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  • Writer's pictureAnn Marie Anderson

Whar it aa started....

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

I started needle felting in 2011, trying to find a portable craft that didn't take up too much room (Zoom forward to 2021 and I really would need to get an extension! Ooops!)

I began making small brooches and magnets made with Shetland wool and Fair Isle remnants from Jamieson's of Shetland. My ooie (wooly) creations were inspired by my surroundings in Shetland and my vivid imagination.

In May 2014 I needle felted a set of peerie (small) Ooricks, I kept on imagining where they would live and what they would get up to. I knew they had a story to tell but had no idea how to put it all together - I had never written a book before and felt a bit out of my depth with it all, but I researched loads and ended up becoming a self publisher in 2015 with Peerie Oorick Books. My husband Michael and our children Faye & Mollie inspired and encouraged me to write and publish my 1st children's Shetland dialect book 'Da Ooricks.'

My sister Jenny Duncan illustrated the book and brought the Ooricks to life through vibrant watercolours. It was fantastic seeing the Ooricks coming to life, Jenny gave each of the Ooricks their own personality which reflects in their Shetland dialect names in the books that follows.

Art Machine in Lerwick printed 'Da Ooricks.' The team had so much patience with me, and I am forever thankful for their expertise and knowledge.

'Peerie Kenny' da Oorick.

Peerie Oorick delivered workshops around Early-years settings and schools in Shetland promoting the Shetland dialect through 'Da Ooricks'. 'Peerie Kenny' accompanied me on my raikin (travelling) around Shetland. The children loved seeing a 'real' Oorick! The children loved having a go at pronouncing and learning Shetland dialect words and were delighted to create their very own ooie (wooly) Oorick to take home.

The children were very intrigued by the Ooricks and wondered what their names were, so I decided that I couldn't just write and publish one book I needed to name and write a story about all 5 of them......!

Ann Marie x

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