Beads and Books by Michelle Mach - Handmade in Colorado http://michellemach.com/blog/ Beads and Books: Handmade in Colorado en RSS2 30 Wed, 11 Oct 2017 21:42:02 GMT 7 Pumpkin Facts I Learned in October 2017 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/873-7-Pumpkin-Facts-I-Learned-in-October-2017.html humor http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/873-7-Pumpkin-Facts-I-Learned-in-October-2017.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=873 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=873 (Michelle) <p class="break"><p><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="7 Pumpkin Facts I Learned in October 2017 by Michelle Mach, www.michellemach.com" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/7-pumpkin-facts.jpg" /><br /><br />My relationship to pumpkin is complex.<br /><br />I'm the type of person says that it's fine if we don't have turkey for Thanksgiving, but we absolutely <em>must</em> have pumpkin pie.<br /><br />At the same time, I would <em>never</em> buy pumpkin spice shampoo.&#160; That's just crazy talk.<br /><br /><strong>7 Facts About Pumpkins I Learned In October 2017</strong><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p>Orange, bulbous, inhuman creatures have certainly dominated the news this month.&#160; Here are a few new things I've learned about them:<strong><br /></strong></p><strong> </strong> </p><ol><strong> </strong> <li><strong>Pumpkin is not really pumpkin.</strong><br />You know that can of pumpkin you buy at the store every autumn, the one that says &quot;100% pumpkin&quot;?&#160; Yeah, not so much.&#160; It's actually squash!&#160; Apparently squash makes better pies than real pumpkin, which can be rather bland.&#160; I first learned this on NPR's Marketplace podcast (&quot;<a href="https://www.marketplace.org/2017/08/15/life/big-book/your-pumpkin-pie-lie">Your pumpkin pie is a lie</a>&quot;) and then confirmed it by reading <a href="http://bravetart.com/">Bravetart</a> by Stella Parks, a book I highly recommend.<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>The Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks has dairy in it!</strong><a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/559550043/pumpkin-spice-keychain-i-love-pumpkin"><img vspace="10" border="0" align="right" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/pumpkin-spice-keychain.jpg" alt="Pumpkin Spice Keychain" /></a><br />I found out this one the hard way.&#160; If you're trying to avoid milk, ordering your pumpkin spice latte with soy, almond, or coconut milk isn't enough.&#160; Real milk gives me migraines, so I did a little digging after my second (and last!) pumpkin spice latte.&#160; Yep, sure enough I found: <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/is-starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latte-dairy-free-heres-what-you-need-to-know-80698">Is Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte Dairy Free?</a><br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Some people <em>really</em> don't like the smell of pumpkin.</strong><br />According to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/10/06/a-school-was-evacuated-over-a-strange-odor-it-was-pumpkin-spice-air-freshener/">an article in The Washington Post</a>, a school in Baltimore was evacuated due to a bad smell that made it difficult for some students and teachers to breathe.&#160; The Hazmat team was brought in and they determined that the cause was a pumpkin spice air freshener.<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>One reporter went pumpkin spice crazy.</strong><br />One reporter wrote about <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/15/pumpkin-spice-products-for-a-week-cake-recipe/">buying every pumpkin spice item</a> she could during one week.&#160; My favorite quote concerned her pumpkin spice dog biscuits: &quot;My dogs loved them! They also love eating garbage straight out of the can.&quot;<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>The pumpkin capital of the world is Morton, Illinois.</strong><br />I learned that the Libby plant in Morton cans 80% of the world's pumpkins in this <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a22544/facts-about-pumpkins/">article by Good Housekeeping</a> featuring 15 pumpkin facts.&#160; (Note: The <a href="http://www.morton-il.gov/citizen-support-center/tourism/">city website</a> claims over 85%.) I always love learning about small towns that have a singular point of pride.&#160; The even have an annual pumpkin festival that attracts 70,000 people.&#160; (The town population is around 16,000.)<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Pumpkin beer is not a hipster invention.</strong><br />I always thought pumpkin beer was new (and frankly, weird), but it actually dates back to colonial times, according this &quot;<a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/09/pumpkin-beers-colonial-necessity-to-seasonal-treat-beer-history-brewing.html">Pumpkin Beer History</a>&quot; article.<br /><strong><br /></strong></li><strong> </strong> <li><strong>Pumpkin carving has gone way, way beyond triangle cut-outs for facial features.<br /></strong>See some of the amazing pumpkins that are <a href="https://www.uppercanadavillage.com/events/pumpkinferno/">carved as part of Pumpkinferno in Canada</a>.&#160; I am astounded by the <a href="http://dailyhive.com/toronto/pumpkinferno-upper-canada-village-2017">pumpkin dragon</a>. Wow!<br /></li> </ol><p> </p><p class="break"><p><a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/560023749/pumpkin-earrings-for-autumn-fall"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/pumpkin-earrings.jpg" alt="Pumpkin Earrings by Michelle Mach" /></a><br /><em>Shown here: My handmade <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/560023749/pumpkin-earrings-for-autumn-fall">Pumpkin Earrings</a> are made with hand stamped copper and niobium (hypoallergenic) ear wires.&#160; The handmade <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/559550043/pumpkin-spice-keychain-i-love-pumpkin">I [Heart] Pumpkin Spice Keychain</a> is made with copper and finished with a strong stainless steel key ring.</em><br /></p></p> Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:05:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/873-guid.html Quick Shop Owner Tip for the Holidays: Make Two http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/872-Quick-Shop-Owner-Tip-for-the-Holidays-Make-Two.html business http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/872-Quick-Shop-Owner-Tip-for-the-Holidays-Make-Two.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=872 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=872 (Michelle) <p class="break"><p><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/make-two-tip.jpg" alt="Holiday Tip for Handmade Shops: Make Two" /><br /><br />Are you ready for Christmas?<br /><br />If you're a person who only shops for gifts in December, then that question is likely to sound ridiculous.&#160; It's early October!<br /><br />If you're a shop owner, especially one who owns a handmade shop, your response is likely to be more like mine:<br /><br /><em>Arghhhhhhhhh!</em></p> </p><p class="break"><p>I never feel ready for the rush of the holiday season, even though I often start preparing in the summer.&#160; This is my sixth year as an online shop owner and I know enough to know that I will never feel fully ready.&#160; There are just too many variables:&#160; Will people shop mostly in November or wait until the last minute in December?&#160; Will one of my products be featured somewhere in December and cause an unexpected late rush of interest like the earrings featured on <a href="https://writerswrite.co.za/27-inspiring-gift-ideas-for-writers-and-readers/">27 Inspiring Gift Ideas for Writers and Readers</a> did last year?&#160; Will one of my trusted vendors stop carrying the one unique item that I need and can't get anywhere else?&#160; Will I run out of boxes?&#160; Will the post office lose my packages?<br /><br />This year I've tried to be more deliberate in my preparations:&#160; studying spreadsheets of past sales, gradually stocking up on common supplies, and organizing my finished inventory into clearly labeled containers and drawers.&#160; The biggest thing I've done to get prepared is:<br /><br /><strong>Make Two</strong><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p>In the summer and fall, whenever I get an order for an item that I can remake, I make two.&#160; One to ship for the order and another to set aside for the hectic days later in the year when I need items that are ready to ship.&#160; It saves time to work in batches either to make your individual components or entire items.&#160; <br /><br />For example, if I'm going to darken a batch of raw copper, I always make sure that I do a bunch of pieces at once rather than pull out all the supplies I need each time.&#160; Similarly, it's rare for me to hand stamp only a single item.&#160; If I have my metal stamps out, I nearly always make more than one piece.&#160; I find that I get into a certain rhythm and pieces turn out better when I'm in the swing of things.<br /><br />If it's something I can't fully make (something that requires personalization to finish, such as my <a href="https://www.etsy.com/michellemach/listing/473349188/typewriter-ornament-personalized-gift">Typewriter Ornament</a>), then I just make the parts I can make now.&#160; Anything I can do now will save me time down the line.&#160; <br /><br /><a href="https://www.etsy.com/michellemach/listing/228838034/mantra-keychain-breathe-keychain-for"><img border="0" alt="Breathe Keychains by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/breathe-keychains.jpg" /></a><br /><font size="1">Two of my <a href="https://www.etsy.com/michellemach/listing/228838034/mantra-keychain-breathe-keychain-for">Breathe keychains</a> that I made on the same day. One has been shipped to a customer; the other is waiting for its forever home. </font><br /><br />If you only make one-of-a-kind items, you're not off the hook!&#160; If you make one necklace, don't stop there.&#160; Make a matching pair of earrings or a bracelet.&#160; Or make two items that are structurally similar such as pendant necklaces on chain, but totally different in terms of color or style.&#160; Simply adding an another item or two every day will make a big difference down the line and doesn't add too much time to my regular workday.&#160; This year it's been especially important for me to do this since I've been selling larger wholesale orders now that my items are stocked in <a href="http://www.michellemach.com/galleries-shops/">several U.S. shops</a>.&#160; <br /><br /><strong>Don't Worry, Keep Making!</strong><br /><br />I'll admit that making and storing inventory is always a little scary to me.&#160; It feels safer to only make items as they are ordered, but that can cause long hours during the holiday season.&#160; I'm worried that I'll guess wrong in what I make.&#160; What if this is the year people stop being interested in hand stamped bookmarks?&#160; I've been stocking all these aluminum keychains, but what if tastes change and everyone wants brass?&#160; <br /><br /><a href="https://www.etsy.com/michellemach/listing/541489616/more-books-less-sleep-bookmark-stamped"><img border="0" alt="More Books Less Sleep Bookmark by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/books-sleep-bookmark.jpg" /></a><br /><font size="1">What if reading moves completely from paper books to digital? Will I end up with a lot of leftover hand stamped bookmarks like my <a href="https://www.etsy.com/michellemach/listing/541489616/more-books-less-sleep-bookmark-stamped">More Books Less Sleep</a> one pictured here?</font><br /><br />Talking to someone who owns a food truck made me feel much better about making lots of inventory.&#160; With jewelry, it's often possible to take apart components and reuse them in future items that I might sell.&#160; I can modify old items with paint or other layers, so that the original version is no longer visible.&#160; I can choose to donate unsold earrings to places like <a href="http://earstoyou.org/">Ears for You</a>.&#160; If it's jewelry made with sterling silver, I can opt to sell it as scrap for cash. If I were stocking something like milk or lettuce, I wouldn't have the luxury of so many options.<br /><br /><a href="https://www.etsy.com/michellemach/listing/476706783/2017-ornament-silver-christmas-star"><img border="0" alt="2016 Star Christmas Ornaments by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/2016-star-ornaments.jpg" /></a><br /><font size="1">Two of my 2016 <a href="https://www.etsy.com/michellemach/listing/476706783/2017-ornament-silver-christmas-star">star ornaments</a> that did not sell. I'll need to decide what to do with these, but two extra ornaments is an easy problem to solve.</font><br /><br />Go forth and make lots of beautiful handmade things this fall!&#160; Think of it as a kind gift to your future stressed out self.<br /><br /> </p></p> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 14:07:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/872-guid.html October Reading Challenge: Spooky and Horror http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/868-October-Reading-Challenge-Spooky-and-Horror.html book reviews http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/868-October-Reading-Challenge-Spooky-and-Horror.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=868 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=868 (Michelle) <p class="break"><p><strong>October</strong> <strong>Genre Challenge:&#160; Spooky and Horror<img vspace="10" border="0" align="right" hspace="10" alt="12 Genres in 12 Months" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/12genre-small.jpg" /></strong><br /><br />I don't enjoy scary books, so I initially felt stumped by this month's theme for 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.&#160; However, I think I found a loophole: scary books written for children.&#160; I'm assuming these will be less intense than those for adults. &#160; <br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Recommended Reads<br /><br /></strong>Here are a few books I've read that you might enjoy:<br /></p> </p><ul> <li><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Daphne-Du-Maurier/dp/0380730405/">Rebecca</a> by Daphne du Maurier<br />I read this classic Gothic novel earlier this year in for the <a href="http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/848-April-Genre-Challenge-Thrillers-and-Suspense.html">Thrillers/Suspense category</a> of this challenge and found it surprisingly enjoyable.<br /><br /></li> <li><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Graveyard-Book-Neil-Gaiman/dp/0060530944/">The Graveyard Book</a> by Neil Gaiman<br />I read this children's book as part of my <a href="http://www.michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/741-50-Years-of-Newbery-Medal-Winners-Book-Inspired-Art-for-2016.html">Newbery award book project</a>. It has an interesting premise: what might happen to a child who was raised in a cemetery?<br /><br /></li> <li><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Misery-Novel-Stephen-King/dp/1501143107/">Misery</a> by Stephen King<br />This creepy book about an author and his biggest fan might be the only Stephen King novel I've ever read. (&quot;Read&quot; is probably too generous a description.&#160; I have a feeling that I skimmed or skipped the truly gruesome parts.)<br /></li> </ul><p><strong>What I Might Read</strong><br /> Here are the books that made my short list: </p><p class="break"><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Date-R-L-Stine/dp/0590431250/"><img border="0" alt="Blind Date by R. L. Stine" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/blind-date-cover.jpg" /></a><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Possibility #1: </strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Date-R-L-Stine/dp/0590431250/">Blind Date</a> by R. L. Stine<strong><br /></strong><br /><strong>Why this interests me: </strong><em>Blind Date</em> was R. L. Stine's first book in this genre.&#160; It's aimed at young adults.&#160; I love that he wrote joke books before attempting his first horror book.<br /><br /><strong>Recommended by:&#160; </strong><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/18/449748255/attack-of-the-spooky-script-r-l-stine-in-life-and-on-the-screen">Attack of the Spooky Script</a> (an interview with R. L. Stine)<br /></p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Tell-Tale-Heart-Edgar-Allan-Illustrated/dp/152109344X/"><img border="0" alt="The Tell Tale Heart" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/tell-tale-heart-cover.jpg" /></a><br /> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Possibility #2: </strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Tell-Tale-Heart-Edgar-Allan-Illustrated/dp/152109344X/">The Telltale Heart</a> by Edgar Allan Poe<br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me: </strong>I vaguely remember reading Poe's works in school, but I honestly don't remember the specific details.&#160; It would be fun to revisit one and see what I think as an adult, especially knowing there won't be a quiz at the end!<br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Recommended by:&#160; </strong><a href="https://modernmrsdarcy.com/seriously-spooky-books-halloween/">45 seriously spooky (but not quite scary) books</a><br /><strong><br /></strong><strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Have-Always-Lived-Castle-Collection/dp/0143129546/"><img border="0" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/always-castle-cover.jpg" alt="We Have Always Lived in the Castle" /></a><br /><br />Possibility #3: </strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Have-Always-Lived-Castle-Collection/dp/0143129546/">We Have Always Lived in the Castle</a> by Shirley Jackson<br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me:</strong> The only piece I remember reading by Shirley Jackson is her famous short story &quot;The Lottery.&quot;&#160; I'm curious to read this 1962 novel by her, especially since it's described as &quot;excellent for those reluctant to read horror.&quot;&#160; Perfect!<br /><br /><strong>Recommended by:</strong> <a href="http://www.readbrightly.com/best-teen-horror-books/">Surefire YA Scares: 13 of the Best Teen Horror Books</a><br /><br />I'll be reading one (or more) of these books this month.</p> </p><p class="break"><p>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 (November): </strong>Mystery. This is one of my favorite genres, so I should have lots of good recommendations for you!<br /></p></p> Sun, 01 Oct 2017 08:14:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/868-guid.html Is It Southwestern Style Jewelry ... Or Not? http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/870-Is-It-Southwestern-Style-Jewelry-...-Or-Not.html beads jewelry magazines http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/870-Is-It-Southwestern-Style-Jewelry-...-Or-Not.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=870 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=870 (Michelle) <p class="break"><p class="break">Jewelry and craft magazines love themes.&#160; It does make it easier for editorial staff to organize content.&#160; Readers seem to love too, as it is fascinating to see variations on a theme all grouped together.&#160; As a jewelry designer, I like the idea of working with themes.&#160; Rather than seeing it as restrictive, I see it as a challenge:&#160; <strong>How can you put a personal twist on a theme and still have it ring true? &#160;</strong><br /><br /><strong>What Is Southwestern Jewelry?</strong><br /><br />The theme for the &quot;Fast and Fabulous&quot; section of the <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;mid=37853&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fbeadwork-october-november-2017-digital-edition">October/November 2017 issue of <em>Beadwork</em></a> was Southwestern jewelry.&#160; Color suggestions were given (red, turquoise, brown), but no other specific limitations.&#160; An old article titled &quot;<a href="https://www.interweave.com/article/beading/make-southwest-style-jewelry/">Make Southwest Style Jewelry</a>&quot; on the publisher's website suggested specific color combinations of turquoise and silver, turquoise and red, or brown and blues.&#160; (I was surprised to see my <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;mid=37853&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fcopper-cowgirl">Copper Cowgirl</a> necklace listed in the examples.&#160; That's one of my earliest magazine designs from 2007 if you want to see where I started.)<br /><br />The features that I associate with this style (primarily from looking in shop windows in Santa Fe, New Mexico) are bold/statement necklaces, lots of turquoise, dark brown leather, occasional red accents, and lots of bright silver.&#160; <br /><br /><strong>A Few Examples of Southwestern Jewelry</strong><br /><br />Looking over some of my older handmade jewelry designs, here are a couple that I could say could fall into this theme:<br /><br /><a href="http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/801-Leather-Stitched-Bracelet-in-Jewelry-Stringing-Fall-2016.html"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Desert Bloom Bracelet by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/desert-bloom-st16.jpg" /></a></p> </p><p class="break"><p>My Desert Bloom bracelet appeared in the <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;mid=37853&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fjewelry-stringing-magazine-fall-2016-digital-edition">Fall 2016 issue of Jewelry Stringing</a>.&#160; This bracelet combines the standard turquoise, red, and silver colors with a touch of black.&#160; I think the hand stitching and the thicker leather cuff also fit this theme well.&#160; You can read more about it in the <a href="http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/801-Leather-Stitched-Bracelet-in-Jewelry-Stringing-Fall-2016.html">original blog post</a>.<br /><br /><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/turquoise-ranch-necklace.jpg" alt="Turquoise Ranch by Michelle Mach" /><br /><br />My Turquoise Ranch necklace is an affordable design I made using Bead Gallery beads from Michaels.&#160; The use of the braided leather, the turquoise beads and the almost bolo tie pendant shape say &quot;Southwestern&quot; to me.&#160; I did use touches of green, which is not characteristic.&#160; I think if I were to make this design today I might have gone full steam ahead with just turquoise in the two small oval bezels.<br /><strong><br />A Design That Isn't Southwestern, But Could Easily Be Transformed</strong><br /><br /><a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/189854940521803798/"><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Blue Chip Necklace by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/blue-necklace.jpg" /></a><br /><br />This <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/189854940521803798/">blue chip necklace</a>, on the other hand, I wouldn't classify as Southwestern because the colors are not right.&#160; However, if I substituted turquoise chips for the dark blue chips, it would fit the theme nicely.&#160; It's definitely a bold statement necklace, which is one of the features I associate with Southwestern jewelry.&#160; I think the same silver beads and large chain would look great in a turquoise version. (A <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/189854940521803798/">step-by-step tutorial with photos</a> is available if you want to make something similar.)<br /><br /><strong>An Early Version of a Southwestern Necklace</strong><br /><br />My jewelry design experience has taught me that there is a balance between keeping true to a specific style or theme and going completely your own way.&#160; So for my <em>Beadwork</em> necklace, I wanted to see just how far I could twist some basic parameters (bold statement, turquoise, silver) and still have at least a tentative connection to the Southwestern jewelry theme.<br /><br /><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Early version of Southwest Serenity" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/early-sw-butterfly-necklace.jpg" /><br /><br />My first attempt (which I did not submit to the magazine) used the requisite colors, but I changed &quot;bold&quot; to &quot;delicate&quot; and &quot;silver&quot; to &quot;gold.&quot;&#160; I liked this necklace quite a bit, but it no longer felt &quot;Southwest&quot; to me.&#160; I felt like the pendant in particular had moved this necklace into a different theme altogether.&#160; The pendant in any necklace does draw the viewer's eye, so any changes there can have a larger impact than other parts of the necklace.<br /><br />I set it aside for a bit and decided that I needed to tweak the pendant, rethinking the fussy wirewrapping and the modern-looking gold circle background. <br /><br /><strong>My Final Version</strong><br /><br />Here was my next attempt (and the one that appears in the magazine):<br /><br /><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Southwest Serenity necklace by Michelle Mach" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/southwest-serenity.jpg" /><br /><br />Nature (flowers and butterflies) aren't particularly associated with the Southwest, but I felt like adding those elements did not completely remove the design from the Southwest theme.&#160; It's a matter of balance.&#160; Going overboard on these elements (adding a floral clasp or ten butterfly dangles) would&#160; tip the design too far.&#160; <br /><br />Removing the gold filigree would have likely made a stronger Southwestern connection, but there was a matter of practicality at play: I needed some kind of background piece to connect the turquoise flower to the antiqued brass circle blank. And to be completely honest, I did not have time in my schedule to seek out a different kind of connector before the magazine's deadline.&#160; Sometimes <em>you</em> make design decisions and sometimes they are made <em>for</em> you!<br /><strong><br />Also In This Issue</strong><br /><br />In the <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;mid=37853&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fbeadwork-october-november-2017-digital-edition">October/November 2017 issue of Beadwork</a>, I wrote a short article for the last page of the magazine (Bead Buzz) about the women in Nepal who are making and selling jewelry to rebuild their village after a devastating earthquake.&#160; So inspiring!&#160; I really enjoyed writing this piece.&#160; You can check out their project at <a href="https://www.langtang-designs.com/">Langtang Designs</a>.</p> </p><p class="break"><p> <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=mvevDnXIar8&amp;mid=37853&amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.interweave.com%2Fstore%2Fbeadwork-october-november-2017-digital-edition"><strong><img width="231" vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" height="312" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/b1711_cover-300.jpg" alt="Beadwork October/November 2017" /></strong></a> </p></p> Wed, 13 Sep 2017 10:11:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/870-guid.html September Reading Challenge: Graphic Novels and Picture Books http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/867-September-Reading-Challenge-Graphic-Novels-and-Picture-Books.html book reviews http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/867-September-Reading-Challenge-Graphic-Novels-and-Picture-Books.html#comments http://michellemach.com/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=867 0 http://michellemach.com/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=867 (Michelle) <p class="break"><p><strong>September</strong> <strong>Genre Challenge:&#160; Graphic Novels and Picture Books</strong><br /><br />This month's theme for the&#160; <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 caught me by surpriseā€”in a good way!&#160; I felt exhausted by the end of August and the idea of reading a shorter, simpler book with illustrations appealed to me.&#160; <br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong><img align="right" vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/little-house.jpg" alt="The Little House" />Recommended Reads</strong></p> </p><p class="whiteline"><p>I read a lot of picture books as a kid.&#160; To jog my memory I looked at lists such as <a href="http://time.com/100-best-childrens-books/">The 100 Best Children's Books of All Time</a>, <a href="https://www.bustle.com/articles/28559-19-classic-picture-books-you-should-still-have-on-your-shelf-as-an-adult">19 Classic Picture Books You Should Still Have On Your Shelf As An Adult</a>, and the <a href="http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottwinners/caldecottmedal">Caldecott Medal Winners</a> list.&#160; There are so many good ones!&#160; It's funny to realize that some books like <em>Swimmy</em> and the <em>Madeline</em> series I only remember for the illustrations; I have no memory of the stories at all.&#160; In contrast, I do remember the basic plot of <em>The Little House</em>, but only because the sequential pictures so clearly illustrated the story point by point.&#160; <br /></p><strong>What I Might Read</strong><br /><br /> Here are the books that made my short list: </p><p class="break"><p><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/extra-yarn.jpg" alt="Extra Yarn" /><br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Possibility #1: </strong><em>Extra Yarn</em> by <a href="https://www.macbarnett.com/">Mac Barnett</a><strong><br /></strong><br /><strong>Why this interests me: </strong>I love the idea of a kid's book focused on yarn.<br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Recommended by:&#160; </strong><a href="http://www.nicadez.com/2013/07/caldecott-award-winning-picture-books.html">A Teacher's Idea: Caldecott Award Winning Picture Books</a><br /></p><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/scared-of.jpg" alt="What are you scared of?" /><br /> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Possibility #2: </strong><em>What Was I Scared Of?</em> by <a href="http://www.seussville.com/">Dr. Seuss</a><br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me: </strong>I thought I'd read every Dr. Seuss book, but this title didn't look familiar. I'm fascinated by a newer edition that claims to use glow-in-the-dark ink!<br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong>Recommended by:&#160; </strong><a href="http://ckisloski.blogspot.com/2014/07/diggin-into-next-year-linky-writing.html">Next Year Linky Writing</a> (scroll down to BE BRAVE).&#160; The photo collage of the recommended &quot;brave&quot; books from this blog is all over Pinterest, but no one seems to be linking back to this original blog post which is a collection of links for teachers.<br /><strong><br /><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/pleasant-book.jpg" alt="Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" /><br /><br />Possibility #3:</strong> <em>Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? </em>by <a href="http://rozchast.com/">Roz Chast </a><br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me:</strong> I've occasionally run across Roz's funny cartoons from <em>The New Yorker.</em>&#160; I'm interested in seeing how she develops a longer story line.<br /><br /><strong>Recommended by: </strong><a href="https://www.rd.com/culture/graphic-novels-for-adults/">9 Graphic Novels Every Grown-Up Should Read (Reader's Digest)</a> <br /></p> </p><p class="break"><p><strong><img vspace="10" border="0" hspace="10" alt="Hark!: a vagrant" src="http://michellemach.com/blog/htmlarea/images/content/HARKcover.jpg" /><br /><br />Possibility #4:</strong> <em>Hark!: a vagrant</em> by <a href="http://www.harkavagrant.com/">Kate Beaton</a><br /><br /><strong>Why it interests me:</strong> I'm intrigued by the mix of people from literature and history that this book covers.&#160; (Nancy Drew and Napoleon are two mentioned in a description of the book.&#160; Have I ever read a book that covered them both?&#160; I don't think so.)<br /><br /><strong>Recommended by:</strong> <a href="https://geeks.media/best-graphic-novels-for-women">Best Graphic Novels for Women</a><br /><br />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 (October): </strong>Spooky/Horror<br /></p></p> Fri, 01 Sep 2017 08:35:00 -0600 http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/867-guid.html