The Bead Biz's bright, cheerful shop is bursting with beads and baubles of all shapes and sizes. Sparkling batches of Swarovski crystals, Japanese seed beads, and glassworked beads invite an artistic eye to adopt them and set them loose upon a string that catches the eyes of passersby and arouses the envy of dully colored mollusks. To burn love into the heart of an uninformed crush, pick up a few fire-polished strands ($3 each or $12 for six) and intertwine them with a variety of base metal chains ($1.75 and up). Or nourish natural beauty with turquoise, jaspers, and agates ($9 and up each). A wide selection of jewelry-making tools is also available. Uncertain shoppers can call upon the sharp eye of The Bead Biz's friendly cats or the friendly knowledge of the expert staff; the owner is a veteran lampworker and wire-wrapper who has a degree in fashion.
For more than three decades, the framing specialists at The Framin' Shoppe have preserved memories behind glass. They build custom frames for flat items such as diplomas or photographs and build shadow boxes to contain three-dimensional items such as quilts or football jerseys with the athletes still wearing them. The shop also purveys DIY framing materials; posters; prints commemorating Alabama, Auburn, and other SEC football teams; and a wide selection of mirrors. Conveniently, the company operates at four Birmingham locations.
Nestled in historic downtown Trussville, The Spotted Zebra's cheerful pink sign invites pedestrians to meander through aisles of eclectic gifts and accessories. El Deano insulated tote bags gleam with green paisley and blue wave patterns, and T-shirts for children and adults bear heartwarming adages and cute designs. A kaleidoscope of jewelry pairs with patterned sunglasses and houndstooth watches, and monograms customize cups, towels, and wall décor. Throughout the year, a metamorphosing stock of seasonal décor and gifts also prepares shoppers for Christmas, Halloween, and Calendar Awareness Day.
Inside their blue-walled studio, staffers at Do-It-Yourself Crafts help visitors wield glass, tie-dye, silver clay, and pottery paints to create colorful, one-of-a-kind artwork. Glass-fusion classes teach patrons the skills they need to meld glass shards into funky tiles, and parties bring friends together to bond while they work on various art projects; patrons 21 or older can tote along libations to fuel the festivities. During pottery-painting sessions, patrons select a piece of raw ceramic bisque to adorn with provided pigments, choosing from forms such as plates, mugs, and plaques.
With a stylish selection and an expert team, EyeCare Associates stocks frames by designers such as Kate Spade, Nine West, Hugo Boss, and Guess. Comprised of doctors and eyewear specialists, the team can screen for eye disease, administer eye exams, fit contact lenses, and repair old frames.
Supplying artists of all ages since the 1960s, Alabama Art Supply thrives off of a network of artists that connects interested visitors to classes, workshops, art associations, and other opportunities. The store's staff assist budding artists in choosing painting necessities from a vast selection of paints which include professional quality brands such as Winsor & Newton. They can also recommend products including canvases, clay, and fine art supplies that suits both professional and amateur artists.