You could spend your summer on your couch watching reruns of HBO's Girls, or you could pick up a new hobby. Check out these workshops that could help you hone your new skills.
Does the thought of making your own marmalade still seem a little jarring? Master food preserver Delilah Snell (the beloved of our favorite Mexican) takes the mystery out of the process in this hands-on workshop that covers the basics of canning your own fruits and veggies. Learn about the science, techniques, supplies and safety procedures involved in preserving peak-season produce, and come out of the class with an impressive supply of canned goods and recipes. Road Less Traveled off-site location, 316 S. Cypress, Santa Ana, (714) 836-8727; www.roadlesstraveledstore.com. July 7, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. $65 (registration required).
Succulents are so pretty and so wonderfully hard to kill. Learn how to bring the natural beauty of these hardy plants into your home or garden under the green guidance of Debra Lee Baldwin, author of Succulent Container Gardens and Designing With Succulents. She'll discuss the different types (agaves, euphorbias, echeverias—oh, my!), how to care for them, and how to create vibrant low-water gardens and container arrangements. Roger's Gardens, www.rogersgardens.com. July 28, 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Free.
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Before there were DSLRs and iPhones, there was the pinhole camera, a light-proof box with a tiny hole in one side. While hardly fancy or complex, the low-tech contraption can produce raw, ethereal images that evoke a vintage nostalgia. Go back to the basics of photography by creating your own pinhole camera using common household materials. Then go outside and capture the world through a whole new rad perspective. Center for Living Peace, www.goodhappens.org. July 28, 1-3 p.m. $12 (registration required).
Uncork Your Inner Artist
Wine and art? Can't think of a more relaxing way to spend a Friday evening. In this casual workshop led by local artist Lee Wanderer, just show up with your vino of choice, and they'll provide the rest—glasses, corkscrews, painting materials and simple instruction. At the end of the night, you'll have a new masterpiece to hang on your wall, as well as a good buzz. San Clemente Art Supply, www.scartsupply.com. First Friday of every month, 6:30-9:30 p.m. $40 (registration required).
This column appeared in print as "Summer Craft Classes!"