October: Book Round-Up

If you follow my blog, you might have noticed I haven’t posted as much lately. I’ve taken a bit of time of because one needs to refresh and regroup every once in a while. That isn’t to say, I haven’t thought of you all and I’ve been wondering how everyone is doing, and what you’re reading or creating. I have been posting on Instagram regularly, however. That seems to be simplifier sometimes and that is what I need at the moment. Without getting too personal, we’ve had a death in the family early this month. When someone we love passes on, it really makes us pause to reflect on the person we lost and to celebrate their life at the same moment.

This month I haven’t been able to read all that much. I read one book and listened to a book and now listening to another one. I just seem can’t concentrate long enough to read a physical book. I know this too shall pass and I will get in the grove again. Below are the books I’ve spent time with. I do have a blog post that I have been working on and it was meant to go live today for Halloween, but I’m still working on it. I want it to be just right and it is a powerful subject.

I hope to rally on again soon and bring you all regular posts. My wish is for you to be encouraged and inspired. -Stephanie Hopkins

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

Pub Date 15 Mar 2022

Description

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect—a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

 Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases—a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

Find Me by Anne Frasier

A bone-chilling family history is unearthed in a heart-stopping thriller by New York Times best-selling author Anne Frasier.

Convicted serial killer Benjamin Fisher has finally offered to lead San Bernardino detective Daniel Ellis to the isolated graves of his victims. One catch: He’ll only do it if FBI profiler Reni Fisher, his estranged daughter, accompanies them. As hard as it is to exhume her traumatic childhood, Reni can’t say no. She still feels complicit in her father’s crimes.

Perfect to play a lost little girl, Reni was the bait to lure unsuspecting women to their deaths. It’s time for closure. For her. For the families. And for Daniel. He shares Reni’s obsession with the past. Ever since he was a boy, he’s been convinced that his mother was one of Fisher’s victims.

Thirty years of bad memories are flooding back. A master manipulator has gained their trust. For Reni and Daniel, this isn’t the end of a nightmare. It’s only the beginning.

Currently listening to, House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

In a manor by the sea, 12 sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were 12, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last – the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge – and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. 

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who – or what – are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family – before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Get ready to be swept away.

Itty Bitty Journal

I acquired a mini journal from a fellow crafter and I absolutely adore working in it. It is so tiny and at first, I thought it might be a challenge to create it but I find it easier than I thought! It is such a great way to use up your little bits of paper, scrap fabrics, small images and what not.

I created a page inspired by my longing for extended travel. I added a postage stamp from Maryland with a sailing boat image on it at a port and with the word, “Nowhere”. You can find that page on my Instagram account. I think it would be cool to take a trip with nowhere in mind. Just to get on the road and go where the wind takes you. In this case, this trip would be at sea.

I love how my painted papers worked on this spread. I wasn’t sure, at first, if it would be too bulky. It turned out great and I like the blend of mixed media with the vintage image of the lady.

In the below picture, I used the painted face of a girl that my fellow crafter paints and includes in her ephemera packs. I dig the colors she uses because they are in line with my style. This page is dedicated to my passion of mixed media.

These little journals are perfect to travel with wherever you go. They fit perfectly in purses, backpacks, bags and even wallets! Just add few ephemera pieces to a pocket and take a small glue stick or mini paperclips and there you go!

My wish for you is to be inspired and encouraged!

Stephanie Hopkins

A Weekend of Art and Ephemera Sales

I am selling art, fabric packs belts for journal closures and ephemera packs with paintings on Instagram starting now. All products are homemade by me. The ephemera packs are great for journals, card making and other craft projects. If you are not on Instagram and would like to purchase an item you see, please email me at layeredpages@yahoo.com and I will reserve your item.

My Instagram LINK or copy and paste @stephsatjourney

Fabric Packs

Fabric Pack Information: I’ve got an endless supply of textile material from all sorts of upcycled clothes, scarves, and bedsheets.

Each week, I’ll be adding in new patterns. I can cut fabric swatches up to 12″×12″. Those sizes need to be customized, Contact me for more information about that and if you’re on the lookout for anything in particular.

I use the above mentioned fabrics for my various mixed media projects, including journal covers, pockets, tags, belly bands, card making, bookmark making, collage work, blanket making and they look great!

Sneak peek at what to expect:

Journal Rework

Have you ever taken a journal apart that you wanted to transfer into one signature journals or you weren’t happy with the volume? Yep, that’s me. I love this journal so much and I’ve been working in it for over a year and a half now, I guess. I’m just not happy with how chunky it got and I still want to do lots more journaling in it. My solution was to take the signatures out and make each one individual journals. There are five signatures in all and I can’t wait to create covers for them and show you more. Let me know if you’ve ever done this.

People rework art works all the time. Why not journals, eh?

I’m working on so many projects that I have neglected my blogging a bit. Today I am playing catch up and It was nice to take some time to recharge. Blogging is seriously time consuming but in a good way. Just be sure you are taking care of yourself and learn to pace yourself.

This coming Friday and Saturday, I’m selling more ephemera packs with my paintings and I have a lot of my tags available for purchase over at my Instagram! My mini tags sold out in less than five minutes last Friday! So, be sure to follow me for the chance to snag one or more sets before they sell out.

Stephanie Hopkins

Journals and Ephemera Kits for Sale

On Fridays and Saturdays, I will be selling art, journals and ephemera packs on Instagram. I’ll eventually open another IG account for my products. The journals and ephemera will be sold once or twice a month depending on my inventory. All products are homemade by me. The ephemera packs are great for journals, card making and other craft projects. If you are not on Instagram and would like to purchase an item you see, please email me at layeredpages@yahoo.com and I will reserve your item.

My Instagram LINK

This weekend Listings:

Small Ephemera Packs with Painting

More pictures will be on Instagram.

Thirty-one pieces in a pack.  

1.2″ x 2″ Original Acrylic painting on Fabriano Watercolor Painting.

Each pack may vary on the images, color and fonts. The pack size it a little over 3”x 5” inches.

Junk Journal Ephemera Paper Kits with Original Painting

More pictures will be on Instagram.

A lot of the Paper dates from the 1920s through the present. I want to include as many decades as possible. There are 51 pieces in this series.

3″× 4″ Floral Acrylic Painting on Fabriano Watercolor Paper/Original Art by Stephanie Hopkins

Each pack varies on the images, colors, paintings and fonts. See pictures for an “example” of what to expect in the packs.

Mini Tags for Art and Journal Projects

More pictures will be on Instagram.

12 Tags per pack.

Each pack varies on the images, colors, paintings and fonts. See pictures for an “example” of what to expect in the packs.

The tags are mini and the sizes vary. There is hand stitching on a few of the tags. Lots of fabric and paper collage on the tags. There is room for a little writing on the back of them.

These tags are sturdy and great for art, craft, gift and journal projects.

Mini Keepsake Journals

More pictures will be on Instagram.

3’ x 4’ Mini Journal.

The size is about a centimeteror a couplebigger- than size mentioned.

The covers are a cross between a soft and hard. They’re sturdy and flexible. Fabrics are on the cover and inside cover, along with a tag and ephemera pieces. There are two vintage papers added to each signature from a children’s book and a music book. There is a little hand stitching on a page.

*At this time, I’m only shipping in the United States.

Stephanie Hopkins

Insightful Quotes About Characters

“Writing is a time-honored moment. When the writer breathes life into the characters and gives them a place in the reader’s heart. Characters capture us in their embrace and we take refuge in their lives in a world of uncertainties.” My perspective as a reader.

My niche expands in several areas that influences my overall creativity. They consist of creating art, crafting, sewing, reading, exploring nature, blogging and journaling. Discovering quotes about these endeavors inspire and encourage one to rally on when one is feeling less than inspired for whatever reason. I like writing them and include them in my journals and often times, use quotes from other artists. Besides, they are fun to read, to inspire and you learn so much! Above is one I wrote years ago about the writer breathing life into characters.

Today, I’m sharing quotes from other artists about characters in stories. There are so many and I’ve compiled my top ten favorites. Which one do you favor? – Stephanie Hopkins

“You mean Piglet. The little fellow with the excited ears. That’s Piglet.” ― A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin Gives Pooh a Party

“I think all writers are always collecting characters as we go along. Not just characters of course, we’re collecting EVERYTHING. Bits and pieces of story. An interesting dynamic between people. A theme. A great character back story. A cool occupation. The look of someone’s eyes. A burning ambition. Hundreds of thousands of bits of flotsam and jetsam that we stick in the back of our minds like the shelves full of buttons and ribbons and fabrics and threads and beads in a costumer’s shop.” — Alexandra Sokoloff

“Whether a character is good or evil depends on your perspective.” ― Steve Jones Snr

“You cannot have an effective protagonist who simply responds to events happening around him or her. Your protagonist must act, not just react.” — Rachelle Gardner

“She had a way about her that spoke of homemade bread, and caring for people, and the kind of patience that women have when they help a ewe birth a lamb, or stay up in the night with a baby calf bawling for its momma.” ― James Aura, When Saigon Surrendered: A Kentucky Mystery

“Even if you find the bad guy generally repulsive, you need to be able to put yourself so thoroughly into his shoes while you’re writing him that, just for those moments, you almost believe his slant yourself.” — K.M. Weiland

“Usually, we combine internal and external conflicts for a richer story. That means we have to understand how our characters approach and resolve conflict.” — Jami Gold

“Developing a character with genuine depth requires a focus on not just desire but how the character deals with frustration of her desires, as well as her vulnerabilities, her secrets, and especially her contradictions. This development needs to be forged in scenes, the better to employ your intuition rather than your intellect.” — David Corbett

“How can you take characters out of their elements and still convey who they are and why they are the way they are? Their dialogue, their goals and their motivations move the plot and give us a glimpse. But how can we punch it up and create memorable characters without their usual surroundings? With the things they carry.”— Jessica Topper

“People—and characters—are made up of their past experiences. When crafting a character, one of the most important aspects we consider is her past.”—Skye Fairwin,

Be sure to check out my post: Insightful Quotes About Reading

Art in Motion Glue Book

There are so many pages you can create with a glue book. The purpose for this medium is to glue things to a base to make a collage. You decide how you want to design your layouts and what book(s) you want to use. It can be a blank book, altered book, notepads, blank art books or anything thing you see fit. There really are no rules to this creative endeavor. It is for your wish alone to come up with your own ideas. That is the wonderful thing about glue books.

I made this glue book, that I altered, using a magazine by cutting it in half through the middle. Then I folded the pages to create a base for my layouts. This book is getting chunky and grungy! Love it! Sometimes, gluing paper to a page is the best medicine. What do you like most about collage work? Have you tried this form of medium before?

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art gallery here at Layered Pages! My wish is for you to be inspired and encouraged.

(Images are subjected to copyright. 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 Hopkins.)

Stephanie Hopkins