Journal with Me

Write what you know, see and hear.

I made this journal cover by using my collage papers made from scraps of paper that have been piling up. Paper really is the gift that keeps on giving. This is a one signature journal and will fill up fast. These styles of journals make great travel companions and fit nicely into your on-the-go tote. If you’re a reader like me, they are also great for taking notes of the books you read. While many annotate their books, others prefer to not mark up the pages. These journals are the perfect solution. Spiral notebooks work just as well but these journals make it fun!

Today, I want to talk more about journal writing. Oftentimes I still come across people mentioning that they are finding it hard to write in their journal, whether it be, lack of habit, or what to write about. People feel intimidated by the act of writing your inner most thoughts and feelings. Perhaps, it’s because when one does so, it exposes you in a way and I don’t mean to the outside world, but to you. I believe that is what we need more of. The examination of self and to look back on what we were experiencing, even if it is ugly or uncomfortable. That said, journaling isn’t strictly just writing those uncomfortable moments you are revealing about yourself to yourself. Journaling is rewarding and is a positive medium in one’s life. Journaling can be about anything, really. It can be as small as writing watch you watch on TV that day. Just write it down. Start somewhere simple and watch your words develop. You’ll be glad you did. It is a treasure to look back on the things you were experiencing from years gone by. There is much to be said about this pastime.

But how does one get started? I can’t write whole paragraphs, one might say. You don’t have too and as I said above, journaling can be about anything. Even with one word. Below the prompts you see, I have written example sentence to give you a sense of what I’m talking about.

These journal prompts are great to put on small journal cards if you want to make it brief. They are also great for hiding them in pockets and tucks in your journals. That is if you are creating journals with places to store your cards. I like to use old scrap paper and decorate them on the front after I have written on the back.

Journal Prompts

Currently:

  1. Summary of daily prayer.
  2. List of daily goals and tasks.
  3. What you are tired of doing.
  4. What are you overthinking?
  5. What you want to do but haven’t done.
  6. Favorite craft supply.
  7. Listening.
  8. Enjoying.
  9. Disliking.
  10. Something that makes you smile.
  11. A book you finished.
  12. An artist you discovered. Can me any type of artist.
  13. Book on your night stand.
  14. Recent books you added to your -to-read or wish-list list.
  15. Something you are excited for.
  16. Paining
  17. Recent happy mail.
  18. Weather.
  19. Changing a habit.
  20. An outing.
  21. Seeing anything interesting on a nature walk.
  22. Passage from the Bible.
  23. Quote.
  24.  Title of poem you love or currently reading.
  25. A dream you remembered.
  26.  A memory from long ago you remembered.
  27. What doesn’t taste good to me any longer.
  28. Color.
  29. How many crafty/art projects I’m working on.
  30. How my art made me feel today.
  31. How my writing made me feel today.
  32. How many items I checked off my to-do-list today.
  33.  Favorite animal. -Yes, this is important too.
  34. Recent purchase.
  35. God’s purpose.
  36. How I felt about social media today.
  37. Who did I talk to and what about?
  38. Favorite historical period.
  39. A book that has been on your mind a lot lately.
  40. Feelings.
  41. What you ate today.
  42. Favorite beach destination.
  43. Favorite vacation.
  44. Favorite State.
  45. Favorite country.
  46. Bird watching. (I have an amusing story about this one. It involved a recent visit with my sister.)

The list goes on…

Example sentences of one or two liners:

  1. I woke up feeling refreshed today and had a good outlook on today’s activities.
  2. I drank three cups of coffee today and I just know it will keep me up tonight.
  3. Today, we went to our local park and the outside air was cool and breezy.
  4. I recently purchased note cards from the Dollar Tree and they are beautiful! I can’t wait to use them for sending mail to my friends and family.
  5. Mood.
  6. Today was busy and it took me much longer to get done wanted I wanted to accomplish.

Okay, so these many sounds boring to write down but when you go back and look at them in the future, they might spark your memory on something you want to write about, or you will be amused by what you wrote. It is also fun to look back on these and compare your writing from then to now. -Stephanie Hopkins

Other Similar Topics:

30-Day Journal Prompts -There will be a few repeats of prompts on this post. I still recommend checking out this post.

Hello Monday, Let’s Do This

Layered Pages: Art of Journaling

Saturday Sunday: The Mighty Smash Book

Crafting on a Budget

Simply in the Moment

Hello Monday, Let’s Do This

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Well, it is safe to say that summer is upon us! The humidity in the south is like a steam bath! Yesterday when I was painting, some of my paints were clumpy and giving me fits. Very strange because normally, that doesn’t happen despite summer weather. Hmm…

I did get quite a bit accomplished this weekend in the craft department. Our bookmark group is first swap is on Tuesday. Getting everything ready for that and I made a bunch more bookmarks to be included in the swap, along with other craft goodies. All I need to do at this point, is add ephemera to them.

Tuesday is the deadline for the June swap. If any come in afterwards, I will include them in the September swap.

For those who would love to join, and you can’t get your bookmarks turned in on time, do not be dismayed. Our next swap is in September and we would love to have you join.

We are swapping 4 bookmarks a piece. You can not only use them for books, but for your journals and notebooks! If you are interested in participating, contact me for more information. We would love for you to be part of this group! The hashtag for our swap group on IG: #StephslpBookmarkswap

I’m opening limited spots for this swap to Canadians and others who have shown interest from other countries. More info about that coming soon.

Also, I had quality time to spend with my journals. I use my journals and notebooks for all sorts of things. Like for writing poems, story ideas, themes for stories, character scenes, quotes, my thoughts, how I’m feeling, what my family is doing, drafting book reviews, taking notes for books I read, blog post ideas, research notes, what I saw on my walks, craft ideas, to-do lists, and so on….some of my journals are themed. For instance, I have an evening journal where I write my thoughts about the day. Even if I didn’t do much, I still write about it. Once you get in the habit, you’ll be amazed how your words will come naturally. I won this journal you see in the picture from a fellow crafter’s giveaway and I want to use it for something special. I’ve decided to use it for a morning journal where I write about my morning prayers and words of hope and encouragement. I’m looking forward to this new journey! 

Lot’s going on as you can see and on top of that, I came up with a few blog post ideas for this summer. Be sure to follow Layered Pages and my wish for you is to be inspired and encouraged through your life journey. A new week is upon us! Looking forward to seeing the good come from it. Many blessings to you and yours.

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages!

Stephanie Hopkins

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part II

On days 6,7,8, I wasn’t feeling the prompts and it was showing. So, I decided to go off prompt. I feel more myself when creating this way. No rules, and no pressure. Just letting go and being in the moment and allowing to go where the movement of the paint brush takes me. Creating art intuitively is my jam.

Day 6 – Canoe: This one really frustrated me. I was having a day…That said, I do like the placement.

Day 7 – Garden Shed/One Staple Collage: I do love the challenge of the one staple collage, so I was quite please with the shed I created using that technique. My only beef was the twist marks I used in the landscape and the landscape itself wasn’t my best. As a whole, I felt lazy with this one and wasn’t putting my heart into it.

Day 8- Umbrella: Despite not feeling this prompt on the day I creating the Umbrella. It’s not a total wash. I do like the abstractness of it and the placement of the Umbrella.

Day 9 – Off Prompt/Mountain Air: So happy with this piece. Definitely more my style.

Day 10 – Off Prompt/Sea Bathing: It’s hot and humid in Georgia. One could use a little sea bathing.This was a fun piece to create. I love the different hues of blues and how they work together.

Day 11 – Off Prompt/Butterflies: I have a thing for butterflies and I knew I wanted to create an abstract background as well. Yep, feeling good vibes with this piece.

Day 12 – Off Prompt/Abstract: I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind with this piece. Such as, being authentic, you matter and you have a voice. Cancel culture needs to go. Loving the colors and textures with this abstract.

Stephanie Hopkins

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part I

I look forward to sharing the rest of this week’s challenge and the following week with you next Saturday! My wish is for you to be inspired and encouraged. -Stephanie Hopkins

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages!

The LP Bookmark Swap Update

On May 8th, I announced a new crafty swap group I have started over at Instagram. This group swaps bookmarks in the shape of tags and the standard shape. Each bookmark is handmade by crafters and artist from the United States. The first swap is on June 15th and we’ve started the group off with a bang! Twenty members have joined thus far and their enthusiasm is encouraging.

We are quickly approaching the first swap date! If you’re participating, be sure to have the bookmarks with three forever stamps turned in by the 15th. For those who would love to join, and you can’t get your bookmarks turned in on time, do not be dismayed. Our next swap is in September and we would love to have you join.

We are swapping 4 bookmarks a piece. You can not only use them for books, but for your journals and notebooks! If you are interested in participating, DM me for more information. The hashtag for our swap group: #StephslpBookmarkswap or you can email me at: layeredpages@yahoo.com

P.S. I’m opening limited spots for this swap to Canadians and others who have shown interest from other countries. More info about that coming soon.

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages!

Stephanie Hopkins

The Dust Needs to Settle

We had quite the storm this past Saturday evening of heavy rain, strong wind and lightning. On the back screened porch Sunday morning, everything was damp and the southern humidity didn’t help matters. At least the birds were in song and the coffee was strong. I was sitting on the back porch, not sure how long that was going to last, to write letters, organize to-do lists and to jot down thoughts about, The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah. In the picture, you see John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, you say. “Where’s, The Four Winds?” I bought this copy of The Grapes of Wrath back in 92′ and yes, it’s still in great condition. Gosh, saying that makes me feel old.

To answer your question, assuming you’re asking it, I’m re-visiting The Grapes of Wrath because The Four Winds is a good companion and the stories are still relevant today. They both give you a fountain of information to think about and I have so much to say about both of them. The Four Winds is resting on one of my bookshelves. I will be un-shelving the book soon to gather some marked passages and discuss both books with its contrasts and similarities.

This will be a rather ongoing project and perhaps will share in bits and pieces at Layered Pages. Each post will be linked, so you many keep up with this project, if you wish.

Stephanie Hopkins

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Published April 10th 2014 by Viking (first published April 14th 1939)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Published February 2nd 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part I

“It looks like I’m listening to you, but I’m really thinking about the paper I just ordered.” -Funny Quote

I am participating in the 61 Day ICAD 2021 challenge hosted by Tammy @gypsy999 Instagram! Last year, I did a hundred-day challenge independently and this year I was just going to do it on my own again but was encouraged by others to partake in Tammy’s challenge.

This past Tuesday started the annual ICAD Challenge and I usually don’t follow prompts on demand but so far, I have gone with it and have really enjoyed this week’s challenges.

Day One: The prompt for this day was, Contraption. I was delighted with this challenge. I had thought about doing clock gears or something along those lines, but knew that many others would probably do the same. I had this sticker transfer I have been wanting to use and thought the bicycle perfect for this challenge. When bicycles first came about, I can imagine people wondering all sorts of things about the contraption and that it will never take hold or wasn’t ladylike for women to ride them. Ha! Sure enough…

Supplies: Index Card/Ink/Sticker Transfer/Faux Postage Stamp/Dollartree Butterfly/Tim Holtz words/Paper Studio Sticker

Day Two: The prompt for this day was, Snapdragon. The flower is symbolic in a big way and I wrote a poem about it. Alas, I didn’t not share it on Instagram but perhaps I will share it on here at some point. I did have a fellow artist read it, and he really liked it.

I’m an abstract painter so the snapdragons were a bit of a challenge for me to create on a small scale. Though I must say, at least the colors are pretty and the houses give a whimsical feel to the piece. I did doodle paint the sky and doodling is a theme in this challenge. I got a lot of great response with this card.

Supplies: Index Card/paper collage/Acrylic Paint/Ink/Stamps

Day Three: The prompt for this day was, Lyrics.I chose Fall for You – Secondhand Serenade. I was going to go with Fade into You by Mazzy Star when I first read the icad prompt. Her song has such soulful meaning, heart- wrenching depth, and pure raw emotion.

However, after much thought, I decided to go with Fall for You. This song came to my mind while I was painting yesterday afternoon, for various reasons, and it really struck a chord with me for today’s prompt.

Afterthought: I was a teenager when Mazzy’s song came out in the 90s. I’ve always felt her song poetic, her voice other-worldly and everything I mentioned above. Will have to create a special piece in homage of her.

Supplies: Index Card (4″ × 6″)/paper collage/Words/Ink/Stamps

Day Four: The prompt for this day was, Snow Globe.

Blizzard

I have never made a snow globe before and I could have easily just printed out a pattern and paint over it. But I wanted to be authentic and create mine own from scratch. I knew I needed to do a lot of shading on the globe, so it looks like glass and to make it look like you’re seeing through it. I drew a circle and the base separately, then started my painting process. The background of the card is painted grey and I used a stamp for a wallpaper look. I’m thrilled with the outcome and this project has boost my confidence in my craft.

Supplies: Index Card/Snow Globe Sketch on paper/Acrylic Paint/Ink/Stamp

Day Five: The prompt for this day is, Verdigris. I LOVE this challenge. I’ve created using this method and colors before and enjoyed re-visiting the process. Verdigris meaning, “A bright bluish-green encrustation or patina formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, consisting of basic copper carbonate.”

Supplies: Index Card/Tissue Paper/PVA/
Acrylic Paint -Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber Dark, Teal (Bleu Lagon), and Satin Teal/Distress Ink around the edges

I look forward to sharing the rest of this week’s challenge and the following week with you next Saturday! My wish is for you to be inspired and encouraged. -Stephanie Hopkins

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages!

Cover Crush: Take What You Can Carry by Gian Sardar

About the Cover: The beautifully stark landscape and the contract of the flowers caught my attention. The shades of colors draw your eyes to the depth of the mountains. I do love the title but I feel the size of the font overwhelms the layout and takes away from the depiction of the mountains in the background.  

Thoughts about the story: I noticed that readers are shelving this book as Historical Fiction. Despite the history of the Iraqi–Kurdish conflict, this particular story does not take place fifty years ago and the genre is generally considered historical when fifty years has passed.

The premise of this story is something I want to explore in-depth. The conflict in Iraqi is prevalent to our time and history. To experience the period in the eyes of an aspiring photographer, Olivia Murray and her Kurdish boyfriend, Delan will be fascinating and gripping to say the least. I’ve added this book to my to-read pile. -Stephanie Hopkins

About the Book: Published May 1st 2021 by Lake Union Publishing

An aspiring photographer follows her dreams and faces her fears in a poignant novel about finding beauty, promise, and love amid the chaos of war-torn Kurdistan.

It’s 1979. Olivia Murray, a secretary at a Los Angeles newspaper, is determined to become a photojournalist and make a difference with her work. When opportunity arrives, she seizes it, accompanying her Kurdish boyfriend, Delan, to northern Iraq for a family wedding, hoping to capture an image that lands her a job in the photo department. More important, though, the trip is a chance to understand Delan’s childhood and bridge the differences of their pasts. Yet when the return home proves less safe than Delan believed, Olivia is confronted with a reality she had not expected, and is awakened to the dangers of a town patrolled by Iraqi military under curfew and constant threat.

But in this world torn apart by war, there are intoxicating sights and scents, Delan’s loving family, innocence not yet compromised, and small acts of kindness that flourish unexpectedly. All of it will be tested when Olivia captures a shattering, tragic moment on film, one that upends all their lives and proves that true bravery begins with an open heart.

Home Library Books

I still have quite a few NetGalley books to get through. However, I made a promise to myself that I would read books from my home library that I haven’t read yet-which I’m currently proactively doing. There are many books in this pile I have read before, and have read more than once. I’ve also made a promise to my daughter, a while back, to read books she read and enjoyed during her middle school and high school years. These piles consist of thirty-three books I’m hoping to read this year, or finish by next spring. I’m also considering annotating quite a few of these books. It’s important to re-read books, to read a variety of books, to keep on reading, to truly think about what you are reading and what the story conveys. Reading is knowledge and gives you the tools to keep ignorance at bay to say the least.

There are a few books in this pile that English majors are required to read. Keep in mind, all required reading material for English degrees vary and Professors do not adhere to the same lists. In a nut shell, be well read and be prepared. An English major is a whole lot more than just enjoying reading books. This subject is for another blog post, which I shall post in the near future.

Which of these titles shown, have you read? Have you read any of them more than once? What did you think of them? Would you consider reading them again and quite possibly experience something completely different the second time around?

Stephanie Hopkins

I’M AN ICADIAN

“Crafting fills my life. And my closets. And my drawers. And every empty tote bag in the house.”

I am participating in the 61 days index card art challenge hosted by Tammy @gypsy999 Instagram! Last year, I did a hundred-day challenge independently and this year I was just going to do it on my own again but was encouraged by others to partake in Tammy’s challenge.

I must confess, creating art on index cards gives me so much inspiration and joy. I have learned a lot about myself in how I push the boundaries of creating art, I might not have done so before.

If you would like to participate, be sure to follow Tammy on Instagram to get the scoop of the challenge and understanding. Everyone is friendly and supportive, so do not hessite to ask questions.

The challenge starts today but don’t feel you have to jump right in on the first day.

The best place to buy index cards is at the Dollar Tree, if you live in the State and have one in your town.

Message from Tammy: No registration needed; the challenge is free. Show up + start. You can start now, whenever now is! It’s been a hard freaking nightmare of a pandemic year so PLEASE take it easy on yourself – this is all meant to be fun – spread love – cleverness and creativity are good things – art brings us together from around the planet – enjoy your little daily project – create on as many days as you can from June 1 – July 31. Surprise yourself. 

I will be sharing my cards here on Layered Pages every Saturday. My wish is for you to be inspired and encourage. -Stephanie Hopkins

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages!

Memorial Day: Remembrance

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” – Lee Greenwood

Today we are honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. arm forces. It is important to recognize and respect their dedication and sacrifices for our freedoms that we hold dear as a Nation and to not lose sight of those freedoms fought for us.

Let us take a moment of pause and reflect on the true meaning of this day. God bless America and God bless our soldiers who have fought bravely and died to preserve our freedoms and protect the lives of Americans and others around the world. We thank you for your service and sacrifice. -Stephanie Hopkins