From the Craft Studio to the TV Studio: Independent Chicago Designer Teams with Martha Stewart to Teach Felt Crafts on The Martha Stewart Show

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Jen Hopwood shares her talents and techniques with lifestyle guru, Martha Stewart. Together, they demonstrate modern ways to work with traditional wool felt.

A scene from the September 17th taping.

Sharing a stage with Martha Stewart, who has completely revolutionized how people think about crafting and fine living, was a huge honor.

Martha Stewart is an expert of fine living, and it's not everyday that someone can teach her a thing or two. Jen Hopwood, a former NYC public school teacher who found a second career as the designer and owner of MyPerennial, will do just that when she crafts on The Martha Stewart Show today, Monday, September 22, 2008.

Jen Hopwood's background as a schoolteacher will no doubt come in handy as she teaches Martha two very different crafts. One craft is an updated version of a traditional felt appliqué technique she learned while living in Hungary. The second segment details how to make the cute felt snaps that adorn her MyPerennial Snappy Kids' Tees.

"Being able to share crafts from my studio in Chicago with a national television audience is incredibly exciting," remarked Hopwood. "Sharing a stage with Martha Stewart, who has completely revolutionized how people think about crafting and fine living, was a huge honor."

Working with the producers prior to the show, Hopwood created a new line of tote bags to clearly demonstrate the updated Hungarian technique she uses on her clean-lined and modern pillows, embellished hats, and Christmas stockings. There are several steps involved in this specialized appliqué technique, all of which are demonstrated during the first segment. "Martha was especially excited about the look and functionality of the tote bags and continued crafting well into the commercial breaks," said Hopwood.

In the second segment, the pair use leftover felt scraps from the bags to handcraft adorable snaps that interchange on kids' t-shirts. Hopwood designed six new snaps exclusively for the show. Templates for at-home crafters are available for free download from Martha Stewart's website. Ready-made snaps can be purchased at MyPerennial.com.

Like her entire line, the bags and snaps are whimsical and witty as well as impeccably high-quality. This high level of handmade excellence extends to all MyPerennial products - many of which have been prominently featured on DailyCandy as well as in magazines such as InStyle, Real Simple, Cookie and Redbook.

Tote bags and snaps made exclusively for the show will be sold on MyPerennial.com along with three versions of the flower accessory that Hopwood wore in her hair, a wink to the origins of her company. Video of the segments as well as directions for the projects can be found at marthastewart.com.

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