Upcoming Mesh Baltimore SkillShare


November 9, 2013

Next Mesh Baltimore SkillShare: Winter 2014

We’re already working hard on the lineup for the next Mesh Baltimore SkillShare — to be held in early February !  Like all SkillShares, it will feature an exciting array of one- hour sessions designed to appeal to a diverse set of learners.  We’re on the lookout for topics related to history, crafting, cooking, art, life skills and more, so check back often. Oh, and if you have an idea for something you’d like to learn — or a topic you’d like to share with others — don’t be shy.  Let us know! We love meeting new people and hearing new ideas. 

To get an idea of the kind of classes we offer, check out the lineup from our November 9 SkillShare:

Beyond Store Bought:  Eco-Chic Gift Wrapping, taught by Reena Kazmann

IMG_5336It’s the time of year when — if you’re like us — you find yourself drowning in rolls of colored paper and spools of ribbon…and feeling slightly ashamed by all that waste and excess.  But relief is on the way! Reena Kazmann — crafts designer, teacher and lecturer — is coming to Mesh Baltimore to teach us how to wrap gifts with attractive eco-friendly materials. Through demonstrations and an illustrated talk, she’ll give us pointers on wrapping presents that look spiffy without destroying the planet! Included will be suggestions on different materials to use that will help us leave our guilt behind (everything from brown paper, to shopping bags, to newspaper, to cloth and more ).  Reena knows what she’s talking about, by the way. In 1999, she started, the web’s first gift store carrying only designs made from recycled, reused and natural materials by independent designers. She’s been exploring green and gorgeous alternatives to eco-unfriendly commercial wrapping paper for years.

iDevice Management: Secrets of iOS7 Revealed!, taught by Michele Canapp

iOS7The release of iOS7 has prompted a wide range of passionate reactions (including this distraught little guy). If you secretly share his feelings, this SkillShare session will help you put away the tissue. Michele Canapp, who’s led some very popular tech-related workshops for us before, has designed a hands-on workshop that will make you forget your angst at the system’s physical makeover (you’ll get used to it, really you will!) and will allow you to focus on some of the most exciting new features of iOS7. You’ll learn all about the Big Stuff (things like AirDrop and the Notification Center) as well as the other system refinements that will simplify your life (everything from auto app updating to how to block a number in your contacts).  This session will show you how to prepare yourself for the next mobile operating system upgrade (whenever that may be), and will also will help you weigh the costs and benefits of upgrading your iPhone 4 to a nifty 5c or 5s. (Want to know the difference? Michele can talk about that, too.) Join us…every byte of information counts!

Kitchen Medicine: Home remedies for practically everything, taught by Olivia Fite

kitchen.medicineKitchen medicine is a traditional body of healing knowledge that uses the practical and accessible contents of your kitchen. This engaging one-hour workshop will provide invaluable information and teach important skills to anyone looking to expand their self-care tool-kit. We will address common ailments and show you how to create simple home remedies. Among other things, you’ll learn how to make skin care products, infusions, poultices and much more…all to help you cure what ails you! This session will be led by Olivia June Fite, a graduate of the Maryland University of Integrative Health with a Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine. A Baltimore native, Olivia has a passion for connecting plants and people! She loves working one-on-one with people as a wellness consultant, in addition to sharing her skills of herbalism and self-empowerment in fun educational settings.  To find out more about Olivia’s work, check out her website.

Casino Games for Beginners, taught by Terry Detorie

Going to a casino for the first time can be scary: all those funny noises, all those complicated games, all that money on the line. If you’ve felt intimidated by this strange world, this session has your name all over it! In an hour, Terry Detorie will introduce you to the basics of a few of the most popular casino games (poker and blackjack, especially) so that you won’t feel quite so overwhelmed.  (You may not be ready for the World Series of Poker when you leave, but you’ll know the rules of the games as well as some basic strategies!) And never fear…the session won’t be all here-are-the-rules-I-wish-you-the-best-0f-luck, either.  Terry has planned for plenty of playing time, too, so you can get a little practice while you’re under her watchful eye. A longtime teacher, Terry loves dogs, the Ravens, and Atlantic City (the order is always shifting!) and we’re delighted she’s agreed to join Mesh for a return engagement!

Not Your Granny’s Square, taught by Martha Simons

The fiber arts are hot these days (how cool is yarn bombing?!) and crocheting especially is all the rage. Part of its popularity is due to portability – projects are often small enough to pack in your purse – but their aesthetic impact is huge (especially when you combine several of those small pieces!). Because we know you want to get in on the action, too, we’ve asked mixed media artist Martha Simons to lead a SkillShare session that’s sure to get you hooked (pun intended) on this vintage craft. Some basic crochet knowledge – just a familiarity with the chain stitch! – will be helpful but is by no means essential to participate in this session. Martha is happy to work with crochet enthusiasts of all levels; more advanced participants will learn how to weave in ends and join squares without sewing. You’ll leave this hands-on workshop with some information on supplies, a familiarity with basic crochet stitches, and written instructions for a variety of patterns.

The Frugal Cook: How to break down a chicken and use it all up, taught by Jamie Kemp

Are you one of those people who thinks chicken magically materializes at the grocery store, neatly organized by body part and all lined up carefully on yellow Styrofoam trays? You know it doesn’t really work like that, right?  To set you straight – and to put you on the path to ‘scratch’ cooking — we offer this session that will cut down on waste and save you some money! Jamie Kemp will demonstrate the steps and tools required to break down a chicken into its various parts…and also show you how to use all of those delicious pieces. She’ll discuss kitchen safety and proper food handling, too, of course, so that you’ll be good to go when you leave the class. With years of experience in the food business – she’s got everything from cheesemonger, wedding cake consultant, barista, caterer to personal chef and menu planner on her resume – Jamie works with Charm City Farms and is also the Resident Chef in the Foragers of Baltimore group. It’s always been her dream to teach cooking techniques in front of an audience (thank you Julia Child and MPT in general), so she’s excited to share her skills with the Mesh community.

How the Sausage Gets Made: Making kielbasa from scratch, taught by Karen Cullen

Now’s your chance to learn how to make genuine (and tasty!) kielbasa (Polish sausage).  You’ll learn under the guidance of Detroit native (the Motor City has the second largest Polish-American population in America!) Karen Cullen, who – after much cajoling –  years ago convinced her Aunt Wanda to share the family recipe. In this session, after assembling the ingredients and discussing some of the different sausage-making options, you’ll use an electric meat grinder and casing stuffer to stuff the meat mixture into casing.  While making this delectable treat, you’ll get to sample some already-made kielbasa (yum!)…talk about  various ways to cook it… and examine some other Polish traditions as well as anything else that pertains to this great gastronomical delight.  At the conclusion of the workshop, you will receive a little kielbasa to take home as well as the recipe for Aunt Wanda’s Kielbasa (shhhhhh, don’t tell!). When not making sausage, Karen teaches history to 10th and 12th graders.  She also enjoys reading, politics, watching old movies, and is an avid baseball fan.

Intro to Meditation, taught by Hilda Blodgett

If you’re seeking a healthy way to calm your mind and body, this is the session for you! Hilda Blodgett, who discovered mediation when she became a practicing Taoist after extensive travel in southeast Asia, will be your instructor.  (For 6 years, she studied daily at the New England Center of Tao so she knows a lot.) This workshop-style class will open with introductions and experience assessment, and then move directly into a short, guided relaxation exercise followed by a brief golden rain burning mediation.  You’ll shed your stress and mental fatigue, and you’ll leave the session with a written description of what you’ve learned so you can continue on your own afterward.  Don’t you feel better already?!


Cutting Edge: The art of papercutting, taught by Annie Howe

People of all ages and from all cultures are drawn to creating art using scissors and paper.  (Remember those hearts and snowflakes you made in grade school?) You can take things to the next level in this hands-on workshop, led by Baltimore artist Annie Howe. Annie, who has created original cut paper pieces for private collections, businesses and publications – outfits as varied as Urban Outfitters, Baltimore Bride, Woodberry Kitchen, and The City Paper – will show you how to create beautiful and intricate one-of-a-kind papercuts. You’ll learn basic and advanced cutting techniques and Annie will also offer pointers about design and inspiration. You’ll leave the workshop with your first papercut in hand…and many ideas for others to come! Don’t be shy; all you need to participate in this class is a willingness to look at the world in positives and negatives (graphically speaking, of course!). Let’s break out the exacto knives and cut to the chase! You can learn more about Annie’s work here.

Drive Yourself: The Importance of Direction, Progress and Control in Life, taught by Peter Martin

All of us encounter challenges – lots of ‘em! — that make it hard to (to borrow that old Army recruitment phrase) “be all that we can be.” This session aims to help! You’ll begin by reading a handout that uses the metaphor of driving a car — something most of us manage quite efficiently! — to jump-start the conversation (yes, that pun was intentional…sorry); you’ll focus primarily on topics like decision-making, consistency, and control.  The workshop will be led by Peter Martin, who first came to Mesh Baltimore as a learner and now shares his expertise as a teacher! With more than 15 years in the mental health field (he’s been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Maryland since 2003), and with a background in creating and presenting training workshops, Peter’s just the guy to get you firmly situated in the driver’s seat!


Getting Started with Tai Chi Ruler, taught by Kini Collins

Before she was a visual artist, Kini Collins was a martial artist, studying aikido, iaido, ju-jitsu, Toda Ha Bukkyo Ryu and tai chi for more than 20 years.  In this session – brought back by popular demand! — Kini will introduce you to Tai Chi Ruler, a set of simple movements performed with a small, specially designed stick or ‘ruler’. Kini says this is her absolute favorite solo exercise for developing strength, balance and *bliss*.  Tai Chi Ruler has been around for centuries, by the way, and during this session Kini will start by providing you with some background on this ancient art. Then she’ll show you – and you’ll practice! – the eight sets of exercises associated with it. Kini will bring the sticks; you’ll bring your energy and concentration! You’ll leave the workshop with an understanding of the (many) health benefits of Tai Chi Ruler, familiarity with its movements, and a tremendous sense of accomplishment!

Calligraphy: It’s not just for wedding invitations, taught by Kristen Scotto di Frega

If you’re feeling a bit wistful for those bygone days of paper and pens…but strangely self-conscious about the fact that it’s been months since you’ve written anything by hand…we have a cure for what ails you! In this hands-on session, you’ll learn the basics of calligraphy, that traditional skill that exists at the intersection of art and writing. You’ll start by learning a bit about inks and nibs and other basic supplies.  Kristen will alternate between doing demos (as she shows you how to hold the pen at the correct angle and teaches you about slant and spacing, for example) and in giving participants plenty of hands-on time to practice on their own (with some one-on-one feedback). Naturally, she’ll also bring lots of fun examples for project inspiration. Trained at Towson University and in Italy, Kristen is an artist who creates vibrant and visually exciting commissioned pieces in her Baltimore County studio. When she’s not in her studio, she’s exploring the world and the backyard with her husband and two young children.






To get an idea of some of the classes we’ve offered in the past, enjoy the photos below and look at these schedules from previous events:

Baltimore history (and trivia!)

WordPress for beginners

Cooking classes…everything from cheese making

to pesto making.

Sessions connected to sustainable living and stewardship…such as composting

and urban foraging.

Arts-related classes, like photography


Intro to Improv…

and drawing.

Aren’t you eager to join the fun?!