Touting a cavalcade of crafting provisions, C & J Craft Supplies' stock arms patrons with ammo to convert inventive ideas into tangible pieces of art with quality, multiuse materials. Myriad colors and shapes of American-made beads, such as pony beads ($2 for 325 pcs.), sidle up next to one another to compose fashionable necklaces and stylish parachute cords. Pull crafty concoctions together with safety pins ($2.05+ per gross), or arrange faceted beads into a shining suncatcher. Fashioned from rayon, metallic craft cords ($1.35 for 15 yds.) provide sturdy strands from which to dangle amulets, and 100-yard rolls of braided macramé cord ($9.40) afford fabric weavers enough slack to spin plant hangers, lawn chairs, baskets, or afghans for football fields.
At Frank's Big Sausage, the food fills bellies while golden brews refresh between bites. On any given day, the Polish pub’s kitchen is busy as cooks stuff sandwiches, make sausages, and boil up their sweet and savory pierogi. Mugs of Okocim and bottles of Zywiec keep diners cool as they dig into these and other Polish specialties or perfect their darts game.
From a single shop opened in 1978, Amazing Fantasy Books & Comics curates a selection of new monthlies, graphic novels, manga, games, and action figures in four hotspots. Colorful characters from mainstream and independent publishers fill the pages of new issues ($2.99+) and graphic-novel collections, such as The Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time ($10) or Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant ($17.95). Text-based novels recount tales of pulp vigilantes such as the Green Hornet ($15.15) and Zorro ($13.55), and 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography ($13.50) illustrates the spiritual leader’s life story with Japanese-style black-and-white art. Gamers can pick up a Don Quixote board game and join the valiant fight against alternative-energy sources depicted in Cervantes’s novel ($26.21).
When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
Whole Cell Accessories supplies customers with more than 15,000 digital doodads and smartphone accessories at three Illinois locations. Customers can stop in for Bluetooth gear, a new case for their iPhone, or a screen protector to safeguard cell phones against cracks, chips, and bear attacks.