cruise to Cuttyhunk (part 2)

Continued from cruise to Cuttyhunk (part 1).

The next morning we took our dingy to the Cuttyhunk dock and walked through town.

We went to the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club for breakfast.

On the way we came across this “Bed and Breakfast” garden.

I love this flower bed.

There was an incredible view of Vineyard Sound from the dining porch.

We walked back through the village a different way.

With just a few short roads and no gas station, golf carts are the prefered transportation method.

From the hill on top of the island, you can see the Elizabeth Island chain going north toward Woods Hole.

We walked down to the dock, took our dingy back to our boat and motored home. What a wonderful getaway!

Close-ups (foliage)

This series of close-ups shows the progression of my stitching technique and style over 20 years of illustrating children’s books. The first picture shows a detail of the banana trail that Savi the elephant follows through the jungle in The Way Home (1991). Read the story about making The Way Home here.

from "The Way Home" 1991

I made a stencil and painted grass on the velveteen background in The Way Home‘s sequel, Come to my Party (1993).

from "Come to My Party" 1993

Jump ahead a dozen years and I’m embroidering blades of grass and sewing glass beads to a wool felt background in the board book, Hey! Diddle, Diddle.

detail from "Hey! Diddle, Diddle" 2005

And still obsessing over french knots in Jack and Jill.

detail from "Jack and Jill" 2006

This one shows a small section of the illustration from the song One misty moisty morning in my most recent book, POCKETFUL OF POSIES . If you are having difficulty finding a copy of the book, it’s because the first printing has sold out. My local bookstore, Eight Cousins, stocked up, so they might still have some (508.548.5548). The situation will soon be remedied, as the second printing will arrive from Hong Kong in mid-January.

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

Close-ups (gardens)

How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.  ~Benjamin Disraeli


Here are a couple of pieces that I made in 1982, when I was transitioning from 3d sculptural work to flatter, framed pieces. I started using the term “fabric relief” about then because people kept asking what they were called. It’s still hard to explain what I do at cocktail parties!

The water coming out of the hose is metallic thread. The figures playing croquet are very early “wee folk” with cloth heads instead of the painted wooden ones I use now.


This is a detail from the strawberry garden scene in a illustration from Mary Had a Little Lamb. The stones were glued onto the velveteen background fabric.


Here’s another Mary character in her garden, this one from The Hollyhock Wall. Her hair is wool fleece and the background is embroidery on dyed velveteen.


“Eleven, Twelve, dig and delve”. This illustration is part of a rhyme in Pocketful of Posies.  The straw hat is made with thread wrapped wire and the spade blade is a heart charm.


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

Inspiration: flower garden in July

With a good balance of sun and rain, along with warm temperatures early in the spring, it’s been an incredible garden season. Both vegetables and flowers are healthy and beautiful. At this point, I just grow flowers that are easy and take care of themselves. If they live through the winter, I divide the plants in the spring and give them away or find new ground to cover.

I forgot to cut back the trumpet vine this year and it looks more like a tree than a vine.

The clematis is so showy and brilliant purple.

Lilies are taking over!

I love the way hydrangea look at their different stages of growth. This could be clusters of french knots or seed beads.

More and more lillies.

Inspiration: Roses

Riding around on my bike in the early morning, I can’t help but revel in the show of both cultivated and wild roses around town. As a young person, I did not understand why my mother and grandmother got so excited about flowers. Sure, they were pretty, but why would you spend so much time and energy growing  arranging and gazing at them? As you can see, I’ve grown into a flower freak after all!  Here are some I saw and photographed in Woods Hole.

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.