still life photos around the house

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I spent a little time this week taking still life photographs. Rob is giving me tips about lighting and operating my camera. Some of the photos show seasonal arrangements and others are permanent displays around the house. While looking for things to take pictures of, I noticed that almost every object in our house has been in Rob’s or my family for a long time. It’s an eclectic collection of stuff, from a 3 ft. high bronze Buddha my great grandfather bought from a missionary in Russia in the late 1900’s to tiny silver salt shakers Rob inherited. Very few items are new or were purchased by us. Both of our families are small and we have become the keepers of the past by default.

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images of the season

For the winter solstice, I’ve gathered some pictures from past blog entries that reflect on the colder months of winter. Here’s a list of links to see where the images came from:
Cheese Straws recipe
Family heirlooms
Mary Mavor’s cards
Woods Hole in winter
Pocketful of Posies
Polly Doll
Antarctica
Salley’s childhood art
Mimi Kirchner’s ceramic ornaments

France (Vincent Van Gogh’s St. Rémy)

th0VVQZFSAWhile in France this October, we visited St. Rémy-de-Provence. We walked a mile or so out of town to St. Paul-de-Mausole, the asylum where Vincent Van Gogh spent the last year of his life (1889-1890).

We walked past olive trees, fields and tall cypress trees, taking in the same landscape that inspired Van Gogh’s paintings during this period.

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The building and cloistered garden at St. Paul-de-Mausole were lovely and peaceful.

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This is Van Gogh’s room…

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where he had a view of the garden outside. Being there, I felt a connection to the artist and his calm refuge.

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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.

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poster – Felt Wee Folk

Books, tree, dollhouse and Instagram

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There’s quite a list of business to cover here. I’ll begin with the news that I just set up an account with Instagram! This will be a way to share spontaneous cellphone photos of projects I’m working on and things I encounter in my life that I find inspiring, from the everyday to the extra special. So, if you’d like to follow along, here’s my Instagram address.

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Exhibits and a Book Signing:
This little goat (detail above) and a donkey and swine from pages 6/7 in Pocketful of Posies (below) are on public display at the Concord Museum in Concord, MA. It’s included in the exhibit Good Night, Sleep Tight: Art from Children’s Literaturewhich features over twenty original illustrations from classic and contemporary children’s books woven around the themes of bedtime, dreams, and lullabies. The exhibit’s up for a nice long run, until May 3, 2015, but this coming Sunday Dec. 7th is Author and Illustrator Day (1:00 ~ 4:00 pm), which is held in conjunction with the annual exhibit, Family Trees: Celebration of Children’s Literature. I’ll be there, along with other authors and illustrators, chatting with museum visitors and signing books. There’s a lot going on at the museum that day, so, if you’re in the area, come over and say hi!

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A few years ago, I participated in the Concord Museum’s Family Trees event, which I wrote about here. For the past two years, I’ve been using those same ornaments to decorate a tree for the Holidays at Highfield event at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA.

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My tree, as well as 6 original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are downstairs in the front hall and my dollhouse is upstairs. Holidays at Highfield is open daily from 10:00 to 4:00 until Dec. 7th.

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Stuart & Nancy ~ 50th gift

stuartnancyWM-1284I had the pleasure of making a 50th anniversary gift for my friend Judy Sue to give to her dear friends Stuart and Nancy. She asked me to include pertinent info like names and dates and suggested that I put in a pair of birds and a heart. As always, I began by drawing thumbnail sketches of the basic design.

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About halfway through the process, when I’d already made the birds, I realized that this would be a good project to show how I work. You’d think that this would be automatic by now, but it’s always a challenge to stop and document while you’re engrossed in the middle of something. I took a few photos and also asked Rob to do some filming. You can see high action close-ups of my hand stitching, winding and arranging parts in the video below.

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In this piece I tried a new way of handling thread wrapped wire. In the video, you can see me winding wire around another straight wire rod and pulling it out, creating a curled spring.

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Stuart and Nancy should be receiving their gift this weekend at a surprise party. It is highly unlikely they will see this post, so I think it’s safe to publish it now. I enjoyed making the piece and it was a real honor to help Judy Sue express her love and friendship to this couple!

See what it looks like finished on the end of this post.

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France (Marseille streets)

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One evening, before the restaurants opened, we wandered around Marseille in the Le Panier section of the city. The streets were alive with families playing and socializing before heading inside for the evening. This city is gritty and real, but has an appealing esthetic quality. I loved the pastel shades of the houses and window stutters. Every narrow street had a story to tell.

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