Close-ups (beds)

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The first image in this series of bed pictures is an illustration for a poem called Tumbling, which is included in my 1997 poetry anthology, You and Me:Poems of Friendship. Then there’s a page from my 2001 picture book In the Heart, which was written by Ann Turner. Copies of In the Heart are available in my Etsy Shop

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“Are the children in their beds?” from my Wee Willie Winkie board book.

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And here’s “my son John, went to sleep with his trousers on” from Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. I offer autographed copies with a poster in my Etsy Shop.

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“Go to bed first, a golden purse” from Pocketful of Posies. See the touring exhibit of the original embroidered illustrations from the book. Next location: Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA, Sept. 4 ~ October 31, 2013.

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And here’s Elsie Marley, who won’t get up to feed the swine, which is also from Pocketful of Posies.

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POSIES comes home

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After 3 years of traveling around the country, I am pleased to announce that the original illustrations from my book, Pocketful of Posies, are coming home! They have returned to my home town of Falmouth, MA for an exhibit at the beautiful Highfield Hall, where the tour began in 2010. Don’t the banners look great hanging out front? The artwork has traveled thousands of miles, having been driven hither and yon and shipped across the country a couple of times. To see a list of all of the past and future venues, visit the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit Page.

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The show at Highfield Hall (Sept. 4 ~ Oct. 31, 2013) will be the last time that the complete set of illustrations from the book will be shown together. Well, almost all of them will be there. The Old woman who lived in a shoe had the opportunity to live in Azerbaijan, so she’s spending more than a year in the American ambassador’s residence. Read the post about it here. The old woman will rejoin the group when she returns from abroad!

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After the show in Falmouth, the collection will be divided in half and shown at two venues this fall and winter; the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA and the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA. Visit the Traveling Exhibit Page to see the show dates.

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After holding off for most of the 3 year tour, I am glad to once again be offering several originals for sale. Some pieces were sold way back in 2010 and the buyers have been patiently waiting all this time. The framed fabric reliefs range in price from $2,500 to $6,000. The exhibiting collection needs to stay all together for a little while longer, until the beginning of 2014. Then the buyers will be able to take possession of their pieces. Please contact Jen (jnemec@highfieldhall.org) for a price list of available work and information about purchasing a piece. Highfield Hall will handle sales during the exhibit.

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Out of the 51 total illustrations, I’m reserving about 20, making some Pocketful of Posies originals available to show. In the past, I’ve sold just about everything and it’s only in recent years that I’ve decided to hold onto some pieces, with the intention of exhibiting them. I hear all the time that seeing the real thing is a different experience from looking at the pages of my books. With this in mind, it is important to me that my work be shown in public places and be accessible to as many people as possible.

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2,000 Likes Giveaway!

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As of today, 2,000 people have “Liked” my Facebook page! I’m flabbergasted by the how rapidly my audience has grown, since it took me so long to welcome Facebook into my life (8 months ago). It’s different from my blog, in that I post pictures just about every day and share images that I find inspirational. Thank you to all of you who follow my work, either on Facebook and/or this blog. To celebrate, I’m giving away 3 signed paperback copies of my 1995 picture book, Mary Had a Little Lamb. You can see all of my books listed hereSince more than half of you are from outside of the United States, the contest is open to everyone, worldwide. To enter, please leave a comment naming or describing your favorite stitch. The winners will be picked at random on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013.

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Close-ups (emotion)

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One of the fun and challenging parts about illustrating for children is showing emotion and action, especially in fiber art, which tends to be static. To counter-act the stiff blandness, I like to bring forth emotion by exaggerating the poses and facial expressions of my characters. But there’s a fine line between evoking believable feeling and creating a grotesque appearance, much like the difference between acting well and over acting. I’ve seen some doll faces that are downright scary and bizarre. My goal is to portray emotion with a subtle firmness, without being too disturbing.

Nursery Rhymes are full of emotional and physical activity, so I had lots of opportunities to experiment with poses and facial expressions in my book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Here are a selection of close-ups from the book.

Do you want to see the original embroidered illustrations from the book? There are still several locations scheduled for the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit, which has been touring the country since 2010.

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artwork @ Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital

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I recently heard from the curator at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, who acquired some of my artwork for their collection in the 90′s. It’s been more than 15 years and I haven’t been very good about keeping records of where my work has gone, especially from the pre-computer days. I remembered that that my work was at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, so I was glad to clarify which pieces have been hanging there all these years.

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There are 2 original illustrations from the 1st edition of Mary Had a Little Lamb. The book has been out of print for years and a few weeks ago, I found a carton of them in my attic! So, I’m selling them in my Etsy Shop (while supplies last). This is a rare opportunity, because it’s practically impossible to find a new, hard cover copy, let alone an autographed one!

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The public can see these pieces on the first floor of the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. In addition to the 2 original illustrations, they’ve mounted the printed pages from the book along a wall, so people can see and read the whole story.

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Another piece, Falling Leaves, is hanging in the 2nd floor elevator lobby. It makes me feel good to know that families spending time in the hospital may have been comforted by my artwork, even if for a moment.

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Posies bookmark

PFOPbookmarksI had some bookmarks printed to advertise the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit. The image of “the old woman who lived under a hill” was chosen because the narrow vertical cropping provided lots of space for type. I’ve been including a bookmark with orders from my Etsy Shop if it fits in the packaging. I also distribute them to shops which sell Pocketful of Posies. Businesses that carry my book or quilting, doll making and needlework groups can request bookmarks by contacting me at weefolk@cape.com. Sorry, due to the postage cost, I can’t send out bookmarks to individuals.

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Destination Cedarhurst

PFOPpg44_45In the past few days, I have heard from three different people who’ve traveled some distance to see the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit at the  Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. I can picture carloads of quilters, embroiderers and children’s book from the Midwest heading down the highway, all converging in Mt. Vernon, IL. Let’s hope that there was a lot of chatting and laughter during the hours on the road  And some have driven quite far, from hundreds of miles away in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Cindy Gehrke told me about how she and two needle-worker friends took a 4 day road trip which included a visit to my show. MarySusan Farmer, who came with a group that drove the 2 1/2 hours from Springfiled, IL writes, “What a TREAT!!! Your artistry is so totally engaging it was beyond belief!!” And Louann Mattes Brown checked in after she and some other members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators had a field trip to the exhibit.

Added 4/15/13: Bonnie from St. Louis, MO just wrote to say that nine members of the Doll-a-holics ( a hands on soft doll making group) carpooled 2 hours to Cedarhurst to see the exhibit. She says, ” We were all overwhelmed by your intensity of stitches, the small size, and the dimensional quality that you created in each. What a wonderful day we had.”

I’ve also heard from quilters who are planning on taking in the Cedarhurst exhibit, which is only 1 1/2 hours from Paducah, KY and the The American Quilter’s Society Annual Show and Contest (April 24th-27). And while they are in Paducah, they can also see my piece,  Birds of Beebe Woods in the Fantastic Fibers show at the Yeiser Art Center!

I’m impressed that people are making an effort to see my work while it is within reach, even though they have to travel for hours! The exhibit will be up until May 5, 2013 at  Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. I’ve also heard from people who’ve driven long distances to see the other half of the book illustrations in Fresno, CA.  That exhibit runs through May 24 at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

Because of continued interest, I’ve decided to keep touring a select group of original Pocketful of Posies illustrations beyond 2013. At this point, I don’t have the time to send out proposals and search out exhibit opportunities, so I can’t target specific cities or parts of the country. I would love to have the show go far and wide and it all depends on which venues contact me. I am in discussion with a few prospective hosts who have asked about future shows. Inquiries from libraries, art centers and museums with a shipping budget are welcome.

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visit to Fresno

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We had a wonderful time doing book related business in Fresno, CA on Friday and Saturday. First there was the reception for the “Pocketful of Posies” exhibit, which is on display through May 24 at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

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Jennifer Crow and her helper Mai Sou Lee did a beautiful job organizing and hanging the show.

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On Saturday, I signed books at Petunia’s Place, a children’s bookstore in Fresno. 14 yr. old Sarah Riley came from a 3 hour distance to meet me. She started making fairies from Felt Wee Folk when she was 7. I’m impressed!

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Closeups: Spring

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Today is the Spring Equinox! Let’s celebrate the coming of warmth and the promise of the growing season. Here are some spring-inspired closeups of my artwork, starting with a house and tree, which I guess is from the first grade. Skip 50 years, to a group of details from some nursery rhyme illustrations in Pocketful of Posies. If you have the book, you can look carefully and pick them out.

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Fresno, here we come!

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detail from “Wee Willie Winkie” board book

Yes, the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit is coming to Fresno, California and so am I! 25 original embroidered illustrations from my picture book Pocketful of Posies, 10 pieces from my series of baby board books and George’s Chair will all be on display March 18 – May 24, 2013 at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

All are invited to the opening reception on Friday, March 22 at 6:00 pm. Rob and I will be traveling to California for the event and I will be giving a talk at 7:00 pm. In addition, I’ll be at Petunia’s Place, also in Fresno, for a book signing on Saturday, March 23rd from 11:00 – 1:00. We’re really looking forward to coming to California and hope to meet some of you on Friday or Saturday.

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detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

My artwork is included in the dual exhibition, “Golden Threads: Journey through the Picture Book,” in Fresno State’s Madden Library. Featured will be “Golden Legacy: 65 Years of Golden Books,” sixty pieces of original artwork from Little Golden Books, and “Pocketful of Posies: The Worlds of Salley Mavor” (co-hosted by the Fresno FiberArts Guild). I’m happy that the show will be up for more than 2 months, giving people plenty of time to come and see it.

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