Michelle Mach http://michellemach.com/blog/ Beads and Books: Reading and Writing in an Arts and Crafts World en RSS2 30 Sun, 14 May 2017 22:23:11 GMT What's On Your Summer Fun List? http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/857-Whats-On-Your-Summer-Fun-List.html inspiration http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/857-Whats-On-Your-Summer-Fun-List.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=857 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=857 (Michelle) <p class="break">You do have a summer fun list, don't you?<br /><br />I started writing one a few weeks ago to make sure that don't accidentally work all summer. &#160;<br /><br />Yes, I'm aware that statement sounds fairly ridiculous, but somehow when you run your own business it's so easy to work all the time.&#160; There is always something to be done: new shipping boxes to order, customer emails to return, and deadlines to meet.&#160; I've decided that this summer I'm going to make a list of fun, non-business activities and try to do at least one thing on it each week.&#160; (More than one would be great, but I've set the bar low to make sure that I actually clear it.)<br /><br />Some items on my list are fairly specific (try that cauliflower with tahini recipe from the new <a href="https://www.177milkstreet.com/magazine">Milk Street Magazine</a>) and others are definitely vague (take a road trip). I want to spend time walking outside, read a lot, go to a few museums, and try my hand at some fun craft projects, including a leather bag that's been (not so) patiently waiting months for me to dye the already cut pieces and stitch them together. &#160;<br /><br />As part of my summer experiment, I'm going to loosen the reins on this blog.&#160; I've been blogging here weekly for seven years!&#160; I'll still continue to write here on occasion, but it won't be on a regular schedule going forward.&#160; If you like, you can <a href="http://eepurl.com/b-e1vL">sign up to receive my blog posts by email</a>.&#160; When there's a new post during the week, you'll get an email on Friday.&#160; (No new post = no email.) That email list won't be used for anything else other than sending my blog posts.<br /><br />To be clear, I'm still going to work this summer.&#160; Eating a rapidly melting mint chocolate chip ice cream cone while standing outside in the Colorado sun doesn't pay the bills.&#160; But I'm hoping a little sweetness should make the summer sing instead of slog. <br /><br /><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/what-summer-fun-list.jpg" alt="What's on your summer fun list?" /><br /><br />Hope you have a wonderful summer!&#160; (And don't forget to make your own &quot;summer fun&quot; list!)&#160;</p> Tue, 16 May 2017 07:23:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/857-guid.html My Stamped Bead Necklace in Beadwork June/July 2017 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/856-My-Stamped-Bead-Necklace-in-Beadwork-JuneJuly-2017.html beads jewelry magazines http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/856-My-Stamped-Bead-Necklace-in-Beadwork-JuneJuly-2017.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=856 1 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=856 (Michelle) <p class="break"><center> </p><p class="break"><p><font size="4">When one door closes, another one opens.<br />—Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)<br /></font></p></center><br /><a href="http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/834-Jewelry-Stringing-Magazine-Winter-2017.html">Back in January</a>, I wrote about <em>Jewelry Stringing</em> magazine closing.&#160; This magazine helped shaped me as a new jewelry designer, so I was sad to see it go.&#160; The good news is that its sister magazine <em>Beadwork</em> is currently folding in a few <em>Stringing</em>-like projects into future issues.&#160; I'm excited to have a new necklace in the <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;subid=&amp;offerid=278746.1&amp;type=10&amp;tmpid=10773&amp;RD_PARM1=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fbeadwork-june-july-2017-print-edition">June/July 2017 issue of <em>Beadwork</em></a>! <br /><br /><a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;subid=&amp;offerid=278746.1&amp;type=10&amp;tmpid=10773&amp;RD_PARM1=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fbeadwork-june-july-2017-print-edition"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Wing Your Wings by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/find-your-wings-mach.jpg" /></a><br /> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Stamped Metal Jewelry</strong><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p>The theme for the set of &quot;Fast and Fabulous&quot; projects in this issue was stamped metal.&#160; For my &quot;Find Your Wings&quot; necklace, I decided to stamp on metal beads instead of the normal pendant or charm blanks.&#160; I used <a href="http://www.michaels.com/halcraft-bead-gallery-oval-beads-metal-copper-plate/10261394.html">copper-plated ovals</a> and silver-toned beads from <a href="http://www.michaels.com/">Michaels</a>.&#160; Since I didn't know the metal content (how I wish craft stores would include that info!), I only used metal stamps that were rated for steel just to be safe.&#160; (You can damage your metal stamps if you stamp them on harder metals than what they are rated for.)&#160; The copper ovals were a little tricky to stamp because they are slightly curved; the flat silver ones were easier.&#160; The fun thing about stamping on beads is that you can decide whether or not to show the stamped message to the world (facing up) or to keep it to yourself (facing down).&#160; Unlike thinner stamped metals, you don't have to worry about the ugly hammer marks showing on the reverse side. <br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;subid=&amp;offerid=278746.1&amp;type=10&amp;tmpid=10773&amp;RD_PARM1=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fbeadwork-june-july-2017-print-edition"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Close-up of Find Your Wings by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/find-wings-closeup.jpg" /></a></p> </p><p class="break"><p>The eight stamped projects <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;subid=&amp;offerid=278746.1&amp;type=10&amp;tmpid=10773&amp;RD_PARM1=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fbeadwork-june-july-2017-print-edition">in this issue</a> are from designers Jess Lincoln (<a href="http://www.vintaj.com/">Vintaj</a>), Rita Pannulla (<a href="http://www.impressart.com/">ImpressArt</a>), Lisa Niven Kelly (<a href="http://www.beaducation.com/">Beaducation</a>), <a href="https://loreleieurto.myshopify.com/">Lorelei Eurto</a>, Kristina Hahn Eleniak (<a href="http://www.peacockandlime.com/">Peacock and Lime</a>), <a href="http://www.gaea.cc">Gaea Caanaday</a>, Becky Nunn (<a href="http://www.nunndesign.com/">Nunn Design</a>), and me (Michelle Mach).&#160; Each design puts a fresh spin on metal stamping, using a range of metals (brass, copper, pewter, and plated metals) to showcase different ideas such as a miniature book, a metal bead frame, or mandala patterns.&#160; Enjoy!<br /></p></p> Tue, 09 May 2017 07:17:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/856-guid.html May Genre Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/853-May-Genre-Reading-Challenge-Historical-Fiction.html book reviews http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/853-May-Genre-Reading-Challenge-Historical-Fiction.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=853 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=853 (Michelle) <p class="break"><p> <strong><a href="http://www.michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/832-Genre-Reading-Challenge-for-2017-12-Genres-in-12-Months.html"><img align="right" vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="12 Genres in 12 Months Reading Challenge" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/12genre-small.jpg" /></a>May Genre Challenge:&#160; Historical Fiction</strong><br /><br />If you long for years gone by or just want to learn some history in a fun way, this is the genre for you! May's theme in the <a href="http://www.michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/832-Genre-Reading-Challenge-for-2017-12-Genres-in-12-Months.html">12 genres in 12 months</a> reading challenge is historical fiction.&#160; I don't normally seek out historical fiction, so I was surprised to learn that I'd read so much of it when I started looking at recommended reading lists.<br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Recommended Reads</strong></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong></strong>Here are a few historical fiction titles I've enjoyed over the last few years:<br /> </p> </p><ul> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2pst9GB">The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society</a> by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (1946, Guernsey Island)<br />It's tough to write a compelling novel that's comprised of letters, but this one does it well. <br /></li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2pJeKJ0">The Help</a> by Kathryn Stockett (1962, Mississippi) <br />The movie is good, too.<br /></li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2pw4vqn">The Kite Runner</a> by Khaled Hosseini (1970s, Afghanistan)<br />A heartbreaking story.<br /></li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2pvKY9J">Number the Stars</a> by Lois Lowry (Denmark, Word War II)<br />I read many historical fiction books for children in <a href="http://www.michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/741-50-Years-of-Newbery-Medal-Winners-Book-Inspired-Art-for-2016.html">my year-long Newbery project</a>. This one stood out as the best.<br /></li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2pvWBx8">Orphan Train</a> by Christina Baker Lane (Minnesota, Great Depression)<br />I keep notes on the books I read.&#160; For this one, I noted that I enjoyed the historical parts of the book more than the modern-day ones.</li> </ul><p><strong>What I Might Read</strong><br /> </p><p class="break"><p>Here are the few books that made my short list:</p> </p><p class="break"><p><a href="http://amzn.to/2oTbqpz"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="March by Geraldine Brooks" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/march-bookcover.jpg" /></a><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Possibility #1: </strong><a href="http://amzn.to/2oTbqpz">March</a> by Geraldine Brooks<a href="http://www.catwinters.com/"><br /></a><br /><strong>Why this interests me:</strong> This book tells the story of the <em>Little Women's</em> father against the backdrop of the Civil War.&#160; I'm always fascinated by books that try to tell a different part of a well-known story.&#160; This book won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2006. <br /><br /><strong>Recommended by: </strong><a href="https://www.abebooks.com/books/features/50-essential-historical-fiction-books.shtml">50 Essential Historical Fiction Books (Abe Books)</a><br /></p><a href="http://amzn.to/2oJyMTv"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Luminaries" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/luminaries-bookcover.jpg" /></a><br /> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Possibility #2: </strong><a href="http://amzn.to/2oJyMTv">The Luminaries</a> by Eleanor Catton<br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me: </strong>The central plot(s) seem to revolve around a mystery set in a gold-mining town in New Zealand in 1866.&#160; I always love a good mystery.&#160; This book won the Booker Prize in 2013.&#160; It's over 800 pages, which is a little daunting!&#160; </p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Recommended by:&#160; </strong><a href="https://qwiklit.com/2013/12/12/20-works-of-historical-fiction-you-should-read-right-now/">20 Works of Historical Fiction You Should Read Right Now (Quicklit)</a><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><a href="http://amzn.to/2oT9FJd"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="The Book Thief by Markus Zusak" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/bookthief-cover.jpg" /></a><br /> </p> </p><p class="break"><p> <strong>Possibility #3: </strong><a href="http://amzn.to/2oT9FJd">The Book Thief</a> by Markus Zusak<strong> </strong><br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me: </strong>This is one of those titles that seems to pop up on many recommended book lists.&#160; The basic premise that books can feed the soul during dark times (Nazi Germany, 1939) is very compelling.<br /><strong><br />Recommended by: </strong><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7537.Best_Historical_Novels_That_Made_You_Cry">Best Historical Novels That Made You Cry (Goodreads)</a><br /><a href="http://amzn.to/2pswXHT"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Dancing in Combat Boots" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/dancing-bookcover.jpg" /></a><br /><strong>Possibility #4:</strong> <a href="http://amzn.to/2pswXHT">Dancing in Combat Boots</a> by Teresa Funke<br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me: </strong>Teresa Funke is a local author who has written historical fiction books for children and adults.&#160; This one is a series of short stories about American women during World War II.&#160; I like the idea of reading a book of short stories, since that seems to be an unusual format for historical fiction.<br /><strong><br />Recommended by: </strong><a href="https://kidlithistory.com/2013/12/07/small-books-about-big-wars/">Small Books About Big Wars (KidLit History)</a><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p>I'll be reading one (or possibly more) of these books this month.<br /><br />For other book ideas, check out my <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/beadsandbooks/book-recommendations/">Book Recommendations</a> board on Pinterest.&#160; I'll be adding book lists throughout the year as I come across intriguing ones.<br /><br /><strong>Next Month (June): </strong>Science Fiction or Science Factual.&#160; When I was looking for books to read this month, I discovered a few time travel / alternative history ones that I might read in June.&#160; Stay tuned!<br /></p></p> Tue, 02 May 2017 07:22:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/853-guid.html New Pastel Beads and Hope Springs Eternal Bracelet http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/852-New-Pastel-Beads-and-Hope-Springs-Eternal-Bracelet.html beads jewelry http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/852-New-Pastel-Beads-and-Hope-Springs-Eternal-Bracelet.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=852 2 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=852 (Michelle) <p class="break"><p class="break">Today is the official reveal for the <a href="http://www.halcraft.com/design/pretty-palettes-april-2017-inspiration/">April Pretty Palettes Challenge for Halcraft</a>.<br /><br />All you can see from the bead photo below, the colors are mainly soft pastels.&#160; They're a nice mix of glass, gemstone, acrylic, and shell beads. My favorites are the lavender faceted rondelles.&#160; <br /><br /><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Beads for Pretty Pallettes Challenge April 2017" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/april-pp17-beads.jpg" /><br /><br /><strong>Hope Springs Eternal Bracelet</strong><br /><br /><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Hope Springs Eternal Bracelet by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/hope-bracelet2.jpg" /></p> </p><p class="break"><p>It seems like every spring I am astonished that my tulips and daffodils have come up again.&#160; I love seeing that little burst of color in the yard.&#160; That feeling inspired this bracelet.<br /><br />I made my own clasp using a hand cut piece of aluminum that I stamped, painted, hammered, and drilled.&#160; The words &quot;hope springs eternal&quot; is a shortened form of a quote used in <em>An Essay on Man</em> written by Alexander Pope in 1734.&#160; It felt like an appropriate phrase for spring, which is a time of optimism.<br /></p>Happy spring!<br /></p> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:00:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/852-guid.html My 8 Favorite Things This Spring http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/855-My-8-Favorite-Things-This-Spring.html book reviews inspiration product reviews shop http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/855-My-8-Favorite-Things-This-Spring.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=855 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=855 (Michelle) <p class="break">It's late April and I'm deep into orders for <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/michellemach?section_id=21137672">handmade graduation and Father's Day gifts</a>.&#160; It's a good time to take a break and share some of the things that I've been enjoying ... and that you might like, too! <br /><br /><strong>1.<em> Comfort and Joy</em> cookbook</strong><br />I'm fascinated by small batch cookbooks because I don't like having lots of leftovers.&#160; I haven't cooked anything yet from <a href="http://amzn.to/2p9Rp1W">Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two</a> by Christina Lane, but the recipes look easy and delicious with ingredients that I either already have or can easily get. I love the idea of making lasagna for two or just a batch of four muffins.<br /><br /><strong>2. Extra large bookmarks</strong><br />Last year I kept getting requests for handstamped bookmarks with extra long quotes, so this year I'm prepared!&#160; These are twice as wide as my <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/157375139/custom-bookmark-with-quotation-unique">custom copper bookmarks</a>, so I can not only fit longer quotes, but use larger fonts as shown in the <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/524059535/quotation-bookmark-inspirational-quote">&quot;Go confidently in the direction of your dreams ...&quot; bookmark</a>.<br /><br /><strong>3. Flowering trees</strong><br />Normally all the fruit trees flower and then we get a big snow that wipes out all the blossoms.&#160; That hasn't happened this year, so it's felt like spring for more than a single week.<img vspace="10" border="0" align="right" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/spring-blossoms.jpg" alt="Spring Blossoms" /><br /><br /><strong>4. Funny animal drawings</strong><br />I've started following a lot of cute animal illustrators on Instagram and was inspired to check out the book <a href="http://amzn.to/2ozAvGP">Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals</a> by Carla Sonheim.&#160; This is a fun book with ideas on how to draw animals from blobs of paint or other random sources.<br /><strong><br />5. Rain</strong><br />Colorado is not a rainy place, so it's always nice to get the occasional rainy day to stay inside and cozy up with a book and a cup of chai.&#160; (My limit for rain seems to be about 2 or 3 days and then I need to see a little sun!)<br /><br /><strong>6. Unicorn reviews</strong><br />No, I haven't tried the pink-and-blue Unicorn Frappuccino at Starbucks, but I have enjoyed reading some of the funny reviews about it, including this one by a 61-year-old British man in <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/04/20/61-year-old-british-guy-tried-starbucks-unicorn-frappuccino-heres-review/100697436/#">USA Today</a>.<br /><br /><strong>7. Sherlock Holmes</strong><br />If you follow me on social media, you probably know that I've been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes this year.&#160; I'm finally watching the TV show <a href="http://amzn.to/2pqxJYD">Elementary</a> with Lucy Liu as Watson and I've been reading all the Mary Russell books by Laurie R. King in order. (<a href="http://amzn.to/2pTRg3v">The Beekeeper's Apprentice</a> is the first book in the series.)<br /><br /><strong>8. Stationary bike</strong><br />I've been wanting to ride my bike more, but I don't like riding it when the weather is bad.&#160; I now have a little stand that turns my bike into a stationary bike so I can ride it inside.&#160; It's sturdy, but not permanent, so I'll be able to undo it when the weather is nicer. I love that I can listen to podcasts while I ride inside.<br /><br />Hope you're having a wonderful spring!</p> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:54:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/855-guid.html