Sticks sprung from humble origins when, in 1992, Sarah Grant began carving ornaments and candlesticks from birch, poplar, and driftwood in a small studio in Des Moines. As her work began to attract national interest and demand for it grew, Sarah enlisted the aid of other local artists and expanded her inventory to include handcrafted heirloom-quality furniture, whimsical sculptures, and intricate keepsakes.
Today, the artists’ work is showcased in more than 100 galleries across the country. Their installation projects have even decorated the walls of Blank Children’s Hospital, the Animal Rescue League of Central Iowa, and the student center at Iowa State University.
Sticks artists can often be spotted by the shores of local rivers, gathering driftwood for their work. They assemble the wood into custom-designed tables, beds, and armoires within their spacious, light-filled studio before painting them with colorful, whimsical designs, from smiling suns and moons to lush landscapes. The versatile artists even take their tools and paintbrushes to homes, businesses, and underground mad-scientist labs to craft custom art installations and interiors.
With members certified by the American Lighting Association, The Ar-Jay Center’s staff of seasoned illuminators shine a new light on hum-drum homes with stylish accessories including lighting, ceiling fans, and mirrors. Brighten shadowed corridors with the aerial radiance from an oil-rubbed bronze mini pendant light ($38), or pinpoint bodily smudges underneath the cascading effulgence of a three-bulb bath light ($47). Halogen desk lamps keep work on schedule with brilliant light and built-in clocks ($30); the blades of a bronze 52-inch ceiling fan supply rooms with the wind power required during hot summers or indoor parasailing practice ($75). The center's experienced design staff stands ready to assist with any furnishing inquiries, helping customers tease out the personality of otherwise bashful roosts.
Art & More provides a plethora of options for Hawkeyes fans to display their devotion without resorting to elaborate Alan Alda tattoos. Hang a locker-room jersey print on a wall or coat rack ($29.99), or spot yourself in the crowd of the Kinnick Stadium triple-view print ($24.99). Baseball, basketball, and racing fans can find abode adornments at Art & More, as can the non-athletically inclined, with architecture, humor, inspirational, vintage, and movie prints also available. Art & More will custom frame any artwork for an additional fee, saving the trouble of licking the backs of posters before pasting them on envelope-thin walls.
In business for more than a century, the family-owned centers specialize in a wide array of photography services. Utilizing the latest digital printing equipment, the knowledgeable robo-staff can create high-quality digital prints from film, digital images, and more. They can turn images into a life-sized poster ($24.99–$29.99) or museum-worthy canvas print ($39.99 and up) to comfort and watch over the cat while you're at work. Create greeting cards, announcements, and invitations for special events ($0.99 and up), or celebrate any occasion with photo-laden gifts such as mugs ($12.99–$16.99), T-shirts ($16.99–$24.99), and calendars ($16.99–$29.99). Harold's can also convert VHS to digital form while editing and adding narration, graphic titles, and music with audiovisual artistry ($19.99 and up).
With thousands of frame and mat combinations, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (diploma framing starts at around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (starting around $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24"x36" pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Nagle keeps home improvers improving homes with a full line of tools, building materials, and constructible constructables. Pound roof nails ($9.49/5 lbs.) into roofs or Barbie doll arms into chocolate bars with a 13 oz. fiberglass handle claw hammer ($16.49). Or keep dampness out of larger rooms with an Eva Dry wireless dehumidifier ($34.99), or a 10 lb. pail of Waterplug Cement ($16.49), which seals running water out of cracks with a nontoxic, nonshrinking formula. A handy window thermometer ($6.99) will help you remember what season it isn't, while a fetching 20"x36" welcome mat ($25.99), will encourage visits from loved ones or mailmen any time of the year.