Crafting on a Budget

Art Supply JarsMany would love to create art and get their craft on but they feel they don’t have the money for such an expensive hobby. Guess what? I get asked all the time  how I afford my obsession.  It doesn’t have to be expensive and you can use material around your home or from outside. Here is my check list of items you can use. The skies the limit!

 

 

List of materials:

  1. Old Clothes.
  2. Boxes-Any kind!
  3. Nail Polish
  4. Up-cycle Coffee Grounds. I keep mine in a glass jar to reuse later.
  5. Old make-up
  6. Q-Tips
  7. Paper from mail.
  8. Newspapers
  9. Magazines
  10. Make-up brushes
  11. Old books
  12. Old bed sheets
  13. Buttons
  14. Bottle caps
  15. Old Wrapping paper
  16. Wrapping Tissue paper
  17. Napkins
  18. Paper Clips
  19. Fallen wood sticks from your trees outside
  20. Weeds
  21. Roots
  22. Grass
  23. Leaves
  24. Acorns
  25. Sea Shells
  26. Plastic Grocery bags
  27. The tins from cans
  28. Plastic Knives
  29. Forks
  30. Make-Up Sponges
  31. Cotton Balls
  32. Toilet Paper Rolls
  33. Egg Cartons
  34. Food Coloring to make Paint
  35. Wine Corks
  36. Safety Pins

The list goes on…You will be amazed at what you can create with items from your home or from the outdoors for that matter. Get in the habit of thinking twice before throwing something away. You might be able to create something wonderful from it.

If you need adhesive-it can get pricey-I use Mod Podge Matte-Mat in a pinch. You can get it at a Wal-Mart for cheap or use a coupon to purchase a bottle at your local craft store.

I don’t have a lot of money so when I need to purchase art material-like adhesive, I have a jar of change I save for purchases like that. Also, I purchase painters tape at the Dollar Tree among other supplies from there.

I create art with the items I have listed above all the time and I have a lot of fun with them. This year I will be posting about mixed media art you can make using theses items. My next post on creating art will be about what you can find at thrift stores and places like the dollar tree to add to your art supply.

I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday. See you again soon!

Stephanie

Layered Pages Monday Musings

On Saturday I posted about work life balance and talking about the balance really helped. On Sunday I took the day to rest and create.  This morning I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

There are two books I’m currently ready. Well, one I’m listening too and I’m really enjoying them both. I like the contracts of the two stories. Yet, they complement each other in an extraordinary way. Strange I say that, I know. The two books are DREMALAND by Nancy Bilyeau and The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. You can find them on Amazon.

Yesterday I worked on slow stitching and an art project by using a piece of canvas I painted and I decided to do more with. I really am enjoying the process of my art projects and how they make me feel. Getting back into daily art making was one of the best decisions for 2020 and I hope you all enjoy the journey with me as I continue to share them with you.

Lots of great posts coming up soon! I am working on two history post and they aren’t your typical history post I talk about so I am thrilled!

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By the way…I’m totally obsessing over up-cycle textiles, if you haven’t already noticed. Have a wonderful day and see you all again soon.

Stephanie

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. 

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“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.”

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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

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

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

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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.

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

 

Saturday Sunday: Layered Pages Book Review

The Ghost of Madison Avenue by Nancy Bilyeau

My thoughts of the story:

The Gilded Age has always been a fascination for me and I consider New York City the center stage of the era for the most part. The era brings us impressive architecture and bigger than life people who inspired greatness. Morgan Library and the man who brought us its glory plays part in this glamorous and magical story.

Bilyeau brings us a new tale of not only J.P. Morgan and is magnificent library and museum but what seems an other-worldly Irish-American lady, Helen O’ Neil.  Helen is hired by stunning Belle da Costa Greene to conserve Morgan’s artifacts.  Soon after Helen begins her work, strange things begin to happen and her life takes a turn that finds herself in a most unusual event-if you will.

Bilyeau is one of my favorite writers and she has the talent to bring readers new content to the table. This story alone has deepened my fascination with the Gilded Age and wanting to know more about J.P. Morgan. My only problem with this story is that it ended and I wanted to read more about the characters lives. Bilyeau in my opinion is artistic with her writing. Having said I had a problem with the story ending, she ended the story with a feeling of rightness and the closeness of family.

The Ghost of Madison Avenue is beautifully told, atmosphereic and rich with unique people and history.

Stephanie Hopkins

The Ghost of Madison Avenue 4 F3More About The Story:

Kindle Edition, 108 pages
Published December 11th 2019 by Amazon

Helen O’Neill, part of a tight-knit Irish-American family in the Bronx, is only too happy to report to work at the spectacular private library built on Madison Avenue by millionaire financier J. P. Morgan. The head librarian, the brilliant and beautiful Belle da Costa Greene, had hired Helen away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art after she witnessed Helen’s unusual talent with handling artifacts.

Helen soon discovers the Morgan Library is a place like no other, with its secret staircases, magical manuscripts, and mysterious murals. But that’s nothing compared to a person Helen alone sees: a young woman standing on Madison Avenue, looking as if she were keeping watch. In learning the woman’s true link to the Morgan, Helen must face the pain of her own past. She finds herself with a second chance at happiness that could only happen on Christmas Eve—if she has the courage

Relevant Links: 

Read about The Secrets of J.P. Morgan’s Private Library

The Morgan Library & Museum 

Nancy Bilyeau’s Amazon Page 

 

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…

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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.)

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