Get Smart, Part II: Video Demonstrations

Explainers to help you bone up on a few A-list classes, workshops, and lessons around town.

Editor’s Note: For our August 2012 issue, we shared the scoop on 31 courses, activities, and more that can improve, enrich, and even save your life. Now, see local experts demonstrate their fun and timely skills that we featured. [We will add to the videos throughout the month. Full feature package in the August issue on newsstands statewide and available digitally here.]


We’d sign up for a beginning quilting class at fabric shop Crimson Tate just to hang out with owner Heather Givans at her in-store kitchen table, stitching and gabbing. Taking home a ready-to-finish blanket after three sessions seems like a bonus. Chatty and effervescent, Givans covers all steps of making a quilt: choosing fabrics (Crimson Tate specializes in fun, modern prints), cutting and prepping the material, reading a pattern, sewing, basting, and finally quilting. If you fall in love (with Givans or the craft), you can come back every other Saturday for free open sewsand tips. $40 to $90, based on in-store fabric purchase. Massachusetts Ave., 317-426-3300,

Here, Givans shares what equipment is best to square fabric with and then shows just how to do it:



Head to the IMA in search of the museum’s natural beauties—some 40 species of birds. The Amos W. Butler Audubon Society conducts 100 Acres Birding Tours in the sprawling art park. Local Audubon President and tour guide Don Gorney began birding as a way to relax after working a suit-and-tie job, and encountered more than just wildlife. “When you see a new bird well for the first time,” says Gorney, “it really is self discovery.” Free. Aug. 26 and Sept. 23. 4000 Michigan Rd., 317-923-1331,

Here, a bird-calling demonstration to aid avian-viewing enthusiasts: 

Videographer’s Note: Don Gorney and his
colleague were just as enthusiastic as
we were about making this video. We
convened at the beautiful Garfield Park
Conservatory on the south side of Indianapolis,
and in no time, both of them were calling out to
the city’s avian citizenry. Be sure to check out
their free classes at the IMA’s 100 Acres; you
have to be there to believe some of the calls
that Don can perform.









Creek Stewart, who has been tapped to write an unofficial Hunger Games survival guide, sharpened his wilderness skills as an Eagle Scout and started teaching them 15 years ago. Now the 36-year-old runs three-day “SurviVacations” out of Wild Haven Outdoor, nestled on 21 acres in Anderson. The property’s varied terrain allows Stewart to simulate scenarios revolving around the four basics: shelter, water, food, and fire. $300. Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Willow Haven Outdoor, 2867 N. 200 E., Anderson, 317-703-9655,
Here, Stewart shows how to start a fire with a primitive kit:


Videographer’s Note: In spite of the summer heat,
Stewart was happy to demonstrate how to start
a fire for us. His facility, originally a GM
executive retreat, is a bit tricky to find.
“I normally only give my address to people
who sign up for classes,” said Stewart.
“I used to get a lot of crazies who’d just show up.”
At $300 for the three-day course, the classes
are packed with everything you need to know
in a worst-case senario. Creek even has an
outbuilding prepared for urban survival.






Videography by Mike Potter. Photography by Tony Valainis.

These clips appear as a companion piece to to the “Get Smart” feature (31 classes total!) in the August 2012 issue.