LorEnn's Hallmark boasts six locations peppered around the Chicagoland area, each brimming with a broad assortment of cards and gifts designed by Hallmark's talented team of artists. Shelves filled with the brand’s signature greeting cards help thoughtful shoppers find just the right words or cartoon thought bubble to express feelings of love, congratulations, or sympathy, with creative designs for all manner of occasions. Colorful gift bags await to conceal Precious Moments figurines, ornaments, books, and decorative housewares, and albums and picture frames help preserve and protect photographs or other memorable keepsakes from the ravages of time and indoor rainstorms.
Grand Frame Inc, an Arlington Heights establishment since 1974, corrals more than 3,000 frames, posters, and display museum cases in its 8,000 square-foot space. Gary Grana, the framery's cofounder, holds two patents in framing technology and has passed his passion for the industry to several members of his family who now guide customers through framing options for sports memorabilia, wedding photos, and lovingly audited tax documents. In addition to carefully inspecting every project that goes through the shop, Gary's expert staff also doles out frame-hanging services to help complete customers' decor. Over the years, the store has continuously evolved its services by offering LCD TV framing and Grand Gone Green products, a signature line that embraces an eco-friendly approach to picture framing.
A charming retail bastion, Angelina caters to gift-givers who seek unique jewelry, handbags, picture frames, and more. Step into the spritely styled space and browse scores of floral necklaces and earrings ($12+) crafted in vibrant spring shades. Revolving racks of stationery ($3+) come neatly stuffed in crisp, cellophane sleeves, optimal for letter-writing your favorite aunt or airing grievances to your city-council alderman. Peruse scores of candles ($10+) and stock up when planning for a romantic dinner gathering, neighborly séance, or reviving the popularity of your basement bomb shelter circa 1958. Servicing downtown shoppers for the past nine years, Angelina infuses pools of color into local living spaces, thanks to whimsically painted wall pieces, graphic picture frames ($19.95), and other home-décor accents ($10+) optimal for making even the most buttoned-up homemaker blush.
More than 50,000 books line the shelves at Elgin Books and Coffee, many available for 50% to 90% less than their cover prices. Visitors can wander through the chandelier-lit shop perusing classics, out-of-print texts, biographies, cookbooks, and many other types of published matter. An attached café offers an inviting space in which to sip java or tea and read.
Physics and art collied on Clay Monet's six pottery wheels as students transform lumps of wet clay into delicate pottery. While the earthen heaps spin at high speeds, students mold them into curved bowls, vases, one-time-use bowling balls with subtle movements and gentle pressure. In lieu of pottery wheels, they can also sculpt rustic pasta bowls and whimsical clay garden mushrooms by hand. Alternatively, they can skip the sculpting process all-together and paint an already completed bisque piece, such as an animal figurine, mug, or dinner plate.