It's very easy to let a craft take over your life. I LOVE felting...but here is the thing...like anything, you can and probably will get burned out. It's those times that I need to step away and get inspired. One thing that really truly inspires me is color. Currently, I am passionate about the combination turquoise and red. You may find your inspiration in a trip or even at a gallery; what better excuse to get out and explore. Open your mind to new ideas. Try not to get discouraged if you haven't created or worked on a project in a week. You will get back to your passion with as much enthusiasm as before, you just need inspirational kick in the ass.
When I was a full-time musician/singer/songwriter (see this old article about INHOUSE) I had such a problem with listening to other female performers. It wasn't that I didn't like them, it was that I didn't want to be influenced by them. I didn't want to have their voice in my head when I was trying to find my own. When it comes to needle felting, I thought I should try and do the same thing, but I can't seem to avoid falling in love with so many other felting creations. I decided instead to let them influence me. Maybe not my voice but definitely my ambition to do great work. Let them teach me that there are style choices that are original and moving. Here are some of the great pieces that have inspired me to go home each night and work on being the best I can be at this craft. Please visit my gallery.
From the minute I wake up till the minute I go to sleep I am thinking about felting. Okay, maybe not 100% of the time, but throughout the day it's on my mind. It's interesting how obsessions develop. Years ago, I never heard of the terms felting, needle felting, or core wool. This vocabulary has become such a major part of my life; I feel so blessed that I have fallen into it.
I lead a very busy life. My "real job" balanced with being a wife, an artist, and a musician, have swallowed up most of my existence, add to that, that I love having a social life, it's a wonder I have time to breathe. I understand at this point that parents may think I have it easy, but I have the worst habit of filling every waking moment with something to do, much to my Husband's chagrin. Most of what I fill my time with is being creative.
So how do I allot time for felting which has become a small business? In the beginning it was when I sat down. Now, I actually think about when I will work on projects. I begin promptly after dinner and wrap it up at 10:30 pm. I only felt on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; all other time is divided with my other interests. I keep time for visiting the gallery with new works and visiting my parents for a home cooked dinner. I also teach an occasional class or two and prep time for that is necessary. I guess I am learning that you have to create balance in your life, and although you may love to spend random moments doing things that make you happy, it will burn you out eventually if you are not careful.
When I began needle felting, I had no idea you could or should try to use an armature inside of your sculpture. By doing this, it enables the sculpture to be posed. Not only did it kick my work up a notch, it made it so much fun to display. Some of my gallery mates have had too much fun acting out scenarios with my work while on display.
The downside of pose-able sculptures is that to you can expect pilling. Just like your favorite wool sweater may get a little worn under the arms, the wool may ball in areas. Simply remove it with a detail scissor or do a felt touch up with a fine detail felting needle. When I sell sculptures to those I know will be repositioning frequently (yes those people exist) I always include a needle for touch ups, however I also offer free touch ups at the owner's shipping expense as part of my sale.
Bottom line...try it...you may like working with the wire.
Sometimes coming up with a theme for a new show can be tough, but this one seemed to scream out at me. Drumroll please...bring on the red carpet...we're going topside! "FASCINATED" A Milliner's Nightmare will be debuted Friday, April 8 2016 from 6-9 pm at Artisans on the Ave in Lake Worth, Florida.
According to Wikipedia: Since the 1990s the term "fascinator" refers to a form of formal headwear worn as an alternative to the hat; it is usually a large decorative design attached to a band or clip, sometimes incorporating a base to resemble a miniature hat, in which case it may be called a hatinator.
Drawing from my days in the fashion industry, red carpet fashion is not new to me; creating hats however is very new to me. My approach will be a bit bizarre because I am still and always will be a fiber sculptor who loves to felt bunnies, but I realize how much fun it can be to shake things up a bit. I'm still in the sketch phase, although I realize I must work quickly. Please stay posted for images if you are too far away to attend. Please attend if you can.
Here are some fun fascinators that I grabbed off of google images. Enjoy
My Mom always tells me I should needle felt people in uniforms. A policeman, fireman and possibly a milkman. Truthfully, I have no desire to felt those subjects and milkmen don't even exist anymore (not the cute kind with the white suits and hats). Before I decide what the theme of my next art exhibit will be, I have to think hard about what will keep me inspired to felt an entire show. I've felted storybook characters, birds, dogs and 1920's swimmers. What next? As my skill level improves the options become great and ambitious. What are some of things you felt that are a bit out of the ordinary? Inquiring bloggers would love to know.
I've taught classes many times in my life for a variety of crafts but teaching needle felting is different. For the first time I am teaching something that I am truly passionate about and feel I have a solid grasp of. I first came to felting from an image that I saw on pinterest. It was the sweetest little mouse looking up at an owl. Up until 2 1/2 years ago, all I had been sculpting was giant Halloween sculptures and I wanted to sculpt on a smaller scale year round. The other perk was that it was not at all as messy as monster mud and burlap. Nobody in my area was doing it so I had to send away for all of my supplies. I am the type of person that when I get an idea, I need to act on it. I got online and bought supplies like a first time mom. I learned quickly that I didn't need half of what was recommended to accomplish my goals as a sculptor. If you are interested in reading more about my classes click here. All classes take place in Palm Beach County and must have a minimum of 5 participants.
This past December I participated in my first craft fair. My Dad is a professional artist, so I felt going in that I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. In the past I hadn't attended many craft fairs but instead Dad's art shows and thought...how different could it be? It was so much fun! I set a sales goal for myself and actually met it. It can be a viable option for felters wanting to sell their work. Here are a few things to know that may help make your experience more pleasant.
What to know:
Hope you found this post helpful. See below an image of my table and my elf Cason. Please visit my site often to read other posts regarding needle felting!
When I was in high school, my class had a Valentine’s chocolate sale in which a student could buy another student a chocolate heart and it would be delivered to them during homeroom. You could either choose to be anonymous or declare your love over the school intercom; point is someone was thinking when they came up with that very unique idea. That promotion, though so many years ago, inspired me to make a unique card with a felted heart that could be sent to as many Valentine’s as you would like. All you have to do is buy it and tell me who is getting it. It’s an unusual thing to receive which doesn't necessarily declare undying love but instead that you hold a place in the giver's heart. This type of Valentine can be sent to anyone you know, a sweetheart, a friend, a parent or a child will feel absolutely loved when receiving it. You can order one here. It’s never too early to start thinking about the holiday which focuses on love. I wish it could always be Valentine’s Day.