Thursday, November 30, 2017

Inspired by Reading: The Bean Trees

This month's Inspired by Reading Book Club selection was The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.  Somehow I've gone my whole reading life without reading anything by Kingsolver... but now book club has changed that! 

Originally published in 1988, you really have to read this as a period piece... so many things would play out a little differently in the modern world.  I love that the main character is super plucky and independent and that she manages to make things work out for herself.  One of the big things that I took away from the book is that you make your own family and have the power to write your own story.   

The title actually comes from another name for Wisteria vine.  People tend to think of the wonderful purple flowers that seem to just drip from the woody vines, but their seeds actually hang from the plant in pods that look very much like green beans.  At first I thought I was going to use one of my Vintaj embossing folders that has wisteria on it and do some painting with the patina paints but time just wasn't on my side for that project.  But then I remembered that I had picked up a set of little pod charms from Anna Bronze at Bead & Button this year.  I paired them with some purple floral disk beads from Heather Powers of Humblebeads and Czech glass.

I made a second pair of earrings that are more about the general look and feel of the Southwest.  I had snagged some small lentil beads from Golem Design Studio that have a terra cotta color as their base.  I kept these pretty simple to dangle off the long arched ear wires.

Thanks for stopping by to see my new creations!  I'm always hoping that I'll manage something more ambitious, but with my holiday shows bearing down upon me, I'm lucky that I got this much done!  Next month is a holiday break from book club, so I'm hoping that I can get a jump start on the January selection.  Wish me luck!!


  1. I'm coveting the first pair of earrings in a big way. The second pair are great, too. :)

  2. Glad you got to play along! I know this is a busy time of year for most people. I know it was a period piece, but oddly enough so apt in today’s climate, especially in regards to immigration, poverty, and abuse. I’ve spent a lot of time in Tucson, so some of the places that she describes were very real for me. Anyway, the earrings you made are great! I love the soft pastels of the first pair and the warm, Southwestern vibe of the second. Nicely done!