Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Salley Mavor's "Pocketful of Posies" Traveling Exhibit

If you didn't get to Elkin, NC,  by Friday, February 22nd, you're too late. Too late that is to see the phenomenal work of fabric relief artist, Salley Mavor.  Her "Pocketful of Posies" traveling exhibit is an eye-candy sight to behold. Months ago when she announced that "Pocketful" was headed south I began plotting and planning my road trip. Cape Cod meets western Carolina doesn't happen that often. Lucky for me, my daughter, Math Girl, lives only a short distance from Elkin. This was my one chance to see the handwork (hard work) of my favorite wool felt, embroidery thread, wood bead, pipe cleaner, driftwood worker of magic. Math Girl even took her children out of school. If you really want to know what love is, my son-in-law chalked up a half day of vacation time to join the felt frenzy. The suspense was building outside the Foothills Art Council of Elkin.
"Pocketful of Posies" is a 72 page hardcover book of nursery rhymes illustrated in fabric relief. Salley's efforts garnered her the Boston Globe-Horn Book award for picture books. This is Salley's cover photo of the fab book that is available at Amazon and also in her etsy store. I think there are around 50 illustrations that were all produced within a year's time. Talk about talent, skill, imagination, determination.
Old King Cole was the guys' favorite.
Every stone in the wall is placed just so.
The buttons forming the archway are perfect.
How can you resist Hey Diddle Diddle?
 Look at the dish and the spoon running away together.
And how about that cat.
That's the only cat I like.
And his purr-fect violin.
This is Math Girl and her baby girls.
A few years ago Math Girl gave me Salley's how-to create weefolk book.
Let's just say that Salley is the Thomas Edison of wool felt and I'm a wannabe.
The girls are holding Jack and Jill that I made for little sister Charlotte once upon a time.
I was needing a lesson from Salley and hoped she would be at the opening of the show.
Sadly, no.
You see, I have a problem with spindly legs.
Poor Jill looks like she's been on a diet of bread and water.
And her arms are too short.
And her sleeves are too big.
Donkey, donkey, old and gray;
Open your mouth to gently bray;
Lift your ears and blow your horn
To wake the world this sleepy morn.
Elsie Marley has grown so fine,
She won't get up to serve the swine,
But lies in bed till eight or nine,
And surely she does take her time.
We looked.
And studied.
And were inspired... illustrate the Marvels of Mavor.
As much as Salley's work has fascinated me,
seeing these framed fabric scapes with each little perfectly placed stitch,
every yummy gradient of color,
each scallop and twist and acorn cap.
A masterpiece.
All I want to do is sew.
And read her blog here.
Or watch the video of the making of Rabbitat Rabbitat film.
Or travel to Cape Cod to see Beebe Woods and the birds that live there. Birds of Beebe Woods.
Thank you, Salley.
These little girls and I are looking up to you!
(So is Jill!)


  1. It is almost more than I can fathom, so glad you got to go and with such delightful company!! Weezie

  2. OOH! Squeal! How wonderful are these! Wish I had the time and talent.

  3. I'm so glad that you and your family made the effort to see the show, Shirley! Thank you for writing such a nice review, too.
    All the best, Salley