Posies exhibit in Greenville, SC


Last week, Rob and I visited Greenville, South Carolina, where I gave a talk in conjunction with my Pocketful of Posies exhibit. It was a pleasure to meet the people who came to see the show and hear about my work at the Upcountry History Museum  last Thursday. Before heading inside the museum, I couldn’t resist standing next to the enormous banner outside.

The museum staff did a superb job hanging the show! I’m happy to say that it’s the most creative and professionally presented installation I’ve seen on the five-year tour. There’s plenty of time to visit the show, which is on display until Feb. 14th, 2016. This could very well be its last venue, as I’m no longer soliciting new locations. Of course, it could be a different story if an invitation from a great place with funds to ship the artwork comes forth.


The bold choice of lilac purple walls really sets off the natural golden brown wooden frames. They covered one area with a 6′ blow-up of the “Wise Old Owl” and a screen, which shows my Rabbitat video and Felt Wee Folk book trailer on a loop. Signage with different versions and information about the rhymes hang below the framed illustrations. For this, the previous exhibitor, the Bel Air Library in Maryland generously shared their research about the rhymes with the Upcountry History Museum. To give an idea of how I make the figures, they laid out step-by-step parts in a display case. They’re the same ones I made and photographed for Felt Wee Folk. And last but not least, the black box theater lighting makes everything pop and sparkle!

Pocketful of Posies, Oct. 17, 2015 – Feb. 14, 2016 at the Upcountry Museum – Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina.



We really enjoyed our visit and took a few extra days to see a friend and relative in the area. I spent a wonderful day near Columbia with my cousin, also named Salley with an “e”. Her 5-year-old grand-daughter is also named Salley, so our family surname continues to be passed down. Our grandmothers were 2 of the 5 independent, high spirited Salley sisters of Orangeburg, SC. In this circa 1900 photo, my cousin’s grandmother has her father’s arm around her and mine is standing, 2nd from the left.


And we had a fantastic visit with my RISD classmate, Niki Bonnett, who lives in Asheville, NC. What an artsy, fun town! Years ago, Niki designed the poster and catalog for my pins, which you can see here. We could have soaked up the southern hospitality for a bit longer, but had to fly home.



fairy houses 2015, cont.

Fairy House blog-1This year’s Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit is larger than the 2013 show and it will be on display longer, too. The houses are holding up quite well and we’re confidant that most structures will stay intact until the closing on August 31st.There have been some instances of eroding moss and hot glue not holding parts together well enough, which backs up my personal bias against glue guns! But, the fairies have made repairs and are doing their best to keep up the neighborhood.

Each fairy house has a number, so visitors can identify the 32 locations around the Highfield property. Maps, with a list of house names and their makers are available inside during open hours. I hope that more of you can come see the show during its last month. A printable pdf file of the map is here.

Highfield Hall Open Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturdays & Sundays, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Grounds are accessible from dawn to dusk, except during private functions Fairy House map FNL-2a  For this year’s collection, I painted 10 more markers to make a total of 32.  IMG_20150424_155230Earlier this summer, I took pictures of some house builders setting up their creations.


Cynthia Rose – Eilonwy’s Stan

Cynthia Rose’s house is surrounded by a growing landscape.


Cynthia Rose – Eilonwy’s Stand

Kim Sheerin’s ceramic houses have stained glass windows, with lights flickering inside.


Kimberly Sheerin – Kimberland

Nicole St. Pierre felted her house and devised a paper canopy roof.


Nicole St. Pierre – Enchanted Baa Baa Hollow Cottage

She also planted miniature succulents around the base.


Nicole St. Pierre – Enchanted Baa Baa Hollow Cottage

The fairy family raffle for the benefit of Highfield Hall will continue until August 30th, so there’s still a chance to win! You can buy 3 tickets for $5.00 online here. fairyfamilyraffle

Up and fluttering

Fairy House blog-1When we got home from Sunday’s opening reception for the Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall exhibit, I told Rob, “It’s so good to have the show finally up and running.” He said, “You mean “up and fluttering.”  Yes, this collection of fairy houses is causing quite a stir here at the top of Highfield Drive, with more than a thousand visitors already. The display will be set up all summer, until August 31st, 2015. I recommend visiting sooner than later, because of weather related deterioration of the houses.

The morning rain cleared by noon, creating a perfect afternoon for families and friends to stroll around the grounds, searching for the 32 fanciful dwellings. You could see groups of all ages following the tour map. And everyone was smiling! It turned out to be a social gathering, too, with neighbors and acquaintances running into each other. One woman said, “I’m so glad to live in Falmouth, where we have a wonderfully creative community that puts on events like this!” She made me feel part of something bigger than just a group of people who like to make little worlds out in the woods. In recent years, I think that the fairy house concept has entered the collective imagination, bringing a much-needed lightness and sense of wonder. I owe a big thank you to all of the house builders who contributed their time and creative genius to making this show such a success!


I hope you enjoy this set of photos of people interacting with some of the houses. More posts with close-ups of the houses themselves will be coming soon.













Fairy Family RAFFLE!

fairyfamilyraffleI am excited to introduce my newest creation — a Fairy Family! All five doll-house sized  family members, Mom, Dad, brother, sister and baby were specially made for a raffle to benefit Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth (Cape Cod) Massachusetts.The raffle will be held from now until the end of this summer’s outdoor exhibit, the Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall, which I am curating again this year. If you visit this blog regularly, you’ll know that I don’t sell one-of-a-kind dolls, so this is a rare chance to have a unique family of wee folk, all hand-stitched by yours truly. At the end of this post, you’ll find information about the fairy house exhibit and purchasing raffle tickets online. But first, I want to show you some behind the scenes photos. Fairy_Family-1765 To make the fairy dolls, I gathered faux flowers in a purple and blue color scheme. For the felt clothes, I cut out patterns from my new book Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures. FAIRYRAFFLE1 The book also has directions for adding breasts to make shapely, more womanly fairies, instead of just flat chested nymphets. fairyraffle-1755 fairyraffle3I used some unusual acorn caps that have been hanging around my studio for years. For the life of me, I can’t remember where they came from. fairyraffle2 Here are the fairies on my work table, before they were given wings. Fairy_Family-1787-2 The children are already flying around and having adventures! fairychildrenraffle It’s going to be quite the fairy summer on Cape Cod! I hope that many of you will make the trip to see the fairy houses. And everyone, near and far can take a chance at winning the fairy family. Good luck! Fairy Family Raffle: 3 tickets for $5.00. Tickets may be purchased online or at Highfield Hall, where the fairy family will soon be on display. The raffle drawing will be held August 30, 2015. June 28 – August 31, 2015 ~ Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall, Highfield Hall and Gardens, Falmouth, MA. This outdoor exhibit, curated by Salley Mavor, will feature 32 fanciful fairy houses made by local artists, architects, potters, felters, woodworkers and fairy house aficionados.


Face Time premiere showing


For the past 9 months or so, while working on it, I’ve been offering occasional peeks at Face Time. This new piece deals with themes that I continually return to; passage of time, patterns that show change and growth, and connections between living beings.

It’s finished now and I’ll bring it with me this Tuesday, April 21st, when I give a talk at 7:00 pm at the Newton Free Library in Newton, Massachusetts. Face Time has been tucked away in my studio and has not yet been exhibited publicly, so this will be its premiere showing. It’ll only be on view for a few hours, while I’m at the library.


Face Time features a tree with a variety of embroidered felt wreath-like “cameos” with heads and shoulders representing a broad cross-section of humanity. The 41 individuals include a wide swath of characters that show changes in style over time. They branch out through history, from long ago civilizations at the tree’s roots, to present day portrayals at the tree top. It’s not my family tree, but a depiction of the world’s collective heritage.

In this piece, I’ve basically used the wig making techniques introduced in my new how-to book Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures, but have added more period fashion details, like beards, hats and glasses.

I hope to meet some of you from the Boston area on Tuesday night at the Newton Free Library. My talk, Once Upon a Thread will be at 7:00 pm. I’ll bring along books to sell, too. The Pocketful of Posies Exhibit will be on display at the library until April 29th.


Where can Face Time be seen in the future? I can’t say for certain, since I’m entering it in juried shows and won’t know for a while if, where and when it’ll be exhibited. I’ll be sure to include any showings on the exhibits page.


Posies show goes to Newton

The Pocketful of Posies exhibit continues…

Yesterday, Rob and I installed 33 original fabric relief illustrations from my picture book of nursery rhymes, Pocketful of Posies in the Newton Free Library in Newton, Massachusetts. The library has several spaces devoted to displaying art and my work is the first thing you see when you enter the building. The steady stream of patrons who walked through while we were hanging were welcoming and appreciative. So many people stopped to ask questions and engage in conversation, that I hard time concentrating on the task at hand! Thank goodness Rob was there to help, because it would have taken all day.

I’m so happy that the exhibit will be on view this month, especially during the Newton Open Studios weekend (April 11-12). I’ll be there for the NOS preview reception on April 8th at 7:00 pm and will welcome questions and conversation then! I’m also giving a talk and booksigning at the library on April 21 at 7:00 pm.

The work will be on display at the Newton Free Library  April 2 – 29, 2015.

The artwork is going to Maryland and South Carolina next. You can see the schedule here. Will there be any more shows after this? Perhaps.The artwork has been touring for over 4 years, and at this stage, I’m involved with other projects and am too busy to search out and contact more locations. But, I’m always willing to discuss the idea with museums and libraries that are interested in hosting an exhibit.





Birds and Rabbits at the Cahoon Museum

The Birds and Rabbits seem to travel together as a pair these days. Ok, I’m talking about my two fabric relief pieces, Birds of Beebe Woods and Rabbitat. They were at the Chandler Center in Arizona last fall and now, they are part of Fiberworks Plus at the Cahoon Museum, Cotuit, Massachusetts until April 19th. I’m happy that they are being displayed out in public, so that more people can see them. That’s the primary reason I’m not selling them.

Posters are available from my Etsy Shop.

For those of you on or near Cape Cod, I will be giving a talk at the Cahoon Museum on Tuesday, March 24th at 11;00 am. The museum is undergoing renovations, so the exhibit and my talk will be in their temporary location in Mashpee Commons.

The two pieces will be traveling together again later this year, when they go to Winconsin, Oct 21. 2015 – January 10, 2016 for Insects to Elephants at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Here’s a mosaic of details showing the process, as well as the two finished pieces: