Close-ups (birds)

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I’ve been using bird imagery to my artwork for a long time. The most recent is last year’s Birds of Beebe Woods piece, which has its own page here.

Let’s go way back. I embroidered the piece shown above in art school in 1974, when I was teaching myself different stitches. The little red bird below is from my first picture book, The Way Home (1991).

TWHbirdWMIn the sequel, Come to My Party (1993), the bird is given a name: Harold.

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This swimming duck felt pin is one of many projects in my 2003 how-to book, Felt Wee Folk.

feltpinsduckWMThis goose climbs up and runs down the hill in my board book, Jack & Jill (2006).

JJgoose2WMThe last three close-ups are from Pocketful of Posies (2010). Check the tour schedule for the exhibit of original fabric relief illustrations here.

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my garden

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Yesterday, I picked the last of the blueberries and the first golden cherry tomatoes from our garden. We have a wire mesh cage to keep the birds away from the blueberry bushes. Still, chipmunks manage to get find a way in and fill their cheeks to capacity. Unlike the birds, they leave plenty of berries for us!

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The lilies are just about gone, but the trumpet vine is flowering.

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My husband Rob took the closeup photos of wildlife and flowers found in our garden this spring and summer. You can see more of his great pictures on Flickr here.

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dragonfly

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baby quilt in process

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!

Close-ups (Cats #2)

Cat pin circa 1980

Cat pin circa 1980

It’s about time I showed more cat pictures because there are so many to choose from. Cats were the subject of the first post in the Close-ups series, back in 2009. This brown cat pin is over 30 years old. Read about my pins here. The baby leopards are from “Rana is Born”. The piece was the inspiration for Judy Richardson’s story, Come to my Party, which I illustrated in 1993.

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detail from “Rana is Born” fabric relief 1992

This costumed cat is a detail from “On Halloween”, which is in my 1997 book You and Me: Poems of Friendship. The whole illustration is printed as a poster, which is available in my Etsy Shop.

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detail from “On Halloween” 1997

This seated cat is from my 1999 book The Hollyhock Wall. 

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detail from “The Hollyhock Wall” 1999

This kitty is part of the faux tile frieze in my kitchen. Read about that here.

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Faux Tile 2001

And this cat topiary is from the verse “Molly My Sister and I” in my book Pocketful of Posies. Autographed copies, plus a poster are available in my Etsy Shop.

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

to the end of the world and back

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The experience of  being in Antarctica cannot be adequately conveyed in photographs and words. The continent is a truly awesome part of our planet, with an environment so different and extreme that my visit was as close to being on another planet as I’ll ever experience.  From the deck of our big comfortable boat, we saw this sailing ship, with some more adventurous tourists aboard. The monochromatic scenery was breathtakingly beautiful! And everywhere there was wild life to gawk at.

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We woke up a napping elephant seal pup.

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We had to bundle up, but the temperatures were mild for the end of the world–in the 30′s F.

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Being the height of summer, the sun was out most of the day and night.

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The elephant seals sang (or grunted), “There were 9 in the bed and the little one said, roll over, roll over.”

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Polly had a great time!polly

Throughout the frozen landscape, there were signs of growth, like these lichens and moss.

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mossThe adorable penguins won our hearts.

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And an occasional seal on an ice flow noticed our presence. Antarctica was worth the trip! My husband, Rob Goldsborough took many of the photographs I’ve shown from this trip. See more of his great pictures of Antarctica on Flickr.

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penguin pot holders

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Our trip to Antarctica has produced penguin fever! Luckily the local fabric shop had some penguin fabric to make pot holders, which I traditionally give for  Christmas. See a tutorial about making my style of pot holder here. I picked fabric scraps from my stash that reminded me of the Antarctic landscape, including a dark purple and blue Mari Mekko design I’ve had forever.

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Old cotton mattress pads work well for the padding.

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Striped sear sucker fabric cut on the bias finishes the outside edge.

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It’s time to wrap them in the penguin wrapping paper I found at the super market. Merry Christmas!

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Antarctica: birds

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We just flew into Logan after about 24 hours of traveling, beginning in Ashuaia, Argentina, to Santiago Chile, to Atlanta to Boston. After a day of flying and while we wait in the airport to catch the bus to the Cape, I thought I’d write a post and show you the splendid birds we saw in Antarctica. Some were seen from the boat and others we saw on land. Can you guess what they are? Answers at the end of this post.

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Birds, top to bottom: Cape petrel, Antarctic fulmar, Cape petrel, Giant Antarctic petrel, Giant Antarctic petrel, petrel, Giant Antarctic petrel.