New book underway

Sometimes it’s unclear how much to share of one’s project while it’s in the works.  In this age of social media, I feel a pull to share images and post updates about what’s going on because it’s fun and exciting and it’s happening right now! It was simpler in the past, when I would work for years on a children’s book, knowing that the illustrations wouldn’t be seen until they were released in a printed book.
UPDATE: Here are links to posts about illustrations I’ve finished for the book: South America, Japan, North Africa, North America, HollandIndia, Iran and Afghanistan. To see a list of all my books, click here.

There has got be an approach that lands somewhere between instantaneous sharing and holding back for years. The book is scheduled to come out in 2020, so I’d rather not wait until then. After some thought, I’ve decided to zero in on the details and show closeups. I figure it’s like not seeing the forest for the trees. Hopefully the publisher will agree that showing peeks behind the scenes is OK, too. I’ve tried to document different stages along the way, to give you an idea of my process, while retaining a bit of mystery about the finished project. So, be warned that this is a teaser.

The new book, My Bed is an exploration of varied cultures from around the world. This South American scene shows children sleeping in hammocks.

I devised the hammocks from a basic wire structure, with blanket stitching that looks like weaving. There were several prototypes before I figured out how to make it look right.

The background has embroidered bushes, with thread covered wire branches.

The scene features a lush environment with lots of opportunity to make felt and wire leaves and flowers.

Over the next year, I will share details from other illustrations, documenting the process with photos. These were all taken with my cell phone camera. I hope that you enjoy the upcoming round the world tour!

I am happy to announce that the Cahoon Museum in Cotuit, Massachusetts will host the premiere exhibit of original illustrations for the book. The exhibit will be coordinated with the book’s publication in the fall of 2020. Like with Pocketful of Posies, I am scheduling a touring exhibit, so that more people can see the “real thing”, which is a totally different experience than seeing reproductions on the printed page. Interested museums and art centers are welcome to contact me for information about hosting an exhibit. It would be wonderful to have the original illustrations make their way across the whole country!

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27 thoughts on “New book underway

  1. I love the little glimpses into your process. It gives me ideas for my own art garment work. It’s nothing like yours, but I so enjoy your little figures and their settings. So much fun surface design!

  2. Thrilling! I will happily wait for years and years, with little glimpses of what is to come, as it is devised and tweaked to the point where it can be revealed!

    Your work is astounding, Salley. I am so glad that somehow you have been able to continue all these years – I remember the beginnings, and ever since then (I started watching out for glimpses of your work in 1984 – how times have changed, regarding how increasingly easy it has become to “follow” you) I have many of your books, have made quite a few wee folk, and a panel or two – but nowhere near as many as your work has inspired me to WISH to create! I stand in awe of all you do.

  3. It is so kind of you to share as you go along….I will absolutely buy your book…my very favorite author on embroidery and dolls!!! Thank you!

  4. I love that you are sharing the close-up pictures and some of the processes as you work through the project. It looks intriguing and beautiful.

  5. I am in awe – at your vision, you patience to bring that to life, and your skill in doing so! Thank you, thank you! Looking forward to the book.

  6. I love watching the process. You have always been a major inspiration. I made Wee Folks with my children as they were growing up and now I am making them with my grandkids. Thank you for helping make wonderful memories. I’m looking forward to this new book!

  7. Oh, how beautiful and skilled your work is! How exquisite every detail is and how thoughtful each of your choices of color and stitch. And how carefully engineered. It always brings me joy to see what you are working on. But the most inspiring thing to me always is your approach – how hard you work and how disciplined you are. That is what inspires me the most. I wish I traveled on my path the same way you do on yours, leaving such a quantity of beautiful, finished work in your wake. Thank you for sharing all that you share, Salley. (And of course, I’m as eager as everyone to see the end results!)

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