Fantastical October: Zombies, Unicorns, and Jedi Masters

IMG_0840Of all the parts of October, the middle is one of a the best! And to honour that, we had a bunch of fun and diverse classes. In Exploring Drawing, Michele Grimston introduced us to a variety of materials and techniques so we could each find our own style: from drawing portraits of others to collaborative drawing! Later in the evening, in Why Invest in Women’s Education? Freddie, ambassador of the Australian not-for-profit organisation One Girl, showed us why we need to keep pushing for equal education for everyone. Currently, the percentage of girls in school in developing countries is significantly lower than for boys. Some of the obstacles girls face include forced marriage, distance and, surprisingly, their menstrual cycles! Lack of proper sanitary pads and cultural taboos make the girls embarrassed so that many miss school for a whole week every month. As a result, they fall behind and often drop out of school altogether.

IMG_0900Our very own Maria Yebra, a.k.a. Cupcaketeer took to the front of the class to teach us Fondant 101: Unicorn Toppers! After being inspired from some awesome examples of cupcake toppers – everything from housewarming themed items to edible Dr Whos – we learnt how to work and colour the fondant and then got on to making unicorns! At the end of the class we saw how each person had a different take on the unicorn, giving them all their own personalities. They’re almost too cute to eat! After that, Chloe Gunn from Gunnbelievable and her assistant Siena, taught us how to create great recycled coin wallets in Salvage Art: The Bonsoy Wallet. First they showed us all the things you can do with cartons, cornflakes or wine boxes and other “waste”. Then, following their instructional posters, we learnt how to cut and fold the carton into our new favourite wallets.

IMG_0986Coffee and Melbourne – two peas (or should that be beans?) in a pod. Eldric Stuart, in his class Barista Secrets: Filtered Coffee, introduced us to this often maligned method of brewing, showing us how a brilliant cup can be made if you do it right. The all important decision, to stir or not to stir, was left up to each of us, but getting the timing right was key. Too long makes it bitter, too short makes it sour. But at just right amount of time… delicious! Then it was our pleasure to welcome back Jenny Zhang from Vera Chan, this time to show us how to make our very own Origami Gift Bags! There was fancy paper, beautiful ribbons and hole punches all over The Little Mule but most importantly there were more gift bags than you could shake a stick it. A very productive and fun evening for all of us, just in time for Christmas too!

In Beginners Crochet via Chain Statement Necklaces, Bali & Queenie from the Yarn Corner (the biggest yarn bombing group in the world) taught us the basics of crochet. We selected our yarn colour and started with chains in order to create our statement necklaces, then we moved on to single crochet… although most of us wanted to continue with the chains to finish our necklaces! What next? Forget vampires: Zombie Movies are back and filling our screens with mindless brain-eating fun! Halo Jones, an uber-zombie-film-enthusiast lead us on a horrific journey of the history of zombies in film, and when the staples of the genre (eg brain-eating) first appeared. With expert reenactments of famous scenes using finger puppets, and a life-saving discussion of how to survive when the zombie IMG_1108 apocalypse finally comes, this class was fun for the whole family. Well, the non-squeemish ones anyway!

Massage Like a Jedi Master! We started with how to set up the room and moved on to the basic moves of a Swedish massage with Shan Maxwell. We also got homemade essential oils ready to do our own first massages! Finally, Jo Mitchell from The Mind Room was back to teach us The Science and Practice of Urban Happiness. We started off by engaging the five ways to wellbeing: stretching, engaging with another person, communicating with them, drawing  a ‘blind portrait’, and then giving the drawing to our new friend. Then we moved on to smile tests and a thinking about our key values.