting a snippet of it here, with her permission.

“Engage with an open heart, and you’ll see the world wants to connect with you.”

That was written by my friend Linda Lowen. She is a writer of many talents. You can connect with her here and here and here.

So I reached out and said I agreed with what she wrote and showed her my new ‘open heart’ charm. She loved it, and it inspired me to come up with some new designs.

The making of an open heart

Making these charms takes a fair bit of work, but in a way, it is easier than always having an open heart in real life. Here are a few photos that show the process.

I start with raw copper discs that are pretty rough. It takes a lot of buffing and fine-polishing to smooth them out and get them ready. In some ways, this may not be the most efficient use of time, but I enjoy the process. Taking something ordinary and smoothing the edges. Giving it a shine.

Next step is to stamp in the words ‘open’ and ‘heart’ — hopefully with even imprints and evenly spaced and centered. I am not batting 1000 on this, but practice makes perfect. Or, at least not as many misses. ha!

Open Hearts in the studio - janetcrosby.com

Next up, I blacken the letters so they pop and are easier to read.

Open Hearts in the studio - janetcrosby.com

Then I fine-polish them to a nice shine. Meanwhile, I am adding enamels to my copper hearts and firing them.

Open Hearts in the studio - janetcrosby.com

Finally, I put them all together — copper word rings, copper connectors, chains, and hearts. Mix and match!

Open Hearts - janetcrosby.com

Available Now

I have created a listing for all of the above Open Heart components plus available chains so you can create your own special necklace. Just words, just hearts, or any combination.

If you have any special requests, such as different heart colors, please contact me to arrange. I am happy to accommodate heart color requests at no charge. There may be a short delay to get add the new colors.