Purls of Wisdom

Eva Laverty-Wilson

Recent Posts

Happy Thanksgiving: From Our Family to Yours

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Sun, Nov 18, 2012 @ 10:04 PM

pilgrimsThanksgiving Day.

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pies.

Aunts & uncles, distant cousins and family friends.

Football games on TV and in the backyard. 

These are the things that very often make up our thanksgiving day.  But for so many in our area this year, Thanksgiving day will be different.

In the wake of hurricane Sandy families are trying to regain a sense of normalcy, whether it is trying to rebuild their homes or staying with extended family because they have lost everything…it seems that we are reminded of what truly matters most.  The ones that we love.  Those of us that live in the area might have experienced power outages or downed trees & wires, or maybe even a little water in the basement.  But our neighbors, family and friends in New York and New Jersey will be rebuilding for a while, and while they do they will need our love and support.  So this thanksgiving, when we are surrounded by the faces that love us, take a moment to enjoy and appreciate what you have and are able to share.  It is in knowing that we can encircle ourselves with hearts and hands filled with warmth that we are able to find such joy and thanks in our holiday celebrations. 

Now, please pass the pumpkin pie.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

-Miss Alisha

THS Amazing Kids Profile: Lizzy

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Thu, Nov 01, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

lizzy1Meet Lizzy: This Amazing Kid (or rather, young woman) started at The Handwork Studio in elementary school and by 15 she had 4 years of our Fashion Boot Camp under her fabulous belt. Now Lizzy not only sews, but has her own fashion business; in her spare time she works for us here at the Studio!
 
How have you taken crafting or sewing to the next level?
After a year of machine sewing and four years of Fashion Boot Camp I have made dozens of dresses, jackets and other forms of apparel for many people, local consignment shops and have started my own clothing label Tres Lizzy. I also have made a pleather jacket for the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars, Jared Leto, and a silk kimono for a singer called Grimes. I now 
 
help out as an assistant at the Handwork Studio and have a work study at Moore College of Art & Design and an internship at the Villanova Theater costume shop. 
 
What is your first memory of The Handwork Studio? 
Knitting my white cat for my first knitting project and Miss Laura would read us a storybook.  
 
What do you like about the studio? 
It is a safe haven for creativity in all ways. The instructors are easy-going and understanding and the sky's the limit to the skills and projects you gain from the various classes. 
 
lizzy3
What has been most influential to who you are today? 
Fashion Boot Camp and being in Crissy Phillips fashion show for the first time. 
 
What are you working on now? 
I am making a fuchsia corset ball gown, a kimono/dress for myself, and my friends' Halloween costumes for the month of October. I continue to sew and have also gone beyond that and now make jewelry for my creations. 

 

Tags: fiber arts, amazing kids, teen designers, Kids Stories, education Growing Up, The Handwork Studio

THS Amazing Kids Profile: Hana

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 @ 06:12 PM

hanaGodspellcuttingMeet Hana: This week's Amazing Kid started camp at The Handwork Studio in 4th grade. She quickly excelled in handwork and machine sewing, incorporating unique creativity into all her work. We're proud to have had Hana as a counselor at the Studio for three summers, inspiring campers to get creative! 

 

How have you taken crafting or sewing to the next level?

About a year ago, I participated in a national competition for youth entrepreneurs.  I entered my sewing business Hanacorn and was one of eleven finalists. I now have an Etsy store, and it's doing really well, especially in the Halloween season. Another way I've taken sewing to the next level is that in my high school theater program, Players, I'm the head costume designer for our musical Godspell.


What is your first memory of The Handwork Studio?unicornhoodieback
I remember going to summer camp in Narberth. I was going into fourth grade. I was nervous that I wasn't going to be good enough. But I had a really awesome time there and started taking more and more classes.

What is it you like about the studio?

I like that they have amazing teachers who really know what they're doing and are incredibly friendly. They can always help me out. I feel like it's a community, not just a place to take classes. 


What was most influential to who you are today?

My three biggest influences that led me to begin to sew and have a love of design and costumes are Doe Deere who is a blogger, Lauren who is my costumes mentor, and all the amazing teachers at The Handwork Studio. All of these people have helped me learn and take my work to the next level. 


What are you working on now?
I'm the costume designer for Godspellat Lower Merion High School. So we're making the costumes and getting ready for our show in November. I'm making a lot of unicorn hoodies for Halloween which I sell on Etsy. And of course, I'm working on my Halloween costume!

GodspelldesignsOriginal designs from Hana and her Assistant Designer, Rosa,
for Lower Merion's Godspell, showing Nov. 15th-17th

Tags: crafts, creativity, fiber arts, Kids Stories, education Growing Up

Crafting Mother's Day - Handwork Studio Style!

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Wed, May 09, 2012 @ 09:36 PM

This card is made of machine sewn fabric!Happy Mother’s Day everyone!!

As you can only imagine everyone around here at The Handwork Studio loves our mothers. Many of you probably even found your passion for needle arts from your mothers. And we even love each others’ mothers! I can’t even begin to tell you how many great things I had heard about Julia and Alisha’s moms even before I met them! (Hi Randi and Gail!) And then there was that time that Julia and I Skyped with my mom and my cats! Boy, was that funny!

So this Mother’s Day you should show your mother how much you love her! And what's a better way to show her by making her something! I actually got my idea for part of my mother’s day present from The Handwork Studio itself. It is based off of one of the projects we made for Spring Break Camp. We made the cutest ‘Hoppy Spring’ greeting cards that I translated into a card for my mom. You can see my inspiration here at an earlier blog post: Crafting Spring Camp at The Handwork Studio.

I used lots of fabric, did some appliqué, sewed on some paper, gave it some structure with card stock, and presto-chango we had a mother’s day card!! The background of the card is even some vintage fabric I picked up at a tag sale with my mom in my home town.

Sew your own Mother's Day card!

So you can see that you can make your mom a present out of anything! Get creative! And don’t forget about Dad! Father’s Day is right around the corner…

-Miss Amanda

Want to get creative with us this summer? Summer Camp is also right around the corner!

Register Now!


Tags: crafts, creativity, imagination, Sewing, kids, project ideas

The Handwork Studio On Location: 'Extra Yarn' with Mac Barnett

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Sat, May 05, 2012 @ 09:54 PM

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Have you ever had extra yarn? Though we often don't give a second thought to those leftover strands that dwell after our many knitting projects (because really, what would you do with them?), author Mac Barnett gave those bits we call scraps a second chance in his new book, Extra Yarn. Soon after we at The Handwork Studio discovered this gem of a story and decided to share it with our camps, Children's Book World in Haverford, PA invited us to visit and craft during a cozy gathering with booklovers and the author himself! 

Extra Yarn tells the story of a girl named Annabelle who lives in a monochrome town, but when she discovers a box of colorful extra yarn, a new world unfolds for Annabelle and her fellow townspeople. Can she knit enough to turn this town colorful once and for all?

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Check out Miss Julia's visit to Children's Book World for Mac Barnett's author signing and exclusive reading of Extra Yarn on our Facebook page! We were sure to choose a craft that used the yarny bits we gather every day in the studio and with them, created bright bouquets of Spring flowers! 

Tell us, what do you do with your extra yarn? 

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Interested in crafting with us at summer camp? It's just a few weeks away! Register now for a fun-filled week (or more!) where your child will learn new skills and create awesome projects!

 

Register For Camp

Tags: kids knitting, Story Time, Miss Julia, crafts, kids programs, spring, Summer Camp, kids, fun kids activities, activities, camp, Handwork, free craft event

Crafting Spring Camp at The Handwork Studio

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 @ 09:26 PM

Though it appears our summery weather has taken a hiatus here on the East Coast, kids are catching a glimpse of what’s to come in the summer months at The Handwork Studio. Spring Camp is upon us!

Shadyside Spring Camp

After a fun-filled week at with Miss Julia and Miss Amanda at Shadyside Academy in Pittsburgh (ask them how staying at the alpaca farm farm was), we have begun another in Narberth and DC at Sidwell Friends.

While these few weeks in early Spring may appear seamless and relaxed, in reality they have taken months of planning to get it just right. So what goes into preparing for camp? First, Miss Melissa dons her thinking cap, researching the newest seasonal trends for kids, with help from her 9-year-old daughter, of course. Then, she sources materials, traveling from place to place to find exactly what she needs to make the kids happy and to spur their creativity! Whether it's that doggie patterned fabric or just the perfect googlie eyes for Bouillon our Cube Chicken, Melissa always looks for new things to delight our family of Handwork kids. Next comes the sampling (my favorite part because I get to help), which also involves preparing directions for instructors and campers. But it’s not over yet! The instructors themselves have a few important roles to play: first, they must test out the projects on their own to find out what works for them, and what they think will work best for their campers; second, we look for feedback from the campers to see if we got it right, what was their favorite and least favorite part of the project. We learn the most from our kids. Not only are they smart, but they always have the best suggestions for tweaking or making the project completely unique and their own. This information is perhaps the most valuable because we can apply it for future projects and camps, which allows us to make every year more awesome than the next!

Narberth Spring Camp

Interested in joining the fun? We’re offering another full week of camp in Narberth starting Monday, April 2. Register weekly, by the day, morning, afternoon or full day. If you aren't sure The Handwork Studio is the right place for your special camper, you can always come in and watch one of our classes. We love kids and we want them to love us back! Let them come meet us and feel the magic. Just call me or send a message to let me know when you are coming - we would be delighted to have you!

-Miss Eva

Tags: Miss Julia, crafts, kids art classes in narberth pennsylvania, Summer Camp, Narberth, Kids Camp, Sewing, Summer, fun kids activities, camp

Stitching Up Spring Camp at the Studio

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 10:23 PM

Fabric Flowers

As you may have noticed, it seems the cold weather and snow took a break this Winter, leaving us with 60-degree days in February and sunshine instead of snow days.  Though at first this incredibly out of character Pennsylvanian weather took me by surprise, I can’t help but admit I’ve enjoyed it! On the tail of Groundhog Phil's ominous shadow - which doesn’t seem to be the most accurate barometer these days - I gladly welcome Spring, even if a bit early this year. But it’s not just the warmer weather I look forward to this season, no. These are just a few more of my favorite things about these bright and lively months:

1) Color! From grasshopper-green buds to floral hues spanning the rainbow, I can’t wait to see the great outdoors match the many colors of yarn and embroidery floss I see in the Studio every day!

2) Longer days = more time to be outside, to get things done, and of course, more of that precious vitamin D!

3) April Showers. Not only do these glorious weather phenomena bring May flowers, but also rainbows! And what else goes along with showers? Thunderstorms, rain boots, and the exhilaration of dashing for shelter when one suddenly hits.

4) Spring Camp at the Studio. Two whole weeks of laughing and making totally cool spring-inspired crafts with some of my favorite people? Yes please.

What are you most looking forward to this Spring? Make a list in the comment area below and enjoy!


Interested in joining the fun? Sign up here for Spring Camp March 26th-30th and April 2nd-6th - spots are going quickly! Check out our other Spring Camp locations in Maryland, Washington DC, and Pittsburgh.


Looking for sweet Spring project ideas? Check out Miss Alisha's How To Tuesday videos and be sure to subscribe to receive new projects in your inbox every week!

Tags: crafts, Maryland, How to Tuesday, Narberth, Kids Camp, fun kids activities, activities, camp, Handwork

On The Road Again: Summer Camp Goes Mobile!

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 @ 01:56 PM

There are a few things that make American summers unique. 4th of July barbecues, fireworks and of course...the great American Road trip.

Last summer Miss Julia and I embarked on an unprecedented Handwork Studio event by taking our one of a kind summer camp on the road; well not just on the road, but on the highways, byways, bridges and tolls of the U.S. making stops in Texas, Colorado, New Jersey and Maryland. 



What made the experience so great is hard to pinpoint, if not impossible.  You just can’t put into words the awesomeness of a denim covered van filled with fabric pulling into a national park for a night of camping, or the way a new group of families and kids look at you the first time that they see you in your Handwork Studio apron.  And quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to have to pick just one great thing…I WANT THEM ALL!

 

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People often ask Julia and I if being on the road was difficult.  What it was like being in the van driving for 14 hours a day.  How often we stopped at gas stations or rest stops.  Our answers are always the same, “Oh, it was so much fun!”  However, at some point though Miss Julia does mention the fact that I shouted “COWS!” at every bit of cattle we drove by in open country pastures.  No, really, every cow I saw I shouted it.  I really like cows. 

So, if I had to pick my favorite things or activities about our trip it would be these:

  1. Stopping at farm stands in Texas and buying pickled okra and fudge

  2. Taking Sheepy to the beach for the first time (most sheep never see sand)

  3. Learning how to pitch a tent

  4. Seeing the top of Pike’s Peak

  5. Making it from Colorado to Pennsylvania in 36 hours

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At any rate, the excitement is building as Miss Julia and I prepare for yet another summer filled with the pleasant unknown of roads yet untraveled and small hands yet to stitch.   It is a promising void that lay before us and we welcome it with open arms (and with a GPS and a full tank of gas).

-Miss Alisha

Tags: Miss Julia, Maryland, road trip, Miss Alisha, travel, Texas, Summer Camp, Road Tour, Summer, New Jersey

Making Summer Camp: A Day In The Life At The Handwork Studio

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Sat, Jan 14, 2012 @ 08:37 PM

Summer CampYou may wonder what it is we really do all year round, besides teach your kids about the wonderful world of needle arts, of course. When you glance into the studio window, what is it that we’re doing when we’re typing furiously or talking on the phone? And what do we do when we’re not in the studio?

Summer camp. All day every day, and especially September to March. While most people associate summer camp with summer (go figure), it’s an all-year round event for us at The Handwork Studio. Before the end of camp this past summer, Miss Julia and Miss Laura had already starting scoping out new places around the country to bring our camps. And right now, we’re in the process of launching Summer 2012: new locations, website pages, and glossy brochures, registration, the works. And it sure takes a team to make camp happen: Miss Alisha and Miss Julia mapping their next Road Trip in The Handwork Studio Mobile and launching a new registration site, Miss Melissa planning new projects and sourcing materials, and Miss Megan designing over 20 new camp pages to make it easier for parents like you to find our different camps, locations, and info on how to register.

During this particular camp launching season, I have the pleasure of tryingHandwork Studio Mobile
out a bit of everything: helping Miss Megan with our website, researching our new locations to bring you up-to-date information, accompanying Miss Julia to numerous camp fairs, assisting Miss Laura with public relations and marketing, and on assignment from Miss Melissa: researching and picking my own crafty brain about summer projects. While planning all this might seem a daunting task, it couldn’t be more exciting! In the company of a fantastic team, I know Summer 2012 will be our best camp season yet!

We’re officially launching registration January 21st...make sure you get a head start on your summer plans! We’d love to have you and your campers back for another awesome summer of Handwork, Machine Sewing, Fiber Crafts, Fashion Boot Camp programs, and of course sew much fun!

Miss Eva

Tags: Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Road Tour, fun kids activities, activities, camp

Enjoying the Holidays at The Handwork Studio

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 @ 08:03 PM

Winter Window Display
Despite the lack of plummeting temperatures and snowy scapes in Narberth, it sure is beginning to look a lot like winter at The Handwork Studio (just take a peek at Miss Julia’s fabulous snow-covered hills and wrapped presents nestled in the windows)! It’s hard not to get into the holiday spirit when events like this month's Dickens Festival, holiday workshops, and hat and scarf making with Alex’s Lemonade Foundation are happening all around us - not to mention Winter Camp this week and next week at the studio!
Julia, Eva, Alisha
Just last week I had the privilege of celebrating the holiday season with some of my favorite people: The Handwork Studio instructors, of course, at our annual holiday party. Amid piles of homemade cookies (we can bake, too!), twinkling lights and a life-size sewing machine cake, we all shared our stories about joining this incredibly unique and ever-growing family. Our team is a truly special group of women who are not only talented but who also share their love of kids. I am so very grateful to share the holidays with them.

As you all prepare for the holiday season, remember we are here to help you entertain your kids during your last minute shopping. Check out our Winter Camp schedule and join the fun, continuing next week. And if you’re still looking for last minute gifts for your favorite crafter, check out our list of this year’s holiday favorites.

Sitting behind the desk, chatting with you on the phone, and working with your children has been a great pleasure this year and I look forward crafting with you all in 2012!

Miss Eva

Tags: fiber arts, Narberth, Kids Camp, Fun, fun kids activities, activities, camp, Narberth kids' activities, Kids' craft class