Frame Central, where the upbeat, fun-loving staff works alongside customers preserving their artwork and keepsakes. Frame Central prides itself on its expedient one-day framing. Staffers have devoted years to learning how to craft custom frames fast without sacrificing quality. For one thing, they keep all their materials on hand, saving on time spent sending off for special orders. For another, customers can design and make the frames themselves or meet staffers halfway by allowing them to professionally cut the materials for easy home assembly.
Framed Art's experts transform unsheathed artwork, photographic heirlooms, and old family tax returns into custom-trussed adornments worthy of the most exclusive fireplace mantles. An 8"x10" frame ($50+) modestly complements a stairwell gallery of school portraits, while a 22"x28" casing ($100+) could corral a raucous concert poster. Basic framing estimates cover matting, backing, glass, and a plain perimeter of black wood or metal. Larger or more ornate options ensconce the most precious specimens in carved wood, lace mattes, or lasers.
The friendly staffers at this scrapbooking bazaar guide ambitious crafters through shelves loaded with memory-preserving supplies, including page embellishments, stylish adhesives, hundreds of patterned paper designs, and more than 400 colors of cardstock. Beginners can grab a We R Memory Keepers 12"x12" leather album ($35) and start filling its pages with significant artifacts, such as photographs of a youngster taking his first steps on the moon. Stacks of pretty paper ($.60–$2/sheet) and vibrant Bazzill Basics cardstock ($.65/sheet) host parties for fun flourishes ($2–$5), which patrons can attach to pages or origami airplane pilots using adhesives from Herma, Tombo, and Glue Dots ($2.50–$8).
For nine years, Birdie's has been outfitting giftless gift givers with amusing cards, novelty gifts, flavored teas, and more. Patrons are invited to peruse Birdie's surprising selection of greeting cards (NobleWorks cards $2.95 each) and Harney & Sons teas ($9.95/tin) or to enlist the guidance of a friendly gift guru to navigate thoroughfares lined with smirk-inducing home accessories, wall décor, mugs, and toys. Gift your apathetic wall with a Whatever wall clock by Our Name Is Mud ($25.95) or safely recreate maritime disasters in the comfort of your own cocktail lounge with a Gin & Titonic ice cube tray ($8.95). Nothing in Birdie's gift shop is priced more than $110, allowing present-dolers to spare any innocent bills dwelling in their wallets.
Overflowing with Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, and more than 150 varieties of freshwater pearls, Planet Bead's extensive bead collection furnishes DIYers and beading students with the tools create custom jewelry. The beads are available á la carte, along with a selection of beading kits and instruction books. Meanwhile, in a classroom stocked with comfy chairs and custom-built crafting tables, resident bead experts guide students through complex patterns during one-day workshops. Each class focuses on a single project, such as making an anklet from Czech seed beads or guessing the number of beads Hulk Hogan could thread into his mustache.