This is where I sit most days and sculpt animals and snowmen out of wool. (It doesn’t always look this organized!)
The desk sits in a corner of our living room right by a big window where I can look out at the sheep, cattle and birds.
My kids made these beautiful clay bowls and I have put them to good use.
I have made a few snowmen scarves and hats. Remember, my goal is to make 200 snowmen this year. So far I am on schedule.
Baby lambs are less than a month away! I am getting excited. :-) We are shearing next week, so look for some shearing pictures soon.
My first project of March was a lamb. :-) Not because March came in like a lamb by any means! It is still cold here and we are only a few weeks away from our baby lambs arriving. Most of the above projects can be purchased in my Etsy shop.
A few bunnies and snowmen that I have made since my last posting. They are available to purchase in my Etsy Shop. The “Bear Creek Bunnies” are selling quickly. I try to make and list them every other day, more often when possible. I will be making more, with balloons and in all different colors, so please keep checking back if you don’t find one in my shop. I have also set a goal of making 17 snowmen a month, so you will continue to see snowmen, even when you may not want to. :-)
Increased the bunny population today by one. :-) She is available in my Etsy shop.
New Bear Creek Bunnies available to purchase in my Etsy shop.
Needle Felting a Donkey. My latest project completed today. He is available to purchase here.
I have been asked numerous times if I do commission work. When first starting out in needle felting I took on several custom orders. They all turned out well, with happy customers etc. Over the years I have learned a few things and found that when inspired to make something I could accomplish better sculpting with much less stress. For example I would be out helping round-up the cows and happened to get some wonderful photographs of one of the cows that I thought was adorable. I was so excited to felt this particular cow that I started right away that evening, the project didn’t take long at all because I could see exactly what I needed to see in my mind and I knew that I could make her. I could see everything, all the curves and shapes and everything came together so simply. I couldn’t wait to get done because I already could see her finished in my mind and couldn’t wait. She turned out amazing and I loved that sculpture.
Now look at a custom order with me. Someone contacts me with a custom order for their favorite long hair cat with three different colors in her beautiful striped coat. They would love to have her sculpted laying on her back because this is how she likes to sleep. I ask for pictures and alas they could not get a picture of her laying on her back but send me several blurry pictures of her face. I spend hours searching the internet for pictures of cats sleeping on their backs, I spend several more hours dyeing wool trying to get the exact colors for the cat. I am ready to begin. I look at the picture of the cat, and think to myself, I don’t think it is very cute at all. I spend hours on the head because I don’t feel I am very good at cats and I really don’t like to make long-haired animals. It doesn’t look like the cat in the picture so I spend several more hours trying to adjust and get the long hair to lay just right. When the cat is finished I look at it and say, “That is the ugliest thing I have ever made.” I send pictures to the customer, they love it, (this is what they say, but I feel bad thinking they hate it but feel pressured to buy it because it is a custom order.) The entire experience for me was uncomfortable, stressful and humiliating.
I love to felt! I love to make animals out of wool. I like to make the animals that I think are cute. I know I do quality work when I love what I am doing. I have to admit this, there are some animals out there that I don’t think are very cute.
You probably already know the answer to the question. No, I do not do custom orders. I will tell you this though, I take Requests. Requests are much less stressful to me. Here are some examples of requests:
- I saw a picture of a donkey sculpture that you made in Mary Janes Farm Magazine. I was wondering if you could make another one? My wife has a birthday in March and I would love to give her one of your donkey sculptures.
- I love your “Bear Creek Bunnies”. I would love to see you make one holding a pink balloon.
- I collect Tapir’s and was wondering if you would ever consider making one?
- I notice you have made some cows, would you consider making a black Angus cow?
- I raise Weimaraner dogs, have you ever thought of making one? I would love it if you did.
These kinds of requests take all the stress away. They have requested animals they know I have made and love to make. I write their requests down and do try to get them made within the year if possible. If an animal is requested that I know I would never make, I make it known. I love to make things that I know people are looking for. I love requests! I even enjoy requests for animals I have never made before because I probably haven’t even thought of them yet, and you may inspire me.
I understand wanting to have a sculpture of your favorite pet! There are many needle felting artists out there that love doing just that and they do an amazing job. Do a google search for felted pet sculptures and you will find many artists that specialize in personalized felted pet sculptures.
Not all the sculptures that I make are requests. I do make some sculptures just because I want to. Other sculptures that I make have had many requests. Sometimes I can’t make enough for everyone, but I will try. I try to notify those that have made requests for a certain animal when one has been completed, but that isn’t always that easy. The best thing to do after making a request is to watch my Facebook page. I post all my new listing there and Pictures of the “Work In Progress” of my bigger sculptures.
If you are looking for Bear Creek Bunnies or Snowmen, keep in mind that I make them all year. I try to keep several in my shop at all times. This isn’t always possible, but I do try. If you don’t find any in my shop, it is because I can’t keep up at the moment, but am doing everything I can to get them made. I post these to my Facebook page as well.
Bear Creek Bunny #139
I just listed her in my Etsy shop moments ago and she sold while I was entering this post.
My goal for the month of January was to complete 17 snowmen.
Some of them sold immediately others are still available in my Etsy shop.
♦What is your recommendation for someone who is a beginner?
♦I am a pretty seasoned crafter, usually make for my own enjoyment, not for sale. I have seen a lot of this craft, your designs are the best I have seen. I am going to order a few beginners kits from you…any special words of wisdom, or encouragement?
♦I’m a beginner – or will be when I order one of your kits. :). If I get a Kit with the needles & cushion, will they last for future use?
Your work is utterly lovely!
I get asked this question often and would like to clear up any confusion on what kit would be best for you. My kits are labeled for Beginner and Advanced Beginner. I should clarify that all my kits are designed with the beginning needle felter in mind. All the kits go through the basics and explain how felting works and have pictures of every step etc. The biggest difference between the beginner and advanced is time, patience and sculpting. The beginner kits have very little sculpting involved while the advanced have more sculpting which takes more time and patience. I always recommend starting with a beginner and then moving on to an advanced kit. I have listed the kits below in order (in my opinion) of difficulty.
- Snowman Kit You can’t go wrong with the snowman. It is perfect for starting out as it includes prefelted balls to insure the correct size. You are still learning with this kit, as it gives you experience in how the wool felts. Great for kids as well. About 3 hours to complete this project
- Sheep Kit The sheep kit is just a tiny bit more difficult. You will still be ok with dimensions and size. The only thing more involved would be the glass eyes and felting the ears. Still very easy. I have held classes on how to make the sheep and have seen beautiful results and very happy students.
- Pumpkin Kit The pumpkin is easy as well, it takes a bit more patience to felt in the indentations.
- Penguin Kit The penguin is the hardest of the beginner kits mainly because there are more parts and a little bit of shaping. It will take more time than the previous kits. It can still very easily be done by a beginner.
- Bear Kit The bear kit is the easiest of the advanced kits. :-) Is that confusing? I will try to explain. It takes more time, there are more parts involved and requires some sculpting. The directions are good at guiding you with pictures and many have completed bears as their first project. Keep in mind that it will take a bit more patience and there is the possibility that it might not look exactly like the bear pictured when you are finished. I have seen many pictures of amazing bears that were completed with my kit.
- Turkey Kit The turkey is so fun and colorful and could easily be done by a first time felter. The reason it is labeled advanced is the time factor. It takes a long time to make all the different parts of the turkey. Making all the different shapes are easy, the only difficult part will be the head where some sculpting is involved. (in other words it is not just a ball, it has curves and such) There are pictures of every step, with helpful tips to guide you.
- Mouse Kit With the next 2 kits, I ask that you have some felting experience or confidence in your sculpting abilities. :-) The mouse kit has a starter prefelted ball to give you a base to work from. This helps gage the size. The mouse is small and detailed and takes time and patience to complete.
- Bunny Kit The bunny is adorable and I have seen pictures of several completed projects from my customers that are amazing. This is my most difficult kit to date. Can it be done as your first project, yes. I just can’t gaurantee that it will look exactly like the picture. The instructions are very precise in showing and telling you how I do it. The only thing lacking is exact measurements on the amount of wool for each part and completed sizes. I don’t include exact measurements and sizes because I think that takes away from the experience. Sometimes sizes need to be adjusted as you go, and I explain this in the instructions. There is plenty of wool in the kit to compensate for adjustments. When felting, you start small and work your way out. If the nose gets a little too big you will have to compensate by making the cheeks a bit bigger etc.
I have sold thousands of kits over the years and have many happy return customers and many more that have moved on from my kits to more advanced projects on their own. My most popular kits are the snowman, sheep, bunny and bear. I hope this helps guide you in making the right choice in purchasing my kits. If you have any questions please ask. I will of course be designing more kits as time allows.
»The needles and the cushion that are included in the kits will last for several projects, but they do wear out over time.
You can purchase my felting kits here.