Purls of Wisdom

FiberPhiladelphia 2012

Posted by Melissa Haims on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 @ 06:30 AM

Hi there! Miss Melissa here for a double shot of blog posts. Last week I wrote about the American Camp Association's Tri State Camp Conference and while I was there I talked A LOT about FiberPhiladelphia and promised to share more details... Here they are:

FiberPhiladelphia 2012 is an international biennial and regional festival for innovative fiber/textile art. Exhibitions are happening at more than 40 locations including major institutions and independent venues during the event. They will include work by renowned international artists and a new generation of artists breaking into the field. The first shows began in January and they stretch until June.

Now, if you've been reading our blog, you'll know that March is National Craft Month. But did you know that on March 2nd May Michael Nutter declared by official proclamation that March is Fiber Arts Month in Philadelphia? Well, friends, it's true. At the opening ceremony which was held at Moore College of Art and Design we were treated to a welcome address by Mayor Nutter (at a yarn bombed microphone), an introduction by Dr. Happy Fernandez (President of Moore), another intro by Amy Orr (Executive Director of FiberPhiladelphia 2012) and finally, a keynote lecture by Elissa Auther. She is the author of String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art (Minnesota, 2010). Click here to see photos of this amazing event and the opening that occurred afterward at the Crane Arts BUilding! 

Miss Melissa yarn bombing Mayor Nutter's microphone.  Mayor Nutter at said Microphone.

Yes, that's me yarn bombing the microphone that Mayor Nutter, et al, spoke at.

Now, at this point, you may be asking yourself why I am writing about this. What's the tie back to The Handwork Studio? Here's the deal: I work for The Handwork Studio year round as the Director of Curriculum and Education, but I'm also a fiber artist who makes and shows work in galleries. I was drawn to FiberPhiladelphia in January 2011 by a fellow fiber artist and the next thing I knew I found myself on the Executive Board of this fabulous festival surrounded by the most amazing individuals: artists, curators, students, designers and volunteers. Together, we created the single most important Fiber Arts event in Philadelphia in the last 20 years. I am so proud to be a part of this group and promote the exhibitions, support our business sponsors and spread the word.

So please stop by The Handwork Studio and pick up one of our directories and plan your visit to our shows around the city today! You can also find them at many locations around town; check the website for a list of our exhibitions and support your local fiber artists!

Full Disclosure / Shameless Plug:

I have a number of shows during the festival that I would love for you to share with your children, friends and family. Click here for the full exhibitions list and search for "Melissa". You can see some of the work I do when I'm not knitting bunnies and sewing marshmallows!

If you're reading this, chances are you have a little fiber artist at home and in that case I would strongly recommend that if you're in the Philadelphia area between now and the end of April, take them to see Cold Comfort at The Schuylkill Center for Envrionmental Education. This show has been delighting the little ones (and not so little ones) since January and is a real treat, both indoors and out!

little tree hugger at Cold Comfort.


Miss Melissa


American Camp Association National Conference-Getting Ready for Camp

Posted by Laura Kelly on Sat, Mar 03, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

American Camp Association Logo


Miss Julia and I went down to Atlanta last week to see and hear all the latest news that is the camping industry.  We did this so we would be up on the latest on camping trends for our kids' needle arts camp this summer. We spend 4 days listening to such wonderful distinguished speakers talk about child development, camp safety, business leadership and social media.  It was awe inspiring and an incredible wealth of information I wanted to share with you.  So over the next couple of days, since it is too long for one blog, I'll share some of the highlights.  And though you may not be a part of the camping industry, other than sending your kids to us, anyone would find this information useful.

First, Jenn Selke, told us all about the latest and greatest sites and iOS applications for productive camp directors (really for anyone looking for productivity tools: travel, webinars, podcasting, photos, web conference, personal finance management and so much more).  Here are the links to her slides and the audio.  If you are an app junkie, you won't be disappointed.  I'm not even and app junkie and I downloaded three apps sitting in the audience.  

I also spent an amazing three sessions with someone outside of the camp industry.  Kerry Plemmons is a Clinical Porfessor at Daniels School of Business at hte University of Denver and he was a regional manager for Starbucks.  I think the most important thing I learned from Kerry was don't be afraid to "love your team".  I have the MOST wonderful staff in all the world, truly - invested, smart, creative, forward thinking women who give thier heart and sole to the our mission and children.  However being a new business woman in the 80's we were taught to dress the part (blue suits), be man like, and unemotional.  Kerry reminded me that the authentic relationships that I have with the team will translate to authentic relationships with your kids.