Scotland, Oct. 2015 ~ Rosie


Rosie’s trip to Scotland began with a dramatic encounter with a local bear at a road side pub between Glasgow and Oban. With a combination of perseverance and ingenuity, she was able to excuse herself after lunch and continued on her journey.


She took a boat to the Island of Iona, where she said hello to some sweet cows and drank heather ale.



She loved visiting Sir Walter Scott’s magnificent home, Abbotsford…


and Eilean Donan castle.


She met a piper…


and posed with sets of armor and a stained glass window at Edinburgh castle. Stay tuned for future posts ~ Rosie’s travels will continue here, with an exciting discovery!



Fiona – new ltd. edition fairy


feltweefolknewcoverblogEven though I’ve said that I don’t sell them, every once in a while I offer a ltd. edition of dolls similar to the ones in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. You see, I only work on them while traveling, so it’s an ongoing project that takes time. This year I made a set of 25 fairy dolls while waiting in airports, flying in planes and riding in trains. I like to keep my hands busy, so this is a way of producing something, as well as keeping contented while sitting.

Update 10/17/15 ~ The fairy dolls sold out very quickly. Thank you to all of you who were ready at 10 am, logged into my Etsy Shop. Will there be more opportunities to buy dolls in the future? Perhaps, but it depends on how much time I spend traveling.


Some of the finish work that’s not as portable, I do in my studio. I have to limit the time I spend working on these because otherwise I would spend all of my time in fairy land, constructing dolls, night and day. That isn’t such a bad thing, but then, I would never take on making new, more involved pieces.


In an effort to be fair to everyone, I am announcing on this blog and Facebook that 25 “Fiona” fairies will be for sale in my Etsy Shop on Saturday, Oct. 17th at 10am, eastern US time. That gives more people a chance to read about it in advance, so they can plan on being ready to shop. Last year’s dolls sold out very quickly, so if you really want one, act fast! Sorry, no reservations ahead of time. The dolls will be sold on a first come first served basis. Update 10/17/15 2:00pm ~ The Fiona fairies are all sold.


Scotland, Oct. 2015 (phone booths)


Were back from Scotland, with many photos to share. This trip was another wonderful Celtic music learning tour with Boston’s public radio station WGBH. We’ve gone on two of their previous trips to Ireland (see archived posts here) and jumped at the chance to join their tour of Scotland.

I’ll begin by showing a series of iconic red UK phone booths we saw in different areas of the country. Somehow, it was reassuring to see the old fashioned booths wherever we went.The first two were spotted in the beautiful village of Plockton, on the west coast.



And on this charming street corner in Melrose…


Scotland_phonebooth-1-3And more on the streets of Edinburgh.


opportunities to see original artwork

I am excited to share the news that there will be opportunities to see my original fabric-relief artwork in different parts of the country this fall and winter. The Pocketful of Posies exhibit, will be at the Upcountry Museum – Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, Oct. 17, 2015 – Feb. 14, 2016. Next month I will head down to Greenville to give a talk about my work on Thurs., Nov. 19th at 7:00 pm. This is the last scheduled exhibit on the 5 year tour and I hope that many of you can make the trip to see the show!

And, 2 of my larger pieces will be included in Insects to Elephants: Mother Nature’s Menagerie at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  Birds of Beebe Woods and Rabbitat will be displayed from Oct 21. 2015 – January 10, 2016.

Poster 22x28 2SM


Also, my piece, FaceTime is part of the group show, Entangled at Some Things Looming in Reading Pennsylvania until Oct. 24th.


introducing Polly’s cousin Rosie


Before introducing Rosie, I’d like to say a little something about her cousin Polly. Since Polly has a history of dawdling and missing her ride to the airport, I thought I’d better get her ready for our next trip. I’ve looked in all her usual resting places, but she’s nowhere to be seen! Maybe she’s tired of being hauled around in the bottom of my purse and doesn’t want to go to Scotland again. She’s survived many adventures, from standing on a boat railing in Antarctica to wandering the streets of Havana, to climbing stones in Ireland.

It could be that she’s had enough excitement and wants a calmer existence. I trust that she will appear when she’s good and ready to come out of hiding. Luckily, Polly liked to have her picture taken– you can see her travels here.

Despite being so young (she was born yesterday), her cousin Rosie is ready and willing to fill in for her. She’s in a bit of a shock that all Polly left behind were her discarded travel costumes. Rosie’s outfit of a plaid skirt and wool sweater should be well suited for the coolish Scottish weather this autumn.


Rosie may come across as shy and timid at first, but I have a feeling that she will surprise us all. She’s already packed and ready, which either shows her excitement or anxiety, or both!


Follow Rosie and her travels on Instagram.


shelter from the rain


This little pair, child stars from my book, Felt Wee Folk, found a perfect shelter from the rain! Like a paparazzi, I whipped out my cell phone, snapped a photo and instantly shared it on Instagram. A few days later, I took a picture of my work table, which shows a new wee folk family in the works. They’re for a charity raffle that I’ll announce later this fall. And if you’re already following me on Instagram, you’ve seen glimpses of bearded men from Whiskers, my newest piece. For a visual person, the urge to capture images all day is kind of possessing and the instantaneous nature of this new social media phenomenon makes it even more irresistible. I still plan to publish more comprehensive posts with lots of photos in the future, but for now I’ll share quick little glimpses into my world.

And soon, we’re off to Scotland again! I invite you to follow along in real time on Instagram.



making Face Time (part 3)


FaceTimeWMThis is Part 3 in a series about making my newest piece, Face Time. It picks up where I left off in Part 2, which covers the embroidered felt wreathlike frames. Part 1 explains the concept of the piece and shows the making of the heads.

Face Time will be on display this fall at Some Things Looming in Reading, Pennsylvania. Their fiber art exhibit, Entangled will run from Sept. 12th to Oct. 24th.

After all 41 frames were finished and each bust was safely sewn inside its own personal cameo, I arranged the characters according to time period. It was like putting together a puzzle, fitting the pieces in chronological order. Characters from the past were rooted at the bottom of the tree and others cascaded upward through time to contemporary folks at the very top.


Tree branches were formed with felt covered wire. Embroidery floss seed stitches on the felt created a bark-like texture. The smaller branches are made of floss wrapped wire. I sewed the branches to the back of the “cameos”, extending the wire around the frame to give each little portrait some structure, like bendable bones.


With this piece, I tried out a new kind of border/frame. Instead of putting fabric on top of and around the sides of a wooden stretcher, I stapled the background fabric to the back, creating a space inside for the 3-d tree. I padded the stretcher bars with cotton batting and covered it with fabric, like upholstering furniture. It required quite a bit of fussing and hand stitching to make the corners look good. This way the finished piece can be hung with or without another outside frame or shadow box.


I made felt covered wire leaf forms for the corners, first embroidering the strips of felt with seed stitches.


And then filled in some gaps with floss wrapped wire doodles.


Face Time is currently being shown in Entangled as you see here, without a glass covered frame. But that is temporary, as Rob will make a frame to protect the artwork from curious fingers and dust.


Thank you for following along through the process! As with Birds of Beebe Woods, I am not selling Face Time and will be entering it into juried shows around the country. Please visit the events page from time to time to see where my original work is on display.

For those of you interested in making your own characters, please refer to my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures, for basic guidance.