Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

January Desktop Wallpaper for you!

A late Christmas present for you all, but perfectly timed for the New Year.  Just click on the image below and save to your desktop (and then use your settings menu, or equivalent, to change your background desktop image).

Then sit back and marvel and the Hybrid Handmade-ness glossy black and silvered January that is festooning your screen.

Shiny New Year, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It was the night before Christmas...

...which means I get to hang my childhood stocking and discover anew all the little details, sequins, stars and buttons.

It used to belong to my Mother, she unpicked her name, sewed mine at the top and it became mine.  I haven't got round to unpicking my name yet and handing it on.  Perhaps I'll wait for a grand daughter to come along!

Bonne Nuit mes amis and Joyeux Noël.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Postcard from London - Borough Market

Borough Market, London, 23 December 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes

Un peu de la France, Borough Market, London, 23 December 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
Southwark Cathedral, London, 23 December 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
Elsewhere, we have it on good authority that the Hybrid Handmade Husband will make his debut on BBC Radio 4 tomorrow between the hours of 1030 and 1100hrs GMT (the programme is called Jack and the Genetically Modified Beanstalk).  We shall be excitedly tuning in with our cups of tea and mince pies at the ready!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Brown Paper Packages

There has been a bit of an economy drive in the Hybrid Handmade House for some time now (what with the way things are going I'm sure this must be happening in a lot of houses).  Beyond the essentials I'm just not buying much of anything.  However, in light of the festive season I did decide to get myself a Christmas present.  It was waiting for me in London, all wrapped up in brown 'paper' (cardboard).

I can't tell you how much I loved opening this package (no, I didn't wait till Christmas morning).  Because I had ordered it a few weeks ago - I had actually forgotten the exact contents.  Even better.

I am a fairly new reader of Pia's blog (click here to go to it) so I didn't exactly know what to expect from this book - but I am delighted, surprised and enthralled by it.  As Pia deliberates over what to take as she packs her bags for her journey to Paris it made me think of the 'The Girl' and Cedric in the sketchbook that I did for Art House Co-op (the whole sketchbook can be seen here).

Pages 6 and 7 The Sketchbook Project 2011
A part of me feels like 'The Girl' and Pia have wandered along similar paths in their search for 'home'.

I will leave you with a few of the stunning visual spreads from Pia's book and a hope that for all of you wandering 'home' for Christmas that your journeys are safe and the welcome at the other end is warm.

For more information on Pia's book please go to her website.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

I take a lot of photographs.  I download them almost everyday.  They are backed up but not all of them are printed out.  Every now and again I imagine the loss if I couldn't access them.  The horror of this situation has spurred me into action and so, for the past few weeks I have been spending several evenings sifting through the many digital images and turning them into a book using this site (there is also this alternative site).

1 January 2010
Each image is a little repository of memories, conversations, events and happenings.  The site I am using lets me superimpose text over the photographs so I can collage these memories with the images.

The only problem is trying to edit down the number of photographs to actually put in the book.  This often means I am cramming 10 or more images on to each page.

'How old are you?'
Waiting for the right waves
Fishing with the Master
The last image makes me wonder if he will stand like this when he is an old man, when I am long gone, looking out to see with his wooly hat and stick.  A timeless image.

We are migrating north for Christmas - stretching our wings and heading off for our respective ancestral homes.  For the last three, we have rested here, in France.  Time to pull up the anchor and set sail for a while.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rock Pool Ring

I've wanted to make this ring for a long time.  Some how, I always too busy with something else, chunks of labradorite, eskimos, sketchbooks and butterflies - you know how it is.  In amongst all of these other projects, the form of this ring would rise and fall in my conciseness.  It would be doodled and scribbled and forgotten again.

Rock Pool Ring, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2011
Then, there must have been some kind of 'high tide' which washed all the detritus away.  A clean sweep of space and time and a bit of remembering and recalling meant that THIS ring finally got made.

Rock Pool Ring, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2011
It is a delicate little thing.  Neat tiny spheres of silver 'pebbles' emerge from the deep and darkness.  The band that it rests on is a light 2mm sterling silver circular wire.  This ring is an impossible contrast of lightness and darkness which makes is all the more magical.

I took these pictures in the fading light.  The storm clouds have been gathering along with the wind.  Tonight it will build and build until it hits hurricane speed in the early hours of the morning.  We will probably loose power but hopefully our roof will stay put.

I will see you on the other side mes amis.  Bonne Nuit.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hybrid Handmade Christmas - Christmas Cards / Tags

The French don't really do Christmas cards, well not in this bit of France anyway.  So, what's a girl to do?  Make them herself of course!

You will need:  1.  Card stock (these are little French correspondence cards which come with matching envelopes) 2. Tracing paper 3. Hole punch, circular or any other fancy shaped punch 4.  Lino cutter 5. Artist's carving block - but really, it's just a big eraser  6. Ink pad 7. Pencil 8. Fancy string or ribbon 9. Optional reindeer 10. Optional snowflake.

And then...

This is my first effort on the carving front - but to see the master at work I highly recommend this video by the very talented Geninne D. Zlatkis.

Geninne has also posted some great stamp carving tutorials on her blog which you can find here.

Christmas cards/ tags 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
All that remains is to punch your holes and finish the tag off with some fancy string or ribbon.

Perhaps these could do with a bit more sparkle and glitter - but really, I like to keep these things simple.  It's the words on the other side that really count.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

Something is emerging from the deep...

work in progress, December 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
The depth of this this textural etch is partly fantastical and partly accidental.  I did tell EVERYONE at 1645 hrs 'don't let me forget about the silver in the etching tank'.  EVERYONE then went to bed.  I remembered about the silver in the etching tank at around 2130 hrs - ran through to the workshop and was relieved to see that there was still a sheet of silver.  Had I fallen asleep - by the morning I'm fairly sure the whole sheet would have been disseminated into Ag+ ions floating around in an acid solution.  Not much use to man nor beast and certainly no use to me seeing as this is my very last sheet of silver.

work in progress, December 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
No retributions were issued.  Instead I fished the silver out and marveled at the depth of the etch.  Never have I created something so moon like.  It is beautiful and I am relieved.

work in progress, December 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
Some variations on position are expressed here - a few experiments before this winged marvel of nature is soldered in place.

As I wing myself into the weekend I wish you all a good one.  Ours will be full of 'Le Grande Marché de Noël' which will take place in the next village.  I do declare I'm almost as excited as the children!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mosaic Mercredi

I am slightly somewhat bereft to notice that I allowed the entire month of November to pass without the thought and good grace to adorn it with a 'Mosaic Mercredi'.  Sigh.  I only hope this one can somehow make up for it.

1. Manta Ray, 2. ., 3. Lightness, 4. chandelier, 5. Cape Nelson Lighthouse, 6. brain coral wall piece, 7. qwerty, 8. Untitled, 9. Manta ray flap
My thoughts are bracketed by Manta Rays.  What amazing majestic creatures they are!  Winging through the ocean with fluidity and grace.  The other images were inspired by this 'lightness' of touch.  The sculpture of the 'Flight from Pompeii' - oh my word - the skill of creating fabric from stone so that it appears almost weightless and billowing with the force of the little families departure from a desperate scene of devastation.  Elsewhere in the mosaic, the lightness of an olive leaf balanced on skin, the luminosity of a crystal chandelier (another thing of weight that looks weightless, as if it is just make from light and sparkle).  And the typewriter, perhaps a little backwards reference to the previous post - but relevant also as I often think that thoughts and words and quotes are perhaps the lightest of things that we carry with us.

Until the next time, tread lightly mes amis.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Last 5 Pins on Pinterest

I love words.  I love text on stuff.  I used to love labeling up my architectural drawings - they looked so bare without the key and the words that would tell you where everything would go.  Beautiful calligraphy amazes me.  Words are powerful, heroic, pure and explosive.

I have a board on Pinterest where I collect all the wise and beautiful words I find on the internet.  Here are my last five:

The tattoo reads "Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été." ~ Albert Camus {in the depths of winter, I discovered there was in me an invincible summer}.

The page above is taken from Emily Macrae's book 'Nine Lives'.

I would translate this as 'Life is made of little happinesses'.  I suppose the equivalent in English would be 'make sure you make to time to stop and smell the roses' or 'life's simple pleasures'.  I think I like my grammatically incorrect direct translation better though.

A typography poster from IScreenYouScreen on Etsy.

And finally, a poem.

Words to live by, words that make you smile and words that make you wonder.

Bonne nuit mes amis.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

Much wrapping and tying and tag making has been happening in the Hybrid Handmade house.  Nothing is thrown together here, oh no!  I craft my jewellery with the care of a couturier.  But it doesn't stop there.  I think the box that the jewellery arrives in is so important.

The boxes are packed with bubble wrap - but I wrap this with tissue paper and add a little woven fabric tag which says 'Hand made by Cari-Jane'.  Because everything is!  Hand made by me.

I often need a bit of help with this stage.  Whoever is closest to my workbench will be called to place the all important finger under the bow.  I find little tiny boy fingers work best.

These are all ready for an adventure.  They have a long way to go.  All the way to the other side of the world.

But just before they get packaged up in an envelope I always include a little hand written note with one of my cards and beautiful Italian paperclip.

Bon weekend mes amis.  I shall be planting alliums! How about you?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Introducing the Barnacle Ring, in amongst other things.

Do you remember this photograph?  I took it a couple of weeks ago (see here).  I caught it in my 'net'.

The image inspired some musings, some experiments, some buffing and polishing until this emerged from my polishing tank!

The Barnacle Ring, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2011
The Barnacle Ring, surface detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2011
The 'rock' is made from a nugget of solid sterling silver.  With a little touch of brass the whole ensemble has had a little bit of warmth blown into it.  

Elsewhere today, I caught the moon....

'Oh that I could take the moon from the sky...' earrings by Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2011
Working with silver is like making things out of moonlight.  The metal has a luminosity and clean pure glow that you can't get with any other metal.  These earrings are a homage to this quality.  They are full of romance and promise.

'Oh that I could take the moon from the sky...' surface detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, December 2011
Where I grew up in Scotland I was able to write my diary some nights by the light of the moon.  What a magical kind of light that was!  Just imagine all the secrets that have been kept and told in the light of the moon.  It makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Autumn Sampler

I feel like I've been rushing around collecting little bits of colour before winter pulls the plug and drains all the tint and hue from everything.

Sampler, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
I think that should be about enough to last me till spring!

Elsewhere today, a concentrated focus on some exciting new pieces for the Hybrid Handmade shop and a little bit of dreaming about some of the other pieces I have yet to make.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Musings on a Monday - The Sketchbook Project 2012

I am officially caught up with transferring all my previous 'test' pages into this new Sketchbook for the 2012 Art House Co-op tour.

The first time I attempted this page was back in May of this year.  This time round I opted to hand write the text.

Pages 17 and 18, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
Lines of circumnavigating quartz spread out on silica.  A path starting somewhere and ending elsewhere.

Pages 19 and 20, The Sketchbook Project 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes, November 2011
She could hear the chattering sound of the pebbles as they tumbled at the edge of the waves.  Did they ever get tired of this incessant motion?  Or was it essential to make them into the beauty of smoothness that she was able to grasp in the palm of her hand?  Sharp edges rounded, whole characters with even, wise temperaments.

I'm aware as I write some of this prose that the sentences are not in fact sentences.  I wonder it this is acceptable only because I know that they aren't sentences!  A deliberate attempt to create something by breaking some rules.  In trying to create a story that is just out of reach, just on the edge of the girl's consciousness, there is a brokenness in the language.

In any case, I like this metaphor for life.  As I sit and write I can recall many encounters with people who have had the quality I'm trying to describe above.  They have (or had) a softness of character, a wiseness that was developed through a life of hard knocks.  A life of struggle, hardships and overcoming adversity really does MAKE a person.  The real trick is realising this whilst your in the middle of 'it' and in some way trying to understand and appreciate the better person the experience will make you.
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