Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Final Mosaic for 2012

I'm gathering images and colours, seeking them out whilst tramping on the slopes.  The landscape here feels full of grey and gold, mitigated and sifted through by a scrim covered light.   With this wintered lens firmly fixed in my mind I've been filtering through my flickr favourites - here are a few of my finds.  Click on the links below the image to find out more about these talented artists.

1. happy happy holidays!, 2. Yellow tree in the sun, 3. Untitled, 4. Burden of the Path of Least Resistance, 5. nature specimens collection, 6. Untitled, 7. 40x40 plouf de mer, 8. wish you were here, 9. mendonponds13

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Looking back, looking forwards.

I've just received word that one of my custom orders has reached its destination in Canada.  It has been a busy time in the Hybrid Handmade workshop this year with orders going out to Brazil, USA, Australia and Germany.

Selected highlights from the bench this year. Which one is your favourite?

Hybrid Handmade Jewellery 2012
I wanted to take this chance to wish you all a peaceful and joyful Christmas time and to thank you for coming to visit the Hybrid Handmade blog.  I really appreciate it and love to hear from you all.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hybrid Handmade Christmas

It's rather lovely to see lots of 'handmade-esque' type christmas decorations in the shop.  The thing is though, I look and them and think 'meh, I'll reckon I'll make my own!' Which is what I have been happily doing over the last two evenings, continuing the 'Hybrid Handmade Christmas' tradition that began here with an advent calendar and continued last year here with festive Christmas tags.

The inspiration for these snowflake decorations came from Pam on Mercantile Muse (see here) - she made a lovely bowl some months back rolling a lace texture into the clay, and more recently the beautiful little pendants / tree decorations featured in her most recent post.

I used this air drying clay.  The snowflakes do take a few days to dry out (I sped my drying time up by putting my snowflakes on top of the storage heaters here, in the new Hybrid Handmade Home).  I like the alternative that Pam used (Sculpey polymer clay) because you can 'cook' this in the oven.

I used these cutters to make my snowflakes made by Tala but there are lots of different shapes and sizes on amazon and elsewhere.

After the snowflakes have dried out string each flake with coloured embroidery thread and hang them on your tree (or use them as super dooper christmas present decorative tags).

I say!  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Horizons part 2

Now, don't get me wrong, the coast is a rather lovely place to be.  The shifting tides, the wild waves and the silvered sands covering tiny treasures with sparkle and silica.  That said, a bit of elevation is rather fantastic.  The new horizons around these parts are best seen after a ten minute hike from my new back door.

Exploring, December 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
I walk and run and save the prize of the view for the end, for the highest point.  It unfolds, each progressive layer misted with distance.  The Humber is a friendly silver streak of glinting glimmer from this distance.  I have a feeling this adopted homeland will begin to weave its way deep into my heart and soul.

Resting and Catching Up, December 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
I was rather thrilled to put two and two together when I realised that the landscapes that David Hockney has been painting that were featured in his last exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in January of this year ('A Bigger Picture') are of this same horizon.

A move back to his native East Yorkshire from California has been the catalyst for his recent paintings, iPad sketches and collaged photographs (more here if you are interested).

Elsewhere, some rather lovely things have been happening on the workbench - however some are Christmas presents (I rather like being one of Father Christmas' little elves) and others were finished and posted without a pause for photographing.  It is a busy time this end of year thing, is it not?

The New Horizon, December 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
A reminder, if one was needed, to take a moment to lift your eyes up from the hustle and busy bustle that seems to permeate the core of December and survey your horizon, where ever you may be.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What I caught in my new net.

There is a little part of my northern soul that is singing a little louder at the moment.  The dark afternoon hours are sparkled and sprinkled with twinkling fairy lights.  They are springing up everywhere and they just make the dark even more lovely.

As the temperature dropped and dropped this week I watched as frost grew on frost until the landscape looked as if it were in fact covered in a light dusting of snow.  It stayed all day.  There was no 'melting in the rising sun' kind of a frost, oh no, this stuff was in for the long haul.

People would remark to me 'oh, you must find this cold after France' and I would just smile and proudly proclaim of my even more northerly latitudinal origin.  The frost warms my heart and makes me feel 'at home'.

There is so much beauty and light.  I have to believe on a day like today, with the news of such atrocities and so many lives lost that somehow there is more good than bad in this world.  That the beauty outweighs the bad so many times over, for if it was not so I don't know how we could all go on.

I can't fathom the loss.  All I can do is cry with them.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

And so, a home has been found and boxes have been moved and moved and unpacked and a new life has begun to unfold in a gracious old house on the edges of a wild wood we have yet to explore (but on first impressions it seems to be stuffed full of ambling pheasants and a few shy deer).

Precious pebbles and pictures and small possessions have been hastily shown their new lodgings and have been left to discuss their arbitrary placement among themselves.  I have assured them, I will be back, but there are more pressing matters to attend to!

Between here and there I catch the light and familiarise myself with the way it moves round these new spaces.  I measure time and distance, judge heights and lengths in this unfamiliar territory.  Over the past week and the days leading up to the 'big move' I kept remembering a poem by Sheenagh Pugh titled 'Sometimes':

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you

I remembered this poem because it is rare to set out on a quest, to move your family from one place to another, to find a home that you fall in love with and to move into that home.  It is a rare and beautiful thing to have things line up and fall into your lap.  A gracious gift.  I am thankful and grateful in equal measure.

I bought this little house as an early Christmas present for the Hybrid Handmade Husband (I wrote about it previously here), it seemed only right to turn it into House Warming gift.

And for the record, following on from the last post - I think my letter to Santa would include: red wellingtons, white ink and a calligraphy set with dark grey papers to practice on.

I feel the need to see the year out with a December Desktop calendar, even though it is a little hopelessly late.  I shall be back with that one in due course mes amis!
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