Sunday, October 31, 2010

Something different Sunday - The Sketchbook Project 2011

After a stormin' last week of 3 double page spreads I'm afraid I can only offer you 2 this week.  That said, I did re-do a few pages.  As I have got further into the project the style has evolved which has meant that some of the earlier pages looked like they needed a bit of an update.

Pages 30 and 31, The Sketchbook Project by Cari-Jane Hakes

Pages 32 and 33, The Sketchbook Project by Cari-Jane Hakes

The text on the postcard reads as follows - 

When the case was too heavy to pull she made Cedric walk.  This usually happened when he had eaten too many caramel chocolate shortbreads.

If he was honest though, he liked to walk.  It aided his digestion which was a very good thing. 

The pages that got an overhaul were 5 and 6 - 

New text on page 5, The Sketchbook Project 2011
New text on page 6, The Sketchbook Project 2011 by Cari-Jane Hakes

And Oh!  I had much joy!  In my postbox, on Thursday....a real live 'Cedric'!  My sister bought him as a surprise for me.  It really was such a lovely surprise.  I feel that he will become my muse for the rest of The Sketchbook Project.

'Cedric' who can be acquired here

À demain mes amis!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Picture Perfect, (no words, just pictures).

20 knots by Cari-Jane Hakes

21 knots by Cari-Jane Hakes

Saturday Treasury

I still get really excited when a fellow Etsyian chooses one of my pieces for their Treasury collections.  It is an endless source of fascination to see how other people read my work and to see the piece layered up as part of a themed story.  This is a particularly beautiful treasury by OrangeistheSun.

Etsy Treasury by OrangeistheSun featuring hybridhandmade. To see the treasury on-line click here (this will only work for a limited time)

OrangeistheSun has a great Etsy shop.  This bracelet caught my eye.  If you know my work you will know by now that I love putting text on my pieces.  This creation is right up my street!  

'Follow the energy that runs through you'  double wrap bracelet by OrangeistheSun

Earlier on this week my work was featured in another gorgeous treasury, this time by tisserande.

Etsy Treasury featuring the Fiercely Feminine silver necklace by hybridhandmade.  You can view the treasury on-line  here for a limited time.

Tisserand creates stunning handwoven textiles which would elevate any cold, grey November day into a kaleidoscope of colour and warmth!

Handwoven wool scarf by tisserande

Here's hoping your Saturday is full of colour, warm things and good times!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday mémoire (or, here is one I made earlier)

After making the first 20,000 leagues under the sea piece (see here for images) I couldn't stop 'barnacalising' all my creations.

20,000 Leagues under the Sea & Fierce rings by Cari-Jane Hakes
Whilst they were inspired by nature they took on a rather aggressive, tough feel when worn.

20,000 Leagues under the Sea ring by Cari-Jane Hakes

I don't think 'barnacalising' is a real word, but is should be.  My definition would go something like this: 

Barnacalising - to cover a surface or object in barnacle like objects of a scale significantly smaller than the host surface or object

Here's to your weekend my friends.  May it be filled with a change of pace, moments of calm and periods of clarity.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to re-bind your moleskine without re-binding your moleskine!

I have been happily filling the pages of my moleskine sketchbook sent to me by the The Art House Co-op after I registered for The Sketchbook Project 2011 in August of this year (see here for details).  
Earlier this month on twitter Art House Co-op asked participants to pass on any documentation of how the moleskines have been altered or re-bound.  Here then are my materials and step by step instructions on how I have altered my moleskine.  
My box of tricks for negotiating the thinness of the pages contained between the kraft card covers includes:

Coloured pencils, a mixture of Rexel Cumberland Derwent Artists and Schwan Stabilo  Softcolor.  
This is my main way of adding colour as it is a dry application and won't therefore wrinkle the paper.

Paint brushes, varnish brush, white acrylic paint and Matte Varnish.

Rub-down transfers
I am using a lot of these due to my take on the theme I chose, 'Nighttime Stories'.  I want the sketchbook to have the feel of a children's book.  If the amount of text for a particular page is too long to transfer then I will print it out on some collage paper and incorporate it into the sketch.  The advantage of both methods is that the text does not show through on the next page.

A few scrap booking supplies.  I'm not a  scrapbooker, but I love some of the products.   Pictured here; luggage tag stickers by K & Company, paper pads by Basic Grey, stencil by Paperpizazz.  Fiber pens by Staedtler (0.3 & 0.5), Papermate and Zig.

Old catalogues and Surf Europe magazines for collage papers.

If I end up with a page where I know the media I want to use is going to bleed through then I 'prime' the pages in the following way (alternatively, if I've just finished a page on the moleskine paper and the next page is marked by the previous image showing through then I clad it over in the same following way) :

Step one: I chose and old paperback book that was on its way to recycling.  In my opinion - the older the better.  This one has a lovely yellow hue that intensifies towards the edges of each page.

Step one: rescue and reuse and old paperback

Step two: 'Prime' the page with a thin layer of white acrylic to knock back the text a little.  

Step two: apply acrylic paint straight from the tube

I don't go right up to the edges and generally keep the brush strokes fairly free.  I like the final finish to be a bit patchy and haphazard.

Step three: Apply double sided sticky tape to the back of the primed page.  I try to get the tape as close to the edge of the page as possible so there are no flapping edges.  As Art House add more dates to the Sketchbook tour I'm always thinking about how I can make my sketchbook as durable as possible.

Step three: apply double sided sticky tape

I continue round all four sides.

Step four: When I started sticking these pages in I continued the primed paper right into the spine.  This began to create too much thickness in the spine. Now I space the pages a little way from the centre.

Step four: stick pages into the moleskine

Step 5:  A double spread ready for almost anything you would care to throw at a sketchbook!

Step 5: Your double page spread is ready for anything!

Once I've finished a sketch or a piece of text I will often use a bit of the matte varnish painted on over the rub-down transfers and any graphite just to seal and protect the art / graphic work.  Hopefully this will help the pages last the tour and beyond!

Top tip: use matte varnish to protect any fragile / smudgable work

You can sign up for The Sketchbook Project 2011 here but you will have to hurry, the last day to register is 31st October 2010.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mosaic Mercredi

Starting with 6.5 Sitches' Sing to the Shadows from last week here is this week's Mosaic Mercredi taken from my Flickr favourites.

1. DSC_3169, 2. sinstone, 3. |, 4. Sing to the shadows, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. Hitoshi Abe SCI_Arc 1, 8. Quiver at PYF 01, 9. Boat 02

After extolling the virtues of colour last Tuesday in this post I am exercising my female prerogative to change my mind and indulge in a week of black and white (to be honest though, there are a few shades of ochre and brown in this mosaic).

Till tomorrow my friends.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What I caught in my net today

So, here is the problem.  As a fairly fresh 'autopreneur' I don't have enough sales yet to know what is selling - if you know what I mean.  For the first part of the year I was in 'epic' mode.  Everything was detailed, meticulous, took a week to make.  You get the drift.  Bottom line is, I can't sell the stuff just 'for the love of it'.  I am not an Etsy hobbyist.   I switched gears in the late summer and began to create pieces that didn't take days on end to make.  Now I'm in limbo.  Half of my stock is in a 'Winter Showcase' at Atelier Jewellers and the rest is on Etsy.  All of this makes me feel a bit....

Meh Pillow by YellowBugBoutique

This cushion made it to the Etsy front page.  I naturally clicked on it because that was exactly how I was feeling.  The Seller's description had me in stitches! And I quote.. 

"Here in our fabulously exciting, over-stimulated Yellow Bug Bungalow, we sometimes get completely overwhelmed by the joy! the wonder! the pure delight that each day brings! In such moments, we often find ourselves swinging from the chandeliers and singing "I Gotta Be Me" at the top of our lungs.

It's hard to keep the shop stocked when we're in such moods.

So here's our antidote - the meh pillow. This baby will suck the over-enthusiasm out of a room faster than you can say "Paula Abdul". Just give this pillow to your overly optimistic boss, your chihuahua with an hyperactive bladder, or your friend who's waaay too into politics, and watch the tone come down to post-Ritalin levels."

aujourd'hui by Cari-Jane Hakes

Again, time to take on board some of my own advice from last Wednesday and dispel the 'Meh' cloud that was beginning to descend and settle on my shoulder.

aujourd'hui boy 1 by Cari-Jane Hakes

If you go down to the beach here at is empty.  Any self respecting French person is much too busy having lunch!

aujourd'hui shells by Cari-Jane Hakes

aujourd'hui boy 2 by Cari-Jane Hakes

The 'meh-ness' has washed away with the out going tide.  I feel some epic-ness stirring in my heart.  It's almost ready to spill out on to the workbench and become a silvered thing of quixotic proportions!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monochromatic Monday

Here's hoping your new week is going swimmingly.

image from Hengki Koentjoro's Photostream on flickr

If I'm honest, my week is stalling somewhat.  But mindful of my post last Wednesday I'm telling myself to just keep going.  Keep posting.  Keep showing up in the workshop.  Never. Give. Up.  Well, that's my strategy.  What do you all do when the going gets tough?

That aside, just how beautiful is this image?  It deserved a whole 'Monochromaic Monday' slot as a solo image.  So that is what I did.    

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Something different Sunday - The Sketchbook Project 2011

With six pages completed this week and I am rapidly approaching the middle stitched binding of the moleskine.  

Pages 24 and 25, The Sketchbook Project 2011 by Cari-Jane Hakes

There has been a request on twitter from Art House Co-op (who run The Sketchbook Project 2011) for people to link to information on how they rebound their sketchbooks.  The paper in the moleskine sketchbook is incredibly thin so I can understand why certain artists would rebind the book with paper they were more used to working on.  I decided not to rebind but have had to perform all manner of paper tricks to keep the pages legible and clear.

Pages 26 and 27, The Sketchbook Project 2011 by Cari-Jane Hakes

I will do an entry later in the week with all the materials I use along with tips on how to live in harmony with your moleskine.

Pages 28 and 29, The Sketchbook Project 2011 by Cari-Jane Hakes

At the outset of this project I was concerned that I would have enough 'nighttime stories' to fill the book. With the girl just about to embark on her search as I prepare the hit the halfway mark I'm worried now that there won't be enough room for all her travels!

May be I will just have to do a sequel.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Photography

There is a kind of frenzied agricultural activity going on here.  Busy tractors are traversing the fields and slicing them up with silver ploughs.  Great plates of shiny soil are lifted up and turned to the sky.  The ground is preparing to hibernate for the winter.  To rest and dream of a spring with verdant greens.
'Love is all around' by Cari-Jane Hakes
A little bit of late autumn sunshine allowed me to take these photographs this morning.  A quiet visual soliloquy to end the week.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Winter Showcase at Atelier Jewellers, Isle of Wight, UK

Today was a momentous day for 'Hybrid Handmade by Cari-Jane Hakes'.   Some time ago I submitted a collection to Christina and Harriet who run Atelier Jewellers.  They organise a Winter Showcase each year.  I was thrilled when they picked my work to be included.  

Winter Song brooch by Cari-Jane Hakes

My collection arrived with them today on the Isle of Wight! 
Having officially set up Hybrid Handmade on Etsy back in June of this year I have the feeling that I joined the Etsy party a little late.  It seems like a very crowded market place.  After listening to a Crafty Pod interview with Megan Auman (of crafting an MBA fame) I knew that I needed to consider other market places to sell my work.  Megan's honest and balanced critique of Etsy confirmed some of my concerns and pushed me to begin to think outside of the Etsy box.

Winter Song brooch worn by Cari-Jane Hakes

You can find information on the Winter Showcase at Atelier Jewellers here.  My work will be exhibited there for sale until 31st December 2010.
Rather appropriately, continuing the winter theme, one of my favourite pieces was chosen for a beautiful Etsy Treasury today by Floralworld.  It is a true symphony of wintry hues that make you want to reach for the nearest woolly jumper.

Etsy Treasury featuring hybrid handmade's Fiercely Femminine necklace
for a limited time you will find it on-line 

Floralworld has a beautiful shop over on Etsy.  This comb really caught my eye - beautiful for a winter wedding (or any other occasion where sparkle is on the menu).

Rhinestone Comb by Floralworld

Brrrr, I'm off to put some more wood on the fire.  Bonne Nuit mes amis!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What will you teach the next generation about creativity? (or things I wish I'd known 15 years ago)

It is 'We Scout Wednesday' over on Scoutie Girl.  Here is my contribution.  These are all things I try to impart to my boys.  There are also a few things I remember from my own childhood (which goes to show, that sometimes, just sometimes, the good advice DOES stick).  That aside, I really believe there is only so much one can impart.  Everyone really ends up figuring it out in their own way.
Rumi quote plaque by mb art studios
1.  When it's not working, when it's not flowing....just step away, step back, go make tea, move onto something else.  It will still be there when you return.  But sometimes, the distance allows your sub-conscious to start working away on it.  You return and suddenly you know what to do.  If this doesn't work, repeat till it does.  I attribute this pearl of wisdom to my Dad.  
Anish Kapoor's Upside down, inside out, 2003 on flickr
2. Turn it upside down and look at it again (this is my husband's top tip).  This works well for architectural plans and when you are looking for collage material - looking at the magazine upside down stops you registering the words and image - all you see is tone and shape.
Typography print by Nan Lawson
3. 'Don't think, just do' became my mantra in the final years of my design training.  I spent much time as an undergraduate frozen by too much thinking.  Paralysis Analysis.  Now I know, you just need to keep moving.  Sketch, build a model, start a painting, work conceptually.  Creativity is just like keeping fit.  It needs to be flexed, alternated, it needs to keep moving and changing.  Sitting there, thinking about going for run is not really going to get you anywhere.
Emily Dickinson quote art work by From My Bookshelf
4. Never. Give. Up.

Mosaic Mercredi

Using the little bird from last week as the springboard for this weeks Mosaic Mercredi here is this weeks selection from my flickr favourites:
1. :: listen ::, 2. Conversation, 3. weather print, 4. Roa, 5. mischief managed, 6. Sing to the shadows, 7. a box of autumn colour, 8. Old Gates, 9. madrid detail

I also put together this antidote to all things Halloween and orange over on Etsy:
Etsy Treasury by Cari-Jane Hakes, click here to see it on-line
I wish I could stay here but I must go and brave the blockades and rescue an abandoned car - seems that the french protesters flaming tyre wall prevented my husband from getting into the airport car parking.  Ah well, c'est la vie!  Jusqu'au demain mes amis.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seeping Colour.

I used to be a bit of a monochromatic girl.  With hindsight, I feel this was in part due partly to my metropolitan milieu and also my architectural background.  When I began my training, all sensible proper architects used a restrained palette of, well, grey.  There were a few mavericks who branched out into the odd splash of yellow and blue.  But really, if you wanted to be taken seriously, you left the colour wheel in your high school art class, donned a black polo neck, and got on with it.  

Oh but colour is soooo good, is it not?  I began my rebellion against this accepted norm by purchasing a pair of Hawaiian sunset print canvas knee high boots.  They really are, as my sister would say, V.O.V. ('Verging on Vile').  When a fashion item falls into this category, you have to be careful and go with your gut.  In this case, the boots were V.O.V. but fabulous.  

Colour has begun to seep into every corner of my home now.  A peek inside my kitchen cupboards reveals a cornucopia of hues and patterns.  10 years ago it would have been a minimal sea of white, a little uptight, prim and proper.  If you look closely, you can see a teapot from my previous life.  He looks a little superior, but I think he will learn to fit in just fine!  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Something different Sunday - The Sketchbook Project 2011 (on a Monday)

The Sketchbook Project 2011, pages 22 and 23 by Cari-Jane Hakes
The story so far....she has finished packing her bag.
The post card reads as follows:

"That night, she fell asleep and dreamed of all the places that she might go to.  Some real, some imaginary and some beyond her imagination, smudged with reality and full of fantastical sights.
Cedric did not sleep well.  He had inadvertently rolled out of bed. Consequently, his tummy was cold and he had a bit of a headache."

The Sketchbook Project 2011, page 22 by Cari-Jane Hakes
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