So how can you complain about winter when you can stay cozy and knit. Just finished a great cowl using 1 skein of Cascade Casablanca and now flirting with the idea of starting Laura Nelkin’s lovely cowl using lace weight Freia. We have kits of Laura’s designs in four colorways ready for our opening in May 1st. Can’t wait to see what you are knitting.
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.
Did you see we were #7 in this month’s Lake Erie Living’s, 10 Great Boutiques, Galleries and Stores around the Lake? Just in case you need another reason to come and visit us this summer.
There are so many things to do in Bemus Point, like boating, dinning at one of the 9 restaurants, watching live entertainment on the floating stage, but don’t forget the shopping. There are 14 shops to choose from. Each of the shops has its own character, so there is a wide selection. They are specialty stores that feature gifts hand picked by really passionate shop keepers . Because of this, it is rare that you will find the same item from store to store.
Imagine! is an artistic mix of mostly made-in-America, and/ or made in the county, and/ or made right at the store gifts. You will often find one of a kind gifts. The collection is eclectic and includes collectible and vintage pieces as well as contemporary work. One of the shops’s specialties is a romantic selection of Estate Jewelry. Designer and statement jewelry are a favorite,too. Many pieces are made exclusively for the store. They range from fun and funky to upscale and artsy. In addition to jewelry, the shop showcases leather, wood and ceramic pieces as well as hand-dyed silk accessories including scarves, ponchos and ruanas. Hand-woven linen wraps and hand- knit, felted bags, hats and mittens are often on the shelves . Glass is a favorite of the store owners and leaded, fused and blown glass are to be found throughout the shop. The place brings out your inner crafty so you might be inspired to make something of your own including beach glass jewelry, beaded or strung bracelets, rings or necklaces or you could learn to knit and crochet . There is a cozy section of the store where the coffee is always brewing and you can bring a project to work on or schedule a class for you and your friends. The store has evolved since it first opened in the spring of 2006 and it is easy to see the influence of the owner’s background in theater. Often customers will say that the shop is “different” “unique” like a “treasure hunt” ”eye candy” Imagine! is just one of the the fun stores in Bemus. The village offers shopping the way it should be where there are goodies waiting to be discovered that you won’t find just anywhere.
After a winter break, we are excited to see everyone again. We want to catch up on what you have been doing over the winter, what have you been making? Did you travel? Also, we can’t wait to show you all the great things we found on our buying trips. And we put fresh paint on the walls so the shop looks light and airy. We are going to open the doors on Thursday April 4th. and have a little open house on the Sat. the 6th. Nick from Chef to Go is making home made cookies for us and we will have coffee from Stedman Corners. So please stop by and say hi. We have new gifts and yarn and beads and so much more arriving all spring. On order are Barrick candles. They are brilliant colors and burn for 30 hours, have no scent. Our spring hours are Thursday-Sunday 10-5. Come see us, we miss you!
Imagine! is more than a knit shop. It is two stores in one, really. In the front rooms, the shop is filled with gifts that are artisan crafted by individual U.S. and Canadian artists. Some of these artisans are from Chautauqua county. The store specializes in jewelry of all kinds including pieces that are produced just for Imaigne! or by Imagine!. In addition, we offer Estate Jewelry that is collectible and high-end pieces that feature gemstones, gold and silver. The idea is that you can buy something creative that is an old or current hand-made item or you can move to the back of the store and find luxury beads and yarns to make your own inspired work of art. We have instructors who will teach you how to drill beach glass, or to wrap the beach glass in silver, gold or copper in order to fashion a piece of jewelry for you or as a gift. We also teach the basic skills for beading, fused glass, polymer clay, wire work, and many other creative jewelry-making techniques. For a current list of classes, please click classes and see individual listings or check the calendar. To see samples of the projects, stop by our store. We are open Wed-Sat 10-5 off season but between Memorial Day and Labor Day we are open 7 days a week. Imagine! is closed in the winter from January through March.
Yancey and I just recently returned from Philadelphia where we shopped at the Buyers Market of American Crafts. We met with artists like Barb Levy http://www.barbielevyjewelry.com/ and Jill O’Reilley http://jilloreilly.com/artist.html whose jewelry has been featured at our shop. We bought great new pieces from them and other jewelry artists whose jewelry we love to carry. And we found some artists that will be completely new for this coming season like Starbird http://starbirdjewelry.com/index.html They are a mother/daughter jewelry- making team from Texas. Their work is so unusual because of its textures. We drooled over the work of Megan Auman http://www.etsy.com/shop/meganauman who designs in clean lines with steel and sterling and Kevin O’Grady who makes bracelets of glass. We put them on our wish list for the near future. In all we visited over 250 jewelry booths. There were so many choices, it took several days of contemplating. We got so excited that we decided to re-do our jewelry displays and are currently working on them. One of the artists that we have been wanting to carry for several years is Michael Michaud who designs for Four Season’s Design Group. He is a nature jeweler. His pallette is the garden, or the woods, anywhere nature is displaying its beauty. His designs are actually cast from real flowers and leaves and they are stunning.http://www.fourseasonsdesigngroup.com/silver-about-us We found necklaces made to look like pussy willows and pink miniature pearls that circle your wrist like lilac stems. We can’t wait untill we open the boxes and show them to you! By April 4th. we hope to have them start streaming in for you to see and enjoy. In next week’s post, we’ll tell you about what we bought besides jewelry. Can’t wait to share our shopping experience with you.
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!