Besides a working kitchen, there are two things a person needs in order to cook: the right gear and the right recipes. The chefs and food aficionados at Kitchen Fantasy supply both with an extensive stock of cookware and a full schedule of cooking classes. Kitchen Fantasy's products run the gamut from tools, like cheese slicers and meatball makers, to accessories, such as chef's coats. Its courses, taught by a team of experienced chefs, touch on general and specific cooking techniques, from knife skills to vegetable-cooking methods less destructive than flooding a garden with boiling water.
Ace hardware's knowledgeable staff wrangles a massive herd of home-improvement and gardening supplies and provides a variety of services for remodelers and handymen. Pick up a six-piece screwdriver set ($11) and an Ace rip hammer ($14.49) and tap into a cornucopia of fasteners as laden with screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary) as the pockets of a lottery-winning robot. Patrons illuminate newfound décor with a two-pack of Dynatrap ultraviolet light bulbs ($11.99), the better to see by while using a five-piece paint-roller tray kit ($9). The store's staff also cuts keys and offers a paint-matching service free of charge to allow clients to fulfill the wishes of finicky peacock tenants.
Working with local artists, the home decor experts at Skylar's Home & Patio have assembled hundreds of unique furniture pieces and accessories made in the U.S. to fit many interior and exterior home-decor styles. The showroom displays sectionals and a variety of styles that include vintage-like and shabby-chic pieces for the dining room, living room, or bedroom, as well as ultrasleek stands for plasma TVs. Resin-wicker and cast-aluminum patio furniture dominate the outdoor-furniture selection, which includes fire pits that warm up backyard gatherings or make a fine replacement for temperamental office shredders.
Through innovation and a passion for creation, Eleanor Burns revolutionized the process by which quilts are made. She cast off the shackles of scissors and templates for a more visceral approach that combines the ripping and stripping of fabric with an assembly-line approach to sewing. The new process brought an exciting speed to an activity once known for taking months and causing anyone who attempted it to grow a 4-foot beard. To spread the word and bolster the quilting community, she released her first book, Make a Quilt in a Day––Log Cabin Pattern.
Thirty years and 100 quilt books and patterns later, she continues to promote the art of the quilt and to improve the efficiencies of quilt construction. Along with a staff of fellow seamstresses, she began Quilt in a Day to further spread her message through simple and social classes filled with thorough and accurate instruction. Beginners can register for classes or attend a demo day, where refreshments fuel entertainment and scraps of fabric fly.