I grew up sewing, crafting and creating. I learned to sew on an antique Singer treadle machine at a very young age. At 13, I took a mail correspondence dressmaking course and by 14, I was creating and making custom clothing, mending and tailoring for friends, family and neighbors. At 16, I was making some money and had dreams of sewing for my career. All the while, I was trying every art and craft I came across, from painting to ceramics, from crochet to quilting.
In 1981, at 21 years old, I was married and we moved around, ending up in Las Vegas... but I had continued sewing and mending. While in Vegas, I was able to work at high-end boutiques, did sewing and costuming from various apartments we lived in, and one of the most fun was making custom dresses with matching hats for some fun and flamboyant church ladies. Oh, and I can't forget, making, hand embellishing and beading (and mending) wedding gowns!
During those later Vegas years, I transitioned into writing. Another early love and dream of mine. After my divorce, my writing picked up, and by the mid 1990s, I was supporting myself and making a very modest (but satisfying) living from it.
The years passed, and more time became swallowed up in writing and website work, and physically creative projects seemed to be a part of my past. But it was only temporary, thankfully.
Over the years, life happened. Some good, some tough, but I was content and God always provided what I needed. I enjoyed my online job copywriting and learning web development, doing a variety of writing, and helping small online businesses market themselves. As the years marched by, as they do, I got further away from crafting things. All my creative energy went into a computer keyboard.
One morning, in early 2012, I realized I was spending 11+ hours a day, day after day, at my computer, with my gluteus maximus firmly ensconced in my office chair, and I wasn't doing anything creative or artistic with my hands anymore...for over 15 years! I deeply missed crafting things with my hands. I was yearning for the creative outlet that involved touch and smell and texture, the act of designing and putting together combinations and ideas that only my imagination could conceive...and not on the computer! I really missed the tactile experience of textiles and tools that didn't include a keyboard or digital pixels.
I decided that morning that time waits for no man...or woman...and I researched my newest interest...sculptural needle felting. I learned about wool and humanely treated sheep and farms, the special steel needles, and many different techniques. And then I took the plunge, got some wonderful, naturally handled wool fiber and a few felting needles, and I have been smiling every day since! It's been the best decision I've made in years!
I still write, and still work online for a living (my "day job"), but I now have my needle felting as a part-time business, selling on this website, and I needle felt every evening and weekend possible. I schedule and teach needle felting locally, give workshops, sell at trunk shows, and sculpt custom orders.
Every day, I wake up looking forward to the next character, the next woolly fluff, the next stab and sculpt, and the next finishing details. I love that I'm always thinking about what's next, and have several items in different stages at all times, so there is always something in progress, moving forward with this dream. I can't express enough how much I love having this therapeutic, relaxing, and yes, exciting, outlet!
Being a perfectionist and my harshest critic, when an item is listed for sale in my shop, it's because it's something I am proud to share. I work on the tiniest of details until they are perfect to me. I'm always seeking to put an original twist or touch to everything I create. And I can't settle for just following someone else's idea or tutorial. Nope, I have to put my own unique and individual spin on every piece. That's part of the fun!
I've worked at finding my own unique "spin" on three dimensional needle felting, also known as dry felting. I've tried about every style and method, and have developed my own now. It's a focused form of sculptural needle felting that I call wool sculpting. I love using no armatures or supports, no glues or sticks or paper. My works are wool inside and out. And no presses, machines, or shortcuts...just my hands, holding sharp, barbed steel needles, sculpting wool by tangling and felting it into subtle and often dramatic shapes and effects. I occasionally use other natural animal fibers/furs/hair, and I will sometimes use a natural plant-based textile hardener as a clear coat, just to vary textures, but the wool still makes the piece what it is. Forming the wool is the magic, the joy. Seeing what I can make wool do, what textures I can mimic or recreate, this is why what I do is essentially wool sculpting. A wad of fluffy wool, a needle, and my imagination. Wow...how could it be any more exciting!?
As my handmade business grows, I am more and more excited at the possibilities and creative results...and who knows, with the growing and wonderful support I'm receiving, I may even end up needle felting for my "day job" one day soon!
This is my dream, and passion. In life, like writing, you start at one point, but where it goes...and ends...is often a discovery all its own! Thank you for being a part of my story!