Cover Crush: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

The Pull of the StarsThe background and the image of the pocket watch grabbed my attention. I love textures and the depth it gives the cover.  The premise looks pretty intense and with themes that hit close to home during this time but its important to read about history, humanity and survival.

-Stephanie Hopkins

The Pull of the Stars

by Emma Donoghue

Little, Brown and Company

Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction

Pub Date 21 Jul 2020

Description

Dublin, 1918: three days in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. A small world of work, risk, death, and unlooked-for love, by the bestselling author of The Wonder and ROOM

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders — Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In the Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

A cover-crush-banner

Agreeable Friends

A Dogs best friend

 “Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ― George Elliot

Another sneak peak project of my 30 Day Mixed media Art Challenge. I created these trading cards by using my painted papers and playing cards from the Dollar Tree. The ephemera is by Tim Holtz.

Painted ATC by Stephanie Hopkins

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Book Review: Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

MigrationsMy thoughts:

Franny Stone makes her appearance in Greenland to acquire work on the Saghani. Her motivations are to convince the ship’s captain to track the last of the terns and journey with them on their last Migration. More ways then one, these birds are a symbol of her life in many ways. At least that is what I came away with the story.

As the story unfolds, you begin to realize that Franny’s life is displaced, haunted and she must find the answers of her torment and come to grips with secrets bottled up so tightly, even she has forgotten them.

This story has ceased hold of my heart and it is one I think I will always come back to. While there is great sadness in this story, it is extraordinary and evoking with lyrically told sea life, characterization and captures your attention to wildlife that is threated to extinction.

I can’t remember the last time I have been transported and completely immersed in the characters’ lives. It’s as if the character’s hopes, dreams, longing, plight is your own.

Stephanie Hopkins

I obtained an ARC of Migrations from the Publishers through NetGalley for my honest opinion of the story.

Book Description:

Expected publication: August 4th 2020 by Flatiron Books

Franny Stone has always been a wanderer. By following the ocean’s tides and the birds that soar above, she can forget the losses that have haunted her life. But when the wild she so loves begins to disappear; Franny can no longer wander without a destination. She arrives in remote Greenland with one purpose: to find the world’s last flock of Arctic terns and follow them on their final migration. She convinces Ennis Malone, captain of the Saghani, to take her onboard, winning over his salty, eccentric crew with promises that the birds she is tracking will lead them to fish.

As the Saghani fights its way south, Franny’s new shipmates begin to realize that the beguiling scientist in their midst is not who she seems. Battered by night terrors, accumulating a pile of letters to her husband, and dead set on following the terns at any cost, Franny is full of dark secrets. When the story of her past begins to unspool, Ennis and his crew must ask themselves what Franny is really running toward—and running from.

Propelled by a narrator as fierce and fragile as the terns she is following, Migrations is a shatteringly beautiful ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened. But at its heart, it is about the lengths we will go, to the very edges of the world, for the people we love.

 

 

 

Challenge Your Mind To Be Creative

Here is another sneak peek of a few new projects for my 30 Day Mixed Media Art Challenge. These were a lot of fun to make by just taking cardboard from a used memo pad to create embellishments. I painted and doodled on the chipboard, then cut our images. Here are two that I completed and will use the others soon. You don’t have to have all the latest and greatest supplies to craft. Use what you have and you will find it will challenge your mind to be more creative. –Stephanie Hopkins

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(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

A Weekend of This and That

“Just because you take breaks doesn’t mean you’re broken.”
― Curtis Tyrone Jones

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This weekend was a time of reflection and chilling out with a good book, TV and creating art tags and journal pages. Saturday morning, I cleaned out stuff, Goodwill run to unload of stuff, did some paper-crafting while watching The Mummy for the thousandth time and watched a couple episodes of Instinct. I have a tote bag with journal and art supplies that I can take with me wherever I want to journal. I don’t like to confined myself to just one space. On occasional, I do switch things out of the bag for variety. As you can see in the slideshow, this tote is a bit full at the moment. I look forward to the day when I can take my tote bag again to a coffee shop or a friends house and create. If you want me to do a slideshow on what’s in the bag, please let me know! By the way…What is your favorite scene or line in The Mummy? I have lots.

On Sunday after Church Service in the morning, I created two new tags using my collage paper and a painted paper I made a while back. In the picture of the brownish tag you can see the glue still drying. I have a lot of fun making these tags. They are perfect to do when you don’t want to work on bigger projects.

I read quite a few pages in, “I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes” and wow, this story is intense! I am taking my time with this one. If you like spy thrillers then I highly recommend you pick this one up. The book has 612 pages to be exact.

This week I will be sharing two other recent art projects, a cover crush and possible a book review. Have a great weekend everyone, be at peace and stay safe. -Stephanie Hopkins

I Am PilgrimAbout the Book:

A breakneck race against time…and an implacable enemy. An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity. One path links them all, and only one man can make the journey. Pilgrim.’

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(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

30-Day Journal Prompts

Today I’m sharing a few recent journal pages I created and journal prompt ideas. I had lots of fun making these and I will be journal writing on the opposite page. This particular journal is an altered mixed media book. Art Collages are a great way to express mood and can represent many different meanings of your life and creativity. You don’t have to create art for your pages. You can just write. Your journal is your own to do what you wish. There is no wrong way or right way to it.

Do you want to start a journal? I know how it feels to get started on a journal for the first time. If you are new to journaling or want to get started, it can look daunting. I promise you; it isn’t. Journaling is an amazing way to learn more about yourself and to look back on where you’ve started and how far you’ve come. How can one get started? Will this be something you can do on a regular basis?

Some don’t write in their journal everyday and some people do. The best way to get started is to journal for 30 days straight. You will be amazed how much it will open your heart and mind to this profound past-time. This will become your therapy-if you will. This will become a habit, your way of expression and an extension of yourself. Journals are treasures and a look into your soul.

Here are 30 journal prompt ideas to get you started. You can write just one sentences or as many as you choose. Open your heart and see where it takes you. I hope this inspires you and will give even more prompt ideas. -Stephanie Hopkins

  1. Write a letter to your past.
  2. Write a letter to your future
  3. Places you enjoy visiting.
  4. Favorite movies.
  5. Favorite books.
  6. Current book. What you like or dislike about it.
  7. Your favorite songs.
  8. Your top five short term goals.
  9. Your top five long term goals.
  10. Your spiritual journey.
  11. Inspirational quotes.
  12. Thoughts of the day.
  13. Five things you love about yourself.
  14. Daily goals.
  15. What life means to you.
  16. Write about the qualities you look for in friendship.
  17. Favorite poem.
  18. Write your own poem. (One of my favorite journal prompts.)
  19. What makes you happy.
  20. What makes you sad and what can you do to change that?
  21. Write about your current mood.
  22. Favorite school subject and why.
  23. Write about your favorite possession that you cannot live a day without.
  24. Write about what you are good at.
  25. Write about your weekend.
  26. Write about what you see around you.
  27. Write about a current event happening in the world.
  28. Write about your pet.
  29. Write a wish-list about hobbies you want to do.
  30. Write about your favorite flower or tree.

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

The Chance to be Found

A sneak peek at one of my projects from the 30 Mixed Media Art Challenge I am doing, I love how this turned out! I might use this for a center piece on a collage project. -Stephanie Hopkins

A Collection Found Edited

“When you are lost, you have the chance to be found.”

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

A Weekend of Crafts and Fluid Art

Yesterday I decided to craft on the back porch. It was an absolutely beautiful day and the screened porch is surrounded with big lush Maple Trees. I am starting a new altered art journal book and I decided that for this project I’m going to use my painted papers and most of my hand-made mixed media embellishments for this project. I am using a few things from Tim Holtz and the Dollar Tree. Painted papers are one of my favorite mediums to use. These papers were made with left over paint, distress spray stains and inks from other projects. There are so many fun art projects you can make with them as I have blogged about before.

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After I finished my pages and was getting a bit to eat, my daughter called me and asked if she could use my printer and get some canvas from me. She asked about Fluid Art and we got to talking about it. I gave her the old pouring medium I had left over and gave her instructions but then we decided to play around with it straight away. I did not want to use my good paint for this experiment so we went down to the basement and dug up some old clumpy acrylic paints that has to be years old. They came out pretty good for having to used art supplies. We had a great time and it was a treat to hang out with my daughter. -Stephanie Hopkins

 

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

To Practice Any Art

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So, do it.” — Kurt Vonnegut

I hope you all have a wonderful, creative and relaxing weekend. Today I’m sharing a few pages from my journal that I recently created. I am still doing my Art 30-Day Challenge and can’t wait to share the final pages when the time comes. Please be sure to check out yesterday’s post here and I want to inspire those who have not read a story in a while, to find a book you might enjoy and read. I’m hoping to start The King’s General on Saturday. I’ll be listening to this particular story on audible.

As we know, there are so many wonderful benefits of reading and one of those is finding creativity. Often times. I’ve been inspired to create fun journal pages from stories I’ve read/listened and love. -Stephanie Hopkins

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(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

 

 

 

The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier

Shamefully I’ve always assumed that Daphne du Maurier was wildly known for her works, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and Jamaica Inn without really looking into her other stories. Yesterday, I saw someone mention her book, “The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier.” I quickly jumped on Amazon and goodreads to check it out and have added it to my 2020 to-read list. Most likely I will be listening to the audiobook since I have two credits available and I’m saving my pennies for research books. Anyhow, I can’t wait to get started on this novel! If you read the story, please let me know what you thought. -Stephanie Hopkins

The King's GeneralAbout the Book:

Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless – and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As the English Civil war is waged across the country, Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, and Honor remains true to him.

Decades later, an undaunted Sir Richard, now a general serving King Charles I, finds her. Finally they can share their passion in the ruins of her family’s great estate on the storm-tossed Cornish coast-one last time before being torn apart, never to embrace again.