artsyletters lands at The Beaufort Emporium!

JULY GREETINGS, Continued…

While I will actually be closed this week (July 19-20) because our kids are visiting, I’m delighted to share that you can now find some artsyletters offerings at the BEAUTIFUL Beaufort Emporium & Dry Goods Company on Bay Street!

Check out my table on the left after you walk in, and be sure to peruse the variety of gifts, souvenirs, and special treasures all around.  Friendly folks and classy gifts!

I’m honored to have some items there, including some new local-themed goodies such as upcycled and handmade journals, magnets, key rings and bookmarks featuring hand-aged images from antique South Carolina maps. (Listing similar items in my Etsy shop in coming days!)

Enjoy Water Festival Week, whether you’re here in town or just here in spirit!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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)

FREE SHIPPING through Cyber Monday! And Open for Small Business Saturday…

dsc07122-shop-small-bus-sat-2016-cGreetings, Black Friday through Cyber Monday Shoppers!

1.) Etsy shopper, or would you like to be? To celebrate Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday, my shop is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders of $10 or more (domestic only) for the whole weekend. Simply enter Coupon Code SLEIGHRIDE when you check out.  I’ll get the reindeer ready; enjoy shopping!

2.) Local? Loving life in the Lowcountry? I’ve just officially joined the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce (Woo-hoo!) and look forward to celebrating SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY  with an open studio from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. 811 Bay Street, Suite # 3 – above Modern Jewelers. Head up the stairs and to the right! Special activities downtown will help inspire your holiday hunting.

At this time of year, I’m sincerely thankful to my wonderful customers & friends for your patronage and encouragement.  You inspire me and keep me wishing I had even more hours in the studio to create, create, create!

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

SEASON’S GIFTING!

 

Happy Holidays!  

Any readers, writers, poets or dreamers on your gift list? Feel free to browse my “literary gifts with a vintage vibe” – all created by me!  Click HERE to zoom over to my Etsy shop.

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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.

Take a Letter…

 

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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.

 

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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!