That’s a very good question. Several years ago, I had entered an online giveaway at Phat Fiber, http://www.phatfiber.blogspot.com/, on the advice of my friend, Cathy, who thought it would be right up my alley. I entered, and not too much later, when my family traveled to Albuquerque to visit her family, I found out that I had won the giveaway-a 4 ounce hand painted roving of wool. Now, understand, the reason I entered was because the colors were beautiful but I had no thought of what to do with it figuring I wouldn’t win the roving. What was I going to do when this “roving” thing arrived?
Well, it arrived a short time after we had returned home, and I was gobsmacked! (For those of you who are unfamiliar with this British slang, it roughly translates into amazed-flabergasted-awestruck.) This wool was SO soft, and the colors which had first enticed me to enter the giveaway were even more intense and gorgeous in person. AND….4 ounces of wool is a LOT of wool to play with, let me tell you!
I had seen a little needle felting kit at the local Hobby Lobby and thought, “I could do that!” so off to the store I went to purchase my $4 kit which included 2 needles, a piece of foam to use for a base, and a little pamphlet explaining how to needle felt. As Jackie Gleason used to say (I know, I’m aging myself badly here), “and away we go!” Less than 2 months later, I had explored needle felting by using up a fair amount of the roving, played with adding fiber to fabric, found a local group that sold bits of colored wools and added to my stash, and had created dozens of bracelet cuffs, coffee cuffs, and little “paintings” of fiber! I had also worn the barbs off the two needles which came with my kit!
Around this time, I was searching for yet more instruction on felting, and happened across the Harveyville Project, http://harveyvilleproject.com/, serendipitously located within 40 minutes of my home, and they were going to be holding FELT SCHOOL in a short time! Well I got my funds together, scheduled the time off from work, cleared my personal schedule at home, and was off to an intensive 2 day workshop featuring instruction on everything felt, with special guest felter, Shannon Okey (http://www.knitgrrl.com/). We received hands on instruction in all aspects of felting, from preparing fibers, to laying out wet felt projects, to nuno felting and shibori felting, to needle felting….let’s just say that if I felt pretty solid with my skill level before Felt School, afterwards I felt positively empowered! That was the day I became @FELTIT
And the rest of the story is that I’ve found the medium that pulls together all the loves of my creative life: beading, sewing and stitching, jewelry and accessory making, clothing embellishments, card making, well, the list goes on and on. This past month 3 of my fiber paintings have been featured at the Art Institute International-KC Campus, I’ve participated in numerous fiber fairs and bazaars, and I have begun teaching others to love the world of felting,
And the story is just beginning!