Purls of Wisdom

Laura Kelly

Recent Posts

Handmade is Heartfelt: 5 Tips to Guide DIY Gifts

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Nov 21, 2018 @ 07:42 AM

Learn to Sew 5 Holiday Gift Giving Tips

A handmade gift is always a hit. Whether it's for the holiday season, a birthday gift, or even to just celebrate a Tuesday. However, we understand that sometimes going handmade can feel daunting which is why we put together this handy list of 5 practical tips to help you make thoughtful homemade gifts for your loved ones. 

1. Make Your DIY Gift Personal

How you ask?  Become a detective of course! We have found that the best way to pinpoint the perfect gift is to begin by creating lists about your recipient(s). Includes on your list their interests, big upcoming events, and even talk to other people that your recipient(s) are close to.  Sometimes outside perspective can offer a lot of insight. Ultimately, the goal is to find ways to better understand your gift recipient and in return give them a something they will truly appreciate.

2. Bigger is NOT Always Better 

Sometimes grandiose plans can lead to disappointment and frustration. No one needs to ruin  their gift-giving experience with a "Pinterest Fail".  When making gifts, especially if you want to do it for multiple people, think about your timeline (how long do you really have), what materials are accessible to you, how much are you willing to spend, and what skills you are already comfortable with?  Sewing ten king size quilts for your family members might not be a realistic option if you have never sewn before and it is already Dec. 23rd. However, cute patchwork pillows might be perfect for your skillset and super useful, fun, and decorative for the receiver.

3. Learn a New Crafting Skill, It's Healthy!

Even though we just mentioned to think about what skills you are comfortable with, there is nothing wrong with learning something new and using it to help create gifts. While, it might take some time to learn a new technique, often simple versions of many crafting skills can be learned quickly and still allow for you to create a wow gift!  Hats, scarves, pillows are all easy handmade gift ideas that can be really impressive.  Also, as an added benefit to making gifts and learning new craft skills, there are studies that proclaim long term benefits that crafting can be a stress reducer, it can help keep your mind and hands sharp, boost your confidence and much more. See an article on "The Unexpected Benefits of Crafting"

4. Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving and Give the Gift of Creativity! (Say that 5 times fast!)

Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle of life, making a handmade gift is just not in the super fancy scrapbooked cards, so flip the switch and give the gift of creativity!  An experience gift is an awesome way to create lasting memories and make something too!  Think about signing your loved one for a creative class that might match their interests such as cooking, painting and even knitting. Added bonus, sign up for a class together so this can be a special experience for the both of you! 

5. Where To Start?!?! 

Holy Moly, where to even begin on this one. The internet can be a great place to start but we all know that the interwebs can suck us into the black hole of no return and often can lead to being overwhelmed and paralyzed on where to begin.  To help get your footing (or hands!) into the world of Handcrafts, we have a list of Handwork Studio resources to kick your gift-making into gear!  

Handwork Studio Craft Kits and Tools

Handwork Studio Video Tutorials

Simplicity Sewing patterns by The Handwork Studio

Classes and Workshops (Narberth, PA only)

Handwork Studio Pinterest Page  

Another great option to help get you started is is to sign up for Social Media groups that focus around crafting and you will have a whole hive of creative folks to inspire you, offer advice and even  bounce ideas and opinions off of. 

Holiday Gifts for girls Crafting Scarf kit

Devon with her Handmade Hat and Scarf

With all this being said, we know life can get busy and it can be hard to find the time but we want to cheer you on and know we are here to support you in this well worth it endeavor. If you ever have any question for ideas or where to start feel free to reach out to us at support@thehandworkstudio.com.  Here's to a wonderful season of crafty creating!!

Using Summer Camp as a Learning Tool

Posted by Laura Kelly on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Think back to the days when you attended summer camp, built lasting friendships, and enjoyed the great outdoors. Summer camps have changed tremendously since then. Today, summer camp isn’t just where you go to fold paper crafts and learn how to rough it in the woods. Now, hundreds of different themed camps offer unique learning experiences for children.

While summer camps still allow children to enjoy nature and keep fit with outdoor activities, contemporary camps also offer a wide range of innovative and focused activities to give campers a chance to discover and develop newfound skills. They’ll have a unforgettable experience, while also gaining lifelong skills and learning more about themselves and their capabilities.

If you still think summer camp is only for swimming, campfires, and toasting marshmallows, think again. Ensure your children have an amazing summer with these non-traditional summer camp ideas that focus on their particular interests.

HandWork_-256.jpg

Technology Summer Camp

Are you a coder, app developer, or robotics engineer? Pass your skills and interests to the next generation with technology summer camps.

In a positive learning environment, technology summer camps teach children a variety of new tech skills from learning how to code and designing video games to taking apart a computer and creating a phone app. Many of these camps offer outdoors activities to create a well-rounded camping experience and have campers unplug from technology for awhile.

 

Performing Arts Summer Camp

Are you the parent of an aspiring actress, musician or dancer? Then, consider enrolling your child in a performing arts summer camp that offers specialized classes in dance, circus arts, music, visual arts, magic, and theater.

Performing arts summer camps give attendees the chance to develop their craft in an exciting and nurturing environment. Many boast many famous alums to give your children aspiration for greatness. For all you know, the time your children spend at camp could be the jumping off point for a successful career and stardom!


Sewing Summer Camp

Today, we rely on technology for even the simplest of tasks. But, it’s still important that children learn the basics of handling everyday life, even in this technological day and age. Sewing summer camps are a unique, fun way for your children to learn the tradition of needle arts and machine sewing. They can learn handwork techniques while socializing with children their own age.

In addition to learning how to sew, your children will acquire real-world, practical skills at sewing summer camp that will prove beneficial throughout childhood and into their adult years. They will develop fine motor skills, make new friends, and gain a sense of independence.


Do you think your child would enjoy spending time in a non-traditional camp setting? Sewing summer camp programs at The Handwork Studio allow children to discover new skills, explore their creative side, and realize their full potential. Your children will learn handwork techniques from professional artists and skilled instructors, whose sole focus is on helping campers feel accomplished and special. Register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

 

3 Ways to Inspire Creativity In Your Child

Posted by Laura Kelly on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Imagination. It’s a word that inspires pride and wonder in children. When used in conversation with adults, however, it’s often met with knowing smirks or discomfort. As adults, we don’t think much of imagination. Imagination doesn’t pay bills, imagination doesn’t put gas in the tank, imagination doesn’t get you a job; that is, unless, it does.

A few years ago, 1,500 CEOs were asked in a poll what they believed to be the single most important trait in future leaders. The overwhelmingly consistent answer? Creativity.

ths-blog-imagination.jpg

Too often, schools and other pressures erode children’s creative processes. The best way to maintain a child’s imagination is to inspire them to continue using it. Here are three ways to inspire creativity in your child.

Work Through Solutions

One of the biggest benefits of using your imagination is having an ability to work through problems in a way that might not be obvious at first glance. Creativity functions like a muscle and, just like any other muscle, it needs to be worked to achieve greater results. When your child encounters a problem, instead of fixing it for them, consider working through it with them by asking questions like: “What can we do?” “Will that work?” “Where should we go for that?” “Can we fix it?” Your child will learn to apply their imagination more places to solve more diverse problems.

Turn It Off

A study at the University of Texas at Austin found that children who spend more time in front of a TV were less likely to engage in creative play. This isn’t a huge surprise, when a boy or girl is watching TV or playing video games they’re being entertained by someone else’s imagination, instead of using their own. While media can inspire imagination, too much passive entertainment can stifle it. As parents, we’re all too aware of the dangers of too much technology/screen time in our children’s life, but putting boundaries into place can be more difficult than not. Try keeping plastic bins of different activities around the house and direct your children to spend time exploring and creating with whatever they find hidden in them!

Nurture Their Passions

If your child is interested in something, help them learn more about it. Children who focus on one or two passions tend to be more creative later in life. For example, if your child is interested in fashion or sewing, register them for camps and classes here with us at The Handwork Studio to learn and explore about their interest. If a child feels that their enthusiasm is valid, they will continue to believe in their imagination.

Finding ways to inspire your children’s imagination doesn’t have to be elaborate, taking a few simple, but important steps can boost your child’s ability to think creativity!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

Don't Let Your Children Lose The Basics In a World of Technology

Posted by Laura Kelly on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

Nowadays, every child seems to have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or all of the above. As children become even more immersed in technology, social media and phone apps, their practical and real world skills suffer the consequences.

Now, of course, we’re not saying technology is all bad. Video games can encourage children to solve problems and help them learn in unique ways that are suited to their individual learning styles. But that doesn’t mean we should lose sight of the basics.

blog-hand-sewing.jpg

Handwork techniques offer numerous benefits to children of all ages, benefits that will last into adulthood. Whether they learn sewing basics in a sewing camp, at a local craft store or grandma’s house, teaching your children to sew will create lasting memories and help their personal development. If your child is spending more time on their electronic devices than practicing their running stitch, you may want to consider these reasons for why children need to learn the basics in a world of technology.

Develops Fine Motor Skills

In a technology-driven world, learning how to sew so often falls to the wayside. Yet, learning handwork techniques can help children develop their fine motor skills and finger dexterity. Children are used to grasping larger items, such as crayons, toys and electronic devices. Working with a small needle helps children acquire fine motor skills they’ll need later for writing.

Inspires Confidence

When children learn to sew, whether at home or in a sewing camp, they make mistakes and then learn from them the next time around. As their sewing skills gradually improve, they will gain self-confidence and start to believe in themselves. Successfully completing even the smallest of projects or receiving praise from an instructor can result in a significant boost in their self-esteem.

Creates Lifelong Memories

Think back to when you may have learned how to sew from your grandmother, mother or another family member. If your children learn how to sew, they can also look back someday and remember how they learned to sew at grandma’s or in a sewing camp. They’ll have happy memories that will encourage them to pass on the tradition on to their own children.

Teaches Patience

No one learns how to sew overnight; it takes a substantial amount of time and practice to develop sewing skills. As children learn how to read and follow a pattern, operate a sewing machine and thread a needle, they also learn the value of patience. All of the above tasks can be difficult and, therefore, frustrating. Learning how to sew through constant trial and error will help cultivate patience.

Learning how to sew will help your children gain practical, real life skills they can carry into adulthood. They’ll disconnect from technology for a little while and discover new interests and skills.

Do you think your child would enjoy learning how to sew? The Handwork Studio offers sewing summer camp programs where children can learn handwork techniques in a positive, nurturing environment. Register today!


Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

6 Reasons Why Summer Camps Are So Significant

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Mar 16, 2016 @ 09:30 AM

For children, summer means unlimited free time to play, explore and make memories that last a lifetime. But for parents, finding activities to fill their children’s summer months can be a hassle. Contacting babysitters, planning visits to grandma’s house and scheduling long weekend beach trips can be time-consuming and frustrating. But, what if there was another way to solve your summer break dilemma?

Handwork-Blog-6-Reasons-Why-Summer-Camps-Are-So-Significant.jpg

Summer camp is a fun, educational and creative way for your child to spend their summer. They will have the unique opportunity to interact with other children, develop brand new skills and have a blast! If you’re still on the fence about sending your child to a camp for girls, here’s 6 reasons why summer camps are important.

1. Gain Lifelong Skills

Attending summer camp allows children to gain practical, real-world skills. Under the guidance of skilled instructors and talented artists, children will discover and develop new skills that will prove beneficial into adulthood.

By interacting with children their own age, they’ll learn how to respond to social cues, respect others and resolve disagreements. Summer camp also provides the right equipment, classes and facilities for enhancing artistic skills and expressing creativity.

2. Grow More Independent

Leaving their home and attending summer camp will encourage children to become more independent. Summer camp provides the perfect setting for learning how to make decisions on their own. They will complete tasks without their parents guiding their every move and gain essential problem-solving skills.

In the positive and nurturing environment of summer camp, children can figure out who they are, manage their daily chores and discover new skills that can shape their identity.

3. Find New Friends

A summer camp for girls offers a fun, safe environment for children to relax and find children with similar interests. Free from the social pressures of school, your children can make new friends easily. Meeting children at summer camp can lead to lifelong friendships and countless happy memories.

4. Unplug From Technology

Summer camp provides the perfect opportunity for your children to unplug from technology for days on end. When children disconnect from their smartphones, tablets and computers, they can focus on their creative skills, engage with other children and explore the outdoors. Instead of sitting around staring at a device screen, they’ll be up and moving, making friends and having fun in the real world!

5. Boosts Self-Esteem

Separated from the competitive atmosphere of school life, your children are given multiple opportunities to succeed and realize their full potential. They receive regular praise for their accomplishments and efforts. This success and encouragement leads to a significant boost in self-confidence.

6. Try New Things

Summer camp pushes children out of their comfort zone. Attendees are exposed to new activities and experiences that they may have never encountered outside of a camp setting. They can explore new hobbies and find activities that they truly enjoy.

Attending summer camp makes for an unforgettable, rewarding experience that your child won’t soon forget. You’ll know your child is having fun while building valuable life skills and expressing their creative side.

Consider the Handwork Studio

The Handwork Studio offers fun, educational summer camp programs for kids aged 5-16. Located in 10 states, our summer camp program allows children to learn handwork and sewing techniques in a positive and encouraging environment. Do you think summer camp would be perfect for your child? Learn more about our summer camp programs and register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

Teachers: Why a Sewing Summer Camp is the Perfect Seasonal Job

Posted by Laura Kelly on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 @ 02:30 PM

For many, summer can be a time to relax, visit the beach, tend to your garden and participate in outdoor activities you enjoy. Yet for others, teachers in particular, summer can seem to drag on indefinitely. Some teachers will plan for the school year ahead and still continue working, but others may find it difficult to fill their summer hours.

For the latter, after you have cleaned the house from top to bottom, caught up on this year’s must-read novels and gone out to lunch with friends, you may be wondering what to do next. That’s where sewing summer camp comes in.

Out of all the summer teaching jobs you could consider, working at a sewing summer camp is the best option for anyone with a love for teaching and crafting. If you are passionate about teaching and want to carry that passion into the summer months, take a look at these 4 reasons why a sewing summer camp is the perfect seasonal job.

Handwork-Blog-Teachers-Summer-Camp-Perfect-Seasonal-Job.jpg

Do Something You Love

Do you enjoy hand or machine sewing in your spare time? Do you spend your summers working on multiple crafts such as knitting and embroidering? Is sewing another doll dress for your niece not satisfying your constant urge to sew? Then handwork and sewing summer camp is the perfect fit for you!

Handwork and sewing summer camp combines two of your favorite activities: teaching and sewing. You can hone your sewing skills while sharing your love for sewing with camp attendees. You’ll be teaching practical, real life skills to children all while having fun and expressing your creative side!

Additional Income

Working at a sewing summer camp is a great way to earn extra money over the summer. If you want to save up for a vacation, tackle a DIY home project or redecorate the living room, those additional funds could come in handy. You’ll have fun teaching camp attendees while also increasing your revenue.

Teach Practical Skills

Similar to a school classroom, sewing summer camp offers numerous benefits, educates children and contributes to personal growth. Children can find and develop new skills that they might never have discovered outside of a camp setting. When you teach at a sewing summer camp, you’re not only teaching children how to sew; you’re also imparting valuable life lessons that will benefit them as they grow into adulthood.

At summer camp, children acquire many important life skills, including decision-making skills, good manners, how to show gratitude and how to learn from their mistakes. More than anything, you’ll help children develop a sense of independence as they realize they can finish certain tasks on their own.

Inspire the Next Generation

Think back to when you first learned how to sew. Perhaps, your grandmother taught you in the comfort of her sitting room. Or maybe, you taught yourself after watching numerous YouTube videos and reading online tutorials. However you gained your sewing skills, sewing summer camp gives you the opportunity to pass that useful knowledge to the next generation.

Summer sewing camp will provide a positive, nurturing environment where children can embrace a love for sewing and receive praise for their contributions. As you demonstrate sewing techniques, you can revisit your pleasant memories and ensure camp attendees have a similar enjoyable learning experience.

Working at a sewing summer camp enables you to continue to learn about your passion as you inspire camp attendees. You’ll instill a love for sewing in children’s lives while staying actively engaged over summer vacation. If you’ve been searching through summer teaching jobs for the perfect seasonal job, take a look at our Job Listings Page to join our summer camp program!

Check out our current employment opportunities

How Offering Unique Programs Increases Camp Registration!

Posted by Laura Kelly on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Parents want their kids to have a fun time at camp. What they don’t want is an exact repeat of last year’s camp program.

If as a camp director, you’re looking to increase camp registrations, you need to consistently offer new, unique programs. These unique camp programs will pique a parent’s interest and increase the likelihood of enrollment.

The-Handwork-Studio-Blog-Unique-Programs-Partnering.jpg

What else can these unique programs provide?

A Competitive Edge

Unique camp programs can give your program a competitive advantage. If only a few summer camps are offering computer coding classes, you have a better chance of attracting any families that have a particular interest in this area.

Many camps give children an opportunity to play team sports, but how many camps also offer classes for STEM, robotics, theater, writing or handwork? Including these unique classes in your program will show your dedication to all areas of development and help you stand out from the competitors.

A Larger Audience

Offering unique programs allows you to reach a larger target audience. Specialized programs will appeal to parents of all demographics and professions, leading to a higher enrollment rate.

By adding programs focused on sewing, knitting, crocheting and other handwork techniques, you meet the needs of more customers. Parents who sew in their free time may be more interested in enrolling their children in your camp program, knowing that their child can share in their hobby after learning to sew in your class.

Increased Camp Retention

If parents see little to no change in a camp’s activities from year to year, they may decide to enroll their child in another camp program. The last thing parents want is for a camp program to become boring or stale. Even adding one new program every year will give them something new to look forward to.

Instead, parents want their child to try new things, adopt new hobbies and discover new skills. A great way to achieve all of the above is to have their child attend a camp that pushes them out of their comfort zone. The ideal camp program would introduce new activities and broaden their horizons.

Updating your programs every year will provide new opportunities for attendees and increase your number of returning campers. Offering unique camp programs reassures parents that their children will be challenged and actively engaged. Keep camp attendees creatively engaged and exceed parents’ expectations by changing up your camp program and offering unique classes.

TIP: If you’re looking to offer classes and programs that your counselors don’t have the skill-set or resources for, find a camp partner! Finding partner camps that specializes in niché classes allows you to expand your program without having to invest in additional computer, lab equipment, sewing machines, or trapeze equipment!

Are you looking to bring a sewing class or needle arts program to your camp? We offer unique partnership options for summer camp programs. We take care of the instructors, insurance, supplies and sewing machines. All we need from you is a classroom and electricity! If you are interested in working with us, sign up today!

Partner with Us

Teaching Kids To Sew: Why It's Important and How To Do It

Posted by Laura Kelly on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 @ 05:30 PM

When you think of the life skills that you want your children to have before they leave your home, you might have a list that looks something like this: balance a checkbook, understand proper budgeting, be able to cook a decent (and hopefully healthy) meal, change a tire on the side of the road, and with any luck, prepare their own taxes. One thing that’s not common to see is handworking skills.

HandWork_096.jpg

Generations ago, it was not only common but required that children learned the art of sewing and knitting. Clothes were made from hand; hats and mittens were crafted in living rooms not factories. While your child will rarely need to create his or her own wardrobe from a bolt of fabric and a spool of thread, there are real benefits to investing the time and resources to teaching your child the trick of the handwork art.

Besides the obvious benefit of being able to sew on a wayward button, hem a new pair of pants, or even craft a new baby gift, handwork provides your children with a creative way to:

  • develop and mature their finger dexterity and fine motor skills
  • find and build their self-confidence
  • learn copious amounts of patience (Have you ever tried to trace a pattern!?!?)
  • have a social creative outlet for meeting and gathering with friends

You’re on board: your child should learn how to sew. But, how? Do they even offer sewing classes for kids? Of course! And you have a few viable options when it comes to expanding your child’s knowledge of sewing (one of which is very close to home!).

A Local Craft Store

Your local craft store is a one-stop-shop for all things crafts, including sewing. It’s a great place to first introduce your children to the nearly limitless projects they’ll be able to create when they’ve begun to sew. Many stores offer sewing classes for kids, in addition to other crafting classes such as cake decorating, hodgepodge, embroidery, and machine sewing.

These classes are usually an hour or so long and provide enough direction for your children to find interest in the subject.

At Home

Did you learn to sew in Home Ec. class or under the watchful eye of your grandmother? If you, yourself, have a skill and interest (or past interest) in handwork, use that to help foster the same passion for your children!

Choosing to impart your own handwork skill onto your children will take a lot of patience, time and resources (think sewing machine, fabric, pins, scissors, patterns, chalk, etc.), but if you already have the tools, pull them out and get started! Together, select a small project to complete and work through each step, discussing why it’s done in that order and why it’s important to do each process carefully.

With the Experts

You’ve done it, you’ve sparked a passion for handwork in your child. You see their eyes light up at the thought of making something magical out of bits of fabric and beads. They’re ready for more than a local class or sewing along side you - now it’s time for you to consider registering them for a handwork class designed just for them!

Handwork Studios, like ours, are devoted to capturing the importance of handwork and sharing it with the next generation. We offer fun, creative, and unique classes, workshops, and even summer day camps for children 5 through 15! Each student of The Handwork Studio owns their own creative direction, and we provide the professional tools and instruction for them to explore their own limits and abilities. Unlike classes in your local craft store that offer an hour or two of instruction to create a project, The Handwork Studio creates a curriculum that grows with your child building on skills over time.

Interested in learning more about The Handwork Studio’s classes and camps? Search for a location near you!

Find a Camp Location

Marvelous Machine Sewing First | Learn How to Machine Sew

Posted by Laura Kelly on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 @ 07:39 AM

Handwork Memories Are Heartfelt

As a child, I'm sure I made a lot of things in school; drawings, paper mache, models. However, the one thing I truly remember is my A-line skirt.
 

Machine Sewing Projects Kids Learning How to Sew

Learning How-to Machine Sew

Everyone remembers the first time they do something significant. A meaningful accomplishment is always a source of pride. When creating something from scratch or with your hands, this further magnifies the sense of accomplishment. This is even more true during adolescence which naturally magnifies, well, everything.

Not only do I remember the A-line skirt that brought me so much pride, it was so important, the moment warranted a picture of me wearing it. Yes, that's right, the picture above is me wearing my beloved skirt.

Powerful Experiences

It's not so ironic that 40 years later, I'm running a business that cherishes the notion that Handwork = Love.  Where what you make represents something more than just a craft but something that is meant to be kept, cherished and even captured in picture. I was so proud of this skirt. I loved that skirt. It made me feel so competent that I just wanted to show it to everyone.

The Heart of What We Do

At The Handwork Studio, young girls and boys gain exposure to a teacher and skills that unlock curiosity and allow exploration of new skills. Who knows what pride and confidence is waiting for your child. That's the heart behind why The Handwork Studio is where kids learn by doing.
 

Share Your Story

I would love to hear how you or your child have had similar experiences from something that you've made. Complete this form to tell us about a moment, item, teacher or project that is a significant element of your story.
 
Warm regards,
 
Ms. Laura
 
 

What does it matter?

Posted by Laura Kelly on Mon, Apr 01, 2013 @ 11:50 AM

 

describe the image

(Devon, my daughter, and I in the early years!)

Why should we teach kids knitting or machine sewing or embroidery?  It's not because it will get them into a better college, or bring them untold wealth.  It's probably not because you thought "Boy I really wish my kids could crochet!".  

 

So what is it that brings thousands of kids to us every year?  I'm sure it represents something different for each of you.    For me, it has always represented LOVE.  When I see small kids embroidering a furry creature, I conjure up warm fuzzy thoughts...a fire, a mother crafting with her kids, small hands, big creativity. However for you, it could represent what you'd like to do for yourself if you had time.  Or maybe it reminds you of your own childhood making an A-line skirt in home ec.  Maybe your mother is knitter and you are looking for a way for your daughter to connect with your mother in a way that would make your mom proud.  Whatever the reason, there is probably no arguing that your reason comes from someplace in your heart.

As you may know by now, our beloved Miss Eva has recently left us full time  to pursue a career in public health.  As I say, no one ever really leaves The Handwork Studio-so we refuse to say goodbye (luckily she remains as our part-time bookkeeper).  However I thought this would be a good opportunity to ask Eva what needle arts means to her.  She came to us as a child at 15 and she leaves us as an accomplished woman.  I was curious how handwork played a role in her life.  Please read our interview below and comment on what handwork means to you.  Please feel free to drop her an email at Eva@thehandworkstudio.com.  She'll appreciate what it represents!

(Miss Eva with Miss Julia & Miss Alisha at the Dickins Festival December 2012)

describe the image

What does needle arts represent to you? Needle arts represents something familiar and cozy to me. I grew up, both in my home and around the Handwork Studio ladies, with fibers and textiles all around me. Especially in the context of the studio, it represents warmth, friendship, and so many laughs - and this is something I get to experience every day, both with my colleagues as well as with your children.

 

What have you learned about the importance of teaching kids needle arts?
Being with the studio for so long, watching kids grow and mature, I have recognized the confidence needle arts gives to children. Finishing their first row of knitting by themselves, or finally whip-stitching their stuffed animal closed that it has taken the entire session to sew - it's like finally understanding that tough math forumla in school - and feeling utterly elated when you finally get it. It's an amazing process to be a part of and has always made me feel so happy that I am able to contribute to that process.

 

What surprised you most about working with kids?
Working with kids has reminded me how completely capable and incredibly creative they can be. Parents often ask us, will my five-year-old really learn how to knit? Will they really be working with sharp needles and scissors? It still amazes me how kids, especially young ones, come to an understanding of how to properly work with these very grown up tools we use. They understand that this is real deal, and they seem to take on a new sense of responsibility when they realize we are trusting them with these tools.

 

What will you miss the most?
I will miss the people, hands down. Every individual I work with here is so special to me and I consider each one such a wonderful friend, and while I know this won't be the end of my friendships, I will miss seeing them and laughing with them every day (and believe me, we laugh every day). I will miss being able to craft with your children, sharing in their delight when they create something that is their own, and I will miss watching them grow. Being part of The Handwork Studio family has truly been a pleasure and I know I will never find a place as special as this, but I am confident it will always be a place that I can call home.