Cover Crush: Ikebana Unbound by Amanda Luu

My thoughts on the cover and my overall impression about my first glimpse of the story description: 

Ikebana UnboundIkebana Unbound

A Modern Approach to the Ancient Japanese Art of Flower Arranging

by Amanda Luu; Ivanka Matsuba

Artisan Books

Crafts & Hobbies

Pub Date 28 Apr 2020

Cover: The image of the flower arrangement on the cover tells a story. That is what captured my attention. This cover is a piece of art in itself. Absolutely beautiful.

Premise: For those who are new to Ikebana, it is the art of Japanese flower arranging. The arrangement if the flowers even the vase is very specific. Flowers hold meanings and Ikebana portrays that in the most beautiful ways! This book shows the readers new ways to tell new stories. I’m adding this book to my wish-list!

I rate the cover five stars!

Stephanie Hopkins

Description

At its heart, the Japanese art of ikebana is about celebrating an intimate connection with nature. To practice ikebana is to find inspiration in the seasons, favor unassuming blooms and branches, seek balance and simplicity, and remain fully present in the moment. It is a beautiful, pure antidote to our age of distraction and excess. Honoring the lineage of ikebana while making the art their own, Amanda Luu and Ivanka Matsuba of Studio Mondine show us new ways to tell stories with flowers. They offer step-by-step instructions for dozens of stunning, seasonal arrangements, while in the process introducing readers to the themes and stylistic signatures of the art. In Studio Mondine’s hands, this centuries-old practice feels undeniably fresh—and readers are given the gift of learning to create unique, meaningful, and authentic arrangements.

The Previous week Cover Crush

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

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(Images may be 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.)

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!

What Friends Are Reading

I’m always curious about what people are reading and on January 9th, I asked my friends on Facebook what books they are reading. Here are five of the many titles mentioned and I must say, I’m adding all of these to my wish-list! I love the book covers! What book are you reading at the moment? -Stephanie

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The ScholarThe Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. Darcy Therapeutics has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking research. The investigation into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but how well does he really know her? After all, this isn’t the first time Emma’s been accused of murder…

Becoming Mrs. LewisBecoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

The Golden Yarn by Cornelia FunkeThe Golden Yarn (Mirrorworld #3) by Cornelia Funke

Jacob Reckless continues to travel the portal in his father’s abandoned study. His name has continued to be famous on the other side of the mirror, as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. His family and friends, from his brother, Will to the shape-shifting vixen, Fox, are on a collision course as the two worlds become connected. Who is driving these two worlds together and why is he always a step ahead?

This new force isn’t limiting its influence to just Jacob’s efforts – it has broadened the horizon within MirrorWorld. Jacob, Will and Fox travel east and into the Russian folklore, to the land of the Baba Yaga, pursued by a new type of being that knows our world all too well.

First LightFirst Light by Geoffrey Wellum

“In First Light, Geoffrey Wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming of age amid the roaring, tumbling dogfights of the fiercest air war the world had ever seen.

It is the story of an idealistic schoolboy who couldn’t believe his luck when the RAF agreed to take him on as a “pupil pilot” at the minimum age of seventeen and a half in 1939. In his fervor to fly, he gave little thought to the coming war.”

“Writing with wit, compassion, and a great deal of technical expertise, Wellum relives his grueling months of flight training, during which two of his classmates crashed and died. He describes a hilarious scene during his first day in the prestigious 92nd Squadron when his commader discovered that Wellum had not only never flown a Spitfire, he’d never even seen one.”

A battle-hardened ace by the winter of 1941, though still not out of his teens, ‘Boy’ Wellum flew scores of missions as fighter escort on bombing missions over France. Yet the constant life-or-death stress of murderous combat and anguish over the loss of his closest friends sapped endurance. Tortured by fierce headaches, even in the midst of battle, he could not bear the thought of “not pulling your weight,” of letting the other pilots risk their lives in his place. Wellum’s frank account of his long, losing bout with battle fatigue is both moving and enlightening.

Home Work A Memoir of My Hollywood YearsHome Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards, Emma Walton Hamilton

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.

In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage.

With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films–Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations.

Co-written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.

Layered Pages Book Sales

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Every Friday I will be listing 6 used books for Sale here at Layered Pages! If you are interested in purchasing a book, email me at layeredpages@yahoo.com. I accept PayPal Payments. The shipping free for US Residents only. For international, price will vary. Sale prices are nonnegotiable. – Stephanie M. Hopkins

All Books are gently used. All sales are final. All books shown here are Paperback.

The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff

Sale: $7.00

Summer 1941  

Young Adelia Monteforte flees fascist Italy for America, where she is whisked away to the shore by her well-meaning aunt and uncle. Here, she meets and falls for Charlie Connally, the eldest of the four Irish-Catholic boys next door. But all hopes for a future together are soon throttled by the war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.

Grief-stricken, Addie flees—first to Washington and then to war-torn London—and finds a position at a prestigious newspaper, as well as a chance to redeem lost time, lost family…and lost love. But the past always nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned with. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.

Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer

Sale: $7.00

Paperback, 288 pages

Published July 27th 2004 by Arrow (first published 1941)

Skilled in the art of card playing, Deborah Grantham, a gambler’s daughter, uses that skill as her sole means of support as mistress of her aunt’s elegant and exclusive gaming club in 18th-century London. The beautiful young mis must find a way to restore herself and her aunt to respectability, preferably without accepting either of two repugnant offers. One is from an older, very rich and rather corpulent lord whose reputation for licentious behavior disgusts her; the other from the young, puppyish scion of a noble family whose relatives are convinced she is a fortune hunter.

Lady Mablethorpe was aghast. Her young son Adrian was marrying Miss Deborah Grantham–a gambling-club wench! Thus she sent her trusted nephew, the vastly wealthy, clever, and imperturbable Max Ravenscar, speeding to the faro tables to buy the hussy off. To Ravenscar’s surprise, Deborah turned out to be remarkably handsome, witty, and–he could scarcely believe it–well-bred. Nevertheless, he expected she’d be grateful for the price he offered to give up her young suitor. Arrogant Ravenscar comes to buy her off, an insult so scathing that it leads to a volley of passionate reprisals, escalating between them to a level of flair and fury that can only have one conclusion….

Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England by Thomas Penn

Sale: $9.00

Paperback, 480 pages

Published March 12th 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published September 29th 2011)

It was 1501. England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy, violence, murders, coups and countercoups. Through luck, guile and ruthlessness, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor kings, had clambered to the top of the heap–a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England’s throne. For many he remained a usurper, a false king.

But Henry had a crucial asset: his queen and their children, the living embodiment of his hoped-for dynasty. Queen Elizabeth was a member of the House of York. Henry himself was from the House of Lancaster, so between them they united the warring parties that had fought the bloody century-long War of the Roses. Now their older son, Arthur, was about to marry a Spanish princess. On a cold November day sixteen-year-old Catherine of Aragon arrived in London for a wedding that would mark a triumphal moment in Henry’s reign.

In this remarkable book, Thomas Penn re-creates the story of the tragic, magnetic Henry VII–a controlling, paranoid, avaricious monarch who was entering the most perilous years of his long reign.

Rich with drama and insight, Winter King is an astonishing story of pageantry, treachery, intrigue and incident–and the fraught, dangerous birth of Tudor England.

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

Sale: $7.00

Paperback, 364 pages

Published April 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1994)

From the winner of the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, this mesmerizing, suspenseful, and richly atmospheric tale of time travel draws us into the heart of a heroine we won’t soon forget…

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.

As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past…until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh #14) by P.D. James

Sale: $7.00

National Bestseller

Paperback, 368 pages

Published November 3rd 2009 by Vintage (first published January 11th 2008)

**A little yellow around the edges of book. Otherwise is great condition.

Cheverell Manor is a beautiful old house in Dorset, which its owner, the famous plastic surgeon George Chandler-Powell, uses as a private clinic.  When the investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, arrives to have a disfiguring facial scar removed, she has every expectation of a successful operation and a peaceful week recuperating.  But the clinic houses an implacable enemy and within hours of the operation Rhoda is murdered.   Commander Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate a case complicated by old crimes and the dark secrets of the past.  But Before Rhoda’s murder is solved, a second horrific death adds to the complexities of one of Dalgliesh’s most perplexing and fascinating cases.

The Venetian Bargain by Marina Fiorato

Sale: $9.00

Paperback, 407 pages

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin (first published 2012)

Venice, 1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man, more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague—and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.

But the ship also holds a secret stowaway—Feyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan’s concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice.

In despair, the Doge commissions the architect Andrea Palladio to build the greatest church of his career—an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. But Palladio’s life is in danger too, and it will require all the skills of Annibale Cason, the city’s finest plague doctor, to keep him alive. What Annibale had not counted on was meeting Feyra, who is now under Palladio’s protection—an impossible woman whose medical skills and determination are matched only by his own.

From Marina Fiorato, author of the acclaimed historical novel The Glassblower of Murano, comes a triumphant return to historical Venice with Venetian Bargain.

New Beginnings for Layered Pages

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Layered Pages will now be a blend of literature (Book Sales Starting on Friday), art, photography, and fashion! Be sure to tell your friends all about the new changes to Layered Pages!

My latest listings on Poshmark is now live! 10 listings in all! Be sure to check this out and my other items in my closet!  Make a bundle and get 15% OFF 3 or more items from this closet! Poshmark Website 

Use my code ARTSYCOUTURE42 to sign up for Poshmark and get a $5.00 credit!  

This past weekend I was going to get my art on but I did not get a moment to do so! Very frustrating but I shall make up for it soon and share with you all my upcoming creations.

What I’m reading: Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

On the shores of Cape Cod, the Bailey sisters reunite with their long-lost father for a summer of hope and forgiveness in this heartfelt novel from the author of the “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) Mystic Summer, The Lake Season, and The Summer House, sure to appeal to “fans of Elin Hilderbrand” (Booklist).

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings.

 What I’m listening to: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman-Fabulous so far!

“A psychological thriller that captivated me from page one. What unfolds makes for a wild, page-turning ride! It’s the perfect beach read!”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick)

A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut–for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you? 

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman’s enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we’re tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.

 

Thrift With Me

Me in March 2018

I haven’t posted in a while except for my cover crushes. Why? Because I have been taking a few weeks to regroup and work on coming up with some new post ideas for the fall time and I have noticed social media has been showing signs of the Summer slowdown! Today I want to talk about something a little off topic from what I normally post about. Here it goes…

It pays to be kind to workers in Goodwill stores or at any retell store for that matter! The Goodwill store near me is in East Cobb outside of Atlanta, Georgia and I shop in there frequently for BOOKS and what-not. The store is clean and the staff are kind and helpful. I’m not going to lie; the prices are high but they have special deals every week and I want to give a bit of advice to people who shop there and complain to the staff about prices. When I am shopping in the store, if I see clothing that has dropped on the floor by me or anyone, I pick it up and hang it back nicely. When I see a worker needing to get to the spot I am at to hang something up, I move over for them and say hi and ask how they are doing. When I am ready to check out, I take the hangers off the clothing and sort the clothing by the color tags. When I go up to the register and see that the cashier is tired, I take with them and I also let them know I appreciate them and their hard work. I used to work in retail and I have worked in the marketing business for years and I know all to well how hard these people work for little pay and appreciation. Yesterday I went in the store to find some summer tops and found some great brands that were practically brand new or gently used. I will list those brands below. Anyhow, I was helpful to the people working there and chatted with them and a few of the customers when they asked me if there were any specials going on. I guess it didn’t go unnoticed because I got a big discount on every clothing I bought plus the senior citizens discount and I just turned 42 years old. Kindness goes a long way.

Brands I bought: Women’s Tops

Vera Wang

ARIAT Polo

Zella

Nike

Banana Republic

J.Jill

Lucky Brand

Caia

*Most of the tops tags were current clothing lines.

I love thrill of finding good deals! Lots of people do not realize how important it is to thrift. Many items end up in the landfills and that is not a good thing! Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! Waste not, want not.

Best to you all!

Stephanie

Novel Expressions Facebook Page Posts

Check out the fun posts and great titles at the Novel Expressions Facebook Page! Below is two examples of what you can expect.

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Historical Fiction by subject!

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On This Day Recommendation!

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