Merry Christmas!

divine love door open close up use

(Click for more pictures of this piece on Etsy.)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

This altered book collage was made with heart and features Vol. 8 of MASTERPIECES OF THE WORLD’S BEST LITERATURE, compiled by Jeannette L. Gilder and published in 1910 by Classic Publishing Company, NY. Gently open the door, and the page block has been altered to reveal a found poem and new message from these words within by Gerhard Tersteegen, translated from German :

DIVINE LOVE

Love of God

unfathomed,

beauteous light

finds rest in Thee.

Wishing you and yours a holiday and new year filled with light!

Artsyletter Elves Say Order Soon for Christmas!

 

mini framed rustic letters gift wrap with c adj ps crazy crop with holly order soon

It’s almost mid-December!

The artsyletters elves say they’ll need orders by the end of the week (Dec. 18) to get them shipped in the US in time for Christmas, according to USPS posted estimates.

Readers, writers, or letter lovers on your list?  Find the perfect gift or stocking stuffer to bring a smile to their literary lips.  Use Coupon Code TAKE5 at checkout for 5 percent off your order.

Thanks for coming by, and wishing you and yours a warm & wonderful holiday. :0)

Holiday Open House on Saturday! Downtown will be Hopping…

 

artsyletters holiday open house 2015 for blog FB etc collage

If you’re in Beaufort this busy holiday weekend, come on up to the Studio on Saturday afternoon between 2 pm and 4:30 pm! Browse handmade gifts for the bookish folks on your gift list and enjoy some refreshments.

An elf has told me Santa will be at the Clock on Bay Street from 11 to 2, and you’ll want to enjoy the Light Up the Night Boat Parade at 5:30. (The Parris Island Marine Corps Band concludes the festivities at 7 p.m.) What to do in the afternoon? Visit downtown’s shops and galleries, and come say hello! We are at 811 Bay Street, above Modern Jewelers. The stairs are steep, but the welcome is warm.  (Note – we won’t be open during Night on the Town this year, but do come by Saturday afternoon!) See you then!

Happy Black Friday Weekend Shopping – Free shipping on US orders of $25 or more with code!

Greetings, Black Friday – Small Business Saturday – Cyber Monday art shoppers!   To thank you for your business, I’m offering a special Coupon Code this long weekend in my Etsy shop. (Click the pic above to visit.) Spend a minimum of $25, and I’ll ship your order anywhere in the US for free! Be sure to enter this code at check-out:  FREESHIP25

Many thanks for visiting. Jingle jingle!

Got Stocking Stuffers?

stocking stuffers 2 2015 c

I hear them in the distance… jingle bells!  Do you hear them, too?

The artsyletters elves (okay, I wish I had some elves!) are busy, busy adding new items in ye olde Etsy shop.  I’ve matting the fronts of some of the note cards to make great little ready-to-frame mini prints – just $4.75! And I’m always adding new vintage typewriter key jewelry and such.

Keep checking back as we steer the sleigh toward Black Friday and Cyber Monday and beyond.  And if you need some stocking stuffers before we all stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving… :0)

stocking stuffers 2015 1 c

If you’re in the Beaufort area, I’ll be hosting a Holiday Open House in my studio on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. – stop by before the boat parade!

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.

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.