Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece 7-10 days later.
Provo Craft fuels creative endeavors with its versatile Cricut Expression die cutter. Bedecked in candy-cane colors, the machine slices large, crisp letters, shapes, and mystical runes using a 12"x24" or 12"x12" mat. Four best-selling font and shape cartridges, including Cricut Classic Font, Cricut Essentials, Jasmine, and adorable Doodlecharms, tag along in a comprehensive bundle of crafty creativity. Classrooms, scrapbooks, and get-togethers perk up and take on extra charm from the personalized, professional look of Cricut Expression–generated images.
If anyone can appreciate the elemental appeal of art glass, it’s Tom Holdman. A severe stutterer as a child, Mr. Holdman discovered art as a means of communication, and in high school he focused his efforts on the medium of glass—and the passion only grew from there. He opened a studio in his parent's garage, creating glass for windows and cabinets. Eventually, Tom saved up enough money to travel to Europe and master the art of stained glass. In the more than 20 years since, Tom has carved, painted, fused, and designed thousands of commissioned works—including the glass found in Mormon temples throughout the world.
Within the Holdman Studios facility, Tom and his fellow artists create both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art that inspire glass-hating philistines to put down their hammers and weep. When not bringing their own visions to life, they teach public classes in stained glass, glass blowing, and other topics.
Since 1964, Guitar Center has paired musicians with guitars, keyboards, drums, Pro Audio gear, and necessary accessories, including DJ and recording equipment to capture newly made melodies. An iPad music-stand adaptor ($39.99) connects an iPad to a music stand, allowing musicians to access online programs and music apps on-stage, or to publicly dedicate a song to their online Scrabble partner. A clip-on tuner ($29.99) keeps notes pitch-perfect, and Guitar Center’s array of sheet music produces a wider variety of sounds than singing from a thesaurus, with options that include the C-surfing The Real Blues Book ($31.49). Stitch tighter harmonies by threading notes onto Slinky guitar strings ($3.79), or use the value of today's Groupon toward a larger purchase, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II guitar ($169–$179.99). Guitar Center rounds out its collection of gear with Pro Audio and DJ equipment, keyboards, and drums, allowing every band member or solo cymbal player to stock up on their chosen form of expression.