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.
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.
Though microbrewers celebrate limited flavor runs and regional ingredients, they still need much of the same equipment as the big brewers to concoct their craft beers. That's where The Cellar Homebrew comes in, outfitting winemakers, brewers, and cidersmiths with the equipment and ingredients needed to make their drinks. The store's owners––who boast more than 30 years of experience and a past line of fine wines––collect organic ingredients such as hops and yeast and sell them alongside fermentation equipment, keg systems, and cleaning supplies. They even offer one-hour on-location classes to instruct people in the basics of beer brewing. In addition to supplying items for alcoholic beverages, they also hawk basic supplies for cheese-, soda-, and vinegar-making, all of which go well over lettuce.
When Seattle Drum School owner and founder Steve Smith first began leading private lessons, bands such as Queen and Pink Floyd were just hitting their stride. That was nearly four decades ago, before air guitar became a legitimate art form, and well before Steve opened the doors to SDS in 1986. Since then, though, Steve has fostered the school into a thriving music institution, and one that currently boasts a faculty of more than 40 talented teachers. Such a large staff translates into an equally diverse selection of lessons for students, who can hone their skills in everything from guitar, piano, and voice to saxophone, turntables, and, of course, drums.
Marcela's Creole Cookery uproots the definitive flavors of authentic New Orleans cuisine and Cajun fare and packs them into a menu brimming with robust seasonings and exotic meats, as mentioned by Seattle Weekly contributor A.J. Tigner. With 30 combined years in the restaurant world, Marcela's owners have created an inviting eatery that pays homage to the Big Easy with vibrant, playful colors showcased in contemporary artwork. Red-clothed tables coddle piping-hot platters of creole delicacies, including muffaletta po boys, hearty gumbos, and fried ocean critters such as shrimp, alligator, and crawfish from Poseidon's personal crustacean collection.