Monday, November 26, 2012

Dear Santa..

A lovely vintage typewriter has been unearthed!  It is in partial working order in that it is missing the 'J' key.  I rather like the fact that the typewriter is 'local' (this reminds me of the Portlandia 'Is it local?' sketch which is rather funny if you are in the right mood - you can find it here if you are so inclined to check it out).

The 'J' -less Spink Typewriter,  November 2012
We are putting it to good use and have begun the slow process of typing our Santa letters.  Here in the UK it is actually possible to post your letters to Santa!  If you don't believe me, check out the Royal Mail website here.

Dear Santa...
We will be fine so long as we don't want to ask for any jelly beans, jam or jungle animals!

What would be on your list?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Fabulous Friday Feeling on a Sunday

I was treated to a night at the ballet.  It was magical.  It was spellbindingly beautiful.  Hopefully this little video will you an idea of the performance, but really, without the music and the darkness of the theatre surrounding you it is hard to communicate the essence of a live performance.

In the moments when I wasn't caught up entirely in the story it struck me how 'handmade' the whole performance was.  No snazzy wizzy CGI effects, no 3D glasses required here.  I felt the tug of a link between what I do in my workshop and what I saw on the stage.

balletLORENT's Rapunzel (click here for information on the photographer)
The metal work of the stage set, the costumes and the props - all 'one offs', all original and unique.  The knowledge and an appreciation of the time it takes to produce such things added immeasurably to the experience for me.

balletLORENT's Rapunzel (for credit see above link)
What's more, the venue made the performance accessible and affordable.  It really was the most fabulous Friday I've had in a wee while.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Light on the Horizon

Light is in short supply round these parts at this time of year.  A creeping darkness begins to unfurl and tuck itself round all the houses by mid afternoon.  I find myself racing out at this time to catch the last bits of luminescence. I parcel it up and save it for later.

At this time I'm collecting finely drawn sillouettes and looking for textures and juxtapositions of colour and tone.

There is a kind of magical thirty minutes just before dusk, when the light renders everything with an insistent intensity.  A fanfare of sorts, before dipping, prematurely it seems, below and away. Today I managed to sneak out to go 'fishing' in my new temporary territory.  Testing the waters.

The houses begin to light up like lanterns around this time and they reveal their interiors for a short time before the gathering darkness propels their inhabitants to draw the curtains and regain their privacy.

And the ground my friends, oh in places it is a carpet of copper!  I dig right in and under with my boots and shuffle right through it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Horizons

I admit.  I am yet to make friends with this new aqueous neighbour.  I pass it on journeys here and there.  It is a solid presence, somewhat threatening, as if at any moment it might spill over.  The volume of water contained between the banks and the force of its movement is both majestic and menacing.

The Humber, 19 November 2012
From other vantage points on the elevated dales this slice of water shimmers innocently, a silvered bright sparkling surface, hunkered in the landscape.

I shall have to go and walk along its receded edge some day soon.  Perhaps on a frosted wintery day, when the wind is still and the surface is less agitated.  Perhaps then, I can shake its hand, become its friend, begin to build a bridge of sorts between where I was and where I am now.  Perhaps then, I can find a level, and balance this new horizon and begin again.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

News from the Hybrid Handmade Husband

Whilst my workshop maybe a little bit out of commission at the moment (however, it is looking likely that I will be up and running again next week after locating a space in a rather delightful garden shed) elsewhere in the Hybrid Handmade 'Home' things have been rather busy.

The Hybrid Handmade Husband took the Mojito shoe to the Start Up Hub competition.  The event showcased new, emerging businesses and entrepreneurs.  The Mojito received the highest number of votes and the Hybrid Handmade Husband had a chance to present 'the shoe' to no less than the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Start Up Hub competition, Julian Hakes London with David Cameron, Birmingham, October 2012
Gwyneth Paltrow kindly donated her pair of Mojitos for an auction in support of the 'Stand Up To Cancer' fundraising event.  You can read more about it here.

Gwyneth's Mojitos, London, Leicester Square, London, November 2012

And if all of that wasn't enough, the Mojitos got a monochromatic mention in the Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2012
I have to say, it is rather difficult keeping track of all the comings and goings associated with these shoes and their creator!  (I confess, that sometimes I just check the facebook page to keep up to date)

You'll be glad to know that I proudly wore my pair last night teamed with a smattering of Hybrid Handmade jewellery.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Dreaming - Houses

Houses are permeating my dreams.  Some imagined, some real and some from childhood memories.  I've been walking around a fair few of late.  It is an onerous task when there are other little lives at stake...'will they be happy here?', 'will this be a good home for them?'

I seem to be finding a whole host of little houses dotted all over the internet.  Perhaps I am homing in on this shape (pun intended).  These little sculptural ceramic houses by Rowena Brown are particularly lovely.  You can see more of her work on her website Rowboat London.

I think I may very well be purchasing one of these 'Smoke House Incense Burners' by Design Im Dorf (see here for further details) for the Hybrid Handmade Husband to celebrate the beginning of us creating a new home together.

And as for me, well, one of these luminous little tea light holders may be in order.

I'm also dreaming of wallpaper, in particular, this design by Mini Moderns.  It is called 'Whitby' and comes in three shades; stone, washed denim and lido.  I rather like the geographical significance of this print as the Yorkshire town of Whitby is not far from where I am currently residing.

Well, I think that's enough dreaming for one day.  Now for some work towards making some of it a reality!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Heave Ho and Off We Go!

I'm not big of 'stuff'.  I've moved enough times (this is my 20th move, I am yet to live in one spot for longer than 5 years) to know that an accumulation of things just slows the whole process down.  I have become adept at free-cycling, re-cycling and generally shedding anything that isn't beautiful, useful or important.  That said, when your 'stuff' includes your professional life the amount of things you need to move inevitably increases.

The move from France involved packing a lot of tools.  Jewellery making tools, house making tools and a lot of surf boards!

Cedric and the trailer, ready for the off, France move 2012
So, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't quite edit it down to fit into my grandfather's old suitcase!  

And so a slow and steady shift to the north ensued.  Shunting beneath the English Channel and emerging into a bright, sunlit Dover.  The trees, in a more advanced stage of autumn-ness, put on a good show of displaying all the pantone colour shades and hues and tones that are available from the 'naturals' palette.  A creeping early darkness surprised me, tucking in and under us by the early afternoon.  

Packing up in London, October 2012
For reasons of economic necessity and fragility we did the move ourselves.  The Hybrid Handmade Husband and myself hefted and heaved our architectural 'baggage' which included whole hunks of delicate architectural models that we have no desire to throw away.  Perhaps in our professional lives we have become hoarders of sorts.  

And now, for the moment, we are in limbo.  Waiting for our new life to begin.  I know that in the waiting there will be a need for grace, for patience and understanding.  It is in the waiting that we get tested and refined.  I only hope I make the grade and come out the other side with a quiet and calm spirit.  

You know what.....I reckon I can do it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Calendar

I am safely roosting under a borrowed roof, tucked in under the eaves, snug in a nest of duvet and pillow, listening to new early morning wildlife calls.  The November calendar is auspicious in its publication date as it neatly marks 'Bonfire Night'.  All over the UK, the early November night sky is bursting with phosphorescent colour and noise.

Catherine Wheel, November desktop calendar, 1280 px wide
So, join in the fun if you will with this 1280 px wide desktop image for you to download and stretch to fit (or shrink to fit if you are sporting a smaller device).  I'm rather enjoying this explosion of light in the winter darkness on my borrowed laptop screen - you can too if you click and save the above image onto your desktop.  From there, it's a brief hop, skip and a jump onto your system preferences (or settings or whatever moniker your preferred computer supplier has decided to name this area) to save this pyrotechnic blast as your new wallpaper / desktop image.

I took this picture last night at a little family gathering on the edge of the Peak District.

Before the darkness fell I gathered holly leaf skeletons and held them in my blue tinged hands and pondered when and where I will be able to roll them into silver.  My tools and stacked and packed and will remain so until a new next can be found!
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