The friendly staffers at this scrapbooking bazaar guide ambitious crafters through shelves loaded with memory-preserving supplies, including page embellishments, stylish adhesives, hundreds of patterned paper designs, and more than 400 colors of cardstock. Beginners can grab a We R Memory Keepers 12"x12" leather album ($35) and start filling its pages with significant artifacts, such as photographs of a youngster taking his first steps on the moon. Stacks of pretty paper ($.60–$2/sheet) and vibrant Bazzill Basics cardstock ($.65/sheet) host parties for fun flourishes ($2–$5), which patrons can attach to pages or origami airplane pilots using adhesives from Herma, Tombo, and Glue Dots ($2.50–$8).
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece after a few days.
Frame Central, where the upbeat, fun-loving staff works alongside customers preserving their artwork and keepsakes. Frame Central prides itself on its expedient one-day framing. Staffers have devoted years to learning how to craft custom frames fast without sacrificing quality. For one thing, they keep all their materials on hand, saving on time spent sending off for special orders. For another, customers can design and make the frames themselves or meet staffers halfway by allowing them to professionally cut the materials for easy home assembly.
At Paint N' Fire—a paint-your-own pottery studio—shelves of unfinished plates, mugs, and other ceramics wait to be adorned by walk-in painters of all skill levels. Artists work at tiled tables in an earth-toned studio to create imagery that's wildly innovative, beautiful, or commemorates the ancient Athenian victory at Marathon on pottery ready to be filled with flowers, pencils, or wishes. Pottery painters can also use an onsite copier to magnify or reduce graphics and apply those to ceramics. Within a week after studio sessions, glazed and kiln-fired masterpieces are ready for pickup.
The designers at Art Heads Custom Framing preserve portraits, paintings, collectibles, and family heirlooms. These aesthetic experts?who recently framed a pair of gloves formerly inhabited by Marilyn Monroe's hands?consult with clients to customize a frame based on clients' display preferences, the significance of the memorabilia, and whether soon-to-be-framed items might attempt escape. Using these designations, clients draw inspiration from more than 3,000 frame samples to craft frames that include such touches as decorative mouldings and UV-resistant glass.