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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Cover Crush: Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow by Rashi Rohatgi 

Where the Sun Will Rise TomorrowIt’s 1905, and the Japanese victory over the Russians has shocked the British and their imperial subjects. Sixteen-year-old Leela and her younger sister, Maya, are spurred on to wear homespun to show the British that the Indians won’t be oppressed for much longer, either, but when Leela’s betrothed, Nash, asks her to circulate a petition amongst her classmates to desegregate the girls’ school in Chadrapur, she’s wary. She needs to remind Maya that the old ways are not all bad, for soon Maya will have to join her own betrothed and his family in their quiet village. When she discovers that Maya has embarked on a forbidden romance, Leela’s response shocks her family, her town, and her country firmly into the new century.

 

My Thoughts On The Cover:

The layout design really stands out and that is what captured my attention to find out more about the story. Added this book to my watch-list! -Stephanie

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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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Layered Pages: Creating With Cloth

MeI’ve always loved creating with cloth. There is something soothing about the feel of fabrics, slowly pushing needle through cloth, and layering pieces to create new textures and designs. Working with paper, drawing and painting has the same effect. Creating is my safe space. A time of rest, reflection and recovery-if you will. The act slows your mind down and brings you to present in this fast paced world we live in.

I love books and seeing what others are creating and this year I’m cataloging books in the mixed-media subject at Layered Pages. My wish is for you to be inspired and to find your peace through creating with your hands. There is deep satisfaction in hand work. -Stephanie Hopkins

The Textile ArtistThe Textile Artist: Layered Cloth by Ann Small

Ann Small’s imaginative use of cutting and manipulating techniques, and her layering and colouring tricks, makes this your ‘go-to’ guide for bringing form and texture to your fabric artwork. This book is a rich resource and reference for textile artists seeking new ideas and who want to experiment with reverse appliqué and related techniques such as layering, trapunto, stacks, puffs and fabric manipulation.

Packed with techniques suitable for quilting and other textile art

Three wearable step-by-step projects

Clear, close-up images make layering enjoyable and accessible.

Landscapes in Textile Mixed Media Painting on ClothLandscapes in Textile Mixed Media: Painting on Cloth by Cas Holmes

Combine the textural quality of stitchwork and the spontaneity of paint with this practical, beautiful guide to landscapes in mixed-media textile art. 
Renowned author Cas Holmes brings together the world of the stitcher and that of the painter as she demonstrates her technique known as “stitch-sketching” and shows how to develop your approach to textile art. Focusing on the common language between the two forms, she begins with basic advice on keeping a sketchbook, stitching on paper and fabric, and working digitally. Cas then looks at both urban and intimate spaces, capturing the changing seasons, the technical aspects of painting and dying cloth, experimenting with photos, creating stitchscapes, attaining inspiration from found objects, and so much more.

Stitched TextilesStitched Textiles: Nature by Stephanie Redfern

An inspiring step-by-step guide to creating contemporary textile artworks themed on nature.

Stitched Textiles: The Natural World is the fourth title in this successful theme-based series. It contains an extensive section on techniques, featuring step-by-step guides to machine- and hand-stitching, attaching embellishments and found objects to your work; painting and printing on fabrics including cotton, silk and Khadi paper; and using objects found in nature, such as leaves, to make unique and iconic prints.

The book includes four inspirational projects based on different facets of the natural world: Ocean, Rainforest, Botany, Birds and Animals. Stitched Textiles: The Natural World also features examples of the author, Steph Redfern’s own intricate and detailed works based on nature, exploring the means by which the pieces have been created, and the wonderful stories behind Steph’s journey as an artist.

The wealth of information and visual stimuli in Stitched Textiles: The Natural World is intended to inspire the reader to create their own works inspired by nature, beginning by exploring the use of sketchbooks and study pages, progressing to picking out iconic elements from sketches and photographs, and eventually assembling a stunning, personal piece of stitched textile work on fabric or on cotton-blend Khadi paper, applying handstitch in metallic threads, or machine stitch in whimsical and beautiful patterns, and embellishing with natural beads or found objects.

Another Relevant Post:

Stitch Mindspace

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.

Layered Pages Book Art And Current Read

dreamland book artI’m having such a fabulous time reading Bilyeau’s latest stories. Not only that but creating art based off her book covers. There is definitely a blue theme going on with her last three books!

I took photos of my own art and created layers for the background to give it a dream like quality for the creation of the DREAMLAND Banner. My next art project for the cover layout will having slow stitching involved.

I’m currently reading DREAMLAND and loving the story! I’m hooked on a story whenever there is a circus and bookstore involved. Y’all, Bilyeau is one of my favorite writers and she is so engaging online. I highly recommend her stories and following her on social media.

By the way…her e-book, “Ghost of Madison Avenue” is currently 99 cents on Amazon! That is a steal!

-Stephanie Hopkins

Dreamland by Nancy BilyeauDREAMLAND by Nancy Bilyeau

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to the luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

Relevant Links: 

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

The Morgan Library & Museum 

Nancy Bilyeau’s Amazon Page 

Saturday Sunday Book Review