Talking about my art


I’ll be talking about my art in this room at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA, this coming Sunday, Oct. 6th at 1:30 pm. The space will be transformed into a lecture hall with chairs, darkened windows and a screen for my presentation. I look forward to sharing the story of my artistic journey through photos and recollections. 50 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are hung all over the first floor of the mansion until Oct. 31st. I love having my work shown is such an inviting and beautiful place!

Just for the event on Oct. 6th, two extra pieces will be displayed on easels; Birds of Beebe Woods and Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion. The “Birds” piece is home for a short time, between shows, so I thought I’d take it along for an outing. The next day, it’ll be crated and shipped to Sebastopol, California for Innovations in Fiber Arts VI at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.  My Self Portrait is on semi-permanent display at the Woods Hole Public Library, so I’m borrowing it for the Highfield event. We’ll also show a short film my husband Rob and I made about the self portrait. I hope to see locals as well as out-of-towners on Sunday. Be sure to come early to claim a seat and look around at  the exhibit!


Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007

Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007

POSIES comes home


After 3 years of traveling around the country, I am pleased to announce that the original illustrations from my book, Pocketful of Posies, are coming home! They have returned to my home town of Falmouth, MA for an exhibit at the beautiful Highfield Hall, where the tour began in 2010. Don’t the banners look great hanging out front? The artwork has traveled thousands of miles, having been driven hither and yon and shipped across the country a couple of times. To see a list of all of the past and future venues, visit the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit Page.


The show at Highfield Hall (Sept. 4 ~ Oct. 31, 2013) will be the last time that the complete set of illustrations from the book will be shown together. Well, almost all of them will be there. The Old woman who lived in a shoe had the opportunity to live in Azerbaijan, so she’s spending more than a year in the American ambassador’s residence. Read the post about it here. The old woman will rejoin the group when she returns from abroad!


After the show in Falmouth, the collection will be divided in half and shown at two venues this fall and winter; the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA and the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA. Visit the Traveling Exhibit Page to see the show dates.


After holding off for most of the 3 year tour, I am glad to once again be offering several originals for sale. Some pieces were sold way back in 2010 and the buyers have been patiently waiting all this time. The framed fabric reliefs range in price from $2,500 to $6,000. The exhibiting collection needs to stay all together for a little while longer, until the beginning of 2014. Then the buyers will be able to take possession of their pieces. Please contact Jen ( for a price list of available work and information about purchasing a piece. Highfield Hall will handle sales during the exhibit.


Out of the 51 total illustrations, I’m reserving about 20, making some Pocketful of Posies originals available to show. In the past, I’ve sold just about everything and it’s only in recent years that I’ve decided to hold onto some pieces, with the intention of exhibiting them. I hear all the time that seeing the real thing is a different experience from looking at the pages of my books. With this in mind, it is important to me that my work be shown in public places and be accessible to as many people as possible.


Posies in Plymouth

pages 48/49 from "Pocketful of Posies"

pages 48/49 from “Pocketful of Posies”

I’m pleased to announce that the next venue to host the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit is the  Plymouth Antiquarian Society’s Hedge House Museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Twenty framed embroidered original illustrations from my book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes will be on display from now until August 31st, 2013. Hedgehouse4

When I dropped off the artwork, I was struck by how intimate and charming the gallery space is within the historic 1809 house. The upstairs octagonal room has been recently restored with period wall-paper, which compliments the color palette and decorative nature of my work. Donna Curtin, the museum’s hard-working director was there to greet me. She suggested hanging the felt-covered wire book title banner under the mantel piece. Do you remember the banner from my decorated tree in last year’s Family Trees event at the Concord Museum? At the last minute I packed it in the car with the bubble wrapped frames, thinking there may be a way to hang it up. It’s always satisfying to find another use for something you make for a specific purpose.


family trees by Salley Mavor 08W

“Pocketful of Posies” tree at the Concord Museum, 2012

They did a great job of hanging the artwork, which fits nicely in grouped clusters around the room. We didn’t bring a camera to the opening last Saturday so I don’t have any photos. Sometimes it’s nice to be free of a camera around your neck, but quite often one wishes there was a picture to show. I haven’t gotten in to using the camera on my phone, but that’s the next step.

My show opening was held in conjunction with the well attended celebration of the Rose Briggs Memorial Gardens in back of the Hedge House, so most people who came to see the exhibit were unfamiliar with my artwork. I heard many remarks about how this was not what they expected, but they seemed happily surprised by what they saw. Some thought it would be a display of old (or modern) fabric and others were curious about what fiber art is. Labels and technique descriptions don’t match what I do. It took some time for people to understand that the framed pieces on the wall are original illustrations from a children’s picture book (a gallery copy is available). I’m used to seeing the confused look on people’s faces as I try to explain that I illustrate with fabric and embroidery. In this case, I can point to the originals and the book and explain the connection, but when I’m out in the world and have no visual aids, it can be frustrating. Most times, I just say that I’m an artist and leave it at that. If I drop the children’s book illustrator bomb, I run the inevitable risk of being plied with advice on how to get a book published. Anyway, I’m glad to share my work with people who live in or come to visit the historic town of Plymouth!

June 25th, 7:00 pm I will speak about the development of my work at the Plymouth Antiquarian Society’s Hedge House Museum, Plymouth, MA.  Fee: $15; $12 members. Limited seating; reservations required. To download a printable reservation form click here; email or call 508-746-0012 to reserve a place.


Destination Cedarhurst

PFOPpg44_45In the past few days, I have heard from three different people who’ve traveled some distance to see the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit at the  Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. I can picture carloads of quilters, embroiderers and children’s book from the Midwest heading down the highway, all converging in Mt. Vernon, IL. Let’s hope that there was a lot of chatting and laughter during the hours on the road  And some have driven quite far, from hundreds of miles away in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Cindy Gehrke told me about how she and two needle-worker friends took a 4 day road trip which included a visit to my show. MarySusan Farmer, who came with a group that drove the 2 1/2 hours from Springfiled, IL writes, “What a TREAT!!! Your artistry is so totally engaging it was beyond belief!!” And Louann Mattes Brown checked in after she and some other members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators had a field trip to the exhibit.

Added 4/15/13: Bonnie from St. Louis, MO just wrote to say that nine members of the Doll-a-holics ( a hands on soft doll making group) carpooled 2 hours to Cedarhurst to see the exhibit. She says, ” We were all overwhelmed by your intensity of stitches, the small size, and the dimensional quality that you created in each. What a wonderful day we had.”

I’ve also heard from quilters who are planning on taking in the Cedarhurst exhibit, which is only 1 1/2 hours from Paducah, KY and the The American Quilter’s Society Annual Show and Contest (April 24th-27). And while they are in Paducah, they can also see my piece,  Birds of Beebe Woods in the Fantastic Fibers show at the Yeiser Art Center!

I’m impressed that people are making an effort to see my work while it is within reach, even though they have to travel for hours! The exhibit will be up until May 5, 2013 at  Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. I’ve also heard from people who’ve driven long distances to see the other half of the book illustrations in Fresno, CA.  That exhibit runs through May 24 at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

Because of continued interest, I’ve decided to keep touring a select group of original Pocketful of Posies illustrations beyond 2013. At this point, I don’t have the time to send out proposals and search out exhibit opportunities, so I can’t target specific cities or parts of the country. I would love to have the show go far and wide and it all depends on which venues contact me. I am in discussion with a few prospective hosts who have asked about future shows. Inquiries from libraries, art centers and museums with a shipping budget are welcome.


Closeups: Spring


Today is the Spring Equinox! Let’s celebrate the coming of warmth and the promise of the growing season. Here are some spring-inspired closeups of my artwork, starting with a house and tree, which I guess is from the first grade. Skip 50 years, to a group of details from some nursery rhyme illustrations in Pocketful of Posies. If you have the book, you can look carefully and pick them out.








Fresno, here we come!


detail from “Wee Willie Winkie” board book

Yes, the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit is coming to Fresno, California and so am I! 25 original embroidered illustrations from my picture book Pocketful of Posies, 10 pieces from my series of baby board books and George’s Chair will all be on display March 18 – May 24, 2013 at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

All are invited to the opening reception on Friday, March 22 at 6:00 pm. Rob and I will be traveling to California for the event and I will be giving a talk at 7:00 pm. In addition, I’ll be at Petunia’s Place, also in Fresno, for a book signing on Saturday, March 23rd from 11:00 – 1:00. We’re really looking forward to coming to California and hope to meet some of you on Friday or Saturday.


detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

My artwork is included in the dual exhibition, “Golden Threads: Journey through the Picture Book,” in Fresno State’s Madden Library. Featured will be “Golden Legacy: 65 Years of Golden Books,” sixty pieces of original artwork from Little Golden Books, and “Pocketful of Posies: The Worlds of Salley Mavor” (co-hosted by the Fresno FiberArts Guild). I’m happy that the show will be up for more than 2 months, giving people plenty of time to come and see it.

GT flyer Feb 6

Posies at Cedarhurst


The Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit is currently on display until May 5, 2013 at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, Illinois. The collection of 50 original embroidered illustrations from the book are divided into two groups of 25. One group is at Cedarhurst in Illinois and the other group is at this moment being trucked across the entire width of America to Fresno, CA.

I’ve heard from some people who are planning to see the Cedarhurst exhibit and go see my piece, Birds of Beebe Woods in the Fantastic Fibers show in Paducah, KY, which is an hour an a half away. If you’re in the mid-west, these are the places to see my originals.

The other 25 illustrations will be shown at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno from March 18 – May 27, 2013. All are invited to the opening reception on Friday, March 22 at 6:00 pm. Rob and I will be traveling to California for the event and I will be giving a talk at 7:00 pm. I’ll be at Petunia’s Place, also in Fresno, Saturday, March 23rd from 11:00 – 1:00. I hope to meet some of you!

Jennifer Sarver, the curator at Cedarhurst, just send these photos of the gallery. Since I wasn’t able to go to the opening, I love seeing pictures of people pointing and scrutinizing the artwork. Look at the group of three young artsy looking types in the first photo. I imagine that they’re looking at a copy of my book, but they could very well be looking at a cell phone!






Posies is traveling to Illinois!

from "Pocketful of Posies"

from “Pocketful of Posies”

“Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been? I’ve been to Mount Vernon to see the Queen.” The Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit will be on display from Feb. 23 – May 5, 2013 at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, Illinois. The collection of 50 original embroidered illustrations from the book are divided into two groups of 25. One group is currently being shown until Feb. 22, 2013 at the Foothills Arts Council, Elkin, North Carolina.

from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

We took the six boxes to the UPS Store in the truck and they are right now traveling west, half way across the country to Illinois. I hope that some of you have a chance to see the show in either North Carolina or Illinois. Next stop: Fresno, California!


Old woman who lived in a shoe goes abroad!


Yes, the old woman who lived in a shoe is going abroad! She, along with her children and other nursery rhyme characters who inhabit the original illustration from Pocketful of Posies were recently invited to spend some time in the American Embassy in Azerbaijan.

artinembassies2Where is Azerbaijan and why is the old woman going there, you may ask? It’s the largest country in the Caucasus region located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The ambassador’s wife saw the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit, when it was at Highfield Hall in Falmouth in 2010 (the exhibit will return there in Sept.). When her husband got his this diplomatic assignment, she arranged with the Art in Embassies Program to send one of my pieces, along with other artist’s work that she selected, to the diplomat’s residence in Baku. She reached out to me personally and together we picked a piece of mine to include. It was a pleasure to talk with her and we hope to meet when she comes home.


The art shippers picked up the framed artwork yesterday and wrapped it for the journey. It’ll be carefully packed with the other artwork in a shipping crate. It cracked me up to see the guys using plastic gloves to handle the artwork.


A huge blue truck pulled up on the road outside our driveway. I really like the art shipping company’s logo on the door.


Bye, Bye old woman. I wonder what they’ll think of you in Azerbaijan. See you in couple of years! I am proud to be doing my part to represent art being created in America.


Posies goes to the Foothills


…the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, that is. The Crooked Man and 24 other nursery rhyme illustrations are traveling to Elkin, North Carolina for the next leg of the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit.


I’m happy to announce that the show will at the Foothills Arts Council from January 11 to February 23, 2013. I hope that many people from the area will see the exhibit, as this is as far south as the show will travel. To find other locations around the country and the schedule for the rest of the year, visit the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Show page.