New wee folk cards

A Wee Gathering

A Wee Gathering

In anticipation of my new how-to book coming out next March, I’m excited to be offering a series of new note cards. It was hard to narrow it down to six images from the many project and inspirational photographs in Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures.

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

A year ago, my husband Rob and I were busy setting up scenes and taking photographs for the book, which I chronicled in these posts. I’m happy to finally share some of the scenes, which give a glimpse into the newest wee world! Cards can be ordered from my Etsy Shop. Of course, the Wee Folk Studio watermark will not appear on the printed cards. They come in sets of 4 of the same image, or a 6 card variety pack. The new cards include A Wee Gathering, Winter Play, A Buggy Picnic, Beach Babies, A Family Outing and Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Wholesale inquiries from retail shops are welcome. Please contact me for a price list.

A Wee Gathering and Winter Play bring to life a variety of doll projects from the book.

Winter Play

Winter Play

A Buggy Picnic is in the book’s photo gallery. The book includes directions for making the little girl doll in the doorway, but the houses and insects are added for fun and inspiration.

A Buggy Picnic

A Buggy Picnic

There are lots of wee folk babies in the book. I used my collection of shells to set up this Beach Babies scene.

Beach Babies

Beach Babies

A Family Outing pictures a woodland family emerging from a tree trunk doorway.

A Family Outing

A Family Outing

A schoolyard full of children fills the Mary Had a Little Lamb chapter.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Polly’s trip to France

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Polly doll had a wonderful time on her first trip to France! She got up close and personal to a large face and was introduced to some delicious food.

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She saw a model of what the city of Marseille would have looked like in ancient Roman times.

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She loved the brightly painted doors and shutters…

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and even met some of her own kind.

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She took in the view from atop the village of Les Baux-de-Provence…

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and climbed sedimentary rock.

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She saw some amazing wild life.

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She saw the same places where Van Gogh lived in St. Remy…

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and took shelter under some mushrooms.

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In St. Remy she visited the Glanum archaeological site…

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and touched the ruins.

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She navigated the Canal du Midi…

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and walked around the medieval city of Carcassonne. It was a splendid journey!

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France (lock houses)

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During our visit to France, we spent a week navigating a barge along the Canal du Midi. There were were many locks to go through and each had a cute  lock house, all with signature red tile roofs, and green doors and shutters.

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The canal was beautiful, with tall plane trees arching over, creating a shaded waterway. Our excursion included 18 friends from home, 9 couples who were divided into 3 boats. The barges were like floating Winnebagos, with accommodations for sleeping, cooking and eating aboard. Like renting a camper, you are given a key and simple instructions and off you go! Some of us rode bikes along the side path, faster than the barges, which puttered along at 5 miles an hour.

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Each lock had a keeper who operated the lock, which in this case lowered us down.

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I was so taken with the charming lock houses! The canal took us to several towns and villages, which I’ll be showing in future posts.

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France (store fronts)

Toulouse, France

Toulouse, France

We’re home from a wonderful trip to France, where we spent the first week gallivanting through Provence. Then, we piloted a rented barge along the Canal du Midi from just outside of Toulouse to Argens. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been culling through 1000+ photos, grouping them in my usual collections of windows, doors, streets, misc., etc. I thought I’d start the tour with the iconic images of French store fronts. I’ll be posting more photos over the next few weeks and will be sure to feature Polly’s adventures, too!

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

St. Remy-de-Provence

St. Remy-de-Provence, France

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

Des Baux-de-Provence, France

St Remy-de-Provence, France

St Remy-de-Provence, France

Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Marseille, France

Marseille, France

St. Remy-de-Provence, France

St. Remy-de-Provence, France

Elsie Marley goes to Concord

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I’m pleased to let you know that an original fabric relief illustration from Pocketful of Posies will be part of a special exhibit at the  Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts this fall and winter. My contribution is the double page spread of “Donkey, donkey old and gray” and “Elsie Marley, shes so fine, she won’t get up to feed the swine”. I thought this would be a good opportunity to revisit this piece and show some process photos about adding the border.

First, here are the particulars: Oct. 10 – May 3, 2015 ~ Good Night, Sleep Tight: Art from Children’s Literature will feature over twenty original illustrations from classic and contemporary children’s books woven around the themes of bedtime, dreams, and lullabies. My old friend and college mate Beth Krommes will also have an illustration from one of her wonderful books in the show.

I will also be signing books at  Author and Illustrator Day on Dec. 7th at the Concord Museum, Concord, MA. This event is held in conjunction with the annual exhibit, Family Trees: Celebration of Children’s Literature.

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After the illustrations were photographed for the book, I needed to make them presentable for their next life as framed works of art. I cut out pieces of felt to make a border and embroidered them with my initials and the date. Although it took 3 years to make all 51 pieces, I treated the collection as one work and dated each piece 2010, the book’s publication date. Then, I stitched the felt scene and border onto a stretched piece of upholstery fabric. And last, but not least, my husband Rob built wooden shadow box frames for all of them, which you can see here. See posts about making more of the borders here.

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Polly’s packed and ready

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Polly’s going on another adventure tomorrow! It took the better part of a week for her to figure out what to wear on this trip. She’ll only have one outfit, so it has to work for everything. Polly looked through her clothes from Antarctica, Ireland, California, China Town (San Francisco) and Cuba, but they were not right for this trip.

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Polly decided to get something new that was a little more practical and nautical; a simple blue skirt and striped top. An acorn cap beret fits nicely on top of her head, too. Among other things, she’ll be helping navigate a barge along the Canal du Midi in southern France. There will be so much to share when she returns in a couple of weeks!Pollyhousefrancedetail

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“Picking Peas” repair job

"Picking Peas" fabric relief 1986

“Picking Peas” fabric relief 1986

Do you ever think about how your creations will hold up in the future? Recently, I learned a lesson in the importance of using quality, archival materials. Back in 1986, when I made “Picking Peas”, I didn’t think about those kind of things. I used wire that was the right thickness and was not concerned about what kind of metal it was. It’s my style to use materials I find around, instead of buying everything new. Over the years, using found materials has helped me explore new ways of working. Odd pieces of this and that have pushed me to make bolder design decisions that I would otherwise have made if I just used thread and cloth. But, I learned that if you want your artwork to last beyond a few years or even a generation, you should be more careful about what kind of materials you use.

This summer, I borrowed the “Picking Peas” for my show at Falmouth Museums on the Green. When I picked it up from its owner, I noticed that some pea vines were an orange brown color instead of green. The owner hadn’t noticed the change, but I could see that rust had reared its insidious head! It didn’t help that the piece had been hanging for almost 30 years in a house right on the ocean, with salt air flowing through every open window.

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It was clear that something had to be done before the corrosion spread further and parts started crumbling apart. I promised the owner that after the show was over, I would fix the damage before it was returned. This is my first experience with textile conservation, so I proceeded slowly and cautiously.  I worked on one section at a time, peeling the pea fence, one side at a time and removing the rusted wire vines. I decided to take the dry approach, and vacuumed away any fine particles.  Luckily, the background was made of dark upholstery fabric, which held up pretty well and camouflaged the stains a bit.

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I remade the vines, this time using copper jewelry wire and wrapped them with embroidery floss. I did my best to cover the rust stains.

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I added the glass peas and plastic leaf beads to the vines.

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This is how it looked after everything was put back together. You can hardy see the rust stains, which blend in with the brown background fabric. “Picking Peas” is now back with its owner, hanging just around the corner from a beautiful view of Vineyard Sound.

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