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.

 

Best-Laid Plans… and Messy Studio Tables!

 

messy studio table - artsyletters

I’ll explain this messy table in just a minute.  But first, a quick catch-up:

My plans last month were:  Travel to help oldest (daughter) get set up her brand new third-grade classroom, return home, travel with hubby to get youngest (son) settled in to his second year of college, return home, and work like a crazy person in my downtown studio, creating at a record pace to fill my Etsy shop and my local display at Fordham Market for the busy fall season.

Reality was:  The very night of the college move-in, what I thought was an annoying pulled muscle in the back of my shoulder (that I’d ignored for weeks) suddenly morphed into something excruciating.  Pain not only engulfed my shoulder, but my entire arm and hand as well. So began my adventure with entrapped nerves – the ones that exit  the vertebrae in the neck and pass through the Scalene muscles (the three muscles in the side of the neck).

I am beyond thankful to have found a neuromuscular massage therapist with a masters in physical therapy.  (Think part relief/part torture.)  She is slowly putting me to rights, but it’s a long healing process.  Still don’t have complete feeling in my last two fingers or full strength in my right hand; still packing myself in ice several times a day to chill in the recliner we ended up buying.  (This condition does not lend itself to much actual sleep!) Note to my artist and writer friends:  years of hunching over drawing tables and keyboards contributes to the possibility of this!  So, take frequent breaks.  Watch that posture.  Breathe.

Anyway, my therapist recently “allowed” me to work an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, if I rest with ice in between.

She even made my buy two timers – one for the studio, one for the computer. two timers

 

 

 

I’ve been SO happy to be able to make some art, and make a mess, even if it’s for short periods!  Just so happens I was trying out a technique I’d recently seen in a video by the talented and generous Seth Apter.  He had demonstrated a way to use textured wallpaper samples and gesso when working on mixed media surfaces.  This necessitated, of course, that I find a really cool book of Italian wallpaper samples on eBay and purchase it.  Yes, I did.

I’d been trying out this technique the last couple of days in my brief studio visits.  Then late today I stumbled on a Twitter link to a fun round-up Seth is doing on his blog, The Altered Page.  He’s invited artists to submit links to their own blog posts featuring their messy studio tables!  Kind of a come-as-you-are-party, rather than the polished and perfect studio pictures we all drool over in magazines.

I figured since my current project – making backgrounds for some small mixed media pieces (pix of those soon – promise!  My idea is actually turning out…), I had to knock at the blog party door even if I’m a little late today.  So there’s my messy studio table up there, and here are a couple more pictures:

working on mixed media substrates, with the help of some Italian wallpaper...!

working on mixed media substrates, with the help of some Italian wallpaper…!

Love me some gesso....

Love me some gesso….

I have plans for these....

I have plans for these….

and I can’t wait to spend LOTS of time in here, making more messes!

messy table studio vertical 2

If you love sneak peeks into working studios, be sure to check out all the great links artists have submitted to The Altered Page.  That will keep me busy in my recliner for quite a while.  And if you’d like to see more of my own studio, I posted a little “tour” a few weeks ago, here.  Thanks for coming by!

Sweet Summertime… Beach Themed Note cards!

beach notecards with c

Just like a sunset, summer is beginning to slip on the horizon.  Are those school bells I hear in the distance?

No, waves.  And gulls.  At least for a few more days – or if you’re lucky, a few more weeks.

If you’d like to send along a bit of the beach with your summertime correspondence, I have a couple of new designs for you!  These are new note cards, but the original pen and ink drawings were actually penned long ago.  I hope they stand the test of time – and sand!

The images are black and white with a background color of something akin to light olive.  These are printed on premium cardstock from environmentally sustainable forests with gloss coating on the outside.

Thanks for taking a look!

Click here to see these in my Etsy shop.

Click here to see these in my Etsy shop.

Click here to see these in my Etsy shop.

Click here to see these in my Etsy shop.

Wishing you and yours a relaxing rest of the summer….

Open for Business in Beautiful Beaufort!

 

Happy Summer Solstice! 

Thanks for stopping by.  Well, moving and settling in took a bit longer than I thought it would – and a whole lot of trips back and forth to Georgia, and mounds of boxes.  But I’m officially in business in beautiful Beaufort, SC! 

I haven’t posted in a while during the transition, so this post is longer than usual.  BUT – it’s pretty much all pictures.  So come on along! Here’s a little pictorial tour of my artsy endeavors on the coast.

First, there’s the scenery walking from our cottage to downtown.

homes on bay

bay on bay street

Antebellum homes on the left; the bay on the right.

 modern jewelers and verdier house

Here’s the building where my studio is!  It dates from 1889. I rent one of the office spaces above Modern Jewelers.  Count the windows along the side – mine are numbers 4 and 5. 

See the lovely pink building beside us?  It’s the John Mark Verdier House Museum, “the only planter’s home in Beaufort open to the public,” built in 1804. We went on the guided tour and also enjoyed the free Civil War exhibit downstairs. 

 glass door 811 bay street

And here’s my business name on the glass door – you can make it out in my reflection!

I usually go around to the back, however, because I’m in love with this old, old tabby wall.  Kind of a secret garden passageway, don’t you think?

tabby wall

Tabby close-up

And up the stairs.  back stairs and fig tree

(Beware the over-reaching fig tree….)

Suite number 3 door

Here we are! Welcome to my studio. 

mini studio selfie

studio sweep

It’s still a work-in-progress, and don’t get out any white gloves.  But it’s coming together, and I love it.

 2 angled desks and chair

I have a desk to draw on/assemble on and my little drawing table, too – both from early years of marriage.  Jeff gave me that drawing table decades ago! The wonderful green spinning bookshelf was a find in a north Georgia antique shop.  The p-e-r-f-e-c-t and perfectly comfortable wooden desk chair was a find here in Beaufort!  

table and photo corner

The big table with glass top came with the space.  It will be my printmaking station.(See the little fountain on the right side?  In case I need to run my fingers under some water real quick-like…!) 

The corner space in front of the window provides terrific natural light for Etsy shop photos.  photo corner daylightYes, I’ve taken several – I just haven’t gotten around to posting the new items!  I’m getting there, I’m getting there….

glass front cabinet and books

I have a great little closet, but my favorite feature of this high-ceiling-ed, wood-floored space is this cabinet with glass doors.  Swoon.  My boxes for shipping are stored below, and these shelves hold mats and backing, acetate sleeves, and jewelry boxes.

Moving on, this might not be as attractive, but a baker’s rack holds everything I need to get Etsy orders shipped out quickly (Oh – and my first wholesale cards order this week – to an indie bookstore in Massachusetts)!  All at my fingertips. 

bakers rack shipping center

panels and inventory

In the front corner, my illustration and art books and inventory of  printed cards, bookmarks, etc., hang out behind my display panels.

Turning back to the center – an area just for gift-wrapping!

gift wrap table

 

And here are some of my favorite things.  This metal flat file was given a makeover by the husband of my antique dealer friend Keren back in Georgia, at the first-weekend-of-the-month Flowery Branch antique market.  flat fileThis thing weighs a ton.  And it holds mat boards, large papers, and a zillion typewriter keys (in letterpress trays, some of which I think I also got from Keren!)

Also bought at that market was this great green metal cabinet, which I’ve filled with old metal treasures, including more great stuff from Dena’s booth at the same market.  (Dena has the coolest old hardware items.)

metal cabinet for metal

I picked up these two putty-colored metal cabinets putty metal cabinetson different treasure-hunting trips, with my good creative buddies Paula Puckett  and Kim Siegelson.

Now, one reason I’ve set up my panels and display tables in this great space is that I don’t plan on lugging them around for sleep-deprived weekends to shows, at least this fall.  I’m trying something else:  I am delighted to have been accepted to lease a wee bit of real estate inside the historic Fordham Market here in town. 

fordham market

I just set up yesterday.  I’ve been there as a customer before, and now I look forward to selling artsyletters wares there as a vendor! 

fordham display

artsyletters at fordham closeup

So let me know if you are passing through the lowcountry, and I’ll show you around and buy you a frozen yogurt.  You’ll have to do a little shopping before you get back on the road, n’est-ce-pas?  I might have some ideas….

Thanks for coming along on this new journey!

Happy Summer.

Art Break Wednesday – Mooooo-ving! My Studio, that is…

Yay Images

Yay Images

 

Hope your 2014 is off to a good start!

Just a heads’ up that my online pasture here might look a little bare this month, but that’s only because I’m moving to greener pastures very soon.  I’m boxing up art supplies and books and furniture and vintage bling and such (how in the world did I accumulate so much stuff?!) and heading from the North Georgia mountains to the South Carolina coast.

When I get all settled, I’ll post pictures of my new digs.  I’m renting a great old space in a historic building in the middle of town and can’t wait to soak up the inspiration (and the sunshine outside) and create, create, create.  More soon!

May your pastures this year be lush, and Happy Trails! :0)