Purls of Wisdom

3 Ways To Avoid Boredom on Winter Break Trips

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Nov 01, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

3 Ways To Avoid Boredom on Winter Break Trips

            As thanksgiving and winter break approaches, it is time to start planning for long road trips or plane rides to visit family. With the dreaded question of “are we there yet?” looming, we have compiled a small list of ways to keep your kids occupied on those journeys. Not only will these activities keep your kids busy but they can learn and practice important skills.

 

Movie Sing-A-Long

A great way to pass the time is to have a movie sing-a-long. A lot of Disney movies sell versions that display the song lyrics so your children can sing-a-long to their favorite movie. This is also a great way for young children to practice their reading skills. Since they mostly know the words to the songs, they will be able to associate the words they are singing to the words on the screen. The excitement of this activity will also tire them out so you can enjoy some quiet time after all of that singing. 

 

Car Games

            An easy way to pass the time on a car trip, without needing to bring anything along, is the License Plate Game. As you are driving, see if your kids can find the license plates of as many different states as possible. Obviously, if you are on the east coast, chances are pretty slim that you will find a Hawaii or Alaska license plate but your kids will be so excited about every new state they find. Like the movie sing-a-long, the license plate game is also a great way for your children to practice their reading.

 

Knitting

            Knitting is a great activity to do while traveling because not a lot of materials are needed and the ones that are, are small and portable. All that is needed are knitting needles and yarn. In the same time that it takes to get to your destination, whether that is by car, train, or plane, your child will get a good start on their knitting project. They can also continue with their projects during their down time over the break. By the end of the holiday break, your child could have a new hat or mittens for school!

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            If your family is home for winter break, The Handwork Studio offers Winter Break Camp. During this one-week camp, campers will be introduced to practical handwork arts such as hand and machine sewing, weaving, and knitting. If you think your child would be interested in this fun winter break camp, head to The Handwork Studio’s website or call (610) 660-9600 to register.

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Tags: kids knitting, knitting classes begin, Knitting, The Handwork Studio, Winter Camp

Get Creative In Your Everyday Life

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

It is important for everyone to be able to express their creativity in their everyday lives. It gives people the opportunity to disconnect from what is causing stress, whether that is work, school, or their personal lives. Creative projects are also a great way to save money and increase your confidence. Rather than spending money on clothes or bags, some creative projects allow you to repurpose things or make your own. It can increase your sense of confidence because you are the only person responsible for the success of these creative activities.

 

Check out these 3 ways to get creative every day!

 

Cook your own meals:

            Rather than spending your money on your favorite take out, head to the grocery store and pick up the ingredients to make it yourself and put your own unique spin on the recipe! The bright colors of the fruits and vegetables are sure to brighten up your day and the new spices you add to the recipe will make the take out seem boring in comparison. Cooking your own meals is a great way to build up your independence. It will give you more confidence in the kitchen and the ability to survive on your own. Be sure to get creative with the presentation of the meal. Think of yourself as a master chef in a five star restaurant!

 

Get outside:

            A great way to de-stress after a long work or school week is to head outdoors and instead of sticking with your usual walking, running, hiking, or biking route, mix it up! Get creative with your workout routines by finding a new trail or trying a different workout. This will allow you to discover new things. Maybe there is a great park or café around the corner that you have never discovered before because you always stick to the same routine. Heading outside for some fresh air has been proven to improve your attention span, happiness, and overall productivity. By getting creative when you are outside, whether that be switching up your usual route or participating in a new activity, you are setting yourself up for success when you head back in to do your work. So really, there is no reason to not get up and go outside!

 

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Design, Create, Repurpose:

            You know those great patchwork jeans you saw in the department store that cost over $100? Why not make your own pair using some old jeans. Making your own clothes is a great way to save some money and develop new, life-long skills that you can easily pass onto others. A sewing machine is a great investment- you can even purchase second-hand ones- because you make or fix your own clothes, accessories, and drapery. Curtain panels are an extremely easy project to do on your own rather than buying them. There is nothing easier than sewing a straight line, whether it is by hand or with a sewing machine. An added bonus to making you own clothes or drapery is that you can design it in whatever way you want, using whatever you want.

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The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp. The creative counselors will teach you the skills needed to enhance your everyday creativity. This fall, The Handwork Studio is offering their first ever Crafts and Cooking Workshop. Head to our website or call (610) 660-9600 for more information and to register.

Tags: crafts, Machine Sewing, Design, Kids Camp, Sewing, Fun

How To Continue Creative Projects During The School Year

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

How To Continue Creative Projects During The School Year

 

            Now that the school year is in full swing, children have much more responsibility and work to do everyday. However, this does not mean that the fun, creative projects they were able to do all summer have to come to an end. You can incorporate fun projects into the schoolwork, use them as a way to de-stress, or enroll in year round classes.

 

Incorporate them into schoolwork

            There are many ways to incorporate creative crafts into your schoolwork, whether it is by making or decorating school supplies or using it to help you study. For an upcoming quiz in any subject, the use of color has proven benefits to increase memorization. Decorate your notecards with colored patterns to help you remember events or definitions. Orange is beneficial to memory and analytical thinking. If you make this one of your key colors on notecards, it may help you when it comes time to be tested. Children can also continue their creative projects during the school year by making their school supplies. They can decorate their backpacks with tags. The Handwork Studio’s How-To-Tuesday Luggage Tag video can also be used to make backpack or gym bag tags!

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Creative Crafts to De-Stress

            Between homework, upcoming tests, and after-school activities, the school year is a stressful time for many students. It is important for them to have an outlet where they can disconnect from these requirements and clear their minds. Handwork crafts have been proven to be beneficial to de-stressing. The repetitive motions required for sewing, knitting, or weaving prompts relaxation because it is not a difficult process where you need to be constantly on your toes. Occupying your mind with these activities will allow you to come back to your work refreshed and reenergized.

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Year Round Classes

            One of the best ways to continue creative crafts during the school year is to look into year-round classes. These classes will allow students to get instruction and advice from seasoned professionals. They will also have scheduled time to do these projects rather trying to fit it in between everything else. The atmosphere of being in a non-stressful environment will give kids some well needed down time.

            If your child is interested in continuing their creative projects through out the school year, The Handwork Studio offers workshop, one-day classes, and winter and spring break camp year round. Head to their website to check out the programs and register there or by calling (610) 660-9600.

Tags: Machine Sewing, Workshops, Sewing, kids

How Sewing Helps You Relax

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

            Sewing is an extremely useful skill to have as you grow up. It can help instill independence by giving you the skills to make or fix your own clothes. It can also be a useful technique to diminish stress. The concentration needed for the repetitive nature of sewing will allow you to only focus on the act at hand rather than everything else that is going on in your life. The confidence you gain when you finish a project or learn a new technique will have you feeling refreshed when you get back to work.

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Repetitive

            The repetitive nature of sewing makes it productive activity that will allow you to disconnect from the stresses of your everyday life. Repetitive activities that use fine motor skills have been known to decrease anxiety. While repetition of a movement does not require serious thought, it gives you something to focus on. The continuous motions will keep your mind occupied on sewing rather than on the work that is causing you stress.

 

Concentration

The concentration needed to keep good technique will force you to shut off your brain and only focus on the task at hand. Especially with sharp tools, such as sewing needles, it is important to stay focused so that you do not get hurt. While you may think multi-tasking is time efficient, it is known to be a leading cause of stress. With sewing, your hands and mind are occupied and it is not possible to do another activity while sewing. This allows you to disconnect from work, school, or personal relationships that might be the cause of your stress.

  

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Builds Confidence

            Sewing is a great activity to do whenever you doubt your abilities in work or school. Not only is it a productive way to take a break from other assignments, when you complete your project or learn a new stitch, you will feel more confident. Whether it was a project that has taken you weeks or a small one you did during a one-hour break, the self-esteem boost you get when you complete it will leave you feeling ready to take on new challenges. As you head back to work or school assignments, you can take the confidence gained from sewing and apply it there.

            If you think your child could benefit from the stress-reducing aspects of sewing, The Handwork Studio, a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp, offer classes year-round. Visit their website or call (610) 660-9600 for more information or to register.

Tags: crafts, creativity, Machine Sewing, Sewing, The Handwork Studio

Sew Tech Workshop

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 04, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Sew Tech Workshop

            Handwork skills are a very practical thing to have because they are applicable in so many aspects of our lives. Whether you are planning to make clothes, curtains, accessories, toys, or make a gift for a friend, you can always find a reason to learn to sew, knit, weave, or embroider. Like handwork skills, we also find uses for technology in our everyday lives. Learning the basics of technology, such as creating a battery pack, connecting circuits or using conductor thread, will give you a greater understanding of how electronics work and possibly how to fix them. The Handwork Studio’s Sew Tech Workshop combines handwork skills and technology to give kids, ages 8 and older, a practical understanding of both while activating the left and right sides of their brain.

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Right Brain

            The right side of a person’s brain is in touch with a person’s creative side. The fine motor skills needed for any arts, especially handwork arts, are controlled by this side of the brain. Being in control of your fine motor skills will allow you to do the little movements needed for sewing or weaving. The right side of the brain is also controls the imagination. Having a good imagination is a huge aspect of creativity. Both scientists and artists use their imagination to build or create something new or further develop an already existing invention. The use of your fine motor skills and imagination in handwork projects will help you with your technique and making unique projects.

Left Brain

            The left side of the brain is much more logical, dealing with science and mathematics. It also helps us with reasoning. When using technology such as circuit boards or creating battery packs, logic and reasoning will help you understand why certain technological aspects of the Sew Tech projects only work when they are set up in a particular way. Although many schools are catered towards left-brain thinkers due to the critical thought needed in many classes, The Handwork Studio’s Sew Tech Workshop creates projects that both left and right brain thinkers can excel at.

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            Whether your interest is in science or arts, Sew Tech Workshop has something for everyone. The projects will all be handwork based. Kids can make stuffed animals, accessories, and more. Technology will be incorporated into the projects. Students can put LED lights, sound machines, and motors into their projects while learning how to create and use circuit boards to power them. In a world where technology plays are role in almost everything that we do, the introduction to the basics of technology in Sew Tech will give kids an understanding of how the world works.

 

            If you have a scientist, artist, or a child who is eager to learn, head to The Handwork Studio’s website or call (610) 660-9600 to get more information about the unique experience that is Sew Tech Workshop.

Tags: Machine Sewing, Workshops, Sewing, sew tech

Sewing: The Perfect Individual or Group Activity

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Sewing is a great skill to have whether you want to make your own toys or need to fix up ripped clothes. Depending on what project you are working on, sewing can be a fun group or individual activity. When it is being done as an individual activity, sewing is a great way to relax. The repetitive nature of sewing will give you the opportunity to de-stress from your busy life. However, when sewing with a group, it’s an opportune time to develop teamwork skills while also catching up with friends. Whether you are looking for some alone time to relax or time to catch up with old friends, sewing is the perfect activity.

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Benefits of Sewing As An Individual Activity

            Sewing is a fun activity to do when you are in need of some quiet time. Since there are not many supplies required for hand or machine sewing, it will be easy to gather what you need and find an empty space to work. The alone time you will have while working on your project will give you the opportunity to de-stress from school, work, or personal relationships. Another benefit of sewing by yourself is that you are the only person responsible for the project. You don’t have to worry about working at the same level as an expert sewer; rather you can work at your own level and pace. You also get to pick what you want the project to be. This way you can tailor the project so that it fits your interests, whether that is your favorite colors, movies, or sports. Hand or machine sewing on your own is a great opportunity to further develop your skills, make something that shows your interests, and clear your mind.

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Benefits of Sewing As A Group Activity

            Sewing can also be the perfect time to catch up with friends. Whether you are each working on your own project or are doing a project together, the repetitive motions of sewing will allow you to complete your projects while also holding a conversation. You can get together with a group of friends to make another a gift, such as a blanket or bag. Participating in a sewing group is also a great way to give back to your community. Your group can make hats for cancer patients or blankets for a homeless shelter. Both of these places will regularly be accepting donations. Look online to find a local hospital or homeless shelter and contact them to find out where you can drop off your projects.

Check out this website to find a sewing group in your area!

If you think you or your child would be interested in learning to sew, The Handwork Studio offers classes for children ages 5-16 through out the year. They also invite adults to inquire about private lessons for themselves or their children. Visit their website or call (610) 660-9600 for more information.

Tags: handwork classes begin, Machine Sewing, machine sewing classes begin, Sewing, The Handwork Studio

Handwork skills can help you make a thoughtful homemade gift

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

There are many benefits to learning handwork skills, such as hand and machine sewing, knitting, and feltings. Besides the more obvious uses of handwork skills, such as making and altering your own clothes, it is also a great way to make thoughtful homemade gifts for your friends and family.

 

It takes time and patience

            Its easy to go to the mall to buy someone a present and even easier to just get a gift card but the time and patience you put into making your handwork gift will make whoever you are giving it to that much more appreciative. This gift is actually a piece of you. Time is the most precious thing we have and by making something, we are showing that we care. It also shows that you really know what they will like. You can tailor your handwork craft so that it matches their interests. Patience is a very important, life-long skill that can be developed through handwork skills. Making someone a gift through handwork crafts is a great way to practice this skill. You want their gift to look as nice and neat as it can, so you need to take your time. By being patient with the process and not rushing to get it finished, your gift will come out looking amazing!

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It’s Thoughtful

            It is always really nice to receive a personalized gift. It shows the person receiving it that you know them well. Show the person that you listen to them and are aware of the things they like by giving your gift a theme. If you know that their favorite movie is Frozen, you can decorate their gift with snowflakes and snowmen. If you are giving a gift to someone for a holiday, that makes it even easier to incorporate a theme. Gifts for Valentine’s Day can be covered in hearts and sweet messages to show how much you love them.

 

Here are a few ideas

            While there are so many handwork crafts you can make, here a few ideas to get you started.

            An Apron is a great Mother’s of Father’s Day gift. You can decorate it with needle-felted pockets, buttons, and more. It will show that you recognize and appreciate all that they do for you. You could even make a matching one to help them cook. Check out this video by The Handwork Studio on how you make one.

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            A Knitted hat is the perfect winter holiday gift. Whether it is for Christmas of Hanukah, you can decorate the hat with symbols of those holidays. You can also decorate in a winter theme, with snowflakes or snowmen. This is a very thoughtful gift during those cold winter months to keep someone else warm.

 

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            If you are interested in learning the skills used to make these gifts, The Handwork Studio, a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp, offers classes in the summer and during the school year. Head to their website for more information and to register today. Also, if you want to see step-by-step videos of how to make great handwork projects, check out The Handwork Studio’s YouTube channel where our counselors walk you through many projects.

Tags: Kids Birthday Parties, Machine Sewing, Summer Camp, Sewing, Gifts

3 Unique Birthday Party Ideas

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Birthday parties are exciting for everyone involved. For the birthday boy or girl, it is their special day when all of their closest family and friends will come together to celebrate them. For those invited, it’s a fun-filled day with friends, family, games, and dessert. To make your birthday party special, here are some unique ideas that will have everyone excited!

 

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Cooking Party

            Cooking is a very important skill to have as an adult. If you teach it in a fun way, such as a cooking-themed birthday party, kids will learn to love it! As the kids begin to arrive, you can set them up at a table with paper chef hats that they are able to decorate with markers or stickers. Once everyone has arrived, you can begin cooking the main meal. An easy thing to make is mini pizza. Give each child a small, rolled out piece of dough and put bowls of pizza sauce, cheese, and various toppings in the middle of the table. As those are cooking, you can set out cupcakes for the kids to decorate with frosting and other treats. Through this party, you’ll save yourself the hassle of buying food for the party, while also teaching the kids a great skill.

 

Gardening Party

            For a spring or summer baby, a gardening-themed birthday party is a great way to get kids outside and learning a useful skill. You can set them up at a table with a small pot, planting soil, and a variety of different types of flower seeds. Before they start planting the flower seeds, you can have them paint the pots with puffy paint or glue on jewels. This will allow everyone to put their own unique spin on the flower pots and it will make them easy for parents to identify at the end of the party. Be sure to give the party goers instructions on how to plant and take care of their plant but it wouldn’t hurt to give a written copy to the parents as well. To stick with the theme, have worms and dirt for dessert!

 

Handwork Party

            Handwork parties are great for anytime of year because, no matter the season, there is something to make. Whether you’re sewing, knitting, or weaving, the children can practice their handwork skills while also making a fun project with all of their friends! Before getting started, it will be important to talk the kids through the project, especially if they are working with sharp tools like needles. Once they understand the project, give the party goes enough supplies to make their projects unique. They will love seeing how everyone decorated their projects once they are done. A great birthday party handwork project is party hats. While this video from The Handwork Studio shows party hats for New Year’s, it is also perfect for a birthday celebration! Check out this How-To-Tuesday Video to see how to make it.

 

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            During the school year, The Handwork Studio offers customizable birthday parties. The birthday boy or girl can choose what project they want to make. These include a tote bag, a glamorize your doll dress, bed pockets, or clothes if they do a Fashion and Machine Sewing party. The Handwork Studio also offers embroidery kits, kumi himo kits, or knitting kits to be purchased as party favors. Head to The Handwork Studio’s website to request availability for your child’s birthday party.

Tags: crafts, Kids Birthday Parties, Sewing, The Handwork Studio, Handwork

3 ways handwork crafts can get your kid excited for the school year

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Sep 06, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

The start of the school year is always a difficult adjustment. Going back to early mornings, especially as the weather gets colder, and homework is definitely not as fun as all of the cool activities children get to do during the summer. However, with these handwork crafts children will be excited and ready to start the school year!

 

Notebook cover:

            A lot of schools now include book covers on their list of required school supplies. Rather than spending money and buying one, it’s a very easy project for students to make their own! All that is needed is some fabric, a needle, and thread. If you are more advanced sewer, you can use a sewing machine instead of a needle and thread. With their notebooks or textbooks, students can open the book and the lay the fabric across it. They then should fold the fabric over to the inside covers of the book so that it looks like a pocket. Now that you have the shape of your book cover figured out, you can remove the book and get ready to sew. With the book cover laying flat on a table, fold the two sides of the shorter inside cover to the outside cover on both sides on the book cover and sew the sides together. Now that it is all sewed together you can put you book in it and are ready for school! This fun and easy project is a great way for students to get excited about the books the get to read during the school year. They can have fun with the fabrics they use and show off their handwork skills!

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Pencil Toppers:

            With every new school year comes a lot of writing. Whether it is for math homework or history or english essays, students can add some excitement to all the writing they have to do by making these fun pencil toppers! To get started, you will need a pencil, felt, a needle, and thread. Take the felt and cut two pieces of the same shape, like the shamrock below. These two pieces will be sewn together so that they fit over the pencil. To sew them together, you can place the two felt pieces on either side of the pencil and use a pen to mark the width of the pencil inside the felt. Remove the pencil and sew up one side, across the top, and then down the third side. Be sure to leave an opening at the bottom for the pencil to fit through! These pencil toppers are easy to make for holidays or just for fun! It will definitely add some excitement to your student’s school day!

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A new stuffed animal for show and tell:

            For young students, show and tell is often a highlight of their day; however, finding something new every week for them to bring to school can be difficult. A great way for students to practice their handwork skills while also making their show and tell project is to make a stuffed animal. Students will need two pieces of felt cut into the same shape of their favorite animal, some extra felt or fabric for decorating, a needle, thread, and stuffing. To get started, students can decorate one side of the felt of their stuffed animal. They can do this by sewing other pieces of felt, beads, or fabric directly onto the felt. Once they are happy with the decorations, place the two pieces of felt back to back and use the needle and thread to sew most of it together. Leave a wide enough gap so that they are able to get the stuffing inside the felt. Now that the stuffed animal is nice and fluffy, sew up the last side and now you have your own homemade stuffed animal! While this project will be great for show and tell to show off your handwork skills, it will also be loved a long time after that.

            The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp. In the summer we have 43 locations across 10 states up and down the east coast but we also continue classes, workshops, and birthday parties year round at our Narberth, PA location. If you think your child would be interested in learning to skills needed to make these projects, there is still time to register for classes starting in the fall.

Tags: crafts, Machine Sewing, Kids Camp, Sewing, school

Celebrate National Sewing Month

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Celebrate National Sewing Month!

            September celebrates National Sewing Month and The Handwork Studio wants to help you celebrate! Since the sewing machine was invented in 1846, people have been able to make their own clothes, accessories, and home décor in a manner and speed that they had not been able to before. At The Handwork Studio, we teach kids how to use a sewing machine and the different projects you can make with it. To help you celebrate, we have complied videos from our How-To-Tuesdays to make your National Sewing Machine Month the best one yet!

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            Before you get started on any of your projects, it is very important to know how to use a sewing machine. We understand that it may be tricky if you are new to sewing, so Miss Alisha takes you step-by-step to show you how to thread your sewing machine. Once you have your machine threaded, it will be ready to go and you can start a project of your choice

 

            Since National Sewing Month is celebrated at the same time the school year starts, making school supplies is a great project. While the school probably provides a list of what students need for classes, you still need to find backpacks, gym shoes and clothes, and lunch boxes. To help you with this dilemma, The Handwork Studio shows you how to make your own reusable sandwich bag with a sewing machine. All that you need is a sewing machine and fabric. However, if your child wants, they can decorate the finished sandwich bag with jewels, buttons, or more fabric.

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            If your child is interested in celebrating National Sewing Month with The Handwork Studio, we offer classes beginning in September. Visit our website or call (610) 660 9600 for more information or to register now! We also have plenty of more projects for sewing machines on our YouTube page.

 

           

Tags: Machine Sewing, Sewing, The Handwork Studio