We often hear people say that curiosity leads to creative breakthroughs. Such was the case for Anna Yastrezhembovskaya, a Russian artist and a mother of two who’s famous for her lifelike wool animals. Her fascination with the craft all started when she saw some toys made from a unique material. Something that she didn’t recognize before. Later on, she found out that it was felted wool. And so, her crafting journey begun as as she decided to make her first toy.
“My first toy wasn’t nearly as pretty, it was rather funny, but I enjoyed the process so much that I kept trying. I was felting during my free time, even at night, and I got better with each felted animal I made.”
Yastrezhembovskaya has been making adorable animals from wool for nearly four years now. When she started out, it didn’t take her long to start receiving commissions. Her felted birds were among her customers’ favorite in her collection.
“My felted birds got very popular and were flying off to different cities. I was excited about the recognition of my artwork and didn’t even think about the other side of this popularity.”
Russian artist and mom of two Anna Yastrezhembovskaya creates adorable felted wool animal toys that look incredibly realistic
The artist shared a slight downside of this newfound recognition when she created a tiny bat toy by accident. The toy was supposed to be a bat brooch for her daughter Masha. Unfortunately, it turned out to be too big, so they decided to turn it into a toy. She posted a photo of her daughter holding the bat on social media with a caption: “Not for sale!”
“I was planning on making more of these adorable animals in the future, but at that moment, I had too many commissions, so I put it aside for later.”
To her surprise, people started filling her Instagram inbox with messages claiming that they bought her toys from online shops. What’s worse is that they never received their orders even after completing the payment.
“I have to admit that I didn’t expect such a huge interest in my little felting animals. Moreover, I didn’t expect it to be ‘sold’ in significant quantities for a ridiculous price of just $19.99. As a result, hundreds of scammed people wrote to me in the hope of receiving their bats.”
Despite that experience, Yastrezhembovskaya is happy that a lot of people are loving her creations. So, she has decided to keep making as many bats as she can to accomplish all orders. However, she hopes that people would understand that her toys are fully handmade. In fact, each bat toy takes ten days to complete, working 12-14 hours a day. So, it’s really a lengthy and tedious process for her.
Yastrezhembovskaya currently spends most of her time doing original artworks for existing customers. Luckily, she has her sister Ksenya to help her manage her social media pages. Check out more of her fantastic felted wool creations below.