Socially conscious crafters can take home a hand-stitched measuring-tape cat (Vietnam, $8) from Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts, while frugal fashionistas can sport dancing-girl earrings made from recycled soda cans by KICK Trading Ltd. (Kenya, $12) or a marbled bead choker from TARA Projects (India, $16). Decorate the great outdoors with Manos Amigas' ceramic bird wind-chime (Peru, $44), or beautify the indoors with the world children wall hanging (Haiti, $84) from Comité Artisanal Haitien. Fair-trade staples, such as Equal Exchange coffee, tea, and chocolates, make tasty gifts for Father's Day, Secretary's Day, or Father's Secretary's Day.
"Wired and Fired is the best date [we] have ever been on," wrote Haley and Jeff, whose first meet-up went so swimmingly that they married less than two years later. Perhaps the duo bonded over their shared creativity: at the studio, blank white dishes, figurines, boxes, and banks await fresh coats of paint and glaze from brush holders. Artists also can stop by the Bling Bar to spangle their bisqueware with colorful gems poured from the bartender's shaker. Pieces emerge glossy and dishwasher-safe from the kiln about three days later.
Wired & Fired isn't just popular with the cupid-struck set—the kid-friendly environment is also a favorite hangout for families, especially when Family Night on Wednesdays offers discounts for tots. (Tuesdays are Ladies' Nights.) Children and adults alike can hold their birthday parties or private get-togethers at the studio, where they're invited to bring their own snacks, pizzas, and even 21-or-older beverages. Partiers can daub paint onto pottery or learn to fuse glass into jewelry, bowls, and vases. Those preparing a custom gift may call upon the talents of Wired & Fired's on-staff artists.
Part of the ancient discipline of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is gaining more and more acceptance by practitioners of Western medicine. The treatment uses hair-thin needles placed into the skin to help alleviate the symptoms of a variety of health problems, including chronic pain, stress and anxiety, and gastrointestinal disorders.
During a client's first appointment at Northside Acupuncture, licensed acupuncturist Julie Shengaout reviews their medical history and Fantasy Football lineup and performs a physical examination. She also evaluates the client’s current medications, vitamins, and supplements before the acupuncture treatment.
Sam Flax South outfits artists and designers with supplies and furniture from top industry brands such as Herman Miller, Humanscale, and Steelcase to produce masterpieces on any scale. Easels grip canvases as painters blanket them in polychromatic oils and acrylics, just as drafting tables, rulers, and protractors help architects draft the blueprint for the first home built entirely of discarded totem poles. Guests can leaf through paper products and readymade gifts including delicate cards, journals, and calendars. Treasured prints also find displayable homes in Sam Flax’s custom-framing department, where artisans design hangable enclosures that accentuate a picture with a contrasting mat color or an oversize neon arrow that points directly to the image. The in-house framing center applies acid-free matting and seals art in airtight materials to preserve pieces.