The picture preservers at A Framer's Touch encase beloved paintings, photos, and keepsakes in artfully constructed wall hangings that have garnered numerous awards at regional and international framing competitions. After art is transported to the shop, certified framers embark upon the 10-step framing process by consulting with customers to decide on the piece's materials, design, and ability to hang. A stockade of approximately 2,500 moulding samples proffers ample aesthetic options for frames' outer boundaries, and a variety of mats, glass coverings, and needlework choices allow for mind-bending levels of customization. Though rates vary as much as each piece's framed-in contents, basic prices range from $39.99 for an 8"x10" frame to $139.99 for a 24"x36" frame with a mat. To ensure professional work and eliminate the chances of frames being lost or damaged while catapulted between store and workshop, all framing takes place in A Framer's Touch's art-coddling shop.
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.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.
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.
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).