To Practice Any Art

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So, do it.” — Kurt Vonnegut

I hope you all have a wonderful, creative and relaxing weekend. Today I’m sharing a few pages from my journal that I recently created. I am still doing my Art 30-Day Challenge and can’t wait to share the final pages when the time comes. Please be sure to check out yesterday’s post here and I want to inspire those who have not read a story in a while, to find a book you might enjoy and read. I’m hoping to start The King’s General on Saturday. I’ll be listening to this particular story on audible.

As we know, there are so many wonderful benefits of reading and one of those is finding creativity. Often times. I’ve been inspired to create fun journal pages from stories I’ve read/listened and love. -Stephanie Hopkins

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

 

 

 

The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier

Shamefully I’ve always assumed that Daphne du Maurier was wildly known for her works, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and Jamaica Inn without really looking into her other stories. Yesterday, I saw someone mention her book, “The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier.” I quickly jumped on Amazon and goodreads to check it out and have added it to my 2020 to-read list. Most likely I will be listening to the audiobook since I have two credits available and I’m saving my pennies for research books. Anyhow, I can’t wait to get started on this novel! If you read the story, please let me know what you thought. -Stephanie Hopkins

The King's GeneralAbout the Book:

Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless – and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As the English Civil war is waged across the country, Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, and Honor remains true to him.

Decades later, an undaunted Sir Richard, now a general serving King Charles I, finds her. Finally they can share their passion in the ruins of her family’s great estate on the storm-tossed Cornish coast-one last time before being torn apart, never to embrace again.

Book Review: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

The Jane Austen SocietyFrom a young age, I have always been fascinated with Jane Austen and her stories. Not knowing the full history of the period in which she lived in at the time, I was at first, drawn to the characters relationships with their families, friends and town  people. Then as I got older, I became more aware of the romantic interests, social aspect and the education and roles of women of that time. That is when I realized how important stories like Austen’s are to society.

Like Austen, my Father was a minister, He’s retired now but the connection on that score and her satirical writing reminds me so much of my own experiences in witnessing all sorts of interesting people growing up in churches and our local communities.

I’ve read all Austen’s published stories multiple times and read many re-telling’s of her books, and have seen all sorts of different types of film adaptations. Not one of those has captured my attention like The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. The author touches on an interesting area about Austen’s life and in such a way, I felt as if the author had read my mind on a few things I thought about growing up. Especially about Austen’s relationship with her sister Cassandra and why maybe she burned many of Jane’s letters…

Jenner’s story brings together people who are different in occupation, and life circumstances but they share a common love of Jane Austen herself and her work. Their passion and goal are to preserve both Jane Austen’s final home and her legacy. What they find in their search touches on a little what I mentioned above- though that is all I will say about that.

Much like you will find in Austen’s stories, The Jane Austen Society explores human conditions of the heart, love interests, community and enduring friendships.  I felt such an intense connection with the many of the characters in the story, as if they were close friends and family. This story is heartfelt and deeply enduring so much so that I came away with not wanting the story to end and a longing to sit around a fire and have a long conversation with these noble people and the author who told their story.

When you finish reading The Jane Austen Society, be sure to read the Author notes at the end!

I’ve rated this book five stars!

Stephanie Hopkins

Layered Pages

I was given a galley copy through NetGalley by the publishers for an honest review.

Another relevant post I write about The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner HERE

More About The Book: 

The Jane Austen Society
by Natalie Jenner
St. Martin’s Press
General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction
Pub Date 26 May 2020

Description

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

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(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.)

Layered Pages Book Recommendations

Normally I post a cover crush on Fridays, but today I’m doing something different. There is so much information out there and the main-stream media has taken front and center in the world’s education. I want to recommend that people take a step back, start questioning what is being fed to them by this entity. Do you feel out of touch? Are you feeling ill at ease? Are you feeling controlled or that you’re not getting enough information and facts? There is a reason for that. Without going into a long discussion about this, I would like to recommend a few books you can start reading that would help. I might be posting a part II of this recommendation. There are so many extraordinary books out there that so many people are not aware of. -Stephanie Hopkins

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A must read: The Holy Bible: New American Standard Version, NASB!!

Notes from UndergroundNotes from the Underground

Dostoevsky’s most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground marks the dividing line between nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction, and between the visions of self each century embodied. One of the most remarkable characters in literature, the unnamed narrator is a former official who has defiantly withdrawn into an underground existence. In complete retreat from society, he scrawls a passionate, obsessive, self-contradictory narrative that serves as a devastating attack on social utopianism and an assertion of man’s essentially irrational nature.

Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, whose Dostoevsky translations have become the standard, give us a brilliantly faithful edition of this classic novel, conveying all the tragedy and tormented comedy of the original.

Brave New WorldBrave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

 

A Farewell to ArmsA Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield – the weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep. Ernest Hemingway famously said that he rewrote his ending to A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times to get the words right.

19841984 by George Orwell

The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia”—a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

 

The Life and Times of Jesus the MessiahThe Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim

One of the best known and most important references on the life of Christ ever written, Alfred Edersheim’s “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” is a storehouse of information on the background of the New Testament. This classic work successfully portrays the streets, the marketplaces, the religious conflicts, the people, and the places of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

Edersheim divides his work into five sections, or books:
Book 1 “The Preparation for the Gospel”
Introductory historical, religious, political, and cultural material based on the author’s extensive knowledge of Jewish lore and customs.
Book 2 “From Bethlehem to Jordan”
The background of Herod and his reign, St. John the Baptist and his message, and the birth and baptism of Jesus.
Book 3 “From Jordan to the Mount of Transfiguration”
Thirty-seven chapters explore the miracles and teachings of Jesus’ early ministry.
Book 4 “The Descent into the Valley of Humiliation”
A history of the latter part of Jesus’ ministry from the Transfiguration to the journey to Jerusalem.
Book 5 “The Cross and the Crown”
A chronicle of each day of Passion Week, from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection.
Appendices
Valuable background material on Jewish history, tradition, and law”

30 Day Mixed Media Art Challenge

On May 12th I started a 30 day art challenge of using black, white and pink stains, paint and ink for background colors. I want to see how many creations I can come up with just using those combinations. I’ve created quite a few journal pages so far and will be working on other art projects with this challenge.

Below is a sneak peek of just a few that I’ve made and at the end of the 30 days I will be doing a slideshow of all the art I created with this challenge. I left a lot of free space on a few of the pages to write down some thoughts, quotes, my poems and bible verses.

Stephanie Hopkins

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

Cover Crush: The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

Cover Crush The Seamstress

The premise sounds intriguing, great title and I love the cover design! Adding this book to my to-read list -Stephanie Hopkins 

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

 

A cover-crush-banner

Stitch Stories: Personal Places, Spaces and Traces in Textile Art by Cas Holmes

Today I’m highlighting one of Cas Holmes art books about creating art inspired by place, space, objects and more…Below I share a link to her website and I highly recommend taking a look. Her work is extraordinary and expressive with each stitch and collage. I could spend hours looking at all the detail and escape in the story she tells. -Stephanie Hopkins 

9781849942744.jpgStitch Stories: Personal Places, Spaces and Traces in Textile Art

by Cas Holmes

The events of your life, from local walks to exotic trips, can provide endless inspiration for textile art. This inspiring book shows you how to record your experiences, using sketchbooks, journals and photography, to create personal narratives that can form a starting point for more finished stitched-textile pieces. Acclaimed textile artist and teacher Cas Holmes, whose work is often inspired by her life and the journeys she makes, helps you find inspiration through your own life and explains how to record what you see in sketchbooks and journals, which can often become beautiful objects in themselves. She explains how you can use photography, both as documentation and as inspiration, and sometimes incorporate it into the work itself, along with found objects and ephemera. Throughout the book are useful techniques that can be harnessed to add extra interest to your work, such as methods for making layered collages, how to ‘sketch’ with stitch, and advice on design and colour. If you want to create beautiful, unique work inspired by your life and travels, this is the perfect book for you.

About the Artist:

Cas Holmes was born in Norwich, U.K in 1960 and graduated from University College of Creative Arts in the mid-eighties. For thirty years she has traveled, taught and exhibited and is renowned for her use of ‘the found’. Her many-layered, atmospheric pieces have been shown and collected around the world. She received a Winston Churchill Memorial Award and Japan Foundation Award for research into paper-making and textiles in Japan.

Since 2005 she has run courses for the Edward James Foundation at West Dean College as well as continued workshops in the UK and overseas. She works to commission and has pieces in the collection of the Museum of Art and Design New York, Rochester Cathedral and Arts Council England.

More recently, an Arts Council Award led to research in India and subsequent exhibition. This led to a Pride of Britain Award by the NRI Institute for excellence in her field.

The Found Object in Textile Art is her first publication for Batsford.

You can see her profile and work  HERE