Irene’s wind

By the time Irene made to us, she was downgraded to a tropical storm. Here are a few photos taken at the Woods Hole Yacht Club before the height of the storm, looking out the fully cleared dingy pier and the practically empty harbor. I’m glad to say our boat held firmly to its mooring.

book store event & poster giveaway

I’ll be talking about book, Pocketful of Posies this Saturday, August 27, 11 am to 1 pm at  Eight Cousins Bookstore, 189 Main St., Falmouth MA. I’ll also bring along some original illustrations to show. I hope that some of you can come, even with hurricane preparations to take care of! Irene’s not expected until Sunday night.

It’s time for another poster giveaway! To increase your chances to win, sign up for an e-mail subscription to this blog or tell me that you are already subscribed through WordPress. Either way, leave another comment, for an extra point in the drawing. To sign up, click Sign Me Up on the home page side bar. Three winners (international, too) will be picked at random on August 31st.

fiddlers on the roof

As we were heading in from our mooring in Great Harbor we couldn’t help but notice  some house boats had rafted together in a clump, with people all over. They were celebrating a friend named Kenny’s 60th birthday, Woods Hole style.

Guests either rowed, sailed or motored to the party, tying up their boats to one of the rafts.

We were hailed aboard by Alison, the birthday boy’s wife.

There were fiddlers on the roof!

We visited with friends for a bit and motored back to shore in our skiff, thinking how we love living in this place!

tarpaulin cove

With summer’s end quickly approaching, we are getting out in our boat as much as possible. That means less time stitching in my studio, but there will be time for that this fall and winter. I tend to be a compulsive worker, so I’m trying to bring more of a balance of work and family/social time into my life.

We motored down to Tarpaulin Cove, which is about a half hour boat ride from Woods Hole. It’s one of the beaches that the public is allowed to use on Naushon Island, which is privately owned. But you can only get to these beaches by sea. The family trust that owns this stretch of islands keeps them undeveloped and natural, with just a few houses for family members to stay. It’s like going back in time a couple hundred years.

I walked with my friends down the beach toward the light house, passing the farm-house. We went through a stile, which keeps cattle from straying too far. Their pasture is inland, over the dunes, with a path to the water. The last time we came to the cove, the cows were standing in the water, cooling off.

We worked our way along the shore.

And climbed up towards the light house.

Where we could see across the sound, with Martha’s Vineyard in the distance. Looking out, I imagined all of the ships that have passed by this point or taken shelter in this cove. There’s a story about how during the Revolutionary War, British ships hid in Tarpaulin Cove, waiting to attack Cape Cod. They were spied and word got back to the main land in time for the militia to defend the shores of Falmouth.

3 illustrators get together

Last week, illustrator Ashley Wolff came to visit. We were classmates at RISD in the 70’s and haven’t seen each other for several years, so it was great to catch up. She was traveling with her most recent border collie, Tula.

Ashley has illustrated a ton of beautiful books, including the popular Miss Bindergarten series, which features a border collie kindergarten teacher.

Miss Bindergarten is available as a stuffed doll, a perfect replica of the book character in her green pinafore. Ashley brings Miss Bindergarten along on her travels and she took a picture of her in my studio with my wedding dolls.

I invited my neighbor, Molly Bang and her husband Jim over for dinner, thinking it would be fun to introduce her to Ashley. It turns out they know each other already, from an illustrators group in San Fransisco, where Ashley lives and Molly lives half the year.

Salley, (Tula), Ashley and Molly

Out on our patio, we had a vegetarian meal made with my garden produce; tomato pie, zucchini pancakes, string beans and cucumber salad.

I’m glad to know such talented and nice people, who happen to be successful in the children’s book world. Here are some of Molly’s wonderful award-winning books.

fairy stools

People keep asking, “What are you working on lately?” I have to say that this summer I’m doing everything but making art. I would love to be stitching away in my air-conditioned studio, but there are too many time-sensitive administrative and promotional tasks to take care of and I’ve been traveling alot. It all has to do with my book and touring art show.  And it’s summer, so there’s the garden to tend, friends to entertain and on nice days we go boating. So, I’m planning on getting back to serious art-making in September.

On a recent morning, I saw two mushrooms growing side by side, along my driveway. The next day, I finally was able to take their picture, and they had grown twice their size.

I found a boy and a girl fairy from my bag of wee folk and positioned them on the stools.

One thing I’ve learned to do is take photographs early in the morning, when the light is low. The golden glow of dusk works, too.

The gentle morning light doesn’t create harsh shadows and it’s aimed from the side, not above, like the during mid-day.

This little girl fairy looks like she spilled a chocolate ice cream cone on her dress. There’s some kind of brown stain, but I didn’t wash it off because I was too much in a hurry to get her picture taken before the sun rose any higher and the mushroom grew any bigger!