Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Inspired by Reading June Blog Hop...

Today is the Reveal for June's selection of the Inspired by Reading Book Club! We read, "The Bucolic Plague" by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.  We all agreed that it was a really fun book and that there was no shortage of imagery to pull from.  The book is about two Manhattanites that become gentlemen farmers in a small town in upstate New York.  With a healthy dose of humor, the book chronicles their transitions and explores the ideas of truth and beauty.  
I really enjoyed the book... so much so that I'm going to do a follow up post just on my thoughts about it.

As we were getting together for the in-person meet up at Allegory Gallery, the sky went dark and the wind started shaking the trees and knocking over flower pots!  Amy Roadman and Laurel Ross braved the weather to talk about the book and share what they made.

And without further delay... here's the REVEAL!

Here's one of the pieces that Laurel made.  She said that she was inspired by the color descriptions on page 22. The author describes the black and white set against the orange of the maple trees.  The multi-strand necklace is made of glass rounds, faceted crystal, ebony with aluminum bands, and white howlite rounds.

I really like how she was able to extract some of the details and turn it into a very wearable and contemporary piece.  It just goes to show that the pieces inspired by the book don't have to be so literal in translation.

Laurel also made a pair of earrings!  These ones were really fun!  She made a pair of dangly dead fly earrings.  The flies were vintage brass stampings that she patinated with ammonia.  They're suspended from almond-shaped gunmetal earwires.

Amy made a matching set!  Here she is modeling the necklace and earrings.

Here is the set that Amy made.  The pieces are made of wood, copper discs, glazed ceramic, and bone.  She repurposed an old bone earring and made it into the focal of the necklace.  The pendant is a reference to the bones found in the crypt and the bones found in the garden plot.  The red beads are supposed to symbolize the many different fruits mentioned throughout the book, like the cherries, strawberries, and tomatoes.  Amy said that they were also supposed to reference the Red Roof Inn.  The wood is supposed to epitomize the dark, rich earth and nature, and the discs are a subtle nod to the mention of money and finances in the book.  Close to the toggle is a key charm, which is from when they open the house up.

Here's a close-up of the earrings she made.

I really like her pieces!  I think got a very urban flare and I told her that they looked very chic.  I love warmth and richness of the wood, copper and red beads and the bright pop of white with the bone.

Laurel and Amy both did an amazing job!

Here's the piece that I made!  Like Laurel, I was inspired by the Zombie Flies!  I took an image of a black fly and printed them out on shrink plastic in various sizes.  I then attached them to a sterling silver chain.  I love the tinkling sound it makes when the flies dangle together.

Although the flies are the dominant element of this piece, I hid some other little pieces to symbolize different parts of the book.

Like Amy, I used a key charm.  I wanted it to symbolize homeownership and the unlocking of one's path.  

I had a fine silver charm in my stash that my sister, Cynthia, designed.  It has a tree on it.  I used it to represent nature and country living.  I stamped it on the back with "1802", which is when the Beekman was built and is a part of their business name.

For the closure, I incorporated a sterling silver heart toggle.  I used it in the piece because this book is a love story to me.  I say this not just because of Josh and Brent's relationship in the book, but because it's about falling in love with a house... falling in love with a simpler life... falling in love with one's Best Life and learning how to love all these things.

For the in-person meet up, I made some recipes found in the back of the book.  One of them was the Garth's mom's margaritas from the Christmas party.  (Book club was definitely fun!)  The other thing I made was the infamous Pink Stuff made by Michelle in the book.  The Pink Stuff was definitely... interesting and very PINK!  The flavor was pretty good and it harkened to a sense memory of something I had as a child that my grandmother made.  The recipe was definitely in "party ratio", because even though there were three of us, it hardly looked like we made a dent in it.  The appearance was somewhat frightening though.  I should have put it in a vintage Jell-o mold or something to make it look a little less... interesting.

To add to our bounty, Amy brought some fresh fruit that was mentioned in the book.

It was a really fun evening and I've grown to look forward to our monthly meet ups!  It's nice to take a break from everything going on and celebrate reading and creativity!  The book club has provided an opportunity to get to know friends better and meet new people.

The fun's not over yet!  Take a look at what these Inspired by Reading Book Club members made with "The Bucolic Plague" in mind for this month's blog hop:

Here are two amazing polymer clay pieces made by Christine Damm for last month's book, "A Rumor of Gems" by Ellen Steiber, that weren't included in the blog hop:

Aren't they fabulous?  She used the jade dragon as her source of inspiration.  Her polymer clay technique makes the clay look like real stone and the carving is phenomenal!  CLICK HERE to read more about her process and her inspiration.

The next book for the book club is, "The Cookbook Collector" by Allegra Goodman.  For this year's full list, CLICK HERE.  The in-person meet up is scheduled for Tuesday, July 30th from 6PM to 9PM.  The Reveal will take place on Wednesday, July 31st!  If you're interested in keeping up with what we're doing, CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook group page.  We also have a Pinterest board with supplemental inspiration.  CLICK HERE to view that.


Unknown said...

Really wonderful Creations Andrew!
What a wonderful thing to do with the book!

Lotus said...

I am SO sad I missed all the fun, but it looks like I also missed some very nasty weather! Did you see the pix Sue Kennedy posted of her tree damage near Pittsburg? I'll bet she was glad she stayed home, although I hope she comes next time.
Laurel's necklace is so chic, and the colors are right on trend. The earrings will be just perfect for Halloween!
And Amy's jewels are so slick and sophisticated! I like the way she worked the bone into them, kind of a dirty little secret from the book, but so interesting!
And what can I say about the Lord of the Flies??? How extremely ghoulish! You'll have to lend that piece to Laurel at Halloween, unless you opt to borrow her earrings!
I think it is funny in a way that people picked up so much on the dead flies. I remember thinking every time the flies were mentioned, "Oh, those guys have never lived in a really old house before, or they would know about buzzer flies!" I myself have lived in two very old houses, so I didn't think of them as mysterious!

Terri Greenawalt

Michelle Mach said...

Loved all the designs! Looks like this book proved to be very rich in inspiration for everyone. A great choice!

Sarajo Wentling said...

So much fun! I love that some of you were inspired by the zombie flies and the bones. I have to admit I was a little worried about what they might dig up when they started the garden!

Mary K. McGraw said...

Looks like you all had a great time. Wish I lived nearby.It is so much fun to talk about a book after you read it. And you Andrew take it to the next level with food inspired by the book.

You and Laurel with your fly inspired creations. Who would have ever thought to do that. And Amy's creations are so full of meaning from the book.

Looking forward to the next book.

Mary K. McGraw said...

Looks like you all had a great time. Wish I lived nearby.It is so much fun to talk about a book after you read it. And you Andrew take it to the next level with food inspired by the book.

You and Laurel with your fly inspired creations. Who would have ever thought to do that. And Amy's creations are so full of meaning from the book.

Looking forward to the next book.

Mary Harding said...

You all made such great pieces. I like the fact that you and Laurel chose the flies . Wonderful and wild!! That fly problem exists up here in older houses too!!

I also like the reference to the bones in Amy's necklace.
Thank you Andrew for creatingnthisbfun forum for all of us!! I am blog hopping this rainy AM.

Stories They Tell said...

Andrew, I think your necklace was very 'fly'. We call these in VT, "cluster flies". I love the way you made these out of plastic and hung groups of them. So cool. Thanks for posting my late entries for the May post.

Jenny said...

Laurel - your necklace has great "zing" to it. That would so pop a business attire outfit... Your earrings are just plain fun/kitsch. Nice job!

Amy - I like your symbolism/inspiration that you pulled from the book as a whole. No need to be so literal - as Andrew said.

Andrew - hysterical. I am inspired by your use of shrink plastic. I have a stash of that somewhere...

Thanks for another great month! Off to hop now...