cybik: (trees)
I am jumping ship to dreamwidth, as, it seems, are most people.

I don't know if I will use it in the same way as I used livejournal (partly because DEAR GOD it is a terrible looking website and also I don't know who else is actually going to use it), but at the moment I will hope that it will fill the hole.

I'm cybik over there.
cybik: (plaque)
So this is a little bit random, but I think I have identified the maker of a piece in the V and A. Well, not identified as such, because they had her name (Miss G M Hart), but suggest nothing else by her is known. Having done some googling and article reading and census hunting, I think she is Gertrude Mary Hart, who married Frederick James Partridge. so, pictures of her stuff )
cybik: (keitele)
I think kindness is my favourite virtue. It's so easy to be kind and yet it can make a huge difference to other people. I worked for the catering company of an arts venue in Farnham for a couple of years while I was at university. There was a regular Thursday night even for which I worked the bar. Most of the people who came to that event were really friendly and there was one couple I particularly remember because they were regulars who did things like bring glasses to the bar at the end of the night - not just from their table, but from others. It was a small and important gesture of kindness that made me feel appreciated and human. Kindness has a humanising effect. It says "you are worth doing this for." Isn't that a beautiful thing? It can turn a terrible day into one that doesn't seem so bad. It can turn an ordinary day into a good one. If someone compliments you it can make you feel good about yourself (of course it's also easy for it to be creepy if done wrong - a lightness of touch is needed for it to be unthreatening. My advice is: you don't have to wait for an answer. Don't make it a question. Just say something like "I like your coat!" and smile and turn away. Don't do it when you first get into a lift (awkwardness can ensue), for example. Do it when you're leaving. The person is not obligated to respond. You shouldn't be trying to get them to make you feel better about yourself for your comment. And don't compliment things like eyes or body or whatever unless you know the person. That's too close for comfort. That's creepy).

Kindness is a gift from one person to another. It doesn't require anything else. Thanks is nice and polite, but don't do something for someone and then, when unthanked, assume that they are the worst person ever. People have bad days. Sometimes we take it out on others. Little acts of kindness can help, even if we don't appreciate them consciously.

I want to be better at kindness. I am trying to make an effort to do little things that make other people's lives a little bit better, even if it's just helping someone pick up something they've dropped.
cybik: (books)
My grandmother died today. She would have been a hundred in June. I'm sad that I have been thinking "what a pity she didn't make it" rather than being glad of those things that she did have. A life so long has many sadnesses but also so much that's good. She had three children, the eldest being my dad. She was married to my grandfather for over sixty years. She lived in a lovely area of the country. She had grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was loved.

But still, I am sad. Of course I am sad. She's gone, forever. Irrevocably. I won't see her again. I will never again be beaten by her at Scrabble (I remember winning against her once. I felt like I'd won a Nobel prize, like I'd walked on the moon. She was a demon at Scrabble, possibly the most frustrating opponent I've ever had at that or any game. She'd block every move you could think of making until you were able only to spell out words like "this" and "it", while a beautiful seven-letter word languished on your rack).

She had a stage whisper that she used when my grandfather was still alive to talk about him. Not that, despite her loudness, my grandfather would hear. He was quite deaf. Once when my parents were visiting them, my granddad decided he would pay for the tea and cakes they were having while my mum and gran went to find a table. The lady at the till asked him whether he wanted sugar with the tea. "Do we have sugar in our tea?" he yelled across the teashop to my gran. She rolled her eyes and whispered to my mum, loudly, "We've been married for sixty year and not only does he not know whether I take sugar in my tea, he doesn't know whether he does!"

Granddad died a few years ago. More than a few. A decade. Time flies. If Granny had died first, I think Granddad would have followed quickly after, but Gran was more independent, more capable of looking after herself. She lived alone in the flat they had shared on the Scilly Isles until a horrible illness - some kind of growth inside that paralysed her - made it necessary for her to live in a nursing home. She lost the use of her legs, one arm entirely and much of the other. She spent her time watching television because there was little else she could do. I don't like remembering her like that. It has been a few years since she moved to the nursing home in Croydon, far from the sea, and my memories of her before are already fading. I want to remember her as she was years ago. She painted pictures of animals, which she sold to tourists. She was a member of St John Ambulance, something of which she was very proud. I feel sad that I didn't know her better. I was the youngest grandchild and lived so far away, but that shouldn't have stopped me. So I feel regret. I don't want to feel regret. So instead I remember that I knew her and that I loved her. She was my grandmother and I will miss her.
cybik: (snakebird)
Stitched brooch
Stitched brooch, made in the same way as the stitched rings I've posted before.
Two more pieces.. )
cybik: (Default)
Crow pendant
Crow pendant, made of silver. Very simple, but I like it.
And another pendant )
cybik: (snakebird)
It's been a while since I posted much of my work, so here's a glance at what I've been up to recently. As always, I have things up at Etsy.

Concave ring
Concave ring
Silver concave ring with a hammered texture. Fun to make, actually! So fun I made several, in fact..

And a few more.. )
cybik: (keitele)
Doing custom pieces is good. It kicks me into working even when I don't want to. Also, I tend to fill the period of nothingness when waiting for the etching to happen with doing something vaguely useful. So today I have made two pieces (well, technically three, but one was a bit of a failure). One was another Curious Crow ring (like this) for someone, while the other was entirely new (hurrah) and involves bone (double hurrah). It's here (and pictured below) and I have to say I'm quite pleased. It wasn't too hard to make, and it looks interesting when it's being worn. The only problem with it is that it's not as sturdy as something entirely made of silver, but that's to be expected.

Captured Bone
cybik: (earring)
I made a brooch.

I'm not sure if I like it or not. I'm questioning everything I make at the moment, but this at least is finished.

It's made of sterling silver, 18ct gold and stainless steel (the pin, which you can't see).

Landscape brooch

I think it looks a little better in real life than in this photo. I may have to experiment with photographing it.

It's based on landscape, of course, but abstracted a little. Maybe not enough? Maybe too much? I don't know!
cybik: (boots)
Good collection of links, mostly to do with the BNP.
cybik: (earring)
Look at this fantastic use of old hard drives! They are made by the talented [ profile] jarkman.
cybik: (boots)
Charlie Brooker writing about the BNP.

The BNP have been using pictures of Spitfires from the Battle of Britain to promote themselves and their whole thing of "bah, get those scummy non-Brits out of here, what have they ever done for us!" It's amusing because in the Battle of Britain the British side contained about 3,00 people and roughly 1/5 of them weren't British (the non-Brits included Poles, Kiwis, Australians, Czechoslovakians and one Jamaican amongst others)..
cybik: (boots)
Oh, and if you want to see something else depressing, look at this list of homosexuality laws.
cybik: (shadow)
This piece by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown about being female and Muslim I thought was interesting.

She mentions this, which is the news that a young woman has been executed in Iran despite being granted a 2 month stay of execution. She also mentions this case of an eight year old girl divorcing her 50 year old husband.

She could have talked about Saudi Arabia, where women aren't allowed to drive. The US Department of State points out that women and children of Saudi families are considered property of the male head of household and need to get permission from him to leave the country. This applies to foreign born women who married Saudi men but retain their original nationality (it's changed now, but it's not retroactive: if they were married before 2008 they still need permission).

A married American business woman was arrested for sitting with a man in a coffee shop. In the comments section of the article in the times, there is a man who writes: "she knew the rules there and she love it otherwise she wouldn't be there i was working in saudi for 7 years they r very friendly and kindly if u respect their religion and culture and they treat their women very very well. and if she doesn't like saudi so why she still there??" I'm not sure how he can justify saying they treat their women well. What about the woman who was sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 years in prison after being gang raped because she'd been in an unrelated man's car? What about the fact that women aren't allowed to vote? Or testify in court unless it's about something that happened out of the sight of men? (the Wikipedia entry on Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.) [Edit - apparently this article is not quite true: see Typical's comment below.)

And let's not forget the Taliban, that group of ultra-right-wing, misogynistic religious fundamentalists. The fact that Pakistan, which has had a female Prime Minister, has decided to allow the Taliban to take over portions of the country (and appear to be granting them ever more ground) disgusts me. A Taliban representative has been quoted as sayying: "the face of a woman is a source of corruption for men who are not related to them". That is to say that a woman is responsible for a man's feelings.

Rape is legal within marriage in Afghanistan. It affects the Shia population (about 15% of the population). Women who protested had stones thrown at them. Women who are raped are often imprisoned.

I don't hate Islam for what it is. I hate what fundamentalists make from it and I hate what fundamentalists seem to be able to make from any religion. Words can be twisted to have very different meanings from what was originally intended. I haven't read all of the Qu'ran, only a couple of verses. I have read the Bible, though - and I've seen how people will pick and choose which pieces to follow. I've read articles by liberal Muslims like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown who despise the way their religion is used to justify rape, murder, beatings and pretty much every evil of which humanity is capable. Usually the victims of fundamentalism are women.

There are a hundred other countries where terrible things happen to women, as well. For example, a quarter of women in South Africa are raped by the time they are 16. A woman is raped every two minutes in the US.

Of course, women aren't executed just for being female. People are for being gay (or lesbian or bisexual).
cybik: (Default)
This is a list of "cool" bookshelves.

Great! Except, er, I like books. Which means they are pretty much all (apart from the stairs, which are awesome) things I would never even consider having because they would either damage the books or just no hold enough. It pretty much sums up what I don't like about modern design: it's mostly impractical. I want my bookshelves to hold as many books safely as possible.

Like the Alessi lemon squeezer, they're for people who place style above practicality.
cybik: (Default)

Apparently a quarter of women in South Africa are raped by the time they're 16. Something like 1 in 2 women will be raped at some point in their life. There's also a wave of what is known as "corrective rape" happening: women are raped for being lesbians.

There's not really much I can say.
cybik: (skeleton)
I made another bird skeleton.. only this one has two heads. Again, it's made of silver and is in a dome - only this dome is acrylic rather than glass (safer to post, for one thing. Glass feel snicer, though. Argh, the decisions!). The skeleton is about 10cm high, the total height about 20cm.
Two headed silver bird skeleton

three more photos - click for larger! )

April 2017

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