Studio peek-a-boo

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I just wanted to show that I am indeed working in my studio these days, a lot. Every day, if I can manage it. I’m so tempted to show what I’m making in detail, because it’s exciting and fun, but that will have to wait until 2015, when my updated version of Felt Wee Folk will be published. With design pirating in the news (see Mimi Kirchner’s post about the Cody Foster situation here), I have to be more protective of my ideas, so I’m showing pictures with the dolls at a good arms length. The book’s deadline is only a few months away and I have so much to do before then! There are more new projects to make, rewriting and adding more directions, constructing scenes for photographing finished dolls, as well as getting good photos. Phew! I’m getting nervous, just typing these words.

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I recently put together a set to display a group of new dolls for the book. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what’s involved. As you can see, the domed hill top is an upside down wooden bowl, which is raised up with blocks of wood and covered with pieces of green felt. I brought the whole scene outside to have it’s photo taken. We had a short window of time to do the photography. The day before had been so windy that chairs were knocked over on our patio. Yesterday’s calm, cloud filled sky gave us even light, so I rushed to set everything up. It took about an hour to cover the hillside with moss and position the dolls.

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I propped up a foam core board with felt attached for the background sky. Rob took photos of the scene.

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Here are some more photos taken at a respectable distance. I’m reusing the precious moss in several scenes. As long as I keep working at this pace, I’ll get the book done in time.

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working on Felt Wee Folk – 2nd edition

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I really can’t believe that 10 years have gone by since  Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects was published! I’m grateful that it has had such a good run and is still in print. I’ve said repeatedly that I won’t be writing another how-to book and that I want to focus on exploring my art form. I still want to continue on that path, but the practical side of me has decided to take some time this year to update Felt Wee Folk. I want to do what I can to keep the book in print for at least another 10 years.

In the 2nd edition, the popular projects, like the fairies and dolls will remain and the non-doll felt projects will be replaced with new varieties of wee folk characters and more doll-making tips. This all doll version will have a new cover and about 30 more pages than the first edition. The second edition will feature many new projects for seasoned wee folk makers as well as yet-to-be converts, who are just beginning to learn how to wrap pipe-cleaner limbs. We don’t have a definite date for publication, but with the work I still have to do, combined with C&T’s production time, the book should be on the shelves sometime in 2015. And because the information is propitiatory,  I won’t be able to show the new projects I’m designing until the book comes out. Sorry, but that’s how these things work.

For now, Amazon is selling print-on-demand copies of Felt Wee Folk. They don’t mention that it’s print-on-demand, but it is. They also have a  Kindle version. The book’s publisher, C&T sells an e-book version, too. Downloading the book may be the easiest way for people from around the world to obtain the information without paying for overseas postage

feltweefolksI have a limited number of the high quality original edition in my Etsy Shop and will switch over to selling the print-on-demand version when those run out. Don’t worry, the felt purses, pins, etc. will not disappear - they’ll be available separately as downloads from C&T’s Pattern Spot, when the new edition is published. So, please be patient and enjoy the first edition for another couple of years!

Debbie from A Child’s Dream Come True just sent some beautiful wool felt samples for me to use in the new projects. This is going to be fun!

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Have you seen my new prints, which feature projects from Felt Wee Folk? “Humankind” and “Adopt the pace of nature” are available in my Etsy Shop.

Words + Images = 2 new prints

Print - Humankind

Print – Humankind

I’ve recently added two new archival prints to my Etsy shop. I enjoyed researching lesser known inspirational quotes to go with my artwork. The first image surrounds T.S. Eliot’s remark with an array of fantasy characters from my how-to book Felt Wee Folk. The milkweed fairy below was originally used in the background of Felt Wee Folk’s title page and is now the focus of Emerson’s wise words. The watermarks will NOT appear on the prints. I’m am slowly adding identifying watermarks to my digital images on this blog. Aesthetically,  I don’t like it, but with my images being shared all over the internet, I have to do what I can to protect my work from becoming just an anonymous picture with no trace of origin.

print - Adopt the pace

print – Adopt the pace

Closeups (sleep)

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This close-up of a wee milkweed baby is also pictured in my newest card, which you can see in my Etsy shop here. She’s less than 2″ long.

ITHmoonnightWMThe best bedtime stories end with a sleeping child. This is a detail from the last illustration from my 2001 picture book, In the Heart.

gotobedWM“Go to bed second, a golden pheasant.” detail from Pocketful of Posies.

birdasleepWMThis sleeping bird is from my first book, The Way Home. Read about the making of this book here.

PFOPpg37WMLittle Boy Blue is asleep under the haystack. detail from Pocketful of Posies.

PFOPpg55WM“To bed, to bed”, says sleepy head. Detail from Pocketful of Posies.

sleepingonstoneWMA slumbering fairy on the warm rocks. He’s 2″ long.

PFOPsleepWMOne shoe off, the other shoe on, deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John. Detail from Pocketful of Posies.

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Are the children in their beds? Detail from Wee Willie Winkie board book.

Family Trees: more ornaments

Jack and Jill by Salley Mavor

Before we leave on our trip, I want to show more pictures of my Pocketful of Posies tree. To see these ornaments in person, visit the Family Trees event at the Concord Museum, which will continue until January 1st, 2013. Time is limited, so I’m just going to post pictures. Can you guess which nursery rhymes are depicted in the individual ornaments?

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Family Tree02 by Salley Mavor

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Queen of hearts by Salley Mavor

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Crooked Man by Salley Mavor

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Old King Cole by Salley Mavor

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Polly is going to Antarctica!

Congratulations to quilt designer Erin Russek, who not only answered correctly that Polly is going on a cruise to Antarctica, but was the first person to write in an answer! She will be getting a personally autographed copy of Mary Had a Little Lamb. There were some great guesses for places all over, including several countries along the Andes. I hope that Polly’s new outfit keeps her warm in Antarctica–she insisted on wearing her skirt, though!  We will be going through South America and stopping in warm Santiago, Chile for a night on the way to the tip of Argentina, where we will board a ship. We’ll try to send pictures from down under, depending on internet excess. If not, see you in a few weeks!

Where is Polly Doll going next?

Polly Doll is going on a trip next month and her regular outfit will not do! She loved Oregon (see here) and San Francisco (see here), but missed the flight to Ireland. For this next excursion, she is determined to go along. She will need to bring  some warm clothes to wear. Can you guess where she’s going?

She’ll be leaving her straw hat at home and will wear her new red coat and hat, warm mittens and Ugg style boots (size 3/4″).

This is a clue: Polly will be heading south from her home on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The first person to answer correctly (on this blog) before she leaves in a week, gets a prize. International contestants are welcome!

The prize is…

an autographed paperback copy of my book, Mary Had a Little Lamb. Good Luck! Oh, and I will be tagging along, too. That means my Etsy shop will be on vacation from Dec. 6 to 20, so order early for Christmas!

Family Trees: Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…in a Christmas tree? This was one of the first ornaments I made for the Family Trees event at the Concord Museum. And, it is one of the few that I remembered to photograph during the process. The tree is covered with decorations based on my picture book Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. This sketch of Humpty Dumpty is originally about 1 inch tall.

While working on it, I figured out how to make a wooden shelf for the wall to sit on. Every thing is covered in stitched felt, including the wood shelf, wall and the teardrop shaped wire frame. I bought an egg sized wooden egg at a craft store, painted it and dressed the round body in embroidered striped felt “pants”. A white belt made of antique trim finished off the waste band.

I drilled holes for the arms and legs and wrapped the wire hands and pipe cleaner limbs with thread. A bow tie seemed appropriate for this dandy!

I sewed some wee felt shoes onto his feet, with chain-stitched soles.

I’ve had the little brown metal bowler for ages and decided it would be a perfect hat for Humpty. White glue holds it aloft his pointy head. I made the stone wall from an appliqued felt covered piece of wood.

Humpty Dumpty waves cheerfully from his stone perch, unaware of his impending fall! See all of the posts about the Pocketful of Posies tree here.

A total of 38 decorated trees inspired by classic and contemporary children’s books are on display at the Concord Museum until January 1, 2013.