Elsie Marley goes to Concord

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I’m pleased to let you know that an original fabric relief illustration from Pocketful of Posies will be part of a special exhibit at the  Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts this fall and winter. My contribution is the double page spread of “Donkey, donkey old and gray” and “Elsie Marley, shes so fine, she won’t get up to feed the swine”. I thought this would be a good opportunity to revisit this piece and show some process photos about adding the border.

First, here are the particulars: Oct. 10 – May 3, 2015 ~ Good Night, Sleep Tight: Art from Children’s Literature will feature over twenty original illustrations from classic and contemporary children’s books woven around the themes of bedtime, dreams, and lullabies. My old friend and college mate Beth Krommes will also have an illustration from one of her wonderful books in the show.

I will also be signing books at  Author and Illustrator Day on Dec. 7th at the Concord Museum, Concord, MA. This event is held in conjunction with the annual exhibit, Family Trees: Celebration of Children’s Literature.

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After the illustrations were photographed for the book, I needed to make them presentable for their next life as framed works of art. I cut out pieces of felt to make a border and embroidered them with my initials and the date. Although it took 3 years to make all 51 pieces, I treated the collection as one work and dated each piece 2010, the book’s publication date. Then, I stitched the felt scene and border onto a stretched piece of upholstery fabric. And last, but not least, my husband Rob built wooden shadow box frames for all of them, which you can see here. See posts about making more of the borders here.

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Noah’s Ark Poster

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I am pleased to announce the addition of another 18″ x 24″ poster to my Etsy Shop. The poster is new, but the original NOAH’S ARK piece was made 28 years ago!

I remember working on it during a transitional period, when I created animals that were similar in size and style to my pins (see them here), which I sewed to dyed and appliqued cotton velveteen background fabric. The animal’s legs are formed with tube beads. I also remember finding the orange upholstery fabric that’s around the border while shopping at a large fabric store in Berkeley, CA. I can recall playing around and re-positioning the animals for a long time until they looked right. It was also during a time when I fell in love with hand embroidering little leaves on bushes and trees. You can see some details of the animals and landscape below.

The NOAH’S ARK Poster is available from my Etsy Shop here.

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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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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