Also an Artist: Mary

Hello Sara!

My heart is very full and you have opened the floodgates, so here goes:

My father was a commercial artist, my sister is a painter and taught art for many years, and my brother is a wood craftsman. As the youngest of 3, I looked up to my siblings, but never felt my abilities were good enough to do anything artistic.

I did learn to knit, crochet, and embroider from my grandmother, but didn't do much of that either until I was almost 60 years old. In January, 2018, my daughter gave me a felting kit thinking I'd like to try something new. To my amazement, I have an intuitive grasp of 3D that I never knew I had.

I've enjoyed working with your tutorials and transferring what I've learned from you to create my own work. My goal for a long time was to make critters that live in North America and I've made muskox, dall sheep, beavers, otters, and a variety of local birds. I took a booth at our local weekly indoor winter farmer's market, and had a successful little business. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing felting with everyone who came to my booth. I always had a couple of projects with me so I could demonstrate needle felting. You were much in my dialog as my mentor and supplier, and I know at least one of my friends became a regular customer and occasionally posts on Fanfare.

This project was put on hold when my daughter went through chemo for breast cancer. I wanted to make something that would be a personal fund-raiser for her to help keep her beautiful shop open- As she said when she continued to work between chemo treatments, "This is my happy place, I need to be here." So I started my "Critters for a Cause" where I made lots of hedgehogs, renamed hedge hugs, and gave all the profits to her for her shop. They all had some of Lee's pink locks which she dyed for me and a pink heart. I made close to 100 hedge hugs and helped her keep her shop afloat.

And then Covid. I crashed! Although I've been healthy, it really hit me hard to stop my farmer's market booth. It was several months before I could enjoy felting again. I didn't know what to do with my hundreds of critters that were packed away in tubs and scattered all over the house. My daughter (Sarah) has always had some of my critters in her shop, but nowhere enough to keep up with my production.

Your Feltalongs really helped me through that rough time. I didn't always do the felting, especially if it was something I'd already made, but I always watched and enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and your encouragement. And I always learned something new from you. There aren't enough words to express my gratitude for all the time and energy you shared with us. You brought me back to the joy of felting, and since the witches, I've been felting more and more.

One of the most important lessons I learned from you is that every stab is a decision. I try to keep that in mind and only felt when I'm "in the present." Therefore I'm taking a break for a few days. My daughter had major reconstructive surgery yesterday and my whole heart and being were with her through the 10+ hour  procedure. There's no way I could felt, so I went back to knitting socks which I can almost do with my eyes closed. I know I'll be back to felting in a few days.

The other major life changer is that I now have confidence in my artistic abilities and don't feel "not as good" as my siblings! I'm comfortable with sharing my felting with them.

Thank you for being the perfect person for me to learn from. Thank you for your patience and kindness and generosity!

Massive hugs to you, dear Sara!


  • Trisha Scott

    Thank you for sharing this Mary (and Sara)! Your story warms my heart and resonates on so many levels. I love seeing all your gorgeous work and I am seriously blown away by each and every landscape you are making. They are Gorgeous! Your skill and love of the craft are evident in all of your pieces. Sending big love.

  • Deb Willet

    Wow! What a beautiful write up! I am relatively new to this amazing felting world and the compassionate people who inhabit it. Sara, you were my jumping off point and I’ve already learned so much from you and will continue to soak up every bit of knowledge you care to share! I also discovered the very special talent of Mary’s in my many hours of searching needle felting on the computer. Until now, I had no idea you two were connected. How special! Thank you both for sharing your amazing skills and love for the art! Mary, prayers and hugs to you and your daughter.

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