Mixed Media Art Challenge Completed

On May 12th I started a Mixed Media Art Challenge  to see how many art projects I could create within the 30 days. The challenged ended on Jun 10th-if I did my math right. The challenge was to use black, white and pink stains, paint and ink for background colors . only. Below in the slideshow is what I accomplished with in that 30 day time frame.  There are thousands of different ways to create art by just using those mediums for the background. I created journal pages, ATCs, journal pockets, journal cards and hand-made embellishments. Which one if your favorite?

Though the challenge is over, I would like to continue to see how many more backgrounds I can create and really challenge myself to grow with my craft. I do have lots of scraps left over so I will be using those as well. Also, I will be working with wood panels and canvas. This wasn’t a challenge I did with other paper crafters-mind you- but one I chose to do by myself. -Stephanie Hopkins

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“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent Van Gogh

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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.)

Book Spotlight and Other Things

I came across the book below on NetGalley and while there looks like a lot of sad tones to the premise, the themes sound powerful. I wonder if it will live up to its expectations? Hmm…adding it to my reading pile because I’ve enjoyed Hart’s stories in the past!

My 30-day Mixed Media Art Challenge ended a few days ago and I still need to blog about it. Hoping to this coming Monday. This weekend will be busy and I still need to upload some images to my computer. I look forward to sharing the pieces from that challenge! Have a great Thursday! -Stephanie Hopkins

The UnwillingThe Unwilling by John Hart

St. Martin’s Press

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 02 Feb 2021

Description

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart’s singular style.

Gibby’s older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.

Jason won’t speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn’t known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.

But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk, one of the women taunts the prisoners, leading to a riot on the bus. The woman finds it funny in the moment, but is savagely murdered soon after.

Given his violent history, suspicion turns first to Jason; but when the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother’s hidden life, a dark world of heroin, guns and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

What he discovers there is a truth more disturbing than he could have imagined: not just the identity of the killer and the reasons for Tyra’s murder, but the forces that shaped his brother in Vietnam, the reason he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison.

This is crime fiction at its most raw, an exploration of family and the past, of prison and war and the indelible marks they leave.

 

Cover Crush: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

The Pull of the StarsThe background and the image of the pocket watch grabbed my attention. I love textures and the depth it gives the cover.  The premise looks pretty intense and with themes that hit close to home during this time but its important to read about history, humanity and survival.

-Stephanie Hopkins

The Pull of the Stars

by Emma Donoghue

Little, Brown and Company

Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction

Pub Date 21 Jul 2020

Description

Dublin, 1918: three days in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. A small world of work, risk, death, and unlooked-for love, by the bestselling author of The Wonder and ROOM

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders — Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In the Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

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Book Review: Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

MigrationsMy thoughts:

Franny Stone makes her appearance in Greenland to acquire work on the Saghani. Her motivations are to convince the ship’s captain to track the last of the terns and journey with them on their last Migration. More ways then one, these birds are a symbol of her life in many ways. At least that is what I came away with the story.

As the story unfolds, you begin to realize that Franny’s life is displaced, haunted and she must find the answers of her torment and come to grips with secrets bottled up so tightly, even she has forgotten them.

This story has ceased hold of my heart and it is one I think I will always come back to. While there is great sadness in this story, it is extraordinary and evoking with lyrically told sea life, characterization and captures your attention to wildlife that is threated to extinction.

I can’t remember the last time I have been transported and completely immersed in the characters’ lives. It’s as if the character’s hopes, dreams, longing, plight is your own.

Stephanie Hopkins

I obtained an ARC of Migrations from the Publishers through NetGalley for my honest opinion of the story.

Book Description:

Expected publication: August 4th 2020 by Flatiron Books

Franny Stone has always been a wanderer. By following the ocean’s tides and the birds that soar above, she can forget the losses that have haunted her life. But when the wild she so loves begins to disappear; Franny can no longer wander without a destination. She arrives in remote Greenland with one purpose: to find the world’s last flock of Arctic terns and follow them on their final migration. She convinces Ennis Malone, captain of the Saghani, to take her onboard, winning over his salty, eccentric crew with promises that the birds she is tracking will lead them to fish.

As the Saghani fights its way south, Franny’s new shipmates begin to realize that the beguiling scientist in their midst is not who she seems. Battered by night terrors, accumulating a pile of letters to her husband, and dead set on following the terns at any cost, Franny is full of dark secrets. When the story of her past begins to unspool, Ennis and his crew must ask themselves what Franny is really running toward—and running from.

Propelled by a narrator as fierce and fragile as the terns she is following, Migrations is a shatteringly beautiful ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened. But at its heart, it is about the lengths we will go, to the very edges of the world, for the people we love.

 

 

 

Cover Crush: The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse

The Key to EverythingI love vintage images and this one is really atmosphereic. I like reading period pieces and this one looks good even though it has a sad tone to it in the description. The genre is romance and I normally don’t read those kind-of stories, but I will be keeping my eye on this one. -Stephanie Hopkins

The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Revell

Romance

Pub Date 02 Jun 2020

Description

Peyton Cabot’s fifteenth year will be a painful and transformative one. His father, the heroic but reluctant head of a moneyed Savannah family, has come home from WWII a troubled vet, drowning his demons in bourbon and distancing himself from his son. A tragic accident shows Peyton the depths of his parents’ devotion to each other but interrupts his own budding romance with the girl of his dreams, Lisa Wallace.

Struggling to cope with a young life upended, Peyton makes a daring decision: He will retrace a journey his father took at fifteen, riding his bicycle all the way to Key West, Florida. Part declaration of independence, part search for self, Peyton’s journey will bring him more than he ever could have imagined–namely, the key to his unknowable father, a reunion with Lisa, and a calling that will shape the rest of his life.

Through poignant prose and characters so real you’ll be sure you know them, Valerie Fraser Luesse transports you to the storied Atlantic coast for a unique coming-of-age story you won’t soon forget.

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Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

MigrationsI’m currently reading two books right now but this story took front and center in the first page. I spent the better part of the evening-yesterday- reading it and it was a struggle to put it down to sleep. I’m half way through and it’s all I can think about. This story has ceased hold of my heart. It’s the story for the ages and a story that I want to shout from the roof tops about how extraordinary and evoking it is. I can’t remember the last time I have been transported and completely immersed in the characters lives. It’s as if the character’s hopes, dreams, longing, plight is your own. This is the story and the writing I have been waiting for! -Stephanie Hopkins
 
Pub Date 04 Aug 2020
Franny Stone has always been a wanderer. By following the ocean’s tides and the birds that soar above, she can forget the losses that have haunted her life. But when the wild she loves begins to disappear, Franny can no longer wander without a destination. She arrives in remote Greenland with one purpose: to find the world’s last flock of Arctic terns and follow them on their final migration. She convinces Ennis Malone, captain of the Saghani, to take her onboard, winning over his eccentric crew with promises that the birds she is tracking will lead them to fish.
 
As the Saghani fights its way south, Franny’s new shipmates begin to realize that she is full of dark secrets: night terrors, an unsent pile of letters, and an obsession with pursuing the terns at any cost. When the story of her past begins to unspool, Ennis and his crew must ask themselves what Franny is really running toward—and running from.

Trust Your Heart

A Thrust Your Heart EditedCreating this page was more about having confidence in my art journey. To trust my process and growth in creating from the heart. Trusting myself to be authentic, and to reach further in my exploration of art.

I thought adding the image of the people Kayaking was perfect because that is one of my favorite water activities, which I rarely get to do anymore and its fitting to the background image.  -Stephanie Hopkins

 

“Artists are people who make art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent … Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another … Art is who we are and what we do and what we need. Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul. “ -Author Unknown

(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.)

Discovery and Expression

A Mixed MEdia Circus Image PageOver the weekend I created several pages in my Mixed Media Journal and I discovered a couple things about myself in the journey. For this page I used a magazine clipping that my dear friend Lisl sent me and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

This week I will be sharing three of the pages I made and a couple bookish things.

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I highly recommend expressing your feelings through art journaling or just writing your thoughts down. Sometimes I have a lot to write about and other times I just create a page to just be in the moment and not think too much about things going on in life. The medium is truly therapeutic and so calming. You don’t need a lot of materials and toy can use what you have on hand.  -Stephanie Hopkins

(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.)

Ephemera & Mixed Media

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! The past two days, I created a few art pieces, made two journal pages and chilled out with shows on the tube. I may have enough ephemera and embellishments to last me several journals at this point but I can’t stop making them!

I used watercolors and watercolor paper for these backgrounds. After the paint dried, I used Tim Holtz Inks to create my image with Clear Stamps. The stamps are from various craft supply companies. There are a few here that I will need to fussy cut but it shouldn’t be a problem. I’m really pleased with how they came out. Do you prepare your Ephemera ahead of time? What are some of the techniques you use? There are so many different ways in creating them.

These two pieces come from a larger Master Board I painted on Saturday using a watercolor paper and acrylic paint I’m keeping the remaining pieces for future projects.

This piece came from a master board I created last week. Some of you might remember that project.

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Additional pieces I made.

Here are two books that I recently acquired that I’m hoping to get to soon. Can’t wait!

Be sure to check out my friend and fellow blogger’s post about Journaling Life: Anatomy of a Journal Entry!  -Stephanie Hopkins

(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.)

 

A Weekend of Mix Media Art

 

The past few months I have been experimenting outside my norm of creating and this weekend I decided to go back to my roots of creating Mixed Media Art. While I enjoy learning new mediums, there are times I need to be surrounded with familiarity.

Mixed MEdia Collage 3-21-20

I created a master board specifically for my mixed media projects this weekend and I am really pleased with how they turned out. I will use these pieces to add to my Altered Art Book Journal and I still have a few left overs to make a few more ephemeras.

Furthermore, I created a mini notebook for my junk journal and hand-stitched the spin and added a couple of embellishments to the notebook. This piece will be tuck into a small pocket to take out and jot down notes and such. The pages are coffee stained and I used scrap pattern paper for the cover. The thread I used was gifted by a friend whom I’ve been encouraging to venture into junk journaling. I knew that this medium of creativity would be something she would be highly interested in because of her love of reading and history.

Two of the background pieces I made will be for later projects and there here is a piece I am hand-stitching. I do have a sewing machine but there are times I want to be in the present with my thoughts while creating and slow stitching is the perfect past time to do so. I will be stitching around the whole paper. The stitch will create a board to compliment the black coloring I will add.

 

The master board was created on a large size watercolor paper. The first step I took was to draw a grid with pencil because I used several colors of paint for the first layer and the grid gave me a sense of placement. Then I took scrap paper and dictionary paper and created a collage. The last step was cutting the board to the sizes I wanted to use for my projects. I used Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks and Tombow Watercolor Markers for my inking and doodling.

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Left Over Pieces

Be sure to check out Before the Second Sleep’s blog post about new wings and ephemeras.

I hope you all have a creative week ahead and please be safe. -Stephanie

(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.)