Purls of Wisdom

At the Center of the Universe - Fiber Arts

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 @ 09:34 PM




As I write this post, I just happen to be in South Beach, looking out over a glistening Atlantic, feeling a cool morning breeze. And it is stunning. Today I am a Fiber Artist.

I’m here in Miami for Art Basel, the country’s preeminent contemporary art fair, of which, I am pleased to announce, I will be a part of.

As a fiber artist and a project designer for The Handwork Studio I have been blessed to marry my love of textiles with an actual job – no small feat in our current economy. And equally lucky to have Laura and the rest of our staff as my biggest fans.

Fiber arts have exploded onto the scene in the last few years, graduating from the very “seventies” weaving and knotting work into a full blown storm of dying, wearables, large scale sculpture, embroidery on paintings – you name it. “Fiber Arts” encompasses so many diverse techniques that it truly is everywhere.

Even in my hotel lobby.

As I went for coffee this morning I was greeted by Tom Friedman’s “GreenYarnAlien” installed in the lobby of the W South Beach. What a perfect way to start my day. As the mom of a 9 year old who loves yarn (just like her mom) and is a handwork junkie (ditto the mom comment), I felt this was the perfect piece to blog about. I am constantly asked… What is Fiber Art?  Well, my friends take a peek at these pictures – your kids are sure to love him. And just think, maybe one day your own little handwork junky might be down here doing the very same thing.

Check out our Facebook page in the coming days to look at images of my own work installed during this 4 day frenzy of contemporary arts. And enjoy!


Miss Melissa



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Tags: art exhibit, b2c, fiber arts

Thanksgiving Day Crafting| Fun Projects for the Entire Family

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 05:51 PM

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It is not very often that everyday life comes to a stand still.  Thankfully we have Thanksgiving!  As Novemeber 24th approaches many of us will be with family and friends to eat and laugh.  However, in between all those laughs and turkey slices, how will you spend the rest of your day?  If you are at a lost we at the Handwork Studio think there is nothing more fulfilling than creating something by hand.  Before you head out into the Black Friday shopping frenzy, and maybe after you had you had your fill of stuffing and gravy, take this Turkey day as an opportunity to create a project with your kids or even get the whole family involved!  

If you need some inspiration our fabulous Miss Alisha offers wonderful tips and tricks on different Handwork techniques when she posts for "How to Tuesdays" She offers tutorials on simple techniques such as, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and even needle-felting.  This past weeks video is one of my favorites that I am sure will really will get everyone into the Thanksgiving Day spirit.  

To continue to receive  "How To Tuesdays"  you can subscribe on our homepage and tutorials will go directly to your inbox.  We at The Handwork Studio want to thank you so much for your support and for taking the opportunity to see what the needle arts is all about.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thankfully yours,

Miss Julia

Tags: How to Tuesday, b2c, fun kids activities, Thanksgiving

Kids' Craft Classes: Join the Fun and Bring A Friend!

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 @ 05:29 PM

HandWork 199When Miss Laura first asked me to reflect on my crafting experience, I paused - was I really a crafter? As a child, I loved to create, whether that was drawing, making clothes for my dolls, or learning to knit with my mom and friend who lived across the street. Years later at the age of 16, I joined the Handwork Studio as a assistant instructor during the summers, learning along the way from Miss Sally and Miss Julia how to thread a needle and how to work a sewing machine without hopelessly tangling it (and myself) in thread.

Now, six years later, I am thrilled the be back as an adult - it was this warm, lively, and incredibly talented group of women who were the reason why I continually returned year after year. Throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I realized I had undoubtedly been influenced by the crafting community: memorable elementary and middle school art teachers, Handwork Studio instructors and colleagues, and especially my mom, whose interests have ranged from knitting, quilt-making and embroidery to weaving and felting (her current passion), never failing to teach me or ask for my input along the way. Apart our variety of textile talents though, up until last Tuesday, my mom and I shared another similarity: neither of us could crochet. Yet with the help of our own Miss Meredith, I have finally learned! Why am I so excited about this? Finally, after years of learning from my mom, I can finally return the favor.

Who do you love crafting with? We are so excited to announce our first ever “Bring A Friend To Class Week” at the Studio - it’s the perfect opportunity for your kids to share what they learn with us with a friend. It’s so wonderful seeing your kids teach their friends - something we love to do every day!

Interested in joining the fun? View a schedule of Winter Classes, which start December 5th. We can’t wait to see you there!

Tags: b2c, free craft event, Kids' craft class

Creative Ways to Spend Election Day | Easy Craft Projects for Kids

Posted by Melissa Haims on Wed, Nov 02, 2011 @ 07:25 PM

election day fun with kidsMost folks don't think of voting and crafting, but they are two things I love doing.  So I thought it only appropriate to share my thoughts on what election day means to me, how I experience it with my daughter and give you some ideas for easy craft projects that you can make with your own kids to put you in the spirit.


When I turned 30, voting became really important to me. This doesn't necessarily mean that I totally understand politics the way I would like to, but I understand enough to be able to make informed decisions on my elected officials.


And ever since my daughter, Noa, was born she has accompanied me to the polls. She hasn't missed an election in 9 years, and neither have I. She loves helping me find the names on the ballot machine, pushing the corresponding buttons and hitting the final "VOTE" button that changes the machine over, registers the vote and opens the curtains... all magically.


All of our voting officials know us by name because they are all our neighbors. There's coffee and donuts, there's good cheer, camaraderie and political banter. It's something that I want her to understand from an early age and I want her to associate good thoughts with voting. It's about us and our community and the power we have to change it. It's so important for all of us to have a say in our political system, even if we don't understand it like the guys + gals on cable TV.


This November 8 you may be met with the joy of having your kids home with you - take them to vote: open up an authentic dialog about it's importance. And watch their eyes light up when the lights go out and the curtain magically opens....


You can take it even a step further while you're home, here 4 ideas on what you can do while your kids are home this November 8th! 


1. Future Voter Button

I love this project, especially when it's hand sewn and the words are embroidered.

Future Vote Button Project


2. Vote for Broccoli!

Personally, I'd vote for cookies....

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3. Felt Cupcake Toppers

Instead of using glue, I'd recommend using a needle and thread to create these cute cupcake toppers!




4. Don't have the day off, but your kids do? We also have a one day camp available on November 8th with multiple options for drop off and pick up. We'll have lots of fun craft activities for the kids. You can register your children for full day (9-3) half day (9-1) or just the afternoon (1-3). Click here to register.

And don't forget to vote!

Miss Melissa

Tags: Narberth, Kids Camp, Fun, kids, fun kids activities, project ideas, activities