ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VII

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.

It is absolutely wonderful to see the collection of cards I’ve made thus far. I have them sitting pretty on my bookshelf in a ceramic basket. Where is the picture? I’m going to share it on the last post of this challenge. I can’t wait! Like all the previous weeks, I love this week’s cards!

This week’s cards are days 41-47

Day 47

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 V

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part VI

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!

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part III

I’ve really enjoyed this week’s ICAD and seeing everyone’s cards. There are so many talented artists out there!

Day 13: Life is a journey into the unknown-I love the thoughts of taking a long road trip and deciding on an unknown destination. Exploring the possibilities and discovering something new.

Day 13

Day 14: Live Intentionally- I love working with collage. Gluing down the papers is so relaxing.

Day 14

Day 15: Peace- I placed the floral upside down because I liked the shape of the ephemera much better this way. You can’t really tell unless you look closely and of course because I mentioned it.

Day 15

Day 16: Neighborhood – I had a ton of scraps on my craft table so I decided to make another collage of houses. They are so much fun to make!

Day 16

Day 17: Hope- Painted background. More vibrant colors pulling together to make the foreground stand out. Love when everything works together in harmony.

Day 17

Day 18: Weekend Vibes -I love how all the vibrant colors pulled together.

Day 18

Day 19: Florals In Tea Cups – I used an envelope window for this piece. I love how it turned out. It reminds me of the Victorian era a bit.

Day 19

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part I

ICAD 2021 Challenge Part II

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!

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 

April: Book Round-Up

This month’s reading was an adventure to say the least. I wasn’t sure how much time I would have for ready considering the amount of time I have been putting in to creating art and other pursuits. I found myself reading at odd times. I’m quite pleased that I read a book a week. After reading The Four Winds, I was going to start on Heart of the Frontier by Brittany Larsen, Jen Geigle Johnson, Jennie Hansen and Carolyn Twede Frankmm but I felt like reading a modern-day story and read Home by Harlan Coben instead. I enjoyed every single book I read this month and excited about May’s reading forecast. -Stephanie Hopkins

Number of pages read in April: 1,570

Here are the titles I’ve read for March and the review post dates:

Home (Myron Bolitar #11) by Harlan Coben

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Emily’s House by Amy Belding Brown

Love Story (The Baxter Family #1) by Karen Kingsbury

Art in Motion: Depth of Nature

Abstract Painting by Stephanie Hopkins

“The beautiful, which is perhaps inseparable from art, is not after all tied to the subject, but to the pictorial representation. In this way and in no other does art overcome the ugly without avoiding it.” – Paul Klee

Be sure to 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.

Book Review: Finding Napoleon by Margaret Rodenberg

Published April 6th 2021 by She Writes Press

Margaret Rodenberg brings us a story of Emperor Napoleon’s defeat and his exile on the Island of Helena in what is still, consider to this day, one of the most remote Island on earth. Finding Napoleon is about his final years and his plot to escape the Island and rescue his son. While on the Island, trust in the people surrounding him is quite the skill to say the least.

In the beginning, I felt as if the characters were moving parts in a play. Told where to stand, what to say and when to say it. I’m not sure that makes much sense but, in better words, I felt very little for them and that very well may be the point. Napoleon was using them and they were using him. We aren’t meant to have warm and fuzzy feelings for these people. They weren’t exactly pillars of society in terms of being moral and honest people. In my opinion, they were opportunist. As for the people of the Island, Tobyson, Hercules and Betsy were good people and despite Napoleon’s faults, they held him in high regard.

While Napoloen’s love affair with Albine wasn’t particularly “romantic”, I felt the author’s portrayal of their relationship realistic. That said, I still haven’t completely decided how I feel about Albine or her relations with Napoleon for that matter. Afterall, she was a married woman and I don’t say this with naivety. I’m well aware of the culture during that time. Maybe she felt she had to do what she did for survival.

Albine is a complex woman and people considered her a liar and a loose woman. Though many of the very people who said those things about her, were no better. In the end, she made good on a promise to Napoleon and I had to admire her for that. I would like to believe that leaving that Island and her changed circumstances in life, made her a better person in the end.

I feel Rosenberg depicted Napoleon’s ego as how I have always imagined it to be. Napoleon is intelligent and he very well knows it. He is always scheming and, in my opinion, using people for his own purpose and pleasures. He is a master manipulator. Despite his thirst for his own glory or survival-if you will-I found his interest in the world and how things worked intriguing to read about. He is a good listener and you do see a softer side to him in this story but I remain-rightfully so- suspicious of his motives.

I’ve read many novels about Napoleon but very little of his time on St. Helena or the end of his life in-depth such as this one. Nor was I familiar with the fact he began to write a story that was unfinished. That was exciting to learn and it intrigued me enough to read this book and wanting to know the author’s take on the history. I can’t help but wonder what his life would have been life if he had chosen a different path. He could have possibly done so much good with his intellect and charismatic personality.

You are reading two different stories with Finding Napoleon and how Rosenberg beautifully weaves Napoleon’s writing efforts into the time line and expanding on the story, is close to brilliant.

I appreciate the author’s obvious fascination with Napoleon. He is definitely a hot topic for discussion and this fact certainly shows in this book.

I recommend Finding Napoleon to readers who are already familiar with Napoleon’s life before his stay on the Island.

Stephanie Hopkins

I obtained a copy from the Publishers through NetGalley for an honest review.

More about the book:

With its delightful adaptation of Napoleon Bonaparte’s real attempt to write a novel, Finding Napoleon offers a fresh take on Europe’s most powerful man after he’s lost everything. A forgotten woman of history–Napoleon’s last love, the audacious Albine de Montholon–narrates their tale of intrigue, passion, and betrayal.

After the defeated Emperor Napoleon goes into exile on tiny St. Helena Island in the remote South Atlantic, he and his lover, Albine de Montholon, plot to escape and rescue his young son. Banding together African slaves, British sympathizers, a Jewish merchant, a Corsican rogue, and French followers, they confront British opposition–as well as treachery within their own ranks–with sometimes subtle, sometimes bold, but always desperate action.
When Napoleon and Albine break faith with one another, ambition and Albine’s husband threaten their reconciliation. To succeed, Napoleon must learn whom to trust. To survive, Albine must decide whom to betray.

Two hundred years after Napoleon’s death, this elegant, richly researched novel reveals a relationship history conceals.

Art in Motion: Beauty of the Butterfly

Paper Crafting by Stephanie Hopkins

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. -Maya Angelou  

Be sure to 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.

Book Review: The Turncoat’s Widow by Mally Becker

Published February 16th 2021 by Level Best Books

About the book: Set during the darkest days of the American Revolution, The Turncoat’s Widow tells the fictional story of General Washington’s most reluctant spy, a young widow who races times and traitors in New York City and Morristown circa 1780 to uncover a plot that threatens the new nation’s future. With elements of romance and suspense, this historical mystery also explores themes of resilience, loss, and the courage needed to leave the past behind.

My thoughts:

The American Revolutionary era is one of my favorite periods to read about. I have been hard pressed lately to find good and unique fictional stories about the subject. When I first saw The Turncoat’s Widow’s book cover and read the description, I knew I found solid gold.

Becker brilliantly captures the mindsets of people’s opinions about the war and what was happening around them. She takes us on a journey to a prison war ship, espionage, mingling with notable historical figures, blended with romance and friendships developing in the most extraordinary circumstances.

Becker is a compelling story writer and she deftly places her readers at the edge of their seat with this adventurous read.

I was impressed with how impeccably the story flowed and the author’s attention to historical detail. I’m trusting we will get to read more of these fascinating character’s adventures? I certainly hope so.

An outstanding debut novel!

Stephanie Hopkins  

I obtained a copy from the Publishers through NetGalley for an honest review.

New Book Release: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

Congrats to Camilla Sten book publication of, “The Lost Village!”

Published March 23rd 2021 by Minotaur Books

About the book:

Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.

But there will be no turning back.

Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:

They are not alone.

They’re looking for the truth…
But what if it finds them first?

“First, I must mention that I chose this story for two reasons. The story takes place in Sweden. Perfect setting for a story such as this.” You can read more of my review at this post link. -Stephanie Hopkins