“Posies” artwork ready to hang!

Today, we finished framing the Pocketful of Posies artwork and will be ready to hang the show tomorrow! Talk about working ’til the last-minute. I don’t usually do things this way and have everything completed way ahead. The whole family helped out over the weekend, while I sewed the last border together. My studio was a beehive of activity; my husband Rob put the last of the artwork into frames and sons Peter and Ian drilled holes and screwed in the eyes on the back. It will take several car loads to transport all 51 pictures over to Highfield Hall tomorrow morning. It’s a good thing we live close by. Wow, does it feel good to have this project done! You can read about Pocketful of Posies: A Traveling Exhibit and see the schedule here.

Pocketful of Borders: Little piggies & back jacket

This is a quick update on the border project for the illustrations from Pocketful of Posies. I’m working on the last one now, so if everything goes as planned, we will be readyto hang the show next Monday! My husband has been helping by putting the artwork into the frames he made. To see the show schedule, go to the Traveling Exhibit Page here. These pictures are from This Little Piggy and the back book jacket.

Note: See other posts from the Pocketful of Borders series here.

Pocketful of Borders: Go to bed first

There are only 5 more borders to make before we hang the first installment of the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit at Highfield Hall in Falmouth next week. Besides stitching, all I’ve been doing for the past month is eating, sleeping and occasionally riding my bike for exercise. It takes about 8 to 10 hours of sewing to complete each border, so I’ve been aiming for one a day. My broken wrist  set me back 4 months last winter, so I’m making up for it now.

“Go to bed first, a golden purse” begins the last rhyme in the book.  Here’s my work table with the illustration surrounded by piles of wool felt.

The border colors have been selected and cut.

I was so intent on finishing this one, that I skipped taking pictures of the stitching process. The rug under the beds is decorated with embroidery on felt, with thread tassels.

The different beds are made with found objects like beads, dowels, and hollow thorns.

It’s always a good idea to end a bedtime story book with a picture of a sleeping child.

Note: See other posts from the Pocketful of Borders series here.

Pocketful of Borders: Old woman who lived in a shoe, etc.

This double page spread from Pocketful of Posies has three rhymes dispersed throughout; There was an old woman who lived under a shoe, Lillies are white and See saw, Margery Daw. Since I’m so busy stitching, I’ll just show pictures of the border making process without description.

Note: See other posts from the Pocketful of Borders series here.

Pocketful of Borders: Humpty Dumpty

Here’s a shot of my work table (ironing board) with a border in progress. It shows the illustration from Pocketful of Posies that includes “Humpty Dumpty”, “Peter picked a peck of pickled peppers” and “Two little dicky birds sitting on a wall”.

There’s lots of foliage and a stone wall build with a combination of stone beads and individually appliqued felt stones. Peter Piper’s hat and basket of peppers are made with thread wrapped and coiled wire.

I had fun using some interesting pieces of driftwood and other found objects.

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

Note: See other posts from the Pocketful of Borders series here.

Picture frames are finished!

After slaving away for most of the summer, Rob has finished all 51 picture frames for the Pocketful of Posies exhibit and they look beautiful! In my last post about the frames (see here) , the partly made pile was stacked up on his work bench.

Rob cut off the excess from the corner ears on the table saw…

and used a planer to smooth off the surface. 

Here you can see a before and after, with one ear planed and another still bumpy with glue and wood.

Then the frames were sanded with 2 grades of sand paper until they were really smooth.

Then he carried the frames up from the basement into his new workshop and applied Tung oil, which brings out the natural color and wood grain.

To make a good finish, the oil has to be rubbed off after it has soaked in.

Here’s a frame with the inside slats. I love the way cherry looks with the oil.

But they are not finished yet! The last step is rubbing on paste wax to make a satiny finish.

Now, they are lying in wait for my artwork. The UV Plexiglas will be arriving soon and we’ll start assembling the pictures!

Pocketful of Borders: my black hen

This illustration from Pocketful of Posies is for the rhyme, Hickety, pickety, my black hen, she lays eggs for gentlemen. My descriptions will be brief, as I’m working hard to finish all of the borders for the upcoming traveling show. The colors vary in this series of photos becuase I took them at different times of day, under different lighting conditions. The color green is famously difficult to reproduce anyways. Here’s the fabric relief piece sewn to foam core board, before a border was attached. Yes, I made the egg basket, by wrapping and coiling wire around and around. Pretty obsessive, but necessary!

The arched hen-house is made with bittersweet vine, with driftwood floor boards.

The border need a little punch, so I sewed some purple perle cotton around the outside edges.

The embroidered leaves could also be seen as feathers.

The hen’s nest is made from some curly excelsior packing material and her feathers are highlighted with purple metallic thread.

This coloring is more true to the original piece.

Note: See other posts from the Pocketful of Borders series here.