I think my biggest inspiration has to be my mum, whilst I was growing up in the 80s my mum was obsessed with decorating eggs. Inside she would make a miniature garden with a pond, miniature trees and tiny birds and insects, she would write a list of all the miniature creatures hidden amongst the foliage and my sister and I would spend hours peering into her miniature worlds.
Another huge inspiration in my life is my dear Aunt, she loved miniatures and had a huge dollshouse, she took me to my first dollshouse fair when I was 8 and each weekend we would sit together at her dining room table and make miniatures for the house. The first item I remember creating was a boxed pair of boots. Sadly my Aunt passed away in 2010 when I was pregnant with my first daughter and I inherited her dollshouse. It was then that I started needle felting.
Needle felting unlike wet felting is when you take a special barbed needle and a ball of unspun wool and you stab the wool until the fibers begin to felt together to form a shape, it is a very slow process and many hours goes into creating each piece and because of the nature of needle felting no two pieces are ever the same, meaning each piece is unique and one of a kind. I soon learnt the advantages of needle felting for the dolls house and after felting my first miniature cat, I was hooked. I mostly make 1:12th scale animals and pets and can also be commissioned to do a replica of your own pet. I make them over a wire frame which allows most of the animals to be gently posed.
In 2017 I won first place in the International Teddy Bear Artist Awards with one of my needle felted cats and then went onto win the best in show. Two months later I won best miniature animal in the Alfonzo awards at Woburn Abbey, everything was going great until a month after when I was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. It was a shock to us all, I had to undergo six months of chemotherapy an operation and 15 rounds of radiotherapy, it was a very scary time for both me and my family and for over 12 months I hardly picked up a felting needle.
Thankfully I am now well on the way to recovery, I am busy creating again and loving my job and really looking forward to what 2019 has to offer. As a regular past visitor to Miniatura it is a dream come true to be exhibiting for the first time and alongside some of my favorite artists.