Saturday, October 27, 2012

Not au revoir but à bientôt

The time has come to move the little Hakes Herd onto pastures new.  There is a certain sadness and anxiety that seems to get packed into all the boxes.  The last few days have hovered with unsaid thoughts in parenthesis (this is the last time I will do this), (this is the last time I will see this place like this).

The Sketchbook Project 2011, Pages 6 and 7
I was writing to a dear friend this week, explaining how the uprooting is for the best and yet it is painful.  Bits of the roots get left behind, deep in the earth, unseen.  The wrench and tear is unsettling, makes one question reasoning, decisions and logic.

The Sketchbook Project 2011, Pages 28 and 29
I've been remembering the sketchbook that I did for the Art House Sketchbook Project 2011 (you can see it online here).  In the sketchbook I was given as part of the 2011 project I illustrated a little girl and her stuffed newt, Cedric, and told a story.  A story about the search for a place to call Home.

The Sketchbook Project 2011, Pages 68 and 69
With scissors, brown parcel tape and bubble wrap in hand I wonder about our new home.  I wonder about the colour of the light in this new place we have yet to find.  I wonder about the new places we will discover, new wild places, new shorelines.

The Sketchbook Project 2011, Pages 52 and 53
Expect a somewhat intermittent service here on the Hybrid Handmade blog and some periods of radio silence.  On wards and up wards mes amis!

The Sketchbook Project 2011, Pages 24 and 25


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Outnumbered

Wednesday saw me outnumbered by 5 to 1 on the male / female ratio front.  What to do with a house full of boys?  Well, we made aeroplanes from balsa wood and a sheet of styrofoam.  Other ingredients included - copious amounts of gaffer tape and a little nut and bolt taped to the nose to balance the whole ensemble.

Ready for the first flight!  
The concentrated calm that overtook these four little bundles of energy was a sight to behold.  They cut and sanded and watched and waited patiently.

Up, up and away
Last flight
And then they threw and retrieved and ran and threw and ran some more as if their lives depended upon it until the sun began to dip.

It was a beautiful thing to be part of.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

I'm not rushing this one.  I rushed the last one and at the last crucial moment the delicate leg of my stag melted.  It curled up and began to liquify into a stubby ball.  A good two days of worth of work, ruined.    But you know, I knew there was something not quite right about the design.  Some of the thicknesses lacked gravitas.  Edges of the composition were not 'singing'.

I dusted myself off, turned up the volume on my music and decided determinedly that the next one was going to be better, more beautiful, it would 'sing'.

Here is where I got to by the end of today:

Into The Wild - components, October 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
I feel like I am weaving some kind of magic here.  Creating a miniature world full of wild and wonderful things.

Into The Wild, components, October 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
As I carefully test these pieces and the small structures that are hidden beneath each piece, I remember that I have done this before.  As a child I would take empty matchboxes and create tiny little 3D scenes not that dissimilar to these ones I am now rendering from honeyed copper and moonlit silver.

Into The Wild - test assembly, October 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Every now and again, I stop in my filing and sanding and cutting and put all the little pieces in and smile as this tiny little world begins to take shape.

Into The Wild - test assembly, October 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
The soldering, well, the soldering will have to happen sometime.  But not today.

Bon Weekend mes amis - here's hoping you get to assemble a little magic of your own.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wen-saturday

There is no school on a Wednesday here in France.  A good friend of mine (Mrs L) coined the phrase 'Wen-saturday' which I feel more than adequately describes the feeling of this mini midweek 'weekend'.

Wen-saturday is normally a day when the house gets pulled to bits.  Caves and forts and houses get made out of duvets, pillows and cushions.  Toy boxes are up-ended to provide essential 'structure' to these constructions.  Then, we often all escape into the wilds of the forest or the coast on our bikes.

But today it rained.  And a magical thing happened.  For a good 20 minuets everything went quiet. We sat and we drew and doodled.  It was such a rare occurrence that I had to grab my camera and stick the self-timer on to capture the moment.

Wednesday 17 October 2012, 10:23 am
As I moved the green lamp over so we could see what we were doing, the arrangement reminded me of another quiet, concentrated space that I photographed many years ago.  The lamps there are made of a studious green glass and glowed like a sea of luminous jellyfish, hovering above the deep dark wooden desks.
Bibliothéque Sainte-Geneviéve, Paris
The library like quietness in the Hybrid Handmade House did not last long - but it was nice while it did.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bright as a button

Some eye popping colour to wake you up on this Monday morning.


I made these last week using one of my favourite buttons as a basis for the pattern.


I think they have an almost edible feel to them.


It is so nice to work with colour once in a while.

Here is hoping your Monday is as bright and eye popping as these new additions to the Hybrid Handmade colllection.

Monday, October 8, 2012

If Vermeer had an Instagram feed...

If you are a fellow blogger, why did you start your blog?  It is a question I have been thinking about over the last week after a post I read on the Craft Blog UK site titled "'Is your craft blog a hobby or a serious marketing tool for your handmade products - can it be both?'

When I began this blog it was firstly to document the design process behind the pieces I was making in the studio.  My reasoning was that if I was going to convince people to part with the their hard earned cash for my creations in my virtual shop it would be important for them to 'see' and 'meet' the person behind it all.  I wanted to use the blog to make me and my world more real and more credible to potential clients.

Spiked Horizon
What I wasn't expecting was that the process of blogging would make me look at my surroundings more carefully and closely AND that the discipline of keeping an on-line diary would grow in me a sense of gratitude, wonder and thankfulness that a whole month of Sunday sermons had previously not instilled in me.

I actually see this joy and celebration of the everyday detail everywhere in other peoples blogs.  I really enjoy this movement of people standing up and documenting something that is inherently simple, pure and good because at it's core is the belief, the truth even, that Life is Good.



Yes, it may be a beautiful cup with your morning tea in it but there is something about stopping and recording it which does make us stop, consider, observe and really see the beauty in the natural light that streams through a particular window at a particular time.  In becoming aware, in taking the time to stop, the thankfulness and gratitude rush in.  Others before us have detailed and elevated such simple moments, like Vermeer in this painting 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter'.  I wonder what his Instagram feed would look like if he were around now?

When I began looking through the lens of my camera to capture colour, texture and light that I might incorporate into my work I wasn't expecting this fact finding exercise to be replaced by the awe that perhaps I first felt as a 2 year old experiencing something for the first time.


It is a wonderful thing being given the gift of sight all over again.  Sometimes now, I will just collect these images with no end project in mind, no grand design, just for the sake of their beauty,

Temporal Colour
just because it is there, in front of me, right now, never to be seen or repeated in this exact combination or permutation ever again.  Just for me, to try and share with you, for no other reason than pure, simple, beauty.

Molecule by Molecule
It really wasn't something I expected to be posting about when I began blogging but what a blessing and a wonderful thing it has turned out to be.  Little adventures in places perviously overlooked by rush and hurry.

Written in the Stars
If your a blogger, did you begin with one idea of what your blog would be and were then surprised by how it evolved?  Feel free to comment and link to your blog in the comments below - it would be great to hear about your adventures too.

(Post scriptus:  I should add, in case you should have the misconception that I am bounding around my atelier full of the joys of spring All The Time, this is not necessarily the case.  In my natural state, I would say, I would probably naturally gravitate towards a 'glass half empty' kind of attitude.  What I mean to say, is I have my dark, pit filled days - it's just that sometimes I find that clambering out and being an Explorer makes my glass feel half full.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Arctic Hare - Into The Wild

Last year I made a little menagerie of necklaces for the bridesmaids at my sister's wedding (more on that  here).  One of these necklaces featured a hare.  Well, he has popped up again in the 'Into The Wild' series.  This time, as an Arctic Hare no less.

The Rush of the Arctic Hare, from the 'Into The Wild' series, Cari-Jane Hakes, October 2012
He runs swiftly, gently balanced up and above a glacier like slab of agate. This stone is made of muted ice and snow crystal and frost.  It is the perfect background for the arctic hare to spring from.  I'm experimenting here with the size of the chain I will need to buy to balance this piece.




I've been using a mixture of metals for the agate stone housing.  A sheet of copper melded with silver creates a unique surface.


I have had these agate cabochons for a while (I wrote about them here).  They are from India.  I bought them from a fellow Etsy seller who found them in a box that had been in storage for over 30 years!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Seaweed Stag

The Seaweed Stag, October 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Taken from the sketchbook, currently residing in the Hybrid Handmade atelier.  With words from the last verse of 'The Runnable' by Scottish poet, John Davidson (1857 - 1909).
Stag

He sports a fine pair of antlers, don't you agree?

For the record - I do remember, whilst in school in Scotland, learning bits of this poem.  It is almost 100 lines long and was therefore slightly in awe of relatives and adult friends of the family who claimed that they had had to learn the ENTIRE poem when they were at school!

Monday, October 1, 2012

October desktop calendar image

Well, it had to be really, didn't it?  A heard of stags and dear, breathing in a misty autumnal (or springtime) air.

In keeping with September Issue of this oh, so popular Hybrid Handmade freebie, I am throwing even more caution to the wind and have sized this image at an oh so petite 1280 x 800 pixels.

The October Issue, desktop calendar image, 1280 x 800 pixels
This fits perfectly on my little laptop screen.  So join me if you will by clicking on the image above and saving it to your desktop and then scooting over to your settings (or system preferences or similar) and choosing said image as your new wallpaper / desktop image.

A big thank you to Monique over on A Half Baked Notion who posted an image of her Hybrid Handmade September desktop image all installed and pretty looking in her studio space.  It looked lovely.

And so, a tumble into the last quarter of the year.  It's been good so far don't you think?  I think we shall all go out with a bang and a shout.  Onwards and upwards mes amis.
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