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.)

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:

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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

Book Review: The Resting Place by Camilla Sten

Hardcover, 336 pages

Expected publication: March 29th 2022 by Minotaur Books

More times than not, truth of the past tragically dies with people. This is one of those stories.

Eleanor, a woman who has a neurological condition, called prosopagnosia, that torments her with the inability to recognize the faces of familiar people, arrives on the scene of her hard-hearted Grandmother Vivianne’s murder. Before Eleanor realizes what has happened, she comes face to face with the murderer but can’t make any sense of their face. The aftermath of her Grandmother’s death leaves her in a state of anxiety and devastating  emotions of not being able to identify the killer.

Months later, a lawyer calls Eleanor to tell her that her grandmother leaves her and her Aunt Veronika an estate situated deep in the Swedish forests, and they must take inventory of the house and grounds.

Eleanor and her boyfriend, Sebastian, arrives to the estate along with the lawyer and her Aunt looking for buried secrets and answers that takes them on a treacherous journey they wish they have never taken.

The Resting Place is an intense dual time line that slowly builds while deliberating leaving clues to the mysteries of Eleanor’s family in such a way, you’re not quite sure you know how the story is going to play out. About half way through, I was sure I had most the mystery figured out despite the twisty turns the story takes you on. I was pleasantly surprised with a few details I didn’t see coming.

There were a couple details about two characters that needed to be fleshed out but that said, Sten does a marvelous job casting doubt on the people in surrounding Eleanor and having you second guess yourself on their realities and intentions. Nothing is what it appears and everyone has motives.

I enjoyed reading about the old estate with its great house, out- buildings, lake and woods. You don’t know much about the history of the house or land per say but you get enough to leave up to your imagination.

Stem brilliantly weaves Eleanor’s prosopagnosia and it certainly adds to the creep vibe of the story!

There is so much more to this story that can’t be mentioned and my wish is for readers who enjoy thrillers and mysteries to jump on this book when it is release to the public.

Atmospheric, twisty, hauntingly good story.

Stephanie Hopkins

I obtained a copy from the Publishers through NetGalley for an honest review.

Itty Bitty Journal

I acquired a mini journal from a fellow crafter and I absolutely adore working in it. It is so tiny and at first, I thought it might be a challenge to create it but I find it easier than I thought! It is such a great way to use up your little bits of paper, scrap fabrics, small images and what not.

I created a page inspired by my longing for extended travel. I added a postage stamp from Maryland with a sailing boat image on it at a port and with the word, “Nowhere”. You can find that page on my Instagram account. I think it would be cool to take a trip with nowhere in mind. Just to get on the road and go where the wind takes you. In this case, this trip would be at sea.

I love how my painted papers worked on this spread. I wasn’t sure, at first, if it would be too bulky. It turned out great and I like the blend of mixed media with the vintage image of the lady.

In the below picture, I used the painted face of a girl that my fellow crafter paints and includes in her ephemera packs. I dig the colors she uses because they are in line with my style. This page is dedicated to my passion of mixed media.

These little journals are perfect to travel with wherever you go. They fit perfectly in purses, backpacks, bags and even wallets! Just add few ephemera pieces to a pocket and take a small glue stick or mini paperclips and there you go!

My wish for you is to be inspired and encouraged!

Stephanie Hopkins

Art in Motion: ATCs

I belong to two ATC swap groups and I thought I would share the latest cards I created for these swaps.

The cards with the pumpkins on it, are for an October swap and they’re as Halloween as I’ll get.  I love how they turned out and can’t wait to see which artists receive them and their thoughts.

The cards with Butterflies are also for an October swap for the second swap group. As you can see, I didn’t use the Halloween theme or a fall theme. Each background is painted, inked and stickers are added for the final touch.

The cards with the hand sewing on them was for a September swap and I’m looking forward to seeing how these cards were received. I really enjoy looking at all the details on these cards and the sewing inspired me to create others with this technique. -Stephanie Hopkins

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art gallery here at Layered Pages! My wish is for you to be inspired and encouraged.

(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 in Motion: Artist Trading Cards

Journal Life: Morning Journaling

“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” – Jen Williamson

As many of you know, I keep journals and notebooks. I’m constantly taking notes and writing my thoughts or things I’ve learned or want to remember. There are many types of journals and I enjoy exploring new ways in creating them. I find the more you journal, the more ways you discover new techniques and ways to use them. I’d have to say that journaling is a very important part of my life and it has helped me develop new ways in expressing my thoughts and feelings better.

For the last eight weeks, I guess it was, I shared a morning journal on Instagram that I made out of small envelopes. Small index cards I used for journal cards, fit perfectly in the pockets. Each week I decorated a new page and each pocket represents a week’s worth of journaling. Despite it only had six pockets, I managed eight weeks because of the decorating… I use a ribbon to keep the journal closed when I’m not using it. I’m surprised how sturdy it is and the compactness of how the envelopes ended up with all the ephemera and journal cards I added. The envelopes are from the Dollar Tree. I believe there was forty to the pack and the brand is Mead.

My morning journals consist of my morning thoughts, encouraging words, prayers and things I want to get done for the day. I’m pleased with how this one turned out and will be using this style of journaling more often. Do you use a morning journal? How has it impacted your life?

There are a lot more images of the journal on my Instagram! Be sure to follow my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages!

My wish is for you to be inspired and encouraged. 

Stephanie Hopkins

Cover Crush: A Flicker of Light by Katie Powner

About the Cover: I never tire of landscapes and I’m drawn to the calm and peaceful feel to this cover. The soft shades of colors and the girl facing the sun setting over the mountains evokes longing or a sense of renewal, and the landscape depicted gives you a sense of contemplation.

About the Book and Genre: I have read quite a few Christian fiction books since my early childhood and enjoyed a few of them despite my feelings towards the genre. I must confess, it is not my go-to read because more times than not, I find them cheesy, with weak dialogue, unrealistic to the human condition and often times, there is false sense of biblical teaching. Despite my misgivings of the genre, I’m curious about this story and what it has to offer to readers. I will be keeping my eye on this book and at some point, I might even give it a read. – Stephanie Hopkins

Description:

Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 by Bethany House

Christian Fiction

Secrets are like pennies. Everybody’s got one, even the poorest among us.

For generations, the Jensens have raised their families in the small Montana town of Moose Creek, where gossip spreads faster than the wind. Yet some secrets need to be told.

When twenty-one-year-old Bea discovers she’s pregnant on the heels of her husband losing his job, she’s forced to admit she needs help and asks her dad for a place to stay. But past resentments keep her from telling him all that’s going on.

Mitch Jensen is thrilled to have a full house again, though he’s unimpressed with Bea’s decisions: dropping out of college, marrying so young–and to an idealistic city kid, of all things. Mitch hopes to convince Bea to return to the path he’s always envisioned for her, but she’s changed since her mom died. And he refuses to admit how much he’s changed, too, especially now that he might be losing his mother as well.

Grandma June is good at spinning stories, but there’s one she’s never told. Now that her mind is starting to fade, her time to tell it is running out. But if she reveals the truth before her memories are gone forever, the Jensen family will never be the same.

Cover Crush: The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer

About the Cover: Firstly, I have to confess that it wasn’t the cover that directed my attention to this book, but the title. If I were designing the layout, I’m not entirely sure I would have chosen the shade of blue to contrast the Mona Lisa painting. Nonetheless, if you look closely, you will see the cracks in the painting carrying over to the right side of the cover. I thought that was a nice touch and the pealing of the upper left corner and tears in the image represents age.

About the Book: The Mona Lisa is a famous portrait painting by artist Leonardo da Vinci and is, without a doubt, the most talked about painting in history. I remember as a young child learning about the Mona Lisa and the artist. I have to admit, throughout most of my life, shockingly, the painting didn’t leave an impression on me as one would expect. It wasn’t until later in my adulthood that I developed an appreciation for the painting and the history. Maybe, it’s because of its artist and depiction in various forms and media that sparked an interest in me to learn more about its creation.

I’ve added The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer to my book pile and look forward to reading the story. – Stephanie Hopkins

Book Description:

Published August 17th 2021 by Sourcebooks Landmark

August, 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincent Peruggia. Exactly what happens in the two years before its recovery is a mystery. Many replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, and more than one historian has wondered if the painting now in the Louvre is a fake, switched in 1911.

Present day: Art professor Luke Perrone digs for the truth behind his most famous ancestor: Peruggia. His search attracts an Interpol detective with something to prove and an unfamiliar but curiously helpful woman. Soon, Luke tumbles deep into the world of art and forgery, a land of obsession and danger.

A gripping novel exploring the 1911 theft and the present underbelly of the art world, The Last Mona Lisa is a suspenseful tale, tapping into our universal fascination with da Vinci’s enigma, why people are driven to possess certain works of art, and our fascination with the authentic and the fake.

September Bookmark Swap

Our September 15th bookmark swap is quickly approaching and I couldn’t be more excited! Our group is growing and I’m always blown away by the raw talent of our members! The bookmarks you see in this post is a little sneak peek at what is to come. This group is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people from different places in the world and what a joy it is to receive happy mail to put a smile on your face. There is not a required theme, we just create what inspires us and enjoy the process!

This group swaps bookmarks in the shape of tags and the standard shape. I’m currently accepting US crafters and will open more spots internationally soon.

We are swapping 4 bookmarks a piece. You can not only use them for books, but for your journals and notebooks! I’m also including a bookmark holder, an extra bookmark and extra fun ephemera to craft with in each set going out to our members.

For those who would love to join, you still have a little time to get your bookmarks turned in but, if you can’t get your bookmarks turned in on time, do not be dismayed. Our next swap is in December and we would love to have you join.

The due date for this month is September 15th.

Our hashtag on Instagram: #stephslpbookmarkswap The lp in the hashtag stands for Layered Pages.

You can DM me at my IG @stephsartjourney or email me at layeredpages@layeredpages

My wish is for you to be encouraged and inspired.

Stephanie Hopkins