Saturday Sunday: Work Life Balance

Real Talk:

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” —Stephen R. Covey, author

I hope you all had a wonderful week! I’ve worked a lot this week and was able to take some time to relax some and I got a lot accomplished in the creating of hand work projects. I’ve also listed great items in my Poshmark Closet. This week was a real eye opener for me and I will tell you why.

This past Thursday the sun was shinning and the air was crisps and with  a calm breeze. The perfect elements for back porch sitting. I took my lunch on the screened porch and while I sat there, I listened to the distance sounds of a leaf blower, someone using a hammer, and the sounds of the wind blowing through the trees. A peaceful moment to be sure and a time to relax a little before getting back to work.

Later on, in the day I reflected back to that moment and realized that my work/life balance is out of balance- if you will. I really enjoyed that moment on the porch and it helped me get through the rest of my day. If the weather permits during the work week, I might take a walk to the lake during my lunch breaks.

I’m also making a point to take a few moments each day to work on my art and slow stitching projects. That is really helping a great deal. Another helpful life/balance activity is to meet friends for coffee and good conversation. I started doing that more often last fall and it has changed my life. I’m an extreme introvert and pushing myself to get out more has been eye opening. Just be sure to find your tribe that is good for you. People who encourage you and lift you up.

Me in the morningHere is where I went wrong. Yesterday morning I took a picture of what I looked like waking up.  My hair is braided because its so curly and long now that if I don’t braid it at night, its a tangled mess. See those dark circles under my eyes? I stayed up really late to work on Poshmark, editing, proofreading, and blogging. I’m talking through the night into the wee hours of 2 am! That was not a great idea and it won’t happen again. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning and it had messed with my morning routine which sets my day. Having said that, most weeks I’m working 24/7 but I usually have a cut off in the evening times at 10 pm. I’m now setting that cut off time to 7 pm. I’ve also decided to cut my hours on the weekends and no longer work on Sundays.

People think working from home is glamorous and a luxury. Its not. Would I prefer working outside the home? Yes. One day I want to make that happen but I want the job to be the right fit for me. (Yes, working from home is a right fit for a lot of people and they love it. There are many aspects working from home I do actually like. I might get to that in another post.) Sometimes online I see “waking up in bed selfies” and I’m like…what? No way! Do they have make-up on? Haha! Anyhow, I want to be real and show y’all not every morning for self employed people is all sunshine and roses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed and grateful. I just want people to know that working from home is REAL HARD work and sometimes it’s not easy to step away from it because your work is all around you. Also often  times there is no one to hold you accountable so it is on you to make it happen. 

********

“Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.”

********

We live in a fast-paced society and it can really impact ones mental and physical health. This year for me is about slowing down and enjoying life more and just being in the present. Taking the time to smell the roses. Finding that work/life balance.

Have a lovely weekend and find your balance! God bless.

-Stephanie

**********

Be sure to visit my Facebook Page to discover more about what I am doing these days.

Layered Pages Facebook Page

Follow my closet @artsycouture42 and use my code: ARTSYCOUTURE42 to get a free $10 credit when signing up for Poshmark! www.poshmark.

Artsycouture42

 

 

Stitch Mindspace: Knit Stitch/Embroidery Books

Layered Pages Journal BannerPart I:

My main focus this year on mix media projects are adding stitching, knitting and embroidery so I thought, “Why not create an online catalog of the books I want to acquire on the subject?” This blog post is part one of my catalog and I hope this will be a great source for my fellow mix media artists to follow. Down below I will add the links to my other books in this series are that relevant to this blogging journey. If you have any book recommendations on this subject, please leave a comment in the comment area. I hope you all have a great week and I hope to see y’all back tomorrow here at Layered Pages! -Stephanie

Stitch Dictionary by Lucinda GandertonStitch Dictionary by Lucinda Ganderton

Four Star Review on Goodreads:

‘The art of embroidery has been defined simply as the ornamentation of textiles with decorative stitchery.’

In this book, Lucinda Ganderton provides a clearly illustrated, step by step guide to over 200 decorative and practical stitches. A copy of this book has been part of my reference library for almost ten years, and I refer to it whenever I am looking for a decorative stitch for a particular purpose or when I need to remind myself exactly how to work a particular stitch.

‘It is an ancient craft which encompasses a wealth of history, and the same stiches are used by embroiderers throughout the world.’

After a section entitled ‘How to Use This Book’, this book contains six chapters. The first chapter covers the equipment, threads and fabrics used for stitchery, and the different techniques involved. This is followed by a library of the 234 stitches featured within the book, with the page reference to the instructions for each particular stitch.

For example: Back Stitch Rings (p102). Turn to page 102 for pictures of how to work the stitch, advice on what it is useful for and the method used and materials required to work this intermediate level stitch. I could have really used this book when I was attempting my first French knots!

The stitches are organised into four categories:
Line and Border Stitches
Filling Stitches
Openwork Stitches
Needlepoint Stitches

The colour illustrations for each stitch are clear and uncluttered, and there is an illustration of the completed stitch as well.
I most recently referred to this book for decorative border stitches for some applique I’m attempting. The only problem I have is that there are so many different stitches to choose from: an entire world of possibilities.”

-Jennifer Cameron-Smith

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary 200 Modern Knitting MotifsAlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs

Break the rules–knit outside the lines!

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary takes an unexpected look at stranded colorwork with 200 new motifs. These non-traditional colorwork charts are perfect for the creative knitter looking to break away from the ordinary. Derived from graphic design elements, these fresh motifs include everything from geometric mountains, waves, and spirals to modern bikes, skulls, and sheep.

Dive into stranded colorwork with confidence with a section on reading charts, working floats, and choosing colors. Learn how stranded colorwork can be used in design with five accompanying projects including mitts, cowls, and sweaters. Plus, use your imagination to modify, deconstruct, and combine the unique motifs to create your own designs.

Be inspired to break the rules and use charts in creative ways with AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary.

Embroidery A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 StitchesEmbroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches

Embroidery is the ultimate stitch dictionary and the ideal guide to embroidery, whatever your level of expertise.

The perfect reference guide to needlework, Embroidery is a comprehensive guide to inspire and inform sewers of all levels. Find advice on which thread, needles, or fabrics work with which techniques, and take a look at an incredible 200 stitches — with levels of difficulty, step-by-step instructions, and ideas on where and how to use them.

This practical guide covers sewing tips for dressmaking, needlepoint, and embroidery stitches, with detailed information simply presented in illustration-rich pages. With Embroidery it’s easy to find exactly which stitch is right for your next sewing project.

Other Relevant posts:

Book Wish-List: Visible Mending

 

Cover Crush: Echoes of the Runes: A sweeping, epic tale of forbidden love by Christina Courtenay

I don’t read romance stories often but this one looks fantastic and I adore the cover! The title and premise isn’t too shabby either. I find the color blue popping up everywhere and the cast of hues are terrific!

Reading the description, one can tell it is much more than a romance and it looks to be full of adventure and all sorts of imagery. Adding this book to my 2020 to-read wish-list!

Echoes of the Runes A sweeping, epic tale of forbidden loveExpected publication: March 5th 2020

Their love was forbidden. But echoed in eternity.

When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother’s summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiance Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artifacts like the gold ring Mia’s grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision – and from Charles.

Whilst Mia becomes absorbed in the dig’s discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the ‘White Hawk’, who stole her away from her people in 869 AD.

As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe’s inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them…

*******

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

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Cover Crush banner

Cover Crush & Collage: The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings

Tha Camera Never Lies

Book Collage by Stephanie Hopkins

I spotted this book on Facebook  and the title, colors of the background and the premise intrigued me. I have an older mix media art piece I created on Canvas that I thought would be perfect for a collage of this book. I took my image and the book cover and made digital art with them. I did sharpen and added a few little mediums to really make it pop. I think it turned out pretty cool.

 

 

 

The Camera Never LiesThe Camera Never Lies

by David Rawlings

Daniel, Kelly, and Milly appear to be the perfect family. But an old camera will expose secrets no one wants developed.

Daniel Whitely is a successful marriage counselor and bestselling author, yet his own marriage is in crisis and his daughter is drifting further away each day. To make matters worse, the deadline for his second book has come and gone, and he still hasn’t written a single word.

When Daniel inherits an old camera from his grandfather, he notices an inscription on the bottom: “No matter what you think you might see, the camera never lies.”

Daniel begins using the camera, but every time he develops his photos, they threaten to reveal secrets that could sabotage both his marriage and his career—exposing him as a fraud and destroying the life he has worked so hard to build.

He’s faced with a choice: keep his secrets and save his career or come clean and possibly save his family. Which will he choose? Which would you choose?

*****

Cover Crush banner

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

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Projects Galore

Before I went to bed I started cutting my first pair of old jeans for several projects. I will be making patches with the legs for a denim rag quilt. Since the pockets have buckles on this pair, I’ll use them for another project. The scraps of hem and waist from the jeans will be used to make place mats and throw rugs. The remaining scraps I’ll use for my mix media art projects. Many and I mean many more jeans to prep for these projects. This will take time as I’m doing this on my free time from work, family life, visiting friends, reading, writing, visible mending project, blogging and Poshing on Poshmark so I’ll post updates on here once in awhile. Okay, I’ll just fess up right now. As you can see I have A LOT going on and adding more projects to the mix is a bit nuts. Oh, did I mention I’m also working on Acrylic Painting for wall hangings as well? Yikes. I need to prioritize or put something on the back burner. Yeah…y’all think? But hey, I love it all and I don’t think my brain knows how to shut down. Anyhow, it will all work out. Somehow. *laughing*