Wednesday, September 2, 2009

aMuse For Shoes/Sierra Leone Fundraiser

Bear with me on this next blog entry--lengthy but important. I have never used my name or shop or talents to help raise funds for any charities--except breast cancer research and that's another story. I choose to keep my charitible giving a private matter in most cases, as do most people. However, I now feel compelled to ask for your help in raising funds for a dear friend who has been called to war-torn Sierra Leone, West Africa. Here is his story. Donation widget box is below.

The widget box above will take you to PayPal, and, as I'm sure you know, the transaction will be secure and private. We'll know who is giving but other private info is totally secure. You will have to have a PayPal account, but I'm sure most of you have accounts anyway.

Several years ago I had the privilege of studying with Glen Leasure at his shoemaking workshop outside Lexington, Virginia. Working with him, and enjoying the wonderful hospitality of he and his wife Peggy, was a truly eye-opening experience. They are, without doubt, the most dedicated, humble, giving people I have ever met. These people gave up what most of us would call ‘the good life’ many years ago to raise their family among like-minded folks—growing their own food, home-schooling their children in a communal setting, building their amazing log cabin by themselves, eschewing television, all to live close to the land, relying on each other for the basics in life. Part of their compound is shown above--breathtakingly beautiful and serene.

Recently Glen was asked by the non-governmental organization Child Help Sierra Leone, to go to Sierra Leone, West Africa, to teach shoemaking in January 2010.

The people of Sierra Leone are survivors of a war beyond imagination. Due to 11 years of chaos, they have become the most desperately poor people on earth and have lost the skills required to rebuild their country. They are now focused on recovery, but the problems are many and deep. The average life expectancy is less than 41 years. Diseases are rampant and treatment is largely unavailable. Many are stricken by water and vector borne diseases. Shoeing the shoeless will save lives by providing protection from disease. It is their dream and goal to become shoe self-sufficient; shoes are a short-term solution to the many problems these people face daily.

His students will be selected from the local population by Child Help Sierra Leone. They will be from their late teens to early twenties, and priority will be given to women, who are the most disadvantaged, suffering from the scars of abuse and isolation. These young women are also trying to provide for their own children and all those orphaned and abandoned. As the director of Child Help says, ‘empowered women make a nation.’

It is one of my greatest wishes to help Glen help these people. Glen will need to cover his own expenses in getting to West Africa, including airfare, shots, medications and food. Glen and his family live by modest means themselves; that is why I am asking you to help me help him. We can all make a difference by donating what you can to help cover his expenses.

Below are some pictures of my time spent studying shoemaking with Glen. You will see him in a couple of the shots, hard at work.

For Wilmington and surrounding areas
: 'Style Girl' Jess James and I are raffling off a ‘holiday makeover,’ with raffle proceeds going to help expense Glen’s trip to Sierra Leone. Raffle tickets are going for $5 each. For each $5 you donate your name is entered in the drawing. The more you give the better your chances to win. On November 1, we will draw a winner! You can buy your raffle tickets by clicking the widget box below. Go to the Style Girl page to see the great shops/services included in the makeover! You'll be pleased!!! Clothing, hair, make-up, shoes, hat/headpiece, styling, and more!! THIS IS A $700+ VALUE!

For my millinery students: Donate at least $30 and you will have your supply fee waived for any upcoming class through January 2010. (Value $35--$75!) Those would be classes in Mendocino, Chicago, Gatlinburg, and Washington, DC.

Please know that each and every dollar will go directly to Glen and the Child Help Sierra Leone cause.

Thank you for caring...and for giving!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fiber Folks at aMuse--Felting, Knitting, Painting, Quilting, Hatmaking

Last night I hosted the first meeting of a group of local fiber artists. It is something I've been wanting to explore for about two years--a group that loves working with all fibers and fabrics, loves to paint, stitch, structure, manipulate, dye, discharge, yeah, do about anything to them. And with beautiful results!

So we got together, got very excited about what each of the others was doing with their work, what we could learn from each other, and decided to keep getting together in the future to learn new skills from each other, to learn of resources (classes, publications, etc.), and to support each other.

What processes were represented? Felting, knitting/crocheting, floor cloth painting, and hatmaking. Everyone brought either samles of their work or a portfolio. Lots of surface design examples. Below you see the group, minus me--l to r--Nancy, Ginny, Louise and Diane. Hoping the group will grow as we find others who have a love of all things fiber/fabric.

I'll be posting some of our work as we progress. But before our next meeting in November each person will be working on a 'challenge' piece to share with the group. Everyone is to take an 8" square of fabric, or create an 8" square of felt, then stitch it, paint it, dye it, distress it, discharge it, work it work it work it. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with! I'll show it when I see it.