Friday, September 30, 2011

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

I thought I might swop this...

for this....

I'm off to Paris for the weekend.  The Hybrid Handmade Husband is showing his collection at Premiere Classe.  I thought I'd go and see what all the fuss is about!

Bon Weekend mes amis.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blue, songs are like tattoos...

Pinterest has had a bit of a revamp.  The new look had me taking a peek at some of my old boards.  The 'Blue, songs are like tattoos' board (named after a Joni Mitchell song my Mum has in her vinyl collection and that I now have in my cd collection) is looking particularly fine if I do say so myself.

Blue, Songs are like tattoos board on Pinterest
It is a colour I keep gathering up at the moment.  I dress in it.  All my most recent workbench projects have had a shade of blue swimming to the surface.  The allium, the labradorite, the teal button.  Is it the colour of winter?  Is it the colour of the cooling air?  Perhaps it is my antidote to the pervading tide of 'orange' that rises around this time.  In any case it has fairly captivated my mind and permeates everything.

Is there a colour you are particularly favouring at the moment?  Do you know why?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mosaic Mercredi

I thought I would sneak in another one of these before the month is out.

1. With Faith I.T. [Insane Totally} #05, 2. La monotonie, 3. O regresso às aulas, 4. rings, 5. oma content, 6. Untitled, 7. Face-off, 2007 (detail), 8. Untitled, 9. 452
I've just finished reading 'One Day' by David Nicholls.  I adored it.  I devoured it.  I will leave you with a quote:

"'Live each day as if it were your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical.  Better by far to simply to try to be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference.  Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you.  Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at.....something. Change lives through art maybe.  Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well.  Experience new things.  Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance."

Good advice, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

work on the bench

A little maquette of copper and silver dust.

It feels somewhat scaleless in these pictures and as I constructed and soldered on the walls it did feel very familiar.  It felt like architecture, spatial, volume defined, created and delineated.

I'm testing shape and proportion and thickness.  I'm testing the aperture.  It's not there yet.  A receptacle for slices and chunks of labradorite stone.

There will be a series of these 'buildings', they will tessellate and relate to one another and tell a story that  I construct in my head as I sketch and draw firstly on paper, then on copper and finally on silver.

The narrative is rooted in the Eskimo story that explains how the Northern Lights came into being.  I've written about this before in this post.

"There is an Eskimo legend which is woven around the mercurial properties of labradorite.  They say that the Northern Lights were once held captive in the rocks along the coast of Labrador.  The story goes that an Eskimo warrior found the rocks.  Using all his strength he struck the rocks with his spear.  Some of the light was set free to flicker and roam in the stratosphere but some of the light remained trapped creating the stone we call labradorite."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Musings

Were they always there?  These little cathedrals of silken gossamer threads, constructed secretly in amongst the fronds.  How many did I crush underfoot, unaware, oblivious to the hours of meticulous traversing that had occurred.

Some shift in the meteorological composition rendered them visible for me this morning.  The grass was covered with these tiny canopies of silvered thread and diamond dropped light.  If only I could have got in underneath them and watched the sun rise through their transparent carapace!

I'm sure there is a metaphor within this;  for beauty unseen that we trample unknowingly in our rush and bustle and harried hurrying scampering.

Want to join in?  Add a link to your blog with photos of the beauty you almost missed, trampled on or forgot was always there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

I found this fabulous film on Harris tweed that I hope you will find it just as fabulous.

The shots of the landscape and beaches of the island are wonderful.  I want to claim them as my 'own' but am well aware that whilst I may be Scottish there is a vast difference between being a 'lowlander' and a 'Highland and Islander'.

The colours of the land are in the fabric.  Sometimes literally when the lichen and seaweed is gathered to dye the wool and sometimes the vast tracts of sky, sea and earth are the inspiration behind the colours selected for the warp and the weft.  These beautiful photographs were taken by Ian Lawson and are part of his book 'From the Land' which will be published in February 2012.  Ian has an equally fabulous film on his website which shows his photographs as they were displayed in an exhibition at the An Lanntair in Stornoway.

Whilst I can not claim to be a Highlander or an Islander I feel a lineage through the work I produce and my situation as I sit  here in my atelier, gathering my colours and textures from what I see around me.  A displaced Scottish lowlander, weaving with silver and copper and light.

Bon Weekend mes amis.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sugar and Spice and all Things Nice!

Do you know the rhyme?  The rhyme about what little girls are made of?  Well, as I chose all the ingredients to make this latest necklace I had this rhyme playing through my head.

Sugar and Spice and all Things Nice necklace by Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
It is a collage of beautiful things.  Vintage lace pressed into silver and the most mesmerising teal transparent enamel that I applied to a silver button, again imprinted with the same vintage lace.

Detail, silver button and enamel, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
I do declare it to be one of the prettiest things on my bench at the moment.

Vintage lace imprinted silver ellipse,  Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
I have to say, production has been high here in the Hybrid Handmade House.  I have been clearing the decks because I feel another 'epic' project is upon me.  There are some hunks of labradorite which need to be woven into a miniature symphony of silver and myth.  I'm throwing in a few eskimos for good measure too.  All will become clear mes amis!  Until then - a bientôt.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chasing the Sunshine

I've noticed the drop in the azimuth as the slow slip to the other side of the world continues, like clockwork, tick tick ticking away into the dark.  And so, at this time of the day, I chase the light.  Shutters that were closed to the afternoon glare are flung open to catch the last of the orangey light.  There is less and less of it.

Chasing the Light, 21 September 2015 hrs, Cari-Jane Hakes
I am frantically preserving and freezing all the summers produce.  And so perhaps I chase these setting sunbeams for the same reason.  Collecting them for colder days and darker nights.  Picking up the shards that splice through the branches and the seed heads.

Elsewhere today, I must admit I am more than a little taken with this fellow.  He sits on my window cill, drying out.  Cut down in his prime, he is no longer turning this way and that with the ascent and descent of the sun.

Sunflowers, 21 September 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
A whole host of geometry and precision, packed tight and snug.  It makes me ponder things and marvel at its design.  Evolved or created - its still all pretty amazing stuff.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Listings

Fresh off the bench yesterday - another Allium Necklace,

Allium Necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
Allium Necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
some new earrings..

Fabulous Fabric Weave Earrings, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
with a necklace to match!

Fabulous Fabric Weave Necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
All of them are over in the Etsy Store.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Hat-Trick of Treasuries!

Hybrid Handmade Jewellery made appearances today in three beautiful treasuries.  Here they all are.

The first one features my brooch 'Midnight Bird Singing by Moonlight'.
Super Festive by lunahoo see it on-line here

The second treasury with the beautifully whimsical title of 'The Little Girl Under the Storm' featured my newly listed 'Storm' necklace.

The Little Girl Under the Storm by DoucesLaines find it on-line here

And finally thank you to Erin of for including my Silver and Slate Blue Pebble ring.

Waiting by elegantgirl find it on-line here
Thank you fellow Etsyians!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hybrid Handmade super snug jacket / cardigan

A while back on Pinterest I spotted this :

and so I decided to give it a go with an old jumper belonging to the Hybrid Handmade Husband! I should stress that this jumper was on its way out.  It has a few holes and had fallen out of favour.  As such is was languising somewhat.  A bit abandoned and rejected.

I followed the lovely Dee Construction's instructions and fabulous tutorial and got busy with my scissors.

Take one large man-sized jumper (check with the jumper's owner that is no longer loved or needed).

Be brave and cut those sleeves right off (I was carful to cut right along the seam so I didn't cut into any of the knitting).

Follow Dee Construction's instructions and chop the top off each sleeve.

Try the sleeves on and decide how much needs to be trimmed off to make them fit more petite lady arms.

Put what is left of the jumper on and decide how much needs to be taken off the sides.  I just pinched it a bit under my arm and measured, did the same at the bottom and then did a quick baking paper pattern piece to interpolate between the underarm measurement and the bottom measurement.

Take the top bits of the sleeves you cut off earlier and create long stitches (by hand or on your seweing machine) so you can create the puff sleeves.  Again, the Dee Construction tutorial explains this in more detail.

Then sew it all together again!

I then cut mine up the middle and took a bit off the length, turned over a narrow seam and stitched all round my cut edges.

And there you have it!  From frumpy old unwanted jumper to fabulous and chic in just over 3 hours!

Bon Weekend mes amis!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Allium Necklace

I set about finishing this pendant off today.  I had no real expectations for it other than I wanted to get it finished.  But as I began to finish all the little details, I really really surprised myself.  It started to 'sing'.  Oh my, a whole glorious symphony of delights!

Allium necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
The magic started round about the time I started to gently fold the silver bezel over to secure the china like blue and white enameled piece in place.  Fine silver bezel really is amazing stuff.  The way it adapts to changing radii, it contracts and expands as you gently push and prod it this way and that.

I set to work finishing the edges and as I filed and sanded and polished the most perfect melding of metals began to emerge.  The silver plated copper plate for the base of the pendant began to shine with a rosy glow that then transitions into the fine silver of the bezel setting.

I worked hard on this edge - I kept remembering what my first Jewellery tutor used to say to us 'Perfection IS possible in jewellery'.  And so, I kept going until it was perfect.

Allium necklace, edge detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
It was round about this time that my surprise began to turn to excitement.  I added the 'stem' of the allium flower.  All covered in droplets of rock crystal 'water' (this probably had something to with the photographs I took earlier in the week of rain).  These beads are just exquisite.  I have had them for years, waiting for the perfect project.

Allium necklace, stem detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
I left the necklace on a side table and just kept looking at it throughout the day.  I took more pictures when the sunshine made the stem glisten.

Allium stem detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
And you know the best thing about this necklace?  I have another one to make tomorrow!

Allium necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2011
It is listed on Etsy here.
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