A Maze in Pottery invites brush-wielders of all ages and skill levels to select and custom-slather functional ceramic canvases. The studio's shelf-lined wall brims with more than 300 enticing and unpainted pieces, including cereal bowls ($14), coffee mugs ($13.50), and cat figurines ($13.50), which make ideal chew toys for brave mice. After selecting a piece, customers can get cozy at a table and spend two hours beautifying blank surfaces with more than 50 food-safe and lead-free paints and glazes.
Gift baskets filled with cookies, jams, and chocolate. Onesies for babies. Wedding registry. For all three of these options, customers need only to go to one place: Holbrook Cottage. That's because the quaint store carries a multitude of gifts, home decor, and seasonal goodies including gourmet food.
Maura's Kitchen is casual and cozy, but the food--roast pork, stews, fish and empanadas--is big and bold. Latin American flavors color the menu, which intermixes tapas such as yuca fries with full-size entrees including pollo a la brasa--Peruvian rotisserie chicken. Choose from three types of fresh ceviche, or pair shrimp with sauteed steak for an irresistible surf-and-turf combination, like a charming mermaid geologist.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Creative Knitworks imparts the know-how of the needle-wielding arts to knitting newbies and pros, tailoring both group and private lessons to needle-crafters’ aspirations. Soak up undivided attention and in-depth discussion of projects tailored to your knitting level in 90-minute private lessons (a $50 value per lesson), or opt for a convivial community atmosphere in open-topic or drop-in group classes (a $25 value per class). Two-hour open-topic sessions, held Mondays at 7 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 a.m., cover everything from basic knitting and crochet techniques to fashioning a doily big enough to cover your car. Drop-in sessions let students pick their own subjects to tackle between 10 a.m. and noon on Sundays, such as starting a first sweater or mastering difficult stitches. You may also choose to mix and match, taking one private class and two group classes.
The Art Spot's workshop connects artists with professional materials, individual workstations, and friendly guidance to help them tap into their creative inclinations. Drop-in studio sessions present visitors with two avenues for crafting framed 2-D artwork: flesh out one of hundreds of pre-made sketches using studio materials, or build an image from scratch using acrylic paint, artistic vision, and the pair of cracked spectacles that prevented Picasso from lining up facial features correctly. A friendly instructor installs each student at a well-lit drafting table equipped with a box of basic mark-making materials, pointing out a meticulously organized supply cabinet of colored pencils, three kinds of pastels, brush art markers, watercolors, and acrylic paints. Coordinated media ensures that draftspeople pair the right materials for their masterpieces, saving brushes' wet kisses for cold-press watercolor paper or canvas and smearing pastels' thick lipstick on acid-free cotton paper. Those working without a sketch who would prefer access to the studio's full panoply of pigments may buy their way out of acrylics for an additional fee ($25/hour).