Happy May!

Then came faire May, the fayrest mayd on ground,
  Deckt all with dainties of her seasons pryde, …

Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen

Wishing you and yours a lovely month of May!

Here are a few warm colors to go with the warm weather:

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The endpapers in these brass earrings were clipped from an 1863 Dickens novel.  (Click the picture for the Etsy listing.)

May brings graduation celebrations in our household.  [My shop will take a few days off this weekend for the occasion.] I hope you enjoyed National Poetry Month, and that  May will bring you bright flowers and warm remembrances.

Several projects are bubbling in my studio… More soon!

Library Card Catalog Cards! & Vintage “Found Poem” Valentine…

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‘Tis the Season of Love… and I love some new adventures in the studio making greeting cards from altered vintage library card catalog cards!  Depending on the year of your birth, you may or may not wax nostalgic about those big, clunky, glorious card catalog files which used to be a fixture in every library.  Sighhh.  Swooon.

I’m always on the hunt for vintage items and ephemera to re-purpose into found poem art.  (Click here for a post about a workshop I led at Poetry Camp a few months ago if you’d like to see some details about the process.) When I stumbled into purchasing a big batch of catalog cards which used to live in an elementary school library, my heart skipped a beat.  While most of these don’t easily offer up a found poem possibility, some do!  (I’ll use the others in something else, I’m sure.)

I first tested this project with a Poem Postcard Exchange  with my Poetry Friday crowd over at my author blog. The exchange was organized by Jone MacCulloch, and I posted about the cards I received here and here.

I made five different cards to send out by 1.) “antiquing” the edges of thick Stonehenge paper with inks, 2.) carving and printing a “back” for the postcard:

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3.) picking out phrases from the catalog cards to highlight as found text (the words covered up here by adhesive strips of sticky notes):

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and 4.) painting glossy washes over the words, 5.) removing the sticky note strips, and 6.) adhering the cards to the front of the postcards. Oh – and I used this great little antique key to print its shape onto the cards.

I completely forgot to take a picture of any of the finished ones, so Jone kindly sent me a photo of the one I sent to her!

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Jone writes haiku, as I do, so I thought she’d enjoy the haiku-like vibe of this one.

I’ve made a few recent cards for family and friends, and employed this catalog card idea. Then I decided it would be fun to find one that might lend itself to being a Valentine, or at least a romantic card, above.  Here’s a closeup of the text:

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For fun, I attached a vintage library card pocket inside, and tucked in a blank vintage check-out card for a personal message:

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DSC09233 magnet valentine library card cThe illustration on this card was clipped from the February 1927 issue of Country Life.

   

I had time to make one more before leaving for the day:

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This one reads:

 

LIFE – 

a poem

of

wanderings,

wilderness

family,

and

Stories

 

It’s topped off with an illustration clipped from a McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader (1920).

And, yes, it’s hiding away a vintage blank check-out card in a vintage paper pocket, too:

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These cards are made with Strathmore textured paper and come with matching envelopes.  At 5 X 7, they can be easily framed if desired. They’re in my Etsy shop, and I’ll be making more, for sure. :0)

Thanks for visiting, and wishing you love for Valentine’s Day and all days!

A Birthday Gift and a Doggie Detour in Acrylic…

 

Today is my daughter’s birthday, which prompted a fun artistic detour for me last week. It all started with a wedding gift she and her hubby received last summer from my dear friend and exquisite painter, Ann Goble. Ann surprised them with a gorgeous 12X12 oil painting of their beloved dog, Cooper. They treasure it!

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painting ©Ann Goble.

Well, they decided their fur-baby needed a companion, and spunky four-month-old lab Maggie joined their family a few weeks later. She’s grown into a beautiful nearly-full-grown dog.  maggie 15747548_10154472617073089_4612668225072901288_n crop ps

I thought she needed her own portrait!  I bought the only 12X12 cradled canvas in stock at my local art supply store, and rummaged through my studio for tubes of acrylic paint.  (Ann’s painting is in rich oils, but I was working with available time and supplies. No way I could replicate her work anyway, but I was aiming for something along the lines of complementary.)

In recent years I’ve been swimming around in mixed media, collage, printmaking, and lettering, but I must admit it was fun to tackle a straight painting.  Hmm… Would it be like riding a bicycle?

Yes – at least it felt that way!  First I filled a couple of sketchbook pages with rough sketches and gesture drawings from a few photographs. (The one above became my primary reference photo.)  I remembered old tricks such as making a drawing upside-down, just focusing on shapes and lines.  (Remember Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain?) I also made a loose grid to guide my composition – folding a copy of my reference picture into 16 squares, and adjusting my drawing on paper accordingly if my rendering seemed too far off in one section or another.

Then I rubbed the back with charcoal and placed my sketch on the canvas, going over the lines again with a pencil to transfer them to the paint surface.  Now it was painting time!

So much fun making a messy mix of colors!

So much fun making a messy mix of colors….

Here’s a rough progression:

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IMG_6321 in process c

Final:

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Ant then the best part, giving it to Morgan:

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If it makes them smile, that’s success enough for me for this little artistic side trip.

And, really, any creative project that gets our right-brain synapses firing helps nurture other creative projects, too, don’t you think?

Happy New Artsy Year!!

 

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Greetings from the New Year side of the holidays!  Thanks to all my wonderful customers who’ve filled a stocking or two with artsyletters wares in recent years. It’s an honor to be a part of gift-giving traditions.

I look forward to creating all kinds of new items this year, and more of the offerings which need restocking.  My studio is my happy place. :0)  I’ll resume more “open” hours in February here in Beaufort on Bay Street (this month I’m hibernating with multiple creative writing projects and traveling some, too).  In the meantime, my Etsy shop is open 24-7.

Wishing you and yours an inspiring and creative 2017!

Ho Ho Ho – Studio/Shop Hours This Week

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If you’re enjoying shopping in downtown Beaufort this week, stop in and say hello! I’ll be open Wed. through Friday afternoons from 1-4 pm, and possibly Christmas Eve too.  811 Bay Street #3.  Look for my sandwich board sign on the sidewalk. If it’s out, come on up. (If you don’t see it, save yourself the climb – ;0) ).

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

A Peek at Micro Found Poem Christmas Ornaments…

 

Click here for this listing in my Etsy shop.

Click here for this listing in my Etsy shop.

Some weeks there’s some cross-pollination between my writing blog and my art blog.  Today for Poetry Friday, I featured a Christmas poem by George Cooper from the December 26, 1896 edition of GOLDEN DAYS for Boys and Girls published in Philadelphia by James Elverson. This is the newsprint magazine that yielded those mini-ornament found poems I featured on my author blog a couple of weeks ago. (And promptly sold in my Etsy shop to my online poetry friends!)

I found one more teeny frame in my studio this week. I’m certain this is the last one (would love to come across more either online or in a thrift store!) . This one was missing its wee bit of hardware, but I improvised.

Here is the highlighted text:

passion

is contagious,

be merry

For this one day,
be merry with heart

 

and here are a couple of pictures of the ornament-in-progress.

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For a slightly more detailed “how-to” with actual words, click here for my account of making a small batch of these year before last.

Whatever your faith tradition, I hope you FIND much to be merry about this holiday season!

Featured on Elizabeth Dulemba’s Blog Today! (And open downtown this afternoon…)

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Hi, Friends!  Happy to be featured on my buddy Elizabeth Dulemba’s terrific blog today (waves over The Pond to Scotland).  Be sure to check out the vast treasures at her place if you click the pic above and go visit!

Also, I’ll be hanging out at my studio in downtown Beaufort this afternoon – drop on by if you’re around.

XO

It’s NIGHT ON THE TOWN Time – Friday, Dec. 2!

 

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There’s a nip in the air, and the calendar says it’s time to do some holiday celebrating and shopping!  Come by and say hello if you’re out and about in downtown Beaufort this weekend.  (My A-Frame sign will be down on the sidewalk when my studio is open.)  I’ll warm up some cider and have some goodies available Friday night, 6-9 p.m.

Jingle Jingle!