Nut Kreations smells like the inside of a cinnamon roll. The scent emanates from the kitchen, where fourth-generation nut farmers roast and season small batches of nuts, such as coconut-cinnamon macadamias and chili-lemon peanuts. The finished treats reside in glass cases, which are arranged in a rectangle at the heart of the store. Inside the rectangle, sales associates give samples and measure out portions of more than 120 nuts, dried fruit, and natural snacks. By scooping treats on behalf of patrons, staff members prevent contamination from fingers and squirrel paws.
Sick of buying expensive supplies and having to adhere to a class schedule just to create art, Jennifer Kurtz Rubin started the first of her chain of ceramic lounges in 1993. Each Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge is designed as a social and creative space, one that all customers can use to express themselves artistically while catching up with friends. The lounge throws open its doors for both kids and adults to decorate clay bisque pieces, such as mugs and salad bowls, with a bounty of colorful supplies, never worrying about cleanup afterward. Once they’re complete, the art pieces are glazed, fired, and ready for pickup in a few days. And because artists can stay for a whole afternoon or just 30 minutes, the lounge even grants a few moments of creativity to patrons with the busiest schedules. The company also goes beyond casual art making to host parties for kids and adults, in which they can bring in live music, serve food, and train scoops of ice cream to paint their own bowls.
Visitors to the unassuming Los Gatos bar Carry Nation's might stop at the door transfixed by a set of stained-glass panels, alive with the outstretched wings of a phoenix rising before a flowerlike sun. The piece, commissioned in 1976, is the work of Tom Stanton, a glass artist with 44 years of experience who shares his expertise with students in his studio and at South Bay high schools. Along with injecting translucent loveliness into unexpected architecture, Stanton has also created pieces for Linda Ronstadt, George Lucas, and more than 1,000 other commissioned clients. Within a former post office, Tom cuts, stains, fuses, and paints glass using a deep toolbox of techniques, inviting pupils to create original pieces and inviting visitors to snatch up inimitable items during the studio's seasonal sales and goblet-tosses.
Razzberry Lips is awash in color. Countless mirrors reflect bright-green and pink walls, tufty princess dresses, and the generous helpings of glitter that grace tiny eyelids and updos. Squeals of delight reverberate though the vibrant salon, where makeover specialists embellish birthday girls and their guests with painted nails, rock-star accessories, and, of course, more glitter. With the finishing girly touch of a feather boa or antique Viking helmet, girls can embrace their inner diva in the presence of staffers dressed as Disney princesses. Razzberry Lips also brings the celebration to home with mobile party services and can transport guests inside a limousine for added glamour.
Strumming strings since 1999, Chris Bryant shares his hard-won musical knowledge with students through one-on-one and group guitar lessons. He designs all of his lessons to be hands-on, because he believes that's the best way for students to pick up guitar fundamentals—by actually playing it. He bases his curriculum on simple chords and chord progressions, ensuring students learn to play both notes and the transitions between.