Ireland 2013 (store fronts)

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Rob and I just returned from our trip to Ireland and we’ve been spending the weekend going through our hundreds of photographs. It was a great to return to Ireland (see last year’s photos here) and experience another area of the country. We traveled around the western coastal counties of Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Clare. The weather was characteristically cool and rainy with a chance of sun shine. We saw many beautiful and charming sights which I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks.

I’m organizing different categories of pictures to show, including Polly Doll’s adventures, which will come later. Let’s start with some of my favorite subjects: boldly painted store fronts.

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doll house play

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Yesterday, I witnessed the sight of real children playing with my doll house! Some friends came over to my studio with their grandchildren, who immediately engaged with the dolls and miniatures in and around the house. You may wonder why I find this so remarkable, especially since I constructed and decorated it almost 40 years ago. For most of those years, the house has been packed away or displayed behind glass. My sons weren’t interested in playing with it, so I offered to have it shown in the children’s room at the Falmouth Public Library. It stood there for several years in a case near the check out desk, out of reach of children’s hands. When the library was renovated and didn’t have a space for the house, I took it back and it has since been gathering dust in a corner of my studio.

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I loved watching the children manipulate and position the dolls with their small hands.

The house has been out on my center table lately, because I’ve been fixing it up for a photo shoot of some projects that will be in the 2nd edition of Felt Wee Folk (2015 release date). I’m also sprucing it up for display at the Holidays at Highfield event later this year at Highfield Hall in Falmouth. The 10 day event will feature a tree decorated with Pocketful of Posies ornaments that I made for the Family Trees exhibit at the Concord Museum last year (see posts here).

Nov. 29 ~ Dec. 8, 2013, Original embroidered artwork, a tree full of ornaments and a doll house all handmade by Salley Mavor will be on display at The Holidays at HighfieldHighfield Hall, Falmouth, MA. Open daily 12 pm ~ 4 pm

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Oak Bluffs cottages and The Moth

oak bluffs 2013 Aoak bluffs 2013 ILast Saturday, a friend and I took a boat over to Oak Bluffs. We had tickets to go to The Moth on Martha’s Vineyard, which I describe at the end of this post. Before the evening show, we walked around the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting neighborhood and I took some photos of the perfectly charming little cottages. See a post about last year’s visit here.oak bluffs 2013 Doak bluffs 2013 Eoak bluffs 2013 Foak bluffs 2013 Coak bluffs 2013 K oak bluffs 2013 B The purpose of our visit to Oak Bluffs was to attend an evening of storytelling presented by The Moth radio program. If your local NPR station airs The Moth, you know how inspiring and moving the stories can be. Last summer, Martha’s Vineyard writer,  Cynthia Riggs told a most compelling story that has by now been heard all over the world. It is worth hearing her tale, so click the link on her name. She returned this year and gave an update of her adventure to a cheering crowd of 1700. Here’s the inside of the Tabernacle while we were waiting for the storytelling performances to begin. It was quite an evening!themoth  

Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods #2

fairyhouse8bThe Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit continues to draw visitors, rain or shine. One of the structures that has held up well through the thunder storms of the past week is Basia Goszczynska’s extraordinary “Golden Dwelling”. She constructed her cozy house out of saplings, moss and lichen on site, between the roots of a giant beech tree

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Take a look at Basia’s website and be wowed by her work in stop-motion animation.fairyhouse8c

Here’s a shot of the mossy living space far inside. One person commented that Basia’s house looked to be most comfortable and inviting.

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Inspired by the wooden cut-out wings we saw at the Florence Griswold Museum last fall, Highfield’s Annie Dean painted some for our exhibit. I was hoping to find some children to pose in front, but they were all roaming the property, looking for fairy houses.

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Sheila Payne was the first person I thought of when making a list of artists for the exhibit, way back in the winter. She has been making little abodes around her own house for decades and puts on the best fairy tea parties. When asked what she would make for this show, she replied, “Oh, just a standard fairy house.” I have known Sheila for 50 years and there is nothing standard about her!

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Sheila Payne’s “Pipsissewa Place”.

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And another remarkable miniature world made by Wendy Bagley. “Woodland House of Wonder” stretches along a stone wall on the edge of the path into Beebe Woods.

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Here’s a photo from the opening reception on June 23rd. From left to right, my husband Rob Goldsborough (who look many of the photos), Wendy and Sheila. They’re wearing bead necklaces with leaf name tags that I made for the artists. The houses will be on display until July 21st at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, MA. You can print out your own map from this PDF file.  More pictures to come!

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Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit

You may wonder, “Where is this Beebe Woods that keeps popping up in titles on my blog”? It’s a gem of a property (pronounced Bee-bee) in the center of my home town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, right on the edge of Historic Highfield Hall, which was built in 1878 for the Beebe family, who were prominent summer people. My Birds of Beebe Woods piece was made for last year’s exhibit celebrating the forest. Also, Highfield is hosting the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit Sept. 4 – Oct. 31, 2013.

This summer, the grounds and gardens of Highfield will be magically transformed into a “fairy” neighborhood, with small-scale habitats hidden throughout the property. Highfield has given me the exciting opportunity to curate The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods exhibit, which promises to be a popular event during the height of the season.

I got the idea from the Florence Griswold Museum in Lyme, CT, which has hosted several Fairy house events. See my posts about last fall’s exhibit here and here.

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I’ve invited 2 dozen local artists to participate in the event and they’ve spent the last few months picking building spots, gathering natural construction materials and thinking about what to make and how to make it. Everyone will bring their own vision and sensibility to their structure, creating a wildly varied display full of architectural whimsy. The outdoor exhibit will be open June 20th – July 21, 2013.

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This past winter, I made and photographed 2 models that could be used for advance publicity purposes. Since I didn’t use a glue suitable for outdoors, these won’t be in the exhibit, but I will have another house to show. I’m in the process of constructing a more weather resistant cottage that will be perched in a magnificent copper beech tree. I hope that many of you will have a chance to visit the exhibit this summer and for those of you who live far away, I’ll post pictures.

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early morning snow cover

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This has been a snowy winter. Last week, a few inches of new powder fell overnight. When I woke up and looked outside, the sun was just beginning to light the sky, showing off a fine coating of powdered sugar over every surface. It was the kind of snow that sticks to every branch, like it was sprayed on. I grabbed my camera and headed out, to try to capture the magic of the early morning before it melted away.

snowhouseQuissett harbor looked ethereal.

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The village green in Falmouth was as picturesque as ever. I walked around the green and took more photographs of snow-covered houses, walls and St. Barnabas Church.

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