Turkish Dolls

I’m guessing that these 12″ dolls are Turkish, or I might be influenced by my recent visit there. (Emily just commented that she has one like the woman from Morocco.) They’re from my grandmother’s collection, which she accumulated in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I don’t remember her telling me about a trip to Turkey, but I know she traveled all over the world with her sisters after she was widowed in her early 60’s.  As a child, I would gaze up at her souvenir dolls, which lived on high shelves in her living room, out of reach of young fingers.

Now, they are mostly packed away in boxes or crowded into my studio display cases.  

The curious thing about these dolls is their hair. What’s with the blondish copper color? They look like Scandinavians dressed up in Ottoman costumes.

The dolls’ faces are sculpted with stockinette and painted. I find the man’s “fake snow” turban a bit bizarre, too. They certainly have a lot of character, but I find these more humorous than beautiful.

another bead show

I’m always happy to go to a bead show. My friend Donna and I went to one at the Holiday Inn in Dedham yesterday. See last year’s post here, in which I show examples of how I’ve used some of the beads in my illustrations. 

It must take the vendors forever to set up their displays. I love looking at the waves of strung beads.

Most of the beads are too shiny and glitzy for me, but they are photogenic. When I’m buying, I zero in on the few that are more in their natural state.

More sparkle and shine.

Wild Things exhibit

"Little Miss Muffett" illustration from Pocketful of Posies

An illustration from Pocketful of Posies was part of an exhibit recently held at the Cotuit Center for the Arts. Every winter, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod organizes an exhibit of work made by Cape Cod artists, with the purpose of exposing school children to art. There’s a different theme each year, and the latest was “Wild Things”. This exhibit ended a couple of weeks ago. Back in 2007, I made my Self Portrait for a show they put together of the same name. I try to participate every year, if I have something that fits the theme.

Local photographer Mark Chester took this B & W shot of a school group being shown the original fabric relief illustration for “Little Miss Muffett”. She held up my book, open to the printed picture and told the children how my work was used as an illustration. The tour leader is the Cotuit Center’s educational coordinator, Lenore Lyons. Mark had a photo in the show from his delightful new book of paired photographs, Twosomes. Thanks for sending over the photo, Mark! I’ll probably include Miss Muffett in the Mashpee Public Library display during the month of May and this July and August at the Mahopac Public Library, Mahopac, New York .

still animating, slowly

My husband and I have been spending the winter learning about stop motion animation. Rob and I have been doing numerous tests, which are painstakingly slow. The patience required is a different kind than what it takes to stitch a field of French knots. You have to pay attention all the time and not zone out. The more we become familiar with the process, the more we feel like we are just scratching the surface.

We’re trying out the equipment on my fabric relief Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion (see it here), which I brought home from the show that just ended at the Brattleboro Museum.  We are making an animation by rotating the piece on a lazy-susan, taking a series of close-up photos from overhead as we turn the picture incrementally. When we’re finished filming (I can’t say when), my Self Portrait will be returned to its semi-permanent home at the Woods Hole Public Library.

We’ve set up a work area in the basement. Rob is a retired engineer who loves the challenge of figuring out the technical stuff. He used to design camera equipment for remote under-water vehicles, so I’m lucky to have his expertise.

It’s hard to say when we’ll have something to show for our efforts. Right now we’re just playing, figuring out how to animate my artwork. While Rob is reviewing our new camera and learning the computer program, I’m making characters and sets for another film we’ll eventually make. As the weather gets warmer, it will be hard to stay in the basement, though. We’re taking the long view with this project–it looks like we’ll work off and on for at least a year before we have a finished film to share. Hopefully, our patience will be rewarded.


I found these charm bracelets while cleaning and organizing my studio. Some are passed down from my mother and grandmother and one is from my own childhood.

My idea of dressing up, was to wear a charm bracelet. For my 5th birthday party, I also wore turtles-in-a-row barretts.

I remember picking out these charms on our family’s trip to Europe in the summer of 1965. At ten years old, I was just old enough for our travels to make a lasting impression.  We went to Greece, France and Switzerland.

 The charms help me remember what we saw in Italy…

and Austria and Germany, too. Although my siblings and I spent hours in the back seat, cutting paper dolls from Archie comics, I remember the sights and experiences of this trip clearly.  I think that I began to wake up to the world outside of my little village. I am thankful that my parents were willing to take us to Europe and caravan with another family for over a month. It made a difference in all of our lives.

Posies show coming to Fresno, CA

I’m happy to announce that the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit is going coast to coast! 25 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies, plus some illustrations from my other books will be displayed at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno, CA, from March 18 – May 27, 2013.

This arrangement came about because a librarian at the Arne Nixon Center saw my illustration on the cover of the current issue of Horn Book Magazine. (See how I made the cover artwork here.) She found out about the touring exhibit and inquired about sending the artwork to Fresno. Luckily, half of the pieces in the show are available during the time slot she was interested in, so they’ll be shipped to California in a little over a year. The other half will be shown at Cedarhurst in Mt. Vernon, Illinios about the same time, from Feb. 23rd to May 5th, 2013.

Plans are in the works for the show to travel to some other locations, which I’ll announce when arrangements are confirmed. I’m so glad that people in different areas of the country will be able to see my work “up close and personal”. Inquiries from non-commercial, secure venues with museum lighting and a shipping budget are welcome. (weefolk@cape.com)

Turkey (store fronts)

Here’s another bunch of photos from my trip to Turkey last fall. I took my camera when we walked around Istanbul and Bodrum. Shop doors were always open, overflowing with stuff to buy. Somehow, junk food looks more heathy and appealing in Turkish packaging.

I caught glimpses of people working inside their businesses, like this taylor.

And saw many places to sit and eat outside. Yes, those are carpets on the tables. Our hotel was on this street.

The markets were busy and inviting.

Cats were everywhere.

This bakery was just around the corner from our hotel.

There were numerous places to buy souvenirs.

The side walks were extensions of businesses, so covered with tables and racks, that people walked in the street.