new books in and out

FeltWeeFolk-1482Hooray! Despite all of the stormy winter weather during their drive across the country, FedEx Ground delivered my order of Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures last Friday before noon, as scheduled. A wee folk welcoming committee was on hand!

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I immediately opened the boxes and started processing orders because I wanted to mail a bunch off that day. Instead of being “hot off the press”, the books were “cold off the truck” as I opened to the title page and started signing them.

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I had prepared as much as I could beforehand, so all I had to do was sign and slip the books into pre-addressed mailers. Since then, I’ve brought several loads to the post office. Orders made in early January were filled first and will progress toward more recent ones. The rest will go out this week, so don’t fret, yours is coming!

These are all orders from my Etsy Shop (here), which include some extra goodies; an autograph, a winter scene poster (folded flat), faux flowers to make 2 fairies and a wee folk note card.

If you want to support your local bookseller, have them get one for you. My neighborhood bookstore, Eight Cousins offers signed copies, too. They’re having a book launch party on Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 pm. And there’s always Amazon, where today, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures is rated No. 1 in “Toymaking! They have an e-book version, which is a sensible option for international customers.

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Felt Wee Folk arriving soon!

feltweefolknewcoverblogI’m excited the report that my order of Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures is being trucked across the country this week! The books were printed in China and transported by sea to a west coast port. After being delayed by the Longshore Union’s work slow-down, I am happy to say that the shipment was finally unloaded and delivered to C&T Publishing’s California warehouse. For a while, I wasn’t sure if we’d get the books in time for the series of book signings and talks I’m giving (see schedule at the end of this post), but it all worked out.

It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for this book, so I’m relieved to know that my 15 cases will be here (hopefully) on Friday! All of the snow we’ve been having has made it easier to stay inside and get ready.

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To those of you who’ve pre-ordered the book through my Etsy Shop, thank you for your patience. It won’t be long before your copy is sent off. I’ve been busy preparing for the book’s arrival like an expectant parent for a new baby. My studio is stacked with 100’s of addressed US Priority Mail envelopes filled with extra goodies for my Etsy customers. Each book comes with a poster (folded flat), a wee folk notecard, and faux flowers to make 2 fairies. These items will also be included with orders placed after the book is released. And, of course I’ll autograph each book! FYI, Etsy now accepts credit cards in addition to Paypal. The book is also available through booksellers, but it doesn’t come with these bonus items.

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It was fun matching up color combinations of faux flowers for fairy petticoats.

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I got out my long-neglected collection of stamps and decorated mailing envelopes and thank you cards. Selecting which stamps to use was like picking out clothes from your closet — there are many choices, but you always end up with a few favorite ones!

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The mailers are ready for my international customers, too. I’ve already filled out the customs forms, so that they can be mailed out right away. Hold tight, before you know it, you’ll have your own copy to pour over. Then, you’ll run the risk of becoming hooked on making your own special wee folk dolls. Those of you who’ve delved into the first Felt Wee Folk: Enchanted Projects know what I’m talking about!

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UPCOMING BOOK LAUNCH EVENTS on Salley Mavor’s schedule ~ A collection of original dolls from the book will come along for show and posters will be included with book purchases:

Wednesday, March 4th at 7:00 pm ~ Artist Talk and book signing at the Lexington Public (Cary Memorial) Library, Lexington, Massachusetts. (In conjunction with the Pocketful of Posies exhibit.)
Sunday, March 8th at 3:00 pm ~ Book Release party at Eight Cousins Bookstore, Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Thursday, March 12 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ~ Book Signing at Gallery 65 on William, New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Sunday, March 15th at 2:00 pm ~ Book Signing and presentation, Return of the Wee Folk at the Sandwich Public Library, Sandwich, Massachusetts
Tuesday, April 21 at 7:00 pm ~ Artist Talk and book signing at the Newton Free Library, Newton, Massachusetts. (In conjunction with the Pocketful of Posies exhibit.)

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France (misc.)

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Toc, toc, qui est la? It seems fitting to start this post with an inviting door knocker, which we saw many examples of around France. Here’s the last selection of miscellaneous photographs I took last fall during our trip to Provence and along the Canal du Midi. There are doors, gates, grape vines, mermaids and vegetable gardens that somehow touched my fancy. I’ve enjoyed bringing you along on this visit to beautiful France!

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Castlenaudary, France

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Marseille, France

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Book Giveaway: Making Peg Dolls & More

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I am excited to be included in Margaret Bloom’s blog tour for her new how-to book, Making Peg Dolls & More: toys that spin and bring sweet dreams. This charming hard cover volume joins the author’s popular first book, Making Peg Dolls, with new projects that act as imagination boosters for children, parents and teachers. To enter a Giveaway for a copy of Making Peg Dolls and More, please follow the directions at the end of this post, just before the nifty book trailer.

51abssZ0qWLAlthough we haven’t yet met in person, Margaret Bloom and I have developed a mutually supportive online friendship. We share an interest in designing and showing how to make little play figures which are influenced by the wisdom of Waldorf Education. Our approaches are different; Margaret’s peg dolls are perfectly suited for children to make, whereas my wee folk dolls (Felt Wee Folk) require more handwork skills and are geared toward adults. Margaret’s books fill a void in the craft and toy world and I recommend both of her books to anyone who has children in their lives.

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In her new book, Margaret takes the concept of a simple peg doll to another level, introducing projects that animate the static wooden figures, sparking active creative play. The book sets the stage with a thoughtful Foreward by kindergarten teacher, Shaifa Oppenheimer, who writes, “Unlike many other sense-depriving toys, interactive screens and other products marketed to young children, which actually stand between the child and the true exploration of our beautiful green earth, this little book is an antidote and a balm.”

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The book is very well organized and written in a friendly conversational tone, like the author is personally explaining the process to you. Poetry and familiar stories linked to the peg doll characters begin each chapter, adding lively and poignant narratives to the projects.

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There are clear step-by-step directions for painting with non-toxic colors, dressing and decorating a variety of peg dolls that take the form of mobiles, tops, marionettes and other toys. She also shows how to make felt wall hanging scenes, with pockets for the peg dolls to call home. Helpful tips appear alongside the general directions and each project is clearly marked with one, two or three leaves, which indicate the skill level. The book’s simple, charming designs include just the right amount of detail to make the little figures eye-catching and engaging.

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Margaret’s Peg Doll books stand out as more than simply another series of craft how-to’s. They symbolize the reclaiming of childhood in today’s technological world and encourage the creation of toys that will be appreciated and admired long after the children are grown.

Margaret’s books are available at all of the usual online booksellers like Amazon as well as shops that also sell craft supplies for the book’s projects, such as Bella Luna Toys, A Child’s Dream Come True & Castle in the Air.

To enter the Giveaway for a copy of Making Peg Dolls & More, please leave a comment (on this post) which mentions your favorite childhood toy. The contest is worldwide and the winner will be picked at random on Feb. 15th. Here’s the book trailer:

You can follow the Blog tour and enter more book Giveaways by linking to these specially selected sites:

February 2nd :: The Crafty Crow

February 3rd :: Clean

February 4th :: Castle in the Air

February 5th :: Salley Mavor (Wee Folk Studio)

February 7th :: A Child’s Dream

February 9th :: Forest Fairy Crafts

February 10th :: Bella Luna Toys

Febraury 11th :: Ben & Birdy

February 12th :: Twig & Toadstool

February 13th :: Wee Wonderfuls

Snowed in bliss

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We’re in the middle of the snow storm, with lots of wind gusts. I thought I’d better write this post while we still have power. I love this time of year, snow or no snow, because the outside isn’t as alluring and you can stay inside and get something done. I don’t think I could handle living in a constantly warm climate, where nature doesn’t force you to hibernate!

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So, I’m taking advantage of this less distracting time and have been happily working on a piece that’s been on my work table for more than 6 months. This is a sneak peek at “Face Time”, which I’m not ready to show and tell much about yet. I want to wait until it’s completed and professionally photographed before fully sharing it. I’ll tell you this much though — it’s not my personal family tree, but a broader interpretation of humanity through time. My goal is get it finished this winter and the weather is cooperating nicely!

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France (buildings)

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I’m still organizing pictures from our trip to France last fall. Here I am, taking photos of the many picturesque buildings we saw in Provence and in the towns and villages along the Canal du Midi.

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Castelnaudary, France

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Avignon, France

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Villesequelande, France

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Villesequelande, France

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Avignon, France

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Millepetit, France

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Castelnaudary, France

Bram, France

Bram, France

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Toulouse, France

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Bram, France

Desire doll Raffle

Desire-19535This month, I’ve had the pleasure of making a special doll who represents one of my family’s ancestors. The “Desire Doll” personifies Desire Howland Gorham, who was born in Plymouth Colony in 1623 to John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, who both came to America on the Mayflower.The doll will be raffled to raise funds for my sister Anne Mavor‘s ground breaking art project, I Am My White Ancestors: Self-Portraits through Time. Her project involves much more than a genealogic study with a list of names and dates. She is striving to understand our ancestors’ motivations in a historical context. I am glad to be a part of Anne’s fundraising efforts and applaud her thought-provoking vision.

~ About the Desire Doll ~
Hand made by me, Salley Mavor, 4″ tall, stands on a weighted stand, extra sturdy bendable body, hand stitched, clothing made of wool and cotton, basket is made from coiled thread-wrapped wire, includes signed tag. This doll uses techniques taught in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures. This is a rare opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind, more involved and detailed doll, as I usually only make them for gifts or for personal/family projects.

~ To enter the raffle ~ Go to Anne’s Hatchfund page, check the green DONATE button on the upper right. Then enter your tax deductible donation, and choose the Special Desire Doll Raffle Perk. The raffle is being run by the not-for-profit grant making and artist advocacy organization Hatchfund. Donations will be accepted until January 31st, with the winner being drawn on Feb.1st.

Her planned art installation will address issues of immigration, colonization, slavery and war through the personal stories of 10 to 12 of our European ancestors, going back through the centuries, as far as she can research. You can find out about Anne’s project here. Desire-1445

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Anne as Eugenia Buchanan (1823-1898) in Orangburg, SC

Anne describes her exhibit this way:
I Am My White Ancestors: Self-Portraits through Time is a multi-media installation that uses my family history to explore the conflicted story of European Americans. It will consist of 10-12 life-size photographic self-portraits of me as my ancestors, printed on fabric panels and accompanied by short audio diaries from each ancestor’s perspective.

This idea grew out of my interest to understand how my heritage impacts me as a white person living in the United States. I was curious to examine issues such as immigration, colonization, slavery, war, and what life was like in Europe. I wanted to know how similar or different I might be to my ancestors, and what I could learn from their lives. Claiming connection to my family history is also one step towards taking responsibility for the past.

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In a recent update about her project, Anne wrote, “My research continues to turn up gems of information. I just learned more about the life of Desire Howland Gorham who will be my 17th Century self-portrait. She was born in 1623 in Plymouth Colony. Her husband John Gorham was an officer in King Phillip’s War, the last stand of Chief Metacomet and the Narragansett Nation against the English settlers in 1678. After the war, the victorious English soldiers each received parcels of former Indian lands, while the surviving Indians were enslaved or shipped off to the West Indies. Gorham died following the war and was buried on the stolen 100 acres he won on Poppasquash Neck in Rhode Island. Desire never lived there. After her death, her slave Totoo requested in his will that he be buried at the feet of his beloved mistress. War, slavery, and theft, contrasted with deep human connections.”

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