Lined with Swarovski Elements crystal pendants, gemstones, Japanese seed beads, sterling-silver findings, and handmade glass beads, Fusion Beads seems to glimmer. For the experienced beader, it's a treasure trove of all the materials necessary to create stunning pieces, and the knowledgeable staff help beginners sift through the stock to find everything they need to start a necklace or bracelet. The team also hosts several classes each week, covering everything from the techniques of basic beading to the more advanced metalsmithing, precious-metal clay manipulation, and bead weaving. Because the shop only hires dedicated beaders, each employee has firsthand knowledge to help shoppers with their projects, whether they want to create the perfect gift for a loved one or make the perfect earrings for their look-alike bobble head.
The sound specialists at Bellevue American Music help outfit local bands and aspiring rock stars with musical equipment from brands such as Fender, Korg, Yamaha, Roland, and Bogner in the bright, open showroom. Learning to play the intro song to Hogan's Heroes from sheet music is much easier with an On Stage XCG4 guitar stand ($13.49) and artillery of D'Addario EXL120 strings ($5.99). Hone vocal skills outside of showers with an On Stage mic stand ($29.99), or squelch creative differences with the raucous roar of the Peavey Vypyr 15 amp ($99.99). Those eager to accessorize the recent growth of their folk-indie beard may nab a Lee Oskar harmonica ($38.99) and settle into their tax accountant's stoop for an impromptu show.
Natural light plus relaxed subjects equals natural-looking, stunning pictures. That's the equation Heather works with during on-location photo sessions for families, couples, and kids. Shooting outdoors opens up a huge array of photo settings, including grassy fields, glassy lakes, and myriad architectural backgrounds. Because of Heather's relaxed approach, her pictures also capture people at their most natural, allowing tangible emotion and personality to come through each image.
In addition to teaching amateurs the ways of the camera, the photographers at Hudson's Photo Workshops have been coaching professional photographers for over 25 years. They create portraits on location or at the Tukwila studio, which is replete with low lighting, plush couches, and neutral-toned walls. The final images look wholesome and classic, ideal for a large custom wall display in your home. In addition to capturing portraits, the photographers outfit clients with prints and digital slideshows that facilitate online sharing. Classes elucidate photography techniques, including the rule of thirds and how to capture a 20-story human pyramid without a wide-angle lens.
Out of the Blue Aviation's experienced instructors take wannabe pilots skyward, handing over the reins in an exhilarating 50- to 60-minute flying adventure. The experience begins with a one-hour customized lesson, where instructors brief pupils on flight plans and safety precautions before buckling up in one of Out of the Blue's five modern aircraft. The aerial apprentice then commandeers the sky boat northeast to nearby picturesque Mount Baker, or west toward the San Juan Islands, perhaps spotting a whale—or a flotilla of seaweed shaped like a whale—before circling back to the Arlington airport.