Real Life Studios specializes in snapping youngsters and conducts its sessions with an eye toward spontaneity to bring out each kiddo's true character. The studio’s funky, colorful backdrops and mini-trampoline can help give a lively vibe to a portrait, and the well-stocked costume and prop closet helps children express individuality and explore life as a key grip. Or memorialize a toddler's inaugural public pronunciation of "cheese" by opting for outdoor shots, which take place in a beautiful nearby park. After the one-hour photo frenzy, choose an image for a beautiful 5"x7" print, an ideal size for framing or shellacking on to oatmeal boxes.
Richmond magazine's pages glisten with stories and images of the River City's most intriguing dining, entertainment, shopping, and travel options. Each issue captures an exciting cover story in its glossy grip, detailing notable goings-on and spotlighting local movers and shakers. The monthly's reporters and editors highlight area restaurants in the dining section, and they fill the arts-and-entertainment section with news on upcoming concerts, gallery openings, back-alley dance offs, and theatrical performances. Meanwhile, news features keep locals abreast of politics and regional issues, a health section offers overviews of top doctors and facilities, and the life-and-style section details the ins and outs of fashion, along with articles on which travel hotspots are currently not overrun by gophers. Sister publication R Home arrives every other month with plenty of hints and tricks for home decor, gardening, and organizing.
Melanie "The Bead Empress" Bentley established her commonwealth of creativity after years teaching aspiring artists how to work with metal clays. Within her 3,000-square-foot embellishment emporium, Murano glass from Italy, hill tribe silver from Thailand, and Swarovski crystals fill shelves from floor to ceiling. Polymer clays, sterling silver, stringing materials, and Czech fancy glass that Melanie handpicked on a recent trip to the Czech Republic round out the store's stock and arm patrons with the materials necessary to line their family's treasure chest.
But Melanie goes beyond filling the supply boxes of local jewelry makers. She also aims to expand the crafting community by welcoming beading newcomers and showing those who don't believe in their creativity that there's an artisan inside everyone. Along with her fellow specialized jewelrysmiths, Melanie leads more than 45 classes per quarter, providing her customers with a means of acquiring jewelry that’s guaranteed to be free of curses.
A Guild Commended Framer, Frame Nation employs certified framers who match existing frames and create special projects from scratch. Behind the shop's brick storefront, staffers help customers to make selections from more than 2,000 frame samples, including acrylic, steel-welded, and wood options. Combined with glass, museum-quality practices, and a tiny flux capacitor, these protective casings preserve everything from diplomas to wedding photos.
To find inspiration for their own creations, visitors need only view the artwork lining the walls. Frame Nation regularly displays the handiwork of local artists; one ever-present exhibit includes a collection of frames and three-dimensional collages crafted from recycled materials.