Purls of Wisdom

Our Promise for 2012 @ The Handwork Studio!

Posted by Laura Kelly on Sat, Dec 31, 2011 @ 03:00 PM

Winter Camp 2011!
Dear Families, Host School Partners, Vendors and Industry Leaders:
We spent the last two weeks of the year teaching Winter Camp.  I received an email from Miss Alisha on Friday, that reminded me how important our work is to kids that I'd like to share with you:
"Having a great day so far.  Two parents hugged me for making their children happy at camp.  One of them was up and dressed by 7:30 so that they wouldn't be late for camp, the other was thrilled that his daughter came in and walked away easily.
And then, the coup de gras...one of our campers, who has been coming for ages asked me today how old you have to be to work here.  I told her that she can begin volunteering at 12, and she was a little disappointed because she is 10.  So then she says, "can I just start teaching people the balloon knot to practice for when I volunteer?"  So I said sure, and then she spent the next 10 minutes working the room teaching all the other kids the balloon knot.  It was spectacular."
This email just swelled my heart and made me take pause to think about what we promise to deliver in 2012.
Our New Year's Goals:
* To create an environment of love, trust and creativity for our students and staff.
* Be innovative and continue to design the most fun projects ever.
* Continue to find and hire dynamic, energetic, fun instructors that the kids will love.
* Be responsive and respectful with everyone.
* Make handwork available to more people by opening new locations - 22 planned for summer 2012! 
* Be a great partner to our host schools & rented locations.
* Be a loyal customer to our vendors who, like us, try to promote handwork & machine sewing products to children everyday.
* Strive to be the best educator of kids handwork and machine sewing!
We wish you all much happiness, health, prosperity and craftiness in the New Year!
Miss Laura

Tags: b2c, b2b

Dickens Festival - A Great Kid's Activity!

Posted by Laura Kelly on Thu, Dec 08, 2011 @ 09:04 AM

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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!

--Miss Alisha

Tags: b2c, Narberth, Fun, activities, free craft event, Narberth kids' activities

At the Center of the Universe - Fiber Arts

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 @ 09:34 PM




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!


Miss Melissa



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Tags: art exhibit, b2c, fiber arts

Thanksgiving Day Crafting| Fun Projects for the Entire Family

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 05:51 PM

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It is not very often that everyday life comes to a stand still.  Thankfully we have Thanksgiving!  As Novemeber 24th approaches many of us will be with family and friends to eat and laugh.  However, in between all those laughs and turkey slices, how will you spend the rest of your day?  If you are at a lost we at the Handwork Studio think there is nothing more fulfilling than creating something by hand.  Before you head out into the Black Friday shopping frenzy, and maybe after you had you had your fill of stuffing and gravy, take this Turkey day as an opportunity to create a project with your kids or even get the whole family involved!  

If you need some inspiration our fabulous Miss Alisha offers wonderful tips and tricks on different Handwork techniques when she posts for "How to Tuesdays" She offers tutorials on simple techniques such as, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and even needle-felting.  This past weeks video is one of my favorites that I am sure will really will get everyone into the Thanksgiving Day spirit.  

To continue to receive  "How To Tuesdays"  you can subscribe on our homepage and tutorials will go directly to your inbox.  We at The Handwork Studio want to thank you so much for your support and for taking the opportunity to see what the needle arts is all about.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thankfully yours,

Miss Julia

Tags: How to Tuesday, b2c, fun kids activities, Thanksgiving

Kids' Craft Classes: Join the Fun and Bring A Friend!

Posted by Eva Laverty-Wilson on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 @ 05:29 PM

HandWork 199When Miss Laura first asked me to reflect on my crafting experience, I paused - was I really a crafter? As a child, I loved to create, whether that was drawing, making clothes for my dolls, or learning to knit with my mom and friend who lived across the street. Years later at the age of 16, I joined the Handwork Studio as a assistant instructor during the summers, learning along the way from Miss Sally and Miss Julia how to thread a needle and how to work a sewing machine without hopelessly tangling it (and myself) in thread.

Now, six years later, I am thrilled the be back as an adult - it was this warm, lively, and incredibly talented group of women who were the reason why I continually returned year after year. Throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I realized I had undoubtedly been influenced by the crafting community: memorable elementary and middle school art teachers, Handwork Studio instructors and colleagues, and especially my mom, whose interests have ranged from knitting, quilt-making and embroidery to weaving and felting (her current passion), never failing to teach me or ask for my input along the way. Apart our variety of textile talents though, up until last Tuesday, my mom and I shared another similarity: neither of us could crochet. Yet with the help of our own Miss Meredith, I have finally learned! Why am I so excited about this? Finally, after years of learning from my mom, I can finally return the favor.

Who do you love crafting with? We are so excited to announce our first ever “Bring A Friend To Class Week” at the Studio - it’s the perfect opportunity for your kids to share what they learn with us with a friend. It’s so wonderful seeing your kids teach their friends - something we love to do every day!

Interested in joining the fun? View a schedule of Winter Classes, which start December 5th. We can’t wait to see you there!

Tags: b2c, free craft event, Kids' craft class

Easy Homemade Halloween Costumes | Create & Bond with Your Kids

Posted by Laura Kelly on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 @ 09:59 AM

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.  Halloween Workshop Photo 2011

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!

Miss Laura

From the Queen of Craft herself Martha Stewart.

For those who want to try their hand at machine sewing try our friends at Simplicity.

From QuickandSimple.com


Tags: b2c, Halloween