Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mosaic Mercredi

I think I've managed to peel away at the 'core of tiredness' referred to in last Friday's post.  I used lots of cups of tea, a couple of oven fresh croissants and two good books (finished one, started another).  I think the shimmering shining February sunshine is helping too.  I'm storing its energy in my freckles so I can draw on it later should it become bleak and cloud over.

As luck would have it, I'm very glad to have an extra day in February because it allows me to make a 'Mosaic Mercredi'.  Ever since my English teacher told me about the wonders of alliteration I have felt the compulsion to do so at every available opportunity.  It has a neatness and orderliness to it that makes me rather happy.  I often wonder if it is something I will grow out of, but then I cast the thought aside and continue to scour my brain for wondrous words which all begin with the same luminous letter!

1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. embroidery handwriting, 4. Double Trouble, 5. can the world stay this color all year round?, 6. things on my table., 7. INSOMNIA. T├ęcnica mixta. 2011, 8. Eden_IR web 14, 9. The Ribbon Bridge, Colchester
This mosaic is the exact colour of the setting February sun here, this evening.

Click on the links above to find out more about the authors of these most beautiful images.

Last week I had the honour of being awarded the Liebster Blog Award by Alexandra from the over flowing laundry basket blog (what a great blog name).  Thank you Alexandra!  The Liebster Blog Award is given to smaller blogs with less than 200 followers that deserve recognition (that said, I'm not sure if all these blogs I have nominated have less than 200 followers but they are blogs that I love and visit regularly).

The rules of the award are:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog and
3. Nominate 5 further blogs and let them know by leaving a comment.

And so, my nominations go to (in no particular order) designskool for a guaranteed visual pick-me-up and writing that I love to read as I get ready for my day, cup of coffee in hand.

Secondly, it's got to be Pam Bates over on the Merchantile Muse.  A fellow Etsyian with a ton of experience that she is more than happy to share (and a beautiful shop too).

Thirdly, check out Andrea's strongsoutherly blog and follow her as she shares her life, 'chairs on a Monday', photography and the odd 'opinated bitch thrown in for good measure'!

Fourthly, Under the Apricot Tree, a blog written by Jenni which she started when she moved from to the country.  It is a blog about 'new life on an old farm, making a home, starting a family, living intentionally and seeking the grace in ordinary things.'

And finally, Q EN BLEU, where I go for a regular dose of all things architectural and design.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Because that is what I do..

Can you imagine going into a shop and seeing a dress you really like.  They have it in yellow, blue, red and they don't have it in your size.  But you really love the dress.  So you speak to the owner.  Does it come in green? You ask and you tell her your size.  She tells you - no problem - I'll source some green fabric and make another one up in your size!  Come back next week and you can pick it up!

I'm not sure that this is very a common occurrence on the high street or in your local shopping centre but it happens here.  I'm writing about it because I think that delivering that kind of service is pretty special.  It's a rare thing.  But it's what I do and I'm proud of it.

Silver Malachite Stacking Ring by Cari-Jane Hakes
A fellow Etsyian contacted me after seeing my Silver Chalcedony Stacker ring (you can see it too by clicking here).  She liked it but did I have any other stones?  I told her the colours I had but I also told her I would be going to London and could source any colour she liked and I would make the ring up on my return to my workshop.  She told me she liked green.  Dark green to be more specific.

I went hunting in Hatton Gardens (the jewellery quarter in London) and found THE most perfect 8mm dark green malachite cabochon.  I made the ring up yesterday, to her size, so it will fit perfectly and it will be the perfect colour for her.

Stacking Rings by Cari-Jane Hakes
Hopefully she can stack it up with some other favourites and take it out on an adventure!

If you are a maker of hand made things please feel free to link to your shop in the comments and tell us how you go the extra mile for your customers - or if there is a particular detail or technique that you use that just wouldn't been seen on a mass produced item.

Also, check out this post by Pamela Bates over on the Merchantile Muse for some most excellent writing on this topic.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The best things in life are free.

I have finally stopped moving.  A 12 hour succession of planes, trains and automobiles has deposited me here, on the coast, just above the high tide line.  There is a core of tiredness lodged somewhere in my chest.  I am world weary, a little bedraggled and somewhat frayed around the edges.  I think the mini Hybrid Handmade Helpers feel it too (aka 'my apprentices' or 'my entourage' as I refered to them as during my jokey banter with the London Fashion Week security guards).

But enough of that - feast your eyes on the golden shimmering joy which is my freebie bag from the aforementioned event.

My Mulberry Monster

Mulberry commissioned artist Emma Houlston to create a 'Mulberry Monster' for their A/W 2012.  You can find out more about him on the Mulberry blog.

And here she is, Emma with her Monster! 

As you may well have guessed by now, the creative team have ALL been reading Maurice Sendak's 'Where The Wild Things Are' - it is the muse behind the furriness and the fabulous prints in the A/W 2012 collection.

Again, enough about that, now, how about a close up of my wonderous bag!  Proof, if proof was needed, that indeed, the best things in life are free!

Post Scriptum: all of that said, I did have to work jolly hard during London Fashion Week...

Bon Weekend mes amis - may it be filled with golden things.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

London Fashion Week 2012

Over the past three days I've been helping the Hybrid Handmade Husband in his exhibition space in Somerset House, a venue which has been adopted for London Fashion Week.  I've enjoyed walking in through the portico off The Strand into the throng of photographers and film crew groups - they are obviously waiting for some big name designers or models to arrive.  I was actually rather amused as a couple of photographers snapped my photo - just on the off chance I was someone important!

Somerset House, The Strand entrance, 21 February 2012
We had a piece of great news last night - the Hybrid Handmade Husband has been shortlisted for the Drapers 'Best Footwear Designer of the Year'.

The beautiful staircase that takes you up to The Portico Rooms, Somerset House, London
I thinking the silver Eudon Choi biker jacket would go well with the silver and orange neon Mojito heels - however, I think I am a bit biased when it comes to all things silver!
Portico Rooms, Somerset House, London, 21 February 2012 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Something Different Sunday

Well, my Sunday is turning out to be very different.  I am coming to you 'live' and direct from Somerset House in London amid the buzz and energy that IS London Fashion Week.  For a newbie like me it really is a rather extraordinary thing.  There are beautiful people in beautiful clothes.  There are photographers and film crews.  There is a pumping bass beat which seems to permeating the fabric of the building I am sitting in.

In amongst all of this, here are some beautiful things that caught my eye on Pinterest this week.  First up, antlers....

I rather like the phantasmagorical faceted space that the antlers are suggesting in this piece.  This two dimensional rendering of a similar theme is just as captivating.

In amongst this I picked out some bits of blue of various shades and hues, bits of infinity, bits of the universe.

I must admit, I did feel somewhat out of place donning my 15 year old grey fleece (it is a faithful friend and has served me very well) but decided I could wear it ironically!  I slapped on a pair of silver tights and a big smile and stepped out into a brand new shiny colourful world.

Bon Weekend mes amis (well, what's left of it).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Painting the town red

Out and about in London town today we went on a treasure hunt for all things red.  Once you start looking out for a colour you see it everywhere.  Is London more red than other cities?  And if London is red, what colour is New York, Paris, Rome, Sydney, Hong Kong....?

London, February 16 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On the move...

We are exchanging this..

for this...

and are hoping to find the Hybrid Handmade Husband in amongst the hustle and bustle of London Fashion Week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

I have created a bit of a tradition of making the one and only Valentine's day 'card' that I give at this time of the year (see here for the one that started the whole thing off).

This year, inspiration is everywhere on Pinterest.  The one pictured below caught my eye a few months ago and so I pinned it to my 'things to make and do' board and decided I would try it out for this year's Valentine's day 'card'.

To see the post where this image originates click here and the link will take you to Danielle's Minimoz blog where she has posted a helpful tutorial.

I happened to have a hibernating shadow box frame which has been waiting for years to become something.

I decided to use ariel photographs of the places where me and my Valentine MET (Marlybone, London, 1994), MARRIED (Cambridge, 1999) and live, MAISON (ici, en France 2012).

Met, Married, Maison, 14 February 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
For added intrigue and interest I printed the photos out at the same scale - I think this is a little detail that will amuse the Hybrid Handmade Husband.

Married, detail, Valentine's Day 'card' 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
I stuck each little map onto a pice of thick cardboard before mounting it on the frame's back plate.  The cardboard is cut a little smaller than the photographic heart to create a little extra shadow and give a bit of relief to the composition.  A little extra heart drawn onto each photograph with a fine black fiber pen pinpoints each location.

Met, Married, Maison, 14 February 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
A hint of red
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

What I caught in my net this weekend

A varied and impressive haul this weekend -

net treasures, February 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Some strange winter tide has scooped up a veritable shoal of little echinoderms and deposited their vacated shells on the beach where I went hunting.


Close up, an ordinary discarded feather reveals a kind of extraordinary beauty - the undulating line of its vane edge and the delicate pattern created by the hooklets and barbules, which reminds me of old weathered velvet.

The pink tips of the striated spines on the urchin don't really register until you hold it close, almost touching your nose, in the palm of your hand, held open and up in the watery winter sunshine.

Elsewhere, a perfect, delicately hinged and fragile oyster shell which fell apart into book-matched halves as small inquisitive hands explored it.  In its fractured state it was still beautiful and so we took it home, after fitting it together like a jigsaw.

nude urchin
Later, at home, a little scrub and a rub denuded this urchin of his spines.

Vacances d'hiver is in full swing in the Hybrid Handmade house.  It is marked by an exponential increase in the amount of Lego that can be found on every available horizontal surface.  Sturdy footwear is advised at all times - because when a little bit of that stuff sneaks up on you and ends up beneath your bare, unsuspecting foot....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Something different Sunday

My silver pebble pendant from Les Petits Callioux series was featured in this beautifully tonal Etsy treasury by Genevieve Williamson.  She runs a beautiful Etsy shop called Jibby and Juna which is temporarily closed while she works on new stock and prepares for a publication which will feature her work.  I'm glad she found a moment to put this great collection together (I am on the third row, first on the left).

'solstice event' by jibbyandjuna

word-a-day illustration...

Sterling Silver Long Da...

Vintage Math Flash Card...

Highland Cow Original W...

Vintage camera photogra...

Soltice Event, drypoint...

Antique Brass Double Ho...

Phoebe Grey Bird - arch...

silver pebble shaped pe...

Living Nature - Feature...

hex necklace


Black Bubble Posts

Large Daisy Cookie Cutt...

Arctic 5x7

A Fan of a Fan 8x10 Fin...

Continuing the monochromatic mood I thought I would share this fantastic little stop-motion animation film that I found:

Elsewhere today, in a land far far away, the Hybrid Handmade Husband is busy making waves with THE shoe. After covering a good 17,000 miles in the last week I'm not sure he will know what time zone he is in but I know he will be working hard and missing home.

The Mojito, Julian Hakes, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

What began here as a snippet of an idea, pulled from fiction, sketched and pondered over, now has 'legs'.  It is a fabulous moment in any design process when the idea begins to take on a life of its own.  I think authors must feel the same thing when a character they create begins to suggest dialogues and situations that had previously not been part of the initial plot.

prototype, February 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
The antlers now are beginning to break out of the tight little ellipses that I had originally assigned them.  They meander with purpose.  It has further to go yet, but it is on its way.

prototype, February 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
Elsewhere today, I am delighted and honored to be Mumsnet 'blog of the week'.

Hybrid Handmade, Mumsnet Blog of the Week, 10-16 February 2012

For those of you that aren't aware of the phenomena that is Mumsnet in the UK, this article on goes some way to explaining just how powerful the site that Justine Roberts and Carrie Longton set up in 1999 has become.

The Mumsnet Bloggers Network is a rather fabulous place.  I have discovered some great new blogs through the network.  I love Onefeistymama's posts.  Her writing is shot straight from the hip. She is honest, funny and engaging.  Over on the housewithnoname, Emma Lee-Potter delivers a range of book reviews, personal anecdotes and her own unique view on topics in the media and I can thank apuppetopera for introducing me to the joys of the This American Life podcast.

There, that should be enough links to last you all weekend!

Bon Weekend mes amis!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Work in Progress - sycamore necklace

What was begun here has been rendered in metal, sawn, textured, riveted and laid out for observation.  Testing, testing before committing to the expense of cutting into sheets of silver.

Sycamore necklace, copper prototypes, Cari-Jane Hakes, February 2012

Elsewhere, I am tempted by this new project launched over on The Art House Co-op site - 'Letters to home..what would you say to your childhood home?'  I began to think about what I would say to the 8 or 9 (I loose count to be honest) homes I have lived in during my childhood.  I take my hat off to the people running Art House.  They have successfully built up a very vibrant and interesting community both on-line and in their Brooklyn Library space.

What would you say in a letter to your childhood home(s)?
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