Thursday, December 31, 2009

West Seattle peeps! Grow your community!

Do you live in West Seattle? Seattle Free School has been trying to grow it's presence there since the beginning but we've not been successful. Now's the time to help out by sharing your skills in your own hood. So come to this class and learn what it takes to facilitate a Seattle Free School class!

Sign up here!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Change of day for "From Cheese to Tiramisu" Class

If you are signed up for the "From Cheese to Tiramisu" Class there's been a change of date. The class will now be on Wednesday the 27th of January. If you have any questions just contact us at seattlefreeschool@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ride a Motorcycle? A great free class coming up soon!

If you ride a motorcycle you know about not being seen. At least once someone has pulled out in front of you, pulled into your lane, or just cut you off. Hopefully you got through it without injury to you or your bike. One way or the other it'd be nice to know what you can do to protect yourself and stay safe on the road.

Well with that in mind, David Hough, author, motorcycle guru and recent inductee to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, will be offering a class "Why don't they see us?". The class is free, great price especially to hear such an expert talking about such an important subject.

The class is bright and early at 8am on Saturday, January 2nd and you'll want to register to make sure you get a seat.

Here's the link.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Great write up on the recent Russian Cooking Class!

Check out what was written about the recent Russian Cooking Class. And if you missed it, don't worry, Irina has said she'd like to teach again!

Holiday cooking in the Russian tradition

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two New Daytime Classes!

For those of you who work at night, on weekends or just want to take a long lunch break from work we now have two classes posted for daytime, weekday hours! Thanks to Street Bean Espresso we'll have semi regular daytime classes. If you'd like to see even more daytime classes then please do come to the first class, Facilitating a Seattle Free School Class and help spread your knowledge. Or perhaps you'd like to keep chickens this year and want to get information before the chicks come in this spring. Either way you'll be covered in the new year. Here's the information... and please remember to register for the classes by going to the website, www.seattlefreeschool.org

Thu, Jan 21:
Facilitating a Seattle Free School Class
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: Street Bean Espresso
Come learn what it takes to facilitate a Seattle Free School class. How to plan for your class, locations, etc will all be covered in this class/meeting. It is easier then you think and you do not have to be a professional in the field to teach a class. Learn how to share your skills with your community!

Wed, Feb 17:
Keeping Chickens in the City
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: Street Bean Espresso
This class covers the basics of keeping chickens in the city. It includes information on starting with chicks, feed, housing requirements and resources to continue your chicken education. Enrollment for this class is limited so please sign up early and let us know if you can\'t attend.

The class is at Street Bean Espresso. Street Bean Espresso is a nonprofit Belltown café that provides job training and employment for young adults working to exit street life. You can find it at 2702 Third Ave. Seattle, WA 98121. For more information on the location please see http://streetbeanespresso.org/

Friday, December 4, 2009

Nature Printmaking workshop- for adults and kids!

Another great class from the Seattle Public Library! Learn how to create unique and colorful nature-themed block prints on tree-free paper with the Nature Consortium and Seattle Public Library. This class, like all other library events and programs, is FREE FREE FREE! Check out the class this Saturday here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Genealogy

A number of people who attend our "Getting your Irish Citizenship" class are also looking for help with the Genealogical research portion of the process. While we don't offer courses in Genealogy the Seattle Public Library does, and like Seattle Free School, their classes are free! They have a great class coming up in January that will help you learn how to research your genealogy (Irish or otherwise) using the resources available on the Seattle Public Library's Web site. You can find out more about this class here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Make It Fair is in full swing... a report from last night's class

Beth, our great facilitator from last night's sewing class had this to say about the class:

Last night's sewing class went really well! With a small number of students, most of whom brought their own machines, we were able to get everyone sewing relatively quickly. All the ladies left with fabulous skirts (some with two skirts), and I have no doubt they will be sewing up their tote bags, mod dresses, and more skirts in the future. Once again, I was impressed at how friendly and welcoming my students were, and deeply grateful to them for their patience and willingness to assist each other during the workshop. I can't wait to teach this class again!

And we're looking forward to Beth's next class too!

There's two more classes in our Make It Fair schedule so it's not to late to get your craft on! Sign up at www.seattlefreeschool.org

Monday, November 23, 2009

Print a flyer!

Want to help Seattle Free School? Then print out one or two of these flyers and hang them in your local coffee shop, work, church or school. Easy to do and keeps us from having to flyer your neighborhood when you're already there! Thanks for helping us spread the word.

Link to the flyer here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Facilitator Class Location

Have you been thinking about facilitating a class with Seattle Free School but aren't quite sure where to start or if you're ready? We can help you with that! Monday, November 23rd at 8pm we'll be having a Facilitators class to address just those concerns. We'll discuss the spaces we have for use, how we promote your class and how to get rolling with facilitating. Coming to the class is really the best way to work one on one with an experienced facilitator to get you started sharing your knowledge with your community. This class with be held at Espresso Vivace located at 227 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109. Sign up on the website (www.seattlefreeschool.org) and hope to see you there!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Russian Cooking Class!

Great new class posted just today! Irina was born and raised in Moscow and now comes to Seattle Free School to teach us how to cook delicious Russian food, just in time for the holidays!
Here's the description:
Salads and appetizers are an integral part of the Russian holiday table. Just in time for Christmas and New Year's, you can learn to make beet salad, Russian potato salad, eggplant "caviar," and other delicious and healthy dishes and add a Russian twist to your holiday cooking.


As always you can sign up for the class by going to the website, www.seattlefreeschool.org and if you'd like to know more about Irina you can check out her website here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

From Cheese to Tiramisu

That's right, we have a brand new class posted. In this class you not only learn how to make cheese but you also learn how to turn it into fabulous tiramisu!

A great beginning cheese class and also a great class for anyone that wants to make truly fantastic tiramisu.

As noted on the website, please sign up for this one early as our last class was well over 100 people and we're limiting attendance for this one to 100 people.

Here's the link to the class. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Supporting the Library

As many of you know Seattle Free School got it's start at the Seattle Public Libraries and we continue to use the facilities at the libraries regularly. Indeed without the ability to use the libraries it's likely that Seattle Free School wouldn't have gotten off the ground, or at least not been as successful. For that reason, Clare, one of our great facilitators, spoke out about the cuts to funding and hours for the library. Here's the report from the Friends of the Library:
http://friendsofspl.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/1979/

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Holiday Make It Fair!

Wish you could get off the spending bandwagon for the holidays and give gifts with a bit more meaning? Well Seattle Free School is going to help you with that. Come to our Make It Fair and learn how to make quick, easy and inexpensive gifts. We'll be having the fair at the Cascade People's Center (309 Pontius Ave N) during the first week of December so you can get started making gifts early! Here's a quick look at the classes offered for this years fair (you can register and get the supplies list on the website, www.seattlefreeschool.org ):

Tue, Dec 1:
Quick and Easy Gifts and Treasures from your Recycle Bin
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Come learn to make quick and easy gifts and treasures from your recycle bin.
You will learn various techniques to stretch holiday dollars. Tin stars, Ornaments decoupage office sets, cork trivets all will be made!


Wed, Dec 2:
Rubber Stamping Gifts
Time: 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Wish your cards were a bit more personal? Want to give a letter writer a beautiful homemade gift? Well then join us for this great Rubber Stamping class. Make packets of greeting cards and gift tags to give as holiday gifts or make holiday cards to inscribe and mail. Teacher will provide stamps, ink, and card stock (sorry, no envelopes!). Bring your own supplies if you have them and get started making your own holiday gifts!


Thu, Dec 3:
Hot Process Soap Making
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Come learn to make soap the easy way. Hot process soap making means your soap is ready to use as soon as it's cooled off! We'll also be discussing cold process soap making while our soap cooks.

Fri, Dec 4:
The 20 Minute Skirt and Recycle that T-Shirt!
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Want to learn how to make a quick, easy skirt and/or dress and/or tote bag out of materials you may already have? This class is for you! Whether you are an expert sewer or a beginner, you'll be able to make at least one of the items taught in this class. You are welcome to bring a sewing machine and the materials listed at www.seattlefreeschool.org for the project you'd like to do, or just bring some paper and a pen for taking notes about how to make these at home.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Write a Novel- New Class Posted!

Fri, Oct 9:
National Novel Writing Month
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: Pilot Books (219 Broadway E, Seattle, Wa 98102- Capitol Hill area)
Ever wanted to write a novel but lacked motivation? Well November is your month. Get the skinny on what NaNaWriMo is, how to prepare for it, how to get involved and stay motivated, and the joy of writing a novel in 30 days!

Go to the website to register and get ready to write!
www.seattlefreeschool.org

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free is GOOD!

Wishing you could save a bit more money and still have fun? Well there's a website that can help you with that! http://freeattle.wordpress.com/ is the project of Leslie Seaton who also does www.freshpickedseattle.com

At this site she lets us know where we can go for free resources to help with all sorts of things, from health issues to getting a job to just having fun.

Check it out and let us know if you find something free that we all really should know about!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free Investing Class

Wondering what to do in this market? Well here's a link to some free classes to take the guesswork out of investing. Check it out here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Record for Class Size!


Last night Seattle Free School held the biggest class on record thus far! 120 people came to the Cascade People's Center to learn to make cheese. While the size of the class limited any hands on participation students left with a good idea of how and where to start their cheesemaking journey. Thank you to everyone who attended for helping us break our record and prove to everyone that you can indeed get the word out about what you do without paying for marketing (something we were told was virtually impossible when we started!).


One thing we discussed at the class is how hard it can be to make mozzarella. Not so much that making the cheese is difficult but that getting it right can be very difficult for the home cheese maker purchasing milk from the store. As promised here's a recipe that is a bit easier and less likely to fail, meaning that you'll wind up with actual mozzarella instead of perfectly delicious but not quite what you intended pizza type mozzarella.

Enjoy!

Mozzarella
2 gallons cold milk
3 teaspoons citric acid (this may vary with the milk taking more or less)
1. Dissolve citric acid in warm water and stir into cold milk.
2. Bring milk temp up to 90 degrees.
3. You may add lactic culture to develop flavor.
If so add one small packet of Mesophilic starter and let set for 30 minutes.
4. Stir in 1 teaspoon liquid rennet.
5. Let set for 1/2 hour
6. Cut into small cubes, stir gently, slowly raise temperature to 95.
7. When curds settle to bottom of vat , drain off whey and cover curds with 145 degree water.
8. Stretch curds , form balls and drop in cold water.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Biggest Class Ever!?!

Last week at our Canning and Home Food Preservation class we had 75 students. So far that's the biggest Seattle Free School class ever but we have another class coming up that looks to blow that attendance out of the water. Tonight we're teaching how to make cheese and we have 140 people signed up! We'll see how many turn up but this might well be the largest class we've ever had. Why such a huge turn out? Because lots of great folks have cross posted the class information all over the city. Here's an example.

Check back and see if we've managed to break our class attendance record!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seattle Public Library

Did you know that the Seattle Public Library offers a large number of free classes at various branches? Well they do! Here's a link to their calender of events and classes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another Quick Class- Sewing!

Here's a great basic sewing class from our wonderful facilitator Beth!

Here's the 20 minute skirt:
Here's a quick and easy basic skirt, even for you "I can't sew" people. :)
This works particularly well as a way to get rid of any scrap fabric, as many weights and types of fabric will work well for this project, though I recommend using cotton for your first try.

Materials you will need:
A length of fabric (one yard of 45" wide for size 2-8, two yards for size 10-16, and so on)
A threaded sewing machine
Scissors
Safety pins
Elastic (less than 1" wide)
Iron (optional)

1) Fold your material in half (so the two selvage edges meet, and you have a fold in the middle.

2) Cut down that middle fold, making sure to keep both pieces equal in size.

3) Sew the two pieces, right sides together, so you have one long piece of fabric. You can press the seam open if you wish.

4) Sew a casing for your elastic waistband. To do this, fold over the top raw edge about 1", wrong sides together. Sew as close as possible to that raw edge, so you create a sort of tube of fabric.

5) Measure your elastic by wrapping it around your naked waist as you would a ribbon or measuring tape. Yes, naked. Subtract 2-3 inches from the length you wrapped around yourself, and cut. You now have your waistband piece of elastic.

6) Thread your elastic through the casing. The cheater way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the folded edge of one end of the elastic strip, and feed it into the casing. You'll have to inchworm your way through the casing, being sure to keep from losing the non-safety-pinned edge into the casing. The goal here is to have the elastic through all of the casing, and both ends of the elastic in your hands.

7) Once you have both ends of the elastic in your hands, stitch each end of elastic to its respective casing end, closing the casing and security the elastic in one fell swoop. At this point you will have one long piece of fabric, with a casing tube at the top, which is filled with elastic, the openings of the casing being stitched shut with the elastic secured.

8) With the right sides of the fabric together, sew those ends to make a tube of fabric. Press the seam open if you'd like.

9) Sew yourself a hem at the base of the skirt. With a 45" piece of fabric, your skirt will fall to about your knees. If you want to shorten it, now is the time! To sew a hem, make sure the skirt is inside out. On the bottom (non-elastic) edge of the skirt, fold the raw edge 1/4-1/2" up, wrong sides together. If you're feeling shakey about this part, you can sew it here, as close to the raw edge as you can get. Then fold the hem bit up again, so your line of stitching is now the bottom of the skirt, and sew a second line. If you're feeling confident, fold twice and sew once. Thus, a rolled hem.

10) Turn the skirt right side out, and voila! A brand new skirt, in less time than it takes yo have a good soak in the tub.

And of course, you can always spiffy it up.

For instance, you can sew a strip of lace to the inside of the bottom of the skirt, making it look like you have a lacey skirt petticoat on underneath your 20 minute skirt.
Or you can sew some patchwork contrasting squares of fabric onto your 20 minute skirt (for this, I love using visible thread with a zig zag stitch, to make it look 'handsewn').
Or you can add brickabrack around the hemline and/or waistline.
Use your imagination! And most of all, have fun.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

POCKETS!

According to Ellen DeGeneres we wear clothes because they have pockets, and thus a place to put our hands. But frankly pockets are great for everything. Not losing those little things that would be difficult to carry without them, for placing important things that you don't want to damage banging around in your bag, and well, for your hands too.

Wish you had more pockets in your life? Well then Sew Up Seattle can help you. Here's the information about their upcoming class:

Pockets - September 26 from 11 - 1 at
Goods for the Planet, 525 Dexter Ave N (Dexter & Mercer)
Guys and Gals
We'll put pockets on and in clothing, bags, hats, etc. or just make pockets for the fun of it. Bring your own articles, equipment and supplies or use and choose from our stash.
Let us know that you would like to come by emailing sewupseattle at yahoo.com or call 206-784-7117.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blog About Cheap/Free in Seattle

Hey, so we found this when we were looking to see who posted info about Seattle Free School. The site seems to have a lot of great free and cheap Seattle information, including stuff about Seattle Free School. Here's a link to the post about us but check out the rest of the site for more free opportunities.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Friends of the Library

Seattle Free School really wouldn't have gotten off the ground were it not for the Seattle Public Libraries. And now they've written about us on their Friends of the Library Blog. Here it is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Meet a Facilitator


Here's Christian!

“I heard about the Seattle Free School from a flyer posting near Green Lake and love the idea of information sharing within our community. We are all experts at things others are interested in and the Free School helps people share what they know without cost. I decided to facilitate a class because I wanted to hear questions that other people have not been able to answer that I feel I know something about. My primary interests is achieving personal sustainability while maximizing quality of life. Some of the classes I am interested in facilitating are Home Energy Auditing and How to Measuring Personal Sustainability: Beyond the Carbon Footprint.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Meet a Facilitator


We put this info out in one of our emails but currently we're having issues with pictures so here's our lovely Beth and her write up about Seattle Free School!

My name is Beth and I'm a 28 year old transplant from California. I've been teaching with SFS for a year now, everything from astrology to brewing to writing to job hunting.

I first heard about SFS from a flyer posted at Wayward Coffee House in Greenwood (one of my most favorite spots in for java in the city). I was looking for an inexpensive belly dance class, and happened upon the flyer for becoming a facilitator. I've taught multiple subjects in a variety of venues my entire life, so I jumped right in and began teaching.

At first it was a little intimidating, but all my class attendees have been fabulous, and the other facilitators are a lot of fun. I've taken several classes through SFS, and am always eager to learn more. It's truly amazing how much knowledge is out there, many of which is very 'niche' and hard to find in a standardized pay-for-course setting.

Facilitating has helped me hone my public speaking skills, learn the layout of Seattle better, and meet new people in my new hometown. It has also prompted me to learn more about subjects that I'm teaching, and exposed me to new skills (through other facilitators).

Anytime a student of mine says they know how to perform some skill, I always try to encourage them to teach it. You never know who might be really wanting to learn those skills! Seriously, I'm still hoping someone will sign up to be a facilitator for a belly dance class. Please? ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vision Board Workshop



The Vision Board Workshop was a great success! We had about 20 crafty and chatty ladies in attendance, which made for a great group.

We started out the class with a brief explanation of how vision and dream boards work and then went through a guided visualization in order to engage all five senses in imagining our ideal lives. That got the wheels turning and a few minutes later, the Cascade People's Center had been turned into a whirlwind of magazine clippings and glue sticks. Everyone walked away with a board to inspire and guide them in the months to come and a few people even had some "ah-ha's" about their next big step.

If you missed out on the fun, plan on joining us at the next workshop in November!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great New Motorcycle Class Posted

Here's the info:
Sat, Sep 5:
Motorcycle Maintenance
Time: 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: Cascade Peoples Center
Basic two valve BMW motorcycle tuning and maintenance. This class will cover routine pre ride safety checks, valve adjustment, basic carb tuning and various other service issues on 1970 through 1995 BMW twins. Riders of all brands are welcomed and may benefit from many portions of the class.

Cascade Peoples Center is located at 309 Pontius Ave N



While the work done in this class will be done on a BMW the theories and skills are applicable to most motorcycles so come learn how to wrench on your bike!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two more classes

Wondering what you'll be up to in September and October? Well hopefully coming to a Seattle Free School Class. We have a new cheese making class posted in September and a Getting Your Irish Citizenship class posted for October. Make sure to register early for the Irish Citizenship class as class size is limited! Information can be found on the classes page here.

Finally, DIY Silkscreening!

Want to learn silkscreening but don't want to spend a fortune on equipment? Wish you could make those t-shirts to advertise your organization, band, favorite food group? Want to make cool signs but not so great at painting by hand? Well come to this class and let Dani show you what she knows about silkscreening. You don't have to spend a fortune to make great silkscreened items. Here's the info:

Sun, Sep 27:
DIY Silkscreening
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: Cascade Peoples Center
Silkscreening allows you to transfer graphics onto a variety of materials (like T-Shirts!). This is an informal show-and-tell class; come watch, talk, and learn how to silkscreen - the easier, cheaper way!

Cascade Peoples Center is at 309 Pontius Ave N, Seattle.


As always, register by going to the website: www.seattlefreeschool.org

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great Canning Write Up!

Want some insight into canning? Here's a great write up about canning and our classes at Fresh Picked Seattle. Thanks for spreading the word Julie!

Fresh Picked Seattle article

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Classes Posted

Economy got you down? Trying to figure out how to eat well without going broke? Well then we have the class for you! Check out our "Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping on a Budget" Class! Deb will lead you through how to shop creatively and feed your family well even on a reduced budget.

We've also posted another facilitators class. Have you been wondering how to give back to Seattle Free School and your community as a whole? It's not as hard as you think to be a facilitator with Seattle Free School. Not only do you get to share your knowledge with truly appreciative people, but you get to work on your own public speaking and become more confident being in front of groups. It's a true Win/Win!

If either of these classes interest you check out our schedule here.

Extra special info for you blog readers... soon we'll be posting a class on DIY screenprinting! Want to print your own shirts, patches, etc but don't want to spend a fortune on equipment? This will be the class for you. Info to come....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chicken Coop?

Can't make it to the Seattle Free School class on building a chicken coop? Just want a bit more experience building before going out on your own? Want to learn to build containers for your garden? If so check out the great free classes being offered by the ReStore here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Share your skills

Do your friends come to you asking questions about something over and over again? Are you the neighborhood guru on fixing lawn mowers, math, grammar, sewing, something else? Well then you have the skills to facilitate a Seattle Free School class! Come to our facilitator class and learn how to share your skills with the larger Seattle Community. Our next facilitator class is on August 12th, 7pm at Cafe Vita on Capital Hill. Caffe Vita is at 1005 East Pike Street, Seattle. Hope to see you there!


Sign up for the class here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Volunteer for Seattle Free School!

Many of you have told us that you’d like to be able to volunteer for Seattle Free School and give back to the Free School community. That’s great! We’d love to have your help. And to help you with that we’re having a Volunteer meet and greet at Café Allegro in the U District! Come meet facilitators, learn what you can do to help Seattle Free School and just have some fun chatting.

Café Allegro can be hard to find. It’s in the alley between 15th Ave NE and University Way NE. To get there walk from University Way towards 15th on NE 42nd and take a left into the alley.

In the meantime you can also print out a flyer or two and hang them at your work, local coffee shop, church, community group, wherever! Click here to get our current flyer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Canning Class

Miss the free canning classes posted earlier this year? Well we've got one more posted. As part of Seattle Tilth's Annual Harvest Festival we'll be teaching another class on canning and home food preservation. The class starts at 10:30 and the doors will close at 10:35. Students will not be admitted late so please arrive a bit early and be ready to take notes and learn!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cascade People's Center Block Party

Want to come out and chat with Seattle Free School about what we do? Have questions about making soap, canning, keeping chickens, keeping bees, getting your Irish Citizenship? Then join us on August 4th at Cascade People's Center, 309 Pontius Ave N for the Cascade People's Center Block Party. We'll be there from 4-8pm answering questions, talking about Seattle Free School and teaching mini classes about making laundry soap, etc. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere! Fair

Wondering what you missed at the Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere! Fair? Here's a great post from our wonderful volunteer and facilitator Deborah.
Seattlejo blog

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Great Soap Givaway!

We received this great card from one of the women at Broadview Shelter after we delivered our soap for Mother's Day.



Monday, July 20, 2009

Vision Board Workshop- New Class!

New class posted just today. Come learn how to create a positive future!

Vision Board Workshop

Date: 8/19 6:30-9:30p
Cascade People's Center
309 Pontius Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Come learn, play and create together! In this workshop you'll have the opportunity to work with a life coach to get clear on your goals and outline your life vision. We'll start with some exercises to get you "thinking big" and then spend some time creating! Vision boards are a fun and creative way to turn your dreams into reality and explore the limitless possibilities life has to offer. Both the scientific and metaphysical (Law of Attraction) theories behind this work will be discussed.

*Registration for this class is limited to 20 students. If you decide to cancel please make sure to notify Seattle Free School by emailing seattlefreeschool@gmail.com so someone else can take your place.

Materials needed: poster board (any size will work, approx. 20" x 30" recommended), glue stick, scissors. Magazines will be provided but feel free to bring any images or resources you are interested in working with.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Free Classes today!

Remember to join us today at the Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere! Fair. We'll be joining several other organizations to provide free classes and we'll be there presenting information about Seattle Free School. Check out the list of classes here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Free learning event-Tech-enabled Events!

A great event put on by another nonprofit, Seattle Net Tuesday. Learn how to use social networking and technology for events! While this is partially a networking/social opportunity there will be several speakers from excellent (and large!) organizations talking about how they've used these technologies so come out and learn and plenty of time to ask them questions and learn more from their experiences!

Ever wonder how amazing events pull it all off? How everything from ticketing, to promotion, to interactivity all knits together? Wonder no more. Seattle Net Tuesday is bringing in some big event talent to showcase their tricks of the trade. Learn from local event innovators who turn out huge events utilizing technology. And, don't worry, there will be applicable insights for smaller events, too. Speakers will be announced soon--in the meantime, put our event on your calendar.

Oh, and we've got good news! After a searching for a new, permanent venue for months, we think we've found venue nirvana at Sole Repair. Sole Repair is a large, private event facility on Capital Hill, right behind Quinn's on Pike St. With two airy floors, big screens, a projector, a bar, seating, and (gasp!) street-level access, it's a superb location for us to grow into. But to keep coming back month after month to Sole Repair, we'll need to draw bigger, consistent crowds. --And we're starting with the July 28th event.

So, friends, invite your friends to Seattle Net Tuesday this month. Bring a few with you. We're gonna pack the house with techies-for-good, hardworking nonprofits, event planners, social entrepreneurs, and everyone who's interested in using technology to make a positive impact.

Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Sole Repair
Street: 1001 East Pike
City/Town: Seattle, WA
Phone: 2069092684

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ballard Blog

Yay, our class is posted at the Ballard Blog. Do you know of other blogs that would like to post information about Seattle Free School? If so let us know!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A mention

A nice little mention about Seattle Free School and other free events (mainly green ones) all over Seattle. Check it out here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Do you know Quickbooks?

We just received a request for a class in Columbia City. If you're interested in teaching QuickBooks to some very appreciative folks please contact us at seattlefreeschool@gmail.com And if you're not in that area but think you'd like to teach this or any other class, contact us at the email address listed too!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Building a Chicken Coop! New Class!

So just today we've posted a very new class, one we've never offered before, Building a Chicken Coop. Here's the info:

Wed, Aug 26:
Building a Chicken Coop
Time: 6:45 PM to 8:45 PM
Location: Ballard Public Library
After two unsuccessful attempts at the perfect chicken coop, our instructor Jessica finally came up with something she is pretty happy with. She will lead this discussion based class on the things to consider when building a chicken coop, materials to use (she used old pallets!), design, placement, etc. Those who have had bad designs are welcome to come and share their experiences as well! So bring your plans, your personal considerations for a coop and be prepared to work together to come up with good options for all.

As a note, we will not actually be building anything in this class.


As always, you can register by going to the website www.seattlefreeschool.org

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Mention

Just a small mention in an article about the Cascade People's Center... a place Seattle Free School loves! Link here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Free Sewing Class

New Free Sewing Class
Sew Up Seattle is having another fabric swap/sewing class on Saturday, July 25th from 11am to 1pm at Goods for the Planet- 525 Dexter Ave N. This class will be focused on Needle Cases & Pin Cushions. They'd love it if you'd email them to let them know that you're coming so give them a shout at sewupseattle@yahoo.com and check out the blog here for upcoming events and classes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pictures from the Motorcycle Maintenance Class!



Just a couple of pictures from the Motorcycle Maintenance for Women Class. So fun to see a motorcycle inside of the Cascade People's Center. I wonder if that's the first time that's happened?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Free Gardening Class!

Another free class from Seattle Tilth.... Container Veggie Gardening this Wednesday!!
Click here for more info.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Herb Gardening Free Class

Basic Herb Gardening in Containers is being offered by Seattle Tilth for free! On July 8th from 5pm to 7pm Seattle Tilth will be showing apartment dwellers (and those of us that just like having our herbs in containers!) how to begin and maintain your edible container garden. Here's the link for more information.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WOW!

We've had 2479 total visits to our pages on Teach Street and 125 click throughs to our website. Pretty cool. Where else should we be promoting our free classes?

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Free Sewing Class

Sew Up Seattle is having another fabric swap/sewing class on Saturday, June 27th from 11am to 1pm at Goods for the Planet- 525 Dexter Ave N. This class will be focused on sewing tricks. They'd love it if you'd email them to let them know that you're coming so give them a shout at sewupseattle@yahoo.com and check out the blog here for upcoming events and classes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Class Posted- Keeping Chickens in the City

Wed, Jul 29:
Keeping Chickens in the City
Time: 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM
Location: Greenwood Library
Covering the basics of keeping chickens in the city. Includes information on starting with chicks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Class Posted- Getting your Irish Citizenship

Wed, Jul 1:
Getting your Irish Citizenship
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: TBA
In this class we will cover how to go about getting your Irish Citizenship for anyone with a parent or grandparent born in Ireland (Northern Ireland too). This is not a geneology class so we will not be able to help much with finding records but we can give some hints and explain the process from getting records to getting your Irish passport.

Registration for this class is limited to 5 students. If you decide to cancel please make sure to notify Seattle Free School by emailing seattlefreeschool@gmail.com so someone else can take your place.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Class Posted! Creating Meaningful Success

New Class just posted today!
Sun, Jul 19:
Creating Meaningful Success
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Location: Ballard Library
Success in the 21st Century often comes with a high price tag - disease, dissatisfaction and a feeling of never enough. Explore the cultural scripts that keep you chasing after someone else's dreams and start to unravel the fears and self limiting beliefs that keep you stuck. This interactive class will look at the relationship between success and personal fulfillment and get you started on the path to meaningful success in your own life. Perfect for anyone who has been affected by the recent economic crisis as well as those just looking for more in their lives!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Free Computer Classes!

The UW Women's Center is offering several free computer classes. If you're new to computers, would like some word or excel help, or know someone that needs help learning these skills check out these classes:
Basic Computer Literacy
Introduction to Word and Excel

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere

Come visit Seattle Free School at the Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere Dinner and Fair on Sat. July 18, 2009, 3pm – 11pm at St. Demetrios Church, 2100 Boyer Avenue E, in Montlake neighborhood. We'll be presenting a few workshops as will other presenters from other organizations.

The Fair is from 3 - 6pm and is FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. This year’s Fair will involve multiple organizations presenting their work to the public in addition to hands-on workshops and opportunities to learn about food and farming directly from farmers and food-workers. Participants will also enjoy live music, hors d’oeuvres and libations! Workshops: Bee-keeping & Low impact food preservation & more to come! Check out CAGJ's website for updates about the workshops! Check out the Website HERE!

You also have the option of participating in the dinner and dancing (not free). Check out the website above for more information.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Motorcycle Maintenance and Resume/Cover Letter Writing!

Two new classes posted just today! Register here!

Sat, Jun 13:
Resume and Cover Letter Writing
Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Greenwood Library
In today's changing economy, it never hurts to be prepared! Come brush up your resume and cover letter writing skills, and learn the tips and tricks that will set your application above the average job hunter. This class will cover changing requirements, electronic submission of resumes, differences in format, and a few basic dos and don'ts to guide you through any job application process.

Sun, Jun 28:
Motorcycle Maintenance for Women
Time: 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: Cascade Peoples Center 309 Pontius Ave N
In this basic class we'll be covering how to do routine maintenance and basic safety checks on your motorcycle as well as rider safety and motorcycle safety gear for you. This is a basic class so we'll be covering things like how to plug a tire but we will not be covering how to change a tire. If you've wondered how to take care of your motorcycle and keep it in safe running condition then this is the class for you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Astrology Class

More info on the upcoming Astrology Class by our great teacher Beth. Check it out here!

Monday, May 18, 2009

June Facilitator's Class Posted!

Our lovely Dani Scar will be teaching this June's Facilitator's class. Come learn what it takes to facilitate a Seattle Free School Class! Tuesday June 16th from 7:30 to 9pm. Register here!

Organizers Meeting Tonight!

Everyone is welcome at this Organizers Meeting. Help decide the future of Seattle Free School!

7:30 PM to 9:00 PM Cafe Allegro- 4214 University Way NE This is in the alleyway and there's a lot of construction so don't be thrown by the address. We'll be meeting upstairs so look for the signs!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Free Class

A post from our friends at the Olympia Free School for a class up here in Seattle Town:

Title: Radical Media Convergence Workshop

Pamela Wible, a practicing radical doctor from Eugene, Oregon, will give a remarkable presentation. She has merged health care empowerment with radical media in every manner including videos, itunes, website publishing, social bookmarking, search engines and soon a nationwide book tour. She has given workshops around the country including at the Gesundheit Institute (as featured in the movie Patch Adams) and at Andrew Weil's Center for Integrative Medicine: "Burnout to Bliss: How Patients are Healing Physicians and Changing the Face of Medicine." She has also volunteered during the Hurricane Katrina at the Astro Dome among other places and later given presentations on "Googling My Way to Katrina: Breaking Rank When Necessary" and "Community-Designed Ideal Medical Care: The Grassroots Health Care Revolution." She was also in the middle of the 1999 protests that successfully shut down the 1999 WTO in Seattle and found herself surrounded by police shooting people at point black range with rubber bullet while the police threw concusssion grenades at people and she decided, in her words "to engage in my own form of protest." Her love-centered work combined with her radical experience and workshops have resulted in inspired audiences throughout America. To hear and read a podcast review of one of her presentations at the Healthcare Justice Gathering by one of the organizers of the Radical Media Convergence, please click here. This free of charge workshop was organized by members of the Peace Communities and the Freeschool Community as part of the Radical Media Convergence.

Her workshop will start at 9am on Thursday, May 28th, 2009 and continue until 11am. To register and receive location details, please call (206) 337-1556 anytime, 24 hours 7 days a week and leave your number and the best to return the call.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Free Sewing Class

Sew Up Seattle is offering another great free sewing class and fabric swap. If you've been wanting to dust off that machine and get sewing here's your chance!


"May 30 2009 from 11 - 1 at Goods for the Planet, 525 Dexter Avenue North, Seattle.
Focus: UFO's Bring your unfinished sewing objects. If you haven't any, we might be able to come up with some that you could finish (like the size 12 blue blouse -it's cut out, like to finish it?). If you've never sewn before or don't have an UFO, a bag or small pillow can usually be finished in a class. Contact information is on www.sewupseattle.blogspot.com. Please let us know if you are coming and if you are bringing your own machine and UFO or using a donated machine and project.

We have leads on possible machine donations. If you do not own a machine and might be interested, please contact us.

From 1 - 3 - fabric swap"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Free Soap Givaway!




Today Seattle Free School donated more then 40 pounds of handmade soap to Broadview Emergency Shelter, a shelter that "provides both emergency shelter and transitional housing to homeless women and children in a secure, confidential facility. Most Broadview residents are domestic violence survivors, and two-thirds are children."

The soap was given to the shelter today so that the soap can be distributed for Mothers Day. Many of these residents are simply trying to "cope with the trauma of displacement and abuse". While soap won't cure this problem we hope that having some pretty soap will help these women and children have a happier Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Foraging for Edible Wild Plants... Free?

Haven't been able to confirm that this class is free but if it is it should be a good one.

Foraging for Edible Wild Plants, by Terry Domico.

Terry Domico will be speaking in Seattle on Thursday May 7th about foraging for edible wild plants. While having knowledge about wild edible plants has clear survival value, the day-to-day use of wild edible plants can be an important addition to our "domestic" diet. Terry has been using wild edible plants to spice up his meals for more than 45 years. According to Terry, the other big benefit of foraging for edible plants is that "you become much more aware of what's going on in the environment around you. You see the forest for the trees, so to speak." Terry plans on bringing fresh sample plants for everyone to examine.

Terry works in regional ecological assessment for the benefit of plant and animal habitat. He has published articles and photographs in nature magazines such as Natural History and Smithsonian, and has written several books including Wild Harvest: Grazing for Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest and Natural Areas of the San Juan Islands.


Location Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington Campus, 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle
Date & Time Thurs., May 7, 2009; 7 PM
Contact Howard Coleman, 206 633-4195, hcoleman@genelex.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Report on our GPS Class!

From Laura our wonderful GPS class teacher:

Last night I taught my first Seattle Free School class, "Introduction to GPS" at the Green Lake Library. There was a good showing of attendees--somewhere between 15 and 20 people showed up. Many already owned GPSs and brought them along, while a few people were seeking more information before buying. There was a lot of information (perhaps too much) crammed into the hour and a half session. I tried to touch on three main areas where a GPS can be useful: planning ahead, collecting data, and helping with
navigation.

As for hands-on practice, people with GPSs practiced making a waypoint for their current location, making a waypoint for a different location by inputting latitude and longitude, and asking the GPS to route them to that location. Lots of other topics got touched on, including ways to customize your GPS, how to move data back and forth between your GPS and your computer, and care and feeding of your GPS. I tried to introduce GPS terminology so we could all share the vocabulary to talk about this bit of technology.

I think the class will be smoother once I more fully develop the curriculum for intermediate and advanced classes so I don't try to cram so much into the Intro class. But it seemed helpful, and I hope everyone learned something.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Organizers Meeting Scheduled!

Have you been wanting to help Seattle Free School but didn't know where to start or don't feel comfortable teaching a class? Well here's your opportunity! Come to the organizers meeting on May 18th, 7:30-9pm at Cafe Allegro in the U District (4214 University Way NE). We'll be discussing the future of Seattle Free School, working on organizing events for this year and discussing any issues or concerns or successes. Everyone is welcome so please show up if you can!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Class- Astrology!

Basic Astrology
Ballard Public Library
Sunday, May 24th 1pm-2:30pm
Have you ever wondered how your astrological sign is determined, or what it indicates about you? Are you confused when people talk about what planets are in what houses? Come to this casual and informational class to find out! We will discuss the basics of astrology, including an overview of what it is and how to find your own signs. No previous knowledge of astrology required!

Sign up on the classes page!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Class Posted!!!

Eating Seasonally- Spring
Cascade People's Center
Wed, May 6th 5:30pm-6:30pm
Have you ever wondered what fruits and veggies are in season in Washington right now? Or how you can find those foods and encorporate them into your diet? Join me for a short informational class on what foods are at the height of their yumminess this season, with a small show and tell of some of these items. Please note: there will be no tasting of the fruit and veggies at this event, but you are welcome to hold, smell, and generally inspect them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Looking for a Computer Lab

We have a great teacher looking to teach "Basic Web Design Using All Free Programs" but we're having problems finding a good computer lab to use. Do you know of a place that could host this class? Let us know by replying here!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do you Twitter?

If so you can follow Seattle Free School on Twitter now! Learn about new classes and keep up with Seattle Free School in a whole new way. seafreeschool is our handle.

New Class- Home Energy Auditing!

Set aside any idea that understanding energy use in your home has to be complex. Just a handful of tips and a discussion about energy will help you make your house feel warmer and reduce your energy bills. This class will present the fundamentals of how energy is lost or consumed in your home and give you the ability to identify the top “energy losers” in your home without an expensive energy audit or equipment.

Monday May 11th from 6:30 PM to 7:45 PM at the Greenwood Library

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some Press About Keeping Bees and Chickens in the City

Seattle Free School is mentioned in this great blog post about keeping bees and chickens in the city. Check it out here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Learn about EcoVillages

Free presentation at the UW about European EcoVillages. If you're wanting to know more about these unique and growing communities go to 258 Mary Gates Hall on May 7th from 3:30 to 4:30pm. Special focus will be on the ZEGG Community in Germany where both presenters have lived and worked for the past 24 years.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Learn to Twitter

Heard about this Twitter thing but don't know what it is or how to do it? Teach Street is hosting a webinar to help you get started with Twitter. You'll need to preregister but the webinar is free. Here's the link.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bothell Free School has several classes posted!

Not too far out of our neighborhood so check out these great classes at the Bothell Free School:
http://www.bothellfreeschool.org/

Installing Joomla on your Windows PC using Xampp
A video on how to install Joomla 1.5.9 on your home pc if your pc has the XAMPP server installed. This same concept can be used to install on any LAMP, WAMP or MAMP stack computer.

Setting up a free web hosting account
Take this course to learn how to set up your free web hosting account that will be used for many of the computer skills classes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Request for Classes

We've received an email regarding several classes that a student would love to see at Seattle Free School. If you have the skills to teach using a compass/orienteering or know how to start a home-based business and/or write a business plan let us know.

We're also looking for beekeepers interested in facilitating with Seattle Free School. Jessica will be getting rid of her beekeeping supplies soon as she moves into an apartment (or around the world?) and so we need someone with beekeeping tools to teach the class.

If any of these things appeal to you or you know someone that might be interested give us a shout at seattlefreeschool@gmail.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

Other Free Classes

Sew Up Seattle has some great stuff coming up....

Saturday, April 25, 11am - Simple Alterations.

Pants too long? Skirt too tight? Top too loose? Learn to work a little magic with those things that aren't quite right. We will cover simple adjustments; if you have a more complicated project we'll try to advise you.

If you want your thread to exactly match your garment, you should bring some along - we can't promise that we'll have just what you need. But really, unless the stitching is going to show on the outside of the garment, it's surprising how much you can get cheat with the thread, and never notice.

and
Goods for the Planet will be celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 25, both in the store and out into the parking lot. After the class has ended, we will bring the 1-3 p.m Fabric Swap outside, weather permitting, otherwise it will be upstairs as usual. There will be a bunch more new (to us!) donated fabric, so spread the word amongst your sewing friends. Attendees are welcome to swap amongst themselves - you don't have to take our fabric (although we'd love if you did.)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Look

Any of you that follow this blog probably noticed that it's got a new look. What do you think? Do you like this better? Too hard to read? Let us know!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Starting a Free School Response Part 3

How do you manage without any money?
I think the better way to think about this is to ask what you need money for? Space can be found for free at libraries, local community centers, other nonprofits, etc. It takes work to find these places but many of them know that in this economy having people come and learn about them while they're learning about other things is very beneficial. Start small on this. I spent way too much time trying to find space that so far we haven't really needed. The library and one other location actually serve our needs well. The occasional coffee shop rounds out our space requirements for now. We'll have more need in the future (I'd hope!) but that can happen when it's necessary rather then in advance.

Flyers?
You can print out a few on your printer. You can bug your friends and family and others to print out a few of these. Printing out 5 flyers in black and white costs virtually nothing for anyone so why raise a bunch of money for this when you can do relatively well for a few pennies from various people in your network? Plus since these people are probably distributed around town you solve the problem of having to get flyers to people to hang.

Marketing?
Haven't needed it despite being told that we would. The more you spend on marketing the more people will know about you quickly and the more you'll struggle to keep up with the growth. Growing slow has huge benefits if you don't have deep pockets to hire developers and others to help you.

Website?
My friend in Paris is hosting the site for free. That being said there were plenty of people that were willing to host a website. While you're still running a free site (from googlepages or one of the other free website places) this is irrelevant but eventually you may want another better site. This only became important as we got bigger. All this being said there have been several community members who have offered hosting space. We've also received lots of free tech help from folks in the community. There's a ton of open source people here (and everywhere) and most of them love the idea of a free school. Finding help is easier then you might think.

As for the website design our local community college came to us and asked to do the new website design. Amazing really. There are other resources but most likely you have someone that could design a site for you for free. Don't do this right away... struggle with a free ugly product for a while. You'll learn more about what you want and don't want and be able to request what you need when the time comes for something better.

I'm not sure what else you'd need money for.... people can bring their own supplies to classes and sometimes instructors will bring their extras (what knitter doesn't have a bunch of yarn they aren't really going to use?)

Some of these things cost a bit of money from me but its way easier to spend $100 a year or so then raise money so I don't have to spend this personal cash. The only real cost that I can think of that is directly Seattle Free School is the $10 domain registration fee. Really that's about it as for legit costs.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Starting a Free School Response Part 2

How did you start?
Basically just start. Without money there doesn't need to be a grand scheme of how things will work. You'll figure out things as you go based on what will work for your community.

How long were the planning stages?
Virtually nonexistent. Basically I tried to figure out if there was a free school in Seattle already, met with someone and got going. Creating a poor but functional website and setting up an email address were the first steps. Once that was done "spamming" friends, neighbors and coworkers and anyone else on my email list was next. From there I scheduled the first class (you'll probably need to step up and teach a number of classes to get the thing rolling... people are much more confident about teaching if they aren't teaching the very first class... but who knows you might find someone that is ready for that in your community) and sent out press releases. These releases were poorly written by me and certainly not professional. Basically I went around finding free papers, picking up a copy and including email addresses from these folks into a "press" group. Pretty simple really.

Other then that things happened as they happened. With no money to raise, no board to answer to and no metrics required to prove our success things happen when they do. Do things in a way that makes logical sense to you. For me, being a computer worker in a town of computer users the website and email was most important. It could be that having classes is the way to start depending on the size and needs of your community. Eventually people will want someplace to look to find out more and thus a website is a good thing to have early on.

And, how did you gain community support?
Social networking basically. I emailed my friends and begged them to pass it along. We use facebook and other tools to spread the word. Newspapers picked up on it and we got a ton of press early on (most likely because we don't operate with any donations). We hung flyers around and that helped spread the word. We also looked at other places to post, like craigslist, etc and pushed out the word there. Basically things grew organically and at a steady pace. The only time we had a serious jump in involvement was when we made the front page of the local section of the Sunday Seattle Times. Our enrollment in our email list bumped up over 100 people in less then 24 hours thanks to that press.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Two More Great Classes!!!

Couple more classes added today.

Empathy Through Nonviolent Communication
Sun, Apr 19
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: 9721 NE 119th Way, Kirkland, WA 98034
"Only your compassion and your loving kindness are invincible, and without limit."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Empathy and compassion stand at the center of all successful relationships. Empathic ability, popularly referred to as emotional intelligence, is a powerful life skill that can transform your ability to succeed, and bring more meaning to your life. Each week, we discuss and practice practical approaches to empathy and compassion. Everyone is welcome to attend, and invited to contribute to our discussion.


Introduction to GPS
Mon, May 4
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: Green Lake Library Meeting Room
What is this gadget good for? Whether you are traveling on foot, on wheels, in the air, or on water, a GPS can be a handy addition to your navigational tools. Learn how to make use of this powerful device. We will explain what a GPS can do and what it can\'t do. Learn how to use your GPS before, during, and after an excursion.

If you have a GPS, bring it with you.

Laura Seaver has used her GPS to navigate her motorcycle through 34 countries. Her GPS is her favorite video game.

Starting a Free School Response Part 1

Well, we'd hoped to post this a few days ago but things came up. Rather then posting the whole long response in one blog we'll split this up into a few key questions so here's the response Part 1 (Edited a bit for space and clarity).

I was wondering if you had any advice for somebody trying to start such a school in their community?
There are a ton of considerations to think about... will you take money, will you be politically affiliated? The biggest thing to think about for me was that I didn't like the idea of raising money for something that wasn't even in operation. Something about that just felt wrong to me. The idea of simply doing without seemed far more exciting then the idea of raising money, becoming a 501c org, registering with the government, etc etc. In reality raising money actually costs money most of the time because it takes a lot more time and energy and thus often requires a paid position. Plus, for those of us involved the idea of not raising money made Seattle Free School a fun challenge and a great learning experience. Most of us have or had worked in some capacity for a regular nonprofit. We know how raising money works or how it doesn't. What we weren't sure about is if it could be done without money. Turns out it can, definitely, and perhaps with greater success then if we would have gone the other way.

Politics for us was something that we left out to be as all inclusive as possible. While we all personally have our thoughts on politics there was no reason to limit people based on that idea. It could of course be said that people who chose not to come to a class because the politics are self limiting and yet we all have been in situations where we might not want to affiliate with a specific group even if a presentation seems attractive. In this case the message is sent just as well by sticking strictly to the mission of the free school, sharing information and doing it for free. For many this is a radical idea in and of itself. And for many this is simply the way things have been done for ages. That's the beauty of it... it can appeal to everyone so why not keep it as open and inclusive as possible?

How many people do you have helping to coordinate the free school as far as volunteers go?
I do most of the running of the school on the administrative end... posting classes, updating the blog, sending emails etc. Of course every teacher is a volunteer and they all help flyer for their classes at least. Dani is also a founder and helps with posting on other sites (craigslist etc) as well as helping with events etc. We've tried to be very inclusive of volunteers but so far it's been difficult to find a good way to split responsibilities that doesn't just wind up creating more confusion and work. Also, since I spend quite a bit of time on the computer for several of my jobs it just makes sense for me to be answering emails and doing whatever computer work is necessary. Eventually I'm thinking we'll need to split things up among a larger group as I think about heading out to other adventures but how to best go about that in a way that makes good, clean, logical sense and doesn't make us all nuts trying to figure out what's going on has been tricky thus far.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Classes!

Couple new classes posted folks. Here's the info:


Thu, Apr 30:
Card-Making for Real People
Time: 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: The Giving Tree
Non-designers can learn how to make great cards with rubber stamps, ribbons, shape punches, and other simple tools. We’ll start with a quick, informative overview and demonstration, and then you’ll get your hands on the good stuff: stamps, ink, and cards. Bring your creativity and open-mindedness; leave your self-doubt at the door.

The Giving Tree is located at 2008 Westlake Ave

Thu, May 21:
Facilitating a Seattle Free School Class
Time: 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Vivace Coffee 227 Yale Ave N
Come learn what it takes to facilitate a Seattle Free School class. How to plan for your class, locations, etc will all be covered in this class/meeting.


You can register for either of these by going to the Seattle Free School website.

A Great Review on Yelp!

Yay, we got our first review on Yelp! Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Other free classes this weekend!

Veggie gardens, Canning and Growing for Wildlife will all be covered this weekend in Lake Forest Park. More information here!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Class Posted!

Another new class added just yesterday!
This class will be all about making baskets from paper. Inspired by an article in Mother Earth News come learn how to use paper grocery to create very durable and beautiful baskets for use around your house and yard.

And here's the link to the pictures... these baskets are beautiful!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More about starting a free school...

Another letter, this time from Concord, North Carolina, posted with permission, response will be posted on the blog tomorrow:

Dear Seattle Free School,


I am a homeschooling mother in Concord, North Carolina. Over the years of basically unschooling my children I have become very interested with learning in non-traditional ways. I was a public school teacher and I have learned from my children that there are so many more positive learning alternative than typical education.


I was recently re-reading one of my John Holt books...Instead of Education, and I came across the idea of free schools for a second time. I was interested in them years ago, but my children were young. Now that they are older the idea has come back around, so I started looking on the internet to find out what was out there in other areas. We have nothing like this in Concord. I stumbled across your fantastic website.


I was wondering if you had any advice for somebody trying to start such a school in their community? How many people do you have helping to coordinate the free school as far as volunteers go? How did you start? How long was the planning stages? And, how did you gain community support? How do you manage without any money? I love this idea, but just having trouble wrapping my head around how this all works.


I am just in the planning stages, but your website really resonates with what I was seeing in my mind about how such a school would work.


Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.


Thank you,


Shannon

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Starting a Free School

Some time ago I posted that I would be writing up my experiences about starting a free school and posting them here. Due to time constraints this simply hasn't happened yet, but as more and more people contact us about starting a free school in their community (how exciting is that?!) I wanted to post some information here. Tara from the Dallas Fort Worth area was one of the first people to contact us with a request for information. Her letter and my response is posted here.

Much of this is my (Jessica) personal opinion and experience. I'd love it if others from other free schools would jump in and discuss this from your end since we all operate so differently.

Tara's Letter:
Hi,
I'm in Texas and just found out about your group. I'm interested in starting something like it in my area. Is there any information or advice you could provide on how you find classroom space, cover the costs of flyers and other basic materials, etc.? Thanks!

My long winded response:
Tara,
Gosh, there's a lot to talk about.

The first thing to know is that we operate very differently from other Free Schools (if you google you'll see the list on wikipedia). The main difference is that we're not politically affiliated and we don't take cash donations ever from anyone... so it's a completely volunteer effort. To be honest I think these things have helped us get a ton of press that we wouldn't have received otherwise and it's also more inclusive of course by leaving it open to anyone of any political affiliation. The other schools are of course open to all, but getting folks of different political ideologies to come to an "anarchist" school might be more difficult.

On the fund raising front we could have raised funds but again, I think we get a lot more press (and thus more people knowing about the school) because we don't and that makes us more interesting. Plus, to be frank, the idea of spending my time raising money isn't something I wanted to do. It would have taken a ton of time away from writing press releases and teaching classes.

As for classroom space we started here in the public libraries as most have meeting rooms that are free to use if you're not selling anything, are open to anyone and everyone, etc... basically all the things we want in classes too so it worked out well. We put out on the website that we were looking for other places to have classes and when we talked to the press we talked about how we hoped to partner with other nonprofits to use their spaces as a win win type of situation as it brings our people to their space and gets more awareness for them. It's also part of our decision not to take donations as we'd rather people give money to orgs that help us out then us having to go out and do it and take money out of the pool so to speak.

We're able to have free website space from google and have been using their email program as well. We've run into a problem with their email as you can't send messages to more then 500 people in a day. We're currently working on a list serve and have friends that have helped us out (just from our "we need help" part of the website and from other people we know) both to host our eventual good website and our listserve as well as a ftp site for documents. I can talk to you more about this later, but basically our website has cost us $10 at the moment and other people are donating the rest... from stuff they already had anyway.

As for flyers we don't do ANY professional printing as it costs a fortune. We make basic flyers and have people print them out at home... the people on our email list. We send them out with our weekly email or now as we've grown we've moved to having "flyer hangers" specifically for it. Silly for us to drive all over the place and hang flyers when other people are already in the neighborhood. Of course at first we did this a bit, mainly in areas that were local to us. From there we grew up enough to not have to do it so much.

As far as basic materials teachers provide that. So my cheese making class for example. I bring the milk and everything else and make the cheese. The difference is that people don't get samples, I take it home and eat it myself. No one seems to mind this, after all they aren't paying for anything. And then I teach classes when I need to make cheese or have something to do with it. The same is true of knitting classes or whatever else. Students bring their own supplies and teachers bring their own supplies and no one is expected to give away anything.

In general we don't have handouts in classes since much of it can be written up on a whiteboard and then written down by students. Occasionally we'll have something but it's always small and doesn't require any expensive printing.

Basically it does cost something to run this, more because I've donated all the soap I'm making to shelters (or will be) but if it weren't for that it would cost very little. For me it's the difference of giving away money to another org or spending <$100 a year on the basic stuff I need to run this thing. We also have some groups affiliated with the local college that have printing abilities thanks to what the college provides for them. If they aren't using what they have then they give it to us.

SFS is really a huge testament to thinking outside the box and we had tons of folks telling us we couldn't do it the way we're doing it. But again, I honestly think that we're as successful as we are because we didn't heed that "advice". If whatever you're thinking about doing costs a ton of money then don't do it, you can find another way to do the same type of thing for free or very cheap.

If you decide to move forward with this please feel free to email me with your thoughts and concerns. I'm more then willing to help out as I can (from here!)
-Jessica

Monday, March 30, 2009

Music Theory Skill Share

For those budding musicians there's an upcoming class on Music Theory being offered by our friend Neil. The class will be on April 16th, starting at 8pm. It'll be at the Arctic Circle (a house in Georgetown) located at 6633 Ellis Ave S. Here's the flyer:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yelp about us!

Seattle Free School is now listed on Yelp. If you're a Yelper please feel free to give your two cents on Seattle Free School there and help us spread the word about what we do.

And here's the link: http://www.yelp.com/biz/seattle-free-school-seattle

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Skill Share this weekend at the Vera Project

While this isn't a Seattle Free School event we've been informed of a great skill share happening this weekend at the Vera Project at the Seattle Center. On March 21st and 22nd from 11-5 there will be some great classes all lasting an hour or two. The schedule is below so check it out!

SATURDAY MARCH 21ST

10:30 REGISTRATION*HOT COFFEE*DOUGHNUTS

WORKSHOPS:

11-12 STICK’N’POKE (COUCH ROOM)

11-1 INTRODUCTION FOR CRYING OUT LOUD (THEATER)

12-1 CANDIDA DIET (UPSTAIRS)

12-1 UNDERWEAR BY ROBIN (NOOK)

1-2 LUNCH

2-3 BASIC 1ST AID (UPSTAIRS)

2-3 TOOTH POWDER (BRING YER TOOTHBRUSH) (COUCH ROOM)

2-3 LINOLEUM PRINTS (NOOK)

2-3 ZINE MAKING WORKSHOP (THEATER)

3-4:30 AGGRESSOR ACCOUNTABILITY (UPSTAIRS)

3-4:30 TRANSFORMING JUSTICE (THEATER)




SUNDAY MARCH 22ND

10:30*HOT COFFEE*DOUGHNUTS

workshops:

11-12 HERBS (THEATER)

11-12 BEEKEEPING (UPSTAIRS)

!11-12 FINGERWEAVING (COUCH ROOM*10MAX)

11-1 BEND-IT*SCREENPRINTING (ART STUDIO)

12-1 CHICKENS FOR IDIOTS (UPSTAIRS)

12-1 INTRO TO FOOD JUSTICE MOVEMENT (THEATER)

1-2 LUNCH

!2-4 FOUNDATIONS OF MEDIATION (UPSTAIRS*12MAX)

!2-4 HEALING TOUCH (COUCH ROOM*20MAX)

2-4 MOLD MAKING AND CASTING (ART STUDIO)

2-4 EXPERIMENTAL BLING BROOCHES BRING YOUR JUNK (AKA BLING) SUPPLIES! (NOOK)

!2-4 INTRO TO KUNG FU (THEATER*12MAX)

4-5 FILM: FOOD JUSTICE A GROWING MOVEMENT (THEATER)

4-5 HOLLOW EARTH RADIO WORKSHOP (UPSTAIRS)

4-5 NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS (KITCHEN AREA)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Anniversary of our first class

One year ago today Seattle Free School held it's first class. 45 participants showed up for "Keeping Chickens in the City". Since that time Seattle Free School has held over 80 classes and served hundreds of students.

Did you go to this first class? How do you think Seattle Free School is doing? Give us your feedback and help shape this next year of classes by posting here!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Free Sewing Class

Not a Seattle Free School class but one offered by the great group Sew Up Seattle. Learn how to make your own Chef's Hat! It's from 11am to 1pm on Saturday, March 28th at Goods for the Planet. You can get more information here:
http://www.sewupseattle.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bath Poof Dress

For you beginning sewers out there this is a project you can do with very little trouble, and it's a good way to recycle those bath scrubbie thingies that are made of plastic. Take a look at this great video our lovely teacher Beth forwarded:
Bath Poof Dress

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Another Quick Class- Casseroles!

A great quick class from our lovely instructor Beth Wade...

Make Your Own Casserole
If you have any leftover meat, or veggies that are starting to look
sad, a great way to make them into something new and more appetizing
is by throwing them into a casserole. Any casserole that contains
already-cooked meat (or not meat at all) can be tightly covered
(sealed as air-tight as you can make it) and frozen, making for an
easy weeknight dinner option- just thaw and bake!

Any basic casserole requires all of the following:
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream or plain (unflavored) yogurt AND
1 cup milk AND
1 cup water AND
1 teaspoon salt AND
1 teaspoon pepper

Then pick one sauce base below:
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted OR
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup, undiluted OR
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted OR
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can Cheddar cheese soup, undiluted OR
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained (if
choosing this option, omit the sour cream/yogurt and milk listed
above)

Then pick one meat option from below, if desired (not required):
2 (6-ounce) cans solid white tuna, drained and flaked OR
2 cups chopped cooked chicken OR
2 cups chopped cooked ham OR
2 cups chopped cooked turkey OR
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

Then choose one 'dry base' from below:
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni OR
1 cup uncooked rice (white works best, but you can use other types) OR
4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles OR
3 cups uncooked medium shells

Pick one topping from the list below:
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese OR
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese OR
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese OR
1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs, or panko

Pick one veggie from the list below:
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (or fresh, cooked
and gently squeezed to a less-moist consistency) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut broccoli (or fresh, cooked) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen Italian green beans (or fresh, cooked) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen English peas (or fresh, cooked) OR
1 (16-ounce) package frozen sliced yellow squash (or fresh, baked
until tender) OR
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn (or fresh, cooked)

Lastly, pick one extra ingredient (optional):
1 (3-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained (or fresh, sliced and
sauteed just until tender) OR
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives OR
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper OR
1/4 cup chopped onion OR
1/4 cup chopped celery OR
2 garlic cloves, minced OR
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles (or fresh, diced and cooked
just until tender) OR
1 (1 1/4-ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix

Combine the sour cream or yogurt with the 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 1
teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and Sauce Base. Stir in the dry
base, veggie, meat, and if desired, extras.

Spoon the casserole mixture into a lightly greased 13" x 9" x 2"
baking dish. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

Cover and bake casserole at 350º for 1 hour and 10 minutes; uncover
and bake 10 additional minutes.

If you would prefer to make the casserole up ahead of time and freeze
it, do so before the baking step. No time to thaw the dish before
baking? If you have a sturdy enough casserole dish (like a Pyrex), you
can just put it into the oven, however be aware that you may need to
increase the baking time by an additional 10-20 minutes to compensate.

If you would prefer a vegetarian casserole option, try the
Italian-style diced tomatoes, yellow squash, rice, olives, 4 portions
celery, 4 portions bell pepper, garlic, parmesan cheese, and
breadcrumbs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No profiles posted

Ages ago we posted a poll to see how you felt about having your blogger profile show up on our blog page. Most of you didn't care but there were a number of you that wished to remain anonymous. Since it's not a huge deal to show who's watching us (though we love your comments so we know someone is out there!) we're not going to post profile pics on the site.

Thanks for voting!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Note for Teachers- Scheduling the Cascade People's Center

From Holly at the Cascade People's Center. If you're wanting to facilitate at the Center please let Jessica know asap!



As you know, the CPC auction is quickly approaching (Friday, April 3rd 5--10 pm @ the South Lake Union Armory youcanbuyticketshere, wink) and I am being pulled into the auction frenzy! The success of the auction will determine what our budget for the rest of the year looks like. This, in turn, will influence programs, how many hours we're open, whether we need to start charging for space, etc. Basically, the outcome of the auction is a big deal.

The event is bigger and better than ever, but we have less people here to pull it off. With our smaller staff and growing list of responsibilities, I need to take a short break from booking folks to use the space. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I can't manage the increasing auction workload while remaining responsive and available to you.

Sooooo, here's the new plan. I will be booking the Center for March, April, May, and June dates from now through next Friday (March 6th.) After March 6th, I will not book dates to use the Center until Tuesday, April 7th (after the auction.) I plan to use this upcoming week to schedule out the next few months and answer any questions you may have. After that, until April 7th I will ONLY be available to answer questions/address concerns that are not related to the calendar. Of course, you can book for April, May, and June again once April 7th rolls around.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our Wordle...

This is apparently what we talk about most on our website...
Seattle Free School's Wordle

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Do You Know PHP?

Seattle Free School is looking for someone to help with some very minor php work. Basically just teaching us how to save a page and update pages. If you've got some basic php skills and would like to help let us know by contacting us at seattlefreeschool@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Interesting webinars on podcasting, etc...

TechSoup Global and NTEN put on a great round of webinars recently. While all were aimed at nonprofits there's some great basic information on podcasting, video production, etc here so check them out if you're wanting to learn more about these topics.

TechSoup's Blog

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hot Chocolate on the cheap

Well since winter seems to be here to stay here's a cheap recipe for hot chocolate that will help you stay warm with credits to the Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn... a good book to check out if you're looking for ways to save some cash, or just wonder to do with those odd things around the house that you don't want to throw away. (I'm fairly certain Amy throws away NOTHING!). And best yet the Seattle Public Library has it so you can check it out for FREE!!!

1/3 cup dry milk
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix above together and add 1 cup hot water.

This would be great for camping too if you're trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils as most mixes that don't require milk have those things in them. You could also try soy milk powder if you wanted to go vegan.

Give it a try and let us all know what you think! (you may have to fiddle with the recipe a bit if you have a sweeter tooth)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tiramisu Part 2

Here you go. Between this and the mascarpone you made yourself you will have the best tiramisu you've ever had. It's really quite easy honestly, even the cheese making part so don't let it scare you away!

3 eggs separated
2 cups mascarpone at room temperature
2t vanilla sugar or 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
(note: you can make your own vanilla sugar by placing one vanilla bean into
a jar of sugar- let sit for at least a week)
¾ cup cold, very strong black coffee (instant espresso works great)
¾ cup kahlua or other coffee-flavored liquor
1 large package of ladyfingers (at least 20 total)
unsweetened cocoa powder

Put egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk until they form medium stiff peaks.
Combine mascarpone, egg yolks and sugar in another bowl.
Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Put a few spoonfuls of the mix at the bottom of your serving pan and spread out evenly (a 9x9 glass dish works about right for this)

Pour the coffee and the liquor into a shallow dish and stir to combine.
Dip the first layer of lady fingers quickly (they don’t need to be soaked through) and place on top of the mascarpone in the serving pan next to each other. Tiramisu is sort of like lasagna so basically make a layer of soaked cookies.
Spoon ½ of what you have left of the cheese mix on top of the cookies and spread evenly.
Make another layer of cookies soaking these ones a bit longer (remember, the liquid goes to the bottom, thus no need to soak the bottom layer for too long. Your cookies should never be falling apart on you or you’ve soaked them too much).
Cover this layer with the cheese mix and dust with the cocoa powder.
Cover and let sit in the fridge overnight.

Note: you may need more coffee, liquor or cookies. It’s always a good idea to have extras on hand.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Class Posted!

Creating Meaningful Success
Time: 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: Queen Anne Library
Success in the 21st Century often comes with a high price tag - disease, dissatisfaction and a feeling of never enough. Explore the cultural scripts that keep you chasing after someone else\'s dreams and start to unravel the fears and self limiting beliefs that keep you stuck. This interactive class will look at the relationship between success and personal fulfillment and get you started on the path to meaningful success in your own life. Perfect for anyone who has been affected by the recent economic crisis as well as those just looking for more in their lives!

Supplies: notebook/pen

Facilitator: Desiree Bryan is a Certified Life Coach and the owner of Life Alignment Coaching. She supports individuals in bringing their outer world into alignment with their inner values so that they can live simply, joyfully and meaningfully.

Register through the classes page here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Check out this report on our bread class!

Here's a great post on our latest breadmaking class. Thanks Larry!

http://www.lunayapravda.net/20090210/201/

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Best Tiramisu

I often say that I make some of the best tiramisu but honestly it has nothing to do with me or some secret recipe. The key is using mascarpone you make yourself. It's not hard to do and is much less expensive then buying it in a store. So here's the first part in a two part series on making your own best tiramisu...

Mascarpone with tartaric acid

1 quart light cream or half-and-half (you can also use a pint of each).
1/8-1/4 teaspoon tartaric acid

1. Heat cream to 185°F (or more- up to about 200, just make sure it's AT LEAST 185).
2. Add 1/8 teaspoon tartaric acid and stir for several minutes. The mixture will slowly thicken into a runny cream-of-wheat consistency, with tiny flecks of curd. If the cream does not coagulate, add a speck more of the tartaric acid and stir for another 5 minutes. Be careful not to add too much tartaric acid or a grainy texture will result.
3. Line a colander with a double layer of high quality cheesecloth. Pour the curd into the colander and drain for 1 hour for a traditional mascarpone texture. Drain for up to 12 hours in a refrigerator for a whipped cream cheese texture.

If you're worried that you've gotten enough curd and used enough tartaric acid simply drain the first time into another clean pot. If you didn't put enough tartaric in the first time you can just repeat the process with the stuff that drained through.
4. Place the finished cheese in a covered container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: about 1 pound

Thursday, January 29, 2009

<----- Poll!

If you read our blog (which you clearly are if you're reading this!) please answer the poll to the left of this here post. It'd be fun to see who is reading this and hopefully inspire others to sign up (you know, it's what the cool kids do?!), but we want to make sure that whatever decision we make works for all of you too. So let us know what you think about showing the profiles of our followers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Learn a Language

Many of you know that the Seattle Public Library offers a number of free classes. From computer classes to comic book classes they have a lot to offer. Now they have a program to help you learn a language! You can check out the program here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quick Class-Laundry Soap

Making your own laundry soap is quick and easy but the best part is that it's very very cheap. You can easily make 3 gallons of soap for about $3 and have virtually no waste whatsoever. Here's the info:

Make Your Own Laundry Soap!

Ingredients
1 bar soap
1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda!)
1 five gallon bucket with a lid
3 gallons of water

Grate the bar of soap into a sauce pan. Heat up some water in a kettle and cover the soap with boiling water. Leave overnight to melt. If there are still chunks of soap in the morning add more boiling water until all chunks of soap are gone. Pour melted soap mixture into the bucket. Add enough hot tap water to make 3 gallons of liquid and then add the washing soda. Stir well and let sit overnight. Use from ½ cup to 1 cup of detergent per load of laundry at a total cost of approximately 3 cents per load!

You can often find a bucket for free at any industrial kitchen or grocery store where they make things from scratch or a place that sells honey in bulk. You can find washing soda at the Ballard Fred Meyer (so far the only place I've found it).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quick Class- Microwave Popcorn

As I was making my own microwave popcorn at work today I realized that a number of people probably don't know you can make your own for next to nothing. Since telling you how to do it takes all of one minute it's hardly class worthy. So how to get the information to you...? The blog! So here's the first in a series of quick classes. Look for how to make your own laundry soap for pennies coming next.

MICROWAVE POPCORN

What you need
a brown paper bag about lunch size or so
popcorn
whatever stuff you want to put on your popcorn

Place about 1/4 of a cup of popcorn into the brown paper bag and fold it over tightly a few times. To be honest you can use one staple to hold it together but I've found that folding over works fine and frankly you don't even need to fold it over that well... usually the top of the microwave keeps the bag folded over.

Place bag with popcorn into the microwave and set for about 5 minutes. You're not actually going to use this much time but it will usually be enough no matter how much popcorn you're making.

Start the microwave and hang out in the same room with it. You'll want to catch it before the popcorn burns so keep your nose and ears on the microwave. You'll also want to make sure the bag doesn't open or you might have a pretty decorated inside to your microwave. Personally I've never had this happen but the microwave at my work is pretty small.

Once you feel like you've let it pop enough stop the microwave and let it sit for a few seconds to make sure everything that's going to pop has popped. This time will vary depending on how much popcorn you're making and your microwave.

Take it out, pour it into a bowl and cover with whatever yumminess you want.

Done! And if you don't use the staple you can just keep using that bag for a very long time.

Not only is this a heck of a lot cheaper then microwave popcorn but it doesn't have any of the nasty stuff being found to cause lung disease that's in the regular microwave popcorn.

Popcorn at work for about 20 cents... what's not to love?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two More Classes!

We've got two more classes just posted today. The first is a class on no kneed bread making for those of you that still want great homemade bread without the Popeye arms and the second is Esperanto, an easier language to pick up then say Russian and our very first language class!

Sign ups for both classes are on the class page here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cascade People's Center

As most of you know Seattle Free School often offers classes at Cascade People's Center. In fact without the center there are a number of classes that we wouldn't be able to do (including one I'll be posting later today... yes, this is a teaser!). Well you probably also know that Cascade had their funding drastically cut by the city council who neglected to put them into this year's budget.

To help with that they're having a number of delicious fundraisers and auctions. Check it out if you'd like to help support Cascade and thus Seattle Free School...

Kermes Community Dinner: Saturday, January 24th from 4--8 p.m. at the Central Area Senior Center (500 30th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144.) This is a benefit/party/dinner/festival for CPC featuring tasty regional Oaxaquena food and has been organized by the fabulous Comite Guelaguetza, a group that has used the Center in the past. It is an event that has potential to make a lot of money for CPC while not costing much to run or to participate in. We all gotta eat--why not buy some dinner with $ that is going to help support CPC, all while listening to awesome music by La Banda Gozona and winning beautiful art!? If you are interested in helping out please let us know!

South Lake Union Art Walk: Stop in to the Center during the FIRST EVER South Lake Union art walk! Take part in children's activities and check out an art exhibit featuring CPC's amazing child prodigies. Friday, February 13th 5--9pm; Saturday, February 14th 12--5pm.

CPC Auction: The CPC Annual Auction will be held on Friday, April 3rd and we need your help to make this approaching event a big success in our fundraising efforts. Do you have any items to donate? Do you know someone who does? Do you have connections with business owners or employees who might have something to contribute to our auction? If you are interested in helping out with the auction, donating items or anything else auction related please contact Ashley: cpc-partner@lcsnw.org

Thrift and Gift: For the last couple of months we have been having a clothing drive/donation based thrift shop that brought in $750 of donations! One of our wonderful volunteers, Candi Wilvang has been involved in the planning and implementation of this adventure with the support of in-kind donations from community members and REI. We need your help to make it continue...So if you are interested, please contact us and let us know when you can help out. cascadepeoplescenter@lcsnw.org

Yoga: We are currently seeking devoted yoga instructors to teach classes at CPC. If you are interested or know anyone who might be able to help, let us know!