Thursday, September 29, 2016

Inspired by Reading: This Census Taker

The September selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club was This Census Taker by China Mieville.  I have to admit that I've tried and failed to read a couple of his books for youth in the past so I wasn't so excited about this choice.  I did make it through the whole book, but I was left pretty empty by the whole thing.  You don't finish the book having any real understanding of what is really going on... way too many unanswered questions for my taste.  I pretty much finished the book thinking "what the heck was that?!?"  Oh well, that's the beauty of book club I guess.  You probably won't love them all, but there's the potential for discovering something great!

Well, I couldn't let my dislike/disinterest in a book keep me from a perfectly good design challenge... so I did manage to find a small (ok, very small) kernel of inspiration and make something.  At the very beginning of the story (page 6) the narrator describes the attic room where he often takes refuge.  Unlike the rest of the house which is "whitewashed or painted in an ocher made from local earth," two walls in the attic are covered in wallpaper with "tangled flowers and pagodas."

I don't remember a mention of what color the wallpaper was, but my first thought was of a blue and white toile pattern.   I had a couple of different blue and white Asian inspired ceramic beads with some floral bits to the designs.  I like how the long pair of earrings turned out paired with brass components.

My second pair almost made themselves... I had the gold plated metal beads and the orange patterend beads left over from a Blueberry Cove bead subscription box.  I added in some other gold-toned components and tiny orange Czech glass beads for a second pair of earrings with an Asian feel.

Want to join the fun?  You can check out our group's Facebook page HERE.  You don't have to be Inspired by Reading to make jewelry... any and all creations are welcome!


  1. I had similar feelings. Like I wanted to like the book and I liked the language and the rhythm of the writing, but I felt like I didn't know very much about what was actually going on in the book and while that might inspire mystery in some, it sort of made me scratch my head and puzzle over it. We had a rousing time at book club trying to figure out what was what. Like, was the father caucasian or was he faerie? Or is the author trying to say that all white people are magic? Was the father's keys actual magic or just seemed like magic from the boy's perspective? Who was the census taker's former apprentice and what was the deal about making him seem like extra shifty? Also... what was up with the shifting back and forth with the point of view?

    Anyways, I really like your earrings. They're very elegant and look very striking. The second pair reminds me of hanging Chinese lanterns.

    Nicely done! Thank you for participating!

  2. These are beautiful! I love the collection of blue and white ceramic beads in the first pair, and, while orange is not my color, I love the second pair! Gorgeous!