Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Although far from 'home' I feel I may have caught a bit of 'Royal Wedding Fever'.  For a truly Hybrid Handmade Royal Wedding you need look no further than this little collection over on Etsy.

Etsy Treasury by Cari-Jane Hakes, find it on-line here
Join me tomorrow for some cup cakes and tea won't you?  We can toast the happy couple and dream of happily ever after!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm Pink therefore I am!

Time for, what has become, a monthly dose of pinkness.  As always, party shoes..


a pink ruff for a proud bird (have to say, I would be strutting my stuff if I looked this fine!)


party decorations to match the party shoes AND...


Oh. my. word. THE definition of a Party Dress if I ever did see one.



Now, don't you feel better?  I certainly do.  I'm waiting for my oven warmed croissant to ping and then it's back on with my gardening galoshes.  We are having a little holiday here in the hybrid handmade home.  Here is hoping your work or play is going well - may your pink party shoes or your green garden galoshes take you where ever you want to go today!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More 'Northern Lights' and 'Ice'

We were treated to a spectacular light show on Sunday night - the thunder and lightning was continuous for over an hour.  It was a 'Northern Lights' of sorts - more violent and powerful than the grace and gentleness I imagine the Aurora Borealis uses to move across the skies - but it was welcome and fascinating all the same.

24 April 2011,  2230 hrs
Sunday was also a good day for 'fishing'.  Here are some of the things I caught in my net:

Oyster Shell, Cari-Jane Hakes, April 24 2011
The inside of this shell reminds me of some distant glacier flow - elsewhere, I kept picking up cold, dark, inky shells.  I imagine these were always here and perhaps I was distracted by my goal to find more honey coloured pebbles to make Yellow Submarine Rings.

Ice Sheets and Hailstorms, Cari-Jane Hakes, April 2011
Here is hoping the Easter Weekend has revived and refreshed you all.  A bientôt mes amis!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Evening Light

It is often said 'oh, I was in the right place at the right time' as way of explaining away success and wealth.

Evening Light,  Cari-Jane Hakes, 23 April 2011
Well, I was in the right place at the right time this evening!  My house filled with gold and distracted me for a moment with its luminescence and glow.

Evening Light Detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, 23 April 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bridal Jewellery with added SOUL - Part two OR why Labradorite should be a girl's best friend.

I must admit, I am a little sad that this commission is drawing to a close.  I have enjoyed every day that I have worked on these pieces.  Ok, I admit, the soldering was a little scary, but we came out the other side fairly unscathed.

Andrea's necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes April 2011
Ingredients: A big gorgeous hunk of labradorite, sterling silver with roll printed leaf textures, fine silver bezel and a pinch of silver sphere, nestled in amongst the leaves.

Andrea's necklace, removable single leaf detail, Cari-Jane Hakes April 2011
Is is any wonder that ancient civilisations made 'gods' of the earth, the sky, the rivers, the oceans. Can you imagine uncovering a chunk of labradorite in a bygone age? Suddenly, in the ground, this winking flash of colour!  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.

Andrea's necklace, top detail, Cari-Jane Hakes April 2011
I think maybe this necklace has taken me a little longer to make because I would sit for minutes at a time and just turn this stone so it would wink its big blue eye at me!  I need to get another big hunk of the stuff and make it into a fierce ring.  I have a feeling it would knock the socks off any Upper East Side Tiffany solitaire!

Andrea's necklace, heart detail on back plate, Cari-Jane Hakes, April 2011
All that remains is for these pieces to travel by special 'husband courier' to London to get hallmarked.  I have my unique makers mark registered there.  The hallmark will make the piece traceable and will 'date stamp' it.  In years to come, an inquisitive relative will be able to hold this piece in their hands and weave their own legend and magic into the stone.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bridal Jewellery with added SOUL - Part one

I finished this little encrusted number today.

Andrea's Brooch, Cari-Jane Hakes, April 2011
Ingredients: One druzy agate, sterling silver with roller printed leaf texture, a fine silver bezel, a thick sterling silver back plate (with leaf texturing) and a small length of piano wire for added zing and spring (brooch pin).

This brooch will become part of Andrea's wedding dress on the big day.  It is derived from the 'Fiercely Feminine' series which has at its heart these lightly lifting leaves.  They look as if a soft wind is passing underneath them.  There is softness and grace and gentleness woven into this piece, 'feminine' qualities if you like.  For me though, under this 'fragile' femininity lies a foundation of strength, endurance and toughness and I like to think the piece embodies all these qualities.

Andrea's brooch, back detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, April 2011
What I love about this brooch more than anything is its colour and what it represents for Andrea.  The colour will tone in with the boots she will be wearing underneath her wedding dress.  This brooch, if anything, shows a bit of soul, it tones in with a little bit of what makes Andrea who she is, her personality.  It makes visible what is slightly hidden from view in a very sparkly, encrusted silvered way.

Andrea's Brooch, heart detail glowing with sunshine, Cari-Jane Hakes, April 2011
Elsewhere on the bench today, the high magnification goggles made an appearance:

Eyes Down! On the Bench Today, April 21 2011
Setting a labradorite stone full of flash and blue.  More on that tomorrow my friends.

Andrea's Necklace, work in progress, April 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jewellery and other stories

I have another beautiful cuff link story for you my friends.  I am so happy to play a part in the weaving of these tales, commemorating a point in time and giving it a silvered voice that will be passed on and shared in the months and years to come.

Cuff links, front detail, Cari-Jane Hakes April 2011
Oh, the leaf texture on these ones is so fine and delicate - it almost looks photographic. The leaves were sent to me by Andrea of Strong Southerly.  They are from the tree under which she will be married later in the year.  The recipient is of course her soon to be husband.  But, shhhhh, he doesn't know.  It's a surprise!

Can you imagine his reaction when he is given these hunks of silver sheet?  And when he turns them over...

Cuff links, back detail, Cari-Jane Hakes April 2011
secret hearts, cut from the backs of the brooch and the necklace I am making for Andrea.  I was initially just going to send her the hearts but hit on this idea whilst out running last week.  Honestly, the symbolism and the romance of the whole project is really just so magical and beautiful!  Sigh.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lilac and Lilly of the Valley

A snapshot from today.

On the table, Cari-Jane Hakes, 16 April 2011
Continuing on the 'L' theme - there is actually a lot of Lavender (I have planted a row of 10 new plants) and Lego but the Lilac and the Lily of the Valley won the beauty contest, so they got photographed.

Lilly of the Valley and Lilac, Cari-Jane Hakes, 16 April 2011

They smell good too.  Here is hoping your weekend is just as fragrant and beautiful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Ideal Weekend...

would be something along the lines of this :

My Ideal Weekend by hybrid handmade, Cari-Jane Hakes on Etsy
My ideal weekend would involve a bit of sketching and drawing in a beautiful book, some urban coffee drinking in a spring warmed european city (note: neckwarmer, just in case), a bit of cycling and some giraffe earrings, of course ;)
Find it on Etsy HERE (until it falls off the big treasury list in the sky)
What would the ingredients for your ideal weekend be?
Bon Weekend mes amis x


Post Scriptus : This treasury made it to the Front Page of Etsy on Friday!  My first ever!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You.



If I'm working at my bench I have no problem in achieving Eleanor Roosevelt's dictate!  Let me tell you, soldering in scary!  At a basic level their is the safety issue, so it is actually wise to be 'scared' because with this comes respect and control.  Hair pulled back, all loose flammable clothing tucked away etc.

Brooch for Andrea, Cari-jane Hakes, 2011


After the precise texturing of silver, the cutting and filing and sanding of each individual leaf AND the careful measuring and adjusting to make sure the bezel makes a perfect snug fit with the stone comes the soldering.

The thing that really scares me is the possibility of hours and hours of hard work melting before my eyes.  


I use hard solder for all the initial joints.  This means that the silver is glowing with an internal heat.  It is just on the verge of collapse as the solder begins to flow and fuse all the disparate parts together.

Back view of Andrea's brooch, Cari-Jane Hakes, 2011
Today I was scared.  But it was ok.  Nothing melted.  I didn't get burned.  Tomorrow it will be the turn of the necklace and I will be a little bit scared all over again!

Post script:  The pink ribbon isn't part of the design - it just means I can pull the stone out after a fitting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Necklace of Bird Song.

I have an idea.  I want to make a necklace which looks like Bird Song.  A necklace that takes up space but in a minimal structural way.  As light as the notes from little beaks that surround you where ever there is a place to perch.  I'm sure I have seen a drawing of a bird with little structured triangles representing its song. Or maybe I dreamt it.  Either way, the source remains beyond my grasp.

Added to that is the first verse of the 'Hope' poem by Emily Dickinson.  I have turned these words over in my hand like a well worn pebble for some time now and wondered how it could become silver and chain and stone.

Bird Song necklace, sketch model, Cari-Jane Hakes 2011


Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune--without the words, 
And never stops at all,

Emily Dickinson

This is rough and haphazard.  But I swear I'm going to make it beautiful!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On my apron, on the bench..

On my workshop apron, a vintage brooch from my late Grandmother.


It is a delightful little creature.  Perhaps more suited to a smarter outfit.  The two halves separate from the main body of the brooch pin to create a pair of little 'crustaceans' which could adorn a lapel or shoes.


On the bench today, leaves, lots of leaves,



and some strips of fine silver bezel being bent into place and checked for size.

Elsewhere today - a little write up on Elizabeth Ann Norris' site.  Thank you Elizabeth!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Monday Montage of Mostly Yellow

I am surrounded by yellow. As I run on the narrow roads between the fields the oilseed is a wall of green topped with sunshine.  It is taller than me.

Pole Jaune by labokoff on Etsy
So really it should be no surprise that this piece by labokoff caught my eye.

Running Fields, Cari-Jane Hakes, 11 April 20011 1615hrs
Elsewhere today I managed to capture a dandelion clock in mid 'tick',

Tick Tock, Cari-Jane Hakes, 11 April 2011 1630 hrs
and inside, a rare moment of calm on the dinner table.

Apples, Cari-Jane Hakes, 11 April 2011
On the bench - there is slow but steady progress - hopefully I can give you a sneak peak tomorrow.  Until then mes amis!

PS - My apologies to Linda of Odd and Old as I know she is not a fan of this colour :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Something different Sunday - The Sketchbook Project 2011, the sequel

Carrying on from the Sketchbook I did for the Art House Co-op I give you pages 8 and 9 of the sequel!

Pages 8 and 9, The Sketchbook Project sequel, Cari-Jane Hakes 2011
I'm enjoying this little side project.  Here's hoping you have all had a restful weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This is a Man's World!

I'm really enjoying being part of the European Street Team on Etsy.  I have joined a little treasury making team there.  Here is what I came up with today:

Treasury by Cari-Jane Hakes on Etsy
Proof if proof was needed that Etsy is not the exclusive domain of all things girly!  See it here on-line in all its full clickable glory (for a limited time).

Slow progress on the bench today - I hope to share the fruits of my labour with you next week.  Until then mes amis!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Springtime in London

Wednesday was a rare day-off of sorts for me.  Indeed, for the first few hours I was able to ignore the rush and urgency of all the possiblilites that a metropolitan landscape has to offer.

Wednesday 8 April 2011, Cari-Jane Hakes
This city was my 'home' for 10 years.  I have been out of it for nearly 3.  It is familiar and foreign to me.  I had forgotten how to move through crowded station platforms and concourses.  I completely misjudged one particular cross-navigation which ended in a startling collision!

Waiting for the Victoria and Albert Museum to open, Cari-Jane Hakes 2011
But before all of that there was this:

Cromwell Road Elevation of the V and A, Cari-Jane Hakes, 2011
I decided it was high time I inspected the Jewellery rooms in the Materials and Techniques section of the Victoria and Albert Museum.  On my way there, I was somewhat distracted by morning coffee in The John Madejski garden.

The John Madejski Garden, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cari-Jane Hakes 2011
Urban courtyards always surprise me with their tranquility.  Mere layers of stone and glass and space separate this lightwell of spring sunshine and water from the heaving Cromwell Road. Even so, all I could hear was the light excited chatter of fresh tourists newly embarked from their gleaming coach and the fountains.

Shadowed Phone Box, Cari-Jane Hakes, 2011
I succumed then to the rush and hurry, the busy and the bustle.  I collected brass tubing, moonstone cabochons and binding wire from east of the City before crashing and colliding my way south.

I have come home now to lilacs, lilly of the valley and the laughter of small boys.  It helps to dispel the tiredness and heaviness in my heart.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A change of scene.

An abrupt, unplanned excursion to a more northern latitude has had me packing a few extra layers.  The full bloom of spring in France is lagging a little here.  Come with me if you like. Let's go on a little walk!

This is my favourite captured moment of the day.  A peaceful shadowed place.  The casual repose of the natural against the sharp shadowed lines of architectural structure and detail.

Cliveden,  Cari-Jane Hakes, 4 April 2011
Brick and Stone, Cliveden, Cari-Jane Hakes, 4 April 2011


The Water Tower, Cliveden, Cari-Jane Hakes, 4 April 2011
Cliveden House, South Facade, Cari-Jane Hakes, 4th April 2011
This is a place full of axis and symmetry.  The house, designed by Charles Barry (the architect responsible for the Houses of Parliament), sits high on a plinth presiding over a manicured garden stuffed with geometry.


But if you search, you find fragments of asymmetry and therein lies the soul of the place.  Where the mechanical perfection breaks down and a personality begins to shine through.  The armour drops and a fragility of balance can be enjoyed.  



Cliveden House, South Facade, Cari-Jane Hakes 4 April 2011
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