Imagine! Shop or Create

Imagine! is a place where you can shop or create. Its your source for local and national treasures handcrafted in artisan studios for your home. Be inspired by beautifully executed jewelry, wood, glass, metal, fiber and mix media.

Create something memorable yourself in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. We sell supplies and offer classes which include knitting, crochet, wire work jewelry, beading, sea glass, fused glass, fine silver clay. We have many teachers with various specialties and sometimes we host international instructors.

Imagine! is a place to linger over coffee with friends or make new ones. Bring your latest project and chat. Not the crafty type,?browse our eclectic mix of surprises. We look forward to welcoming you. We’re open Memorial Day-Labor Day Open 7 Days a week 10-5

Winter Hours Wed.-Sat.10-5 (call for holiday schedule or snow day cancellation)

Closed Jan 1 and re-opening April4th.

Shopping!

The georgeous blown glass hearts from Chicago artist Jeff Price

We are pretty excited, because on Friday, Yancey and I are headed for Philadelphia and the Buyers Market of American Crafts show. This is a wholesale-only event that features the work of hundreds of extraordinary artist from the U.S. and Canada. It is held at the Philadelphia Convention Center. We’ll get an early start because we want to arrive by 4p.m. That is when they will open about 1/3  of the floor, the jewelry exhibitors area. Usually, they greet you with Mimosas. Lovely, you can sip and browse. Everything  is artisan- crafted and it makes you proud to see how ingenious our American artist are. It can be overwhelming, though, Last year there were about 250 jewelers represented. It takes hours to view. The work ranges from diamonds in minimal classic settings to very artsy or whimsical designs. Nothing looks like the jewelry in stores at the mall. These designers are award- winning. And we get to meet them and talk about their work. We are looking for new trends from artists we already carry and hope to add some new ones to our collections. After hours of browsing and taking notes, we head out to find dinner. We usually end up at one of the Thai or Asian Fusion places just down the block. But we know that before we leave Philly, we’ll make our way over to the Italian restaurant that everybody from the show loves.  After dinner, we comb through the catalogues that we have gathered on the show floor and mark booth numbers that we will re- visit. Then we crash. In the a.m.  I’m up and out by 7:30 in order to grab a cup of coffee and attend the seminars offered by national experts on all kinds of topics. Last year I was really inspired by the editor of Gift Ware Magazine who did a slide presentation about store windows. As soon as I got home, I asked Vern Johnson make a platform and had lighting installed in our windows. All year, we had so much fun designing displays, using information that I learned from the speaker.

So then for the next two days, its hour and hours on the floor, checking more than 500 additional booths in aisles divided by categories such as “Glass” “Ceramics” “Apparel” “Mixed Media”etc. Its a little crazy- making because there is so much to see, so many decisions to make. We get sore from walking. Aspirin. We have to take short breaks. Creme Bruelee. We have to keep checking our budgets. Coffee. We have to try not to fall in love with too much. Wine. Every night we go over our work sheets. Tums

 

So we’ll let you know how our trip went this year. Here’s the most important part, we will be thinking of you when we shop, because that is what it is all about. We want you to come to the store with the same excitement as we feel at the show. We want to find the most wonderfu, fun, interesting, treasures in the country for you. Cheers!

Araucania Yarn Linen and Cotton

Lontue by Araucania

When the yarn representatives come to the shop with their suitcases full of samples, its an exciting day. How the mills keep coming up with new temptations, I can’t fathom. We vocalize our approval involuntarily,”ohhh…oooo…ahhh” as we pat the skeins, as if they were kittens. But we really try to be restrained,too.We want to buy the most beautiful for our customers but not every yarn we see. Invariably, however, when the reps are leaving, they always give us a skein or two to worry over. What do I mean by that? Well, its usually something we hesitated over but then pass up. Maybe it is  too expensive, maybe doesn’t fit in with our current stock, maybe got over looked because there were so many stars. But then its left with us, there it is, the yarn you didn’t buy,one skein.  Two weeks ago, we were left with a beautiful skein of yarn. Its Lontue by Araucania. Its a 50% linen and 50% cotton, hand- dyed in Chile and meant to be worked on a 4 needle. I said,”Its a sophisticated yarn, I love it but not sure our customers would buy it. For one thing its on size 4 needles.” And there it is , sitting on my desk  for the last two weeks and I am absolutely being seduced by it. We had seen a scarf made of it, not very wide, not very long, but it had a lovely drape. The skein is 249 yards so I think it only took one to make the scarf. The picture doesn’t show the texture very well, the fiber is matte and that makes the colors seem rich but still earthy since the linen running through features the natural texture. So here’s what I’m thinking, I’ll just knit up a scarf, like the one we saw and then I’ll show it to the knitters that come into the store and see what they think. Or, if anyone has ever used it and you’re reading this, let us know what you think. I used to hate to knit on such small needles, but lately, I am beginning to enjoy the delicate beauty of the smaller stitches. I just finished a lovely Steve West scarf with Madelinetosh merino light and love it. I’ll write about it soon. Meantime, I have to go wind some yarn.

Gift Shopping in Chautauqua County

Niche Award winner 2011 hand sewn leather bag by WiliNilli

Lake Erie Glass pendant

Ruby Bracelet

 

Shopping on vacation is part of the fun,right?. There is a sense that you won’t find this item at home. And you’re probably right. If you are a boutique shopper, cool little indie shops are where you find your visual fix, so don’t miss Imagine! in Bemus Point when you are cruising Chautauqua county. Imagine! is an ever changing mix of eye candy and carefully selected eclectic treasures. Some are from county artisans and some are  produced at the shop itself. The store features American made, artisan- crafted gifts gathered from travels throughout the U.S. . So that means local customers don’t have to leave the county to see some of the most stunning work that is available. They can find it anytime at Imagine! You’ll see a mix of fiber, wood, ceramics, leather, glass and particularly jewelry of every kind.The staff is particularly fond of estate pieces with diamonds, pearls, gold as well as contemporary work from national and local artists. Here’s the thing about Imagine! , the work of the artists is inspiring, so then walk into the back of the store and you’ll find a classroom where visiting and local instructors teach you how to make something of your own. Luxury yarns and beads from around the globe are available for you to play with. Some of the items are so easy to make, 12 year- olds have mastered them in minutes. There are jewelry techniques, clay, fused glass, felting and more. The atmosphere is fun and welcoming, so if you are a curious shopper, we’ll see you there. Hours are seasonal so check our website or call 716 386 2244.