Purls of Wisdom

Summer: Let Kids Relax and Get in the Flow with Ancient Japanese Braiding

Posted by Cameron Lee on Sun, Jul 01, 2018 @ 10:06 AM

Another school year ends, and another summer begins. Suddenly kids are hanging around the house without the daily routine of school and after-school activities, and they may complain that it is too sunny and hot to go outside. Everyone has experienced this phenomenon, whether you are a parent or a kid yourself, and it is easy for kids to get stuck in the endless cycle of sitting in front of the TV in the air-conditioned family room all day, eating snacks and losing all that fantastic free time they were so highly anticipating while still in school.

So many kids spend too much time watching TV or on their phones, letting some of the greatest joys of this time of year pass them by. Having so much time on your hands can seem like a negative when you’re not sure what to fill it with, and although electronics and screen time are a child’s first go to, they can quickly become overused, and prevent kids from participating in activities that they don’t have time to explore during the school year.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that kids should be immersed in activities the first day after school ends - nobody wants to go from the stress and strict routine of school to another strict routine. Summer should be a time for kids to alleviate stress, learn something new, and find tColorful marudai kumihimo braidsheir flowengaging in an activity or passion for which they have so much love that they don’t even notice the time passing.

Being in flow, or experiencing that sense of overwhelming joy that comes from doing something you are really passionate about, is something we don’t incorporate enough in our daily lives, but that can easily be remedied. Activities like kumihimo, an ancient form of Japanese braiding, can help kids find their flow, learn something new, help with fine motor skills, and forget all about that summer slump. Kumihimo dates back well over a thousand years and was traditionally used by Samurai warriors to hold their armor together and provide a grip on their sword hilts. It was even used to prevent tea from being poisoned!

Although handmade kumihimo became less popular over the years as Japanese braiders invented machines to do the braiding, the art is still practiced in Japan (and all over the world) today. People still use kumihimo braids to tie down the wide sashes called obi that go on kimonos and to tie their haori jackets. At the same time, people like Martha Stewart are featuring kumihimo in their magazines and blogs, explaining how to use a kumihimo disc, the modern version of the traditional marudai and takadai stands used to create the braids. 

Kumihimo braid bracelets

Kids can even learn how to do kumihimo themselves through The Handwork Studio’s YouTube channel and at our summer camps. Summer is a time for kids to challenge themselves to try new things and learn new, fun skills, and kumihimo is a great place to start. It is educational, engaging, and kids become a part of an ancient history of Japanese braid-making when they try their hands at the art. Kumihimo braids can be used for all sorts of awesome things like shoelaces, bracelets, necklaces, and bookmarks, and it

Kumihimo braiding discwill feel great for your kids to be able to wear or use something they made. Once they become a master at the braiding technique, they can even try out more complicated and colorful patterns!

So, once again, if your kids are bored at home, watching too much TV and stuck in ruts, you should encourage them to learn kumihimo. Whether they try it on their own by ordering some of our kumihimo materials and following a YouTube tutorial or come to one of The Handwork Studio’s many locations and participate in our summer camps, your kids will find passion in kumihimo, find their flow, and make the most of their summer! 






 

Tags: Kumihimo, Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Fun, Summer, Handwork, Inspiration, Kids Activities

Get Creative In Your Everyday Life

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

It is important for everyone to be able to express their creativity in their everyday lives. It gives people the opportunity to disconnect from what is causing stress, whether that is work, school, or their personal lives. Creative projects are also a great way to save money and increase your confidence. Rather than spending money on clothes or bags, some creative projects allow you to repurpose things or make your own. It can increase your sense of confidence because you are the only person responsible for the success of these creative activities.

 

Check out these 3 ways to get creative every day!

 

Cook your own meals:

            Rather than spending your money on your favorite take out, head to the grocery store and pick up the ingredients to make it yourself and put your own unique spin on the recipe! The bright colors of the fruits and vegetables are sure to brighten up your day and the new spices you add to the recipe will make the take out seem boring in comparison. Cooking your own meals is a great way to build up your independence. It will give you more confidence in the kitchen and the ability to survive on your own. Be sure to get creative with the presentation of the meal. Think of yourself as a master chef in a five star restaurant!

 

Get outside:

            A great way to de-stress after a long work or school week is to head outdoors and instead of sticking with your usual walking, running, hiking, or biking route, mix it up! Get creative with your workout routines by finding a new trail or trying a different workout. This will allow you to discover new things. Maybe there is a great park or café around the corner that you have never discovered before because you always stick to the same routine. Heading outside for some fresh air has been proven to improve your attention span, happiness, and overall productivity. By getting creative when you are outside, whether that be switching up your usual route or participating in a new activity, you are setting yourself up for success when you head back in to do your work. So really, there is no reason to not get up and go outside!

 

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Design, Create, Repurpose:

            You know those great patchwork jeans you saw in the department store that cost over $100? Why not make your own pair using some old jeans. Making your own clothes is a great way to save some money and develop new, life-long skills that you can easily pass onto others. A sewing machine is a great investment- you can even purchase second-hand ones- because you make or fix your own clothes, accessories, and drapery. Curtain panels are an extremely easy project to do on your own rather than buying them. There is nothing easier than sewing a straight line, whether it is by hand or with a sewing machine. An added bonus to making you own clothes or drapery is that you can design it in whatever way you want, using whatever you want.

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The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp. The creative counselors will teach you the skills needed to enhance your everyday creativity. This fall, The Handwork Studio is offering their first ever Crafts and Cooking Workshop. Head to our website or call (610) 660-9600 for more information and to register.

Tags: crafts, Machine Sewing, Design, Kids Camp, Sewing, Fun

3 ways handwork crafts can get your kid excited for the school year

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Sep 06, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

The start of the school year is always a difficult adjustment. Going back to early mornings, especially as the weather gets colder, and homework is definitely not as fun as all of the cool activities children get to do during the summer. However, with these handwork crafts children will be excited and ready to start the school year!

 

Notebook cover:

            A lot of schools now include book covers on their list of required school supplies. Rather than spending money and buying one, it’s a very easy project for students to make their own! All that is needed is some fabric, a needle, and thread. If you are more advanced sewer, you can use a sewing machine instead of a needle and thread. With their notebooks or textbooks, students can open the book and the lay the fabric across it. They then should fold the fabric over to the inside covers of the book so that it looks like a pocket. Now that you have the shape of your book cover figured out, you can remove the book and get ready to sew. With the book cover laying flat on a table, fold the two sides of the shorter inside cover to the outside cover on both sides on the book cover and sew the sides together. Now that it is all sewed together you can put you book in it and are ready for school! This fun and easy project is a great way for students to get excited about the books the get to read during the school year. They can have fun with the fabrics they use and show off their handwork skills!

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Pencil Toppers:

            With every new school year comes a lot of writing. Whether it is for math homework or history or english essays, students can add some excitement to all the writing they have to do by making these fun pencil toppers! To get started, you will need a pencil, felt, a needle, and thread. Take the felt and cut two pieces of the same shape, like the shamrock below. These two pieces will be sewn together so that they fit over the pencil. To sew them together, you can place the two felt pieces on either side of the pencil and use a pen to mark the width of the pencil inside the felt. Remove the pencil and sew up one side, across the top, and then down the third side. Be sure to leave an opening at the bottom for the pencil to fit through! These pencil toppers are easy to make for holidays or just for fun! It will definitely add some excitement to your student’s school day!

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A new stuffed animal for show and tell:

            For young students, show and tell is often a highlight of their day; however, finding something new every week for them to bring to school can be difficult. A great way for students to practice their handwork skills while also making their show and tell project is to make a stuffed animal. Students will need two pieces of felt cut into the same shape of their favorite animal, some extra felt or fabric for decorating, a needle, thread, and stuffing. To get started, students can decorate one side of the felt of their stuffed animal. They can do this by sewing other pieces of felt, beads, or fabric directly onto the felt. Once they are happy with the decorations, place the two pieces of felt back to back and use the needle and thread to sew most of it together. Leave a wide enough gap so that they are able to get the stuffing inside the felt. Now that the stuffed animal is nice and fluffy, sew up the last side and now you have your own homemade stuffed animal! While this project will be great for show and tell to show off your handwork skills, it will also be loved a long time after that.

            The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp. In the summer we have 43 locations across 10 states up and down the east coast but we also continue classes, workshops, and birthday parties year round at our Narberth, PA location. If you think your child would be interested in learning to skills needed to make these projects, there is still time to register for classes starting in the fall.

Tags: crafts, Machine Sewing, Kids Camp, Sewing, school

Why summer camp is the perfect place for kids to discover their true passions

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Aug 02, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

It is typical of children to have a new interest every week. They are constantly exposed to new and exciting things. However, it is also during this period that a lot of children find their true passions. At summer camps, children are exposed to a lot of new activities where they are constantly learning things, which make it a great place to discover what they are truly passionate about.

 

They Will Try Many New Things

            At any type of summer camp, whether it is a sleep away camp, day camp, or specialty camp, campers will constantly be exposed to new things. This can include sports, arts, theatre, and even people. The exposure to new activities and people will allow young campers to learn about things that they haven’t before. As they see their new friends at camp trying the new activities, they will be encouraged to do the same. Hopefully one of the new activities will become a life long passion for a camper.

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Creative and fun environment

            Summer camp is supposed to be a fun and stress free environment. This atmosphere allows children to try new things without having to worry about being tested on it. The fresh, exciting atmosphere of summer camp will encourage children’s creativity so that they are able to really explore all of the new things they are participating in. In this creative and supportive environment, campers may experience a new excitement for any activity they try. This environment won’t make children feel self-conscious when they are trying something that they don’t know how to do. Instead, both counselors and campers will support them in the new activity by providing guidance and encouragement.

 

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They are out of their comfort zone

            Great things can happen when a person ventures outside their comfort zone. For a lot of young children, going to camp is one of the first times they are away from home. They are in a new setting with new people participating in new activities. For these reasons, summer camp is a great place to do things you are not accustomed to doing. Whether it is trying out for the camp play or playing a new sport, campers are required to do something where they are not comfortable. While this may be scary at first, once they decide to try, they may find that they love it.

 

            At The Handwork Studio, campers are taught new skills and are given the chance to create their own handmade projects to bring home. These skills can give them a great introduction into needle art, machine sewing, and fashion. If you think your child would be interested in any of The Handwork Studio’s programs, visit our website or call 610-660-9600 to get more information.

Tags: Machine Sewing, Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Fashion, The Handwork Studio, Sewing Machine

Art Camp Helps Develop Life Long Skills

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

            People of all skill levels can attend art camp. There are entry-level introduction camps and camps for experienced artists. Whether your camper is new or experienced, they will see the benefits regardless. While art camps are a great place to hone your skills, whether it’s in painting, sewing, or pottery, it is also a great place to develop life long skills outside of the studio. Campers will learn practical skills, test their patience, and learn to appreciate different perspectives.

 

Practical Skills

            Art camp is a great place to practice and improve your skills but the techniques you learn there can also be applied outside of art. Painting at art camps usually focuses on figures and landscapes but now that you have developed an understanding of painting and the use of colors, that might translate to the color you use in your home. While at painting camp, if you find that a certain color makes you happy, that might be a good one to use when painting your house. Sewing camp will also give you the ability to make or fix your own clothes. Most sewing camps teach either hand or machine sewing, if not both. This will give you a creative outlet and an easy way to save money.

 

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Patience

            No art project can be finished in five minutes. It takes a lot of time and patience to complete any art project, whether it is waiting for paint to dry, clay to harden, or ripping out seems in a garment you are sewing. Due to this, art camp is a great place to learn patience. If you want your project to turn out well, you need to give it time to finish so nothing gets smudged, cracked, or when sewing, you can wear it with pride. In this day and age of media gratification, patience you learn in art camp will be applicable for your whole life. Whether it is in work, with your family, or with friends, there will always be times when you need to exercise that patience. Being able to develop patience early on will make it that much easier when you get older.

 

Respect

            One of the great things about art is that it is subjective. Any one piece of art can be interpreted in many different ways and there is no right answer. While, at art camp, most campers will all be making the same project, every project will look different. Even if you don’t understand another person’s project or how it fits the theme, you will understand the effort that it took to make that creation. Each camper spends a lot of time on their projects and deserves to be proud of it when they are finished. Understanding the time and effort that goes into an art piece will give you an appreciation whether you like a style or not. Be respectful of how other people put their own, unique spin on a project even if you don’t agree with it.

 

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            There is so much more to art camp then just coming home with creative projects. While you are in the process of making these, you will learn practical skills, such as painting and sewing that will be useful as you grow up. You will also learn patience and respect, which will benefit you in every part of life, whether its work, family, friends, or hobbies.

 

            The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp that teach kids practical skills that can help them through out life. If you think your child would be interested visit The Handwork Studio website or call 610-660-9600 for more information.

Tags: kids art classes in narberth pennsylvania, Machine Sewing, Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Sewing, Summer, Fashion & Machine Sewing

5 Ways Summer Camp Instills Independence

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

It is important for young children to develop a sense of independence early in their lives. This sense of independence will give them confidence in what they do and the courage to go out on their own to try new things. Summer camp is a great place for children of all ages to become more independent. The new setting they will be in and the new people they will be surrounded by will force them to speak up for him or herself and to make decisions on their own. The sense of independence they develop at summer camp will serve them for the rest of their lives.

 

You’re away from home- either all day or sometimes for weeks

            For a lot of young campers, going to camp is the first time they are away from home. Whether it’s just for the day or if it’s for a few weeks, it is a big adjustment for children. By starting camp at a young age children will be more comfortable being away from home, as they get older. This comfort in new places will allow children to be themselves no matter where they are. It will really benefit them when they are leaving for college. Your child will feel confident beginning a new experience in a new place.

 

You’re with new people

Similar to being in a new place, first time campers will also be surrounded by new people, both campers and counselors. They will learn how to interact with others, make new friends, and how to be civil with people they do not get along with. The last point is extremely useful because all through a person’s life, they maybe faced with people with whom they don’t get along. Being able to be civil and respectful of those people will show a sense of maturity. Surrounding yourself with new people helps instill independence because you have to learn how to communicate with others and be confident that you’ll be able to make new friends.

 

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You have to try new activities

            It’s easy to only do activities that you know you are good at but trying new activities will help you become more independent. For example, if you attend a specialty camp you may get to focus on a skill that you may not be exposed to in a more traditional camp setting. These specialty camps can include machine sewing, theatre, or science. In a traditional camp setting, campers will be going to and from different activities all day. These can include different sports, arts, swimming, and more. Trying new activities will get you comfortable with trying new things later in life. You will meet new people and have to test yourself with these new activities and while it may be daunting at first, trying new activities will help you become more independent, which will benefit you through out your life.

 

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You have to speak up for yourself

            To be independent, you have to be able to get by on your own. An important part of this is being able to speak up for yourself. As young children, we are dependent on our parents to meet our needs. However, at camp, without their support, you have to be able to ask for things yourself. This will ensure that you have what you need and are taken care of, which is important once you are living on your own.

 

You have to make decisions for yourself

            Learning to make smart decisions is an important part of growing up. We are constantly learning from our mistakes and learning what decisions will give us the best outcome. At summer camp, without parents there to help, campers have to make decisions on their own. They can be minor things, such as what you should have for dinner; to larger ones like what is the risk of sneaking out of your bunk. Being able to make your own decision and to tell the difference between right and wrong is an important aspect of independence. It shows that you can be trusted to do the right thing.

 

            If your looking for a great camp experience where your child can become more independent, The Handwork Studio offers a bunch of unique classes where campers learn new and useful skills.

Tags: Machine Sewing, Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Sewing, Summer

Why Working At Summer Camp is a Great Place to Learn Leadership Skills

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Jul 05, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

It is important for young adults to develop leadership skills before they head off to work or college. These skills will teach them communication skills, to be hard working, dedicated, and able to be assertive in their workplace. One of the best ways to develop these skills is to look into counselor-in-training (CIT) programs at local summer camps. To be a part of the CIT program, you are usually a few years older than the oldest age group at the camp. You will assist the lead and junior counselors with the campers, usually picking up their lunches or taking them to the bathroom or to different activities through out the day. However, the responsibility and assertiveness you must have to be respected in this position will teach you great leadership skills that can be applicable in every stage of life.

 

You are responsible for children

            Although, as a CIT you are not solely in charge of a group of campers, there will be times where you have to take the campers from activity to activity without an older supervisor. Due to this, you need to have a sense of responsibility. You’ll have to know how many campers you have and where they are. Parents and lead counselors are leaving these campers in your care so you need to show that you are responsible enough for this position. Probably the biggest responsibility a CIT will have is their campers’ safety. Since they are in your care, you have to ensure that they are returned to their parents happy and healthy at the end of the day. Once in the workplace, leaders take responsibility for their actions and manage their own time and work.

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You have to set an example for your campers

At camp, you are one of the leaders of the group and due to this, you have to set an example for what is acceptable behavior. Young campers are extremely impressionable and will look to you for clues on how they are meant to act in certain situations. If you are setting a bad example through your language or behavior, they will mimic that. This teaches all CITs to be aware of their surroundings and who is listening. This awareness will be beneficial once you begin working in an office environment. Knowing how to behave in different environments will make you an attractive employee.

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You have to work with others

            In a camp setting, you are constantly surrounded by people, both counselors and campers, who need your attention. This will require you to not only create a balance between where you are needed but also to learn how to communicate effectively. While being in charge of young children, it will be crucial for you to communicate with lead counselors to let them know what you are doing. Lead counselors are in a position of authority, so you cannot speak to them as if they are one of your friends. Learning how to communicate with lead counselors will be good practice for when you have to communicate with your boss. Learning how to differentiate who you are talking whether it’s a supervisors and camper is a valuable skill to have.

            If you are interested in gaining these leadership skills, visit The Handwork Studio’s job listings page to see what is available or call 610-660-9600 for more information.

 

Tags: Summer Camp, Kids Camp, The Handwork Studio, Summer, kids, Handwork, jobs, careers

Teen Fashion Bootcamp | A Truly Unique Camp Experience

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Sun, Apr 13, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Fashion Bootcamp 2014

Teen Fasion Bootcamp - A  Truly Unique Experience    


April Johnston, our Teen Fashion Bootcamp Instructor and Project Runway All Star, is back this week with more information on our popular Teen Fashion Bootcamp for kids ages 11-15.

Today's video is all about why The Handwork Studio is a special place and our programming in one-of-a-kind. With over eight years experience, April explores how we work to inspire your child and help take their creativity to the next level. Click here to watch her video!

April will be leading the program in our Rosemont location only and space is limited - register today to reserve your seat for this special fashion opportunity.  


Got questions? We've got answers. Simply call Miss Alexis at the Studio Monday-Friday from 11 am - 7pm at (610)-660-9600.

We'll see you next Friday with another video from Miss April.

Have a great weekend!

Tags: kids programs, Fashion Fashion Bootcamp, Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Fashion, kids, camp, Kids' craft class

Teaching Young Fashion Designers | Fashion Bootcamp

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Fashion Bootcamp with April Johnston

April Johnston, our Teen Fashion Bootcamp Instructor and Project Runway All Star, is back this week with more information on our popular Teen Fashion Bootcamp for kids ages 12-15. 


Today's video is all about why it's important to start teaching aspiring fashion designers at a young age. Our Teen Fashion Bootcamp is a 3-week immersion program taking campers through the entire process of building their own collections. Click here to watch her video!

April will be leading the program in our Rosemont location only and space is limited - 
register today to reserve your seat for this special fashion opportunity.  

Got questions? We've got answers. Simply pop open window down in the corner to chat live or drop us a message!
Know someone who might enjoy this video? Please share this post with them! You can also call Miss Alexis at the studio Monday-Friday from 11 am - 7pm at (610)-660-9600.

We'll see you next Friday with another video from Miss April.

Tags: Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Sewing, education, Teen Fashion Bootcamp, Fashion

Project Runway All Star leads Teen Fashion Bootcamp

Posted by Megan Collier on Sat, Mar 29, 2014 @ 01:15 PM

We are honored that national fashion designer and Project Runway All Star April Johnston will be taking the reigns of our popular Teen Fashion Bootcamp for kids ages 11-16.

We wanted to offer you the opportunity to get to know April a little better. Click the video below to see our Q+A session with her. We'll be sharing another video next Friday to talk about our Teen Fashion Bootcamp Program in more detail.



April will be leading the program in our Rosemont location only and space is limited - 
register today to reserve your seat for this special fashion opportunity.  

Got questions? We've got answers. Simply reply to this email and let us know how we can help! Know someone who might enjoy this video? Forward this message to a friend! You can also call us at the Studio Monday-Friday from 11 am - 7pm at (610)-660-9600.

Make sure your subscribe to our blog over on the right hand side to get all our blog updates and the next video from Miss April!

Tags: Summer Camp, Kids Camp, Sewing, education, Teen Fashion Bootcamp, Fashion