Re-Skilling Schedule

November-December 2010:

Confirm our 15 re-skillers as participants.

January 2011:

Meet to brainstorm the skills we want to learn.
Decide on commitment requirements.
Assign re-skillers to organize each month’s experience.
Name ourselves the Renaissance Women!

February 2011:

Bread-making, sourdough starters, and gluten-free baking with Tessa, Tanya and Jenn (two of which have apprenticed at True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay).

March 2011:

Sewing with a machine from a pattern, with Maggie Beischer of Oh So Pretty!.

April 2011:

Fermented beverages (e.g. kombucha, fermented sodas) with Holly Howe, aka Bootleg Betty. (Read more about my experience with Holly here.)

May 2011:

Beekeeping 101 with Bee Haven Farm in Duncan, BC.

June 2011:

Wild foods with Robert Foucher.

July 2011:

Soap-making with Marni Murphy.

September 2011:

Yogurt-making with Katie and Aaron of the Cowichan Recyclists.

October 2011:

Wine appreciation with Alfons Obererlacher, the Vancouver Island Sales Representative for Free House Wine & Spirits Ltd., and Mike Gelling, a sales representative for International Cellars Inc.

December 2011:

Cookie decorating party and hot-toddy lessons!

March 2012:

Had our “Annual General Meeting” (hee hee) and discussed what we liked about the Renaissance Women and wanted to keep for 2012. We like it a lot, so it’ll stay the same for now.

April 2012:

Met and brainstormed workshops for 2012.
Assigned workshop organizers.

May 2012:

Made pinch pots with Tara of Tara Firma Studios. (So much fun that we decided to go back for a second and third evening and pinch more pots.)

June 2012:

“Ladies Learn to Fish” workshop at the Cowichan River Wilderness Lodge. Learned to fly fish and use a reel line, plus lots of random interesting freshwater fishing facts.

July 2012:

Fitness bootcamp with Sheri Berard!

September 2012:

Canning lessons from the Somenos Women’s Institute. We made apple jelly, peach salsa and pickled vegetables. Amazing.

October 2012:

Life-changing lacto-fermented sauerkraut and vegetables workshop with Holly Howe, aka Bootleg Betty.

January 2013:

Weaving and felting workshop at Leola’s Studio, where we learned to use a loom. Leola emphasized art as a lifestyle, rather than just a hobby we (sometimes) make time for. She got our mojo flowing.

We all contributed to making a rag rug on Leola's loom. I loved this!

We all contributed to making a rag rug on Leola’s loom. I loved this!

February 2013:

Art month! We were inspired by Leola to take on the challenge of creating a piece of art every day in February, as a group. Check out our results here.

April 2013:

Our “AGM”! We brainstormed a whole new year’s worth of skills to learn, ate Maeve’s award-winning chocolate chip cookies and drank multiple cups of Teafarm tea. Some of our original Renaissance Women members have since moved on to new adventures (and/or cities), which left room to invite some of our more frequent guests to join us as permanent members. The Renaissance Women were excited to welcome Sheila Z., Linda and Cindy!

4 comments for “Re-Skilling Schedule

  1. Renee MacKillop
    November 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I am only working on the island for a month but I was wondering if I could participate in your November re-skilling day?
    I just came across your website and I think it’s great!

    • November 26, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      Thanks for saying hi, Renee! Our workshops have been limited to our 15 members only, to make workshops more manageable, but I appreciate your interest. Hopefully more women will get together and start groups like ours in other communities. It’s surprising how many teachers there are in our communities who are willing to share their skills.
      Happy winter,

  2. February 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Love your concept and the idea of revisiting old (and not too old) skills. I’m not sure what I would have to share but I would love to join your group if you ever have openings.

    • February 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Thank you for your comment, Beverlee! We have been discussing helping a second “chapter” get started. I will add your contact info to our list, just in case.
      – Heather

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