Handcrafted by its nimble-fingered staff, Beadles’ voluminous selection of handmade jewelry began to burst the seams of the 1,500-square-foot Chelmsford store, prompting the launch of the newly minted Rockport location. The new location broadens Beadles’ epic spread of Swarovski crystals, acrylics, and kaleidoscopic glass, allowing browsers to purchase bauble ingredients by the piece or pre-assembled bracelets and necklaces. Crafters of all skill sets can put their purchases to use during free workshops or fashion their own custom creations during parties ideal for birthday girls, girl-scout troops, and newly chosen presidential nominees.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
Well-lit and painstakingly organized, Used Book Superstores upend images of the precariously balanced stacks and dusty hardcovers most people associate with used book stores. More than 100,000 new and gently used books—from current bestsellers to staples of the literary world—sprawl across each of the five mammoth locations, which, like so many shattered crates of tea, dot the landscape of the greater Boston and south New Hampshire region. As bookworms hunker down with hardcovers, paperbacks, and children's books, neglected friends can peruse the store's voluminous selection of music, DVDs, and toys, all of which sell for a fraction of their original cost.
After devoting years to protecting precious pictures and keepsakes from environmental harm, the Middlesex Framing crew has amassed an inventory of highly protective materials. Acid-free matting keeps photographs and certificates from deteriorating over time, UV-protection glass guards against sunlight’s discoloring rays, and museum glass deters bandits who somehow made it across the living room’s laser alarm grid. Partnering with Larson-Juhl, the crew is able to access more than 1,500 molding samples and matting combinations—ensuring that each piece is both protected and enhanced by its border.
The artwork resulting from Look What I Made's workshops and open-studio sessions tends to have a practical edge. Bright clay cubes open to hold jewelry, and kids' art projects converge with the goal of teaching little hands to plant gardens. The shop even helps artists set up their own satellite studios by offering at-home pottery projects, which they can paint while stealing a moment of downtime or staring at the faces of sleeping family members and then let Look What I Made do the glazing and firing. In-studio outbursts of creativity take place within a relaxed, comfortable space, where big windows, wooden tables, and well-organized shelves of pottery line multi-colored walls.
Aakara Medspa's educated aestheticians rejuvenate weary skin with a plethora of soothing, effective procedures, all under the direction of a medical physician. The photofacial treatment restores tattered countenances by utilizing intense pulsed light (IPL) technology and the body's natural cellular processes. Targeting specific facial lesions, the IPL system saturates epidermal tissue with a low wave of light, heating dark pigmentation and arming skin cells with an arsenal of microscopic light swords. The cellular skirmish raises dermal temperatures, zapping lesion tissue and causing the natural healing process within the skin to react to the affected tissue, making it scab and fall off or get absorbed by the body.