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.
In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.
Enophile John Davis founded Wine Insiders 25 years ago, using his octopus-like industry connections to assemble a panel of wine experts who would seek out the best and most affordable wines. On average, his league of critics approves 5 out of every 100 bottles sampled, ensuring that only the most delicious wines get recommended to his customers. The team even offers a satisfaction guarantee: if customers aren't 100% delighted by the vinos they've selected, Wine Insiders will refund the full cost of the order, no questions asked?not even "So, you doing anything fun this weekend?" Despite its staff's legendary pickiness, Wine Insiders stocks a variety of red and white wines, including pinot noirs, pinot grigios, rieslings, and cabernet sauvignons, each joined by an informative description.
Hailed by Phoenix magazine, among others, for its "mix of whimsy, talent, kitchen smarts and great service," Jax Kitchen concocts upscale comfort fare that blends the familiar with the sophisticated. The eatery?s seasonal dishes, featuring favorite foods of the owners and head chef Virginia Wooters, dress up new york strip steak with sunny-side quail eggs and load sea-scallop chowder with poblano peppers and house-made cornbread croutons. Inside the dining area, soft lighting illuminates each bite, and brick archways form the entrance to an outdoor patio area where patrons can sip cocktails and wines and inhale uninhibited amounts of oxygen.
Right off Madeira Beach's pristine, sandy shores, Barefoot Beach Hotel houses guests in swank suites, some of which overlook the Gulf of Mexico. White sand stretches from the hotel to the water so that guests can make their way to the waves without walking atop long stretches of foot-searing cement or mastering the art of levitation. Boat owners, meanwhile, can jaunt quickly across the street to rent a slip for their seafaring vessels. After a long day of lazing in the sun or swimming in the onsite outdoor pool, guests can use the in-room kitchenettes—replete with dishware, microwaves, and mini fridges—to prepare a pleasant end-of-the-day meal.
Just Frame It operates under the artful eyes of Michael and Maryanne Oaks. The two have been crafting custom frames for more than 15 years, and today, they continue to assist customers in selecting from than 2,000 frame options. Metal, wood, gold, silver, and other rustic frames add character to any work, and a computerized mat cutter keeps edges and corners as sharp and clean as a rocket scientist in a bubble bath. The framing team preserves a range of treasured possessions ranging from paintings, photographs, and posters to three-dimensional memorabilia.