Cover Crush: The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

Cover Crush The Seamstress

The premise sounds intriguing, great title and I love the cover design! Adding this book to my to-read list -Stephanie Hopkins 

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

 

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Be Brave, Believe in Yourself

A You Be Brave Mixed Media Page IIYou Be Brave

“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.”
― C. JoyBell C.

This page I created is to remind myself to continue to be brave. Never give up. Have courage. Be strong always. Believe in yourself because you are loved. -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.)

A Doodle Of Calmness

Doodle master board I EditedGosh, my second blog post. I never do this but wanted to share something. It has been an exhausting work day and I’ve been in a doodling mood so I created a Doodle Master Board. I will use this for various projects. This is not my best work but given how tired I am, it will have to do and it really gave me a sense of calm. I’m going to be slow stitching later on this evening if I can keep my eyes open long enough. Ha!

I don’t know why but I thought of a poem by William Shakespeare, ‘Full Fathom Five’ doodling this. Maybe because it was the thought of sea-change or something like that. Yes, I’m a bit strange. -Stephanie

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:

Ding-dong.

Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

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Supplies used: Tim Holtz Distress Crayons, Tombow Acid Free Brush Pens, Sharpie White Poster Paint Marker, Folk Art and Deco Art Acrylic Paint, baby wipes, Stampabilities Brushed Stripe Background Stamp, Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Painters Tape and Canson Illustration Mixed Media Paper. Can’t wait to see what projects I use this piece with. Master Board meas I will be cutting it down to different sizes to meet my needs.

Crafting on a Budget

Art Supply JarsMany would love to create art and get their craft on but they feel they don’t have the money for such an expensive hobby. Guess what? I get asked all the time  how I afford my obsession.  It doesn’t have to be expensive and you can use material around your home or from outside. Here is my check list of items you can use. The skies the limit!

 

 

List of materials:

  1. Old Clothes.
  2. Boxes-Any kind!
  3. Nail Polish
  4. Up-cycle Coffee Grounds. I keep mine in a glass jar to reuse later.
  5. Old make-up
  6. Q-Tips
  7. Paper from mail.
  8. Newspapers
  9. Magazines
  10. Make-up brushes
  11. Old books
  12. Old bed sheets
  13. Buttons
  14. Bottle caps
  15. Old Wrapping paper
  16. Wrapping Tissue paper
  17. Napkins
  18. Paper Clips
  19. Fallen wood sticks from your trees outside
  20. Weeds
  21. Roots
  22. Grass
  23. Leaves
  24. Acorns
  25. Sea Shells
  26. Plastic Grocery bags
  27. The tins from cans
  28. Plastic Knives
  29. Forks
  30. Make-Up Sponges
  31. Cotton Balls
  32. Toilet Paper Rolls
  33. Egg Cartons
  34. Food Coloring to make Paint
  35. Wine Corks
  36. Safety Pins

The list goes on…You will be amazed at what you can create with items from your home or from the outdoors for that matter. Get in the habit of thinking twice before throwing something away. You might be able to create something wonderful from it.

If you need adhesive-it can get pricey-I use Mod Podge Matte-Mat in a pinch. You can get it at a Wal-Mart for cheap or use a coupon to purchase a bottle at your local craft store.

I don’t have a lot of money so when I need to purchase art material-like adhesive, I have a jar of change I save for purchases like that. Also, I purchase painters tape at the Dollar Tree among other supplies from there.

I create art with the items I have listed above all the time and I have a lot of fun with them. This year I will be posting about mixed media art you can make using theses items. My next post on creating art will be about what you can find at thrift stores and places like the dollar tree to add to your art supply.

I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday. See you again soon!

Stephanie

Stitch Mindspace: Knit Stitch/Embroidery Books

Layered Pages Journal BannerPart I:

My main focus this year on mix media projects are adding stitching, knitting and embroidery so I thought, “Why not create an online catalog of the books I want to acquire on the subject?” This blog post is part one of my catalog and I hope this will be a great source for my fellow mix media artists to follow. Down below I will add the links to my other books in this series are that relevant to this blogging journey. If you have any book recommendations on this subject, please leave a comment in the comment area. I hope you all have a great week and I hope to see y’all back tomorrow here at Layered Pages! -Stephanie

Stitch Dictionary by Lucinda GandertonStitch Dictionary by Lucinda Ganderton

Four Star Review on Goodreads:

‘The art of embroidery has been defined simply as the ornamentation of textiles with decorative stitchery.’

In this book, Lucinda Ganderton provides a clearly illustrated, step by step guide to over 200 decorative and practical stitches. A copy of this book has been part of my reference library for almost ten years, and I refer to it whenever I am looking for a decorative stitch for a particular purpose or when I need to remind myself exactly how to work a particular stitch.

‘It is an ancient craft which encompasses a wealth of history, and the same stiches are used by embroiderers throughout the world.’

After a section entitled ‘How to Use This Book’, this book contains six chapters. The first chapter covers the equipment, threads and fabrics used for stitchery, and the different techniques involved. This is followed by a library of the 234 stitches featured within the book, with the page reference to the instructions for each particular stitch.

For example: Back Stitch Rings (p102). Turn to page 102 for pictures of how to work the stitch, advice on what it is useful for and the method used and materials required to work this intermediate level stitch. I could have really used this book when I was attempting my first French knots!

The stitches are organised into four categories:
Line and Border Stitches
Filling Stitches
Openwork Stitches
Needlepoint Stitches

The colour illustrations for each stitch are clear and uncluttered, and there is an illustration of the completed stitch as well.
I most recently referred to this book for decorative border stitches for some applique I’m attempting. The only problem I have is that there are so many different stitches to choose from: an entire world of possibilities.”

-Jennifer Cameron-Smith

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary 200 Modern Knitting MotifsAlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs

Break the rules–knit outside the lines!

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary takes an unexpected look at stranded colorwork with 200 new motifs. These non-traditional colorwork charts are perfect for the creative knitter looking to break away from the ordinary. Derived from graphic design elements, these fresh motifs include everything from geometric mountains, waves, and spirals to modern bikes, skulls, and sheep.

Dive into stranded colorwork with confidence with a section on reading charts, working floats, and choosing colors. Learn how stranded colorwork can be used in design with five accompanying projects including mitts, cowls, and sweaters. Plus, use your imagination to modify, deconstruct, and combine the unique motifs to create your own designs.

Be inspired to break the rules and use charts in creative ways with AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary.

Embroidery A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 StitchesEmbroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches

Embroidery is the ultimate stitch dictionary and the ideal guide to embroidery, whatever your level of expertise.

The perfect reference guide to needlework, Embroidery is a comprehensive guide to inspire and inform sewers of all levels. Find advice on which thread, needles, or fabrics work with which techniques, and take a look at an incredible 200 stitches — with levels of difficulty, step-by-step instructions, and ideas on where and how to use them.

This practical guide covers sewing tips for dressmaking, needlepoint, and embroidery stitches, with detailed information simply presented in illustration-rich pages. With Embroidery it’s easy to find exactly which stitch is right for your next sewing project.

Other Relevant posts:

Book Wish-List: Visible Mending

 

Saturday Sunday: Layered Pages Book Review

The Ghost of Madison Avenue by Nancy Bilyeau

My thoughts of the story:

The Gilded Age has always been a fascination for me and I consider New York City the center stage of the era for the most part. The era brings us impressive architecture and bigger than life people who inspired greatness. Morgan Library and the man who brought us its glory plays part in this glamorous and magical story.

Bilyeau brings us a new tale of not only J.P. Morgan and is magnificent library and museum but what seems an other-worldly Irish-American lady, Helen O’ Neil.  Helen is hired by stunning Belle da Costa Greene to conserve Morgan’s artifacts.  Soon after Helen begins her work, strange things begin to happen and her life takes a turn that finds herself in a most unusual event-if you will.

Bilyeau is one of my favorite writers and she has the talent to bring readers new content to the table. This story alone has deepened my fascination with the Gilded Age and wanting to know more about J.P. Morgan. My only problem with this story is that it ended and I wanted to read more about the characters lives. Bilyeau in my opinion is artistic with her writing. Having said I had a problem with the story ending, she ended the story with a feeling of rightness and the closeness of family.

The Ghost of Madison Avenue is beautifully told, atmosphereic and rich with unique people and history.

Stephanie Hopkins

The Ghost of Madison Avenue 4 F3More About The Story:

Kindle Edition, 108 pages
Published December 11th 2019 by Amazon

Helen O’Neill, part of a tight-knit Irish-American family in the Bronx, is only too happy to report to work at the spectacular private library built on Madison Avenue by millionaire financier J. P. Morgan. The head librarian, the brilliant and beautiful Belle da Costa Greene, had hired Helen away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art after she witnessed Helen’s unusual talent with handling artifacts.

Helen soon discovers the Morgan Library is a place like no other, with its secret staircases, magical manuscripts, and mysterious murals. But that’s nothing compared to a person Helen alone sees: a young woman standing on Madison Avenue, looking as if she were keeping watch. In learning the woman’s true link to the Morgan, Helen must face the pain of her own past. She finds herself with a second chance at happiness that could only happen on Christmas Eve—if she has the courage

Relevant Links: 

Read about The Secrets of J.P. Morgan’s Private Library

The Morgan Library & Museum 

Nancy Bilyeau’s Amazon Page 

 

Cover Crush: Echoes of the Runes: A sweeping, epic tale of forbidden love by Christina Courtenay

I don’t read romance stories often but this one looks fantastic and I adore the cover! The title and premise isn’t too shabby either. I find the color blue popping up everywhere and the cast of hues are terrific!

Reading the description, one can tell it is much more than a romance and it looks to be full of adventure and all sorts of imagery. Adding this book to my 2020 to-read wish-list!

Echoes of the Runes A sweeping, epic tale of forbidden loveExpected publication: March 5th 2020

Their love was forbidden. But echoed in eternity.

When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother’s summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiance Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artifacts like the gold ring Mia’s grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision – and from Charles.

Whilst Mia becomes absorbed in the dig’s discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the ‘White Hawk’, who stole her away from her people in 869 AD.

As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe’s inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them…

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Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

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Lost Arts: Did you know?

ClothesI have been thinking a lot lately about what my favorite part of reselling is and it is packaging up sales with care, seeing the joy it brings to my clients and knowing I saved another item from the landfills. We as consumers are bombarded with fast fashion by the clothing industry and we have lost our sense of appreciation for what we have and what goes into the producing of such items. Did you know that It takes 2,700 Liters of water to make one T-Shirt?

Could you survive if shelter, clothes, food, water weren’t readily available to you? It is a question I ask myself often.  -Stephanie

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On the book front, I received this book in the mail on Tuesday from a dear friend and it is so fitting for the subject matter above.

The Lost Art Of Hearth and HomeAbout the book:

The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home is not about extreme, off-the-grid living. It’s for city and suburban dwellers with day jobs: people who love to cook, love fresh natural ingredients, and old techniques for preservation; people who like doing things themselves with a needle and thread, garden hoe, or manual saw.

Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson spread the spirit of antiquated self-sufficiency throughout the household. They offer projects that are decidedly unplugged and a little daring, including:

* Home building projects like rooftop food dehydrators and wood-burning ovens
* Homemaking essentials, from sewing and quilting to rug braiding and soap making
* The wonders of grain: making croissants by hand, sprouting grains, and baking bread
* Adventures with meat: pickled pig’s feet, homemade liverwurst, and celery-cured salami

Intended for industrious cooks and crafters who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves, The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home will teach you the history and how-to on projects for every facet of your home, all without the electric toys that take away from the experience of making things by hand.

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Follow my closet @artsycouture42 and  use my code: ARTSYCOUTURE42 to get a free $10 credit when signing up for Poshmark!

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Saturday Sunday: Weekend Vibes

tea cup image

Photo by Stephanie Hopkins

I want to thank you all for your support and visiting Layered Pages. Have a bless weekend. See you on Monday!

“We always have to choose to live our lives to the fullest.  No one is better or worse than anyone else.  We are different and beautiful.” ~ Mattie Stepanek

Cover Crush & Collage: The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings

Tha Camera Never Lies

Book Collage by Stephanie Hopkins

I spotted this book on Facebook  and the title, colors of the background and the premise intrigued me. I have an older mix media art piece I created on Canvas that I thought would be perfect for a collage of this book. I took my image and the book cover and made digital art with them. I did sharpen and added a few little mediums to really make it pop. I think it turned out pretty cool.

 

 

 

The Camera Never LiesThe Camera Never Lies

by David Rawlings

Daniel, Kelly, and Milly appear to be the perfect family. But an old camera will expose secrets no one wants developed.

Daniel Whitely is a successful marriage counselor and bestselling author, yet his own marriage is in crisis and his daughter is drifting further away each day. To make matters worse, the deadline for his second book has come and gone, and he still hasn’t written a single word.

When Daniel inherits an old camera from his grandfather, he notices an inscription on the bottom: “No matter what you think you might see, the camera never lies.”

Daniel begins using the camera, but every time he develops his photos, they threaten to reveal secrets that could sabotage both his marriage and his career—exposing him as a fraud and destroying the life he has worked so hard to build.

He’s faced with a choice: keep his secrets and save his career or come clean and possibly save his family. Which will he choose? Which would you choose?

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Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)