As a newbie to the world of blogging I think I should introduce myself. I'm a twenty one and a bit (ok, 30 something!) British expat, living in the Netherlands. I live with my Dutch boyfriend, boxer cross bullmastiff and our budgie in Hilversum. I've been doing various crafts since childhood. My grandma taught me to knit and crochet at the age of about 7. Over the years I progressed onto cross stitch, quilting, card making, (to name a few!) and most recently needle felting. I've always had a passion for teddy bears, and am an animal lover. Most of my creations, even going back to my first childhood ones, were either bears or animals. Even cross stitches, I was always drawn to teddy bear kits or patterns! I have now established myself as a needle felt artist, specialising with mainly miniature teddy bears.
My teddy bear collection (both my own home made ones, and bought ones) has become so huge that I simply cannot find space for them all! So I've decided to share my passion with others via this site, so that I can continue crafting! Needle felting has become by far my favourite medium to work with. I use 100% natural unspun wool, and you just cannot achieve the scope with other mediums that you can with felting. There are no moulds or patterns to follow, so each item I make is completely my own.
So, what is needle felting? Felting is one the oldest methods of making fabric. It dates back many, many years, where quite basic machines were used to punch thousands of tiny barbed needles into wool (and other fibres) to mat them together. Only in recent years has the art of needle felting evolved from that. Of course there is wet felting too, but that, as the name implies, uses a different technique! Needle felting uses but one of those barbed needles. They are designed to be held by a machine to be punched into the fabric, so are ridiculously sharp, not very comfortable to hold, and also rather delicate, as they were designed for precision work, not clumsy fingers to hold and manoeuvre! Needle felting literally is the art of 'poking' a piece of unspun fibre thousands of times with a barbed needle, whilst sculpting the shape by hand. It is a very time consuming and intricate process, but with the end result being a truly unique, natural, hand crafted and usually 'one of a kind' creation. Each miniature can take me anywhere from 4 hours to over a day to finish.
I never until recently considered doing it as a business really. I still don't see it as a 'business', it's my passion, not a 'job' - although it is replacing the norm of 9-5 regimes that most consider their job! I do try to keep some structure so that work and personal life don't collide, but if I feel the urge to sit at 10pm in front of the tv creating something, then I do, but generally I tend to work similar hours to my boyfriend. He leaves home at 5.30 am though, which is a little early for my liking, but I craft whilst he's out at work mostly, I just start a little later than he does! I never ever had a problem with doing something a boss or colleague asked of me, not at all. I can't lie and say I even disliked my job, as I truly didn't, but there was just that something missing. Now, if I want to make a pink teddy bear with orange spots and green stripes, I can! Whether somebody would want to adopt that bear, however, is of course a different matter! But I have no boundaries now. No restrictions. That is priceless! I truly love what I do.
So, in a nutshell, that is me! A bit disorganised, perhaps. A bit weird, perhaps. A bit eccentric, some would say so but I'm not entirely sure. A bit crazy, almost definitely! A love for what I do, 100%!