Once upon a time, there was a lovely lady named Shari. She spent her day caring for her family and enjoying her needle arts. As she stitched, a little fairy came and whispered into her ear..."shari...share...".
And Shari began to see a fantasy world before her where ladies (and perhaps a few men) were all stitching and talking and laughing. Those that knew how to stitch were showing those that did not. Those that could use their needle with the most skill were sharing that knowledge with those that wanted to learn how to make their needle work like that too! Each had a book with pages of instruction so all learned the proper way to work their needles. The group had some jesters laughing and encouraging each other. Much fun was had!
Really, this little story is my interpretation of a wonderful Yahoo Group that I belong too (well, actually, I belong to several wonderful Yahoo Groups... but today I'll talk about just this one). StitchMAP is a group where volunteers that know about a specific type of needle-art are willing to share that knowledge and their time with others that would like to learn more about that specific needle-art. Instruction is structured so everyone in the group is getting the same information; it progresses at a pace that is different for each person, tailored to their schedule and ability; each "apprentice" is assigned a "mentor" who helps them work through the course of instruction on a chosen needle-art technique; many photos are shared; and much general fun is also had with games and such!
I am lucky enough to be one of several moderators for StitchMap...and help mostly with preparing some course instructions. If you want to learn about needle-arts...Crazy Quilting, Hardanger, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Surface Hand Embroidery, Tatting, Brazilian Embroidery, Needlepoint, Quilting, Blackwork, Cross Stitch, and other Counted Thread techniques...any other type of needlework that you can think of (and I can't at the moment...)..then StitchMap is a group you should consider.
And the courses and instruction is FREE! No cost at all! There are simple guidelines (rules if you will) to keep everyone on track and involved...but you can progress at your own pace until you finish a course. And you can sign up for many things and have fun with other non-course activities to learn along the way too!
Any how...the reason for this post was actually to post this sneak peek to my other moderators...because we are involved in a swap. Our precious Shari sent each of us a beautiful magic peacock feather at Christmas...and challenged us to make a beautiful object for a fellow moderator. We are soon exchanging these items...and mine went into the mail today. Can't say "who or what" until it is received...but I'll post a complete photograph next Tuesday!