Even though Loving Stitches has greatly increased in size since its 1996 inception, the sewing haven has retained its familial feel thanks to a personable staff. Their knowledge and affable presence help set visitors at ease in the 10,000-square-foot store as they assist in locating high-quality sewing machines by Bernina and Gammill. During sewing and quilting classes, instructors guide students through crafting a purse or embroidering a bedspread with a thank-you letter to the neighborhood sandman.
Scampering through Lazer FX–Lazer Tag's 7,500-square-foot labyrinth, combatants volley photons in exhilarating 20-minute skirmishes. Laser soldiers don luminescent vests and DayGlo bowties before entering the arena, where a mix of 30-odd friends and foes dodge blasts while darting from refuge to refuge. For groups of four, the battle extends out of the arena and onto the 8,000-square-foot arcade floor. Here, more than 120 games—including pool tables, skee-ball lanes, driving simulators, and air hockey—promote hand-eye coordination more effectively than soccer.
As North Carolina's oldest continuously running orchestra, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has garnered international acclaim through an overseas tour and a visit from Queen Noor of Jordan on the orchestra's 50th anniversary. Watch the enthusiastic gestures of conductor Fouad Fakhouri as he leads the symphony through a musical cornucopia of classic symphonies. Treble-clef devotees can savor the sounds of the romantic era on February 5, 2011, at the Seabrook Auditorium, featuring Brahms's Symphony no. 1 and Strauss's Oboe Concerto, or swim through the sound waves of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1 on March 12, 2011, at Reeves Auditorium. The orchestra will conclude its season on April 30, 2011, at Reeves Auditorium, when it will perform Debussy's harmonic achievement "Afternoon of a Faun" and Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, a piece written while the early-twentieth-century Hungarian composer was experimenting with parachute pants and keytars.
From her station within The Split End Salon and Boutique, licensed cosmetologist Lauren Harless shapes and colors locks into customized and face-flattering styles. By adding sun-kissed highlights, funky streaks of color, or full hue transformations, Lauren can grant her clients with an entirely new look before a single snip of her scissors. For frizzy, hard-to-manage hair, the stylist calls on the Pravana SmoothOut system, which reprograms strands to lie straight and smooth for up to 12 weeks for hair reflective enough to act as a stand-in for vacationing lighthouses.
The designers at Twisted Jeweler aren’t afraid of the competition—in fact, they'll train competitors themselves. While crafting pearl bracelets and 14-karat-gold-filled Daddy Hug Me rings, which bear the birthstones of both a child and a parent deployed in the military, they'll also teach crafters of all ages to string beads and sculpt with wire. Once they've learned the basics, fledgling artisans can sort through sparkling rows of loose Swarovski crystals and jewelry-making supplies such as clasps and head pins. Supplementing a sparkling array of handmade pendants and earrings, the jewelers take on custom design projects to create pieces not found in department stores or the jewelry box of one's elementary-school rival.