Thursday, January 26, 2017

Inspired by Reading: A Place of My Own

The first pick of the year for the Inspired by Reading Book Club is A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams by Michael Pollan.  The book chronicles the author's journey dreaming up and building (with his own admittedly unhandy hands) a small structure to be a "shelter for daydreams."  I love the idea of having a room (or building!) of one's own.  I'm not sure I'll ever have just that, but it's not like I'm crowded in the house I share with my husband and two cats, so I won't complain!

I'm still working my way through the book but I didn't want to be left out of the creating fun!  I got a late start reading since I was all enthralled by the VERY long science fiction book American Elsewhere.  (And let's be honest, if you've ever been in a book club you know this, lots of members often don't finish and even if they do book club meetings tend to get sidetracked talking about everything but the book!)  So really, I'm not cheating that much!

Since I hadn't read anything that sparked my imagination yet, I decided to focus on the tiny structure for my design.  It might not be the most inventive or original idea, but I'm pretty smitten with the design that came out of it!  A while back I had picked up several pieces from the very talented Lesley Watt including one of her sweet little bronze clay houses.  I thought it was just perfect to represent the fairly simple looking structure that the author built for himself.  I love the peachy-coral tones of the roof and door and the cute flower window.

To pull in the colors from the pendant, I started with a selection of multi-colored rhutilated quartz ovals and then added in a variety of Czech glass in orange, greens, and gold tones.  I needed a little more length at the back than I had originally planned for so I added a few small faceted carnelian rounds at the back to break up the green a bit and keep the colors feeling even.  The orange Czech glass flower coins help echo that little window in the pendant.

When I was digging through my beads for this month's book club, I came across some little house charms from Tari Sasser of Creative Expressions in Clay gave to the Bead Cruisers a couple of years ago.  A little lightbulb went off in my head and I remembered that I had a word bead from Diane Hawkey that says "Home."  Luckily for me, the colors of those two beads worked well together.  I wanted to do a totem style pendant, so I played around with lots of different options before settling on my finished design.  I added in some other miscellaneous beads including a couple of things from mixed destash lots from Andrew Thornton and lampwork by Beadygirl Beads along with some pewter findings.  For the chain of the necklace I made wire-wrapped bead units with a collection of Czech glass flowers and bali style beads to complement the colors in the pendant stack.

I had another pendant pulled out too, but that design will have to wait for another day.  Do you love the idea of a creative book club?  You can join the fun on the Inspired by Reading Book Club Facebook page HERE!  Thanks for stopping by... have a great rest of your week!


  1. Love your house bead necklaces. Such a nice choice of houses!! And your necklaces as usual are so well constructed with your fine craftsmanship. I hope to read the book. I am looking forward to making some house beads. I did once some time ago and want to try again.

  2. I'm in love with the little house bead and the necklace! The colors are so warming. The totem necklace is full of diverse shapes and colors and so well complemented with the chain! I hope you're enjoying the book as much as I am enjoying the necklaces :)

  3. I like both, but I'm really taken with the purple/red/blue necklace! Great combination!