Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Inspired By Reading Book Club Blog Hop Today

This month, for Andrew Thornton's Inspired By Reading Book Club we read The Bucolic Plague by Josh  Kilmer-Purcell  

It takes place in Sharon Springs, New York and is about two gentlemen farmers who have purchased and attempt to revitalize the Beekman Mansion and farm.  It is a delightful story, well told by Josh.  At times it seems a bit too focused on commercialization, but overall it is a great book with an important  message: preserve the past.  For me, that took the form of focusing on Josh's heirloom vegetable garden.  I even sent for the Landreth Seed Catalogue and purchased a package of Josh's  favorite heirloom tomato, Cherokee Purple.
                                   Landreth seed catalogue of HEIRLOOM veggie and flower seeds

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Josh, who was feeling down and overwhelmed on his 39th birthday sat in his garden alone and made a salad from all that was growing there.
"The bowel was brimming with every color imaginable and when I added a drizzle of olive oil, the colors seemed to magnify even more.  The salad was so bright and cheerful that it actually made me smile for the first time  in weeks.  It was my birthday party in a bowel." (add quotation)
Back to the necklace:
   About the same time I was thinking about what to make for the Book Club Reveal, I came across a notation in an Anthropologie ad that the model was wearing a Ladder Necklace.  I searched Anthropologie and found the necklace and it then became a kind of obsession that I would have to make a ladder necklace myself.  But once I got into figuring out the parts of the necklace, I realized that it was a bit more complicated that I was feeling I had time for so I tried to purchase some curved tubes but that didn't pan out either.  But I did find some nice arched bails at JoAnn Fabrics that perhaps would do the trick.
                                    Arched Bails JoAnn Fabrics--top one I was trying out some ideas

By then it was mid June and I was going to have to somehow meld my  ladder necklace obsession and the Bucolic Plague into one necklace, which is what I did.  I began to think about what a ladder could be related to a necklace concept of preservation and realized it could be a hierarchy or maybe a cross section of an idea.  So I proceeded in that fashion using a Tomato Flower pendant I had recently made as the central focus of my idea.

 I began to realize that the brown and black sticks I had wirewrapped and hung on one of the arched bails could be earth.

                                                   wire wrapped stones to represent fertile soil

And so it went on from there.  I finished the necklace this morning but do still have to add the clasp.

The third rung of the ladder was my heirloom vegetable seeds that I preserved in little glass bottles that I wire wrapped and hung from the top bail on the necklace.
Wire wrapped bottle with heirloom veggie seeds:  starting on the left:  Detroit Dark Red Beets, French Breakfast Radish, Mache Corn Salad, Lemon Basil, Kentucky Wonder pole beans, Carrots scarlet  Nantes, and Brandywine Tomato

All finished the necklace looks like this:

                                                   Preservation Necklace by Mary Harding

This was another great month in the Inspired by Reading Book Club. thank you Andrew for doing this. You can see what the others made HERE  I will add the links later today.


  1. I love the concept of this necklace and how it relates to the book. It's really quite extraordinary.

    I've gotten some of those Cherokee Purple tomatoes at the farmers market. They are really good.

  2. Fantastic as always Mary!

  3. Wow! I love this --- It ties perfectly with the book. There is a very clear link without being gimmicky. Great work.

  4. Wow! I love all the different components of your ladder necklace and all the thought that went into creating them. Isn't it funny how sometimes we get these ideas which seem to be unrelated and they somehow meld together in a finished piece?

  5. Truly inspired! Love your necklace.

  6. I love this necklace for so many reasons.....first it's gorgeous, second it seems to be saying to revere seeds ,they are special. Which they are , and with the current GMO crisis it's so relevant. Love those arched bails as well.

  7. This is a really beautiful and inspiring necklace!

  8. I love that a few sentences in a book, sent you to the seed catalogue, and then how you tied an item in an ad to all of the above and eventually created a fun necklace.

  9. What a great necklace! I love the way you incorporated the seeds. A wonderful interpretation of the book.

  10. What a perfect way to represent the central concept of the book-- I love that ladder! I've been sketching similar designs in my notebook lately so the idea must be one whose time has come -- I think this is a very strong and interesting concept and you've done it so well. Those little bottles! The whole piece is so well done and interesting.

  11. Holy cow! I love it! I really love the way you were able to incorporate the seeds – they've got a really cool cabinet of curiosity feel. The idea of preservation is powerful and strikes to the heart. The tiers and hierarchy concept are clear and resonate. Thank you so much for participating! It is always a joy to see what you've come up with. I have REALLY enjoyed seeing how you connect your ideas with the inspiration from the book! Nicely done!

  12. Outstanding Mary wow!!!

  13. Really neat necklace! I too am smitten by how you incorporated the seeds in those tiny glass bottles.

  14. This is intense. I love that your take away message from the book was so clear and strong ( and different from mine.) Preserve the past.

    The necklace is a statement and a story of its own. The balance of large and small components is an interesting composition. I adore the vials - as I am a container person - and would wear that tier on its own...

  15. Saving seeds - something I have been known to do. I love that you added the tomato seeds to the necklace. Such a unique idea. Lovely art with your gorgeous tomato blossom pendant in there too. Andrea

  16. It turned out very pretty. It looks like it has good wearability too.
    I just found your blog. I'm happy I did! :-)

  17. What a fantastic way to represent about necklace. Thanks For Sharing This. When women wear necklaces, they look very beautiful, necklaces are the most commonly worn jewelry at the moment. Necklaces are in high demand in the market. This Book can help people to take the right decision to choose the perfect necklace for women.



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