Bisqueware-lined walls and buckets of bright paint await sparks of creativity to bring them into full-colour radiance. At Vikki's Clay Art Studio, artists first select an unfinished piece of pottery or a fused glass project-in-potentia, and then set to work with provided tools, patterns, stencils, and glazes to create their own unique piece. Expert supervision is always on hand as guests decorate pots or piece together cut glass under expert supervision. Once finished, the pieces disappear into the studio's kiln and emerge ready for pickup after about a week. Private parties let crafters socialize over glass or bisque art while testing out ideas for a set of risqué tea saucers on pals first.
Pacific West Perennial Growers grows more than 1,000 perennials, aquatic plants, veggies, and herbs at its 40-acre wholesale nursery. Ornamented with large colour tags, square pots ($2.75 for 9 cm; $5.50 for 11 cm; $8 for 15 cm) can host a bevy of horticultural specimens grown in-house to shelter disobedient garden gnomes on timeout. Water lilies ($25) beautify marine surfaces, and floaters ($5) can either accompany water lilies for a leisurely dip or nestle into soil-filled pots. As 12-inch terra-cotta planters ($25) await deposits of florae to proudly display, 15-centimetre pots of marginals ($9) overcome outsider statuses by working up the courage to ask out popular petunias.
Winner of numerous plaudits, including WineMaker magazine's U-Vint of the Year award in 2009, Crescent Wines, an on-premise winemaking store, allows patrons the opportunity to select and bottle their own batches of vino. Would-be vintners can choose from six wine varietals—chardonnay, gewurztraminer, pinot grigio, cabernet shiraz, merlot, and valpolicella—from Crescent Wine's selection of high-quality wine kits for a total yield of 31 bottles of a single style. Once the selection process has run its course, Crescent Wine's staff members take over, using their patented methods of racking and handling your nascent libations during the fermentation process.
A dragon perches on a rock and bares its fangs, desperately wanting to take flight. But it remains chained to the ground. For this snarling beast lacks one important thing: colour. That’s where Paula Harvie comes in. As owner of Club Colour, she opens her studio to 40 people at a time to add pigment to more than 100 available ceramic pieces, from the dragon to cupcake trinket boxes and coffee mugs. Whether using stencils and patterns or following the lead of their sugar-stimulated day dreams, patrons can apply artistic designs to the ceramics using the studio’s stock of non-toxic acrylic and glaze paints. Handy staff members then glaze and fire the projects in a kiln to make them dishwasher and microwave safe. Club Colour also runs electric pottery wheel lessons for those who want to build their creation from scratch.
Big Dog Little Dog Bakery concocts artfully decorated dog treats from all-natural ingredients free of preservatives and artificial colouring. Pooch palates will dribble in Pavlovian anticipation at the sight of doggie delicacies such as crunchy liver slivers ($6.99 for 200 g bag) and luscious peanut-butter hearts ($1.99 each). Give a wet-nosed companion the greatest gift since that plate of chicken vesuvio fell on the carpet with a mini luv-ya cake ($5.99), available in peanut butter and honey, scrumptious liver, or wheat-free pumpkin maple. Customers who come for the sweets can stay for the swag, which includes a selection of collars, pet clothing, and accessories such as rhinestone-studded brandy barrels for saint bernards.
Urban Fare's food gurus aim to introduce palates to international flavours by stocking their departments with thousands of brand-name items and a gourmet collection of imported specialties. Vibrant technicolor arrays of locally sourced fruit and veggies greet patrons as they wander through the aisles, and aromas waft from a bakery where grocers check the passports of signature Poilâne bread flown in directly from France. As ambassadors of gourmet food, Urban Fare's team celebrates a passion for the culinary arts by leading cooking classes, hosting tasting events, and delivering their goods directly to homes for catered affairs. An on-site restaurant grants a taste of the masterpieces customers can then craft at home, and specialty designed gift baskets pay homage to science's recent discovery that fruit is edible for humans.
Cedar Rim Nursery sprouts more than 5,000 varieties of verdant species with which to decorate gardens of all shapes and sizes. Culinary herbs enliven window boxes with aromatic makeovers more effective than rosemary-infused sulfur deposits (from $0.99). Dirt devotees can flip backyard meadows into Edenesque landscapes with a selection of more than 120 dwarf fruit trees (from $29.98) or make edifices exotic with tropical houseplants (from $1.98). Annuals, perennials, shrubs, and specimen trees can beautifully bedeck properties, and an extensive selection of water fountains, garden statues, and attractive pots add an element of terrestrial distinction. Check in with an experienced spade wielder regarding upcoming garden theme weekends or for tips on garden design, plantcare, or drafting peace treaties among feuding weevil tribes.