Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yesterday, I went for a walk...

Mrs. H. and Mrs. L.  reunited, Cari-Jane Hakes
with the 'Lovely Mrs. L.'!  A very dear friend who has been separated from me by an entire hemisphere for over a year.  But you know, we walked and talked as if maybe it had only been a week, or a few days.

glittering shadows, Cari-Jane Hakes

I am very used to pootling about at 8 meters above sea level.  This walk took us up heights of around 2,500 meters!

infinity, Cari-Jane Hakes
We talked about our favourite words (Mrs. L. - exhibition and oxymoron,  Mrs. H. - loquacious and ubiquitous).
carved isolation, Cari-Jane Hakes
And when we weren't talking we both agreed that indeed 'the silence was deafening'!

pinned trees, Cari-Jane Hakes

We revived ourselves with tea and biscuits.  It was indeed most lovely.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Something different Sunday - Fragments of France

Sunlight on Snow on Rock, Cari-Jane Hakes
Clothed Tree, Cari-Jane Hakes
Tois Coeurs, Cari-Jane Hakes
'Wine o'clock', Cari-Jane Hakes

Friday, December 24, 2010

Joyeux Noël

I'm swopping the coast for the mountains for a few days.  I hope you all have a very Joyeux Noël!

24 December 2010,  en route to Les Alps

See you all soon my friends! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A curious little collection of beautiful things

Oh hello, you are all still there and have not been yet consumed by the busyness that is Noel!  Take a moment to dig yourself out from under a mound of present wrapping, put those bags down laden with enough food to feed the 5,000 and regard the marvellous little curious collection I have put together for you!

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See, wasn't that beautiful?  Right....let us get back to that busyness!  I am currently putting together a guest blog post for the New Year to be featured on Jessica van Den's Epheriell Designs.  Very exciting! Click the link to check out her beautiful and inspiring blog.

 'On y va'  as they say round these parts!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hybrid Handmade Christmas - Decorations

My favourite Christmas tree ornament from my childhood was a little cardboard house, painted blue with a white 'snowy' roof and glitter frosting.  It was a magical little object because it had a hole in its back wall where you put one of the Christmas tree lights.  The dull windows then transformed and glowed as if the inhabitants had just switched all their lights on!

Hybrid Handmade Christmas, little houses, Cari-Jane Hakes

I thought I would try to re-create a little piece of my childhood this Christmas.  Here are two I made earlier!  The windows are made from 'Quality Street' chocolate wrappers and I painted the insides black so that the light would only shine through the windows.

I did think about making one to represent each house / flat / apartment I had ever lived in - but realised this would mean making 20 of them.  I think these 2 will do fine for now!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Something different Sunday - The Sketchbook Project 2011

This week, the words took longer than the sketch.  Each letter was hand applied and rubbed down from my box of letter transfers!  Delays in postage have left me without a printer cartridge - so I was left with no option.  I prefer the look of the printed or transferred text to my own handwriting.  I like the distance it gives.  A slight dissociation, less diary like, more book like.  That said of course, as the tale unfolds, there are parts that are autobiographical.  I myself have never lived in any one location for longer than 5 years.

Pages 54 and 55, The Sketchbook Project, Cari-Jane Hakes
  I have kept the last couple of pages just as line drawings after the intensity of the paint and blue that the balloon pages generated.  I have done a sketch of the girl sleeping before but wanted to fit another one that showed her toes.  Somebody once described children's toes like the little erasers that you find on the top of pencils.  How right they were!  Little perfect soft circles....I just had to draw them!  Forgive my indulgence.

I'm off to reward myself with a hot chocolate - here is hoping your Sunday has been equally sweet and restful.

À bientôt mes amis!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


0830 hrs 18 December 2010, Cari-Jane Hakes
I have posted a few of these early morning pictures here on hybrid handmade.  It remains a simple pleasure of mine to open the blue shutters and see what is in store for the day.  Curtains and blinds are another thing all together.  They give hints, sneak shutters give me no such preview.

The house is full of two excited little bodies.  School holidays have begun.  A change of pace occurs.  The littlest one likes to sit for a time in my lap.  But not for long.  And so I must stop my busyness and know that my things will just have to wait a while.  For the interuption....I am glad.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pour Madame...

I've been working away on another private commission.  It is a ring for an important French lady.  I know the people who commissioned me to make this piece and I found myself thinking of them and the intended recipient whilst I cut and filed and soldered and polished.

Detail of back plate to Forest Ochre ring by Cari-Jane Hakes
It made me think how incredibly special a commission is.  It has to be planned in advance.  If it is a ring, there is the non trivial task of finding out the ring size.....secretly!

Detail of cabochon by Cari-Jane Hakes
The other thing that makes this ring special is its story.  It would be easy to just pick something up in a local store.  But this piece has a 'soul'.  It was made with love and attention to EVERY detail.  The stone was bought from a fellow Etsy seller.  She found a stash of cabochons in a box that had been in storage for over 30 years!

Back plate detail by Cari-Jane Hakes
There is a certain romance to this.  It gives the ring a kind of mysterious 'Indiana Jones' edge.

Edge detail of Forest Ochre ring by Cari-Jane Hakes

When I fished this piece out of my polishing tumbler,  even I was surprised at its beauty.  The mix of deep ochre red and forest green combined with the stunning clarity of the leaf imprint on the hidden underside.  Oh, I wish I could be a 'fly on the wall' when she opens it and sees it for the first time!  I hope she feels the love and the attention that her family intend for her through the organisation of this gift.

As always, I'm so honoured to be part of this process.  It's the best part of my job!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I caught in my net today

A beautiful 'cladding' on a muscle shell (this is first time I have seen this), regular and irregular at the same time.

Rhythmical sandbars creating a symphony of light and dark in the fading winter sunshine.

A shock of red seaweed, stranded by the tide.

The tiniest fragment of sea urchin shell.

Soft rocks with 'occupants'.  These ones look like they are shouting to be released!

And others, vacant and graphic with random punctuation.

Birds paddling out to the surf,

and a setting sun, so early.  No sooner has it got up, it seems to be going back to bed.  But not for long!  That time is coming when the balance will begin to tip in the other direction.

I have to say though - I'm fairly happy with everything that winter has to throw in my direction.  I will last it in good grace.

Whichever season you are in, I hope you are able to find something marvellous, something beautiful and something amazing in amongst all that has been flung in your general direction today!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A little curious collection of beautiful things

To see the original website where these images originate, click on the picture (not the Pinterest link, unless you want to see what other images are on my virtual pin board).

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Something different Sunday - The Sketchbook Project 2011

Or not so different Sunday, as for the last few months my Art House Co-op sketchbook has become a regular companion during long weekend evenings.  I'm loving every minute of creating this book.  I think about the story when I'm working at my bench, when I'm out running and before I fall asleep at night.  I know how the story ends, but there are a few loose ends to knit in.

Pages 52 and 53, The Sketchbook Project 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes

I think it's time the balloon landed.  Don't you?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sketchbook on a Saturday

Pages 50 and 51, The Sketchbook Project 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
A day earlier than normal, I give you, pages 50 and 51 of my nighttime story 'In Search of Home' for Art House Co-op's Sketchbook Project 2011.

"Where are we going?" Cedric seemed to say
"Well" the girl whispered "I really have no say in it."

Friday, December 10, 2010

'Home' - a necklace

Where is 'home'?
Is it a place made of bricks and mortar? Is it a country? Is it where your suitcase lies open? Or somewhere on the road, in between somewhere and nowhere?
'home' necklace by Cari-Jane Hakes
I have never lived anywhere for longer than 5 years. Home for me is somewhere between my head and my heart. In my head, it is a place that logically and practically is where I live. My heart tells me that 'home' is somewhere else. It is the people I love. It is the place I share with friends. It is table around which family gather. I've made this necklace to sit exactly halfway between the two, the head and the heart.
'home' necklace by Cari-Jane Hakes
Ingredients: sterling silver and nothing else!  Who ever snaps this one up can have it personalised. The 'steam' of the leaf can be stamped with up to 5 initials (or a word) in lower case letter stamps. The initials of those who you love or a place or anything you want!  They can be stamped on the front or the back of the steam.
Leaf detail on 'home' necklace by Cari-Jane Hakes
This necklace can be worn in three ways.  Just the leaf and stem, just the 'home' tag or both together.  The leaf skeleton is one that I found when foraging for materials for my Christmas wreath. 
'home' necklace by Cari-Jane Hakes
It is over in the Etsy shop now.

A Frosty Morning

Frost landscape, 10 December 2010, Cari-Jane Hakes

A sparkling morning.  Every surface was covered in crystal finery.

Mornings like this feel like a gift.  But you have to be up early to appreciate it.

Sunrise, 10 December 2010, Cari-Jane Hakes

As the sun climbs, the temporary splendor disappears.
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