Woods Hole in May (land and sea)

view of Great Harbor from Woods Hole Yacht Club

 This weekend, we went out in our motor boat and took an early evening tour of the local area. We left Great Harbor in Woods Hole and cruised through Woods Hole Passage to Hadley’s Harbor on Naushon Island.

Bull Island, Naushon Is.

Boat House on Hadley's Harbor, Naushon Is.

Some summer people are starting to arrive, but it’s still quiet. It’s still too cold to go swimming! We cruised along the shore of Buzzard’s Bay.

Penzance Point, Woods Hole from Buzzard's Bay

We came back to the Woods Hole Yacht Club. In a month, the dinghy lines will all be full.

Woods Hole Yacht Club

Across the street from the yacht club are some great houses on Bar Neck Rd.

house on Bar Neck Rd., Woods Hole

My family rented this house with the red door, when I was about 6 years old.

Bar Neck Rd., Woods Hole

 The Woods Hole May Festival, which my mother started about 40 years ago, was on Saturday at the ball park. It’s a chance for the year ’rounders to come out of hibernation and socialize. Here’s my cousin showing his ’38 John Deere tractor, which he and his father put together from old parts.

'38 John Deere

  And there’s always a May Pole dance with live music. Summer has almost begun!

May Pole at Woods Hole May Festival

Close-ups (strollers)

With the warm weather, parents are out in droves pushing their young ones in strollers. I went through my books and found some details to show you. The strollers are made with wire frames and button wheels. This first one with the red-haired mother is from my 1997 picture book, You and Me: Poems of Friendship.

Sidewalksstroller2WM Here’s a stroller from another page of You and Me with a baby that’s about 1″ long.

detail from “You and Me: Poems of Friendship” 1997

This mother and child is from my 2001 book In the Heart. Autographed copies are available here.

ITHmomstrollerWMThis double stroller is being pushed by the old woman who lived in a shoe,  from my  book, Pocketful of Posies. The children are about 1 1/2″ tall.

PFOPstrollerWMNote: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Pocketful of borders (Simple Simon)

Illustration for Simple Simon from "Pocketful of Posies"

 When I finished making all of the fabric relief illustrations for Pocketful of Posies, they were stitched onto foam core board. I added registration marks and then sent them to the photographer. Now that the book is being printed, I’m busy making the artwork presentable for their 2nd jig as framed pieces of art.  


Each picture needs a different border to match. Strong, bright colors would compliment the illustration for the Simple Simon rhyme, with its fair booths. I made side and corner patterns and cut them out of felt.  


I then blanket stitched around the outside edges of the felt pieces with some variegated thread. The Caron Collection has some great colors to choose from.  


The inside of the border looked too abrupt, so I tried some rick rack along the edge, to soften the transition.   


I chain stitched some loops, the date, and my initials in variegated embroidery floss. Since it’s hard to write on wool felt, I don’t use any guide lines for embroidery, but work free style. I decided to change the rick rack to a golden color, which set the border apart from the inside illustration. So, instead of softening the transition, I ended up giving it more definition. 


There was space for a wider border, so I put some green open weave trim around the outside. I added some dark green bias tape underneath the trim, to give more contrast and show the holes.   


There’s always a question of how busy a border should be and how many borders within borders to make, like ruffles on a skirt. It could go on and on and you could have a tiny image in the middle, with a huge border around it. Many quilts and fiber art seem to be made up of just borders, which is fine with me. 


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

Early morning bike ride

7:00 am on the bike path looking toward Martha's Vineyard Island

I went for an early morning ride on the bike path Friday morning. Honeysuckle perfumed the air as I rode towards Woods Hole. Everything was still, without the usual strong off-shore breeze and  I could tell that this was going to be the most beautiful day.    

Looking across Vineyard Sound

The Rosa Rugosa are just starting to bloom along the bike path, which travels along the shore on the old train track right of way. Trains used to go from New York and Boston to the dock in Woods Hole, where people could board the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  

Woods Hole's tricentennial t-shirt design, 1979

Here’s a drawing I made for Woods Hole’s tricentennial t-shirt in 1979, which shows the train on the ferry pier. It’s based on a map from the 1800’s.

detail of Woods Hole Train Station

Rosa Rugosa growing on the edge of the beach

Rosa Rugosa

Across Vineyard Sound there was a clear view of Martha’s Vineyard Island, which is 3 miles away. After the morning excercise, I felt I could go inside and sit and stitch for a few hours.   

View of Nobska Point, Woods Hole

Pocketful of borders (back to work)

pages 40/41, "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

It’s great to get back to work again and my wrist is feeling much better. I’ve been bicycling a lot and leaning on the handle bars is good therapy. The borders for the originals from Pocketful of Posies are coming along nicely and I’ve finished a couple this week. It’s like matting 2-dimentional pieces of artwork before they’re framed, only I’m creating felt edging to go around the perimeter. Here’s a double-page spread of several rhymes grouped in the same scene.

I added a dark brown rick rack around the outside of the felt border to help separate it from the background upholstery fabric. This shows Mary at the cottage door and Peter the pumpkin eater’s wife in a pumpkin.

Here’s Little Tommy Tittlemouse with his fishing pole.

Molly My Sister and I, from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

This rhyme, Molly My Sister and I, has a little wider border. The artwork already has a lot of detailed embroidered foliage, so a plainer border seemed appropriate. 

I added the green ruffled trim at the end, to echo the greenery of the topiary in the interior scene.

Note: See more posts in the Pocketful of Borders series here.

dolls’ new home in Australia

Lucinda Hooper sent me these photos of some Ltd. edition dolls which I sent to her in Australia. It’s fun to see Dahlia and Bud & Ivy settled in their new home on the other side of the world.

Dahlia, Bud & Ivy with Mimi Kirchner’s tiny world pin cushion

The dolls feel at home with Mimi Kirchner’s tiny world pin cushion, which also found its way from Massachusetts to Australia. See more of her pin cushions in an earlier post here. Thank you for sharing these pictures, Lucinda!

Dahlia sitting by a river in Australia

Bud & Ivy with a “river stone” cottage made by Lucinda’s Mum

Close-ups (boys)

I’ve spent a good part of my adulthood surrounded by boys; sons, friends and nephews. They have kept me grounded and brought a counter balance to all of this girly stuff I do, like sewing and fairy dolls.  Having sons has made me sensitive to the male point of view and I make an effort to include images of boys in my artwork, even though it’s easier to depict females. This first picture is from “Vineyard Family”, a piece I made as a naive young mother in 1985 and shows a rather idealized docile child.



detail from “Vineyard Family” 1995

   This pair of boys are from “Fall Children” (see more here), which I made 10 years later in 1995. At this point, I’m trying to bring more motion to my figures, perhaps a more realistic reflection of children. Their sweaters are made from cotton socks and their shoes are leather.

detail from "Fall Children"

detail from “Fall Children” 1995

Here’s George reading a book in a chair made from old worn upholstery fabric. His clothing is also made from cotton socks. The full picture can be seen here.


detail from "George's Chair" 1996

detail from “George’s Chair”

This boy sitting in his real stick fort is from my book, You and Me: Poems of Friendship.


detail from "You and Me: Poems of Friendship" 1997

detail from “You and Me: Poems of Friendship” 1997

This is my favorite boy, “Dusty Bill from Vinegar Hill”, an unfamiliar rhyme I found and loved. His hair is made from a spiky acorn cap, which a friend sent from California. Even though I never learned how to crochet, I figured out how to construct his bag using a regular needle. Bill’s in an illustration from my upcoming book, Pocketful of Posies, which you can find out about here.


detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.