Codi taught the class, and she had several other books, as well. I made the bird that night from the book Sweet Needle Felts (I think). Codi complimented me on how firm he/she was and you could practically hear me puff up with pride. Really, it takes so little to make me pleased with myself. (A few nights later both girls and Paul and I were g-chatting and they were all talking about the truly important things they are dealing with at work: patients with diabetes, the best ways to handle new administrative duties, the death penalty. And I was showing off felt animals.)
The next morning, fresh from my conquest of felt birds, I got up and made the mouse from Little Felted Animals. I was on a roll. I had this idea that I'd make an animal a week and then I'd really understand how to judge the proportions and I could take off and make my own.
The polar bear was next on the roster and it was then I realized that some creatures are definitely more challenging than others. For the longest time he looked a lot like a rat and building his haunches and shoulders out took some doing.
In the end, I think he could have had longer legs, but I do like his cartoon face. This past weekend I got a start on a Jack Russell terrier, in preparation for re-creating Pearl. That lone black spot should be easy to reproduce!
In searching the web I've discovered probably the most amazing needle felted animals—somehow they have the most expressive faces, yet they're smooth and simple. They're by Victor Dubrovsky, and you can find them here.