Friday, October 24, 2014

Skulls at JessImports...

A few years ago, I did some designs for JessImports!  I feel so honored to have my work included in their beautiful offerings.  The designs I created are now available!  They are some of my all-time favorite skull designs!  JessImports now makes the very popular Mini Skull Charm, Crowned Skull, and Skeleton Key.  They're perfect for Halloween (or anytime if you ask me)!  CLICK HERE to see their awesome skull jewelry component selection!

BIG NEWS...

Hurray for big news!  I've been sitting on this information for a little while now, but am pleased to be able to share it finally!  I've made allusions to it on my Facebook page, but couldn't definitively talk about it until now.  Cynthia and I are really happy about this new development and hope you'll join us in a little cheer!  Hip! Hip! Hooray!

You're probably wondering what it is exactly that we're asking you to cheer for.

Our class proposals for Bead&Button 2015 have been accepted!  We'll be co-teaching two classes this summer and I hope you'll attend.

Modern Alchemy: Jeweled Windows Necklace
Sunday, June 7th 9AM to Noon*

Modern Alchemy: Charm Bangle
Friday, June 5th 5PM to 8PM*

*The dates and times are tentative and are subject to change.  Also, the classes may be canceled if there aren't enough sign-ups.  So if you're interested, sign-up early and bring a friend!  Online registration begins in January!  I'll post more information as it becomes available.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Cheryl Lee Tucker...

This necklace was made by Cheryl Lee Tucker.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "My necklace is made with just the blue and metallic beads in the kit.  I wanted to emphasize the crown focal and the gold highlights. (I love the greens and purples too... but I need more time to work with those and life got in the way!)  This is my first attempt at a beaded bezel and a handmade clasp, so I am really excited at how well it all came together."
You're not finished yet!  There's more to see on the blog hop!  Take a look:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Crystal Lombardo Farrell...

These necklaces were made by Crystal Lombardo Farrell.  Here's what she had to say about them:  "The colors in this kit remind me of the ocean, so I went with that kind of theme for the top necklace.  The bottom one is a gift for my husband. The focal is from Green Girl Studios.  He loves dogs and the color red and he commented on how much he liked these round green beads.  So I wanted to find a way to incorporate all three."
There's more to see!  Hop along the blog hop and take a peek at what everyone made:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Joanne Goldberg...

This pair of earrings were made by Joanne Goldberg.  Here's what she had to say about them:  "My arm has been in really bad shape and I haven't been able to bead as much as I would like.  I still wanted to participate in the reveal and made this quickie pair of earrings.  They're made of polymer clay from Andrew, and Czech glass and crystal from the kit."
  

Don't stop here!  There's more to see!  Take a gander at all the lovely creations made by the other participants of the Royal Feather Challenge:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Marcia Gilbert...

This necklace was made by Marcia Gilbert.  Here's what she had to say about the piece:  "This is my first time participating in one of the challenges through Allegory Gallery.  I had a lot of fun playing with the kit. I don't have a blog, so I'm glad that Andrew could post the picture of the necklace on his.  The piece uses almost everything from the kit.  For the focal I made a beaded "eye" of a peacock feather."
Wait!  There's more!  Take a stroll around the blog hop to see what the others made:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Laurel Ross...

This piece was made by Laurel Ross.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "For the base of the necklace, I created wire-wrapped links.  Practice makes perfect!  The focal is an eclectic tassel made up of elements like chain, waxed linen and seed beads."
"As a side note, the necklace is perched upon a rock that I got from the foundation of the barn that used to be on the Ross family farm, a Ligonier landmark since the early 1700's!  Cool, huh!?"

Take a spin around the blogosphere and get a peak at what the other participants made for the Royal Feather Challenge:

Royal Feather Challenge: Alison Herrington...

This piece was created by Alison Herrington.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "I'm still in love with the multi-strand waxed linen bracelet design by Lorelei Eurto.  I've been having fun playing with different combinations of beads using this technique.  Thanks, Lorelei!  For my Royal Feather Challenge bracelet, I used the Mystery Component by Andrew Thornton, four glass donut beads by Hobo Glass, Czech glass leaves, tubes, and faceted rounds, a rubber "o" ring, and fancy large peanut seed beads."

Want to see more?  Check out what the other challengers made:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Tara Linda...

This piece was made by Tara Linda. Since she's traveling and on the road for band she's in, she's requested to break her reveal down into two parts.  The first part is here and the second part is on her blog, where she'll show a bracelet and a pair of earrings that she also made.  CLICK HERE to visit her blog.

Here's what she had to say about her creation:  "For my primary piece, I had a blast making a long lariat.  It is 42" long and doubles at about 17".  The only beads I added: a few pearls, one heavy quartz spear for weight in the center, and a Green Girl Studios hook for a clasp to one end of the strand.  I was inspired by the opera length necklaces, but love the utility of a lariat and all the lengths and variations it can be worn.  The peacock colors are the essence of opulence and celebration to me; so a long necklace that shows off many beads and their purple/green/copper hues seemed fitting.  I used the sequins on either side of the awesome crown pendant, and strands of small crystal beads on the waxed purple linen.  I also made earrings and bracelet that you can see by visiting my blog later this weekend!"


Take a minute a visit the other participants of the Royal Feather Challenge:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Keisha Russell...

These pieces were made by Keisha Russell.  Here's what she had to say about the piece she put together:  "This is my first time being in the Challenge and I was very excited to actually be able to purchase a kit.  I really liked working with various pieces, from the vibrant colors to the different shapes and textures.  The peacock bead was ultimately my favorite component and I tried my best to showcase it.  I started working on one design, but as I continued, the design morphed into something totally different.  I am proud of the pieces that I made and the fact that I completely the challenge.  Also I still have many other components left over.  Thank you Andrew and hopefully I am able to take part in other events."


Don't forget to check out what the other participants of the Royal Feather Challenge made:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Margriet Schnabel...

This necklace was made by Margriet Schnabel.  Marian Howarth, Margriet's friend, fellow beader, and past challenge participant, sent in this picture of Margriet modeling her creation.

Here's what she had to say about the piece she created:  "I made this multi-strand Peacock Necklace with the Royal Feather Challenge kit and a few added extras.  I mixed in a purple artistic jasper pendant from Dakota Stones, mini Russian amazonite nuggets from LimaBeads, and Kenyon copper heishi."


Make sure to swing by the other blogs in the Royal Feather Challenge Blog Hop:

Royal Feather Challenge Reveal: Andrew Thornton...

It's that time again!  Today is the Reveal for the Royal Feather Challenge.  Normally I do a synopsis of the challenge, but you can get a full rundown of how the challenges work and what was in this design kit by CLICKING HERE.

Also, this blog hop will be a little bit different in another way.  Usually I have one blog post for my creation and all of the participants who don't have a blog.  Instead of doing that, I'm going to do a separate blog post for each participant.  This way it's easier to direct comments.

Without further ado... here's the piece I made:

The past few months have been extremely busy and I haven't had a chance to work on anything new much.  I decided to make a bracelet using the vintage Japanese glass, Swarovski crystals, and freshwater pearls.  I embellished a length of chain with wire-wrapped dangles, giving the bracelet a fringy movement.

Make sure to check out what the other participants made:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Whole Bead Show: NYC...

A big component of my trip to New York was the Whole Bead Show.  It was actually the motivating factor to finally get me back to the City after being away for five years.  Ava and her team do such a nice job at finding awesome vendors – balancing artisans and importers.  The show, centrally located and easy to navigate to, was a comfortable size and had a lot of beautiful things on display.  I was scheduled to teach and I wanted to pick up some goodies for the shop.  While I was there I ran into lots of familiar faces!  It was a treat to see friends from the bead community, who I don't get to see often.

On the left is Anne from Gardanne beads.  She had a juicy selection of her lampwork beads and enameled components.  On the left is Ashley Bunting.  She was demonstrating and selling tools for Xuron.

Even though we only got to see each other in passing, it was delightful to run into Jenny Davies-Reazor, Colin Mellars, and Diana Ptaszynski.  They had to catch a train, so our encounter was brief, but good.

I've been friends with Kristi Bowman-Gruel (pictured on the left) on Facebook for years, but this was the first time that we met in real life!  It was nice to finally connect in person.  On the right is Amy from The Bead Goes On.  It is always a pleasure to see her!

Both of my classes went really well!  I wish that I snapped more pictures.  Here are two of my students from the first class I taught on making faces out of polymer clay.  On the left is Norma and on the right is Alain.  All of the students throughout the weekend were a lot of fun, really patient, and picked things up quickly.  The classes were small, so I got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with each of the students.  

I definitely recommend this show.  I had a really good time and hope to attend again in the future!  Hopefully I will be invited back as an instructor and can have an another excuse to go back to the City!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ticket...

The first time I got off the airplane in New York City, I felt like I had finally started my life.  I was starting a great adventure.  Part of that adventure was discovering who I was as a person and where I wanted to go.

It's been over a decade since I took those first steps into adulthood and five years since I've been back to the City.  At one point, I couldn't imagine leaving it behind.  So much of who I am was hammered out in those early years... pounded down, cast in the fires and forged anew each day.  I think back to those moments of certainty and chuckle a little to myself.  That vision of where I would be and where I was meant to be changed and in that change, I started over and found a new life.  The new life was tested by illness and made stronger by survival.  That new life found roots and built a venture, bead by bead.  That new life has grown in love and stretched higher and deeper than I ever could imagine.  That new life is here now.

As I prepare to embark on a trip back to the City that helped shape me, to see people I knew and places I've left my heart, to walk the paths I once walked, and retrace steps I've taken before... there's a mix of excitement, nostalgia, and a strange sense of hesitation.  So much has happened since then.  So much has changed.  I feel like a stranger, coming home.

As I prepare to leave, I am packing.  I'm not just packing my bags with clothes or supplies for classes... I'm packing my heart with courage.  It's hard to say why I need to do this.  It's not like it's a foreign country or that I'll be alone.  I think it comes from facing familiarity full-on and seeing... really seeing... how much has changed.  All of the things that have led me up to this point were reactions to actions, a winding road of cause and effect.  I think the strangeness stems from a five year full circle, coming upon the first domino again after so many have click-clacked over.

There's no time to dwell.  I've got my ticket and there's a train to catch.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Royal Feather Challenge Update...

I'm super excited to see what everyone made for the Royal Feather Challenge!  The blog hop reveal was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but I realized that I'll be traveling to New York to teach and don't know for certain if I'll be able to post from the road.  With that said, I'm pushing the reveal date back a week.  The new reveal date is Thursday, October 23rd!  If you are participating, email me your link or send me an image and description of the piece(s) you created.  Super excited to see how different and unique all the pieces turned out to be!

Book Club Reminder...

The October selection for the Inspired by Reading Book club is "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman.  If you're not familiar with our book club, you read the book selection and then create something based on what you read.  We have an in-person meet-up and do a blog hop reveal the next day.  Our in-person meet-up is scheduled for Tuesday, October 28th at 6PM at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, PA!  The blog hop is scheduled for the following day.  I hope you can join us!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fort Daze...

Every year, the town where the shop is located celebrates an event called, "Fort Ligonier Days".  The locals call it "Fort Days" and the merchants sometimes (lovingly) refer to it as "Fort Daze".  At its largest, over a 100,000 people flood through the streets of Ligonier.  The event commemorates the Fort built during the French and Indian War and the celebration includes craft fairs, a parade through town, fair food, and concerts.  This was our fourth year participating in the event as a shop.  We didn't know what to expect after our move.  Would people know where to find us?  How would our sales compare to previous years?

The weekend is always a blur with days that are long and bustling.  Up until the day the event kicks off (even through the weekend), I'm busy making things to sell or model the beads we carry.  It's a lot of work getting ready.  We move the furniture around, set up tables, and change the displays around.  It almost feels as though we're preparing for battle.  So many people pass through, some that come every year and others that are new.  It's always nice to see familiar faces and meet new friends.

We were very fortunate this year!  We didn't know what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised by the show of support.  We were super happy that many of our customers were able to find us and that they had nice things to say about the new location.  Many thanks  go out to everyone who dropped in to see us!  We had our best Fort Days yet!  We hope that our neighbors and fellow merchants had a successful weekend too!

The success of the event really is due to the help we had throughout the long weekend.  My greatest and sincerest gratitude goes out to William, who made sure that everything moved smoothly and that I didn't get overwhelmed.  He kept me well-stocked with coffee, sweet tea, and fair food.  Without him, I wouldn't have been able to do it.  Thank you!  I also wanted to thank Zack, Laurel, Becki, Ruth, and Alison for lending a hand and a watchful eye.  They made sure that everyone received excellent customer service and that all the little beads were well supervised.  Some of them sat in the cold for hours, hauled tables, and fought through crowds to run errands.  Go team, go!

I also wanted to acknowledge all the people who work behind the scenes to make this a successful event.  It takes a lot of people and a lot of work to pull off something on this scale.  We are fortunate to be part of such a vibrant community and have events that attract so many people.  Thank you!

After such a big event, normally I like to take a little time for myself to recover, but there's no rest for the weary!  I am getting ready for New York and am excited to be back in the City after being away for five years.  It's just another adventure on the horizon!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Spooky Beautiful Earrings...

While I think it's perfectly fine to wear skull jewelry year-round, it's that time of year where it becomes even more socially acceptable to flaunt those bones!  To celebrate the Halloween season, I made these fun skull earrings.  They feature the new Swarovski crystal skull beads and chains embellished with wire-wrapped crystal bicones.  They've got a great playful movement and embellished chain reminds me of a spine.  I used a limited palette of gunmetal and gold to create these spooky beautiful earrings.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Kits Sold Out...

All of the Noble Knight and Star Frost Kits are sold out!  Many thanks to everyone who claimed a kit and will participate in the upcoming challenges!  Thank you!

Keep your eyes peeled next week for the Royal Feather challenge reveal!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

New Kits, New Challenges...

The next few weeks are going to be busy ones for me!  I had a look at my calendar and realized that I'll be away when the next few challenges are supposed to launch.  I'll be teaching in New York and didn't know what kind of computer access I'll have.  (Plus, I anticipate it being a whirlwind trip with not much time to update blogs and add things to the online shop!)  And with it being a bustling time of year, I didn't want to throw off the calendar.  I decided to post them early and hopefully get them out early as well!

Normally I try to space out the debuts of the kits, but since they'll be coming out in quick succession, I decided to lump their launches together.  This way if participants and to be involved with more than one challenge, I can combine shipping and extend the savings to the customers.

I've been listening to the Game of Thrones audiobooks lately and have been entranced by the world depicted by George R.R. Martin.  It has made me think of other stories like "Le Morte d'Arthur" compiled by Sir Thomas Malory and The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.  I wanted to create a challenge that was inspired by that noble code of chivalry and courtly valor.  I selected a dark palette, perfect for winter, with bold shades of burgundy wine, cold steel, and royal blues.  CLICK HERE to pre-order your Noble Knight kit.  I've set the tentative reveal date for the Noble Knight Challenge for Thursday, December 11th.

I've been having a lot of fun working with the Midnight Magic Special Challenge Kit.  It has definitely put me in the Halloween spirit.  The more I thought about it, I didn't want to pass up an opportunity to celebrate the winter holidays!  Originally I thought about doing a kit in the traditional Christmas colors of red and green, but it seemed too obvious to me and is so specific.  Not only that, but I felt weird excluding participants who celebrate other winter holidays.

So, I started to think about a kit that would celebrate the beauty of winter.  I selected a crisp, clean palette.  The kit features snowy whites, cool silvers, icy blues, wintery grays, and crystalline clears.  When thinking of the challenge, I tried to summon up the first weeks of winter, when all is transformed, as if by magic, into a winter wonderland.  I tried to focus on that feeling, when everything is still fresh, fun, and exhilarating!  (I tried desperately not to think about the latter months of winter, where it seems like it'll never end after weeks of bitter cold, shivering and ever-wet socks.)  CLICK HERE to pre-order your Star Frost kit.  The scheduled reveal date for the Star Frost Special Challenge is set for the following week on Thursday, December 18th.

If you're interested in participating in one or both of the challenges, I encourage you not to delay!  The kits are quite popular and sell out quickly!  I'm hoping to get the kits out before I leave for New York, to give participants a little extra time to work.  If you get both kits, I'll combine shipping.  

I'm smitten with the kits and can't wait to see what everyone makes!

Making Faces Class in New York City...

In a little over a week, I'll be back in New York City teaching at the Whole Bead Show.  I'm super excited to be back in the City!  I'll be teaching two classes:  Making Faces and Mixed Media Mod Brooch.  For more information about the classes CLICK HERE.

I thought I would share some more samples from the Making Faces class.  It's a lot of fun and it's interesting to see what faces emerge from the clay.

If you're interested in taking either or both of the classes, it's important to sign up in advance so that I know how many supplies to bring.  Plus, it helps defray my travel expenses.  AND space is limited.  Students who sign up in advance are guaranteed a spot (unless the class fills), while students who sign up the day of may or may not be able to snag a seat.

I hope to see you there!  CLICK HERE for more information about the classes and to sign up.  For students who have reserved their spots, I'll be sending out invoices by the end of the week.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Rollin'...

Sometimes it's hard to focus and that numb, creative freeze makes it difficult to make anything at all.  And then... sometimes you're in the zone and on a creative roll!  I've been on a roll lately.  I've got lots of other projects that I should be working on, but I figure that I've got to make hay while the sun is shining!

One of the best cures for creative blockages I've found is creating consistently.  When you've got the juices flowing, it's hard to keep them contained!  With this in mind, I try to make a least one thing every day.  If I can't get around to finishing a piece or even tackling an idea, I open up the sketch book and draw a line.  The line, in of itself, isn't any spectacular, but it is a reminder that I am an artist and that I am creating something... even if it's just a line.  Some of the best ideas start with a simple line.  It can be a map from Point A to Point B, a horizon, a signal to stop, a blank space to fill... a line can mean so many things.  I had a professor in college who did this and I do it too when I don't have an opportunity to create something more elaborate.

Here are some of the necklaces that I've recently made.  The first one is a mix of orange chalcedony, rose quartz, coral, brushed bronze, and a bronze butterfly clasp.  The second necklace puts the spotlight on graduated turquoise with red horn discs and carved acrylic amber at the center with a sterling silver toggle.  In the third necklace, there's a little bit of everything blue.  There's a mix of labradorite, kyanite, larimar, faceted pearls, aquamarine, copper, and shibuichi.  The great thing about this piece is that since the clasp is decorative, it can be worn in different combinations.  The clasp can be worn in the back, off to the side, or even in front.  Another piece that is like this is the fourth necklace.  The last necklace has a sterling silver bird toggle, freshwater pearls, kyanite, labradorite, and Hill Tribe Silver seashell beads.

I'm really happy with this yield.  I have a nice sense of accomplishment after making so many pieces in one night.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Goodies from Brenda...

Look what came in the mail!  I was super excited to receive this parcel!  (All of the goodies can be found in Brenda Schweder's Etsy shop.)  I got new accessories for my Now That's a Jig! and her new book, "Collaborate: Friends in the Making".  The book is stunning and includes innovative collaborative efforts between her and some of her artist friends.  The designs are really cutting-edge and are really wearable art.

It was like getting a box of inspiration the mail!  I can't wait to play with the new pegs!  The book is packed with cool ideas and the new ring pegs will take the guesswork out of sizing (and making) consistent wire rings!  If you're interested in her new book or Now That's a Jig!, CLICK HERE to check out her Etsy shop.  I highly recommend it!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Allegory Gallery Newsletter...

We've been super busy and have a lot of great activities planned.  Did you see the latest newsletter from Allegory Gallery?  It's all in there!  The newsletter features recaps, current events at the shop, and projects in the works.  CLICK HERE to see the web version and CLICK HERE to sign up for the mailing list.

Reflections...

Yesterday was my birthday.  I used to plan elaborate birthday parties and celebrate with true gusto.  Nowadays, I use the day in a much more contemplative way and reflect back over the years.  I think about all the things I have done and all the things I would like to do.  While it isn't as festive, it grounds me and centers me.  It reminds me of how far I've come and how far I'd like to go.

Last year, we were still at our old location.  We had finally finished renovating the Annex and had been running classes for a few months.  I have to admit that I had an odd sensation of satisfaction.  The store was doing well and the Annex was up and running after so much sweat and toil.  In hindsight, it was the calm before the storm.  Six months later (and after one of the most severe winters I have experienced), we decided to leave the old storefront, close the Annex, and start over in a new space.  The transition was hard, but the rewards of taking the next step were ample and bountiful.  We have been in the new shop for nearly half a year and I couldn't be happier.  We didn't know what to expect when we moved, but the business has grown, become more established in the community, and continues to flourish.

As I look back over the years, I see a steady stream of hard work.  I see my calling.  I see my passion.  I think back on all the people I have met and the friendships I have made and forged all the stronger.  I think back on all the beautiful things I have seen and all the things that I have made.  I feel lucky.  I feel full of gratitude.  We have been blessed with such an outpouring of positive energy and support.  It's hard to imagine that four years ago, I had been diagnosed with cancer and was facing treatment.  It was a dark time and I couldn't have fathomed having a store then.  It seemed like an impossible dream, that maybe... someday... might come true.  As I look back, I see all the winding paths, connecting and unfurling... bringing me to this place.  It is a good place.  Thank you for being a part of this journey, of going with me and William into unknown territory and discovering happiness.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Inspired by Reading August/September Blog Hop...

The summer has been zooming by!  Today is the Reveal for the August and September selections of the Inspired by Reading Book Club!  For August, we read, "Stiff" by Mary Roach.  For September, we read, "Lavinia" by Ursula K. LeGuin.  We decided to combine the two most recent reveals.  Both books were met with positive reviews.

"Stiff" is a book about the second "lives" of cadavers.  While it's a macabre topic, the author uses wit and humor to soften the gruesomeness.

Fans of The Wizard of Earthsea books will recognize Ursula K. LeGuin's lyrical prose that boards on poetry.  The focus of our selection features a minor character from the Aeneid, based in ancient Italy before the rise of the Rome, giving voice and life to a female character that is marginalized in the original.  The book not only gives background and depth to the title character, but furthers her story and gives conclusion to the unfinished epic poem by Virgil.

The meet-up was a lot of fun!  Isn't it always though?  Not only do we talk about the books, but we share our lives and take a night off to celebrate creativity.  Since Lavinia was set in ancient Italy, Alison brought pizza!  Laurel brought cake and sweets to celebrate my birthday and we had wine as well!

And without further ado... here's the REVEAL:


Alison made this necklace for the August selection.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "I call this piece, "Heart and Soul".  It is inspired by the ethics and morals underlaying the practice of using cadavers.  I was inspired by this quote:  "H is unique in that she is both a dead person and a patient on the way to surgery.  She is what's known as a "beading-heart cadaver", alive and well everywhere but her brain, a body will not breathe on its own.  But hook it up to a respirator and its heart will beat..."  "... these afford her an opportunity most corpses do not have:  that of extending the lives of two or three dying strangers."  The necklace is made up of leather, a bronze toggle from Saki Silver, peanut beads, artisan lampwork glass, Swarovski crystal, and an enamel focal from C-Koop."

Laurel made this necklace inspired by the August selection.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "One of the funniest stories in the book is about a mixup in the postal service, when a box of groceries was received instead of the expected human remains!  Imagine the surprise of the people who got the cadaver instead of their ham!  I made the polymer clay components, marking the focal with the words: "contents unknown".  The beads are supposed to represent the wooden boxes the parcels were shipped in.  I strung the polymer clay beads on waxed Irish linen, to replicate the look of packing twine."

This is the necklace that I made for "Stiff".  I dug out my copy of Gray's Anatomy and scanned in some anatomical illustrations.  I printed the images on shrink film and popped them in the oven.  I used the shrink plastic components with milagros of body parts like feet, ears, arms, heads, and lungs.  All the pieces were attached to a silver chain with jump rings.

This necklace was made for the September selection by Alison.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "As promised, Lavinia never dies as she lives along with her poem.  At the end of her human life, she is transformed into an owl.  I was particularly inspired by this quote, "I fly among the trees on soft wings that make no sound.  Sometimes I call out, but not in a human voice.  My cry is soft and quavering: I, I, I cry: Go on, go.  Only sometimes my soul wakes as a woman again, and then when I listen I can hear silence, and in the silence his voice."  To make the necklace, I used one of Andrew's porcelain pendants featuring an owl, Czech glass, and leafy chain."

This necklace was made by Laurel.  Here's what she had to say about it:  "The book features several battle scenes.  I thought about chain maille armor and battle gear.  I had this necklace made of these funky "O" rings and took it apart to make this new bib-style piece.  I used silk ribbon with metallic stitching (in a leaf pattern) for the back of the necklace.  To me, the leaves represent Lavinia's connection to nature."

This necklace was made by me for the September book.  For the base of the necklace, I used a kumihimo technique with hemp cord.  From that, I hung an articulated mechanical owl from my family at Green Girl Studios.  Cynthia gave it to me years ago as a birthday present and I held on to it for just the right project.  At the bottom of the owl, I attached a bronze ring that I hung an acorn, an ancient coin replica, and shibuichi oak leaves.  In the book, Lavinia goes into an old oak grove to pray and receive visions.

But wait... there's more!  The fun isn't over yet!  Take a look at what these Inspired by Reading Book Club members made with "Stiff" and "Lavinia" in mind for the blog hop:


The next book for the book club is "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman.  For this year's book list, CLICK HERE.  The in-person meet up at Allegory Gallery is scheduled for Tuesday, October 28th!  The next blog hop is planned for Wednesday, October 29th.  If you're interested in keeping up with what we're doing, CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook page.  We also have a Pinterest board with supplemental inspiration.  CLICK HERE to visit that.