Purls of Wisdom

A Parent's Guide to Summer Camp

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 12:00 PM


            Gone are the days when a camper’s only options for summer camp were day camp or sleep away camp. Luckily, besides those two awesome options, we now have even more! There are still the classic sleep away and day camps but also specialty camps, volunteer abroad programs, and virtual summer camps. To make your summer planning a little easier, here is you guide to summer camps.

Day Camp:

            Day camps usually touch on a wide variety of activities so that campers can move around through out the day. This includes different sports, swimming, theatre, arts and crafts and more. Day camps are great for younger children because they are given the opportunity to try many different activities to see what they have a genuine interest in. They are also a great introduction into camps for those who aren’t quite ready to leave home for the summer.



Sleep Away Camp:

            Like day camp, sleep away camp also has campers moving from activity to activity through out they day. However, rather than ending their day in the late afternoon like day camp, these campers will stay over night for up to a few weeks. Due to this, sleep away camps will usually offer some nighttime activities such as dances, barbeques, and movie nights. This allows campers to develop deeper friendships that will last a lifetime; however, do be prepared for the homesick campers.


Specialty Camps:

            While day and sleep away camps allow campers to try out many different activities, specialty camps focus on one specific area so that campers can really enhance the skills needed for it. Specialty camps can be found for sports, theatre, the arts, and more. It’s a great way for campers to either develop skills in a new area or get more practice in something they already love.



Virtual Camps:

            As technology continues to advance, it will continue to play a larger role in the lives of your children. You can order your groceries online to have them delivered, get a college degree online, or do all of your clothing shopping online. Now, campers are also able to participate in virtual summer camps. At these camps, campers can make projects, research new ideas, and go on “virtual adventures”. Many of these camps are specialty-oriented, free and provide the campers with individual attention; however, they do lose the nature aspect that other summer camps offer.


Adults Only Summer Camp:

            Why should the kids have all the fun this summer? The New York Times recently reported on adults-only summer camp to get you disconnected from your technology. Camp Bonfire is an adults-only summer camp but with the same activities and atmosphere as the sleep away camp you went to as a child. This is a great opportunity to get outside and de-stress from work and technology while your kids are also away at camp.


            Planning for summer can get lost on you when the end of the school year is so busy. Hopefully this outline of all types of camps available in the summer will make your planning a little less stressful and if doesn’t, check out that adults only summer camp!


The Handwork Studio is a specialty camp that focuses on kids' needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion. With locations up and down the east coast, The Handwork Studio employs professional artists, instructors, and teachers that will teach their campers skills such as hand and machine sewing, knitting, embroidery, and quilting. During the one-week sessions, campers will put theses skills to the test and bring home treasured handmade projects.





Tags: Machine Sewing, Fashion Camp, Summer Camp, Sewing, Summer, kids, Handwork

4 Projects to Get Ready For Summer

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

As the weather continues to heat up, we know that summer is here and with that comes a whole handful of preparations to make sure that your kids are ready for the beach, camp and whatever else you have planned. Here a 4 fun ways to get your kids ready the summer:


Tie-Dye Your Own Beach Towel:

            Rather than going out to buy brand new beach towels that you threw away last summer, find an old white one (or even some old bed sheets) in your linen closet and tie-dye it! You can roll up the towels however you want and tie it up into sections with rubber bands. Once that is done, get your tie-dye ready – it is probably easier to buy some at a store but there are ways to make your own using food coloring. Now that everything is prepped, put on your gloves and you can start tie dying by squeezing the dye into the each section of the towel! Make it as colorful and crazy as you want but be sure to let it dry for 6-8 hours before untying it and rinsing it off with a hose.




Make a Pillowcase:

            When going away to sleep away camp, its always comforting to bring something personal from home. A great project to do with your camper before they leave for the summer is to make a pillowcase. All you need is two pieces of fabric, needle, thread, and whatever you want to use to decorate your pillowcase. The fabric can come from an old blanket or you can buy it at your local crafts store. To make the pillowcase, measure out the two pieces fabric to be the same size – or a little bit bigger- than your pillow. With your needle and thread, sew three sides of the pillowcase together, leaving one opening at the top for the pillow to fit into. Now that your pillowcase is made, you can decorate it by sewing on other patches of fabric or get iron-on patches. This is a great way to send your kid off to sleep away camp with a little bit of home.



Decorate Your Backpack:

            At summer camp, whether it is sleep away or day camp, campers’ bags usually get thrown in with everyone else’s. So what better way to make your camper’s bag stand out than by decorating it with some patchwork? This is very easy to do and you hardly need to buy anything! You can use the same backpack from the school year and some old t-shirts or blankets. Along with these supplies, you’ll need a sewing needle and thread. Cut up your old t-shirts and blankets into shapes or letters and then sew them directly onto your backpack. This is a great project to get your kid ready and excited for camp this summer!


Make Your Own Sleeping Mask:

            A camper’s bunk at sleep away camp is usually nothing like their bedroom at home. They will probably be in a cabin with the rest of their age group who might be using night-lights and flashlights late into the night. A great project to do before they leave for camp is to make their own sleep mask. It will be a thoughtful reminder of home and help make the night a bit more peaceful. All you’ll need is two pieces of fabric, a piece of elastic, and two cut outs shaped like you mask and then you are ready to sew it all together either with a sewing machine or by hand. Click the image of the sleeping mask to be linked to The Handwork Studio’s How-To-Tuesday video to get a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own!



If your child has an interest in sewing, design, or any other handwork crafts, go to The Handwork Studio website for our fall and summer camp schedule and live chat with Miss Catalina or call 610.660.9600 to see what would be best for your camper!

Tags: How to Tuesday, Summer Camp, Sewing, Knitting, The Handwork Studio, Summer, fun kids activities, activities, camp, Handwork, tie-dye

Meet The Campers

Posted by Catalina Lassen on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 10:54 AM

       At The Handwork Studio, we pride ourselves on our campers’ enthusiasm, passion, and dedication to what they are learning in their classes. We hope to inspire hard work and creativity into their creations that will lead into a life-long passion. My name is Libby Foxman and I am the Marketing, Public Relations, and Social Media intern at The Handwork Studio this summer. I am excited to be a part of this team and share with you blogs and updates on social media. I first heard of The Handwork Studio from my sisters, Emily and Grace, who took camps here and had amazing experiences.


       Emily Foxman, who is now 22, participated in the Fashion Boot Camp at The Handwork Studio when she was 15. There, she was given the opportunity to design a collection and create 2 dresses. She says that the highlight of the class was visiting Mood Fabric Store in New York City. Emily says that Fashion Boot Camp helped develop her love of fashion and would recommend it because it was “an extremely effective way to learn so much about the fashion industry in one summer.” What Emily had learned in Fashion Boot Camp has made itself relevant in her everyday life. She now has a fashion-focused instagram and blog and enjoys designing her own pieces in her free time.




       My youngest sister, Grace, who is now 12 years old, took Fashion and Machine Sewing Camp at The Handwork Studio. She remembers it as a fun and unique experience. In the class, she was taught to use a sewing machine and the other skills needed in order to create her own projects. The students made laptop cases, bags, and sweat pants. Grace says she “felt fulfilled when [she] was able to make her own things.” Our teachers strive to create this sense of fulfillment in their students because we want them to see how hard work and dedication can pay off. Grace says she would recommend this class to others who want to learn life-long, useful techniques because “it was a fun and unique experience that introduced [her] to great friends.” 




       The Handwork Studio offers a number of summer camps including, Handwork Day Camp, Fashion and Machine Sewing, Fashion Boot Camp, Sew-Tech Camp, and Glamorize Your Doll. Be sure to check out The Handwork Studio website to see the full summer schedule and live chat with Miss Catalina to find the best class for your kids. 



Tags: Sewing, kids, camp, Handwork

4 Activities to Help Your Child De-stress

Posted by Laura Kelly on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Adults tend to view children as happy and carefree. Free from the daily stressors of the real world - bills, traffic jams, and a 9-5 job - we assume children have nothing to worry about but playdates, bee stings, and playground scrapes.

But even very young children deal with stress. Overscheduling, conflicts in the family, and problems with peers are all sources of stress for children. In fact, according to the WebMD Stress in Children Consumer Survey conducted during the summer of 2015, 72% of children showed negative behaviors linked to stress over the past year. The survey also found that children were complaining of physical symptoms linked to stress, with 44% of parents reporting that their children suffered from headaches, and 38% children complaining of nightmares or trouble sleeping.


So, how can you reduce your child’s stress and anxiety? These relaxing activities can help your child manage stress successfully.

1) Drawing

Studies have shown that drawing and making art can effectively combat stress. The rhythmic motion of drawing with a pencil or using a paintbrush can induce a relaxed state. Even coloring with crayons can help not only children but adults relieve stress, as shown by the rising popularity of adult coloring books.

When children are drawing, painting, sculpting or participating in any artistic activity, they’re completely focused on the task at hand. This absolute concentration allows them to let go of their worries and simply enjoy creating art.

2) Cooking

Cooking also acts as a stress reliever for children. Cooking diverts your child’s mind from daily stressors and refocuses their attention on preparing a meal. Children learn basic cooking skills that will prove beneficial into adulthood while relaxing and enjoying themselves. Not to mention, cooking can serve as an ideal bonding experience for children and older family members.

3) Meditation

Meditation enables children to relax and concentrate on the here and now. Even a few minutes of meditation can relieve stress and restore emotional well-being. Meditating on a regular basis will increase self-awareness and help your child manage stress in the future. Meditation apps, such as Headspace, will teach your child simple meditation techniques they can practice everyday.

4) Knitting

Knitting and other handwork techniques can serve as an effective tool in building children’s self-esteem and reducing stress. The repetitive work of knitting can have a soothing effect for children. According to Dr. Herbert Benson, author of “The Relaxation Response,” needle arts can lower heart rate, blood pressure, and harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Needle arts forces children to stop and live in the moment, as they cannot multitask when knitting. Children can let go of their worries and focus on the project at hand. They’ll learn basic skills in a world of technology all while gaining self-confidence from successfully completing a project.

Do you think your child would enjoy learning handwork techniques? The Handwork Studio offers needle arts summer camp programs for a range of ages. Children will learn the tradition of needle arts and machine sewing in a nurturing and positive environment. Register your child for summer camp here!

Why Should Your Child Learn Needle Art Skills? Learn the benefits that needle arts offers children of all ages. Download Your Free Guide.

Tags: Summer Camp