Hobbled/Hopeful July/August Update….

Greetings! After a follow-up at the orthopedist’s office, I was able to give the crutches the boot – :0) – but I’ll be IN the boot until the end of August. I’m only able to work on a limited basis in coming weeks, but I’ve re-opened my Etsy Shop online.  (The 10 percent off no-coupon-needed sale for July is still on!) Open Studio hours will resume in earnest for fall, beginning with First Friday downtown, Sept. 6, 5-8 p.m. (For next week’s First Friday, Aug. 2, come celebrate The Beaufort Emporium‘s 3rd Birthday!! 905 Bay Street. Cupcakes and nice give-aways!! I’ll be there, happy to mingle at ground level. ;0) )

Update – Hobbled but Hopeful….

Greetings! So, I managed to fracture the distal end of my fibula (at ankle). One should really be looking where one is walking instead of turning one’s head to converse, especially when there is a chunk of sidewalk missing.

I am very anxious to get back in the studio! It is up a steep flight of stairs, though, so I need to get the okay from the ortho doc’s office. Since I can’t walk to work at the moment – waa! – or drive, logistics will be a little tricky here in the immediate future, but – where there is a will, there’s a way, and I’m pretty strong-willed. I hope to get my Etsy shop back online in a few days. Thanks for all the good wishes!

Ahoy, There – Upcycled Journals/Sketchbooks!

Just washed up at artsyletters …

Upcycled journal/sketchbooks for your favorite creative pirates and mermaids! These 6X8+-inch blank books feature room for sketches, poems, and directions to treasure – buried on land or at sea. The covers are collaged with a copy of a c. 1745 map of the Carolinas coast, and graced with fun charms dangling from vintage clock chain. Inside each back cover is a vintage library card and pocket, with “Private” stamped from an old office stamp. The paper is acid-free Strathmore 400 drawing paper, 24 pages. Click on the picture to sail over to my Etsy shop, or visit my downtown Beaufort studio or The Beaufort Emporium on Bay Street!

A Bit O’ Irish Flair for St. Patrick’s Day…

Got an all-things-Irish-lover on your gift list? Or perhaps you are beckoned the Emerald Isle yourself? I’ve had fun adding a couple of items to the shop for the occasion!

The small upcycled journal/sketchbook features a copy of an 1888 map of Ireland that I’ve antiqued, plus some fun jaunty charms dangling from a bit o’ vintage clock chain. There’s a fun vintage library card pocket in the back, too, and 24 pages of best quality Strahmore 400 drawing paper for your thoughts or sketches.

The shiny gold bookmark also features a few vintage clock chain links, plus a vintage green lucite jewel connector and a fun, gold-plated steel tag, laser-engraved with a shamrock and these words: “A good friend is like a four leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.”

Wishing you all kinds of luck and magic this month, and green, if you are still snow-and-ice-bound in your corner of the world!

Here’s to an Art-Filled 2019!

Happy New Year!

Bundles of thanks to so many wonderful artsyletters patrons for making 2018 the best year ever. Join me for creative adventuring in 2019!

For the month of January, my Etsy shop will be open 24/7, but my shop hours in downtown Beaufort will be limited to appointments only. (You should see the organizing I need to do! ;0) ) I have regular freelance writing and art deadlines this month, as well as travel plans to see family and friends, so my actual studio will be doing a wee bit of hibernating.

In February, I’ll be open for First Friday and across all channels in time for Valentine’s gifting! Hmmm…. now what would your Literary Loves love the most? I’m restocking and creating new, fun items for you to choose from!

Wishing you and yours a new year full of blessings and wonder. XO

December Doings….


I’m tucked away making custom orders here at the start of December.  But if you’re a Beaufort area local, be sure to come on up to visit us for

NIGHT ON THE TOWN 

this Friday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m.!

(Special Guest Kim Poovey will be signing copies of DICKENS’ MICE, the cover of which was illustrated by yours truly.)

I’ll also be open a couple of days next week, or get in touch to set up a time to pop in the studio.  My Etsy shop is open 24/7 – :0)  Keep in mind the last artsyletters sleigh will depart on Dec. 19 – please get orders in before that date.  Thank you!

Ready For LITTLE WOMEN on PBS?


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Ready for the LITTLE WOMEN 2-part miniseries on PBS?  It starts Sunday, May 13 – Mother’s Day!  If you’re a fan or have one on your gift list, here’s just the thing to hold that reading list to the fridge or filing cabinet!

The vintage US Postage Stamp on this magnet features Louisa May Alcott’s beloved “little women” from the book, first published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The stamp is part of a series of Children’s Classics issued in October of 1993 (Scott #2785-88), four 29-cent stamps honoring classic books for young readers. Click here for more info or to order from my Etsy shop.  (Or click here for a gift set featuring this and three other classic children’s book magnets featuring stamps!)

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)