an interview with myself
how long have you been needle felting?
As of 2019 I’ve been needle felting on the regular for about 5-6 years, although the first time I picked up a needle was several years prior to that. It was before I knew shops like Living Felt existed, and none of the brick & mortar shops where I live carried wool. So once I ran out of fiber I was kind of stuck. Of course, now that I process my own wool from start to finish, I no longer worry about where to get my wool, though I still love to order supplies on occasion. If you want to know a little more about my beginnings, here’s a little more about it.
what do you recommend to someone just starting out?
Just start stabbing. See where the wool takes you. Even if I have something in mind that I’m trying to make, I’ve noticed that wool can sometimes have a mind of its own, or so it seems anyway. So for me, it also involves a little bit of trust and letting go, and letting it surprise you. Also, don’t worry too much about investing in all the colors you can get your hands on, as tempting as it may be. Needle felting is not and does not need to be an expensive hobby. If it’s sculpture you’re interested in, get your hands on a good amount of core wool, and then order the colors you need as you need them. If it’s wool painting you’re interested in, look at the sampler packs available in fiber shops, and then order anything extra if you need it for a project. Your stash will slowly build up over time. One of my favorite ways in the beginning to build up my stash (though a bit expensive doing it this way) was to get the designer packs at Living Felt - you’ll get a nice mix of colors and textures within a particular “theme,” and only need a handful of packs to get a nice palette of fiber that will last you a long time. Initially, I started out with a mix of colors from Weir Crafts. Last but not least, read through my felting guides. The guide to 3D needle felting is a good place to start.
What’s your favorite wool breed to work with?
At the moment, my favorite for needle felting is clun forest. The reason I say “at the moment” is because there are so many breeds out there, I haven’t had a chance to try them all out yet for myself. It’s the first fleece I ever processed on my own from raw to final product, and I’ve found that it leaves a nice, fairly smooth finish on any sculptures that I make. It’s also really easy to process and dye up, and whenever I have some extra dye left in the pot I’ll throw a handful in to soak up what’s left for a unique color to sneak into my personal projects. I also love using wool batting that I order from a fiber mill, but that’s a mix of breeds that I don’t know rather than one specific breed. Whatever they’re doing works for me!
how do you keep track of everything?
I do try to be as organized as possible, although sometimes that ends up being more of a catching up process to go back and document things that need to be written down. That being said, I have two notebooks that I keep just for my fiber art. One is a disc-bound notebook that is what I’d consider my Star Magnolias bible LOL - it has my personal project ideas, blog ideas, the tutorial ideas (and the tutorial info itself, like the colors I used, info about filming, editing, publishing, etc), and so on. The other book is a big fat swatch binder that has sample locks of all the breeds wools I’ve processed, swatches of my own dyed wool (whether the dye comes as a specific color or is my own blend, and how I got the color), locks that I dyed, and wool that I’ve purchased if I can remember what and where it’s from. Unfortunately I started the binder a bit later in the game, so I’m still catching up with saving some of the things. I highly recommend that anyone serious about felting or working with fiber has their own swatch binder so when they’re stuck in the middle of a project and can’t remember where they got the wool they just ran out of, they can go back and look it up.
how do you save ideas for future projects?
I write them down in my big notebook, and sometimes I post about them on social media. I’m not super worried about someone stealing my ideas - thematically, nothing is new in art, and even if my post inspires someone else to create something similar to what I just made, it’s not going to look the same.
how do you continue to challenge yourself?
Several ways. The first is my never-ending list of project ideas. Another is my patrons. Every now and then I’ll have a question about how to do a certain thing, or a request for new tutorials, and I’ve had requests on my youtube videos to see me make certain things. Those ideas all go on my list as well. The third is by participating in a monthly needle felting exchange - which is free. Those aren’t massive several-month projects, but I know the majority of the participants all push each other to see if they can try something new. With each theme I will see if there’s something I can add that I haven’t tried before, or approach it in a way I haven’t tried before. The best part is getting something in return that maybe did something different that I haven’t personally done, and having it in my hands allows me to examine and see if I can implement the technique in a future project.
do you accept commissions?
I do! I love working on commissions, because that way what I make is carefully tailored to you and your needs, and I love the joy that it brings when someone receives something I made exactly the way they wanted it (or even better than they expected). I’ve never taken on more than I can handle, and have had a 100% success rate based on the reviews I’ve received. I will let you know if something you’re requesting is something I’m capable of doing well, or I’ll point you in the right direction if I know someone better skilled for the job (for example portraits or pets are not my forte). If you’re interested, feel free to contact me!
do you make toys?
My products are not tested to be toys, and due to the nature of our laws, I cannot market or sell anything as a toy.
If you request a commission, I will make whatever you request as per your specifications, but I’m not responsible or liable for what you do with it.
I make needle felted art sculptures, some of which may be more of a playful nature, and I do my best to make sure that all my work is felted well and does not fall apart when handled, unless otherwise specified. My goal is to make things that last within reason. I have made things for my own children to play with, and I know there are children who have enjoyed my sculptures. I have no control over whether or not someone decides to allow their child to handle one of my sculptures, and trust parents to use their best judgment as to whether or not anything in my sculptures may pose a potential choking hazard.
do you teach classes?
I don’t at the moment. I did teach some workshops in the past, but at the moment I’m in the process of either searching for a new venue or figuring out the insurance stuff necessary in order to teach classes in my own home. I do prefer teaching somewhere else though - I spend all my time around my kids and, although I do love them dearly, I also enjoyed going somewhere else and being able to focus 100% on the class - something that’s difficult to do at home where I may be interrupted at any given moment.
That being said, I am open to teaching one-on-one online classes in the evening, after the kids are in bed, via Skype. So if you live far away and would like a one-on-one session with me to help you get started, send me a message.
What is your return policy?
If there are any issues with your order, or if you are having difficulty accessing your tutorials, please contact me to see if there is something we can correct. If there is something missing from your order let me know and I’ll have it sent to you.
For physical goods:
Please contact me within 15 days of delivery if you wish to return your product for a full or partial refund. If agreed to a refund, product must be returned within 30 days of delivery. Buyer is responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.
* For tutorial/kit combos, a partial refund will be issued if the kit was not opened/used. I do not issue refunds for the tutorial portion of a kit.
* Commissions: Because buyer receives progress photos, and because the commission is not shipped until buyer is satisfied with the final product photo, commissions will not be refunded unless damaged during shipment/defective. Please understand that when you request a commission, you are also paying for my time to be devoted to creating something special based on your specific needs.
* Ready-to-ship handmade items: refunds will be issued on products that are defective or damaged during shipment once returned.
For digital products:
Because of the nature of the item, I do not issue refunds for digital downloads that have been downloaded.
what is your cancellation policy?
* Digital goods - If you purchased a digital download product by accident and did not download the product, please contact me immediately for your cancellation/refund.
* Shipped goods - orders for supplies, kits and ready-to-ship items may be cancelled prior to shipment for a full refund.
* Commissions - can be cancelled at any time prior to shipment. For any personalized commissions, only a partial refund will be issued.
Will you keep my info safe?
Because payments are processed through a 3rd party payment processing service (Stripe or Paypal), I never see your credit card information.
I keep your personal contact information private and do not sell information to third parties, and anyone who does can go suck an egg. I’m human too and abide by the golden rule. Few things annoy me more (putting it nicely) than suspiciously and suddenly getting spammed with junk mail, phone calls and emails after a purchase from a new place or after paying for a service. So I wouldn’t do that to you.
where do you ship?
If a buyer is willing to pay for it, I can ship anywhere in the world that has a mail service. If the shop does not let you place an order due to shipping (since I have to set all that up manually), send me a message, and I’ll invoice you for the item and shipping costs to your location. International customers can also check my ETSY shop and purchase through there until I have international shipping set up on here.
Buyer is responsible for any customs fees and taxes that may apply.
what are your processing/shipping times?
For most things, such as kits, supplies and ready-to-ship handcrafted items or art, your package will be on its way to you within 1-3 business days of receipt of payment.
For commissions, they usually take me about a month, sometimes less, depending on what was requested. That’s something we’d discuss once I have an idea of what you’re looking for.
Once it’s been mailed, I have no control over how long it takes to get to you. I am not responsible for any delays regarding packages getting stuck in customs (hasn’t happened to me yet, knock on wood).
Do you collect sales tax?
No. Because I am a tiny business and have not established nexus nor am I registered to collect sales tax in any US states, I am not able to collect sales tax. The buyer is responsible for paying any sales tax to their own state if their state collects sales tax.
How do you ship items?
As beautifully packaged as I can manage! In all seriousness, I currently offer only the cheapest shipping I can provide (which isn’t bad as far as speed, most things I ship reach their final destination in the US within a few days to a week, two weeks on average for international orders). If you want to ship express, please contact me for a quote and I’ll invoice you the full cost of the order and express shipping separately.
USA orders: For orders under 1 lb, items are shipped USPS First Class. For orders over 1 lb, items are shipped via USPS Priority Mail Cubic. International orders: are shipped via First Class Package International.
Shipping insurance is not included by default on First Class shipments, though I do pay for extra insurance for any handmade goods and art, and is included in the product price. Shipping insurance up too $100 is automatically included in the Priority Mail Cubic, and if your commission is more than that I will get shipping insurance to cover the extra cost.
what payment do you accept?
I accept all major US credit cards as well as Paypal. I don’t do checks, cash, money orders, or scams. Payment for goods or services must be paid in full prior to shipment/receipt of goods or services.