Purls of Wisdom
So Valentine's Day for this mom is filled with conflict. One of the things I remember most growing up was the HUGE box of Russell Stover candy that my parents gave me every year. I loved that heart shaped box. I looked forward to that heart shaped box, no I longed for it. Today however we know better. Is a pound of chocolate really the best way to express your love to your kids?
Now, don't get me wrong, my kids (are they still kids when they are 18 and 19?) will get a heart, maybe just not the largest one. Instead I'll try to express my love with something handmade. Now you might think that is obvious coming from The Handwork Studio lady, but truth be told......I'm not the craftiest. My work is my craft. But the longer I work with kids the more I see the power of a handmade gift.
In our classes, we often see kids work for weeks on a project, pouring their heart and soul into their creations. Then after much hard work, they proudly proclaim how they are going to give it to a parent, a grandparent or a friend. Sometimes we are even lucky to watch it happen when mom walks into to the studio and is given the gift. Such pure, honest, beautiful love.
So this year, if you don't already, let me encourage you to make something for or with your kids. If you are looking for some ideas, here is an oldie but goodie from an article we did last year with MetroKids, or the craft Martha Stewart did on the Today Show this morning. You can even check out our Facebook Page and see the great, simple heart pillows our kids made yesterday in a workshop. Send us your pictures or comment on what you'll be doing for your kids this year. I'd love to hear about it.
Happy Valentine's Day from all your friends at The Handwork Studio.
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.
This is President’s Day weekend, and while many folks take advantage of a few extra days off by going away, I’m going to take you to the nation’s capital. No, it isn’t to go to camp with our comrades down at The Sidwell Friends School, but to the White House. You read that right, The White House. I don’t have top secret clearance, but I do have inside knowledge of the crafts that used to go on in The First House. Time for a little bit of handwork and history my friends...
During the time of the American Revolution it was considered unpatriotic to buy goods that were made in England, so many American women picked up needles & yarn and began to stitch. Knitting was a symbol of liberty!
Do you know of any First Ladies that were handy with yarn? Here’s a quick list:
There are records that show Martha Washington sold knitted socks to raise money for the Revolutionary era troops
Edith Roosevelt used to have knitting circles at The White House
Grace Coolidge sponsored a knitting competition that was judged by Vogue Magazine
Eleanor Roosevelt was once introduced as “first knitter of the land” and was pictured on her Christmas card knitting
Crafts are important to thos of us that participate in them. Whether it's sewing, crocheting, knitting, or embroidery there is probably a little bit of history involved in it that you never knew about.
I’ll bet that you never thought knitting was part of the fabric of our American History did you?!
What do you get when you combine roving carrolers, mugs of warm cider and a miserable old crummudgeon roaming the streets of Narberth? Why The Dickens Festival of course!
This year the festival will be Saturday, December 10th from 12pm-4pm where there will be more than enough for families and friends to enjoy. Children can join the scavenger hunt in the center of town and look for characters from the classic Charles Dickens' holiday tale 'A Christmas Carol'. Be on the lookout for story folk like Ebonezer Scrooge (although, he's not fond of strangers!) walking about the town and win a priza at the very end.
While kids are searching for modern day people dressed in 19th century Dickensian garb, they can follow their fingertips on up the hill to find us at The Handwork Studio, where Miss Julia and I will be having holiday fun creating a festive craft from 1:00pm-3:30pm.
The 4th annual Dickens Festival is a wonderful opportunity for familes to spend time together and have fun at the start of the holiday season, and best of all, it's free! Chilly air, warm drinks, and memories that will last forever. Take a look at this video from last year to get a sneak peek of what is in store! Dickens Festival
We hope to see you there!
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!
So this is a difficult blog for me to write. I love everything about Halloween, just not dressing up. I guess that doesn't make me an expert on making easy homemade halloween costumes.
What I do know...kids! I have two wonderful kids ages 18 and 16, and I can tell you the time goes fast! You might think being the owner of a kids craft business, I made all their costumes. Nope. But as I prepare for my kids to leave for college in the next two years, I think of all the simple things I could have done and didn't. It is so easy to make a kid's halloween costume, I look back and wonder why I didn't.
See the look of joy on the face of one of our students, Elektra, from our Halloween Workshop. Her mask is adorable, cute and simple! This is something you could do with your child in just a half an hour and you'd be creating a simple costume and a memory to last a lifetime.
Be sure to visit Miss Alisha's How To Tuesday on how to make a Pirate's Eye Patch.
For those of you Halloween Costume Challenged like me, here are a few links I found that might help with your homemade halloween costume. Good luck and enjoy!
From the Queen of Craft herself Martha Stewart.
For those who want to try their hand at machine sewing try our friends at Simplicity.