Stuart & Nancy ~ 50th gift

stuartnancyWM-1284I had the pleasure of making a 50th anniversary gift for my friend Judy Sue to give to her dear friends Stuart and Nancy. She asked me to include pertinent info like names and dates and suggested that I put in a pair of birds and a heart. As always, I began by drawing thumbnail sketches of the basic design.


About halfway through the process, when I’d already made the birds, I realized that this would be a good project to show how I work. You’d think that this would be automatic by now, but it’s always a challenge to stop and document while you’re engrossed in the middle of something. I took a few photos and also asked Rob to do some filming. You can see high action close-ups of my hand stitching, winding and arranging parts in the video below.


In this piece I tried a new way of handling thread wrapped wire. In the video, you can see me winding wire around another straight wire rod and pulling it out, creating a curled spring.


Stuart and Nancy should be receiving their gift this weekend at a surprise party. It is highly unlikely they will see this post, so I think it’s safe to publish it now. I enjoyed making the piece and it was a real honor to help Judy Sue express her love and friendship to this couple!

See what it looks like finished on the end of this post.






To keep up with new posts, subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page). If you’d like to see more frequent photos tracking the projects in my studio, please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

16 thoughts on “Stuart & Nancy ~ 50th gift

  1. Oh, Salley, your work takes my breath away – and you yourself, your colour choices and the shapes you make along the way to such loveliness. You make me think of the Japanese, who declare particular artists a National Treasure, and mean by that not just flowery embroidered words, and not even just their very serious deference; you are a blessing to my life, and I thank you for sharing yourself this way.

  2. I am totally in awe!! I watched the video 3 times!. I look forward to your postings EVERY day. You inspire me to be a better hand sewer.

  3. Oh, Salley, I am so glad that you shared your beautiful project! Stuart and Nancy are so lucky to have 50 years together and this great gift!!!!!! I love what you do!!!!!!!! Nancy

  4. Wow! Salley, you have become my favorite artist to follow. You inspire so many of us, myself included. I want to learn so many things about hand sewing and crafting. Your work is stunning and resonates with the child in each of us! Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply to Jan Johnson Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s