Happy Poetry Month! Sharing a Vintage Mixed Media/Found Poem Piece…

 

vertical for blog heart poems c I hope you are having a Wonderful Poetry Month!  In my corner of the virtual world, the Kidlitosphere, bloggers and poets are celebrating all month long with fun and inspiring projects.  You can find a roundup by the terrific Jama Kim Rattigan at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

One of these years I’ll have it together to do something beyond a few special posts on my robynhoodblack.com blog in April. Like last year, I’m participating in the Progressive Poem today and will host Poetry Friday this coming Friday.

But I did sneak over to the studio to finish a little project I’ve been wanting to make for weeks. (I was “homebound” in early April finishing some freelance writing assignments and hosting company.) This little framed mixed media piece features highlighted text from CROWN JEWELS – OR GEMS OF LITERATURE, ART AND MUSIC, compiled by Henry Davenport Northrop, D. D., copyright 1887 by J. R. Jones. The original text was given a glossy acrylic wash and boasts a vintage heart key, a snip of vintage lace, and a small fancy vintage watch hand from France.

heart poems close up cIt says:

life

contains

heart-poems.

 

 

The frame is one of four I found in an antique shop a few years ago. It’s about 4 and 1/2 by 5 inches – wooden, made in Italy.  It has the loveliest handpainted turquoise color, with antique (very antique-y looking now!) white paint as well.  It’s full of character (slight imperfections), and I kept the little triangle brass hanger attached at the top.

I was tempted to keep it, as I rather like the simple message this old text yielded.  But I also love it when someone comes along and says a piece like this speaks to them, or they have the perfect person in mind to give it to.  So I listed it in my Etsy shop.

heart poems with hand c

Whether it sells quickly or hangs around a long while, I wish its sentiment for you always:  that your life is full of heart-poems!  Happy Poetry Month.

Ahoy! Sea-themed artworks coming to shore…

 

sailors angle c

February winds have made for a blustery bay this week, but that hasn’t stopped visitors from coming to our fair little coastal town.  I’ve been busy conjuring up some “sea-themed” items to offer through artsyletters, especially at my kiosk over in Fordham Market. I wrote a wee bit about this in my author blog post for Poetry Friday last week.

In that post I showed the elements in progress, but above is one of the finished pieces.  These are miniatures, made from cradled wood boards into small shadow boxes.  I painted them black and covered them with acrylic gloss, then antiqued a self-leveling hanger and attached it to the back.

The featured text came directly from

    Crown Jewels
OR
Gems of Literature, Art,
and Music
BEING
Choice Selections from the Writings and Musical Productions of the Most Celebrated Authors, From the Earliest Times

compiled by Henry Davenport Northrop, D. D., and published in 1888.

It’s actually a refrain to a song, “The Tar for all Weathers,” by Charles Dibdin (1745-1814).  Lucky for me, the refrain appeared a few times, so I made three of these. (I was able to find the author’s name in three spots in the book as well.)  I’ve put two of these at Fordham and listed the third in my Etsy shop.

three sailor shadow boxes c

Here are the words:


But sailors were born for all weathers,
Great guns let it blow high or low,
Our duty keeps us to our tethers,
And where the gale drives we must go.
….

(That line, “Great guns let it blow high or low” has been rattling around in my head since I read it!)

The text is placed atop an original mini-woodcut.  I hadn’t done any printmaking in the months since my neck/nerves injury in the fall, and it felt wonderful last week to carve a block or two and roll out the ink (love that smell) and print some images! The ship’s wheel hanging above the text is hand cast from blackened pewter, from a wonderful Etsy shop specializing in antiqued brass.

Here’s another 4″ by 4″ piece with text from a different poem, “At Sea” by John Townsend Trowerbridge:

DSC04696 trowerbridge poem shadow box c

The text reads:

A heavenly trust my spirit calms,

                my soul is filled with light:

The Ocean sings his solemn psalms,

The wild winds chant: I cross my palms

                Happy as if to-night

Under the cottage roof again

I heard the soothing summer rain.

This little piece features tiny vintage watch parts – a watch hand and a wheel, as well as a lovely vintage brass decorative element.  It was described as a flying mermaid; I’m not sure, but it is some kind of fantastical winged human creature! Fortunately I was able to purchase a few of these, so they will appear in other work, too.

Finally, here is a 6″ by 6″ shadow box/mixed media piece.  Again, I made the background by creating a wave-themed woodcut, printing the black image over a block print of mottled blue and green inks.  It’s from the same book, CROWN JEWELS, and features a poem by Thomas Lovell Beddoes, “To Sea.”  (I’m including a close-up below so you can read the entire poem.)  More vintage watch parts on this one – an ornate golden watch hand from France and a tiny wheel which perfectly shows off the decorative illuminated initial “T.”  The seahorse is a vintage pin, found by an Etsy dealer in eastern Europe!

DSC04703 to sea shadow box 6 X 6 c

TO SEA close up c

Thanks for taking a look.  Wishing you smooth sailing the rest of the week and right out of winter into spring…!

Wonders on the Way…

 

Confession:  Sometimes I drive to work.

It’s only a mile, so when I walk, that’s an easy two miles of exercise to add to the day.  But – when it’s cold, or rainy, or cold AND rainy, I can’t seem to walk past the car outside my door.

My creativity, though, is not fed by wending through traffic but by walking – taking in the surroundings which change each day with the tides, and noting what things remain more or less the same. On walks my wandering mind might be graced with a “haiku moment” or two.  All my senses are engaged.

When I walk to my studio, in the heart of downtown Beaufort, there’s always a wonder along the way.  This year I’ll share some of those here.  Maybe a picture will strike your fancy, offer a spark of inspiration, or simply give you something to ponder.

Like this:

Bay Street Treasures photo ©Robyn Hood Blackl

BAY STREET TREASURES photo ©Robyn Hood Black

Um, how could I not notice the clever use of an old typewriter?! It first caught my eye in the warmer months, and now it’s graced with bright pansies for winter.  This delightful gem welcomes visitors to Bay Street Treasures, a wonderful antique store at the corner of Bay and Charles Streets, across from the marina. It’s owned by Ginny & Allison DeBose and Barbara Marsh .  Ginny and Allison kindly granted me permission to share this bewitching garden art.

I’ve bought a gift or two at Bay Street Treasures, and my hubby spotted just the thing for when I set up on “First Friday” evenings – some vintage stacking metal shelves. display shelves outside narrow

 

Red.

Perfect.


From vintage jewelry to furniture to clever metal oddities in the garden, I’m always tempted in that shop!

 

 

Across the street is another little place you must duck in if you are vintage-inclined – Reflections Old & New.  Friendly proprietors will greet you there as well – Lynda and Doug Bransford  (and their parrot!).  You’ll find just the thing to class up your home or your closet with some elegant history.  I couldn’t resist these antique metal buttons:

BUTTONS FROM REFLECTIONS OLD & NEW photo ©Robyn Hood Black

BUTTONS FROM REFLECTIONS OLD & NEW photo ©Robyn Hood Black

Now, what will I use these for?  Oh, the creative wheels are turning.

Especially when I walk.

artsyletters is featured on The Nerdy Chicks Rule blog today!

 

Happy Friday!

nerdy chicks rule banner

Huge thanks to my friend and generous, talented children’s author Kami Kinard for featuring artsyletters on the Nerdy Chicks Rule blog today!  Click on over to find a bit of backstory on these items I love creating.

Warning:  If you are a lover of kidlit, you might not emerge from that amazing blog for a while… Kami and Sudipta know how to throw a blog party!

 

All Packed…. Ready-to-go Gift Sets for Readers, Writers, Teachers, & Creative Types!

 

Holiday Shopping Season is in Full Swing!

Wish you had some elves to help?

While I don’t have elves to hire out, I do have five ready-to-go gift ideas if you have any readers, writers, teachers, or crafty folks on your list.  (Click any image to learn more about each product.)

Here are two gift packs ($15 each) that made their way onto some sleighs last year:

First, for the Book Nerds in your life:

BOOK NERD Gift Pack by artsyletters®

BOOK NERD Gift Pack by artsyletters®

And the poets:

POETS Gift Pack by artsyletters®

POETS Gift Pack by artsyletters®

And here are three new gift packs!

First, for Teachers:

TEACHERS RULE Gift Pack by artsyletters®

This “TEACHERS RULE” pack includes my apple and books notecards, a bookmark, large magnet, and – just for fun – a 6-inch ruler (made in the USA)!  These items come in a fun black gift bag with chalkboard-white designs.  I’m happy to personalize the bag with white chalkboard paint if desired. This gift set is $17.50

Next, for the Wordsmiths in your world:

WRITERS WRULE Gift Pack by artsyletters®

WRITERS WRULE Gift Pack by artsyletters®

This “WRITERS WRULE” pack includes my typewriter notecards, a bookmark, large magnet, and – again, just for fun – a 6-inch ruler. This gift set is $16.50.

Finally, for the artists, crafters, and creators in your sphere who have lots of ideas and inspirations to keep track of:

MAKER MAGNET GIFT PACK by artsyletters®

MAKER MAGNET GIFT PACK by artsyletters®

This (affordable!) “MAKER MAGNET GIFT PACK” features a large magnet which reads, in chalk-inspired lettering, “A maker before there was a movement” – as well as a circular chalkboard-inspired “Make – Made do” magnet and a flat laminate “I make, therefore I am” magnet. These are tucked into recycled kraft shreds and presented in a shimmery mini organza gift bag. (Just $10.75)        Shop Small button

Thanks for taking a look, and may all your holiday shopping be wrapped up without a lot of stress!  And may you find or make the perfect gifts for your special someones.

BLACK FRIDAY/SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY/CYBER MONDAY! Artsyletters Coupon…

 

Good through Monday, December 1!

Good through Monday, December 1!

Happy Holidays!!!

Hope your Thanksgiving brought to mind many things to be grateful for. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to create through artsyletters, and to have the support of customers, family, and friends.

If you’d like to do any holiday shopping in my Etsy shop, please click on the coupon image above and be sure to enter “Dickens” in the checkout lane!                         (Coupon is for 10 percent off and is good the entire weekend, through Monday, Dec. 1.)

I’ll still be adding new items in coming days, including tiny Writer Mouse/found poem ornaments.

Click on the image below to see my writer blog post about these fun little projects-in-progress!

©Robyn Hood Black

©Robyn Hood Black

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Happy Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday!

[ Wishing everyone a day of rest on Sunday… ;0) ]

Take a Letter…

 

mini framed rustic letters gift wrap with c

Brrr…!  There’s a nip in the November air these days.  Must mean the holidays are just around the corner.  Have you made your gift list yet?

Need a fun, affordable, and personal idea for your favorite guy or gal, friend or teacher?  I’m adding several “initial” options in my Etsy shop.  Here’s a sampling:

screen shot crop mini framed rustic letters

You get the idea! These are small (1 1/2-inch) metal letters, made by an artisan out West, presented on vintage 1930 miniature dictionary pages (with corresponding letter). An antique gold resin Kate Aspen tabletop frame surrounds the mini mixed media collage. The frame measures 4 1/2 inches by 3 3/4 inches.

Theyr’e rustic and classy at the same time!  And affordable.  At $12.75 each, they will come gift-wrapped in simple fleur-de-lis tissue and a sheer black ribbon.  (If I’ve sold out of a letter you need, feel free to convo me through Etsy.  Stash-willing, I’m happy to make one up for you.)

I’m also making a larger version of the metal letter/dictionary page combo, like these:

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

 

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

They are double-matted to 5 inches by 7 inches, featuring a 3-inch rustic metal letter on a vintage dictionary page. I add a slight wash/gloss to the page, and leave an illustration unwashed for interest. Will be listing these soon! Or convo me if you have a special request.

These are $17.50 and ready to frame.  (Happy to gift-wrap, too.)

 

What about stocking stuffers or thoughtful tokens?

I’ve got upcycled Scrabble tile magnets with handpainted backgrounds in every letter.  (Will finish getting these listed ASAP!  They are $4.95 each.)  A strong ceramic disc magnet will keep that list of checked-out library books secured to the fridge! scrabble magnet E wrap cAgain, give me a holler with any special letter requests if you don’t find what you need.

 

scrabble A magnet on metal 2014 c

 

 

Check soon in my “Hold it! – Magnets” section in my Etsy shop.

For the metal letter/dictionary page items, plus some other framed or matted letters, click on my Take A Letter section in my shop.

Thanks for strolling through the alphabet with me.  Happy almost-Holidays!

First Friday Fun in Downtown Beaufort

 

artsyletters sandwich board sign first friday 11 2014

I might have still been rushing around at 5:00 trying to package cards and bookmarks, but I’m so glad I opened my studio door (for the first time!) for Beaufort’s First Friday last night.  Thanks to everyone who came by to visit, have some cider or cookies, and do a little art shopping.  Special thanks to my hubby Jeff and to friend Barb Ettl, who did all the heavy lifting (literally) as I slowly get back into the swing of work and fun events like this.

Somehow I only managed to get a few pictures, but here’s a peek into the evening:

Hubby Jeff welcomes folks with a small display down at street level on Bay Street.

Hubby Jeff welcomes folks with a small display down at street level on Bay Street.

 

Lots of friends dropped by!  Here I am with Cyndi Allison (aka neuromuscular massage therapist/miracle worker.....)

Lots of friends dropped by! Here I am with Cyndi Allison (aka neuromuscular massage therapist/miracle worker…..)

And friends brought friends! Cyndi came with her beautiful friend, Takiya.

I enjoyed sharing my space with familiar and new faces.  Everyone loved the Modern Jewelers building, which has such historical character.

display shelves outside

framed letters etc.See you in December, when First Friday is on steroids, for Beaufort’s NIGHT ON THE TOWN on Dec. 5!

AD-vantages…

Lowcountry Weekly cover crop sm

 

Just a fun little share today…

 

My shop is one of the featured ones this week in Fordham Market’s LOWCOUNTRY WEEKLY ad.

 

fordham market ad oct 2014 cropInside back cover, bottom corner!  Here’s a better pic of the featured cards – that Raven & Cauldron design does work for this time of year.

copyright cauldron 2

 

These are available in my Etsy shop here.

 

I’m on the mend enough to be spending lots of time in the studio – :0) –  so I’ll share new items soon!

I’ll be adding fun artsy creations from now through the holidays, so thanks for checking in.  I’m also looking forward to opening my studio doors for FIRST FRIDAY in November and December in  downtown Beaufort.