Chris's blog

Laws of Physics and Fashion: Yo-Yos Do Come Back

Sample of a classic yo-yo quilt.

 "We must never confuse elegance with snobbery." -- Yves Saint Laurent

 

 Yo-yo quilting is a humble craft -- developed by creative Depression-era homemakers to use up bits of fabric for practical objects -- usually quilts and coverlets. (The top photo is a good example of this kind of quilting.) The product is homey, sensible and, in the right hands, can have a wonderful sense of design and movement.

 

M is for the Million Things She Gave Me

Still from The Donna Reed Show

“There has always been a food processor in the kitchen. But once upon a time she was usually called the missus or Mom.” -- Sue Berkman

 

This Sunday, we're throwing a little party in honor of Moms everywhere. We hope that you can come -- and bring your Mom!

First, Chef Shellie Kark is going to take us on a tour of New York Jewish Deli cuisine, with her demo and sampling of traditional knishes. YUMMM.

But that's not enough! Our friends at Whole Foods Market have chipped in so that we can serve a sweet deli finish -- like rich cheesecake. And we just might have a surprise or two for our Mom's.

Cassoulet: The French Obsession

Cassoulet

France's ancient contribution to the peasant table is now one of the most revered dishes in French cooking.

Its origins track back to the siege of Castelnaudary by the Black Prince, Edward the Prince of Wales, in 1355. The villagers came together to create a large cauldron of beans, meat and herbs to fortify their warriors — and cassoulet was born.

Tea Crafts: A Happy Repose

A delicate, pedestaled teacup just filled with lightly scented soy wax.

Our Craftinatrix Trish Tilly held crafters in sway at our Tea Painting and Tea Cup Candlemaking workshop.

The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.  ~George Gissing

Last Saturday, the Fresh City Lounge at Central Library was buzzing with crafters on a mission -- to make some adorable candles and then create handpainted tags to go with them. One of the most interesting elements of the class is that the delicate paintings were made using steeped teas as the medium. And even though crafters were not relaxing over a cup of tea, a sense of tea-induced tranquility seemed to infuse the students.

Get Rich Quick: Host a Stock Party

Denver school lunch program. Photo courstesy Western History Dept.

Valuable insider stock info from Chef Jessica Gaydos!

After this Saturday's cooking demo with Chef Jessica Gaydos, you'll be on your way to a truly beneficial stock portfolio. Chef Jess is going to show you how to make soup from fresh produce and short list of pantry ingredients; she'll also talk about making luxurious stocks that can be the base for great homemade meals. Stocks (and many soups) freeze well; after you learn the ins and outs of making stocks, throw a stock party for a group of friends and bank your dividends for future meals.

 

Let's Party Like It's 1929!

Two men dining at a soup kitchen in Denver. Courtesy WHG Photo Coll.

 Top 6 Tips for Cooking in a Depression

Whatever your favorite pundit is calling the current and ongoing economic crunch - recession, economic decline, bear market, slow down -- one thing is certain: the cost of living is going up. Groceries are more expensive and getting to and from the store is costlier as well.

Recently, a close friend said to me, "I just read an article that compares our current economic woes to some of the harbingers of the Great Depression. How are we supposed to prepare for that?"

The Origins of Gaslighting

Ingrid Bergman at the height of her allure in Gaslight.

You're not paranoid; people really are messing with you. Go ask Ingrid.

 gaslight -- (verb) gaslights (third-person singular simple present), gaslighting (present participle), gaslighted (simple past and past participle).

1. (slang; origin UK) To manipulate someone psychologically such that they question their own sanity.

Hail and Farewell, Professor!

Jani and me on our last night of knitting salon.

Our beloved knitting teacher, Jani Fellows, is moving to Los Angeles to be near her family -- and Fresh City Life and all of our knitting students wish her a bon voyage!

Jani Fellows was there at the beginning of our knitting program. In the fall of 2004, before Fresh City Life had a name, when it was still just a pilot project, I put together our first knitting class to see what kind of response we'd get for fibers workshops. Thirty-five people came the first night and Jani was a bit surprised by the turn-out. 

ArtSkool debuts this Spring

Curiosity skilled the cat. And the freshness just keeps coming.

Fresh City Life debuts its new monthly series: ArtSkool. This arts exploration is designed to introduce participants to the fundamentals of visual and performing arts, while at the same time building a bridge between students and Denver’s vibrant arts community. ArtSkool “students” will build an appreciation for an art form with which they previously had little or no experience. As with all of our events and workshops, Fresh City Life will partner with talented individuals and organizations to bring exciting programs within reach of our community.

You can't teach taste, but you can knit chic

Chris Loffelmacher demos finishing techniques for this scarf

 Color palettes became one of the important aspects of a recent knitting workshop.

 I got to use my color theory training a little bit during our Stripes and Bobbles Scarf workshop. Well-attended by a group of beginning and intermediate knitters, the pattern called for students to choose one space-dyed yarn and combine other solid yarns with it to create their stripes.

Syndicate content