Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stash Angels, Mentors and Apprentices

I have been extra busy for the past two months starting two new Yahoo Groups - Stash Angels and Mentors (SAM) and StitchMap (MAP). The idea for these groups came to me recently, when I began to mentor Amy A. in the art of CQ. Pretty soon I was mentoring Wanda S. too. I met both of these ladies through one of the CQ Yahoo Groups I belong to. Word got out that I was mentoring and other beginning stitchers began to ask if I would help mentor them through various steps in CQ and other techniques. They all wanted to enhance their repertoire of embroidery skills. I knew I didn't have time to help them all and yet, I wanted to assist them in getting the help they were seeking. Obviously, there was a need for more mentors. I spoke to some friends who had varied stitching and teaching backgrounds. As a result of these discussions the idea was conceived to start SAM and MAP.

The hope was to find as many accomplished needle artists as possible who were willing to share their knowledge FREE. They would be paired, one-on-one, with apprentices wanting to learn the basics in any of a variety of needlework techniques. All in the hope of carrying the love of needlework into the future. However, it was discussed that most of us cannot start a new project or craft without the proper tools. In today's economy it is not always easy to afford the variety of threads, fabrics and notions that we might need, or like to have, to start a new stitching technique. So, an invitation was extended to several other friends to come along for the ride. These ladies were known to be curently in the process of de-stashing or to be extremely generous with their excess stash. Within a few days the first apprentices were assigned to mentors and a list of stitchers in need of small stash enhancements was identified. SAM and MAP were up and running.

The sub-group StitchMap (MAP) was formed to better fit the needs of the Apprentices and the Stash Angels. Mentors belong to SAM. All mentoring assignments are handed out through SAM and this is the site on which Mentors discuss any teaching problems or triumphs, get reference information about teaching seminars, and discuss the possibility of upcoming group classes, etc. Everyone belongs to MAP. It is the social forum and where we share our individual photo albums, store our tutorials, helpful hints, favorite online shopping sites, have our contests, and so forth. Each apprentice also has a project photo album to share a pictoral journey of their mentored project with all its trials and tribulations. New features are being added all the time. The wonderful thing is that SAM was set up to reach out to needle enthusiasts in many techniques. There are apprentices who are doing CQ, Hardanger, Xstitch, SRE, and more! There is even a mentor to help you create a blog. Online classes (members only) will be started very soon and we will be doing some projects together for charitable causes.

If you are interested in being a Stash Angel, a Mentor or an Apprentice in some form of needlework....If you would like one-on-one mentoring through a current or new project....if you want to have a great group of supportive stitchers around you to keep you focused.....then you just might want to check out SAM and MAP. Everything is FREE! No charge, as in no cash, credit cards or checks. It is hoped that ultimately each apprentice will strive to pay forward what she/he has received by becoming a Stash Angel and/or a mentor at some point along their journey. And it is working! Hooray!

I have put Yahoo Group Buttons on the left side of my blog for each of these groups. Click on the button and you will be taken to the Join This Group Page. After you fill out the application you will receive a short questionnaire. Fill out the required questionnaire and return it. Your membership will be approved and the information you have supplied will be used to make sure you are put in the right group(s), with the right mentor, Stash Angel and/or apprentice. Everyone is welcome to join us in assuring that the love of stitchery does not die out during our lifetimes, for lack of effort on our part.

Here are some pictures of small stash enhancements my own apprentices sent to their mentor in the last 2 weeks! They are so sweet to send these thank you gifties. I will definitely find a way to use them that will remind me of Amy and Wanda.

In the picture above Amy has sent me some burgundy and mauve fabrics left over from piecing her first CQ RR block with my help. The other fabrics are some that she has used previously in sane quilting. The yellow at the top of the picture is a wool sweater of her husband's. She sent it so I could felt it for my needlefelting. How thoughtful was that? I hope he doesn't get cold without it next winter because I love the soft yellow!

This picture is of some vintage fabrics Amy found on a shopping trip right after we had begun the mentoring process. I am thrilled she shared some of these treasures with me! There are also some fish beads and other trims and notions that she thought I might be able to use. Love the fishies!

This is a picture of some wonderful bead soup that Wanda sent me. It has some very unique animal skin printed beads in it. I had just picked up a vest from the thrift store with African animals and grasses, etc. on it that I thought would make a cute box top for a man. Lo and behold, the next day these beads arrive! This week she sent the rest of the matching beads she had left and some African animal charms to boot! What a special lady she is. I think the darling little friendship heart will be a favorite of this mentor for a long time to come.

Do consider joining all of the ladies at SAM and MAP. You won't be disappointed!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I agree Shari, it's a great group! Thank you so much for starting it!