It has been the availability of teachers (like my friend Helen) who are willing to pass on their expertise that offers me the hope that I can improve and perfect the skills I might have.
In part one I mentioned that we spend our summers in Finland; we try to give the children at least one day trip into town and one of these was the Helsinki Zoo. Now I am not a huge fan of traditional Zoos; however I can see and appreciate those institutions that work on projects that support animals in the wild, and that aim to educate the public. Thankfully Helsinki would seem to be such a place.
They have a large enclosure that is home to two brown bears; the most magnificent beasts, which are native to Northern Finland and Russia. These wonderful creatures are coming ever further south in search of food. We have found evidence of one in the woods near Tim's family's place, which is down in the Southerly part of the country.
We marvelled at these majestic animals, took photographs to remind us of the privilege of seeing them close up. Then once home I tried to create my first 3d animal in felt:
Not easy; this needle felting. I tried and tried but could not get the shape right, the hump, on the shoulders, would not form properly. I was thoroughly disappointed with the end result.
Sometimes I am not easily put off though, I got the needles out and had another go:
A bit more successful this time, still a bit fuzzy and soft, not every limb quite where I wanted it but a vast improvment. Feeling more confident I got going on some others and slowly but surely I am improving. My goal is to have the professional finish achieved by Gretel Parker or Natasha Fadeeva. I am a long way off that yet. Each piece is a little better than the last.