Never Stop Learning: Take a Craft Class

comments (5) February 17th, 2009     

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cathyofcalifornia cathy callahan, contributor
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Sewing 101 class at Home Ec.
Power Tool Empowerment for Women class at Home Ec.
Screenprinting 101 class at The Craft Kitchen.
Bookmaking class at The Craft Kitchen.
Sewing 101 class at Home Ec.

Sewing 101 class at Home Ec.

Photo: Jenny Ryan

I feel very fortunate to have a mom who sewed all of our clothes and was skilled in all of the necessary craft techniques like knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, and the like. And it seems like she always had a bottle of Aleene's Tacky Glue in use for some fun craft. I have fond memories of her walnut-shell-and-googly-eye holiday ornaments.

Up until the 1970s, the standard was that "Home Ec" class was only for girls and "Shop" class was for boys. The junior high I attended wanted to be "liberated" so they started a Shop class for girls (there was no interest in Home Ec for boys, so that never took off). Since I already knew how to sew and cook (thanks, Mom!), I was a little bored with Home Ec, but I had the best time learning how to use all of those power tools in the Shop class.

I suppose I thought that everyone grew up learning how to make things until a few years ago when the girl who was designing my website asked me where she could take a sewing class. I thought that was strange—doesn't every girl know how to sew? But if your mom didn't sew/craft/cook and your school didn't offer or had discontinued Home Ec, then you need to take a class or read up on the subject.

The good news is that now blogs like CraftStylish have oodles of very detailed tutorials. So many techniques to learn (or brush up on) and project ideas to try out your new skills on. And of course the craft sections at most bookstores are bursting at the seams with the huge selection of craft books on the market today.

But there is nothing quite like taking a class. Last week I took an "Embroidery 101" class taught by CraftStylish's own Erika Kern. I really just took the class for fun because I thought, "I already know how to embroider." Boy, was I wrong. Erika wowed us with her special talent and I learned more than I had thought was possible with embroidery. Good news—if you live in the LA area, she's doing another one on February 27 at Home Ec in Silver Lake. And if I want to get a refresher on what I learned in my junior high Shop class for girls, I can also sign up for their "Power Tool Empowerment Class for Women."

I myself have started to teach classes. It has been such a rewarding experience. I really enjoy teaching and often end up learning stuff from my students. On Saturday, February 28, I'm doing another one of my Flower Loom classes at The Craft Kitchen in Santa Ana (Orange County), California. It's the same technique I wrote about recently here at CraftStylish. And if you want to make a day of it, my class is followed immediately by Robert Mahar's (of Mahar Drygoods fame) "Sustainable Moss Terrarium" class.

Never stop learning.

Home Ec's schedule and information.

The Craft Kitchen schedule and information.



posted in: reform school, home ec, craft classes

Comments (5)

rabid_designs writes: I teach classes in Michigan and they're fun for everyone :) I love taking classes myself ;)
Posted: 1:35 pm on March 7th
MichaelaMurphy writes: Wow, this looks like fun! Thanks Cathy. I've been wanting to take a class or two here in Seattle and this post is just the kick I needed.
Posted: 6:26 pm on February 17th
jennyryan writes: Actually we still have spaces available on the 27th! But have added a class on March 4 too. You CraftStylish ladies are the greatest teachers!
Posted: 12:57 pm on February 17th
erika_kern writes: Where do you live?

Oh! Turns out the Embroidery class on the 27th is full but we've added a class on March 4th. Yea!
Posted: 12:38 pm on February 17th
renees3 writes: i really wish I could find classes in my area. I only know the bare bones of a couple things. I want to learn so much more!
Posted: 11:46 am on February 17th
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