Purls of Wisdom

Libby Foxman

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3 Ways To Avoid Boredom on Winter Break Trips

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Nov 01, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

3 Ways To Avoid Boredom on Winter Break Trips

            As thanksgiving and winter break approaches, it is time to start planning for long road trips or plane rides to visit family. With the dreaded question of “are we there yet?” looming, we have compiled a small list of ways to keep your kids occupied on those journeys. Not only will these activities keep your kids busy but they can learn and practice important skills.

 

Movie Sing-A-Long

A great way to pass the time is to have a movie sing-a-long. A lot of Disney movies sell versions that display the song lyrics so your children can sing-a-long to their favorite movie. This is also a great way for young children to practice their reading skills. Since they mostly know the words to the songs, they will be able to associate the words they are singing to the words on the screen. The excitement of this activity will also tire them out so you can enjoy some quiet time after all of that singing. 

 

Car Games

            An easy way to pass the time on a car trip, without needing to bring anything along, is the License Plate Game. As you are driving, see if your kids can find the license plates of as many different states as possible. Obviously, if you are on the east coast, chances are pretty slim that you will find a Hawaii or Alaska license plate but your kids will be so excited about every new state they find. Like the movie sing-a-long, the license plate game is also a great way for your children to practice their reading.

 

Knitting

            Knitting is a great activity to do while traveling because not a lot of materials are needed and the ones that are, are small and portable. All that is needed are knitting needles and yarn. In the same time that it takes to get to your destination, whether that is by car, train, or plane, your child will get a good start on their knitting project. They can also continue with their projects during their down time over the break. By the end of the holiday break, your child could have a new hat or mittens for school!

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            If your family is home for winter break, The Handwork Studio offers Winter Break Camp. During this one-week camp, campers will be introduced to practical handwork arts such as hand and machine sewing, weaving, and knitting. If you think your child would be interested in this fun winter break camp, head to The Handwork Studio’s website or call (610) 660-9600 to register.

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Sewing Classes For The Fashion Focused

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Fostering creativity from a young age will help children find their passions early on. By discovering what they are interested in early on in their lives will give them time to explore this area and develop the skills needed for it. The fashion industry is a difficult one to get into, especially as a designer. The glitz and glamour of the fashion industry you see on reality TV is very different for real life. Anyone in the industry can tell you fashion is a tough business. Exposing your kids to what it really entails can give help them make the right college career choice. If you child has an interest in fashion, here are some things they should know.

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What Fashion sewing classes include

            A great place to get started is by learning the techniques needed to make your own designs. Whether this is sketching, sewing, or fabric draping, any fashion or sewing camp will teach you these skills. Sewing classes will give campers an introduction to everything they need to know about the skill. They will be taught both hand and machine sewing, how to thread a sewing machine, and the various kinds of stitches. This introduction will give campers the confidence to continue to use these techniques to help them pursue their interests.

           

Where you can find sewing classes

            It is easy to find these fashion oriented sewing classes wherever you are. During the summer months, many camps, both day camp and specialty camps, will offer instruction to their campers. Fabric stores also offer introductory classes through out the year.

 

Fashion Camp

After you’ve tried your hand at fashion classes, get a more in depth study at fashion camp. Camp will give you more time to explore fashion design in depth. Find a camp where your child can learn about inspirations, sketch a collection, learn about fabrics and tools of the trade, sew a collection, and put on a fashion show. Going to camp will also give them pieces for their college portfolios that will help them get into fashion school.

            The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp. During both the summer and school year, this camp offers Fashion and Machine Sewing and Fashion Boot Camp. Fashion and Machine Sewing is a great introduction to machine sewing for any camper. They will learn the basics of machine sewing, including how to set up the sewing machine and then how to piece together their own clothing. Fashion Boot Camp is a 3-week program that will teach campers how to put together their own collection through sketching, draping, sewing, and modeling. Both of these programs end their sessions with a fashion show. Campers are given the opportunity to show off what they have learned and their amazing designs.

 

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Lizzy Gee

            Before she became the head designer of Tres Lizzy, Lizzy Gee was a camper and counselor at The Handwork Studio. While there, she learned “the process of design and basic sewing skills.” She had taken Fashion Boot Camp four times, allowing her to discover her dream of creating clothing line. Lizzy began taking classes at The Handwork Studio when she was eight years old. Of her time there, she said, “The teachers were all very encouraging and gave me confidence I otherwise may have struggled to attain since no one in my family sewed or pursued anything in the arts. The studio helped me prove fashion design wasn't just a hobby for me.” Since her time at The Handwork Studio, Lizzy has attended the Pratt Institute, has been featured in over twelve shows, and has been a participant in Philadelphia Fashion Week. Lizzy has also designed clothes for celebrities, such as Jared Leto, Grimes, and Kyle Monaghan. Lizzy’s time at The Handwork Studio taught her not only “the basis of fashion design but how to love the sewing process, which for most is the toughest.”

 

If you child has an interest in the fashion industry or just wants to create their own designs for fun, The Handwork Studio offers Fashion and Machine Sewing and Fashion Boot Camp, as well as their other programs, year round. Go to their website or call (610) 660-9600 to get more information or register.

 

 

 

Counselor Spotlight

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

The Handwork Studio employs creative and passionate people every year. These people are often artists, teachers, students, or anyone with an interest in helping children develop amazing handwork skills that kids will find useful in every aspect of their lives. Miss Caelie is a first year junior counselor but has been a part of The Handwork Studio family for many years.

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            Before Miss Caelie was a counselor at The Handwork Studio, she had been a camper for many years. Like many of the campers we have at The Handwork Studio, when she started, she did not have previous experience with any of the techniques. She is now a junior counselor, teaching all new and old campers how to sew, knit, weave, and more. She loves the sense of community that is present at The Handwork Studio. Everyone is supportive of one another and all hold similar passions.

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            At The Handwork Studio’s Narberth location, Miss Caelie assists the lead instructor, Miss Alyssa, at Handwork Day Camp. Handwork Day Camp is for children aged 5 to 12. At this program, campers get an introduction to hand and machine sewing, knitting, weaving, and wet felting. Miss Caelie’s favorite project at Handwork Day Camp is the stuffed owl. Campers cut out a stencil of an owl, stuff it, and hand sew it together. They also get to decorate their own project with needle felting. The introduction to these techniques will allow campers to successfully go onto The Handwork Studio’s other camps, including Fashion and Machine Sewing, Glamorize Your Doll, Sew Tech, and Fashion Boot Camp.

            When Miss Caelie is not at The Handwork Studio she loves acting and reading. Like the work done at The Handwork Studio, these two activities provide Miss Caelie with a creative and relaxing outlet. Miss Caelie is going to begin her sophomore year of college this fall where she is pursuing a degree in science. While she plans to get her PhD before settling into a career, she hopes to be a science teacher and thinks that her time working at The Handwork Studio will help her discover her teaching style and give her the confidence to continue on this career path. The campers at The Handwork Studio are very well supported by counselors, like Miss Caelie. They are constantly encouraging campers to challenge themselves and help them with whatever they need.
           If you are interested in The Handwork Studio as a place for your child to learn useful handwork skills from great counselors like Miss Caelie, head to our website to register.

Why summer is the perfect opportunity to learn things you don't in school:

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Through out the school year, students are required to follow a set curriculum. They will cover math, english, science, history, art, and P.E. during the day and with afternoons focused on homework, there is little time to dedicate to learning something new. Whether that is sports, arts, theatre, or cooking, in the summer children have the free time needed to devote to life-enriching activities. Summer is a great time for your child to learn things that they don’t have the opportunity to learn during the school year.

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Plenty of Free Time

            Spending the entire day at school and usually a few hours in the afternoon doing homework and participating in a sport, it’s hard to find the time to pick up a new hobby. However, with summer comes a lot of free time that can be dedicated to picking up a new hobby. Besides going to camp during the day, children have the opportunity to take advantage of their free time to pick up a new activity. Whether they are interested in art, cooking, or learning a new language, it is easy to schedule in time either on the Internet, at camp, or in books.

 

Warm Weather Puts You In A Better Mood

            There are many studies that prove good weather improves your mood. So, what better time to learn something new than when you’re feeling good? Trying something new is always nerve-wracking. You don’t know if you will be good at it or if you will like it but with a positive attitude due to the warm weather, you will be more open to giving it a try. This will keep you optimistic when it gets difficult and you get frustrated. Keeping a positive attitude when trying something new is extremely important. It will encourage you to not give up and look on the bright side even when you are feeling discouraged.

 

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Stress Free Environment

            Summer is a time to have fun! There are no tests, quizzes, or homework to worry about so taking the time during the summer to learn something new should be stress free. If you can, get outside to do your new activity. The fresh air will inspire and increase creativity. It is also important to only focus on learning one new thing at a time. Besides the fact that you need to focus on the new activity if you want a genuine understanding of it, multi-tasking is also a big cause of stress. If you take the time to dedicate your focus to one activity at a time, not only will you be better at it, but you will also be able to enjoy it more. Take advantage of your stress free summer by learning a new activity and possibly finding a new passion.

 

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            It’s important to take time during the summer doing something you’re passionate about or to explore a new activity. It can be draining during the school year when you only focus on what you have to, rather than something that excites you. Spend your summer learning something new that you don’t have to opportunity to learn during the school year. The stress free, open schedule, and good weather of summer makes it the perfect time to do so!

 

If your children are not already signed up for a camp, you can look into specialty camps. These camps will focus on one specific activity so that campers can really perfect new skills. The Handwork Studio is a specialty camp with a focus in kids’ needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion. With multiple classes offered through out the summer and school year, The Handwork Studio works to instill a love of handwork arts in your children and teaches them skills that will last a lifetime.

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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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!