Latest News: Behind the Scenes in Bemus

Convention Center in PHiladelphia where we shop,shop,shop.

Convention Center in Philadelphia where we shop for the store.

Cheese knive with gorgeous flare.

Cheese knife with gorgeous flare.

Ever wonder what goes on in Bemus during the off season? Well, for one, its 13 degress this morning. There are snowmobiles and ice fishermen on the lake. Last weekend, a father and his son were para-sailing across the ice. At Imagine! we are sprucing up the place. And we are shopping. Our most fun trip is to the Buyers Market of American Crafts where we explored 800 booths of stunning artisan crafted US and Canadian work.We found great stuff from 21 of our favorite artists and we added 10 new ones. We are off to more markets and will keep you posted. Can’t wait to show you all the goodies in May.

Daphne jewelry is big, bold and very light. Love.

Daphne jewelry is great big, bold and very light.

Ableman Glass

Ableman Glass

Award winning Arden necklace of multi-layered clay.

Award winning Arden jewelry of multi-layered clay.

Learn Beach Glass or Cabachon Wire Wrapping

photo (35)celtic Learn to wire-wrap beautiful pendants from beach glass or stones. You can learn a simple wrap if you are a beginner or learn to cage them if you are more advancec. Dayle will show you how easy it is. You will wear your pendant home and maybe have time to make another one. Call Dayle for an appointment. 716-753-6779. Class is 10.00 per person per hour ( usually a 2 hour session) plus materials which are available at Imagine!. Bring along some friends and make it a party.Stop by the store to see samples.

Wrapping and Caging Seaglass

dayle2Wrapping and Caging Seaglass 



Ever wonder what to do with that beautiful sea or lake glass? Create your own jewelry. Students will learn how to wrap seaglass with craft wire. After working with the wire, students will learn how to cage a piece of seaglass. Polished stones can be used as well. Wear your creation home.

Caged Wire Wrap

Beginners welcome, ages 12 and up.

Instructor: Dayle Loutzenhiser is a retired school teacher and she has been making sea glass jewelry for more than 6 years.

Cost: $35.00 plus the cost of glass& wire (under $10.00 or bring your own glass). Tools and all else provided in class.

Minimum class size: 2 Maximum Class size:6

Register   or Imagine! 4950 Main Street. 716 386 2244

Knitted Necklace

Have you been wanting to knit using beads? Here is a class just for you. Imagine! will be offering a class on creating a beaded necklace. Call Dayle to make an appointment. 716 753 6779. Get some friends to join you and have a girls day out. Basic knitting skills are needed to be successful with this class. Cost of class is $10.00 per hour per person. It will take about 2 hours to master the skill.  Materials are extra. They can be purchased at Imagine! Stop by to see samples. This is easy and fun.

Knitted Earrings

Enjoy working in a relaxing atmosphere as you learn how to make knitted earrings. Dayle wil show you how.  Knitting skills of casting on , knitting,purling and casting off are necessary.Cost of class is 10.00 per hour plus materials.( two hours should be enough to learn the skill).  Materials can be purchased at Imagine! Call for reservations or stop by and see a sample.Call Dayle directly at 716 753 6779. 

Classy Sassy Bracelet

Instructor: Dayle

Date: Call Dayle to schedule a class for yourself or you and your friends. 716 753 6779

Fee: 20.00 Plus materials

Have fun wirewrapping the beads of your choice on a chain to make your own fabulous bracelet. The pearls would make a great wedding accessory for brides or bridesmaids.  This is a class for beginners or glitzy fashionistas. 8 students maximum. Stop by Imagine! to see a sample and try it (30)

Creative Classes in Bemus Point at Imagine!

ClassSo spring usually doesn’t come to Chautauqua county until July (just kidding) well, say May. But yesterday we saw a boat on the lake near the Casino. Yes, really, and its March 17th. so thats really odd because there are often ice fishermen on the lake in March. But here’s the thing, it feels like any day now the season is going to begin and we are not unpacked at the store. But on April 4th. we are going to open our doors. We are pretty excited to welcome our friends and customers back. We’ve re-arranged things in the shop to make room for all that is new.

We have also done a little restructuring. For example Dayle will now be in charge of all the classes. This will free me up to concentrate on other things. And Dayle is excellect at being organized. She has planned a master calendar at the shop and now it is also on line just waiting to be filled. She has contracts designed for our teachers and a great new tracking and feed back system that will help us make your learning experience even more fun. This year, among other classes we are offering a beginner knitting class in June and October. Students will learn all the basics while making a lush, thirsty cotton washcloth. Have you ever used a hand knit one? Spoiler Alert! you will feel sorry for yourself if you have to go back to using a commercial cloth. Dayle is doing a sea glass pendant class in June and October as well and Chris French is coming back to do a wonderful beaded and wire necklace class in May. We are excited to welcome Barb Dunderdale,  who has promised to teach us to make socks and of course, our famous Bead Lady, Kathy Shomo will be back to sign her new book and show us some fun new projects. Fused Glass classes continue with new offerings by Wendy Cohen and we can’t wait to find out what Sandy and Joan have on their knitting needles. We are thrilled that Jackie Thies will join us with a spectacular beaded necklace. We’ll be sending announcements and list them on the site in the next few weeks.

Schaeffer Hand Dyed Men’s Sweater

Here is Jim modeling a luxury look from Schaeffer yarns.This one is made from their “Sampler Pattern” The sweater had to be lengthened because Jim is 6’5″ but it was worth the extra yarn and time to complete.I would not recommend this for beginners but a great project for everyone else. The picture doesn’t show how many patterns are running through the design but there are cables up each sleeve and various patterns on the front and back. I think my next project will be a washcloth, with no patterns.

Chautauqua County and Beads

About 10 years ago, while I was visiting family in Cleveland, my family was entertaining friends from out of town who wanted to visit a bead store.( You guessed it, they were from California- why do they know everything before the rest of do?) I had never heard of such a thing. Being crafty and curious, we found Isle of Beads in the yellow pages and went to see. I couldn’t get over how many beads we saw. On my first visit , it just made me dizzy. Most were sorted according to color. I didn’t know a regular person could make a piece of jewelry. Our guests were into hemp bracelets and bought supplies but I was totally intrigued by the other possibilities. I didn’t stay long enough to try a class but I did buy some supplies and a book. After that is was trips to Cleveland to visit family and to stop by the bead store. It was quite  a distance to go for supplies and I didn’t plan ahead very well, it seems I would be in the middle of a project and forget to have gotten something really vital in the design.  I shopped the local craft superstores, but I was already spoiled and wanted the beautiful beads. I also got some things on the Internet but sometimes they would be describing cerulean blue in a dainty size and puce green would arrive the size of a gnat.
When we envisioned our shop, Imagine! it was one of those totally out-of-hand family free-for-all  meetings attended by 3 generations in which everyone had a different concept. I was campaigning for beads. They let me have my way and I am happy to say that our bead department (one of 5 departments) is growing and you can get a great range of pretty and unusual beads, tools, books and instruction right in Chautauqua County. Also, thanks to our bead instructor, Anne Jackson, we carry the largest seed bead collection in the region.
The other day a customer said, “Wow you are lucky because you can make whatever you want and all the supplies are here.” I smiled but the truth is, I made more jewelry before I owned the shop. There is always so much to do in our store. But is is great for me to see the same excitement and enthusiasm I felt when I learned and discovered how many really beautiful things anyone can make. I love watching people in classes really enjoying the experience of making something unique and getting complimented.  The really great thing is, anyone can bead! Really. There are some crafts that take skill and patience, but this isn’t one of them, you can make something lovely right away and there is always something more to learn. My friend Norma picked it up immediately and she makes me laugh because she wakes up in the morning and looks in the mirror and often says, “Hmmm. I don’t have earrings to go with this blouse…” then she makes them. I make coffee in the morning, Norma makes earrings!