Layers of Art and Kindness

A Tag 7-6 EditedMonday afternoon I made two new tags for my junk journal. I try to do some sort of art, or paper-crafting daily.  This time I wasn’t in the mood to work on my other art projects I have started and I wasn’t wanting to start a new art journal page. Just creating something with paper was enough to get my crafting in for the day. Which is a must! It really helps with ones creativity and it’s calming.

A Mixedmedia IAnyhow, I want to show you two other projects I have started. These two projects will take me awhile since I’m limited to the time I have to craft. The picture with the three canvas and embellishments and thread is going to be a lot of fun to see where I go with it. I have a few things in mind for it and I look forward to the challenge of being creative with it. Adding textiles will be part of the making.

 

 

The wood below is part of a landscape I’m working on. It will include houses as well. I will be using my painted papers and acrylic paint for this project. To prep the wood, I used collage and then applied white gesso. I do have most of the painted papers ready to start this project. I even have the patterns of the houses ready. My next step is to sketch the landscape and house to the wood with pencil. From there I will start to collage the images. So excited about this project!

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Would it hurt too much to be kind?  

One other thing and I don’t normally bring up drama I see on social media but this one really stood out to me for a number of reasons. Mostly because I am a paper-crafter and mixed-media artist. I saw a person tweet about a TikTok video of a person re-purposing books for home decor ideas. The person was shaming this person for using the books that way by painting the covers. There were hundreds of people that got on there, ripping the person apart for doing that to the books. The names they were calling that person was beyond awful.

Back in the day, I used to cringe at my art teachers for having us use books and magazines for our art projects. That is the bookworm in me but I did it nonetheless. Usually the books were very old and we used them for collage and mono printing. You would be amazed how many professional artists use pages from books for their art. They collage with them. I do. That is one of the many elements of mixed-media art. Even people who junk journal do that.

About a two decades ago now, I used to work for a bookstore that would trash books that were returned. Even if they were in perfect condition or the fact that even libraries and thrift stores throw out thousands of books a year. At least this way they are being repurposed and saved from the landfills. I use book pages for my mixed media art and for my journals. Mostly I use damaged books and out of date Webster dictionaries and magazines. I feel for the person they were attacking. It’s ridiculous how vicious these people are. So much hate in this world and lately its increased over almost anything. Where does it end? People need to get control of themselves. Be kind!

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” – Barbara De Angelis

Stephanie Hopkins

Down A Rabbit Hole I Go

A Novel/History/Art

The last few days has been really interesting and sometimes I think I bite off more than I can chew when it comes to history the details. Thank goodness I take notes and file them away for reference! Let’s begin with this past weekend. One of the books I’m currently reading is, “Temple” by Matthew Reilly and there are a lot of interesting history involved.

Now let’s skip forward to Monday. My particular interest in American History is the 19th Century though often times more than not, it takes me further back. I started to think about the colonies and how they formed. William Penn came to mind for some reason. Those thoughts were a bit scattered and I posted about it on Facebook. I’m conflicted on a few of the content about him and have quite a few questions. Penn was an interesting man and I’m hoping to discover more to have with you all in a future post.

Tuesday as I was thinking about the book, “Temple,” later on that day a YouTube Video came up on my feed titled, “America Unearthed: Ancient Mayans Secrets in Georgia.”Now isn’t that interesting! I watched half of the documentary and hoping to finish the rest soon I highly recommend looking at the video and into the history.

Abstract EditedYesterday I spent the day with work, reading, organizing my craft area-it’s gets messy real fast-and cleaning out some stuff in the basement. I’m been on a cleaning frenzy of late and it has been a real eye opener on fast things get piled up! I hope you all are having a good week and I want to share one more thing before I go. Recently I made an abstract with acrylic paint and I pinned it to a velvet board and placed it in a wood shadow box. It looks great in the shadow box but was unable to get a decent picture of it without the reflection from the glass.

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.)

Like Clock Work

This week I created a new mixed media piece. I could have gone with a gold and brown background but I didn’t want to over think this piece or what colors worked together and so forth. My only thought was to give it a funky steampunk look to it, if you will.

I worked with two canvases, my painted papers and scrap pattern papers for the collage. Then used white gesso, stencil, Tim Holtz Stamps, texture paste, a few acrylic colors and Black StazOn Ink. The image is from a paper by Graphic 45 that I use sparely. I believe I ordered the clock work elements on Amazon a couple years back.

Stephanie Hopkins

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Discover Your Life Purpose

“Discover a purpose that gives you passion. Develop a plan that makes you persistent. Design a preparation and motivates you to optimize your potentials. Do it because you love it!”― Israelmore Ayivor

AA8

Mixed Media Art by 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.)

Cover Crush: The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli

The Cover: Hands down this is a fantastic cover in my opinion. Is it the dress, or sketched house and tree? Or maybe the colors used? The woman sitting in front of a window reading and you can actually see her face? Or the fact the title is named after Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House? All of the above! 

The Story: There are three time-lines to this story. Not sure how I feel about that. Hmm….I will have to think on this. Having said that, the premise sounds really intriguing and it’s set in one of my favorite periods in history. Plus, I love reading about writers. As for the romantic intonations or themes -if you will-I’m wondering just how much of that is weaved into the story.

Stephanie Hopkins

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The Orchid HouseThe Orchard House

by Heidi Chiavaroli

Hardcover, 432 pages

Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Tyndale House Publishers

Concord, Massachusetts

 

2001

Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria’s betrayal changes everything.

1865

While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa’s aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa’s words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan’s proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband’s dark side, and she can’t hide the bruises that appear.

2019

After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett’s cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.

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Book Spotlight and Other Things

I came across the book below on NetGalley and while there looks like a lot of sad tones to the premise, the themes sound powerful. I wonder if it will live up to its expectations? Hmm…adding it to my reading pile because I’ve enjoyed Hart’s stories in the past!

My 30-day Mixed Media Art Challenge ended a few days ago and I still need to blog about it. Hoping to this coming Monday. This weekend will be busy and I still need to upload some images to my computer. I look forward to sharing the pieces from that challenge! Have a great Thursday! -Stephanie Hopkins

The UnwillingThe Unwilling by John Hart

St. Martin’s Press

General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 02 Feb 2021

Description

Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in New York Times bestselling author John Hart’s singular style.

Gibby’s older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.

Jason won’t speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn’t known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.

But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk, one of the women taunts the prisoners, leading to a riot on the bus. The woman finds it funny in the moment, but is savagely murdered soon after.

Given his violent history, suspicion turns first to Jason; but when the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother’s hidden life, a dark world of heroin, guns and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

What he discovers there is a truth more disturbing than he could have imagined: not just the identity of the killer and the reasons for Tyra’s murder, but the forces that shaped his brother in Vietnam, the reason he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison.

This is crime fiction at its most raw, an exploration of family and the past, of prison and war and the indelible marks they leave.

 

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.

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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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(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.)

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.)