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Happy Holidays!

First,  I am so THANKFUL for my wonderful customers. Thanks for helping me be among Etsy's first STAR SELLERS in a new monthly program launched this fall.

You enrich my life!  And life has been busy since I last waved in the Spring. Scroll along for recent highlights and maybe a holiday gift idea or two. 

Lots of Boxes!
In June, we were fortunate to purchase a little footprint of space in the Upstate of South Carolina, a second home not too far from our kids in North Georgia and North Carolina.  The maples there have cloaked our hillside  in gold this month.
Also in June, I received an email that my downtown studio rent was increasing substantially, so I packed up seven years' worth of art supplies and vintage treasures and moved my whole work space into our small cottage here in Beaufort. (I  have a patient husband, as I'm still sorting everything out!) I do miss the historic building and the fun vibe of working downtown, but I'm a bit freer to travel now and stay up  working far too late.... 
One thing I love about downtown is the Christmas decorations.  For this year's holiday card (coming to my Etsy shop just as soon as I pick them up from the printer!), I created a little collaged streetscape inspired by the wreath-wrapped lampposts here, and in many small towns. 
The wreath and trees were formed from a copy of one of my antique maps; the red bow was clipped from a falling-apart cloth-covered spine of an antique book; and the architectural elements were made from papers and text from a couple of antique books, including old graphs and tables. I rendered the lamp in pen and ink, and added some gouache washes and more touches of ink to the building. The art will front a 5X7 card, with this message inside: 
 
Light-filled wishes
to you and yours 
Earlier this fall, on a trip to my hometown of Orlando, I dropped in on one of my favorite places growing up.  The Maitland Art Center (learn more here) was just a bike ride away from my house, and a frequent destination.  Its history and natural beauty and Mayan architecture, plus thoughtful and wonderful exhibits, still enchant me. An outdoor chapel is lovely and peaceful, and as I child I would ponder an inscription in the wall (author unknown), which still provides comfort and inspiration:

I stood at the gate of life and said, Give me a light that I may go safely into the unknown, and a voice replied, Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That will be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.


As for my writing life since Spring, I once again led a summer workshop for the oh-so-creative young participants in Camp Conroy, sponsored by the Pat Conroy Literary Center here. And I was delighted to be invited to be the featured poet in July for a lifestyle magazine, Local Life.  Several of my haiku were accompanied by a gorgeous photograph by Joan Eckhardt. 
I was also thrilled to be listed in Haikupedia, an ambitious online project founded by Charles Trumbull and hosted by The Haiku Foundation.  Here's a link to my page, with thanks to Ginnie Hinkle for the new head shot! Fall brought a poem in a new anthology by Bridget Magee, 10 10, another poem in Highlights Hello, and the contract for work in another anthology slated for 2024.  Also, my annual week of author school visits north of Atlanta as part of Cobb County EMC and Gas South's Literacy Week was a blast as always.  With authors in schools across several counties, and some visiting virtually, around 25,000 students were reached. 
Back on the home front, with my downtown shop shuttered, I've expanded my footprint at the Beaufort Emporium! I've now taken over an alcove behind my table, and a couple of lower shelves, too.  I'm slowly adding to my stock there, with notecards and bookmarks and jewelry and journals and such. 

I've had fun making mini shadow box collages with vintage elements (or reproductions of vintage maps and images I have, so I can make more than one of some designs). I'm also using vintage/discontinued rubber stamps I find, along with antique letterpress blocks and a few blocks made in England from vintage originals.
I embellish these with colorful Swarovski crystals.  This year, Swarovski stopped making their famous crystals, so creatives such as moi have been buying up what we can these past few months. A little sparkle goes a long way!


 
Couldn't stop with the gothic and nautical themes for these little shadow boxes.  I realized my vintage postage stamps featuring William Shakespeare and dear Emily Dickinson would fit nicely in some small cradled panels I have, if I turned them around and used the back as a shadow box.... (These are in my Etsy shop, and I can make more! Just click the pictures to see.)

 
Also for the Beaufort Emporium, I've made some new Beaufort Christmas ornaments with reproductions of a lovely 1892 map I have.  I still offer ornaments starring my little Writer Mouse, and the Bard.  And, I've just added Emily to the mix.



 

 
People are definitely meeting up in book clubs again this year, if orders of my Book Club Gift Pack Bundles are any indication!  It's always been a strong selling item, but this month, I can't make them fast enough. :0)

artsyletters  SALE  


Now through Cyber Monday, everything in my Etsy shop is 10 percent off.  No coupon needed! 
Please note that my processing and shipping times are longer than usual, as I'm happily covered up in orders. Of course, shipping - or rather, estimating shipping times - is a challenge again this year.  Be kind to postal clerks and delivery folks - they're doing their best in stressful situations! And be sure to order early. :0)

 
More of these coming soon....
Thank you for reading along and supporting indie artist businesses! 
Wishing you and yours much joy and good health this Thanksgiving and holiday season, and comfort if there is an empty chair in your home or heart.

Peace and blessings, Robyn 
PS - Instead of my usual Christmas postcard, I'll be sending a New Year's postcard!  If you're not on my snail-mail mailing list and would like to be, please email me with your name and address.  :0)  
If you’re a Lowcountry local, head downtown this weekend for SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY on November 27. And mark your calendars for First Friday/Night on the Town, Dec. 3.
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Check out my wares and those of several others at  The Beaufort Emporium, 905 Bay Street.  Pop in and see what Robin and her crew are up to – you’re sure to find the perfect gift for anyone on your list!  And if you or someone you love is a bibliophile, you must go see Nevermore Books in their beautiful new digs at 910 Port Republic Street- I have items there, too. 
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