Stacy was working for a large corporation when she first painted a pink puffy heart on a piece of pottery and fell in love with the relaxing, fun pastime. After finally leaving the business world a few years later, she followed her creative instincts and opened The Painting Paw. Today, she encourages others to connect with their inner artists as they paint pottery and layer glass, creating fused pendants and sun catchers. The Painting Paw also invites guests to mold silver clay into shapes for personalized jewelry made of 99.9% silver. As budding artists set to work amid sunflower-yellow and cherry-red tables and awnings, well-trained staff members are always present to answer questions about how often to feed porcelain figurines. In addition to welcoming unexpected guests during open-studio hours, The Painting Paw organizes classes and hosts parties.
Since Winston’s Sewing Center began dispensing quilting and needlepoint supplies in 1939, there have been quite a few innovations in the craft. That’s especially true with sewing machines. The storefront has a sizeable collection of up-to-date models that have pinpoint accuracy and programmable embroidery. These modern devices sit amid the vast stock of traditional craft supplies, including yards of luxuriant fabrics for handcrafting projects. The center also serves as just a quiet, comfortable place to sew, whether you want to do that in as part of a class, in a sociable club, or within a yarn cocoon.
Inside Art Glass Array?s warm studio, beginners learn basic processes and techniques to cut and melt glass, creating a spread of unique items, including platters, bowls, and wall hangings. Classes in wire-wrapping and dichroic block layering teach skills that can yield beautiful pendants, and advanced classes let students take their craft to the next level by creating matching sets of dishes or sandblasting glass. Students can display their works at the studio?s gallery, which saves refrigerators the burden of having bowls and pendants hot-glued to their doors.
Within a historic Victorian-era house built in 1863, a friendly staff, an amiable cat, and a documented ghost oversee The Book House's selection of more than 350,000 books. Culled from hundreds of collections, auctions, suppliers, and rogue librarians in the past 25 years, the books range from new to rare to out of print. They nestle into every nook and cranny of the store’s nine rooms and three floors, which are connected by winding staircases. Thrifters and fans of alliteration can venture down to the Bargain Basement to discover discounted reads, and other bookworms search the first and second floors for tomes about any subject from history and philosophy to science fiction and children's books.
A portion of each purchase goes to support the Second Chapter Life Center, which helps young adults with developmental disabilities. The Book House also accepts used-book donations any time during regular business hours.
The Needlepoint Clubhouse supplies inspiration, a wide selection of materials, and needlepoint classes that gather small groups of students for hands-on learning. The store?s rainbow of thread skeins shimmers with metallics and gleams with silk, canvas unfolds in an array of thread counts, and magnifying lamps spare eyes or uncover hidden hovercrafts woven into ancient tapestries. Sectioned tote bags ferry projects about with ease, and frames and expert frame-finishing services ready masterpieces for display. Savvy stitchers, including a master teacher, helm classes, the subjects of which range from needlepoint basics for beginners to advanced decorative stitches for those with thimbles welded to each finger.
Begun in 1985 as a strictly volunteer-based project of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship, Plowsharing Crafts grew over the years into a thriving nonprofit with two locations and an expansive inventory of eclectic wares from around the globe. The staff is committed to selling fair-trade art and handcrafts in order to provide much needed income and nurture the businesses of artisans, 70% of whom are women, from more than 45 developing countries around the world. The selection of items ranges from housewares to jewelry and beyond, many of which are made with sustainable and recycled materials or from food grown with sustainable methods.