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Natalia Petelina                                                        June 2013

Alice in Wonderland

Natalia Petelina grew up watching the family adults create many lovely things.

Her grandmother worked at a shoe factory and often took Natalia along.

"I liked to go with her and examine the blank leather, buckles, zippers and heels and all along wondering how all the materials would turn into shoes."

Her mother was artistic by being a painter and plasterer. "I loved to go with her to the construction site and help make repairs and decorate the building. If you asked me to paint a wall for you, I would gladly agree to it."

So it came as no surprise that Natalia would also love to create things.

"I loved to read and then draw scenes from the books. I began to create things with my own hands and it really didn't matter what; I liked the process."

She would make doll furniture for her younger siblings and sewed doll dresses. Once she started sewing, she began making her own clothes. "Because our family was not rich, I did not have money to buy fashionable things."

She always stood out for having original outfits because she created them herself. "I could make a trendy pair of trousers from my mother's old pants and look very stylish at the disco clubs."

It was then that she realized that it didn't matter whether you had the means, what mattered most was that you had the desire because you could use what you had on hand to create something truly beautiful.

Natalia has worked many different jobs, has two degrees, but none of that seemed to make her happy. It wasn't until after the birth of her first child that she became fascinated with some needlework which lead to creating "primitives," that then lead her to creating teddy bears.

Amelie

Marlin

"Creating something is the best way to convey your personality and display your inner world. Because, even if you don't feel that you are a true artist, you can not create something that does not exist within yourself."

Learning to create teddy bears turned out to be a daunting task because in Luhansk, Ukraine where Natalia lives, there are not many sources for teddy bear makers. There are no materials or experts, and thankfully, in the age of the Internet, everything is seems possible.

"I had a desire, so I used every opportunity to learn how to create teddy bears. I participated in joint sewing projects, did a master classes online which were essentially were my 'training wheels' of learning to make bears."

"Teddy bears, for me, are my hobby, passion, my creativity and a self-realization of my favorite things.

I make them with love and soul, I sew for my own pleasure, experiencing the joy of the process of creating something new in the world. For me, these bears are not toys; they are alive!"

"These creations have a soul. They cause feelings and emotions, woven from our feelings, hopes and experiences It's the belief in miracles, the expectation of holidays, the sincere joy and memories that make you smile and dream. Bears are our true friends whom we can entrust our innermost thoughts. They will never betray us and will always be there. They show us the brightest and bring out the best things that are always within us."

As Natalia creates each new bear, it is of course, her new favorite and continues to be so until she starts the process all over again and a new teddy bear is born.

And although she loves each bear, she is always happy when someone else falls in love with them as she has and the teddy bear can find a new home with someone who will love them and who they can love in return.

Natalia Petelina

Petelina Natalia Creations

Member since April 2013

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Luhansk, Ukraine

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