Cover Crush: Last Call on Decatur Street by Iris Martin Cohen

My thoughts on the cover:

I really like the use of colors in the back ground of this layout. I’m not find of the white font for the lettering but since the background is dark, I guess that had to be chosen. The cover to me speaks of mystery and city life. -Stephanie

Last Call on Decatur StreetAbout the book:

Last Call on Decatur Street

by Iris Martin Cohen

HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada)

Park Row

General Fiction (Adult), Literary Fiction

Pub Date 11 Aug 2020

Description

Set in Pre-Katrina New Orleans, LAST CALL ON DECATUR STREET is an electrifying tale of friendship and betrayal, an exploration of racism and white privilege, and one woman’s journey to find herself in the seedy, glamorous world of burlesque.

Despite vowing to never return to New Orleans when she left for college, Rosemary quickly finds herself back in her hometown—kicked out of school, at odds with her best friend, and desperate to lose herself in a bright, kaleidoscopic nightlife of dive bars and burlesque dancing.

This night, though, is different. An unlikely companion, a secret sorrow, and an unexpected visitor force Rosemary to break free. From the burlesque stage in the French Quarter, strip clubs to strangers’ beds, a secret garden in Jackson Square, and ending at a raucous masquerade party, this night becomes a journey for Rosemary to come to grips with her past, grieve for those she has lost, and maybe, finally, acknowledge that she too deserves redemption.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Cohen captures the uncertainty and messy edges of early adulthood. A love letter to New Orleans, Last Call on Decatur Street is a story of family and home and the complicated things we inherit from the people and places we love.

Last weeks Cover Crush.

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

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A Doodle Of Calmness

Doodle master board I EditedGosh, my second blog post. I never do this but wanted to share something. It has been an exhausting work day and I’ve been in a doodling mood so I created a Doodle Master Board. I will use this for various projects. This is not my best work but given how tired I am, it will have to do and it really gave me a sense of calm. I’m going to be slow stitching later on this evening if I can keep my eyes open long enough. Ha!

I don’t know why but I thought of a poem by William Shakespeare, ‘Full Fathom Five’ doodling this. Maybe because it was the thought of sea-change or something like that. Yes, I’m a bit strange. -Stephanie

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:

Ding-dong.

Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

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Supplies used: Tim Holtz Distress Crayons, Tombow Acid Free Brush Pens, Sharpie White Poster Paint Marker, Folk Art and Deco Art Acrylic Paint, baby wipes, Stampabilities Brushed Stripe Background Stamp, Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Painters Tape and Canson Illustration Mixed Media Paper. Can’t wait to see what projects I use this piece with. Master Board meas I will be cutting it down to different sizes to meet my needs.

Thoughtful Thursday

Finding Dora MaarLast week I did a Cover Crush of a book I am very interested in and decided to request it on NetGalley and I got it! A big thank you to the Publishers and NetGalley for giving me a galley copy which I will be diving into soon! I can’t wait!

Here is the link to my short video on paper crafting  at my Layered Pages Facebook Page that I mentioned I would be filming yesterday morning.  I hope you check it out. Last night I was having so much trouble shooting the video with my phone and it kept cutting off but there is enough footage for you to see what I have been creating…my phone is old. I’m going to try to use my daughter’s nice camera next and hopefully I can use a tripod. How is it that kids always have the nicer stuff? Ha! Anyhow, there was so much I wanted to say but didn’t get a chance or show an example project of what I made out of a couple of my master boards. Below is an image of the tag I made and I still had scraps left over! So much fun!

Tag 2

 

 

 

 

Collages & Master Boards

Last night I was making paper collages aka master boards for my mixed media projects and I was thinking of maybe making a book on my designs. Then I got to thinking that Amazon probably already has tons of books on collage designs. Haha! Sure enough, they do. Though I do think that some other art books I’ve blogged about has this subject. Gah, it’s one of those weeks.

While I have my own technique and style, I thought it would be fun to check out other designs and see what people are up too. So why not blog about them? Maybe they could help inspire someone wanting to get into collage making.

For those of you who are not familiar with master board, it is a term many mixed media artist use that is taking a larger piece and creating a collage-if you will-and cutting it down to different sizes to use in other art projects. At least I think that is what it means? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I only have heard the term recently.

The last few days I have been paper-crafting like crazy because I’ve spent so much time on my slow stitching, quilting and textile pieces, I ran out of paper collages for my journals, pouches, envelops and note cards. I forgot how addicting it can be. I love it! Alas, I need to get back to my quilting. Not complaining.

This evening I will share more of the paper collages I have been making via video on my Facebook Page. I can’t wait to show you those pieces. One of them I made over the weekend and blogged about yesterday, I cut it down to size and used in a really cool collage. It turned out fabulous! Some of the best work I’ve done in a long while. -Stephanie

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If You Can by Hollie ChastainIf You Can Cut, You Can Collage: From Paper Scraps to Works of Art by Hollie Chastain

If You Can Cut, You Can Collage is specially designed for people who feel like they can’t make art. Want to know a secret? You can! You just need a little inspiration, instruction, and confidence.

Collage is a wonderful creative outlet, particularly for people who want to make art, but don’t feel they have the skills or confidence for other endeavors. You can still explore and experiment with color, composition, and various themes and end up with exciting and often unexpected results.

If you Can Cut, You Can Collage takes some of the mystery out of collage through easy illustrated pages that show you the basic techniques of collecting and cutting imagery, composing and adhering compositions, and then provides a wealth of exercises that get readers going on their own creative projects.

We’ll get you started with simple, focused, projects like making a collage with only circles, where you’ll learn important concepts like how to create a focal point, how to use repetition successfully, how to achieve contrast, balance, symmetry, and more. You’ll be incorporating vintage ephemera, typography and lettering, and even urban and found materials in no time!

Paper Collage Chinese StylePaper Collage Chinese Style by Zhu Liqun Paper Arts Museum

This beautifully illustrated guide to Chinese paper collage art demonstrates the techniques and philosophy behind this creative and fun art form.

Paper collage art has a special charm. It can be as exquisite as oil painting or as freehand (xieyi) as ink wash painting. A paper collage art is a perfect mean to express humor and romance, demonstrate subjective perspectives and emotions, record special moments, and depict favorite scenes.

Collage Art teaches you how to pick up some magazines, newspaper, and color paper around you that are no longer needed and put your ideas onto a piece of paper.

You can create some decorations for your desk, bedroom, office, as well as some collage crafts for your friends on festivals and weddings. These collages not only present your unique style but also will also get lots of compliments!

The Collage Ideas BookThe Collage Ideas Book by Alannah Moore

Collage allows your creativity to run riot. It lets you juxtapose disparate elements, styles and media against each other and create something entirely novel, bizarre, arresting, beautiful, ironic or unsettling. Old and new can be fused together; digital and hand-produced can be combined. What you can create with collage knows no bounds.

Expertly curated with an eye to the fresh, the exciting collection of new collage ideas will inspire collage artists at every level, from those dipping a toe in the art form to experts.

Collage Imagery 2: A Collection of Photographic Images for Use in Personal Art by Catherine Anderson looks amazing as well!

Accessible Art: Free Form Medium

This weekend I pretty much stayed in bed nursing a broken small toe while working on a few art projects. Friday night, I hand sewed little patchwork collages to send to my friend for her art projects. My toe, foot and leg were in utter agony so I needed the distraction. When it broke, the toe literally went completely sideways and I had to put it back in place, then wrap it up. I couldn’t walk so I hand stitch and watch YouTube for the rest of the evening trying to forget the pain. I also worked on my textile art journal. The journal is made with 100% fabrics (mostly up-cycle material) and completely handed stitched. Each page is a pouch to hold mini patchwork collages that I’m making and a few pieces of paper with journaling about my art journey for 2020. I won’t share those until the end of the year.

For two decades or so…ahem, I’m not revealing my age, I collected store bought pattern paper. While I have fun using them, I didn’t feel challenged and I wanted to create my own designs for my art projects. Creative license and originality are important to me. I adore creating my own patterns and experimenting with new mediums. There’s a story there but I’m getting off track…Anyhow, this is one of the pieces I made on Sunday and she’s too pretty to cut into for my collage projects! I’m calling her, “Coral Rose.” I believe she will be happy in a shadow box.

Coral Rose

While I do use store bought pattern paper packs when they are on sale, I also make my own pattern paper and backgrounds. If you are on a tight budget, I recommend making your own pattern paper. It’s so easy! You can even use copy paper as your base.

For the picture below,  I wanted to make an abstract landscape for my inspirational journal. I do have a pad of mixed media paper so I used that. Then I gathered distressed crayons that are water-reactive and baby wipes. If you don’t have the distress crayons, you can use color pencils. I basically doodled/scribbled the colors then took baby wipes to blend the colors. It’s a lot of fun to play with these mediums.

Lanscape for scraps

 

Anyone can do it. You can even create these and tear them into strips to apply as texture for your journaling collages. For any mixed media project really. Free-form. Play. Relax. Enjoy.

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In the pictures below are squares I cut from a doodling page I made to use on my future collages. They don’t look like much now but when I apply with other mediums they will turn out great!

 

Baby WipesBy the way…if you use baby wipes (which I highly recommend using) please save them for your other art projects! They make amazing texture! I buy mine at the dollar store and I make sure they have as little chemicals added as possible.

 

 

 

 

Two pagesThese are two pages made from paper I used to put under other paper I was staining, painting to collect the splatters. The base page is from a mixed media paper pad I bought on sale years ago.

 

 

 

I don’t like to waste my paint or paper. They make for great scraps for your mixed media projects. I cut them up and applied them in an abstract pattern. I still have some of it left over so I will use it for another project. I love how these two pages turned out and can’t wait to journal with them.

scrap paper used for two pages

Other materials used for this project. Also, I will be applying clear gesso over the pages to seal them. If you don’t have gesso, you can use a gel medium or mod podge.

 

Here are a few more pieces I created this week and I will use them for various projects. As you can see, you can accomplish a lot from when you are laid up with a hurt foot! Ha! -Stephanie

 

Saturday Sunday: Mixed Media Textures

Adding Textures To Your Art Backgrounds/For Mixed Media Projects

Collages/Journaling/Canvas

Paris Pages I

 

This blog post is getting a late start today. Yesterday afternoon I had an accident and broke my little toe so badly I had to put it back in place. Alas, that delayed finishing my journaling pages I am blogging about today and writing this post.

Paris clothes shopAdding texture to your art projects is a lot easier than people may think and is so much fun to play with. There really is no wrong way of creating texture. You just have to experiment with what works. That is part of the fun. Today I am showing you three pages I created using several scraps from my mixed-media supply stash.

I am out of white gesso so I mixed in white acrylic paint with the clear gesso and it worked out great. That was my first layer of paint to cover the packaging I used as my pages.

Paris is a good ideaThen I started with my layers and paste for texture. Below is a complete list of the materials I used. It looks like a lot-yeah it is-but it is all from what I have on hand.

Using the coffee grounds and coffee for texture and staining was marvelous!

Two of the pages were a little dark to me so I took the baby wipes and rubbed it on the areas I wanted to lighten. I also used the baby wipes to blend the distress crayons.

The darker layers of two of the pages represents centuries of old building changing companies over time…

Paris signThese pages are my Paris Pages and I am thrilled with how they turned out! No, I have never been to Paris but it is on my bucket list and I love reading stories that take place in that city. Please excuse my blurry images. My camera has been giving me fits! I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about creating with textures, please feel free to ask me. -Stephanie

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Supplies Used:

White & Milky White Acrylic Paint

Clear Gesso

Mod Podge

Ranger Texture Paste

Tim Holtz Distress Crayons

Coffee-for staining

Coffee Grounds to mix with Texture Paste

Scraps of pattern paper

Artist Painting Brushes

Crafting Paint Pink Roller

Napkins for background

Baby Wipes-No harsh chemicals/Alcohol Free

Resistance Canvas Embellishments

Tim Holtz Brick Stencil Pattern

Printing paper for words

Envelope

Up-Cycled Packaging Cardboard

 

 

 

 

Cover Crush: Finding Doro Maar by Brigitte Benkemoun

Finding Dora MaarFinding Dora Maar

An Artist, an Address Book, a Life

by Brigitte Benkemoun

Getty Publications

Arts & Photography, Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 05 May 2020

Description

In search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the European avant-garde.

After realizing that the address book belonged to Dora Maar—Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman” and a brilliant artist in her own right—Benkemoun embarks on a two-year voyage of discovery to learn more about this provocative, passionate, and enigmatic woman, and the role that each of these figures played in her life.

Longlisted for the prestigious literary award Prix Renaudot, Finding Dora Maar is a fascinating and breathtaking portrait of the artist.

This work received support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States through their publishing assistance program.

 My review of the cover: 

First of all, the subject matter interest me on several levels. Imagine buying a vintage diary on ebay to replace the one you lost and discover upon arrival that its contents contain contact information of acclaimed individuals. That extraordinary find is something dreams are made of for collectors, artists and history lovers.

The cover itself caught my eye because of the composition of the images of paper. I’m a lover of paper crafting you see and journals. Though I feel the background on the layout could be better. From seeing the cover, I went on an exploration about this book soon to be published and have added it to my wish-list.

Cover Crush banner

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

 

Layered Pages: This & That

Last night I had trouble getting to sleep so I decided to get my art on by up-cycling scraps from my mixed media stash. Yesterday, I posted a list of items you can use around your home to create with without breaking the bank. Below are more items to add to that list I thought of last night. These items are fantastic for adding texture and adding to your paste.

Never say you’re not talented and can’t create something. Just play. Creating free-form is beautiful and you’ll never know until you try. You learn something by doing… -Stephanie

nightly Art Final

I will be adding slow stitch through this collage for the finishing touches.

 

 

Idea List of materials for your creations:

  1. Baby Powder
  2. Tea leaves
  3. Tea Bags
  4. Parsley
  5. Oatmeal

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Be sure to visit my Facebook Page to discover more about what I am doing these days.

Layered Pages Facebook Page

Crafting on a Budget

Art Supply JarsMany would love to create art and get their craft on but they feel they don’t have the money for such an expensive hobby. Guess what? I get asked all the time  how I afford my obsession.  It doesn’t have to be expensive and you can use material around your home or from outside. Here is my check list of items you can use. The skies the limit!

 

 

List of materials:

  1. Old Clothes.
  2. Boxes-Any kind!
  3. Nail Polish
  4. Up-cycle Coffee Grounds. I keep mine in a glass jar to reuse later.
  5. Old make-up
  6. Q-Tips
  7. Paper from mail.
  8. Newspapers
  9. Magazines
  10. Make-up brushes
  11. Old books
  12. Old bed sheets
  13. Buttons
  14. Bottle caps
  15. Old Wrapping paper
  16. Wrapping Tissue paper
  17. Napkins
  18. Paper Clips
  19. Fallen wood sticks from your trees outside
  20. Weeds
  21. Roots
  22. Grass
  23. Leaves
  24. Acorns
  25. Sea Shells
  26. Plastic Grocery bags
  27. The tins from cans
  28. Plastic Knives
  29. Forks
  30. Make-Up Sponges
  31. Cotton Balls
  32. Toilet Paper Rolls
  33. Egg Cartons
  34. Food Coloring to make Paint
  35. Wine Corks
  36. Safety Pins

The list goes on…You will be amazed at what you can create with items from your home or from the outdoors for that matter. Get in the habit of thinking twice before throwing something away. You might be able to create something wonderful from it.

If you need adhesive-it can get pricey-I use Mod Podge Matte-Mat in a pinch. You can get it at a Wal-Mart for cheap or use a coupon to purchase a bottle at your local craft store.

I don’t have a lot of money so when I need to purchase art material-like adhesive, I have a jar of change I save for purchases like that. Also, I purchase painters tape at the Dollar Tree among other supplies from there.

I create art with the items I have listed above all the time and I have a lot of fun with them. This year I will be posting about mixed media art you can make using theses items. My next post on creating art will be about what you can find at thrift stores and places like the dollar tree to add to your art supply.

I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday. See you again soon!

Stephanie

Layered Pages Monday Musings

On Saturday I posted about work life balance and talking about the balance really helped. On Sunday I took the day to rest and create.  This morning I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

There are two books I’m currently ready. Well, one I’m listening too and I’m really enjoying them both. I like the contracts of the two stories. Yet, they complement each other in an extraordinary way. Strange I say that, I know. The two books are DREMALAND by Nancy Bilyeau and The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. You can find them on Amazon.

Yesterday I worked on slow stitching and an art project by using a piece of canvas I painted and I decided to do more with. I really am enjoying the process of my art projects and how they make me feel. Getting back into daily art making was one of the best decisions for 2020 and I hope you all enjoy the journey with me as I continue to share them with you.

Lots of great posts coming up soon! I am working on two history post and they aren’t your typical history post I talk about so I am thrilled!

Textile obession banner

By the way…I’m totally obsessing over up-cycle textiles, if you haven’t already noticed. Have a wonderful day and see you all again soon.

Stephanie