Nederland crafter Karin Platt seems to have a lot of time to herself during those long, cold mountain winters, but we're thankful for that. Karin's Kitsch is Karin's shtick: book bags, wallets, magnets and more, all made out of repurposed Little Golden Book titles such as The Poky Little Puppy and The Shy Little Kitten. She also makes totes strung with necktie handles from old album covers and classic game boards, and cool record-label coasters backed with cork. Relive the past in funky style; go to Karin's website for more information.

It's not easy being single. And when you would rather enjoy an intimate chat over a cup of coffee or glass of wine than rub up against some complete stranger in a nightclub — well, let's just say that kind of preference can severely limit your chances of finding somebody to love. But thankfully, there's the Overdue Love Club, a monthly Fresh City Life program hosted at Michelangelo's Wine & Coffee Bar on South Broadway and featuring Janice Hoffman, author of Relationship Rules, who kicks things off with a short talk and guided icebreaker. So even the shiest among you shouldn't have any trouble. It's casual, it's easy, it's intelligent and it's fun. Who knows what you might find?

Since its founding in 1918, Goodwill Industries of Denver has been known for moving a lot of stuff, fast, but 25 display cases in the administration building are dedicated to items that aren't going anywhere. This is the company's official doll collection, which includes everything from a 1790 rag doll from England to a yucca wood doll that survived an Indian raid to a bisque doll that once belonged to Baby Doe Tabor to a doll portraying Melissa Briggs, founder of Goodwill.

Ackerman & Sons

Cowboy couches with wagon-wheel arms were all the rage in the '50s — but after five decades of dealing with Denver's dry air and squirmy kids watching TV, many of these Western classics look more tired than an old Conestoga, with cracked frames and sprung springs. Ackerman & Sons will get you back in the saddle again. Although this venerable furniture shop works on more elegant pieces, too, it's made a sideline specialty of restoring these Atomic Age artifacts. Sofa, so good.

What's one possible solution to urban plight? Fish poo. So say the eco-activists responsible for the GrowHaus, an indoor aquaponic garden located in one of Denver's toughest zip codes. Inside this former flower warehouse, a sprawling biology experiment is under way: When completed, rows upon rows of stackable bins, tubes and tanks will circulate the waste of live, growing fish for use as plant food. Nutrients in the plants, in turn, feed the fish. The result? Fresh fish and organic vegetables, both of which are in short supply in the Swansea/Elyria neighborhood. A community project led by real-estate developer Paul Tamburello and activist Ashara Ekundayo, the GrowHaus builds on the growing food-justice movement, which holds that a lack of access to healthy food contributes to a cycle of poverty in low-income neighborhoods. To change the 'hood, you've got to green the 'hood, they say, and that starts with what — and how — folks eat.

Taxi 2

For Ashara Ekundayo of Blue and Yellow Logic, urban farming is just a simple part of life, the same sort of life she saw her grandparents living, with their no-nonsense kitchen garden and pecking hens. "It's just what we do..." is how she explains it, and in the interest of preserving that part of her culture while bringing it up to speed in the 21st century, Blue and Yellow Logic strives to help the community find ways to reclaim land and the sustainable food systems it supports, promote green building practices, support green jobs and change the way people think about where their food, shelter and everyday products come from. Blue and Yellow Logic will turn its first dirt in the spring. But the work, of course, is only just beginning.

Tomte Modern Craft

Brett and Crystal Hanks Child already had a growing concern with their own Vital Industries screen-printed T-shirts and glasses, which they decorate by hand with bicycles and other imagery from DIY culture in a home studio. But they decided to do-it-themselves to a whole other level last fall by opening Tomte, a small retail adjunct to Platte Street's The Other Side gallery and studio enclave. Tomte's shelves are given over to a well-picked selection of local and national DIY artists, offering wares such as old-fashioned silhouette beads from Lucky Me, sweet ceramics by Mudpuppy, simple chain-link jewelry by Lauren Haupt, and big chains made from old car parts by Sword + Fern, to name a few. If you're looking for a place to plug into what's hip, look no further.

Talulah Jones

Part of what makes Robin Lohre's long-lived Talulah Jones boutique so successful is her personal touch, which extends right down to the unique wares she stocks. Lohre always has plenty of space dedicated to local artisans, whom she showcases with special events, in-store promotions and generous space in her Talulah Chronicles newsletter.

Aspen Grove

With the demise of the Ballpark Market, the local flea market crown goes rightfully to A Paris Street Market, which borrowed some of Ballpark's urban ambience, took it to the suburbs nine years ago and still manages to persevere at Aspen Grove in Littleton. On the first Saturday of the month, from May to October, this local shabby-chic center of the universe is your go-to place for red-lacquered antique high chairs, old pillbox hats, sets of Franciscan ware, crystal doorknobs, straw hats, rhinestone brooches, vintage aprons, distressed vanities and more, along with fresh lemonade and home-baked cupcakes for fortification.

Rockler Woodworking

Yes, it's a chain. Yes, the place is crawling with woodworking geeks, oohing over burled veneers and comparing router jigs. But unlike at the big-box stores, staffers here are friendly, accessible and knowledgeable — an unbeatable trifecta. Whether you're looking for a most peculiar kitchen cabinet hinge or an after-market miter gauge or just want to take a class on scroll saw fundamentals, this is toolboy heaven.

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