Purls of Wisdom

New Faces of The Handwork Studio Road Tour

Posted by Julia Yosen on Wed, Aug 08, 2012 @ 10:39 PM

As summer quickly moves along so does The Handwork Studio Road Tour.  Though Alisha and I have seperated I still have wonderful people that are helping to make Handwork happen in many of our new locations.  

Last week I was joined in Pittsburgh, PA by Miss Rachel and Allison at Shady Side Academy. This week I am working with Miss Liz, Miss Sam, and Miss Shelly at Key School in Annapolis, MD. We have been having a great time teaching kids our menagerie of crafting skills and of course touring around.  

Check out my interview with Miss Liz and Miss Sam to learn a little about these ladies and what their favorite craft techniques are and why they work at The Handwork Studio!



Tags: Road Tour 2012, Summer Camp

YOU Make Machine Sewing & Fashion Camp Great!

Posted by Alisha Tillman on Fri, Aug 03, 2012 @ 12:41 PM

Rosemont Machine Sewing Friday ExhibitionHave you ever walked into a room and it's positively alive with energy?  If you haven't, not only are you missing out on palpable awesomeness but that probably also means that you have never been to any of the camps at Rosemont College.

The first camp that I ever had the honor of instructing was Machine Sewing at Rosemont several summers ago.  Since then the program has grown and changed in ways that I certainly never could have imagined, but am truly glad that I am an active part of.

One thing that has remained the same since my first summer back in 2008 is the commitment, determination and wonder that each camper brings to the program.  Admittedly, I am slightly partial to machine sewing, as it was the first craft that I had learned to do and have continued to do to this day (obviously!).  But I too even after 25 years of sewing have the same commitment, wonder and determination of the kids that walk through the door.  Though each child is different, each experience unique and each creative production special, the common thread that binds us together is the love of the craft; and it is in that commonality that we create that energy that can be felt walking into Rosemont.  It is the power of being in the same space, with like minded hands and hearts, busying themselves with their chosen task.  Each one of them, making it special.



Tags: Road Tour 2012, Summer Camp

Sewing Camp or Love? Sometimes it is hard to know the difference.

Posted by Laura Kelly on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 @ 07:00 AM


Today was an emotional day for us at The Handwork Studio.  You don't really think of camp as being emotional.  Fun, lots of activities and sunshine but not really emotional. 

But today we were rewarded with an email from a family that made us all cry.  

"I just returned from picking up my child; as anticipated it was a GLORIOUS day! She is in LOVE with the program, and her instructors! She gushed all the way home - which of late, she hasn't had much opportunity..  Thank Goodness for the Handwork Studio!  For now, her sadness has dissipated and her joy is infectious! I owe you all a huge HUG! Thank You All Again, for being the newest Blessing in our lives!"

This is what we work for!  This is the best part of our job.  You may see us as sewing camp, but we see your kids as an opportunity for love to happen.

And speaking of love, watch this week's video below of Miss Alisha at sewing camp.  Clearly she is missing Miss Julia and Sheepy while they are at Shadeside Academy in Pittsburg.  This is the "not" so emotional side of our jobs.  Enjoy!

Tags: Road Tour 2012, Recommendations

Solo Stitching | Sewing Out on Our Own

Posted by Julia Yosen on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 @ 12:19 AM

Let's see where did we last leave off...?  Ah, yes, Miss Alisha and I were enjoying a lovely week of sun, surf, yarn, and sewing in Avalon, NJ up until July 6th.  We ate our fill of bayside seafood and partook in other essential shore activities like riding a surrey (a 4 person bike!). As the end of the end of the week quickly approached we knew looming in the not too distant future was a difficult fact we had to face.  We had to pass the Avalon torch to Miss Meredith and Miss Jamie who will continue to run  Avalon camps until July 27th.  Alisha and I will need to both move on AND seperate our supplies and part ways!

During the month of July The Handwork Studio will be in 13 different locations!  We have 10 teams that will be covering our camps from Pennsylvania, in locations at Rosemont College, our Narberth Studio, Episcopal Academy, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Friends Select School, and Shady Side Academy.  We also visit Delaware for the first time the week of July 9th, at the Tatnall School.  We hold strong in Washington, DC, at Sidwell Friends School and in Virginia, at three locations, Potomac School, Madeira School, and Flint Hill School.  We cannot forget Maryland either, we are at Bullis School for the secod year, and last but not least, New Jersey, in Avalon.


In order to run all these different locations during the month Miss Alisha and I must now set out solo to stitch our own paths and teach Handwork Studio camp on our own (well not really alone).  July 9th, 2012 marked a sad day where we both drove to our respective camp sites with empty passenger seats.  Miss Alisha made her way to set-up camp at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA.  With the help of our local DC/MD/VA staff, Amanda, Kati, and Judith, Miss Alisha taught the needlecrafts to many new and enthusiastic campers.

Flint Hill

Back on the otherside of road tour land I ventured back to the Bullis School in Potomac, MD. This is our second year there.  Last year we started with one week and this year I will be spending 3 out of the 4 weeks helping to run camp.  Without my travel partner I will tell you that it was wonderful to see some familiar faces of returning campers excited to learn more!  I am even more thrilled to have such an exceptional team to work with, Miss Syreeta, Miss Samantha, and Miss Emily. They have been nothing short of amazing!

This week as I continue to hold steady at Bullis, Miss Alisha and her new travel companion Miss Allison set out the mountains of Pennsylvania.  They will both be at Camp Pine Forest and Timber Tops in the Poconos.  For two days they will work with over 200 campers embroidering and sewing all day long! 

Though our travels will now sew around different corners we know our common thread is to teach campers of the joys of needlework.  Really the toughest part of seperating is who gets Sheepy???  

Sheepy and Julia

 Ssshhhh, don't tell Miss Alisha!




Tags: Road Tour 2012, travel, Summer Camp

Summer Camp Road Tour Update | A Fork in the Road

Posted by Megan Collier on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 @ 09:27 AM

Summer Road Tour 2012How is your summer rolling along?  Are you staying cool in all of this heat? Miss Julia and Miss Alisha have stitched quite the summer camp road tour together so far.  But now, they have reached a fork in the road and must take different paths as The Handwork Studio Road Tour continues in the heat of the summer. But, do not fret!  There is much work still to be done in this brief separation and Miss Julia will be back tomorrow with a longer post and update on how the Road Tour is coming along!

We want to hear from you!  Please share a story about your summer in the comments below by next Tuesday, for a chance to win a Handwork Studio grab bag!  It's that simple.  Just share a story below and you are entered to win!

While you wait for tomorrow's update, check out this video from the road.

Tags: Road Tour 2012, Road Tour

Greetings From the Road | Summer Camp in Avalon

Posted by Megan Collier on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 @ 06:00 AM

Have you gone on vacation this summer?  Our good friend Sheepy isn't exactly on vacation but he is having the summer of his life this year while

Sheepy on the Beachtouring the country with Ms. Julia and Ms. Alisha.  This week he found himself closer to home and near the sand. He's helping out with summer camp in Avalon.  Between camp and lounging, he made (with the help of Ms. Alisha) this awesome video to share with you!

Make sure to show Sheepy some love in the comments below this post!  He loves to hear from you! 

Tags: Road Tour 2012, Road Tour

30 Hours, 1,560 Miles and 12 States | Handwork Camp is Moving On

Posted by Julia Yosen on Wed, Jul 04, 2012 @ 08:19 AM

It was bittersweet packing up on Friday June 29th, our last day of camp at Parish Episcopal School.  Alisha and I had just finished three phenomenal weeks of teaching Handwork and Machine Sewing Camp.  Altogether, we taught over 115 campers the joys of knitting, sewing, embroidery, etc., we met and worked with a wonderful group of new staff members, Miss Mariam, Miss Coco, Miss Sophia, Mr. Manny, and Miss Jasmine and hope to now be able to grow our roots in Dallas with these newly experienced staff members.  

One of the hardest goodbyes was to our Dallas host family. They took us in and treated us as their own, really no words can express the care and warmth of staying with the Sander's family.  But as the saying goes all good things must come to an end...  Well, not really an end but the first chapter of Handwork Studio Road Tour has been successfully completed and now we are ready to turn the page.  By that I mean hop in the trusty HandworkMobile and head east to Avalon, NJ.     

Packing the Van

This marathon drive has now become apart of The Handwork Studio Road Tour tradition.  Last year Miss Alisha and I had 1 1/2 days to get from Colorado to Avalon, NJ. This year our drive is slightly shorter, we expect it only to take us a little more than one complete day.  To make this work Miss Alisha and I tag team the effort.  One of us drives  and the passenger is obligated to entertain, rest up for the next driving shift, watch for cows (this is Miss Alisha's deal),
Cow spottingand find interesting places to stop to stretch our legs.   

We literally do this around the clock, we only stop for, as I mentioned before, cows, changing drivers, food, and to look at something interesting, and maybe the occassional hail storm that threatens to break your windshield.  To see more of our findings along the road you can check out our facebook page and see our Road Tour Due East album.  In the meantime, Miss Alisha and I are excited to head to Avalon, NJ to starting the next chapter!


Happy Trails!

Miss Julia 


Tags: Road Tour 2012, Summer Camp

Sewing & Fabric | Everything is Bigger in Texas

Posted by Laura Kelly on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 @ 08:57 AM

Believe it or not, Miss Julia and I are wrapping up our 3rd and final week of Summer Camp in Dallas.  It has gone by so fast! Just 5 more days of patterns, pins and pajama pants for me here in Texas, and then it’s northward ho! I must say though that Texas has been great to us, and we will miss it.  Not only are the people kind, the campers enthusiastic and the food scrumptious, but this state certainly does have its fair share of fabric stores too! 

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This past week my fellow Machine Sewing instructor Miss Sophia treated me to a trip to her favorite fabric warehouse – that’s right, WAREHOUSE that is chock full fabrics and textile delights.  It is called Super Textiles and has millions of yards of fabric and just as many buttons!  I was ecstatic, and managed to control myself when I was there…I only bought 12 ½ yards of fabric! Sheepy wandered off while we were there, and I eventually found him purchasing buttons (they were really tiny ones).  I hope that on our travels back up north we find more great fabric stores.  Although with everything that Sheepy purchased, I am not sure if we’ll have any room in our van…

--Miss Alisha

Tags: Road Tour 2012, Road Tour

When in Texas.... Ride a Bike... and Crochet

Posted by Julia Yosen on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 @ 11:56 PM


By now you may have noticed that Miss Alisha and I have made it to Texas and are in the midst of teaching handwork and machine sewing camp.  We have just completed our first successful week of crafting.  Sadly on Friday's we do have to shut down and we are left to our own devices for two whole days... Some people call this a weekend.  Well, being that we have a handwork mobile, a sheep, and a healthy sense of adventure we decided to take advantage of our time and mosey our way down to Austin, TX.  

Austin Sunset

A little over three hours from Dallas, we set foot in Austin and set-up camp in the beautiful McKinney Falls State park, took in a fabulous sunset over Lake Travis , checked out the famous 6th Street strip, saw some scorpions, turtles and lizards, 

Austin Turtle

and the icing on the cake for this trip was finally getting to ride a tandem bicycle through Austin!   Riding a tandem bike has been on my bucket list for years.  Who better to cross this off the list with than Miss Alisha and Sheepy.  However, I was not quite informed prior to renting the bike that Miss Alisha had not been on a bike in 25ish years...  I believe I was told as we got on the bike and wobbled precariously across the sidewalk.  We are not ones to give up so we perservered and with a little teamwork we were riding like pros..sort of. We at least did not run anyone or anything

Miss Alisha and Miss Julia

over.  Check out our fun video montage of Miss Alisha and I riding bikes and other scenes throughout Texas.  

Happy Trails!

Miss Julia


Tags: Miss Julia, Road Tour 2012, Miss Alisha, Texas, Summer

Camp, Crochet, Bikes, Dancing & Fun | Road Tour 2012 Video Update

Posted by Megan Collier on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 @ 09:30 AM

Summer Road Tour 2012  Last Week Ms. Julia and Ms. Alisha hosted camp in Dallas Texas and they continue with week two starting today. However, it was a long road to Texas and there is still a ton of exploring to be done when they aren't 
teaching our wonderful campers all about Handwork and Machine Sewing.

  Their video from the road this week features dancing, a tandem bicycle, and a whole bunch of crocheting.  Make sure you watch all the way to the end for a wonderful vocal solo from Ms. Julia herself!

  You can click here to learn more about Parish Episcopal School and our camp program there!  Looking for another location?  Check out our location page to find a camp location near you!

Tags: Road Tour 2012, Road Tour