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)

Shark Week Fun – Limited Edition Gift Pack for Shark Fans!

 

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Today the USPS issued some beautiful new Forever postage stamps, right in the middle of Shark Week.  I’ve tucked them into a limited edition gift pack with my shark note cards (commercially printed from an original hand-tinted woodblock print) and added a fun little metal bookmark with a vintage pewter shark tooth charm.  DSC02775 c

Lots of charm.  Lots of tooth….  Click here to check out! ;0)

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Artsyletter Elves Say Order Soon for Christmas!

 

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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…

 

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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!

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.