Last week, students from the Prudence Island School came to visit. The school’s teacher, Eliza grew up in Woods Hole and we’ve known each other since childhood. She asked if she could bring the children over to my studio as part of their day-long field trip to Woods Hole.
The island school currently has a total of 8 students from the early grades to teenagers. I was struck by how well the 6 girls and 2 boys of such varying ages interacted. They were inquisitive and appreciative as they looked around my studio and they easily identified all of the birds in my Birds of Beebe Woods piece.
The students are even learning to embroider! Thank you for a delightful visit!
You may wonder, “Where is this Beebe Woods that keeps popping up in titles on my blog”? It’s a gem of a property (pronounced Bee-bee) in the center of my home town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, right on the edge of Historic Highfield Hall, which was built in 1878 for the Beebe family, who were prominent summer people. My Birds of Beebe Woods piece was made for last year’s exhibit celebrating the forest. Also, Highfield is hosting the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit Sept. 4 – Oct. 31, 2013.
This summer, the grounds and gardens of Highfield will be magically transformed into a “fairy” neighborhood, with small-scale habitats hidden throughout the property. Highfield has given me the exciting opportunity to curate The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit, which promises to be a popular event during the height of the season.
I got the idea from the Florence Griswold Museum in Lyme, CT, which has hosted several Fairy house events. See my posts about last fall’s exhibit here and here.
I’ve invited 2 dozen local artists to participate in the event and they’ve spent the last few months picking building spots, gathering natural construction materials and thinking about what to make and how to make it. Everyone will bring their own vision and sensibility to their structure, creating a wildly varied display full of architectural whimsy. The outdoor exhibit will be open June 20th – July 21, 2013.
This past winter, I made and photographed 2 models that could be used for advance publicity purposes. Since I didn’t use a glue suitable for outdoors, these won’t be in the exhibit, but I will have another house to show. I’m in the process of constructing a more weather resistant cottage that will be perched in a magnificent copper beech tree. I hope that many of you will have a chance to visit the exhibit this summer and for those of you who live far away, I’ll post pictures.
My friend Terry and I are at it again! We’ve collaborated many times over the years and our recent projects include the Woods Hole Village Quilt, nursery rhyme cookies and a wonderful wedding cake. Now we’re making a baby quilt for a friend who’s due to have her baby boy any day. Terry pieced and sewed together a trapezoidal grid of bright cotton fabric and I embroidered designs that had a connection to the baby’s parents. There’s their red truck towing their boat and their chickens and honey bees, along with other fun images that a baby can identify. The chain-stitched objects are from 1 to 2 inches in size. For the past month, I’ve been posting a new embroidery from this quilt every day on my Facebook page. Most of the quilt was embroidered in airport waiting rooms and aboard airplanes during our recent trip to California. When Terry puts the layers together, we’ll figure out how we’re going to quilt it. I’ll show the completed project when we’re finished. I hope that we get it done before he goes to college!
Working in miniature, there are many objects available for wheels; buttons, washers, snaps, key rings, etc. This series of images are mostly from my earlier work, starting with a detail from a piece I made in 1986. The wire bicycle is less than 2 inches long. Looking at these, I’m amazed that I had time to do all of the stitching because I had a baby and a preschooler to take care of. I remember working every evening after they went to bed.
The button wheels in this detail (below) from “Fall”, 1987, are about 1/2″ in diameter.
Skip ahead 10 years for this detail from the Sidewalks poem in my 1997 book, “You and Me: Poems of Friendship“. The car hub-caps are fancy coat buttons and the tires are made from black insulated wire. The stroller wheels are 1/2″ buttons.
Here’s a detail from “The Hollyhock Wall”, 1999. The car hub-caps are made from regular sized snaps.
The bicycle wheels in this detail from “You and Me” are made from the smallest key rings I could find, about 1/2″. The bicycle spokes are metallic thread and the helmets are painted acorn caps.
This is another detail from the same Fast Friends illustration in “You and Me”. That’s my husband Rob in the truck.
16 years later and I’m still making ice cream trucks. This 2″ embroidered one is from a baby quilt I’m in the process of making for a friend. Stay tuned for more quilt images!
I had some bookmarks printed to advertise the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit. The image of “the old woman who lived under a hill” was chosen because the narrow vertical cropping provided lots of space for type. I’ve been including a bookmark with orders from my Etsy Shop if it fits in the packaging. I also distribute them to shops which sell Pocketful of Posies. Businesses that carry my book or quilting, doll making and needlework groups can request bookmarks by contacting me at email@example.com. Sorry, due to the postage cost, I can’t send out bookmarks to individuals.
This was the most fun giveaway! Thank you to all of the participants– I loved reading your comments, with such entertaining stories and apt descriptions of your favorite birds. Tallying the count, every bird was acknowledged, but the flashy blue jay won the popularity contest. The crow, female cardinal and male cardinal (their pictures are below) also garnered quite a few votes of approval, too.
Soooo….the winners of the giveaway are Cindy and Jan Johnson. I will alert them by e-mail and send them each a Birds of Beebe Woods poster. If you are one of the 100 whose name wasn’t picked and you still want a poster (or note cards), they are available in my Etsy Shop.
Here’s a selection of houses we saw last month, while traveling around the rural back roads and towns of San Luis Obispo County, California.