About artsyletters

Robyn Hood Black is a children's author, poet, and artist. She's happiest with ink underneath her fingernails.

Art Workshop! Found Poem / Mixed Media class March 23 in downtown Beaufort, SC


Art Workshop with Robyn Hood Black of artsyletters March 2018 flyer 600 X 840

Want to learn fun tips and techniques to create a one-of-a-kind collage?  In this two-hour workshop, we’ll use vintage elements to make a found poem/mixed media piece matted to 5X7 and ready to frame.  Take what you learn with you to make more fun art on your own!  Several customers have asked for fun artsy-crafty class, and I’m delighted to offer this as my first class in Beaufort.

No experience required – just an interest in words, art, imagination, and magical creations.  I’ll supply scissors and adhesives & such in addition to all components.

Date:  March 23, 2018

Time:  1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Location:  Coastal Art Supply, 216 West Street, Beaufort, SC

Cost:  $35 includes all materials.  $15 deposit, refundable until March 22.  Sign up at Coastal Art Supply or with Robyn – robyn@artsyletters.com or 770-654-8104

(Minimum number of attendees required; maximum number of 10.)

What’s in store?  It will be a more intimate version of the workshop I offered in Bellingham, Washington, just over a year ago.  Click HERE for the blog post about it, including links to posts from participants!

Hope to see you there,


A Haiku for Each Season from ISSA – on Mini Poem Cards!


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Starting off the New Year with a haiku for every season by Kobayashi Issa ( 1763-1828), each on a 2 1/2 X 3 1/2 mini poem card!  These feature translations by David G. Lanoue in calligraphy by yours truly on color-altered altered images of an antique map.  Click here to see these in my Etsy shop, or click here for more about them in my author blog post!

Perfect to tuck in a greeting card or Valentine, or stock up for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

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Wishing you blessings in each season this year.

Happy 2018!


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Greetings, Bookish Art Lovers!

I hope your year is off to an inspiring start.

After lots of holiday traveling, I’m slowly getting my 2018 ducks in a row. New items appearing in my Etsy shop in coming weeks. :0)

For my Lowcountry friends, we’ll be open in downtown Beaufort on February 2nd for  First Friday (5-ish to 8-ish p.m.). Perfect for your literary Valentine shopping!

After that, Spring hours will kick in on Thursdays through Saturdays most weeks. (Just look for my sandwich sign down on the sidewalk. And, remember, my Etsy shop is open 24/7!)

Enjoy lots of cozy reading time this January with a good book, a steaming mug, and your favorite cuddly canine or feline companion.

Magnet Making Unmasked! (Holiday How-To)


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The magnets in my Etsy shop are pretty simple in design, but there are many steps and layers involved!  Here’s a peek behind the scenes of my latest line of letter magnets.

Lately I’ve been enchanted with verdigris, the gorgeous blue-green patina taken on by copper over time.  I wanted to create a background texture which suggests it. If I make mixed media backgrounds with regular art paper, I prepare it with a layer of gesso first.  For this project, I skipped that step by using Canson’s Canva-Paper, which has a linen texture and is pre-primed.

For loose “reference,” I simply brought up some Google images on my phone by typing in “verdigris.”  This is what I had finished on my drawing table a short while later:

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Now, because I liked the effect and wanted to remember how I made it, I took this shot below of the supplies I used – my recipe to refer back to.  I first mixed metallic copper paint liberally with acrylic gloss medium and painted big swaths across the blank paper.  When that was dry, I started painting the blues and greens (also with liberal gloss added!), and some metallic silvery white – letting layers dry or mostly dry in-between. Unless I wanted some scrunchy texture, which I made by blotting areas with a rubber-y square made for loosening jar lids, or humble wadded-up paper towels.  Oh, and I did a dab or two with a page from an old Italian wallpaper book as well.

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I painted 2-inch by 2-inch canvas board squares with metallic copper acrylic paint (Amsterdam).  It didn’t go on as smoothly as the craft black I always use, but I just doubled up on the front sides. You can find the mini canvas panels at local arts and craft stores, or online.


I always paint the backs first, and lay out everything on wax paper to inhibit sticking of stray drips.  When the paint is dry, I glue on a strong ceramic magnet.  (And my little logo piece.)  Hint:  I discovered a trick to helping the magnet “hold” while it’s curing – let it dry on a metal tray!  It will stay right on that little square board, attracted to the metal underneath. Cookie trays work, or any flat metal surface lurking about.

After these set up, I painted the back with a layer of acrylic gloss medium.Then, yep, more drying.

Then, I flipped those babies over and painted all the fronts with the copper paint.


Then they had to dry.  Sigh.

When my verdigris sheet was dry, I used deckle-edged paper stamps to make 1.75-inch squares.  I usually have to find these stamps used online.  But it beats trying to cut each edge with special scissors.



When the magnet tops were dry, I glued on each lovely textur-y square.


And, added ANOTHER layer of gloss medium on top, being sure sides were coated all the way around as well.


Then – you guessed it – they had to D-R-Y.

Before I even started on all of this, though, I had rustled up some wonderful metal letters made out West by an artisan/fellow Etsian, distressed to look really old.  (The letters, not the gentleman.  Well, I assume not the gentleman.) I had bought a few alphabets’ worth a while back.  I do love the rust, but figured magnet recipients might not enjoy the powdery iron-y mess, so… acrylic gloss to the rescue again.  I painted all the backs and let the letters dry overnight on wax paper, and then painted all the fronts the next day. And let them dry!

So my letters were shiny-rusty.  (Same treatment for some small metal stars I had also purchased.)

When EVERYTHING was dry, I attached each letter to a prepared magnet and kept it flat while the glue dried.

Finally… Voilà!

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To adapt this adventure for a holiday gift-giving project, you can simplify it, of course.  If working with kids, be mindful of adhesives and fumes and choose non-toxic materials.  Young creators can make letters or any designs out of cardstock, or they might enjoy clipping items from old texts or magazines to recycle.

No time to make your own?  Well, that’s why I’m here! ;0)

Feel free to peruse lots of new magnets in my Etsy shop. Go on, let them pull you in…
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Happy Thanksgiving!  This Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend, any order of $25 or more in my Etsy shop ships FREE! :0)

Friday the 13th…. Haunted Jewelry by artsyletters!


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BOO!  Happy Friday the 13th! 

I have a few spooky jewelry pieces in my Etsy shop, and I’ll be adding more as the weekend goes along.  Each piece features some kind of vintage literary treasure, including some wonderful black and orange illustration details clipped from an 1869 magazine cover and set under glass cabochons. Keep checking back… if you dare!