All are welcome to visit my private work space on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Sept. 3rd and Sunday, Sept. 4th, from 10 AM to 4 PM, both days. The address is ahead, in the next paragraph. It’s been a few years since I last opened my studio to the public and I thought it would be nice to share some of my newer pieces (shown below) before they are delivered to the next show. My exhibit, Intertwined – Needle Art of Salley Mavor will be at the Bristol Art Museum in Rhode Island, Sept. 16 – Oct. 30, 2016. The opening reception at the museum is Friday, Sept 16th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM.
Displaced, 24″ H x 22″ W, 2016
My studio is an oasis, where I spend most of my time working alone, surrounded by collections of treasures. I look forward to meeting many of you who live close enough to visit on Labor Day weekend. It is located above my garage at 11 Drumlin Rd., Falmouth, Massachusetts (Cape Cod). Books, posters and cards will be for sale. Please enter the door in the breezeway between the house and garage and come on up! There’s plenty of parking on the street.
Please meet AZALEA, the newest Blossom Fairy! She is 3 3/4″ tall, with long crimped auburn hair, acorn cap hat, embroidered wool felt tunic and petal skirt. Even 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 look-alike Azalea fairies while riding in cars and on vacation. I like to keep my hands busy, so this is a way of producing something, as well as keeping contented while sitting.
Some of the finish work that’s not as portable, I did while on vacation. I have to limit the time I spend working on these because otherwise I would spend every minute in fairy land, constructing dolls, night and day. That isn’t such a bad thing, but then, I would be less inclined to make new, more involved pieces.
In an effort to be fair to everyone, I am announcing on this blog, Facebook and Instgram that 25 “Azalea” fairies will be for sale in my Etsy Shop on Saturday, August 13th at 10 AM, eastern US time. That gives more of you a chance to read about it in advance, so you can plan on being ready to shop. I’m sorry if this hour isn’t convenient for other time zones around the globe, but I can’t figure out how to accommodate everyone. 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.
Is it still a vacation, if you spend a fair amount of time working? I admit to being a stitch-a-holic, because I can’t sit idle, when I could be MAKING something! It’s a compulsion that many of you can identify with, I’m sure. During this vacation, I made a set of Ltd. Edition Fairies that will be in my Etsy Shop in a few weeks. I didn’t spend all day stitching, though. We hiked around the island, swam in the creek and took photographs.
My husband Rob and I spent the past week on a private island that’s not far from our home, but it’s so peaceful and solitary that it feels like a world away. We traveled there on our boat and were the only ones on the island, except for some friends who came to visit on their boats.
Many mornings, the light beckoned me out of bed, sometimes before sun rise, to walk around and try to capture the island’s unique beauty with my camera. This selection of photos were mostly taken at dawn or dusk — the magical hours. I hope that you enjoy this tour of a special place!
It all started with this photo from a recent post about wedding dolls. My sister Anne wrote to say that she liked my dress. I told her that I made it years ago and asked if she’d like one. While I waited for the fabric she picked out to arrive from Portland, OR, I decided to make another one for myself. After all, you can never have enough cotton dresses to wear in the summer heat. I think it’s my favorite dress style, simple and timeless, with just the right amount of fitted detail at the neck and waist. And there are large side pockets, which I can’t live without!
I first made a dress from this pattern over 30 years ago and it’s stood the test of time, at least in my world. I’ve resisted giving in to the ubiquitous black wardrobe in favor of color and pattern. To me, wearing black seems to lack imagination and looks more like the uniform of the grownup sophisticated set. Teenage Prom goers may crave this look, but I feel more myself in something comfortable and colorful.
I searched all over my studio for the pattern, but couldn’t locate it. Luckily, I still had a white dress from the same pattern that I’d made to wear for Scottish dancing eons ago. I cut open the seams, which included a fair share of top stitching and used the pieces as a pattern. It wasn’t until after I’d made the 2 new dresses that I found the pattern, Simplicity 8922, from 1979.
I’ve already worn mine enough times to have to wash it.
Anne’s fabric of choice was 2 different blue batiks, which worked out really well. She sent a photo of her wearing the dress.
I really enjoyed the process of sewing the dresses, which was so fast and easy compared to my other work. It made me think about how revolutionary the invention of the sewing machine must have been in the mid 1800’s. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up hand stitching, though. Most of what I want to do can’t be mechanized and the slow methodical approach helps me work out my ideas. It’s just fun to hear the sound of a sewing machine as it wips together a piece of clothing every once in a while.
Come and meet the five members of the Oakley family; Mama, Papa, Sister, Brother and Baby. They’re a folksy dollhouse sized acorn-capped family, who will feel right at home in any environment. Every once in a while I make a group of related wee folk and offer them as a fundraiser for a local non-profit organization. Last summer, I made a Fairy Family for Highfield Hall, which you can see here.
This time, Raffle ticket sales will benefit the Falmouth Art Center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer. My mother, Mary Mavor was one of its early members and supporters and I’m proud to continue the tradition.
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 purchasing tickets for a chance to win the Oakley Family. But first, I want to show you some behind the scenes photos.
I brought the family outside for a little fresh air and took a short video with my phone camera.
The Oakley family has extra sturdy armatures, which hold up better to changing poses and play.You can make your own dolls using the patterns and directions in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures.
The Oakley Family is on display at the Falmouth Art Center in Falmouth, MA (on Cape Cod) all summer. The winner will be announced on September 1, 2016. Tickets for a chance to win may be purchased from the Falmouth Art Center by calling (508) 540-3304. Information about the Raffle is here.
Five years ago, when we visited Turkey, the world was different. The news of violent clashes and turmoil in the country is upsetting, especially since I had the fortune of experiencing its astounding beauty and the gracious warmth of the Turkish people. I’ve taken this opportunity to review my photos of the trip and have selected a group of my favorites. You can see all of my posts about Turkey here.
Since first sharing images of my newest piece, Displaced a few weeks ago, I have been overwhelmed by the response from all over the world. The photos and video spread quickly throughout the internet and have been viewed by thousands on this blog, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I cannot tell you how touched I am by the outpouring of appreciation in so many different languages! Many people from varied backgrounds said it resonated with them personally and reminded them of their own family’s struggles generations ago. Nancy Taylor expressed her reaction so well, “I often feel despair listening to the radio stories about the experience of refugees around the world. Having the ability to express this in such a beautiful and meaningful way must be profound on a personal level. And it helps the rest of us understand, be more aware and have compassion too.”
Detail of Displaced, 2016
I was asked if this piece could be made into a poster, so I’m pleased to say yes, 18″ x 24″ posters (beautifully designed by my sister Anne) are now in my Etsy Shop. The plan is to exhibit Displaced for the next few years, instead of selling it, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to see the original fabric relief piece. Even though a printed reproduction cannot duplicate the experience of seeing the real thing, the poster captures the detail and emotional impact of the piece. And poster sales will help defray the cost of shipping the artwork to different parts of the country.
The premiere showing of Displaced will be this fall at my exhibit in Bristol, RI. Sept. 16 – Oct. 30, 2016 ~ Intertwined – Needle Art of Salley Mavor – Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI.
Poster – Displaced