With the holidays over, it's back-to-school time and not just for kids and college students. Adult education classes also are starting up after their winter hiatus, so take that money you'd promised to spend on a gym membership (like you'd use it anyway) and put it toward learning that skill you've always wished you had. Here's a list of some of our favorite upcoming courses, all perfect for beginners.
DUCT TAPE DRESS FORMS
The idea of this course is to teach you to make customized dress forms so you can mend and create outfits that exactly fit your body. And even if you aren't a budding designer ... what room's decor wouldn't benefit from the addition of a duct tape mannequin?
Jan. 19, 11 a.m.3:30 p.m. $75
Stitch Lounge, 182 Gough, SF. (415) 431-3739, www.stitchlounge.com
This hands-on workshop teaches the basic methods of both backyard and worm composting.
Jan. 19, 10 a.m.noon. Free
Garden for the Environment, Seventh Ave., SF. (415) 731-5627, www.gardenfortheenvironment.org
A good place to start for the would-be yogi who doesn't want to jump in blind, this Sunday workshop explores basic postures, breathing, and meditation for the beginner.
Jan. 27, 1:303:30 p.m. $35 (includes one free week of yoga)
Yoga Tree, 519 Hayes, SF. (415) 626-9707, www.yogatreesf.com
CURIOUS SOUL: THE VISUAL JOURNAL
Instructor Suzanne Merritt helps you discover eight universal patterns of beauty and translate your experience into visual form. Includes collage, tearing, layering, image transfers, and mixed media.
Jan. 2829, 10 a.m.5 p.m. $190 plus $20 materials fee
San Francisco Center for the Book, 300 De Haro, SF. (415) 565-0545, sfcb.org
Learn to construct a wooden reed skeleton frame before covering it with handmade paper and leave with a finished paper lantern, complete with bulb and 12-foot wire with on-off switch.
Jan. 31, 6:309:30 p.m. $65 (includes $15 materials fee)
Craft Gym, 1452 Bush, SF. (415) 441-6223, www.craftgym.com
A special workshop for women offered by women who teach the fundamental skills needed to forge steel, including tapering, upsetting, flattening, and twisting.
Feb. 23, 10 a.m.6 p.m. $345
Crucible, 1260 Seventh St., Oakl. (510) 444-0919, www.thecrucible.org
A relaxed, comfortable cooking class that shows how to use seasonal, organic, unrefined, and local ingredients to make Moroccan delights beyond the standard couscous.
Feb. 4, 6:309:30 p.m. $60
Sage Table, Oakl. Call for address. (510) 914-1142, www.thesagetable.com
IMAGE AND THE BOOK
Explore contemporary art-making practices in this six-session series covering alternative approaches to painting, drawing, collage, sewing, image transfer, binding, narrative development, and subject investigation.
Feb. 13March 13, Wednesdays, 7:1510 p.m. $180 plus $10 materials fee
California College of the Arts, 5212 Broadway, Oakl. (510) 594-3771, www.cca.edu/academics/extended
2-DAY FILM SCHOOL
Why waste money on an expensive film school when you can learn all you need to know over one weekend? This crash course is taught by Dov S-S Simens of the Hollywood Film Institute.
March 1516, 9 a.m.6 p.m. $389
Call for location.