new books in and out

FeltWeeFolk-1482Hooray! Despite all of the stormy winter weather during their drive across the country, FedEx Ground delivered my order of Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures last Friday before noon, as scheduled. A wee folk welcoming committee was on hand!

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I immediately opened the boxes and started processing orders because I wanted to mail a bunch off that day. Instead of being “hot off the press”, the books were “cold off the truck” as I opened to the title page and started signing them.

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I had prepared as much as I could beforehand, so all I had to do was sign and slip the books into pre-addressed mailers. Since then, I’ve brought several loads to the post office. Orders made in early January were filled first and will progress toward more recent ones. The rest will go out this week, so don’t fret, yours is coming!

These are all orders from my Etsy Shop (here), which include some extra goodies; an autograph, a winter scene poster (folded flat), faux flowers to make 2 fairies and a wee folk note card.

If you want to support your local bookseller, have them get one for you. My neighborhood bookstore, Eight Cousins offers signed copies, too. They’re having a book launch party on Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 pm. And there’s always Amazon, where today, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures is rated No. 1 in “Toymaking! They have an e-book version, which is a sensible option for international customers.

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Book Giveaway: Making Peg Dolls & More

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I am excited to be included in Margaret Bloom’s blog tour for her new how-to book, Making Peg Dolls & More: toys that spin and bring sweet dreams. This charming hard cover volume joins the author’s popular first book, Making Peg Dolls, with new projects that act as imagination boosters for children, parents and teachers. To enter a Giveaway for a copy of Making Peg Dolls and More, please follow the directions at the end of this post, just before the nifty book trailer.

51abssZ0qWLAlthough we haven’t yet met in person, Margaret Bloom and I have developed a mutually supportive online friendship. We share an interest in designing and showing how to make little play figures which are influenced by the wisdom of Waldorf Education. Our approaches are different; Margaret’s peg dolls are perfectly suited for children to make, whereas my wee folk dolls (Felt Wee Folk) require more handwork skills and are geared toward adults. Margaret’s books fill a void in the craft and toy world and I recommend both of her books to anyone who has children in their lives.

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In her new book, Margaret takes the concept of a simple peg doll to another level, introducing projects that animate the static wooden figures, sparking active creative play. The book sets the stage with a thoughtful Foreward by kindergarten teacher, Shaifa Oppenheimer, who writes, “Unlike many other sense-depriving toys, interactive screens and other products marketed to young children, which actually stand between the child and the true exploration of our beautiful green earth, this little book is an antidote and a balm.”

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The book is very well organized and written in a friendly conversational tone, like the author is personally explaining the process to you. Poetry and familiar stories linked to the peg doll characters begin each chapter, adding lively and poignant narratives to the projects.

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There are clear step-by-step directions for painting with non-toxic colors, dressing and decorating a variety of peg dolls that take the form of mobiles, tops, marionettes and other toys. She also shows how to make felt wall hanging scenes, with pockets for the peg dolls to call home. Helpful tips appear alongside the general directions and each project is clearly marked with one, two or three leaves, which indicate the skill level. The book’s simple, charming designs include just the right amount of detail to make the little figures eye-catching and engaging.

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Margaret’s Peg Doll books stand out as more than simply another series of craft how-to’s. They symbolize the reclaiming of childhood in today’s technological world and encourage the creation of toys that will be appreciated and admired long after the children are grown.

Margaret’s books are available at all of the usual online booksellers like Amazon as well as shops that also sell craft supplies for the book’s projects, such as Bella Luna Toys, A Child’s Dream Come True & Castle in the Air.

To enter the Giveaway for a copy of Making Peg Dolls & More, please leave a comment (on this post) which mentions your favorite childhood toy. The contest is worldwide and the winner will be picked at random on Feb. 15th. Here’s the book trailer:

You can follow the Blog tour and enter more book Giveaways by linking to these specially selected sites:

February 2nd :: The Crafty Crow

February 3rd :: Clean

February 4th :: Castle in the Air

February 5th :: Salley Mavor (Wee Folk Studio)

February 7th :: A Child’s Dream

February 9th :: Forest Fairy Crafts

February 10th :: Bella Luna Toys

Febraury 11th :: Ben & Birdy

February 12th :: Twig & Toadstool

February 13th :: Wee Wonderfuls

Desire doll Raffle

Desire-19535This month, I’ve had the pleasure of making a special doll who represents one of my family’s ancestors. The “Desire Doll” personifies Desire Howland Gorham, who was born in Plymouth Colony in 1623 to John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, who both came to America on the Mayflower.The doll will be raffled to raise funds for my sister Anne Mavor‘s ground breaking art project, I Am My White Ancestors: Self-Portraits through Time. Her project involves much more than a genealogic study with a list of names and dates. She is striving to understand our ancestors’ motivations in a historical context. I am glad to be a part of Anne’s fundraising efforts and applaud her thought-provoking vision.

~ About the Desire Doll ~
Hand made by me, Salley Mavor, 4″ tall, stands on a weighted stand, extra sturdy bendable body, hand stitched, clothing made of wool and cotton, basket is made from coiled thread-wrapped wire, includes signed tag. This doll uses techniques taught in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures. This is a rare opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind, more involved and detailed doll, as I usually only make them for gifts or for personal/family projects.

~ To enter the raffle ~ Go to Anne’s Hatchfund page, check the green DONATE button on the upper right. Then enter your tax deductible donation, and choose the Special Desire Doll Raffle Perk. The raffle is being run by the not-for-profit grant making and artist advocacy organization Hatchfund. Donations will be accepted until January 31st, with the winner being drawn on Feb.1st.

Her planned art installation will address issues of immigration, colonization, slavery and war through the personal stories of 10 to 12 of our European ancestors, going back through the centuries, as far as she can research. You can find out about Anne’s project here. Desire-1445

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Anne as Eugenia Buchanan (1823-1898) in Orangburg, SC

Anne describes her exhibit this way:
I Am My White Ancestors: Self-Portraits through Time is a multi-media installation that uses my family history to explore the conflicted story of European Americans. It will consist of 10-12 life-size photographic self-portraits of me as my ancestors, printed on fabric panels and accompanied by short audio diaries from each ancestor’s perspective.

This idea grew out of my interest to understand how my heritage impacts me as a white person living in the United States. I was curious to examine issues such as immigration, colonization, slavery, war, and what life was like in Europe. I wanted to know how similar or different I might be to my ancestors, and what I could learn from their lives. Claiming connection to my family history is also one step towards taking responsibility for the past.

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In a recent update about her project, Anne wrote, “My research continues to turn up gems of information. I just learned more about the life of Desire Howland Gorham who will be my 17th Century self-portrait. She was born in 1623 in Plymouth Colony. Her husband John Gorham was an officer in King Phillip’s War, the last stand of Chief Metacomet and the Narragansett Nation against the English settlers in 1678. After the war, the victorious English soldiers each received parcels of former Indian lands, while the surviving Indians were enslaved or shipped off to the West Indies. Gorham died following the war and was buried on the stolen 100 acres he won on Poppasquash Neck in Rhode Island. Desire never lived there. After her death, her slave Totoo requested in his will that he be buried at the feet of his beloved mistress. War, slavery, and theft, contrasted with deep human connections.”

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Book Trailer

book - Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures

book – Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures

I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of my newest how-to book.
Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Dolls by Salley Mavor, C&T Publishing ©2015, 160 pages, 8″ x 10″.

Books may be pre-ordered from my Etsy Shop here. Your order will be sent when the book is released in late February 2015. Books ordered from my Etsy Shop will include some extra goodies; autograph, a winter scene poster (folded flat) and faux flowers to make 2 fairies.

Rob and I had such fun filming the process of making a fairy doll for this book trailer:

This long-awaited all-doll version expands the wee world introduced in the original edition of Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects (C&T Publishing 2003), with pictures, directions and patterns for making more bendable figures with a variety of hairstyles, outfits, and armatures.

Favorite doll projects from the first book, including acorn-capped blossom fairies and other fanciful wee folk make a return appearance. As requested by fans, more challenging techniques, such as wig making are added, making this book suitable for all skill levels, from the beginner who is learning the blanket stitch to the experienced embroiderer who relishes fine stitching.

The book is bursting with inspirational photographs of little characters set up in miniature worlds, from woodland scenes to doll houses, to fairy gardens. A certain type of person enjoys creating and looking into tiny, enchanting worlds and this book is for them! These dolls appeal to the child within you, no matter your age.

Take a behind the scenes look at photo shoots for the book here.

Upcoming book signing events (poster included with book purchase):
Sunday, March 8th at 3:00pm — Book Release party at Eight Cousins Bookstore, Falmouth, MA
Sunday, March 15th at 2:00 pm — Book Signing and short presentation, Return of the Wee Folk at the Sandwich Public Library, Sandwich, MA

poster - Felt Wee Folk

poster – Felt Wee Folk

New Felt Wee Folk posters!

 

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poster – Felt Wee Folk

I’m excited to show you these two new 11″ x 17″ posters that I had printed in anticipation of the publication of my upcoming book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Projects.feltweefolknewcover It was a family production; I constructed the scenes and made the dolls, my husband Rob Goldsborough took the photographs, and my sister Anne Mavor did the graphic design. All of these doll projects and more will be in the new book.

Both posters are for sale in my Etsy Shop for a very reasonable price. Sorry about the tacky “WeeFolkStudio.com” watermark across the center of the image — it doesn’t appear on the poster. To celebrate, I will be giving away the winter scene poster with the purchase of my book,  Pocketful of Posies  on Sunday, Dec. 7th during Author and Illustrator Day (1:00 ~ 4:00 pm), at the Concord Museum in Concord, MA

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be released in last part of February, 2015. You can pre-order copies from my Etsy Shop here. Each book will include an autograph, faux flowers to make 2 fairies and a Felt Wee Folk winter scene poster.

poster - Felt Wee Folk

poster – Felt Wee Folk

new Ltd. Edition Fairies

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Ltd. Edition Fairies; Holly & Birch and Lilly of the Valley

OK, I’ve learned to never say never again! 3 years ago (in this post), I announced that Pansy would be my last Ltd. Edition Fairy. Looking back, I needed to close that chapter of my career, so that I could move forward and grow as an artist. It was an important and necessary step to take, but I’ve found that the desire to keep my hands busy has won out, especially while away from home. The portable nature of wrapping bodies and stitching felt clothing for these wee folk dolls is perfect for traveling. So, for 2 years I’ve been slowly working on a group of dolls, with the goal of eventually selling them in editions of 25. In keeping with my original intention of banning mass production work from my studio, I only worked on them when traveling, in airport waiting rooms, planes, boats, and  trains.  This arrangement allows me to have a stitching “fix” while away from my studio and there is no pressure to complete the set of dolls by a certain time.

For those of you who are new to my work, these fairies are the same designs found in my 2003 how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects. The long awaited follow-up, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be published in March, 2015.

Well, the dolls are finally ready to show themselves and have been added to my Etsy Shop! Two editions of 25, Lily of the Valley and Holly & Birch have been created in transit around the world, across oceans and continents, including America, South America, Antarctica and Europe. The dolls will only be sold through Etsy with a credit card or Paypal, on a first come, first served basis.

What happens when these sell out? Will there more in the future? Possibly, but realistically, it would be a few more years before they make an appearance. It all depends on how much idle travel time there is!

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Working on fairy tunics on a train en route to Toulouse, France

Lily of the Valley has blonde braids, a green wool felt tunic and a white flounced petal skirt.

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Lily of the Valley Ltd. Edition Fairies

During our barge trip in France, Rob took this photo of me engrossed in stitching felt fairy tunics, while waiting for a lock to fill along the Canal du Midi.

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Lily of the Valley Ltd. Edition Fairy

Holly & Birch are a girl and boy pair with dark brown hair and black and red wool felt outfits.

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Holly and Birch Ltd. Edition Fairies

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Holly and Birch Ltd. Edition Fairies

New wee folk cards

A Wee Gathering

A Wee Gathering

In anticipation of my new how-to book coming out next March, I’m excited to be offering a series of new note cards. It was hard to narrow it down to six images from the many project and inspirational photographs in Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures. (Update: Pre-order autographed copies from my Etsy shop.)

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

A year ago, my husband Rob and I were busy setting up scenes and taking photographs for the book, which I chronicled in these posts. I’m happy to finally share some of the scenes, which give a glimpse into the newest wee world! Cards can be ordered from my Etsy Shop. Of course, the Wee Folk Studio watermark will not appear on the printed cards. They come in sets of 4 of the same image, or a 6 card variety pack. The new cards include A Wee Gathering, Winter Play, A Buggy Picnic, Beach Babies, A Family Outing and Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Wholesale inquiries from retail shops are welcome. Please contact me for a price list.

A Wee Gathering and Winter Play bring to life a variety of doll projects from the book.

Winter Play

Winter Play

A Buggy Picnic is in the book’s photo gallery. The book includes directions for making the little girl doll in the doorway, but the houses and insects are added for fun and inspiration.

A Buggy Picnic

A Buggy Picnic

There are lots of wee folk babies in the book. I used my collection of shells to set up this Beach Babies scene.

Beach Babies

Beach Babies

A Family Outing pictures a woodland family emerging from a tree trunk doorway.

A Family Outing

A Family Outing

A schoolyard full of children fills the Mary Had a Little Lamb chapter.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb