Displaced posters are here!

Since first sharing images of my newest piece, Displaced a few weeks ago, I have been overwhelmed by the response from all over the world. The photos and video spread quickly throughout the internet and have been viewed by thousands on this blog, FacebookInstagram and Pinterest. I cannot tell you how touched I am by the outpouring of appreciation in so many different languages! Many people from varied backgrounds said it resonated with them personally and reminded them of their own family’s struggles generations ago. Nancy Taylor expressed her reaction so well, “I often feel despair listening to the radio stories about the experience of refugees around the world. Having the ability to express this in such a beautiful and meaningful way must be profound on a personal level. And it helps the rest of us understand, be more aware and have compassion too.”


Detail of Displaced, 2016

I was asked if this piece could be made into a poster, so I’m pleased to say yes, 18″ x 24″ posters (beautifully designed by my sister Anne) are now in my Etsy Shop. The plan is to exhibit Displaced for the next few years, instead of selling it, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to see the original fabric relief piece. Even though a printed reproduction cannot duplicate the experience of seeing the real thing, the poster captures the detail and emotional impact of the piece. And poster sales will help defray the cost of shipping the artwork to different parts of the country.

The premiere showing of Displaced will be this fall at my exhibit in Bristol, RI. Sept. 16 – Oct. 30, 2016 ~ Intertwined – Needle Art of Salley Mavor – Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI.


Poster – Displaced

Cover Up (part 2)

CoverUp_lowresThis is the 2nd part in a series of posts about my new piece Cover Up (24″ x 30″), which features 45 individual characters who represent women from particular times or places. They all wear some form of head covering, adornment, makeup or mask that serve as markers, whether they are forms of self expression or dictated by religious or cultural tradition. There’s a wide array, from exaggerated fashions to veils that hide women from sight.

Some depictions are identifiable by their national costumes, tribal markings or regional headdresses and others are less distinguishable and open to interpretation, but they are all distinct individuals who fit into a collective portrait of women through history.

souvenierdollI tried to personify a variety of ethnic groups with accuracy and sensitivity. I didn’t want them to look like those plastic international souvenir dolls (shown on right), with generic features molded in different pigment shades. And I hope that Cover Up has more depth than a fashion show or a Unicef card. My intention was to show portraits of real imagined people, with their own personalities and spirits, who live or have lived with the pressure imposed by their society’s ideas about being female. Even the Geisha has an identity underneath her white pancake makeup and the Afghan woman has a unique self inside her blue burqa.


I used Google Images to find reference material and practiced painting likenesses on 20mm wooden bead heads with tiny brush strokes. As I watched the crowd of characters grow, I realized that each one had a story to tell. So, I photographed them all separately before sewing them onto the larger piece. Looking at the women individually may be a way to appreciate their distinct styles, but the relationship between them is missing. When viewed alone, there is no context for comparison, whereas the whole piece creates a juxtaposition that I find more thought provoking.


The following images are a collection of portraits of women who depict cultural, national, and religious forms of head coverings and tribal markings that reflect notions of female modesty, fashion, status and conformity from different times and places. The originals have 20mm wooden bead heads and these photos are enlarged so you can see the details.

Instead of making a key that lists each character’s source, I’ve decided to resist the tendency to label them and let their humanity speak instead. I hope you enjoy meeting the women!

12 x 17 posters featuring of a selected group are available in my  Etsy Shop here.

Poster - Cover Up

Poster – Cover Up

Cover Up is part of a series that includes Face Time and Whiskers, which focus on bringing to life different people from around the world, using themes of history, style and cultural identity. In each piece, head and shoulder busts peek out of “cameo” framed holes. Their faces are painted 20mm wooden beads, with wigs and adornments, similar to the doll heads in my how-to book Felt Wee Folk – New AdventuresThese 3 pieces will be included in my exhibit Intertwined – Needle Art of Salley Mavor at the Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI, Sept. 16 – Oct. 30, 2016.

The next post (part 3 & video) shows the process of making the pieced felt background for Cover Up. Read Cover Up (part 1) here.

Cover Up (part 1)

CoverUp_lowresThis is the first in a multi-part series of posts about my new fabric relief piece, Cover Up. It’s the female counterpart to Whiskers, my previous exploration of men’s facial hair styles. Cover Up focuses on women’s head coverings that serve as identifying markers imposed by the conventions of a particular time and place throughout history. I want the 45 characters to invite comparison and point out contrasts and similarities between different societies, whether they are open or restrictive in tolerating self expression and individuality.

I loved the research phase of the project and spent many days hunting down images of women from around the world, each wearing a form of covering that reveals something about the culture they come from. I’ve depicted individuals with all sorts of veils, scarves, hats, makeup and facial markings that reflect different notions of female modesty, attractiveness, fashion, status and conformity.


While searching through the images, I considered this question, “At what point does a bold, new fashion statement evolve into just another form of conformity that brands a group identity?” I also reflected on being a part of our diverse American society that is made up of immigrants and how this experience may influence one’s perception of “the other”.




The possibilities were endless and I could have kept making new heads for a long time, but I had to narrow it down and chose styles that I thought would best represent a variety of cultures. In a lot of cases it came down to choosing depictions that had characteristics I found personally intriguing.


Poster - Cover Up

Poster – Cover Up

After finishing the portraits and before making the background field to put them in, I took separate photos of each one and shared them on Instagram and Facebook. I invite you to follow me on these other social media sites for more frequent postings and notices, which include behind the scenes pictures.

The response to the photos was so enthusiastic that I decided to print a poster which shows enlargements (200%) of a selected collection of these portraits. The 12 x 17 poster (shown left) is available in my Etsy Shop here.



Cover Up is part of a series that includes Face Time and Whiskers, which focus on bringing to life different people from around the world, using themes of history, style and cultural identity. In each piece, head and shoulder busts peek out of “cameo” framed holes. Their faces are painted 20mm wooden beads, with wigs and adornments, similar to the doll heads in my how-to book Felt Wee Folk – New AdventuresThese 3 pieces will be included in my exhibit Intertwined – Needle Art of Salley Mavor at the Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI, Sept. 16 – Oct. 30, 2016.


Please stay tuned for more posts about making Cover Up. Coming up are more photos of the portraits and how the felt background was made. My husband Rob is even working on a short video with material he filmed while I was stitching the piece. Read (part 2) and (part 3 & video).





New Felt Wee Folk posters!


poster - Felt Wee Folk

poster – Felt Wee Folk

I’m excited to show you these two new 11″ x 17″ posters that I had printed in anticipation of the publication of my upcoming book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Projects.feltweefolknewcover It was a family production; I constructed the scenes and made the dolls, my husband Rob Goldsborough took the photographs, and my sister Anne Mavor did the graphic design. All of these doll projects and more will be in the new book.

Both posters are for sale in my Etsy Shop for a very reasonable price. Sorry about the tacky “WeeFolkStudio.com” watermark across the center of the image — it doesn’t appear on the poster. To celebrate, I will be giving away the winter scene poster with the purchase of my book,  Pocketful of Posies  on Sunday, Dec. 7th during Author and Illustrator Day (1:00 ~ 4:00 pm), at the Concord Museum in Concord, MA

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be released in last part of February, 2015. You can pre-order copies from my Etsy Shop here. Each book will include an autograph, faux flowers to make 2 fairies and a Felt Wee Folk winter scene poster.

poster - Felt Wee Folk

poster – Felt Wee Folk

Noah’s Ark Poster

noahs ark Etsy

I am pleased to announce the addition of another 18″ x 24″ poster to my Etsy Shop. The poster is new, but the original NOAH’S ARK piece was made 28 years ago!

I remember working on it during a transitional period, when I created animals that were similar in size and style to my pins (see them here), which I sewed to dyed and appliqued cotton velveteen background fabric. The animal’s legs are formed with tube beads. I also remember finding the orange upholstery fabric that’s around the border while shopping at a large fabric store in Berkeley, CA. I can recall playing around and re-positioning the animals for a long time until they looked right. It was also during a time when I fell in love with hand embroidering little leaves on bushes and trees. You can see some details of the animals and landscape below.

The NOAH’S ARK Poster is available from my Etsy Shop here.






Rabbitat Giveaway winners!

Poster - Rabbitat

Poster – Rabbitat

Thank you to all of you who entered the giveaway to celebrate 10,000 views of the Rabbitat film! I found your comments fascinating and loved hearing about which materials you like to work with. I think that this was a good sampling of the kind of people who follow my blog. Most of you revealed your preferences for wool, yarn, felt, paper and fabrics of different kinds. A more eclectic group won my heart, when they picked a variety of unconventional materials, from wire to corn husks. All in all, you are people who like to set your hands in motion making things–my kind of people!

And now for the winners! They are Ava Genho, a girl who likes to make little dolls, Vickie Conmy who works with Angora, which she shears form her own rabbits and Jonquilly, who praises Tyvek paper. I will contact them and shall be sending them each a Rabbitat poster.

Rabbitat 10,000 views Giveaway!


Yippee! the Rabbitat film has been seen 10,000 times since it was released 2 1/2 years ago! The number of views has surged in the last few months, since I finally saw the obvious and put it on this blog’s About Me Page. Before that, the film was assigned to its own page, requiring some rummaging around to find it. Many people have also found the film through my Facebook Page.

Poster - Rabbitat

Poster – Rabbitat

To celebrate, I am offering a Giveaway to 3 people from anywhere in this sweet old world. To enter, please leave a comment telling about your favorite material to work with. The winners will be picked at random on Feb. 1st and sent an autographed18 x 24 Rabbitat poster, which is also available from my Etsy Shop here.

Find links to blog posts about the process of making my piece, Rabbitat here. A great big thank you to filmmakers Daniel Cojanu and Elise Hugus from UnderCurrent Productions for encapsulating my work in such an engaging way for 7 minutes. For those of you who haven’t yet seen the film or want to look at it again, here it is: