I’M AN ICADIAN

“Crafting fills my life. And my closets. And my drawers. And every empty tote bag in the house.”

I am participating in the 61 days index card art challenge hosted by Tammy @gypsy999 Instagram! Last year, I did a hundred-day challenge independently and this year I was just going to do it on my own again but was encouraged by others to partake in Tammy’s challenge.

I must confess, creating art on index cards gives me so much inspiration and joy. I have learned a lot about myself in how I push the boundaries of creating art, I might not have done so before.

If you would like to participate, be sure to follow Tammy on Instagram to get the scoop of the challenge and understanding. Everyone is friendly and supportive, so do not hessite to ask questions.

The challenge starts today but don’t feel you have to jump right in on the first day.

The best place to buy index cards is at the Dollar Tree, if you live in the State and have one in your town.

Message from Tammy: No registration needed; the challenge is free. Show up + start. You can start now, whenever now is! It’s been a hard freaking nightmare of a pandemic year so PLEASE take it easy on yourself – this is all meant to be fun – spread love – cleverness and creativity are good things – art brings us together from around the planet – enjoy your little daily project – create on as many days as you can from June 1 – July 31. Surprise yourself. 

I will be sharing my cards here on Layered Pages every Saturday. My wish is for you to be inspired and encourage. -Stephanie Hopkins

Check out my art journey on Instagram and at my Mixed Media Art Gallery here at Layered Pages!

Weekend Musings

Floral Painting (ATC) by Stephanie Hopkins

This morning I woke up feeling the coolness of the morning air and sounds of rain and wind. My first thought was to stay snuggled under the covers for a bit longer. As my thoughts wondered to holding a hot cup of coffee while looking out the window, and my morning painting, I got out of bed with anticipation of starting my day.

Lately, I haven’t thought much about the weekend during the week. The days seem to blur together while time continues to pass. I have to admit, I don’t mind it so much. But today is different. Last night, I looked forward to Saturday. Why, I asked myself. I couldn’t explain it really. It was just a feeling. Then this morning it came to me. I haven’t spent a lot of time reading as I had been and I wanted to finish my current book and read at least one more book before the month is up. The weekend allows for such opportunities.

Saturday Morning Abstract Painting by Stephanie Hopkins

I’m currently reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and want to start Heart of the Frontier by Brittany Larsen, Jen Geigle Johnson, Jennie Hansen and Carolyn Twede Frank. The Four Winds is absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it. I will share more of my thoughts about the story in the near future.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend and God bless. -Stephanie

Be sure to check out my Mixed Media Art Gallery and Instagram to see more of my art journey!

Original Artwork by Stephanie Hopkins

(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.)

Mini Junk Journal: Part I

How to make pretty journals made out of trash and leftovers.

Welcome to Layered Page and thank you to those who follow my blog. Today is part one of my mini junk journal series where you will discover ways to use recycled materials to make pretty journals without breaking the bank. It is possible to make pretty journals with junk!

I love taking things you would normally throw out and use them for my crafting projects. It is a fun, creative, rewarding and a cheap way to craft. Junk Journals are books made through found objects, and recycled materials. In this five part series, I will be showing various ways I use those materials in my mini journals.

This past Easter we did a lot of baking and I had the opportunity to grab a Pure Vanilla Extract box to up-cycle. Hooray! In the slideshow below, you will see my process of making the journal. I used to newspaper from a packaged I received in the mail. I love when painting companies wrap the paints you order in newspaper or shipping package. Never throw those out. You can use them for all sorts of crafts and art making.

I cut the taps off and used cheap glue to add the newspaper to the outside and inside cover. Often times I use Dollar Tree glue for these projects. No need to use expensive art craft. Then I covered it with a thin layer of paint. You can use paint, white gesso, coffee to stain your cover, markers, crayons and etc…Or just use scrap paper collage. A create source for that is from your junk mail. Recycled fabric is another great material to use for covers. Do what feels right to you. Next, I grabbed some of my leftovers paints AKA painted papers and used that to start making my signatures.The paper with words on it, is from an outdated Webster Dictionary that was headed to the dumpster. Be sure to know the size of the journal to determine the size of your pages. I usually go a little smaller on the pages. Again, do what feels right to you. Some crafters like their pages to stick out. Mix it up and have fun with it. Once I have them organized in the order I want them in my journal, I’m ready to attach them to the spin. I used leftover black cotton thread this time. If you do not have a paper piercing kit, you can use a sharp sewing needle to poke the whole in the spin and to attach the pages.

When attaching the pages, I like to start in the inside middle (see pictures). Don’t feel stressed if you don’t get it perfect. It is a junk journal after all. I like mine to look a bit sloppy. Gives it the homemade look it is suppose to have. The more you practice the better you will get at this step. One the signatures secured, I cover the outside spin with recycled paper or fabric. Then I finish decorating my cover. For ephemera AKA embellishments, I use my leftover scraps/chipboard from this project. The chipboard are the tabs I cut off from the Pure Vanilla Extract box.

This project took me just under an hour to complete. If you are looking for more crafting ideas for your kids, this is it. Please supervise the project due to using scissors and a needle. Another great idea for signatures is to use your children’s school pages or drawings. As a parent, I know those things pile up fast and often times we feel we have no choice to let go of some of them.Why not use bits of them for your journals?

I hope you enjoyed this first part of my new series and if you have any questions about my process, please do not hesitate to ask below in the comment area.

Stephanie Hopkins

Art in Motion: Home Life

Original Art by Stephanie Hopkins

“Go find your joy. Whatever that is, go find your joy. Are you going to have a good day or are you going to have a great day? Because it’s completely up to you.” – Sandra Bullock

Be sure to 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.

Art in Motion: It’s Up to You to Make Sense of It

Abstract Painting by Stephanie Hopkins

Don’t be afraid of colors! Be bold and experiment! You’ve got to mix it up.

My tip for mixed media abstract: lots of layers. Blend, blend, and blend some more. Understand cool colors, warm colors and how they work together. If you’re not feeling it, throw more paint at it and mark it up! Remember, ignore the naysayers. Create what you love. -Stephanie Hopkins

Art in Motion: Mixed Media Collage

Mixed Media Collage by Stephanie Hopkins

“Home is where our story begins…” -Unknown

Fun craft project for all ages!

Mixed media collage is a form of visual arts, in which you take more than one element and create an image or background. Paper is one of the more popular forms of making collage. Such as using magazine clippings, scrapbook paper, photos, wrapping paper and so on…

It becomes mixed media when you add elements such as paint, ink, markers, ribbons, metal, cardboard, wood, and stamps. The ideas are endless, really. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money. You can use items from around your home. I’ve even seen people use sticks and leaves they find out doors. I have to admit, I’ve done that as well. In short, keep your cost down to little or no cost at all. That is the beauty of being creative.

Mixed Media Collage by Stephanie Hopkins

These collages were fun and easy to make. A perfect project for beginners or even advance crafters’. I love the quirky mismatched window panes on the house above. I tend to do that with projects like these. For my base I used cardboard from a cereal box. Don’t throw away those boxes! You can use them for all sorts of crafts. Once I cut it to the size I wanted, I inked the sides. Then grabbed a pile of scrap paper I have on hand and inked them up really good and glued them down the way I wanted. Tip: Arrange the paper on the base to see how it looks before gluing them down.  Once the paper is glued down, add ribbon and use a marker(s) to make the door and windows. I also used the markers to highlight the sides of the roof and house. That part is optional but it really helps the image to stand out.

Tip: If you don’t have crafting ink, you can use coffee to dye your papers or even watercolor paint.

These collage can be framed, or used in a journal, or a card to send to a friend or love one, or propped up against something-like a bookshelf. Have fun and enjoy the process!

You can find more of my paper-crafting and art at my Instagram!

Stephanie Hopkins

Supplies:

Cardboard from Cereal Box/Scrap Paper/Ink and Ribbon/Glue and Markers

I did use some of my painted papers for this project.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Art by Stephanie Hopkins

A few days ago, I was chatting with my good friend Lisl on the phone and she was talking about creating a blog post of her favorite things. Hello! Stop the presses! What fun! May I join? She is brilliant and our ideas turn into great conversations. Once we utter our silly and often times crazy greetings, before we know it, hours have gone by and we have gone down many rabbit holes. No joke. At some point, we usually start putting our heads together to come up with new blog topics and series. This blog topic, of favorite things, we decided on a few entertaining questions to answer.

After going through and answering these questions, I thought to myself that I would like to dig deeper into this topic. Or do I? It could be a scary place to venture. Kidding! Though I’m still pondering that it could possibly get really complex.

In Lisl’s post, she mentioned, about these things related to the lock-down many are experiencing globally and trying to find our happy place. Or how we can get to know each other more as individuals. I’ve heard many people around the world talk about how they found themselves through these troubling times and they’ve learned they have interests and talents; they otherwise would have probably never realized.

Be forewarned, some of my favorite things are subject to change at a moments notice. I have a tendency, on occasion, to be indecisive. Or is is because I love so many things? Let’s get into this, shall we?

Favorite lunchbox snack? Sugar, of course!

The chocolate variety. Possibly with peanut butter added to the mix. I don’t think I could survive without chocolate.

Favorite game to play outside? Bocce Ball

Love playing this game outdoors with family and friends! It has been far too long since the last time. It is one outdoor game I’m actually good at.

Fun fact: Did you know that Bocce’s origins date back to 5000 BC?

Favorite fairy tale: The Princess and the Pea

Don’t ask me why?

Favorite childhood memory? There are so many but going to the beach often was the best. Immensely grateful for growing up near the ocean. I’m always longing for the beach and try to go as much as possible.

Favorite nursery rhyme? Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Probably because it involves a boat and water.

Favorite bird: Chickadee

They’re so cute and tiny!

Favorite color(s) rose? Red or White

I’m a hopeless romantic. Swoon.

Some of you history lovers may be thinking of the Tudor rose. I dare say, I could be as well.

Favorite sea creature? Does Starfish count?

They are referred to as sea stars. How cool is that!?

Favorite thing about a rainy day? Listening to the sound of rain against the windows and rooftop. There is something calming about the sound of rain fall. Great time for reflection or to gather your pillows and comfy blankets to curl of with a book(s).

Often times when I’m writing or reading, I will listen to a rain app if it’s not raining outside.

Favorite dinosaur? Velociraptor

I know, that sounds vicious and dark. But I have a perfectly good reason why they are my favorite. Honest. Might write about it in another blog post.

Favorite fictional place you’d want to visit?

Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings.

Oh, for so many reasons. Narnia comes in second or sometimes first.

Favorite road to drive on?

There are so many wonderful roads in my State. Choose one?

Goodness, that is simply impossible. I would have to say the back roads to Dahlonega from the Ball Ground area are a treasure. This is ridiculous because I really can’t choose a particular road in North Georgia. Also, the roads in the Blue Ridge Mountains are spectacular. One doesn’t mind getting lost driving along those back roads. Watch out for Dear and other wild animals, such as, Squirrels! I swear, they seem to have a death wish.

Favorite things about America? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Freedom of expression, individualism, opportunity, diverse cultures and freedom to live by your faith in God.

Favorite 80’s song? Oh, heavens. There are a lot of 80’s favorites! I have to choose just one? What is the fun in that?

U2: With or Without You

Or Free Fallin by Tom Petty. Hmm…Okay, lets go with, With or Without You. Sigh. Not a fair question at all.

Favorite music genre(s)? I have several favorite music genres, depending on my mood. For everyday purposes: Classical music and 90’s Alternative.

Favorite American Classic movie? Picking just one classic movie is like asking someone to pick just one favorite book or one favorite song. Impossible!

All About Eve, comes to mind. I never get tired of watching that one. It’s brilliant and the cast of characters…swoon. The film came out in 1950 and, and, and Betty Davis and Anna Baxter co-stars in it! Love!

BUT, if I had to choose a favorite film period, it would be the 1940’s. Oh, for so many reasons. I think this causes for a blog post about the film industry in the 1940’s. Yes, I think I will.

Favorite Leonardo DiCaprio movie? How can I even…

If I had to choose the best acting, he performed in a movie, it would have to be, Shutter Island. I think. I’m torn. Because of his acting in, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and a couple of others. Hmm…

Perhaps, many of you will disagree with me on this one. I would probably would disagree with myself too.

Favorite Harry Potter movie? Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (set in 1992-93)

Favorite celebrity? Ryan Reynolds Swoon. Fanning myself over here. I know you must be thinking, really Stephanie? I can’t help it. .

Favorite craft?

Abstract by Stephanie Hopkins

I’m a mixed media artist and I appreciate the essence of crafting as a whole. My Main go-to craft is collage because of its form and I use it quite often in my journals and ephemera making. I’m also an abstract painter and my current focus is creating new paintings and exploring different techniques. Truly, I can’t answer this question by naming one form of craft. Surely many will understand this.

Favorite thing to cook?

Breakfast

Favorite comfort food?

Most foods that are related to pie or stews.

Favorite Asian dish?

Crispy Honey Chicken with Fried Rice though I try real hard to stick to a plant based diet. Alas, I’m failing miserably right now. Though I’m totally blameless, of course.

Favorite ice cream flavor? Rocky Road

Favorite season? Autumn

Favorite holiday? Christmas

Foreign country: Scotland. I’ve never been and one day I will journey there. Might blog about this more.

Favorite TV show:  Currently, Miss Scarlet and the Duke. Oh, and Sanditon.

Period shows and movies are my favorite.

I will say I long for more period shows that takes place in America. That I can tolerate and not cringe at every inaccuracy. Don’t think me a snob. I’m a history enthusiast, particular and I can not abide certain liberties concerning real-life events, social norms, objects not of the period, manner of dress and people. History is interesting enough without it being distorted. Though do not mistaken that I’m not aware when it comes to historical, there are allowances for artistic license-if you will. There are so many ways to look at this topic. Maybe we shall another time.

Instrument: Always, Classical Piano. I keep having this strange feeling I might have said something else once?

One of my favorites played on the piano, “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven.

Bach/Gonoud – Ave Maria is another great one! Okay, there are a lot of classical favorites played on the piano.

Have you listened to, Chopin – Preludes, Op. 28: No. 15 “Raindrop”? A must!

Swoon.

I seem to be doing a lot of swooning lately. Have you noticed?

Way to Relax: Reading, crafting, sewing and long walks in the woods.

This was so much fun! What are your favorite things? -Stephanie Hopkins

Be sure to check out Lisl’s Favorite Things at before the second sleep!

Art in Motion: Analog Collage

The pleasure in the simple designs. Collage Art by Stephanie Hopkins

“Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.”  ~Albert Camus

I’ve previously discussed a little about how to break the barrier of feeling stuck on an art piece you are wanting to create. Today, I’m examining a simple way to find confidence in your art.

In one way, building confidence in your art is taking the opportunity to explore different techniques. Collage is my main go-to way of creating. There are various types of collage and one of my favorites is, “Analog Collage.”

The process is taking cutouts from various sources and put them together to build a new whole. This type of collage ranges from simple to intricate designs. Often times, one’s vision for the collage changes as the image unfolds.

If you’ve never created this form of medium, I recommend starting with an uncomplicated collage. Magazine images are a great place to find images. Enjoy the journey!

-Stephanie Hopkins

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