Luxe Life

Head of the class

Judging by the fact that 46 percent of adults participate in some kind of continuing ed (says the U.S. Department of Education), it's clear that Peggy Lee isn't the only one asking "Is that all there is?" The curious, the challenged, and the just plain bored can now take classes on an array of subjects, from flower arranging to bar mitzvah arranging. And we're not talking a come-one, come-all seminar at the Learning Annex. These courses are taught by experts at the top of their game.

THE CLASS A two-hour participatory flower-arranging workshop at FlowerSchool New York. At 5 Tudor City Pl.; 212-661-8074;
WHO'S TEACHING A master florist from New York, such as Michael George or Charles Masson from La Grenouille restaurant.
WHAT YOU LEARN The basics of how to buy, cut, and care for flowers (forget aspirin), plus dos and don'ts of mixing colors (forget silly ideas like using an odd number of stems).
SKILLS REQUIRED The less you think you know about flowers the better. All beginners welcome.
COST $250 for one class. Includes flowers, a vase, and use of the school's tools.

THE CLASS Botanical watercolor painting at the Filoli estate in Woodside, CA. Held this year from October 3 to 7. $
WHO'S TEACHING Noted botanical art teacher and author Anne Marie Evans conducts the five-day courses.
WHAT YOU LEARN Elementary watercolor skills and specific botanical-painting techniques working with cut flowers from the estate's gardens.
SKILLS REQUIRED The workshop is open to watercolor beginners with basic drawing ability.
COST $750, daily lunch included. Materials and accommodations are extra.

THE CLASS Private and group knitting classes at the Knitting Niche in Greenwich, CT. At 115 Mason St.; 203-869-6205;
WHO'S TEACHING Professional knit designers experienced in all levels of instruction.
WHAT YOU LEARN The fundamentals of knitting and crochet: how to cast on, knit, and pearl. More advanced courses introduce seaming methods.
SKILLS REQUIRED Some proficiency is advised when you're using cashmere at $50 a ball (that's a $500 sweater).
COST One-on-one instruction costs $60 an hour. Group classes run $60 to $65 for two to three hours.

THE CLASS Event planning 101 at Dazzle Creative Event Producers in West Palm Beach, FL. $ At 8708 Treasure Cay; 561-333-4567
WHO'S TEACHING Owner James Rota leads these eight-hour classes (one-on-one or in groups) tailored to clients' needs.
WHAT YOU LEARN How to plan a gala or a business meeting. Some themes: venue selection, menu planning (escargot can be tricky), and how to direct the flow of the event.
SKILLS REQUIRED Nothing other than patience and a knack for organization.
COST $4,500 per class. Includes prepared notes and tips on finding vendors.

THE CLASS Three-day photography courses at Edward Weston's studio in Carmel Highlands, CA. $ At 251 Rte. 1; 831-624-8111;
WHO'S TEACHING Edward Weston's grandson, Kim, and Kim's wife, Gina, hold classes at Wildcat Hill, the photographer's former home.
WHAT YOU LEARN The Weston method of classical landscape and nude photography. One goal is to learn to appreciate, says Kim, "the beauty of the body and to photograph it without baggage."
SKILLS REQUIRED Familiarity with photographic equipment and technique. Participants bring their own cameras.
COST $800. Includes Saturday-night dinner with guest speakers. Accommodations extra.


$ Establishment accepts no charge/credit cards or accepts cards other than the American Express Card.