Most years, the Easter weekend with all of its cheerful colors and festivities marks the beginning of Spring and planting season. Yet, this year, everything has a little different feeling. Big gatherings were canceled, families gathered by Zoom, and many of the days seem to run together.
For me, the farm has its own way of marking time. The days are longer, the grass greener, and all of the animals are a little more active. With these seasonal changes, I find I am drawn to brighter colors and lighter materials, whether I’m getting dressed in the morning or sitting down to my daily needle felting ritual.
I believe we should all listen to what nature is telling us, to lean into the seasonal changes and go with the flow. It’s no accident I love to create needle felted animals as I find it a way to honor what God has designed. And when the seasons change, so do my creations.
Right now, I’m drawn to those fresh hues associated with emerging from a long winter. Grassy greens, golden yellows, and ballerina pinks dot my working space. I’m taking my cues from my farm and letting the colors dictate what I choose to create. I mark time this way, I suppose. I celebrate and honor the changes life brings to me, to my family, and to the farm.
I am often asked where my inspiration comes from and how I choose my next project. When I hesitate to answer quickly, it’s because my ideas come to me from listening and watching all that happens around me, and sometimes that feels hard to explain.
Yet that’s the advice I always give to students – just look around. Ask yourself, what is calling to you? What is it about this moment in time you want to remember? Do the harbingers of spring call to you now? Or is there a color or fiber you have to get your hands into?
Like many people, I give in to the urge to do some spring cleaning. I clean out my needle felting workspace, I replace worn needles, I organize, and I clear space for the new. And then I allow myself to follow what draws me in. Some years I’ve celebrated Spring by making my beloved Bunnies, letting them represent the joy and happiness I feel.
The Bunnies indulge my love of color and whimsy while enjoying the satisfaction in knowing they make people smile – that they make me smile! If any single creation embodies the hope that comes with Spring, it’s my Bunny projects!
Smiling, laughing, and dancing The Bear Creek Bunnies have donned nearly every color of fiber. They are a great excuse to use Watermelon or accessorize with multi-colored balloons.
Perhaps there’s another animal that calls you to mark this time of change in our seasons and our world. Do you need to borrow the fighting power of a dragon? Are you craving the softness of a curly sheep? Perhaps you want to send someone a hug in the form of a teddy bear?
Sometimes I let color inspire my next project, sometimes there’s a fiber that I’m dying to use, and other times there’s an animal that just needs to be made. I no longer overthink it, and I give in! I pick up my needles and wool and create what my world is putting in front of me.
Most of us are sticking close to home these days, which makes it a perfect time to learn more needle felting skills and techniques. Check out our resources, EweTube Channel, or join our Needle Felting Academy. No matter how you choose to learn, I know you will find joy in creating needle felted art for yourself and those you love. What are you waiting for? Jump in!