Christmas gifts have become pretty predictable these days. Even though, we still love them as much as we love sharing our dreams with the loved ones. But do we share all of them? Are there perhaps some unfulfilled dreams we have been hiding deep down in our souls for years? What about hidden talents that have yet to be unearthed? If you’ve ever caught yourself saying “Oh, if only I could…play bass, sing in a rock band, sew seductive lingerie for myself, learn beautiful calligraphy, bind a book in leather, dance swing solo…”, Krakow will satisfy each and every one of these desires! A tiny bit of happiness – even before Christmas – has never hurt anyone, has it? Make an unforgettable gift for yourself or a person you love! We’ll tell you all you need to know!
Sew that’s what sewing feels like!
Slow Fashion Cafe in Kazimierz, one of the districts of Krakow, is an open space for everyone interested in sewing. Sewing machines on the tables are visible through the windows, but they’re not part of a cafe decoration. They are there to help people learn how to sew and remodel clothes. You can have a nice conversation about latest trends over a cup of coffe and a slice of homemade cake, you can read a plenty of fashion magazines and choose a course for yourself – all of this while having a good look at novices doing their best in their first attempts at sewing. There are courses for those without the faintest idea of what sewing is about as well as courses during which participants master the skills they’ve already acquired. It’s advisable to start your learning with a weekend course or with a Sunday course in dressmaking. And if you’d like to make a coat out of an ultra trendy boiled wool, you can do it during a course on Saturday. In just a few hours you’ll possess the basic skills and make something simple but effective enough to attract attention with its extraordinariness. Isn’t it wonderful, that after such a short time, you can show off in front of your friends in a coat you made with your own hands? For those who have a tiny bit more time to fiddle with a needle and thread, Slow Fashion Cafe offers recurring courses. A group of six people is being tutored by a professional dressmaker – one look at photos on Cafe’s Facebook page and you will want to run there immediately. Should anyone feel like having some time away from the city, they can choose a weekend course in dressmaking.
If you want to make a gift for a sister or a friend who’s into sewing, go to www.slowfashioncafe.pl to check the types of courses and their prices.
Hoops in! Phones out!
“Hands of gold” Embroidery School for Men and Women – according to its founder Monika Drożyńska – is “a place that gathers people of various origins and professions, who share the passion for embroidery, like to stand out, develop themselves and meet others.” Embroidery workshops are supposed to teach handicraft. They include the learning of traditional flat embroidery techniques, border and knotted stitching, with which, later on, participants decorate male shirts, t-shirts and tapestries. There is a whole array of motives to choose from – countless animal and floral motives, but also the ones with the elements of pop culture such as murals! Additionally, special workshops organized devoted to motives of nature and the natural (including male nudes!) are organized. Some participants say they’re just resting after a brainwashing job, others make their dreams come true. Ewelina says: "I have always been interested in embroidery, it’s as simple as that. And because no one is teaching this handicraft any longer, the minute I heard about the school I decided to join in! I want to embroider corsets so I also learn drawing to make sure that what I do looks beautiful." You can learn embroidery on weekends or by attending recurring workshops or specially designed courses. For example, you can take “T-shirt embroidered” course, during which mottos or floral motives are being made with chain stitching, split stitching and quilting. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
For prices and descriptions of workshops go to szkolahaftuzloteraczki.pl
Just hit the drums, lady!
If a woman close to your heart secretly wishes to play bass on stage or sing energetic, punk verses, you should present her with a ticket to Lucciola Ladies Rock Camp! It is a music camp for women aged 18 to 99 organized by Kobieca Transsmisja, a non-profit organization from Krakow. The camp offers workshops for ladies both with and without musical experience; it lasts a few days and is mainly devoted to teaching women how to play musical instruments (electric guitar, bass, drums) and sing. Members of female bands from Krakow share their knowledge of how to behave on stage and cooperate with the band. Ewa Langer, the LLRC organizer, stresses the fact that even inexperienced women are capable of mastering basic skills quickly and giving their first concert ever only a few days after the camp starts. Karioka Girls Rock Camp in Krakow has been launched for girls aged 14-19.
Find out more about this mad gift on: www.lucciola.rockcamp.pl
Love Letter Calligraphy
Wouldn’t it be nicer if a scented love letter was written in quill pen? Enroll yourself or a person you care about in a course organized by the School of Calligraphy in Krakow! Classes offer the possibility of writing a manuscript using quill pen – everything from lettering through illuminations to binding. The school has several courses to choose from. A 15-hour long class of gothic calligraphy is all about handwriting angular letters characteristic of medieval scripts. Participants can also learn German Gothic, Fraktur, Rotunda, Schwabacher, Bastarda as well as English chancery hand and Hebrew calligraphy. The process of learning copperplate script looks slightly different. During the first stage a person learns how to use an elastic nib and practices writing of small and capital letters, words and sentences. The second stage is about editing texts. A course in illumination (decorating books by hand) or bookbinding (according to medieval rules!)will be a perfect present for artistically-gifted closed relatives or friends.
Go to www.szkola-kaligrafii.pl to check which course fits your loved one best!
Let’s hit the dance floor!
Characteristic features of Lindy Hop, a protoplast of the majority of swing dances known today, are rather random interpretations of the basic step, music and dance moves. Besides, lindy-hoppers often practice spectacular acrobatics. There is a place in Krakow, where dreams about crazy swing dancing come true – Swing Culture, Music and Dance Section “KMiTa Swing” in Dom Kultury Kolejarza. Section organizes dance courses on several levels – novices join Lindy Hop beginners group, in which they are familiarized with the basics. They learn swing steps and how to dance with a partner: how to lead, follow, keep the tempo, rhythm and pulse. Most importantly, they learn how to move freely and smoothly. A few classes are enough to make an astonishing performance at a party! For those who like dancing solo, the school has prepared Solo Jazz Open classes.
Do you or anyone you know dream of the Cotton Club-like dance? Go to www.swing.org.pl
Outstanding gift ideas are in plenty. What’s worth remembering is that the giver takes as much joy in giving as receiver in receiving! Looking at what Krakow has to offer, we’re certain about that!