A student of Native American, Peruvian, and Siberian shaman traditions, Rhonda Day-Kooy spreads her passion for medicinal plants through the green products, classes, and events offered at Blue Feather. Some of Day-Kooy's customers come to the botanical boutique for aromatherapy certification, and others stop in to purchase eco-friendly skincare products by Babo Botanicals and whimsically flammable wares from Flying Wish Paper. In the Healing Hut, Rhonda and her therapists lead spiritual therapies, including guided meditation, chakra balancing, and foot-based reflexology treatments.
Circle of Stones' expert beadsmiths enlighten stringing scholars on jewelry making amidst a kaleidoscopic collection of imported stones and natural minerals in a variety of two-hour classes. In a selection of beginner-level classes, twosomes can glean skills in basic jewelry techniques, learning how to wire-wrap earrings, the approach for finishing necklace ends, and how to tell the difference between a string of gemstones and a candy necklace. Knotted Necklace classes teach the ways of spacing beads between knots of linen to highlight glittering baubles, while Braided Crystal Bracelet classes merge shimmering Swarovski crystals with miniature seed beads to create eye-catching accoutrements.
Cela Creations's jewelry designer, Angela Casaccio, collects baubles from vintage shops and trade shows to display alongside her own handiwork and a trove of semiprecious stones for DIY accessorizing. Hark back to simpler times by jotting ransom notes on baroque Anna Griffin stationery ($14.95–$19.95), or by stringing a strand of vintage Bakelite beads ($10.50–$12.50) that glitter with tiny, colored Swarovski crystals. Casaccio knots thin strips of leather around a solitary black Tahitian pearl ($38) so it may be lashed to wrists or draped over collarbones.
Frugal Muse is all about second chances. Within its 7,000 sq. ft. of retail space, a novel's protagonist can take another shot at defeating the villain, finding true love, or successfully opening a pickle jar. Here, shelf after shelf holds lightly-used and discounted books, vinyl records, movies, video games, and CDs. At one end of the store, a $1 bargain wall surrounds patrons with even more discounted reading materials, while two separate rooms brim with 10,000 items for kids.
As for the source of these second-hand materials, Frugal Muse relies on its customers, who can bring in gently used items for store credit (or cash in certain cases). And while second-hand items remain the focus, the store does stock some new reading materials. The staff can even special order most books in print for about 25% off their going price.
The hardest part of the process at Glazed Expressions is probably picking a piece of pottery to paint. They have hundreds of ceramics available, from mugs and platters to decorative vases and trinket boxes. Once you've selected one, you can paint it however you like with a choice of glaze colors, and, for those who don't trust their freehand painting skills, stamps and stencils. Whether attending with friends, as part of an adult or kids' party, or on your own, the staff will fire your piece for you and have it ready for pickup within one week. Beyond readying pieces, the staff can also create custom ceramics, painting gifts for weddings, baby showers, or interventions for paper plate adicts per the customers' design requests.
Mid-America Raceway's slot-car facility stocks everything from parts and paints to motors and controllers. These items include JayGee controllers, Falcon motors, Open-12 chasses, and Sonic gears that enable miniaturized drivers to shift quickly through sharp turns. Elsewhere, the shop's winding racetracks buzz with activity during races, as new and experienced racers test their skills while precise electronics track their lap times. Staff members—including the shop's track dog, Marshall—also host special events for racers of all ages.