Crafty Giveaway #2

I’m hosting a unique bookmark swap over at Instagram and I hold ephemera giveaways for our group members. We are currently on our second giveaway and this bundle is filled with so much goodness for crafting!

We are still accepting new members to our group! Our next bookmark swap is in September and we would love to have you join. Be sure to follow the hashtag below, on Instagram, to keep up with the group and to be in the loop with current and upcoming giveaways. We are currently open for US Residents only. More international spots will open soon.

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 on Instagram for more information. We would love for you to be part of this group! The hashtag for our swap group: #StephslpBookmarkswap

Stephanie Hopkins

Mixed Media Artist/Abstract Painter/Book Blogger

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. -Stephanie

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part IX

Challenge Completed

I’m thrilled to be sharing this week’s final 2021 ICAD’s with you. The abbreviation ICAD means, “Index Card A Day.” This challenge was created a few years ago by artist Tammy, and her challenge has really grown over the years. I enjoyed creating these cards and look forward to sharing more about them soon. Below are the links to the previous posts of this challenge.

This final week’s cards are days 55-61

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part I/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part IIICAD 2021 Challenge Part III/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part IV/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VICAD 2021 Challenge Part VI/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VII /ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VIII

Day 61

My wish is for you to be inspired and encouraged. Have a blessed weekend! -Stephanie Hopkins

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

Upcoming Reading Forecast

Check out these three books I’m hoping to get to next on NetGalley. I might have mentioned them before. Not sure what order I will read them in or if I’ll read others in-between them. I’m definitely a mood reader. One way that helps with that is to read a couple at books at once. Not literally at once, but you know what I mean.

Have a beautiful weekend and see you tomorrow! I will be posting the remaining cards of the ICAD 2021 challenge. I’m thinking about doing one more post about the challenge after that one. – Stephanie Hopkins

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

St. Martin’s Press

Minotaur Books

Mystery & Thrillers | Women’s Fiction

Pub Date 03 Aug 2021  

Description

In the vein of the Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick The Other Woman, Sandie Jones’s explosive new novel The Guilt Trip will have readers gripped to the very last page.

They went away as friends.
They came back as suspects.


Rachel and Jack. Paige and Noah. Will and Ali. Five friends who’ve known each other for years. And Ali, Will’s new fiancée.

The three couples travel to Portugal for Ali and Will’s destination wedding. Arriving at the gorgeous clifftop villa, the weekend away is a chance to relax and get to know Ali a little better. A newcomer to their group, she seems perfectly nice and Will seems happy after years of bad choices.

But when Rachel discovers a shocking secret about Ali, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them holds begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel.

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 08 Jun 2021 

Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water and Mr. Nobody comes “an unputdownable mystery about the nightmares that abound in the pursuit of Hollywood dreams” (Caroline Kepnes, author of the You series).
 
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE SUMMER—Entertainment Weekly • PopSugar

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio is looking to fill the rosters of their new shows, enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls—anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the horde of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive arena of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her. 

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once… and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So, Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity.

Out of the Rain by V.C. Andrews

Gallery Books

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 02 Nov 2021 

Description

Following the events of The Umbrella Lady, young Saffron Faith Anders searches for family and love in this spine-tingling gothic fairy tale from the New York Times bestselling author of the Flowers in the Attic series and Landry series—now popular Lifetime movies.

After escaping the trauma of the Umbrella Lady’s home, thirteen-year-old Saffron Faith Anders is determined to find the father who abandoned her all those years ago. But when she finds him in a nearby town, Saffron is shocked to discover that he has married a woman he clearly had been involved with before her mother’s death. Worse, her father insists Saffron pretend to be his niece so he can continue to con his new wife’s family. Desperate for her father’s love, she goes along with the farce, but it soon becomes clear that perhaps it is better to face the world alone than trapped in a toxic and potentially dangerous family.

July: Book Round-Up

I can’t get over how fast this year is flying and there are still many books to be read! How is your reading going this year? Are you reading more or less books?

This month I’ve read two printed books from my own bookshelf, two NetGalley ebooks and listened to three audio books. Not bad considering how busy have been with other projects. I no longer consider myself an official book reviewer but I am still working on getting through my galley reads. I went a little crazy when I first joined a few years ago. That happens to newbies on NetGalley.

A couple of the books, I’ve read before and wanted to re-visit them. Can you believe I’m still undecided on how I would rate them? I don’t like the five-star rating system we have in place. Not all parts of a story are equal and the system needs to be changed. The two books I re-read are The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti and Liar, Temptress, Solider, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott. Have you read those two books? I noticed a contradiction in Abbott’s book right off the bat. Even minor details are important not to miss. I’m surprised the editor missed it.

Tomorrow I’m blogging about three books I thinking about reading next! Be sure to check out my 2021 Books Read and follow Layered Pages by email to keep up with the latest. -Stephanie Hopkins

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VIII

I’m thrilled to be sharing with you all this week’s ICAD’s. The abbreviation ICAD means, “Index Card A Day.” This challenge was created a few years ago by artist Tammy and her challenge has really grown over the years. Below, is her IG account where you can find out more about her and her art.

Day 51

We are getting close to the home stretch of this challenge and I must say I’ve enjoyed it a great deal! I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to store the cards and I usually go with an acid free photo box to store my little creations. Right now, they are sitting in a ceramic basket on my bookshelf. I might keep them there for a while. I love walking by and stopping to take a look at them.

This week’s cards are days 48-54

Which one is your favorite? ICAD 2021 Challenge Part I/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part II/ ICAD 2021 Challenge Part III/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part IV/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VICAD 2021 Challenge Part VI/ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VII

Tammy IG @gypsy999

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. Have a blessed weekend! -Stephanie Hopkins

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

Cover Crush: The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

About the Cover: I love images of country homes and their setting on the edge of woods. I lived in rural North Georgia for nine years with a home on the edge of woods before moving back to the suburbs. I would often sit at the kitchen table that faced the woods and spent a lot of time thinking about the history of the land and the people that lived there before us. This book cover is atmospheric and I like the mirror effect of the image. You can image all sorts of stories the house and trees hold.

About the Book: I like reading a wide range of genres though I am extremely choosy about the horror genre for several reasons but there are a few I will read or give it a try. Maybe I chose this one because it takes place in the country and the story touches on family secrets. Did I mention I love the title of the book?! Definitely an eye catcher.

Stephanie Hopkins  

Book Description:

Hardcover, 530 pages

Published July 20th 2021 by Del Rey Books

A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers

Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.

Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.

Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.

Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.

And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.

This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.

Are You Reading?

“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate.” -General Maddox

“I cannot understand how some people can live without communicating with the wisest people who ever lived on earth.” -Leo Tolstoy

“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. “-Mark Twain

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”– Jim Rohn

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” —Kate DiCamillo

What books are you reading?

What questions are you asking?

Do you know what critical thinking is? Reading plays a hug role in critical thinking. Are you applying it to your life? There are books about everything. You can learn from all different types of writers.

Today, I’m sharing a few titles of books that are must reads, books that I will always re-read and that I can’t recommend enough. I might have recommended a few of them previously but refreshers are always a good thing. These books will impact you in so many ways and you will be shown intriguing realities, powerful perspectives, insightful meditations on life and relationships. -Stephanie Hopkins

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditations remains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.

In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.

With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63 by Taylor Branch: In Parting the Waters, the first volume of his essential America in the King Years series, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a “compelling…masterfully told” (The Wall Street Journal) account of Martin Luther King’s early years and rise to greatness. 

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations. Moving from the fiery political baptism of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the corridors of Camelot where the Kennedy brothers weighed demands for justice against the deceptions of J. Edgar Hoover, here is a vivid tapestry of America, torn and finally transformed by a revolutionary struggle unequaled since the Civil War.

Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King’s rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder. Epic in scope and impact, Branch’s chronicle definitively captures one of the nation’s most crucial passages. 

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: New York Times best-selling author of Affinity, Sarah Waters was named Author of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards. Fingersmith was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize, and was chosen as book of the year 2002 by more organizations than any other novel. Orphaned as an infant, Susan Trinder was raised by Mrs. Sucksby, “mother” to a host of pickpockets and con artists. To pay her debt, she joins legendary thief Gentleman in swindling an innocent woman out of her inheritence. But the two women form an unanticipated bond and the events that follow will surprise every listener.

The Arsonists’ City by Hala Alyan:

Three O’Clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio

The Blue Castle by L. M Montgomer

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

A Weekend Journal

Weekend Journal

“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” – Jen Williamson

I journal quite often but I haven’t made a journal specifically for the weekend in ages!

There are many types of these journals and not only in how you make them but what you do with them. Such as, include photos, day trips, parties, walks in nature, what you are reading, movies, gatherings with friends and family and so forth. In my journal, I recorded a few of my activities I did over the weekend and memories that came to my mind.

While I gathered paper to use as my signature, I came across paper with illustrations of people playing baseball and that took me back to when my family, friends and I use to go to the Braves games all the time down in Atlanta. Wonderful memories to look back on. I wrote that down after I included the pages to my journal.

It is not often I journal about food or drink unless it is a special occasion. Well, I had a reason to make a page about tea that a friend sent me in the mail. She had sent the tea to me a few weeks prior but I wanted to wait for a special moment to drink it. This past weekend was a perfect moment.

I love to explore waterfalls and it has been a while since I’ve been to one. I came across this image of a waterfall and it made me long to visit one this fall. What a great image to add to your journal.

My birthday was in June and my brother gave me a gift certificate to Starbucks. I rarely go buy coffee there anymore so that was a special treat. I took my mother along with me and we ordered special drinks and scones. It was a nice outing with her and I was delighted to have the opportunity to journal about it.

One of the activities I did over the weekend was watch a Youtuber make DIY mini envelopes embellishments to make and bunch together and place in journals. What a great idea! You can even use them as tucks and pockets. I decided to make a page using them so I will remember this technique. I’m thinking about including them in all my journals.

How I made the journal:

I had painted a scrap piece of jute a year or so ago and had put it aside. I had forgotten about it until I came across it on Friday and thought it would make a cool journal cover.

I gathered my paper, thread and needle and crated a floating spin for this journal. The reason for this was because if I had sewn into the jute, it would have eventually unraveled. I sewed the signature onto a strong piece of paper-I usually use fabric-and glued it to the jute. Then I took scrap paper and glued it on the sides of that paper to secure it better.

From there, I decorated my pages and made secret pockets for my writing throughout the weekend. Really simple and fun to make. Not all the pages are shown but it is enough for you to get the idea. I hope you enjoyed this post!

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. -Stephanie

Mini Junk Journal: Part III

Denim Junk Journal

How to make pretty journals made out of trash and leftover or found materials around your home.

Welcome to Layered Page and thank you to those who follow my blog. Today is part three of my mini junk journal series where you will discover ways to use recycled materials to make pretty journals without breaking the bank. It is possible to make pretty journals with junk or recycled materials as I like to call it!

My objective when creating these junk journals is to use old ephemera AKA recycled materials, packaging, scraps of paper that I would otherwise throw out.

In today’s junk journal, I have to admit I used a new material to bind this journal. I wanted to see how Dollar Tree thread held up. I thought the thread would break as soon as I bound and tighten the signatures in the journal. I was shocked it didn’t! So far, it’s held up really well. I’m getting ahead of my self here. Let’s start from the beginning.

I took a cracker jack box to use for my journal. Every time I look at one of those boxes, it takes me back to my childhood. Anyhow, I’ve been wanting to make a denim journal cover for a while now and I had a scrap piece left over from the quilting project. Keep those fabric scraps! The bling on the cover is from an old worn out pair of jeans I kept. It was in no condition to donate to a charity shop and there was no way I was about to throw them away.

The inside of the cover is collage with packaging from the mail. Those are great to keep for your projects.

Signatures in Place

The signatures are made up of junk mail, scraps of construction paper kids use for crafts. I decided to coffee dye those papers to give them an old look and they feel so crinkly! Love it! I will do a post on my coffee dying process soon. Now that the journal is constructed, I will begin decorating and journaling the inside pages.

Be sure to take a look at my Mini Junk Journal: Part I. This post will give you more details in my process of constructing a journal.

Mini Junk Journal: Part II

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages! Often times, I post my decorated journal pages on Instagram.

My wish is for you to be inspired and encouraged. -Stephanie

June: Book Round-Up

It feels like this year is flying by and sometimes I feel like I’m not going to get all the reading in that I planned. According to my goodreads reading challenge, I am 16 books ahead of schedule, but still…

Anyhow, I wanted to mention that I’ve been thinking after this year, not participating in the reading challenges anymore. That said, I do like to keep track of my yearly reads but not on demand. I have not enjoyed reading this way for a while now. I have something else in mind to keep track of the number of books I read in a year that I might discuss at a later time.

My daughter’s book

In my  Home Library Books post, I talked about reading books from my own bookshelf at home and reading stories my daughter has read. I was able to get in two of her books and I quite enjoyed them. This month, I read seven books total and you will notice that I’ve veered away from historical fiction somewhat. I’m frustrated with the direction the genre is going in and the censoring going on in the publishing industry. That is for another time to discuss, if at all.

A few of these books I have read at a leisurely pace and the one by Dean Koontz, I’ve read before a couple times.

It shall be interesting what July brings.

Stephanie Hopkins