Books, tree, dollhouse and Instagram

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There’s quite a list of business to cover here. I’ll begin with the news that I just set up an account with Instagram! This will be a way to share spontaneous cellphone photos of projects I’m working on and things I encounter in my life that I find inspiring, from the everyday to the extra special. So, if you’d like to follow along, here’s my Instagram address.

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Exhibits and a Book Signing:
This little goat (detail above) and a donkey and swine from pages 6/7 in Pocketful of Posies (below) are on public display at the Concord Museum in Concord, MA. It’s included in the exhibit Good Night, Sleep Tight: Art from Children’s Literaturewhich features over twenty original illustrations from classic and contemporary children’s books woven around the themes of bedtime, dreams, and lullabies. The exhibit’s up for a nice long run, until May 3, 2015, but this coming Sunday Dec. 7th is Author and Illustrator Day (1:00 ~ 4:00 pm), which is held in conjunction with the annual exhibit, Family Trees: Celebration of Children’s Literature. I’ll be there, along with other authors and illustrators, chatting with museum visitors and signing books. There’s a lot going on at the museum that day, so, if you’re in the area, come over and say hi!

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A few years ago, I participated in the Concord Museum’s Family Trees event, which I wrote about here. For the past two years, I’ve been using those same ornaments to decorate a tree for the Holidays at Highfield event at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA.

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My tree, as well as 6 original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are downstairs in the front hall and my dollhouse is upstairs. Holidays at Highfield is open daily from 10:00 to 4:00 until Dec. 7th.

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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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Closeups: leaves

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With autumn quickly approaching and the leaves close to falling from the trees, I thought I’d put together a group of leaf closeups. These images are all details from Pocketful of Posies illustrations. If you already have the book, you can have some fun picking out which pages they come from. The first image is about life size, but the others are blown up so you can see the stitching better. And yes, it’s all hand done. I’ve also got a leaf theme going on my Facebook page this month.

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Mothers

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On this Mother’s Day, I’d like to share some of my artwork that depict mothers. The domestic scene above is an illustration from Mary Had a Little Lamb. And the one below shows the kitchen in my book, In the Heart. 

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This detail from my Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion, covers the years when my children were very young and physically attached to me.

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I made this “Old Mother Hubbard” ornament for the Family Trees Exhibit in Concord, MA.

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And finally, here’s The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, from my book Pocketful of Posies which peels away the sugar coating of motherhood.

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Posies is going south in 2015!

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I am thrilled to announce that the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit will be going to the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina! This is extra exciting, because southerners have been clamoring for the exhibit to come closer to them. The show dates are October 17, 2015 ~ January 31, 2016, so there’s plenty of time to plan a trip to see it.  I have also been invited to do a book signing and give a talk at the museum sometime in the first half of November, 2015. An added bonus will be a chance to visit the area in SC where my grandmother was born and raised and where our Salley family has been for many generations.

Wouldn’t you know, just as soon as I announced that the exhibit’s 3+ year tour will be winding down, it has picked up momentum. Dana Thorpe, the museum’s director, contacted me last week and we quickly made arrangements. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m no longer actively seeking out new locations, but will respond to inquiries from interested venues. Looking at a map, Greenville is located in the north western corner of the state, near the North Carolina and Georgia borders. I am so pleased that folks from the surrounding cities and towns will be able go and see my original embroidered illustrations!

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Posies originals at Cotuit Library

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The next location for the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit is the Cotuit Library in Cotuit, MA, here on Cape Cod. Founded in 1874 and housed in the former village school house (1830), it’s similar to a lot of small town New England libraries that have slowly grown in size over the years.

Because of tall book stacks against every wall, there is limited exhibit space inside the many rooms. I managed to hang 24 pieces in the library; in a glass case, on walls and on top of book shelves. Finding all of the artwork will be like a treasure hunt. I’m concerned that visitors, especially children, won’t be able to see the detail closeup on several pieces that high up. The glass case near the front door is the best display area for getting a close look.

I’ll be giving a talk at the library on Friday, May 2 at 6:00 pm.

Although I’ve said that the “Posies” tour is winding down, it looks like the exhibit will live on, at least through 2015. If everything goes according to plan, I hope to announce a new venue very soon. I continue to hear from people who want to know how to bring the exhibit to their area. Since I’m focusing on newer projects, I am no longer sending out proposals and actively seeking new locations. But, l will respond to inquiries from interested museums and libraries. That’s how many of the 20 shows in the past 3 1/2 years came about. I am willing to drive up to 3 hours away (from Cape Cod) to deliver and pick up the artwork. That means all of Rhode Island and much of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Locations further away will need to cover the shipping costs. So, if you work at or know someone from an organization that may be interested in hosting the exhibit, please have them contact me.

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next stop on the “Posies” tour

Gallery 65 on William, in New Bedford, MA is the next location for my Pocketful of Posies exhibit. The work will be on display at the gallery Feb. 27 – March 29, 2014. I will be giving a talk at the closing reception on Saturday, March 29 a 3:00 pm. Please note: I will not be able to attend the opening on March 8th. We’ll be traveling (with Polly, of course) – location announced later, with lots of pictures.

I’m also happy to report that the exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA has been extended until Feb.16th.

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