nursery rhyme cookies

My friend Terry and I made nursery rhymes themed cookies ahead of time for the Pocketful of Posies book release party on Sept. 26th at Highfield.  We had a fun time picking shapes that would go with the book from our collections of cookie cutters. Terry is always game for anything to do with cooking or sewing. We’ve worked on many projects together including the Woods Hole Village Quilt, which I wrote about here.

We made sugar cookies…

and gingerbread cookies.

This tree cookie cutter was from my grandmother’s kitchen stuff. It looks like some of the embroidered felt trees in the book.

from Jack & Jill in “Pocketful of Posies”

I especially liked decorating the little houses with squiggles which reminded me of the embroidered doodles on the felt borders I’ve been making for the past few months. We had a lot of cookies to cover with icing, so I squirted quickly and loosely, not worrying about perfection.

There are many houses in the book. This one is from the rhyme “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day”.

Rain, rain go away, from “Pocketful of Posies”

At about midnight, we stopped and loaded the cookies into the freezer, to keep until the party.

Closeups (grapes)

I smelled grapes this morning. Wild Concord grape vines strangle the trees along the bike path and their dark purple fruit is ripening. Women were picking low growing grapes and filling plastic bags. Here are some closeups of grapes in my artwork over an almost 50 year span.

crayon on lined paper, 1960 (age 5)

This pin was made by covering red beads with sheer lavender fabric. Read the story of my pins here.

pin, 1978

The grapes in this fabric relief piece were made the same way as the pin, but about 1/2 the size. I used real curly grape vines. See another detail from “Vineyard Family” here.

detail from “Vineyard Family” 1985

Here’s one from my kitchen faux tiles, which you can see here.

faux tile, 1991

Here’s a scene from Mary Had a Little Lamb, when the lamb was following Mary to school. See other closeups from the book here.

detail from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” 1995

And this is a felt pin from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects.

felt pin from “Felt Wee Folk” 2003

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

Pocketful of borders (Queen of hearts)

detail from "Queen of Hearts" from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

I’ve been continuously working on the illustrations from Pocketful of Posies, getting them ready for framing. The traveling show of original fabric relief artwork will be launched in mid-Sept. and my husband just began making the wooden shadow box frames. Here’s a series of pictures of the “Queen of Hearts” rhyme, showing the process of adding an additional felt  and metallic braid border and mounting it on red upholstery fabric.  









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

Peas in the garden

This is the first harvest of peas from my garden this summer! Lately, I only plant snap peas, having given up on the chore of shelling regular peas. Later in the season, I’ll be shelling Lima beans, though, which are just starting to climb like Jack’s bean stalk. One pea plant is a rogue, shooting up way beyond the Burpee’s Oregon Sugar Pod II plants.

It has a pink and white flower and we shall see what kind of pea it offers.

The sugar snap peas are so tender when they’re young.

Early in the season the pea plants are healthy and lush. In a few weeks, I’ll barely be able to keep up with the picking. When the leaves are forming, they look like fans or complex origami.

The plant’s tendrils remind me of hopelessly tangled and knotted thread.

Soon, the peas will be growing so fast that I’ll miss picking them while they’re small. There will more than we can eat, so it’s blanching and freezing time! See some of my artwork that includes peas in an earlier post here.

Pocketful of borders (Pat-a-cake, etc.)

pages 18/19 from "Pocketful of Posies", Houghton Mifflin 2010

This double-page spread pictures 3 rhymes from my upcoming children’s book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. I’m preparing the fabric relief illustrations for a traveling show, which you can learn about here.  

Illustration mounted on foam core board

 I chose a border of dark felt to contrast with the light lavender background. The outside edges were blanket stitched with variegated pima cotton. 


The corner pieces have the usual squiggles, along with my initials and the date. 



The 4 side border pieces are green, with variegated embroidery floss loops. These pictures show the tea house, which illustrates the rhyme, “Polly put the kettle on”. 

detail from "Polly put the kettle on"

 Here’s the cobbler shop from “Cobbler, cobbler mend my shoe”. I cut out the wooden signs with a jig saw and painted them. The shoe sign is a little over 1″ long.   The cobbler’s apron is made of leather.

detail from "Cobbler, Cobbler, mend my shoe"

Here is the finished border mounted on the stretched upholstery fabric background. 

pages 18/19 with the finished border

This shows the bakery for “Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake”. The baby buggy is made with floss wrapped wire, coiled around like a basket. Yes, I admit that it’s a bit obsessive. 

detail of "Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake"

detail, page 19, "Pocketful of Posies"

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