Purls of Wisdom
Meet Hana: This week's Amazing Kid started camp at The Handwork Studio in 4th grade. She quickly excelled in handwork and machine sewing, incorporating unique creativity into all her work. We're proud to have had Hana as a counselor at the Studio for three summers, inspiring campers to get creative!
About a year ago, I participated in a national competition for youth entrepreneurs. I entered my sewing business Hanacorn and was one of eleven finalists. I now have an Etsy store, and it's doing really well, especially in the Halloween season. Another way I've taken sewing to the next level is that in my high school theater program, Players, I'm the head costume designer for our musical Godspell.
I like that they have amazing teachers who really know what they're doing and are incredibly friendly. They can always help me out. I feel like it's a community, not just a place to take classes.
My three biggest influences that led me to begin to sew and have a love of design and costumes are Doe Deere who is a blogger, Lauren who is my costumes mentor, and all the amazing teachers at The Handwork Studio. All of these people have helped me learn and take my work to the next level.
What are you working on now?
I'm the costume designer for Godspellat Lower Merion High School. So we're making the costumes and getting ready for our show in November. I'm making a lot of unicorn hoodies for Halloween which I sell on Etsy. And of course, I'm working on my Halloween costume!
In the year of our 10th anniversary at The Handwork Studio we have a lot of amazing accomplishments to look back upon. To me there is no bigger accomplishment and testament to our purpose than being able to watch a once tiny kindergartener become a mature, caring, and compassionate counselor.
Over the past few years as many of our campers start to age out of our programs we have created a next step to allow our campers experience with us come full circle. Now instead of coming as campers to The Handwork Studio, many of our teen and pre-teen campers will be spending a part of their summer vacation working with us. When campers reach the age of 12 they can begin to volunteer and starting at 14, up to 17 they are Counselors in Training (CIT's).
This summer we will have 23, 12-17 year olds holding down these positions, our largest group as of yet! They will be assisting in teaching our campers the same techniques that they had once learned when they went to The Handwork Studio; sewing, knitting, embroidery, crochet, friendship bracelets, etc.
Like a mother hen I swell with pride to see many of our CIT's and Volunteers exhibit confidence and leadership abilities, they are passionate about working with children, and teaching the needle arts, and genuinely fun, happy, caring people. I could not be more proud of this upcoming group of young people that are dedicated to helping us teach the next generation of needle-artists.
Bella has been with The Handwork Studio for 10 years. Above she is pictured as a Fashion Boot Camp camper in 2007 and in 2011 Bellas was a JR. Counselor!
Parents ask us all the time when we run camp 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for approximately 20 weeks out of the year (that includes Winter, Spring and Summer break), Do they really craft all day?!?!?
The truth is sometimes we have to pry the knitting needles out of their hands at the end of the day. I will tell you nothing brings us more sincere happiness then to see a child who loves what they are doing. However, I must confess that we do not craft for the entire six hours. We do ask our campers to take a break to do things like eat and rest there hands. During that down time we like to read.
Over the years The Handwork Studio has accumulated quite a collection of story books that weave magnificent tales of silly sheep that won’t follow the flock, or a messy girl who has a room that looks like it is lived in by pigs, so of course she sews many pigs, and of a quilt that has been passed down from generation to generation.
One of our favorite stories is "Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep, A Yarn about Wool” by Teri Sloat and illustrated by the whimsical artist Nadine Bernard Wescott. This simple funny rhyming story has proven to be a must read for all ages in our camps.