Thursday, August 6, 2015

Inspired by Reading: Swamplandia!

So, let me start off with a confession... I did not actually read this month's book club selection, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell.  In my defense, I did try when it first came out but, despite the quirky and interesting premise, I just couldn't get into it.  I know I should probably have given it another try for book club, but with everything else I had going on, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  It's pretty seldom that I abandon a book (seriously... it took me over two months but I did finish The Children's Book!) so I'm going to stand by that decision.

I still don't know why I couldn't get into the story since it sounds like something that would be up my alley.  Here's the book description from Amazon:  Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family’s island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos; her father withdraws, her sister falls in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, defects to a rival park called The World of Darkness. As Ava sets out on a mission through the magical swamps to save them all, we are drawn into a lush and bravely imagined debut that takes us to the shimmering edge of reality.

You may be wondering... if I didn't even read the book, why is there a blog post about it today?  The truth is that I hate missing out on a challenge... especially my favorite ones!  I couldn't resist making something alligator inspired!

I had picked up some pewter rings that have a texture that reminds me of reptile skin that seemed like  a perfect starting point... I made some dangles from dyed fire agate that felt a little bit alligator and a lot swampy.  I kept them pretty simple adding blackened and dull silver findings.

This is a blog hop too... please stop by Andrew's blog HERE to see what people who actually read the book had to say about it and what they were inspired to make!


  1. Hey Sarajo, I know what you mean about missing a challenge. I hated that I just couldn't get it together last month. Thank goodness for audio books - I was able to get ahead on my "reading" during the 10-12 hour drive to NY (and the return trip).
    I love these fun, swingy earrings. Very appropriate for the story!

  2. It wouldn't be book club without you! You could have fibbed and said you read it, because your earrings are perfectly alligatorish! Love them!

  3. I love it that you didn't read the book but still made something perfectly inspired by it!! Your earrings are great and absolutely bring scenes from that book to my mind.

  4. We all have months where things just get so hectic and it's hard to squeeze in a book, especially if it doesn't jump out at you. I applaud you for finishing The Children's Book. It took me awhile to get through it too, and then at the end, I was like, "Shoot. I should have left off when it was all fairytale charm and sweet innocence and not all this war stuff." In any event, I think your alligator earrings turned out great! I read next month's book already, but I'm going to listen to it again. Thanks again for participating!

  5. I think you found a great texture to represent the gators and made a very fine pair of earrings. I agree that it would not be Book Club without you!! So glad you found a way to participate.

  6. Beautiful pewter rings and agate beads – very gator-y. Love your choice of ear wires for this project.