Felting Reflects Your Inner State
Being the self appointed Queen of Cuteness, I do feel the pressure to make sure that each piece reflects a certain level of adorability, and you’d think it’d be as easy as figuring out a formula with the correct proportions and placement. Not so fast, felting friends. I’ve found that the wool and the creative force also play a big part in the process. They know all and see all. Not in a creepy way, but you have no secrets and can’t hide your feelings when it comes to creation.
When I sit down to knock out some fairies, gnomes or woodland creatures, I really need to be in the right head space… or they know it! I once made a batch of sea otters, probably eight or nine of them, and ONE of them is up to my cuteness standards. What went wrong? Why so many uglies when I did the same actions each time? My mood was wrong. That day must have been full of stress and worries, instead of joy and calm.
Felting Can Be An Inner Guide
If faces start going sideways and startle instead of delight, I know that my focus is on the wrong thing. Sometimes I can use this as an opportunity to do a self check-in and change my mind, and it works. Can I do anything about what I’m worrying about? Is it a real issue or just a projection? Can I think about things that make me feel good instead and feel better? A few deep breaths and I’m back to twinkling eyes and tiny lips.
Other times, since I’m human, I can’t shake those thoughts. I have to admit that my vibration isn’t getting there today. At that point I accept it, set aside the creative work for another time, and start doing tasks that require less emotional investment, like cutting fabric or organizing my ever cluttered studio. The mindless nature of these tasks can help to bring me back around…or feel overwhelming. Then I focus even smaller, like sorting bits of colored roving, like a buddhist monk sorting granules of sand after the painting’s been wiped.
What I don’t do, and neither should you, is judge myself too harshly or jump to the conclusion that I’m a failure at otters (okay, the thought did pass my mind but just for a sec). We are here to learn, and through my practice of needle felting and entrepreneurship I’m always finding ways to improve my technique and products. It’s also given me the opportunity to improve myself; to recognize my inner dialogue, to alert me to pivot my mental focus, and to allow myself the space and patience to step back when things aren’t going as planned.
Your Creations are a Mirror
On the flip side of that, often when I’m creating a character I can’t stop laughing. Sometimes it’s one loud bark of recognition; “I see you in there and you’re awesome!”. Others bring continuous giggles and disbelief; “How cute are YOU?? I can’t stand it. Oh, you!”. Those pieces always find a new home quickly because that joy is oozing out of them. I get a feeling while I’m making them that the perfect person will come along, that this piece is made for them and they will recognize it, and so it is. It happens all the time, and often its not who you’d expect!
The repetitive motion involved with needle felting is also calming and meditative. I catch myself poking away, refining, perfecting and realize that hours have passed by. (See more about Proper Poking Technique here) Getting into the zone, where the world is “out there” and my whole universe is this needle and hunk of wool, is so satisfying, absorbing, rewarding…. I feel so lucky to have discovered “my thing”. It makes me feel good, which makes me felt good, which brings cuteness and joy into each creation (most of the time, right?).
I’d love to hear your ideas and comments about how your mood relates to your creative process.