Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Art Edition

Today I’m sharing a little about stepping outside of my comfort zone in regards to my Mixed Media Art. My usual styles of creating are using darker hues, vintage grudge, steampunk, doodling, fluid art and abstracts. A few months ago, I made the decision to step out of my zone and explore different ways of creating mixed media art and my journals. The piece below is a prime example of what I’m talking about.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page I

I had created these two pages on one example of a background for a friend to see. I had put it aside for a while knowing I would come back to it eventually.

Last week I opened the book to complete these pages without any thought as to where they would take me. As I got to what I thought the final layer would be, I was discontented with it. There wasn’t balance. I was completely unsettled.

I shared photos of the pages to my friend and she told me to keep what I had-in so many words… Normally I would but I just couldn’t let these pages stay as they were. I decided to step away from my work desk and went in the kitchen to fix a glass sparkling water. I stood in the kitchen for a bit and started having a conversation with myself. Yep. I talk to myself.

My thoughts included: Why are you not happy with these pages? What is your problem today? -laughing. What do you want to express? What do you want? Then it hit me. I wanted to go all out and get girly with it. Yes, girly.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page

I marched back to my desk, sat down with determination and grabbed a box with embellishments and chose the “Sweet” embellishment to cover up the word, “Love” and proceeded to add a few other mediums-including more doodles. These pages are completely out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I created it and the story it tells is a good lesson learned.

What are ways you step out of your comfort zone when creating art? Or do you ever step out of that zone? How have you grown as an artist?

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.

ANB11

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.)

Happy Mail Haul

I am thrilled to be sharing a happy mail haul with you all! A dear friend and fellow papercrafter of mine sent me goodies to create with! I could barely contain my excitement when her package arrived this past Saturday, knowing it was going to be filled with so many fantastic materials to work with. So much in fact, I starting using them that very day.

Below are pictures of some of the mixed media projects I put together. She sent me some adhesive measuring tape and washi tape that I absolutely adore. Those were the first to be used and then I used a speckled button and a metal vintage style key.

 

I create a lot of tags and ATC’s because you can use them for all sorts of mixed media projects. On another note, I’m a history enthusiast and that includes art history. People say Artists Trading Cards started in the late 20th Century but in fact they go much further back than that. I will be blogging about that one day soon.

One can get really creative without having to break the bank from buying craft and art supplies. Most of the items she sent me are thrifted and from things she had been collecting. The materials I used from my own stash are mostly scraps and cut outs from bigger images. The floral arrangement on the Happy Easter Tag is from a Hallmark card bought at the Dollar Tree.

Be sure to check out my friend’s website HERE! 

I hope everyone is having a safe week! Be well and God bless.

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.)

The Art of Mixed Media

 

A Mini Pocket I

Paper Crafting and Mixed Media Art are my two favorite mediums in creating my Art Collages, Bookmarks, Cards, Tags and Journals. More times than not, I am combining both mediums in my art projects. The last few days I’ve been creating mini pockets for journals out of pages from a book and using different craft mediums to complete the pockets. Let’s take a look at the two mediums and their usage. You’ll find they go hand in hand.

Paper Crafting: When it comes to Paper Crafting, I think of scrapbooking, journaling, cardmaking, paper cutting for patterns, decoupage, collaging, creating backgrounds, quilling and the many other craft projects.

Mixed Media: Mixed Media is taking different materials and combining them to create a whole piece-if you will. The medium tells a story and gives the eye many different details to explore.

When you begin using this form of art, you’ll begin to see your surroundings in a new light and discover many ways you can use materials around you.

Stephanie Hopkins

(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.)

What You Invest Your time in Life Moments

This weekend I spent the time on an art piece, slow stitch block and I made a few art journal tags yesterday. I was going to try to pick back up a book I had started to read for review but decided against it for the moment. Allow me to explain. I haven’t read anything from this author before and her work is well noted. Meaning reviewers have raved about her “historical accuracy.” Here is where I needed to put the book aside. It’s not because the premise is bad or the story isn’t intriguing…It’s because there is an historical event that is in question and how the writer spins it. I get some of it but yet it is extremely one-sided and for me, it’s a bit misleading. See my issue at hand? *laughing* I want to finish the book because I have the bones of my review in place and I like many aspects of the story. I just need some more time to wallow in my thoughts. Maybe the author’s spin-or take take on the issue-if you will- is for her story? Not sure so… I want my review to be fair yet share my honesty without stepping on any toes.

Okay, back to these fun tags I made! Last week I painted and stained burlap to use in the upcoming weekend tag making.

The pictures show the results and they were so much fun to make! You can also use these for gift tags and other projects. What are some moments in life that are worth your investment? -Stephanie

Supplies used:

Dollar Tree: Embellishments, Index Cards, Napkins, and Die Cuts.
From my Mixed Media supply: Scraps of Pattern Paper, Scrap Lace, Die Cut Trim, Book Pages, White Gesso, Acrylic Paint, Staples and Tim Holtz Distressed Ink and Spray Stains. Oh, and a scrap piece from a fluid art piece I made back in the day…

The Road Less Traveled

The road less traveledLast night I created this piece for a journal page and thought to put it in my Smash Book. I was super tired and it had been a long day. I thought to myself that I just need to go to bed but instead I sat at my desk and created. This piece is a reflection on how I felt yesterday. The windows are crooked and the doors look like they have seen better days. I was frustrated, tired, unsteady and had so many different thoughts running through my mind. I wanted to cover the page up and start over again. I posted this art page in The Paper Outpost Facebook Group I’m a member of and have had all sorts of different reactions from it. I wanted to their opinions before making a final decision. I needed some clarity one might say.

The members of the group are amazing and so encouraging. They lift each other up and all share the same passion of Junk Journaling. Many people don’t understand the term or premise to Junk Journaling and I’ve seen people criticize the past time. Not this group. I feel at home with them and our fearless leader, Pam is an extraordinary lady. The group also reminds me that art isn’t about being perfect all the time. Its a self-reflection, expression and that not everyday goes the according to plan, just like our creations. That is a big part of what makes creating so special. We learn, we grow and we inspire. My decision to share to the group was the right one and I’m glad I did.

 

Judy, one of the members, made a comment saying, “If you want my humble opinion, this turned out really well. It reminds me of a street in St. John’s Newfoundland (brightly coloured houses.) And the woman in the foreground is remembering…” I quickly googled search St. John Newfoundland and wow, wow! She was right and she opened the door for more inspiration! I want to go there and explore! I’m adding St. John Newfoundland to my bucket list. Meanwhile, I’m going to be doing some features and inspirational art based on this discovery.

Judy also said, “The woman in your picture was such a contrast. Newfoundlanders are resilient people. She could represent their stamina and determination.”

Other inspirational comments about the piece:

“Keep it. it’s cool. Plus, if you look at any museum, they have all kinds of art that isn’t perfect. That’s the beauty of it. I like it. I vote to keep.”

“It’s abstract.”

“I think your houses have charm. Get some rest and start fresh tomorrow.”

“I think you should add it. It’s a reflection of how you got your daily art in despite being tired, thereby winning. And besides, I think it’s quite charming.”

“Keep it! Shows you don’t have to be perfect to do beautiful work. By the way, I think it’s fab!!!!”

“I like how the figure stands out in the foreground as though she represents that she is bigger than all of it!”

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To further add, there are a couple lines in The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost that reminded me last night of what I was working on.

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way…”

A big thank you to Judy and to everyone who commented about the picture. Your take on the piece and compliment put me back in the right frame of mind. Love to you all.

~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.)

Journaling Life: Finding Your Inspiration

A special dedication to fellow blogger Lisl. A friend whose mutual love and passion for journaling, the classics, vintage, and the deep understanding for upcycling and the simple things in life.

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“Jo’s eyes sparkled, for it’s always pleasant to be believed in, and a friend’s praise is always sweeter than a dozen newspaper puffs.”-Louisa May Alcott

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Lisls stashRecently I sent Lisl a package of mixed media goodness to help her grow her stash for her journey in making lasting memories. It wasn’t long ago that we discovered we both had a love for journaling. A connection that we weren’t aware of having known each other for years! To both of our delight, we found our kindred spirit hearts and so began our joy in sharing each other’s journey.

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“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”- Louisa May Alcott

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Little Women bookLisl asked me if I had ever watched Little Women or had seen the movie. I had on both scores and matter of fact, I read the book as a child and had seen the original adaptation several times growing up. If I remember correctly, it was more a favorite of my sisters’ than mine but nonetheless, I have fond thoughts of the story. My daughter has recently discovered Little Women by seeing the new movie and loves the story!

This past weekend, I was talking to Lisl about my dismay in people dismantling vintage books to make their junk journals.  Her personal sentiments are the same as mine and she told me about a scene in the new Little Women movie where Jo’s book is being printed and it shows the old process of book making. That scene in itself explains so much of why I can’t bring myself to dismantle a perfectly intact vintage book. I hope you take the time to watch the scene HERE.

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“Jo had learned that hearts, like flowers, cannot be rudely handled, but must open naturally.”- Louisa May Alcott

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I hope you please take the time to read Lisl’s beautiful and heartfelt piece about Journaling Life: Little Women Edition.

We hope our love for the old arts and the simpler things in life extends to you, our dear readers.  Many Blessing to you and yours. -Stephanie