Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Inspired by Reading July Blog Hop...

Today is the Reveal for July's selection of the Inspired by Reading Book Club!  We read, "The Cookbook Collector" by Allegra Goodman.  The general consensus was that everyone liked the book and many of members said that they would read other books by the author.  I really enjoyed it and devoured it readily!  The book is about two very different sisters who navigate their loves and livelihoods, and over the course of the novel, they discover their hidden, personal histories and confront the intricate patterns of destiny.  At the center of the book is a rare cookbook collection and the mystery of its eccentric owner.

Since the weather was so nice, I decided to have the meeting outside in our courtyard at Allegory Gallery. I set the table with tea lights, lit some incense (to repel the bugs), and arranged the flower pots.

For the in-person meet-up, I made a cake that's mentioned in the book.  I used the adapted recipe from The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen for the Chocolate Honeycake.  It was dense and super chocolatey.  CLICK HERE for the recipe.

I also made a peach cobbler.  Although there's no mention of a cobbler, there is a very significant peach mentioned in the book.  I took advantage of the fact that peaches are in season and whipped up a peach cobbler.

I even served it with chardonnay!  "Kistler Chardonnay" is mentioned in the book, but with a price tag ranging from $50 to $200 a bottle, I opted for significantly cheaper Clos du Bois instead.

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

Laurel Ross made this necklace.  Part of the book deals with internet start-up companies and Laurel wanted to capture the "silicone valley romance" aspect.

She found an old circuit board, drew out the shape and had her husband cut out the heart.  She filed down the sharp soldier points and smoothed copper tape over the edges as a finishing touch.

I think this is a very clever interpretation and she totally tapped into a big part of this book.  The necklace has an edgy vibe.

Laurel also made customized, stamped cards!  She generously presented each of the attendees with a set of peach-themed cards.  The layers are great and the colors are so fresh!
Amy made this stunning necklace.  The necklace was created by weaving beading wire through the links of the gunmetal chain and periodically stringing beads.

Amy said that she chose to use this particular technique to epitomize how all of the events in the book weave together.  Even something seemingly random and mentioned offhandedly, comes back and plays a role.  The mother of pearl wedge beads are supposed to represent peach slices.

She did such a wonderful job!  The piece is really stunning and is very wearable and elegant.  It has a nice weight and I like how the beads give the piece a pop of color and extra texture.

This is Terri's piece.  She found a lampwork glass bead on Etsy of a peach and created a wire-wrapped dangle.  She strung the dangle on a length of leather.

Here's a close-up of Terri's find.

Her piece is simple, but she said that after she had the peach, it didn't need anything more.  Sometimes simplicity is the best.  It's a perfect example of how you don't have to spend hours and hours on a project to participate in the book club.

Here is Terri sharing another find for a future project inspired by The Cookbook Collector.  The piece is a carved stone pendant with a tree on it.  She also had some luscious black recycled sari silk ribbon.  I can't wait to see what she makes!

This piece was made by Connie.  It has a tree pendant and is supposed to represent the family tree and alludes to one of the main character's tree activism.  

It's a lovely piece with a lot of movement and energy.  The bright red marries perfectly with the reds and coppers, with pops of ivory to set it off.

Even though Jeanne is going to be posting on her own blog, I couldn't help but snap a picture of her piece.  It's really beautiful.  She combined sterling silver chain, wire components, and larimar.

Jeanne came all the way from Long Island to visit!  I didn't realize this, but apparently we had met a few years ago when we did a show out that way.  It was very exciting to reconnect!

The focal is a piece designed by my family at Green Girl Studios!  The Gertrude Stein quote on the back says, "Let me listen to me and not to them."

To read more about her piece CLICK HERE.

This is my piece!  Actually, it's one of the two of them.  I wasn't sure if I was going to like the piece when I working on it, so I decided to start another.  By the end of it, I was quite pleased.  It's eclectic and has all kinds of beads on it.  I wanted to capture the vibe of the redwood forests and peaches.  I used a quatrefoil link to pay tribute to the architect, Bernard Maybeck, who is mentioned frequently in the book.

This is my second piece.  I used a heart as the focal.  The focal is a porcelain piece by Nancy Schindler.  I paired the heart with carved stone leaves, agate barrels, Javanese glass, and copper rounds.  The clasp is made of shibuichi and is from my family at Green Girl Studios.  I used the leaves to reference the tree activism and I used a heart because there are several love stories in the book.

It was a really fantastic evening!  Amy and Laurel picked up frozen yogurt from the local creamery and we paired it with the cake and cobbler.  We sipped wine while fireflies danced around the table.  We talked about the book, beads, and the things we made.  We shared stories about our lives and enjoyed each other's company.  It was a really wonderful way to celebrate creativity and friendship.

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 "The Cookbook Collector" in mind for this month's blog hop:

Mary Harding
Jeanne Steck
Sarajo Wentling
Mary K. McGraw
Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Amy Roadman, Terri Greenwalt and Connie Parsons

The next book for the book club is, "The Infinities" by John Banville.  For this year's full list, CLICK HERE.  The list for next year will be coming soon!  The in-person meet up is scheduled for Tuesday, August 27th!  The next blog hop is Wednesday, August 28th!  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.


Sarajo Wentling said...

Wow! Everyone came up with such fun and different things! So fun to see all the different interpretations.

I love how many people chose to work the peach scene into their designs...some quite literally.

I so wish that I lived closer. Maybe I'll have to conspire some way to travel for the meet up one of these months!

Andrew Thornton said...

If you're going to BeadFest, we're talking about doing a meet-up there.

Jenny said...

Love it all, and my mouth is watering. I read the book when it first came out - and apparently forgot the peaches?! But I did enjoy the book and love seeing the results of everyones creativity.

Terri - great find. Sweet Simplicity.
Laurel - so clever with circuitry. Thats the extra mile to recruit the husband!
Amy - One thing I do remember is how disparate the parts seems at first in the book. I was so satisfied when they finally came together. So props to you for acknowledging that.
Connie - the tree story line I remember so clearly - I wanted to get to the books. Lovely color palette.
Andrew - you paid homage in stellar fashion. I like the first necklace's eclectic boho feel the most.

Until next month, friends! Read on....

Mary K. McGraw said...

Your meet sounds like so much fun: good food and company.

Laurel- love the use of the circuit board in the focal and the handmade cards were so thoughtful

Amy- weaving everything together is so representational of this book

Terri- The peach pendant was a great find and looks great hung from the leather

Connie- I tried to figure out a way to use a tree in my creation and went a different route. Love the dual symbolism of this creation.

Andrew - Love how you referenced the architect in your first piece. Both pieces are so representational of the book.

Jeanne @ Gems By Jeanne Marie said...

Andrew, again, thank you so much for your hospitality. It was wonderful to meet you, Amy, Laurel, Connie and Terri.
The shop is wonderful! I can't wait to visit again sometime.
I love my cards from Laurel and can't wait to use them for thank you notes. Her heart pendant is so creative.
Amy's necklace is so wearable. I love that you were able to symbolize the way the characters were interconnected.
Connie's necklace looked amazing on!
Terri- so great to sit and chat with you. Love the peach pit! Can't wait to see what you do with the ribbon.

Mary Harding said...

What an enchanting garden terrace for your meet up. And such delicious treats. Sounds like a great event.

Laurel, I love your motherboard heart. Fits in so well with the girls' loss of their mother and her role throughout the book thru notes. Love is certainly a theme in this book. Love the book and love your necklace!!
Amy what a great idea to string wire through the chain and add the beads with a reference to the many links of the story woven together.

Terry I too was very taken with the peach and made some from clay. I kept a larger one for myself and agree with you that it will look best as a simple necklace strung on cord. Love the color and size of the one you found.

Connie very nice necklace with the tree theme. Great tree and wonderful colors in the beads.
Jeanne, I love the necklace you made and left a more detailed comment on your blog. Thanks again for visiting my blog too.

Andrew Love those stone leaves and maybe a subtle reference to some of the characters' rigidity and to the tree theme in the book.
And most of all I want to say it again, this is such a great forum for inspiration and creativity. Thanks so much for doing it!!!