I make needle felted toys, characters, holiday ornaments, and felted soaps. There is no guide or pattern for creatures that I make. Most of the creatures come from my imagination and creativity. A lot of times I might start out making one thing and It will turn into something completely different then what I originally planned.
I buy my materials from:
The Soapy Goat: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSoapyGoatShop?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Purple Moose Felting: http://www.yarn.com/
The Little Grasshopper:http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLittleGrasshopper
The Bitter Peacock: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thebitterpeacock?ref=shop_sugg
I have grown up with a love for art. My mom still has many of the drawings that I made for her and dad in school. My great-grandfather was a painter and my grandmother painted in watercolors. While my great-grandpa did sell his paintings, his paintings and my grandmothers are all over my house. My parents have always allowed artist to put up their stuff in the family restaurant that my parents own in the downstairs of our home. I have been surrounded by art.
My real study of art started when I was about 15. I really wanted to know how to draw better and how to draw my favorite Disney characters. So I bought some books on how to draw disney characters. My first drawings were not that great. My drawings were very one dimensional. But I kept practicing and I got better. I practiced all the time. My teachers even let me practice during study hall when I should have been doing homework, but they saw that I had potential as an artist and that I enjoyed what I was doing.
I went to a summer program at a local private school that specializes in the arts. I went to this program for two years. I took painting, stained glass, ceramics, weaving, jewelry/metalwork, knitting. I had never really met other kids as creative as I was. I come from a small town where there are not many creative people.
I made a paper mache Simba and he won first place at the school art show in his category. He was also featured in the local newspaper. I had a lot of fun making him. I worked really hard on him. I was allowed to skip all the other projects just to work on him and I came in after school to work for a couple of hours almost everyday on him. I did research on the Disney character and on real lions.
After high school was over I went to work for a camp up north. I was a camp counselor there for 4 summers. I worked in the Arts and Crafts department at the camp. I was very good at knitting, having learned from years before at another camp that I attended as a camper. So they put me in charge of the yarn. I taught kids how to knit, crochet, simple sew, and finger-weave. I taught a select group of older campers how to do stained glass and how to wood burn.
I took Art at college. I took ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, art history and design. My favorite class was ceramics. I mostly did hand building in ceramics. I loved taking a bit of clay and transforming it into something beautiful. Someday I would love to do ceramics as my main art form.
At school I started my own knitting, crocheting sewing club. It was fun. I was the president. Up until I graduated I had been to almost every single meeting. I met people that I never would have met in class who were from different majors. We also went to fiber festivals and on the first one we went to I took a class in needle felting.
I had heard about needle felting before and had wanted to try my hand at it. In the workshop we made Santa Ornaments and mine turned out great. I wanted to build upon this new found skill so I bought fiber and I bought kits to make them on my own. Now a year and a half later I am making them without a pattern, all on my own. I look at pictures or movies or books for inspiration. If I am doing a custom job like a dog I will usually look at many pictures on the web and the picture that the customer has sent.
While I was in school I studied management. Part of learning that was learning customer service, time management, budgeting skills, prioritizing, leadership skills and human resources. All skills I would need to learn to run my store.
I had heard about etsy a few years from a friend of mine who works for my mom in the restaurant that my family lives in. She sells jewelry supplies, jewelry that she makes herself and fiber supplies. At the time I was in college and I thought to myself that I was to busy with school and my knitting club to start a business. I thought maybe after college I would think about. Etsy has stayed in the back of my head for about 3 years. Finally after I graduated I decided to start selling my art. I had a lot of fiber in my closet and I decided to make it into little critters and sell them online.