Amy Felske Gives Soul to Bright Bits of Cloth, Beads and String

Hope is a thing with feathers

Amy’s infectious laugh and earnest, twinkling eyes leave you feeling like anything in the world is possible…she’s marvelous.   One of her creations sits on my coffee table and makes me smile every day.  Reading her words makes me feel calm and when she’s in the room I feel inspired…boy, I wish she lived closer than the mountains of Vermont!  But she’s in Searsport in September and we’re thrilled to have her teaching two classes: Thursday Maine Forest Dryads come to life for students under her tutelage and on Saturday she teaches Tidepool Dragons.

Amy told us a bit about herself:

Liatris

When I was 16 I planned to change the world, and I have. However, I redefined the parameters of my plans over time. Changing the world in small bits, I work on changing my small part of the world every day.

My favorite time of the day is the early morning before anyone is stirring when I can walk outside with the first cup of coffee of the day. The morning is a time of peace and possibilities.

A pivotal moment in my doll making occurred when I brought a handful of little mermaids to Marie Baron at Cottonwood Quilts in Montgomery, Vermont. Earlier, I had tried to interest a Waldorf doll shop with my work and was turned away because everything was wrong with my dolls, from the colors of their skin and hair to their beading and embellishments. It was a bit depressing and I wasn’t sure whether I should keep trying to find a shop. Marie saw my mermaids and her face lit up. She held one in each hand and turned to her husband and said, “Look, they have belly buttons!” I was so thrilled to have found a kindred spirit. Marie, always supportive and enthusiastic, greeted each of my creations with the same excitement as those first mermaids.

Earth

Choosing only one book or song is impossible when so many are significant to me. Life on a Little Known Planet by Howard Evans is a special book that explores insects and their kin from the aerial domain of dragonflies to the twilight meadows of fireflies with a philosophical twist as chapters like “The Universe as Seen from a Suburban Porch” unfold. I return again and again to illustrated children’s books like the wonderful The Red Tree by Shaun Tan, for refreshment and inspiration. Using few words, they convey so many emotions. Tan’s illustrations always show you something new and the story ending always makes me smile. I also derive inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkein’s, The Lord of the Rings, as both a story and in images from Peter Jackson’s movie version

Browsing through a bead store with no particular project in mind is a guilty pleasure for me. It is a dangerous pastime because it often evolves into purchasing. But, you can never have too many beads.

My ancient jeans jacket whose flannel lining is worn down to the warp. It was already old when my dog was a puppy. When Paprika was little and got tired of walking she would fit inside the front of this jacket with her head peeking out the open collar. As she got older, she never tired, always racing ahead. Paprika is gone now but my jacket is still here, old, worn and perfect for chilly morning walks.

I walk every day. I find walking is a time to let go of all the day’s worries.

The art tool I couldn’t live without is my Singer Featherweight sewing machine. It was made in the 1939. My little Featherweight will sew anything! My parents got me my first Featherweight when I was in college and it was love at first sight. That machine was stolen from my car many years ago in Philadelphia and I have always wondered what the thief did with it. Did he realize what a prize he had? Did he sell it or just throw it away? Maybe he was inspired take up sewing. My beloved machine was replaced with a ‘new’ Featherweight that I have sewn with ever since. I have a fancier new machine, but it mainly collects dust.

Snow Dragon

Words I live by include ” . . . fugerit invida Aetas: carpe diem”: envious time is fleeing: seize the day.

I love the ocean and migrate to the seashore whenever I can but I live in the wild mountains now. I love the excitement and bustle of the city, but also need the solitude of the country. There is beauty to be found almost anywhere if you look carefully and give yourself time to enjoy. I think the lesson I keep learning is the importance of finding joy wherever you are. Being with my family and exploring the universe from my own front porch is the most wonderful place to be.

Chloe

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