Bead Bar's bead baristas guide jewelry crafters with a wealth of bauble knowledge, provisioning projects from the amply stocked store. Students can bring their own spirited refreshments to make sessions merrier, journeying past bead-bedazzled walls and cascades of clasps to reach the workshop, where they'll discover the basics of jewelry creation during basic stringing and crimping classes (click here to view the schedule). After pupils choose one of five bracelet kits—which include a clasp, four fire-ball beads, finishing beads, wire, wire guards, and a strand of firepolish beads—instructors model foundational stringing techniques and imbue new crafters with a sense of symmetry and color combinations. Bracelet makers learn how to highlight feature beads and artfully select accent beads, then take an oath to use filler beads only for fighting crimes of bare-wristedness. To bring closure to both classes and adornments, the staff imparts advice on selecting clasps to make sure bracelets can't leave wrists or ankles without asking permission first.
Though the loaves you buy off the shelves at Wildflower Bread Company might be warm from the oven, they might not have been made fresh that day. That's not because Wildflower uses frozen dough—rather, its bakers are firm believers in slow-rising bread, letting their handcrafted dough rise for 16–24 hours before it ever sees an oven. So every morning, dough mixed and hand-shaped the previous day is worked into one of 18 styles of bread. The house specialties include classic baguettes, rye bread sprinkled with pasilla chilies, pretzels, or loaves worked through with rosemary and sea salt. These breads can be bought by the loaf or enjoyed as the anchors of a gourmet sandwich, an edible soup bowl, or a side for salad or pasta. The bakers also make room in their ovens for scones, tarts, and cakes, taking care of their customers' sweet teeth so they can stop chaining the table sugar to the coffee station.
Baker’s Nursery has been a Phoenix landmark for more than 40 years, and Phoenicians love this cheerful nursery so much that they come here simply to hang out in the centerpiece tree house and to enjoy the gorgeous acres of gardens. There are plants, trees, shrubs and flowers, of course, ranging from cacti to Chinese evergreen. There are also décor items such as pottery, statues, planters, outdoor furniture and an entire section dedicated to houseplants. The staff clearly enjoys their work, and is happy to offer guidance on what plants are best for any situation, how to cure that black thumb, when to schedule fertilizers and explain what every crazy-looking garden tool is designed to do. Home delivery is available and couples can sign up for a wedding gift registry.
Recognized by the Phoenix New Times as the Best Place to Prep for Your Project Runway Audition in 2009, The Bernina Connection provides the sewing set with a variety of fabrics, notions, equipment, and Bernina sewing machines. The shop also helps its customers reach their needle-wielding potential with both an eclectic schedule of classes that emphasize quilting, embroidery, and good grammar. Stay warm during Phoenix's famously brutal winters by creating an aesthetically pleasing cover in one of the art quilt classes (usually $30) or replace your worn-out hobo's bindle during a four-hour carry-all bag class ($30). The Amy Butler and Friends Sewing Circle Series, meanwhile, focuses on popular designer Amy Butler ($25 per session). Otherwise, live out sartorial fantasies with the Urban T-Shirt class ($30) or learn to hem without hawing in Hem Those Jeans! ($10). Students can also sign up for instruction on a number of specialty projects, such as golf-club covers, napkins, or life-sized reproductions of ancient Babylonian ziggurats. Each class accommodates about a dozen people to ensure that everyone gets plenty of one-on-one attention.
A kaleidoscope of multichromatic blossoms and emerald leaves bursts from the soil, blanketing 65 acres of desert landscape at Desert Botanical Garden. Diverse walkways flanked by more than 1,200 types of cacti, succulents, and wildflowers educate visitors on the importance of protecting the environment and not hugging every plant they see. In addition to the garden's more stationary organisms, some of which go home with local green thumbs during biannual plant sales, numerous avian and insect species make their homes amid the thriving greenery.