Close-ups (Cats)

Today, I’m starting a regular series called Close-ups, which will feature detailed images taken from my artwork. I’m having fun grouping different subjects for future posts. There will be close-ups from my childhood drawings, student work, sculpture, illustrations and fabric relief pieces, all presented in somewhat chronological order. The following cats are from my books, The Hollyhock Wall, Felt Wee Folk, Wee Willie Winkie and the upcoming book Pocketful of Posies.


feltpinscatWM For a tutorial on how to make this cat pin, see another post here.

from "Wee Willie Winkie"

from “Wee Willie Winkie”

from "Pocketful of Posies"

from “Pocketful of Posies”

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Block Island Retreat

A few weeks ago, some friends, my husband and I visited Block Island  for the first time.

 The ferry we took from Point Judith, Rhode Island was practically empty this time of year. We were struck by the pastoral beauty and quiet calmness of the island, especially now, in the off-season. In the busy summer season, the island population grows from 1,000 to 15,000. We are thinking of going again next summer, but will travel in our own boat from Woods Hole across Buzzard’s Bay. This selection of photos were taken by our friend, Keith von der Heydt.

Mimi’s pin cushions

Mimi Kirchner's Tiny World pin cushion

Mimi Kirchner inspired me start a blog because she makes it look so creative and fun. We first met in the 80’s at the Christmas Store, a seasonal cooperative  in Cambridge, Mass., which is now named Sign of the Dove. At the time she was making wonderful hand painted ceramics. A few years ago, Mimi asked me to be a part of an exhibit she was putting together in Arlington, Mass. called “Still Playing with Dolls”. We’ve been in frequent contact ever since and I’ve been following her blog, Doll, regularly. She is constantly coming up with delightful new designs, never the same thing over and over again. One thing we have in common is the almost obsessive compulsion to make things. Am I right, Mimi? 

Snowy Hill by Mimi Kirchner

Rapunzel by Mimi Kirchner

Mushroom House by Mimi Kirchner

In a recent conversation, Mimi mentioned that she remembers seeing some pin cushions that I had made to sell in the coop store decades ago. Here are some pictures of a house and lion I made in 1980, along with some pages from my sketchbook of that time. Now, with her Tiny World pin cushions in tea cups, she has taken the concept and made it her own, producing new beautiful designs at an incredible rate. I agree with Mimi, who says, ” I am a believer that there is nothing new in the world and we are all inspired by each other.”   

Mimi has taught Tiny World pin cushion classes in her studio in Arlington, Mass. and now has a pattern for sale in her Etsy shop. 

Lion Pin Cushion by Salley, 1980

House Pin Cushion by Salley, 1980

pin cushion ideas from Salley's sketchbook 1980

from Salley's sketchbook 1980