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.
At Jerry’s Artarama, resident artists draw on personal experience and channel the shop's four decades in business to help create works in nearly any medium. Shelves bravely bear the weight of multitudinous tubes of paint ranging from traditional oil paints made from 150-year-old processes, to easy-to-use acrylic pigments. Artists can wield a Mejillo TruColor palette to serve as a launching pad for paints, or take up PrismaColor colored pencils to add vivid pigmentation to sketches. For more specialized projects, customers can stock up on the store's street-art supplies and screen-printing kits.
Meanwhile, the framing professionals at Jerry’s Artarama navigate a bounty of glass, mats, mounting, and moulding options to personalize the framing of photos, watercolor landscapes, and napping bats. Frame options include the warm whorls of wooden frames as well as silver, black, or gold aluminum frames to complement any work's color scheme.
Mandy Little, the expert shutterbug behind Moments in the Sun Photography, captures posed photos and candid shots of wedding parties, families, newborn babies, and pretty much any other type of photo subject. After these sessions, the photographer edits the photos, ensuring that each shot looks its best. She can also transform the photos into prints, burn them onto CDs, and upload them to an online viewing gallery.
The canny crafters at the Creative Quest teach a variety of classes in bookbinding and card making, and the shop stocks a variety of raw materials for independent expression. Each class ($20+) is taught by one of the store's artists, who assists students in completing individually meaningful projects. After perusing each month's schedule, feel free to get regularly acquainted with text in the Book of the Month class ($25), which focuses on bookbinding technique, or elect to Play With Judy ($25), which follows the creation of six greeting cards with an intense pickup game of paper football. Make and Take ($2), which runs every Wednesday and Thursday, allows an opportunity for participants to craft a card for friends, loved ones, or fake credit unions. The Creative Quest supplies solo artistic ventures with rubber stamps ($3–$15) and quality papers ($4–$8) in myriad colors and textures.
Scrap Happy Sisters' homey store keeps crafters well stocked in the latest paper provisions and scrapbooking supplies. Once or twice a month, the shop thrusts open its doors after hours for an evening of late-night communal crafting (6 p.m.–12 a.m. Fridays; 5 p.m.–11 p.m. select Saturdays). Participants first purchase fuel for their six-hour snipping binge, such as a 12" x 12" album ($13–$32), sheets of patterned paper ($0.65+ each), and various memory-enhancing embellishments, before wielding the store's vast arsenal of scrapbooking weaponry to reshape raw materials into a worthy tribute to a family vacation or time spent in Attica. Working elbow-to-elbow with other paste enthusiasts, you'll crop photos and artfully arrange stickers, giving advice to and garnering it from your companions and the stamp-savvy staff. Complimentary sodas and snacks can sustain the festivities until as late as midnight, when the shop's pattern-edged scissors turn into pumpkins. Scrap Happy Sisters also grants Late Late Nighters a 15 percent discount off products purchased for the crop-a-thon.