Consider, today, that there is likely no greater gift you can give another person than that of your copious wisdom. It is only when we use our resources and talents to help others achieve their goals that we can feel truly gifted and excited by our successes. In offering the benefit of our experience to people whose dreams run parallel with our own, we channel our abundance into our efforts to improve the lives of people in need of our wisdom and tutelage. As mentors, we utilize our achievements in a benevolent fashion. As a result, we grow alongside our charges, remembering what it is like to be struggling at the start of the goal-realization process. Our own struggles for success are put into perspective, and we can take pride in all we have accomplished. When you use your resources to help others fulfill their dreams today, you’ll feel highly accomplished.
Since 1995 I have been a teacher of needlework. I learned to embroidery at the age of 8 and throughout my life have pursued many forms of fiber art and crafting. In the mid-1970s I worked in a needlework store and and enjoyed learning different types of embroidery (and knitting). In the mid-1980s I became more involved with organizations that promoted needlework and of all styles. Teachers were brought in to teach new techniques and I loved learning so much I began to travel for lessons. After 20 years of striving to learn all that I could, I am considered proficient in needlepoint, counted thread, Japanese embroidery, Brazilian embroidery, crewel, and silk and metal embroidery. The local shop knew of my ability and, in 1995, asked if I would teach classes. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
In July the shop was sold and closed for over a month while the new owner redecorated and restocked. When she reopened, we (the students and I) were thrilled!
All the threads were hung by color and there were many more choices and the variety of painted canvas designs were much more to our liking. It's a good change, a much needed change and we couldn't be happier.
The classroom now holds a large table and the walls are covered with possibility.
The beg table is very nice as the classroom can now hold up to 10 students.
All the students are very good at needlepoint and I have been able to teach them a few techniques to improve their skills. Together we take a painted canvas and pick threads, textures, colors and stitches to bring the canvas to life. We strive to create needleart, not just to color and cover the canvas.
While my knowledge is important in the creation of a piece, it is a collaborative effort. We discuss each choice and even try stitches and colors. Some students are very involved in the process of choice and others just want me to decide. They don't know that they really could do well without my guidance, but with my background I can teach techniques they don't know. It challenges me each time they ask "What should I do here?" or "Is this color a good choice?" Experience, trial and error and curiosity help in many of the choices. We have a good time together and that makes class day very enjoyable.
Margaret brought the last piece we worked together to class last week. She is an excellent stitcher and, as with many of the other students, has surpassed my stitching skills. She considers this her best piece of work to date. It is truly museum quality stitching and I am very humbled to have a part in the creation of such beautiful art work.
Click to enlarge
Rarely does anyone in class complain (any more) that a project is taking them too long. Over the years we have worked together the students have heard me say "It's the process." so many times they could scream. But, they believe it, they live it, and they love it.