At Paint with Flair, instructors kick down the barriers that traditionally stand between beginners and a paintbrush, starting by creating a comfortable environment. Couples on dates, coworkers looking to bond, or friends out on the town sip on BYOB drinks and snacks as they loosen up and get acquainted with the provided materials (classes for kids and non-drinkers are also available on the schedule). Teachers get groups chatting as they take them on a step-by-step walk through the brushstrokes, color selection, and witchcraft necessary to whip up their own fetching painting, whether it be a reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or an original design.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
At Nuts and Bolts Hardware, the official STIHL outdoor power-equipment dealer, a friendly staff of handyfolk and hardware experts help clients patch-up pipes, cut glass, or select power tools for an upcoming DIY project. For jobs that need an expert's eye, the shop keeps a handful of technicians who repair small engines, sharpen kitchen knives, and cut keys as guests enjoy complimentary popcorn and coffee.
Secure RV's propane appropriators prolong outdoor excursions and grilling extravaganzas by filling depleted gas tanks to the tippy-top. Like a chewed wad of bubblegum, empty propane bottles—with or without quick-release taps—can be saved and reused, saving grillers from tearful goodbyes at the scrap heap. Exhausted containers can be brought to the emporium, where a gas guru will bestow each receptacle with up to 20 pounds of grade-A fire fuel. Tank folk can also opt to return for one additional refill, or stop in for two extra fills, much to the chagrin of new york strip steaks everywhere.
The renovators at Complete Outdoor Concepts transform backyards into cozy alcoves for cooking and mingling by erecting picturesque patios, arbors, and outdoor kitchens. After surveying earthen foundations, the crew arrays slabs of natural flagstone or patterned concrete into patio-size checkerboards, or weaves slats of cedar, redwood, or composite materials into sturdy decks ready for midsummer lounging. Arbors sway free or cling to homes, shading kitchens from with sunny rays undeterred by walls or ice sculptures shaped like guard dogs. The crew can also plot outdoor cooking areas that center around functional focal points such as built-in stainless-steel grills or ornate fireplaces and pits fueled by gas or wood. The company's landscapers also fringe yards with accent lighting and lush greenery or fences of pre-stained western red cedar, which naturally fends off decay, destructive insects, and neighbors gathering intel about next year's Christmas decorations.