Click here to read my Spring newsletter! Thanks for all your support, and wishing you and yours health and peace in these days.
This Friday, March 1 from 5 to 8 p.m., downtown Beaufort celebrates the 5th anniversary of FIRST FRIDAY!
Kick off March with a “Stop and Shop” evening in downtown Beaufort this week. Thanks to the hard work of many, spearheaded by Mary and Eric at Thibault Gallery, FIRST FRIDAY is celebrating its 5th anniversary. (Thibault Gallery is, too – go by and give them some love!)
I’ll be hanging out at the clock downtown with Rhonda and Bernadette from the City of Beaufort. Come by and say hello! And then go check on Jeff, who will be minding the store at my studio at 811 Bay Street upstairs, with help from the wonderful Kim Poovey. Need some “literary art with a vintage vibe”? We’ve got you covered with my handcrafted gifts for readers and writers. Many of my items are also available at The Beaufort Emporium – be sure to enjoy the unique gifts and treats you can find there, seven days a week!
Enjoy an evening of strolling, entertainment, refreshments, catching up with old friends and making new ones – and maybe a little local shopping and dining! (If it sprinkles, we won’t let it dampen our spirits. It will just help green up our beautiful town for March.) See you Friday evening!
Happy Holidaysd! Join us in the Studio at 811 Bay Street (upstairs) for NIGHT ON THE TOWN! 5-8 p.m. We’ll have Special Guest Kim Poovey! And DICKENS’ MICE! And Wassail!
And LOTS of fun and shopping downtown… perfect way to ring in the Season!
See you there – :0)
It might still feel like summer, but technically, it’s fall – and the holidays will be here before we know it! Kick the season off with a fun afternoon playing with vintage finds and creating with new friends. Folks from my spring mixed media workshop at Coastal Art Supply (click here for their contact info) asked for more, so I’m offering an Upcycled Holiday Ornament Workshop on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
All materials provided, including vintage postage stamps, antique ribbon, vintage text, vintage brass file cabinet label holders, vintage beads and charms, and vintage clock chain! Participants will learn collage tips and how to work with jump rings.
Make something for yourself, or to check off a name on your gift list! Sign up at Coastal Art Supply in downtown Beaufort, SC, or contact me for more info. :0)
What fun! I was honored and thrilled to present a found poem-mixed media workshop here in Beaufort last week, downtown at Coastal Art Supply, just a block from my studio. We had a full table with nine folks, with lots of earnest creating and snips of scissors. (This was a more intimate version of the Found Poem Makerspace workshop I presented in Bellingham, Washington, in the fall of 2016 with a few dozen children’s poets and other brave creative souls. Revisit that link for more of the step-by-step process.)
Our text for finding poems, also serving as our substrate (surface) were Edu-cards from the 1960s or so. I offered a choice of “shell” or “butterfly,” with complementary vintage bookplates, postage stamps, and bits of stamped brass bling. Of course, the actual subject of the poem and visual elements were up to each artist! That’s the fun part. The art (made in just two hours!) was tucked into a 5X7 mat, ready to pop into a frame.
Jill made this gorgeous piece:
take a hike
in the spring encountering
Every roadway while
rise in clouds
Being strong intelligent
Yes! Butterflies as strong and successful!
For her collage, Jill’s daughter Sierra conjured up WONDER, from an Edu-card with text about a shell. (I’m featuring this poem over on my author blog for Poetry Friday, too!)
grace beauty perfect
But, let’s stop and think. Maybe it is
I just love that – and the cool tones and mysterious palette Sierra chose to illustrate it.
I was thrilled to have Kim Poovey, author and historic reenactress, join the party! She came with her creative mother, Karen. In fact, we ended up with three mother-daughter sets – an extra fun element to our creative afternoon. Can you tell Kim is a novelist from her workshop piece below? She picked some lovely language, including “…winged creatures/fairies arising/ nightly wanderings/Luna glow….”
Here’s one last sample from the day – ALL of the pieces were unique and beautiful! This colorful creation is from Mikka Dutton:
I love that Mikka included the “From the Library Of” part of the bookplate(!) and followed that with some sassy introductory lines and images – “one courtly/highly prized/”hard to get”/as well…..”
I am always surprised and delighted by what folks come up with, and it’s magical to me to see individual personalities shine through the choices of words, elements, colors, and the particular combinations of all of these.
MANY thanks to all of our afternoon creators – and thank you for letting me share your work. Thanks also for asking if I would offer another workshop sometime – I am DEFINITELY game! :0) If you’d like me to keep your email address handy for info about future classes, toss me a line at Robyn@artsyletters.com
Want to learn fun tips and techniques to create a one-of-a-kind collage? In this two-hour workshop, we’ll use vintage elements to make a found poem/mixed media piece matted to 5X7 and ready to frame. Take what you learn with you to make more fun art on your own! Several customers have asked for fun artsy-crafty class, and I’m delighted to offer this as my first class in Beaufort.
No experience required – just an interest in words, art, imagination, and magical creations. I’ll supply scissors and adhesives & such in addition to all components.
Date: March 23, 2018
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Coastal Art Supply, 216 West Street, Beaufort, SC
Cost: $35 includes all materials. $15 deposit, refundable until March 22. Sign up at Coastal Art Supply or with Robyn – email@example.com or 770-654-8104
(Minimum number of attendees required; maximum number of 10.)
What’s in store? It will be a more intimate version of the workshop I offered in Bellingham, Washington, just over a year ago. Click HERE for the blog post about it, including links to posts from participants!
Hope to see you there,
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
When the magnet tops were dry, I glued on each lovely textur-y square.
And, added ANOTHER layer of gloss medium on top, being sure sides were coated all the way around as well.
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.
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)
Happy Thanksgiving! This Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend, any order of $25 or more in my Etsy shop ships FREE! :0)
Greetings, Art and Writer Peeps!
I was thrilled this year when asked by our SCBWI Southern Breeze region (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) if I would lend my “Writer Mouse” illustration image for use in the annual Writing Contest logo. (Thanks, Cathy Hall, for the suggestion.)
This creative little creature hangs out in my Etsy shop, in the form of a print matted to 8X10, in a smaller version in a fun mini frame, and in a diminutive version on Christmas ornaments closer to the holidays. (The larger pen & ink/pencil original was purchased by a friend.)
Now this Mousie is online and lookin’ fine… thanks to the amazing talents of TeMika Grooms, SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator, who added the perfect doses of digital magic. (I asked her if she’d come make a similar transformation to my house?!)
What about that contest, you ask? Each year, SCBWI Southern Breeze sponsors a free writing contest judged by industry professionals – entries must be received by June 30! The contest is open to Current SCBWI members in the Southern Breeze Region and those who have attended the previous WIK or Springmingle Conference. Find all the details here. (And if you enter, good luck!)
SCBWI also sponsors an Illustration Contest in January in memory of one of our beloved and oh-so-talented members, Liz Conrad, who left us much too soon. Find out about that contest here too.
If you are interested in writing or illustrating for children, SCBWI should be your first stop! (After the library, of course.) :0)
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.