A lot of people ask me how I begun needle felting professionally. As with so many fibre artists out there, it all begun as a hobby. However, if I had to pinpoint a “tipping point” creation, this is it – Mr. Posh.
Mr. Posh was made during a time of stress for me. The place I was working in at the time closed, so I lost my job; I was in a new country, with different habits and cultures, still trying to adjust; and, most of all, I was still trying to find that thing that I really, really liked doing, so I could have a career instead of a job.
Since I was spending a lot of time at home by myself, I felt an obligation to be doing something. After all the cleaning and dusting was done with, I still had a few hours to burn, so I started to come up with other things to pressure myself (I’m very good at that.) Enter needle felting! Felting was just my way to procrastinate on the other tasks I was dreading, my way to escape all the thinking and worrying. Need to send out a CV? Let’s go play with wool instead!
I thought I was being quite inconspicuous about it, when one day Better Half remarked, “Have you noticed how you seem to seek refuge in needle felting whenever you feel stressed? You’ve been doing that a lot.” I just muttered something about something else, hoping to distract him (I really didn’t want to face how guilty I felt about not being good and diligent about my Quest For Life’s Meaning), when out of his mouth come the magic words, “Have you ever thought about doing this professionally? I mean, just look at that rabbit you’re making, all the details and the effort you’ve put into it. If you like to do this so much, give it a go.”
I think I just stared at him for the longest time, not even knowing what to think. Can one really do this full-time? But… that would mean loving my job/career, isn’t that… wrong?! Something I feel I’m not worthy of, and the reason I’ve been creating obstacles for myself all this time?
Then I looked at the rabbit I had in my hands. I thought about all the hours I put into making him, how I had taken every moment with this creature as a much-needed respite from all the stress I was feeling, and how it had made me happy. Truly, truly happy.
That, for me, was the defining moment. I decided to pour myself into fibre arts and learn as much as I could. Every mistake was treasured as a lesson, every success celebrated as another stepping stone. Fast forward two years and I’m still learning, still growing, but most of all, I’m still loving every single moment (even the stressful ones!)
So, you can imagine that when someone decided to buy him from me, I was both elated and deeply sad. Although I had Mr. Posh in my Etsy shop, I didn’t really want to let him go. At the time I write this, he’s left my studio already, and I still feel I’m not ready.
Mr. Posh went to a friend, who will gift him to someone he believes is most worthy of a carefully crafted handmade gift, and who will take care of him and, I’m told, even let me visit when I miss him too much. That’s good enough for me… I think.