Sometime early in 2011 I decided to start looking for creative experiences to help balance what was, at the time, a very stressful and demanding job. I looked for classes at Denver Botanic Gardens, local stores, but most importantly, from the various deal voucher companies. I wanted to try my hand at all sorts of stuff where I didn't already feel accomplished. This was a total creative pursuit; a scavenger hunt of sorts to find new things to explore.
First up I went to a cooking class at the Denver Botanic Gardens and was amazed at how much I learned from a terrific gardener/cook about ingredients and combinations of flavors. I was hooked on being a student after one class. What followed was a series of fun, challenging, hilarious (I am pretty good at laughing at myself and my less than successful attempts at artistry) and surprising discoveries. Now that the hunt has begun I can't seem to stop.
Here is my list of the "creative" pursuits so far...
Cooking - Okay, so you heard about the winter soup class at Denver Botanic Gardens last year, but only last week I took another class at Nature's Table Cooking School on healthy chips and dips. On my, oh my, I can't wait to take more classes at NTCS. I love the chef/owner and all she has to share from her culinary training and her knowledge of healthy ingredients. Todd, Matthew and I need to eat better and I am loving learning and exploring good food.
Exercise - Trying some new exercise classes was about expanding my comfort zone and trying to awaken my desire to move in new ways. First up was a kettlebell class at Power Hour KettleBell Fitness and surprisingly I love it! Now I have my own kettlebells in our basement gym. Next up Zumba at Studio Sabor and a work out at Orangetheory Fitness.
Gardening - I love a beautiful garden but Colorado is such an unforgiving place to garden. So I knew it was time to take control and learn from some experts about two plants I love: roses and lavender. I found classes at Denver Botanic Gardens and they were informative and empowering. Last year I planted both varieties and can't wait to see the results this summer.
Glass Fusing - This has been my very favorite discovery. I didn't even know there was such a thing as glass fusing, but Bella Glass Studios changed all that. I took my first class last year (Holy Coral) and then took Matthew to another class last month (Giggity Giggity Goof Balls). Matthew won a $25 gift certificate and I purchased another Groupon voucher so I can't wait to try out two more classes.
Jewelry - I took three classes (there are so many ways to do this that I explored several styles): a basic beginner class at a Highlands Ranch bead shop; and wrapped beads and mixed media classes at The Colorado Bead Company. I'm not addicted but I love knowing the various techniques so I can make Anglican Prayer Beads and a few other basic jewelry creations.
Knitting - So excited, I just bought a voucher for a beginner class at Wild Yarns.
Mosaics - Absolutely love mosaics and took a fabulous class on creating a mosaic stepping stone at Denver Botanic Gardens...this is a keeper. I can't wait to explore my new love in the months ahead.
Painting - I've taken classes in watercolor and acrylic painting. I'm not a natural but I really enjoy it. Michaels and Jo-ann Fabrics makes it inexpensive to get paint, brushes and canvases so painting will stay on my "continue to explore" list.
Pottery - I actually get to glaze my pottery wheel creations tomorrow night at My Art Workshop. It was just as hard as I suspected it would be and I discovered I wasn't as adventurous as the three seven-year-olds I was took this 4-week class with. They were great fun to learn alongside - apparently adults tend to take the class on the weekends. Maybe I'll post pictures in the future.
Rock Polishing - At least five years ago on one of our camping trips (we love to camp at National Parks) Matthew started finding rocks he wanted to keep. So for fun, I picked up a rock polishing kit at Michaels. Well, it sat in our basement storage until a month ago when I was de-cluttering that area. I couldn't let it go without giving it a try. So this loud machine rumbled for six weeks. On Saturday I was able to see the finished product. Okay, it was a kid's kit. Yep, the rocks were smooth but not the lusterous result I was expecting. So the tumbler is heading to Goodwill.
Skin-care and Soap Making - Last week (yes, you counted correctly, I went to three different classes last week) I tackled soap making at Fusion Botanticals. Talk about a fragrant studio! First we made melt-and-pour candles and facial tonic -- I added sage/citrus essential oil for both; then facial scrub and finally bath fizzies (added jasmine!). So much fun, but I think I'll keep shopping at Bath and Body Works.
So there you have it. I still want to learn glass blowing, stained glass, cake decorating, herb gardening, and who knows what else. And I realize I miss quilting and scrapbooking. But one thing I know, I'll be on the look out for more adventures on this scavenger hunt.