Follow Your Nose . . . A Felted Toucan!

The other day I sat down in front of the tv(an unmotivated choice)and I grabbed my felting supplies.  I randomly felted a bit of wool together.  It turned into an odd kindof crescent shape. Maybe it was because “What Not to Wear” was too distracting or maybe taking care of 5 kids had completely wore me out, but I looked at that strange felted object and had no idea what to do with it!  Many other projects have been started and finished, since creating that weird shape and FINALLY I realized it looks like the bill of a toucan!

I don’t know much about toucans and creating one from the top of my head seemed intimidating.  So, I did a google image search and found a very beautiful toucan. It was a rainbow-billed toucan(also known as a keel-billed toucan or sulfur-breasted toucan).  I duplicated the coloring of this toucan in my felting project.  I’m very happy I didn’t toss that weird shape in the trash becauseI think this felted toucan turned out very well.

A Felt Tropical Bird

A Needle Felted Tropical Bird: The Toucan

Turns out the rainbow-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize. It can’t fly very well and it sortof hops from tree to tree.  I thought that sounded perfect.  Children typically pick up any figurine style toy and make it hop from place to place.  This action really suits any rabbit or frog, but who knew that this form of imaginative play was perfect for a toucan toy.

A Felt Toucan

The backview of a needle felted toucan.

So, to all my fellow needle felters out there, who create a strangely shaped felt piece and want to throw in the towel.  Don’t; just set it to the side and one day you’re sure to have an idea.  Maybe it will be a Resplendent Quetzal, an Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, a Blue Crowned Trogon or a Sunbittern!

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