book signing Friday

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Summer seems to come all of a sudden here on Cape Cod. As soon as school gets out, you feel a surge of activity and many more people around. The calendar is already filled with non stop parties and events, all crammed into 2 months. I’ll be doing some Pocketful of Posies book signings in the area in July and August, the first of which is this Friday, July 1st at the Farmer’s Market in Osterville.

 Here’s a list of times and places:

Friday, July 1, 11 am to noon-Books By the Sea, Osterville Farmer’s Market, on the grounds of the Osterville Historical Society, 155 West Bay Road. In case of rain, signing will move to 846 Main St. , Osterville, MA. 

Monday, July 18, 10 am to noon- Pondside Gifts, Hearth and Kettle Plaza, 1198 Main St. (Rt. 28) South Yarmouth, MA.

Saturday, August 27, 11 am to 1 pm – Eight Cousins Bookstore, 189 Main St., Falmouth MA.

North Fork, Long Island (porches)

Last week, Rob and I spent a few days at the North Fork of Long Island, NY. We didn’t venture far from the ferry dock at Orient Point before a “restaurant” sign led us to the Orient General Store, where we had some tasty sandwiches.

Rob and Salley at Orient General Store

I took a ton of photos, mostly of houses in the area, which I’ve divided into categories, this one focusing on porches. I’ll be showing others in the next few posts.

Some were well kept …
and others were more ramshackle, which I like, too.
The rooster and convertible drew me to this one, along with the color combination.
I walked around this neighborhood early in the morning.
The air was still and sleepy.

30th wedding anniversary

Today is our 30th anniversary! To celebrate, Rob and I are going on a little trip to Long Island, NY. Ok, I know what some of you are thinking? Isn’t Long Island full of Levittown style track houses? Well, we’re going to the northern end, which we’re reaching by ferry from New London, CT. I’ll come back with pictures to show what we find. Anyway, I thought this would be a good opportunity to show the dolls I made for our wedding.

At the wedding, the dolls were hanging in a basket with helium  balloons floating above and cheese cakes below.

The dolls and basket have been gathering a coat of dust over the years, as we have also become gray.

They were made with stuffed nylon stockings, which was all the rage back then. 

I made my own wedding dress and Rob’s shirt and vest, so the dolls had matching outfits. Happy summer solstice!

wedding banner: Sky & Daniel

It’s wedding season once again. For a gift, I like to give the bride and groom a felt banner with their names and the wedding date. Sky is an old family friend and we’re off to her wedding tomorrow. I’m sure that the day will be as unique and wonderful as she is!

There’s a lot of showing and no telling in this post. I’ve explained more about how I wrap the letters, etc. in earlier post about other wedding banners I’ve done. See the banners for Karen & Graham and Leigh & Brendan .

Posies wins Boston Globe-Horn Book Award!

WOW! My stitches are bursting open with excitement over this news! I’ve been holding my breath for a week, ever since Margaret Raymo, my editor at Houghton Mifflin called to tell me that Pocketful of Posies has won the 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book award in the picture book category. This time I answered the phone while making soup from left-over sword fish. When I got the call about the Golden Kite award, I was making Portuguese kale soup. I’ve got the message, keep making soup! Sometimes I think my artwork is like making soup, adding this and that, trying out different combinations of materials, sprinkling in a ton of french knots and then letting it stew until done. Thank you so much to the Horn Book panel of judges for selecting and recognizing my work. It feels like a door has been opened and I don’t have to hang out at the fringes anymore, even though I like being in the outskirts. (fringes, outskirts–I must be over thinking the textile connection)

I don’t feel the need to do another book right away and will continue to explore new subject matter, experiment with materials and above all, play with a needle and thread!

My local book store, Eight Cousins, has autographed copies of Pocketful of Posies for sale. They can be reached the old-fashioned way, at (508) 548-5548. They’ll also be selling books on Sunday, July 10th, from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Woods Hole Public Library reception for “Posies”. I’ll bring some original illustrations to be displayed during the event. With this new award, there’s lots to celebrate!

Rabbitat – part 2 (topiary)

Continued from Rabbitat – Part 1 (driftwood house)

Back in December, when I started making this new piece, I had no definite plan, but knew that the scene would include topiary of some kind.  I had so much fun using animal shaped topiary in the Molly my sister and I rhyme illustration in Pocketful of Posies that I wanted to make more.

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

I thought about animals with distinctive forms that could be identified easily and envisioned a rounded, contained rabbit with ears poking upward. I cut separate parts out of dark green felt and started embroidering branches and leaves. The eyes, nose, mouth and whiskers are wire wrapped with embroidery floss. I also sewed wire along the scalloped outside edge, so that the pieces could be bent and shaped. Two glass leaf beads make the eyes.

The body, head and limbs are all constructed separately and stuffed on the back to raise them up.

While I was working on the  topiary, I decided  that rabbits rather than people would live in the driftwood house and started constructing a rabbit family.

I also decided to turn the scene into a vertical picture and enlarged the dimensions enough to create a yard in front. Since this is not an illustration with size and type placement specifications, I was free to change things around as I went along.

This is how the rabbit topiary looks in the finished piece.

To be continued.

Here are some opportunities to see the original picture:

Rabbitat will be hung in my show at the  Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro, Vermont from July 15, 2011 to March, 2012.

Rabbitat will also appear at this reception before traveling to Vermont:

Woods Hole Public Library, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Sunday, July 10th 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Reception to celebrate the Golden Kite Award for Pocketful of Posies. Original illustrations from the book will be displayed and Salley will give a brief talk. A short film about the making of her newest piece, Rabbitat, will be shown. See the film here.