Educated by Tara Westover

For those if you who follow my blog posts, you will know my first reactions to Educated by Tara Westover. I’m slowly working my way through this story while reading another book and have, in the last couple of days, introduced another book to my reading pile. My thoughts on the story unfolding vary and a few things have really stuck with me. For instance, how is it possible for Tara, without a high-school degree, to able to take the ACT and go to college? Maybe I am missing something here and she got her GED or High School Diploma. I’m not entirely sure and perhaps I should go back and reread a few passages. This is what I get for not taking notes this time around. Hmm… Maybe, it will be revealed how she was able to do so further on in the story. I’m still in the early stages of her study.

In my next blog post, I will be discussing two family members of Tara’s and an interesting theme in the story. -Stephanie Hopkins

About the book:

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter, she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.

Spring Journals: Flip-Through and Pages

This year, I decided to participate in the #100dayproject on Instagram even though I craft and paint every day. That said, there was a few projects I wanted to complete including my spring journals, and felt this challenge would be a great motivator. The challenge is at an end but I’m still working through my spring journals. I am on the fourth one as I type this blog post. This particular post is about the third journal and I’m sharing two YouTube videos on the final pages and the flip through. I very much hope you watch the videos and all the others. My wish is for you to be inspired. Not only in crafting but in trying something new. -Stephanie Hopkins

 YouTube Video Links:

Spring Journal | Working Through the Pages

Spring Journal Flip Through Part III 

Thank you for watching my videos and please subscribe to my channel and don’t forget to hit the notification bell for video updates! My videos are geared towards paper crafting and the art of journaling.  

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(Images are 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 Hopkins.)

What I’m Reading and Pondering

Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

My thoughts so far:

I am deeply fascinated with Southern Gothic stories and I decided to give Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson a go. This is more of a young adult book, which I don’t normally read, but still find it compelling. I do have a few complaints but will reserve sharing those thoughts at a later time since I’m not quite at the half way mark.

About the book:

Dovey learns that demons lurk in places other than the dark corners of her mind in this southern gothic fantasy from the author of the Blud series.

A year ago, Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction—and taking the life of Dovey’s best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.

But recently she’s started to believe she’s seeing things that can’t be real…including Carly at their favorite café. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.

As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah—where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk—she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.

Educated by Tara Westover

My thoughts so far:  

I find this story fascinating and find Tara’s father to be sorely misguided in the fact that you can have your beliefs about Government, know the tools of survival, live off the land (which is important) or almost completely off grid in this case and still be educated, well-read and knowledgeable in the ways of the world through literature and self-learning without compromising your beliefs. After-all, education in many different areas gives one an advantage. Not allowing his children to learn how to read is heart breaking in my opinion. Now, I don’t believe everything I read, see or hear and that is where my critical thinking comes into play but I still need to know what is out there. I firmly believe that is a major part in our survival and it does sharpen the mind.

A few of Mark Twain’s quotes about education comes to mind.

“The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that cannot read them.”

“It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others – and less trouble.”

“I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

While I believe our school system is failing and lacking in many ways, I discovered that if I wanted to be “educated” by my own terms and definitions of the word, that I needed to read as many books as I can, try new things, listen to as many people’s outlook as I can and their experiences on life. I also, look at things with a critical mind, while keeping an open mind. That is important. I consider school a jump start into one’s education. Learn the tools that are given to you and branch out from there. You should never stop learning. Tara’s parents could have home schooled their children if they did not believe in the public education system, while holding to their beliefs!

I am still in the early stages of this story and Tara is still living with her family. With the thoughts I’ve already formed about the story, I look forward to discovering more. -Stephanie Hopkins

About the book:

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter, she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.

How to Make a Paper Weave

“I think of craft as work that the designer has put a little piece of their heart and soul into.”– Sarah Dukes.

This has been another week of creating YouTube videos, crafting, painting, reading, journal creating and writing! I thought I’d share two videos about paper weaves and how to create them! There are all sorts of crafty ideas you can make with them and they are a joy to make. One of the ways I create them is to first, make a paper collage board and then cut them into stripes. From there, I use those stripes to create a weave. Be sure to check out my two videos on paper weaving on my channel. I will most likely be creating with paper weaves more often in my videos. It would be wonderful to see how many craft and mixed media projects I can use them in.

YouTube Video Links:

How to Make a Paper Weave

Journal Card Making with a Paper Weave | Craft with Me

Thank you for watching my videos and please subscribe to my channel and don’t forget to hit the notification bell for video updates! My videos are geared towards paper crafting and the art of journaling.  

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(Images are 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 Hopkins.)

Art Sale

I’m holding a huge art sale today at my @layeredfindsshop on Instagram! I’ll be posting original mini wood art and paintings on Italian paper painted by me. I offer great deals and shipping is included in the price. Free gift included with each purchase.

I work with wood panels, wood blocks, paper and canvas.

Original Art by Stephanie Hopkins

Mixed Media Artist/Abstract Painter/Book Maker

This Weeks Inspirational Journey

“The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal.”

— Robin Sharma

This week I have been busy making YouTube craft videos, writing, painting and reading! I’ve enjoyed every step of the way in these pursuits. My videos are geared towards paper crafting and the art of journaling.  

The images shown are just a few of what I’ve been creating this week. I’ve recently had a thought about how interesting it is when I’m crafting, the journey inspires new pieces. That in itself is rewarding to find inspiration within your own endeavors. What are a few of the ways you find inspiration in your own creations? If this something you’ve thought about before?

Please like, subscribe and hit the notification bell to my channel to get the latest videos when they are posted. Thank you!

YouTube Recent Craft Links:

Tag Tuesday | How to a Make Mini Pocket Bellyband 

Journal Cards Made Easy

Vintage Haul Unboxing | For Crafting and Journal Making 

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I offer discount shipping and a free gift with all purchases.

(Images are 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 Hopkins.)

Finding Your Writing Voice Through Journaling

There are several methods of journaling that I incorporate in my daily life. The one activity they all have in common is they tell a story. They hold a deep and lasting meaning of my life and the lives I see around me. Looking back on all my journals and diaries, I’ve come to realize that in this endeavor is where I discovered my true writing voice. It wasn’t from reading books, though reading helps one grow their understanding of the written word, how stories are told, other life experiences and expands on one’s vocabulary, my writing voice developed over time from writing in journals. Could have it also been from blogging? Yes, I do find blogging a form of journal writing. A record keeping of thoughts, words, expression, emotions and even those awkward sentences where I couldn’t quite express myself in the way I felt inside. Those particular words don’t always come naturally to me in public form or rather, my private journals is what speaks of my truest inner voice.

Many people want to write in their journals but their uncertainty is holding them back. They say, “I’m not a writer or I would ruin my page, or rather my beautiful journal with my awkward words and ramblings.” Those awkward words and ramblings are what drives one to become a stronger writer. You must be deliberate with your writing and in the time, you take to write. Think of all the visits you made to a library filled with books that hold millions of words. Often times, those words did not come easy to the writer. Imagine the time and deliberate ink to paper or key strokes the writer put forth to build worlds in those numerous books. Believe me, it didn’t happen overnight for them. Don’t allow that voice in your head saying, “You’re not a writer,” intimidate you. Writing is a beautiful art regardless of one’s uncertainty in the act. Write what you know, write what you see and hear. Write a word or two and keep adding words after that. Allow those words to build on each other and soon you’ll find your voice as a writer. Once you do, words will flow and writing will be like exploring space. The act will take you to limitless places.

Stephanie Hopkins

New Craft Series and Art Journal Tags for Sale

Mixed Media Weave Made From Fabric Snippet Stripes

I have several new YouTube videos up on my channel! Be sure to check them out. I have started a new series and it’s going to be so much fun! These crafts are great and I offer tips an alternative way of creating. Please like and subscribe to my channel to get the latest videos when they are posted.

Mini Art Journal Tag sets for sale at my Instagram shop!

I offer discount shipping and a free gift with these tags. If you buy two sets, you get the third set half off.

Mini Art Journal Tags

These tags are sturdy and great for arts and crafts projects, gifts, gift tags, pen pal mail, collage work and journal projects. There is room to write on the back of them.

At this time, I ship in the US only.

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(Images are 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 Hopkins.)

Vintage Ephemera Haul for Craft Projects and Journals

Check out my latest vintage ephemera haul from Marie’s Instagram shop!

To find out more about why Marie sells vintage ephemera, check out my other Vintage Ephemera Haul for Craft Projects and Journals blog post!

Marie’s Shop Links:

Instagram

Etsy

If you liked this video and are looking for ideas for crafting and journal making, please like and subscribe to my channel. Be sure to hit the notification bell to get the latest videos!

Stephanie Hopkins

Working Through the Pages

When I’m creating journal pages, I don’t really work in order by the day of the week. I create a layout based on inspiration, mood, and/or based on the mediums I’m using. One of my go-to in creating is working with collage and using vintage papers and newer papers. Also, I like to add stickers, ephemera. paint, ink, stamps, fabrics, chipboard, and what-not.

After I filmed my latest video, I realized the word “of” didn’t belong in the words I added to the page. It now reads, “From this place, in the face of uncertainty, I build courage and compassion.” That sounds much better!

Do you journal? What do you gravitate towards the most when you’re working in your journal? Please let me know by leaving a comment on this post or on my YouTube video! -Stephanie Hopkins  

Latest YouTube Video Link:

Spring Journal | Working Through the Pages

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Check out my friend Marie’s Shops! I acquire most of my vintage ephemera from her.

Marie’s Shop Links:

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