The ultimate craft store

January 16, 2010 at 8:02 am (Best of the Best - My Favorites, Crocheting Fun, Other Artsy Fun) (, , , , , )

As I’m  starting this new category for examiner.com, I decided I’d go and find all the independent yarn stores and or stores that sell yarn – no bix box stuff, just the small stuff.  Turns out a store I’ve gone past many times was listed in the dex as having yarn.  Now I’ve seen it many times over the years- I thought it was just a small hobby store, like trains and models and such like that.  Most stores that say “hobby” are just that.

So imagine my surprise when I walk in and first off the place is huge, and second it is clearly a crafter’s heaven!  Racks upon racks of craft booklets of every kind.  Tiny dolls like used to be in your mom’s or grandmom’s dollhouse.  And those old style jewelry cases where you push the button and it rotates layer by layer.  They have in there these beautiful doll house sized glassware – vases, bowls, bottle – I’ve never seen these before and my grandmother used to have a very detailed dollhouse – I used to look for unique stuff like that for he.  Then there’s this teeny tiny pewter furniture, for possibly a dollhouse within a dollhouse – some of them less than a quarter inch high!

I turn the corner, and there are the dolls and doll parts- of the kind you haven’t been able to find in big box stores in well over a decade, maybe longer.  The sew on doll faces, those half dolls you used to see made into bed dolls or toilet paper toppers.  Everything from these about 1/2 inch babies all the way up to a large human sized baby doll, and all the parts.  The the hats, and glasses and so forth.  I was intrigued by the tiny dolls, I picked up a pack of them – I have no clue what I will do with them!  I also got some of these two inch cupie dolls. Again, no clue what I’ll do with them, but there they are.

(BTW, do you know what kind of horse that is in the quarter I used for size comparison?  A qaurter horse, of course!- ha ha! Old museum joke.)

So I keep wandering the store.  There’s the yarn, and there – joy of joys- safety eyes!  I can’t get 6 mm eyes anywhere but online from this one vendor, so to find safety eyes in an actual store is astounding! (Yes, Hobby Lobby has them, in limited sizes and limited colors – they used to carry more.)  They even have eyes that are as small as 2 1/2 mm- I’m not sure what I would make that would need eyes that small!  All the way up to 30 mm eyes – largest I’ve seen so far – and only 89 cents for the pair! You go online, that pair is $3.00 or more!  So I bought a few. I’d never seen golden colored eyes like these before, and the one pack of blue ones are like the eyes from our dollies when we were small things.

Also in that aisle, doll house furniture and lighting.  Next aisle over there’s macrame cosding, rings, beads, etc. Crocxhet hooks, knitting needles, all kinds of other needles.  Racks of ribbons and sequins, embroidery thread, wooden pieces to paint, and the good craft paint!  Silk flowers, colored ostrich feathers, feather birds of a decent size to be realistic.  Beads we haven’t seen since we were little kids!

In a corner, I find wind chime parts. I’ve been putting off making a couple of plastic canvas patterns for years now because I could never find a source for the wind chimes, not even online.  Now I have another project to do.

A whole section of traditional art supplies – pencils, art markers, watercolors, oils and acrylics.  Canvas and paper, sketch pads and pastels – the whole works.  Around another corner and there is an old style display case full of all kinds of crafting projects, some as old as the store itself, for every season and holiday possible.  Across from that, literal basketweaving supplies. Go back toward the front og the store, and there are the dollhouse kits and parts themselves, plus crafting kits of every kind.  But we’re not done yet.

The entire back of the store is dedicated to the “hobby” part- kits for making cars and buildings and possibly even train sets – these occupy a large room next to the main room as well. Wood, plastic, metal – all the bits and parts and paints and trees and people and buildings of all sorts of scales. I will admit I didn’t explore that room enough.

I made several turns through the store, and I know I didn’t see it all.  In every nook and cranny, there’s another thing you didn’t know was there.

Over the main counter about mid store, they have hanging from the ceiling all kinds of ornament kits – some I recognize from making them when my daughter was just a baby- 20 years ago.  On the top of the cabinet. there’s a board with all sorts more done, as well as several jewelry sets done.  The cases themselves hold beads- glass and lampwork and all kinds of others.

I meet the owner of the store – Georgia Thompson – and she is the epitome of what you might think Sanat’s wife would lokk like- pretty white hair, wire rim glasses and just a tiny person clearly full of energy (I don’t know if she’d find that description complimentary, but that’s how she seems to me.) She tells me that they’ve been in business for 45 years; 30 years in that exact spot.  I’m dumbfounded!  I grew up not so far from here, I’ve been down that road thousands of times (likely literally) and I’ve never been in before! I can’t help but exclaim that – how have I missed them before?  The ladies all smile at me – I don’t think I said anything new.

 Georgia tells me that the goal of her store all these years was to try to supply what people wanted- and that sometimes that can be hard.  She uses the flower calyxes as an example, telling me she used to have a large supply, all different kinds, but now she only has a few, and they had to order those from France, because that appears to be the only company left in the world still making them. 

She likes running an old fashioned store, and she is proud of doing it the old fashioned way – they have no store computer (though they do have a website) and they don’t have a credit card machine, so you need to pay in cash or checks.  But that seems to work  just fine- after all, it’s worked for the past 45 years!

The place is a gold mine, a treasure trove, your grandma’s sewing basket and cupboards combined; a place where you could spend hours and hours and still find something new next time.

I’ve written an abbreviated version of this review for examiner.com – but I decided that review was not enough to sing the praises of this great store.  If you live in Denver or a surrounding city, you MUST get to this store at some point – they are open monday through saturdays.  And if you don’t live here, then you need to put this store on your list of must sees, because store like this are so very rare anymore.

Here’s the link to my article: http://www.examiner.com/x-35045-Denver-Crochet-Examiner~y2010m1d15-Yarn-store-review–Thompsons-Hobbies-and-Crafts

and a link to their store website as well: http://www.thompsonshobbiesandcrafts.com/ 

I cannot sing their praises enough, and who knows- I might see you there.  Thompson’s is now a regular crafting spot for me!

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