At Scrapbooks Galore & More, owner Carol Arnosky
'You don't have to be an expert cardmaker or scrapbooker, because these kits have all precut pieces and you just layer to assemble them and create something unique and beautiful,' Arnosky said. Frame kits are available in a variety of themes and shapes to enhance your favorite photos: hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball, pumpkin, Christmas tree, snowman, butterflies, cupcake, teddy bear, and camping tent.
Shoppers can also select a handmade gift card holder and purchase a gift card to be applied to an upcoming class or crop night to 'gift an experience,' Arnosky said. She offers crop sessions during the week and on Fridays and Saturdays which she describes as times for people to work together on their crafts 'like at old-fashioned quilting bees'. Classes are given in the store in cardmaking, beginning scrapbooking, using electronic die-cutting machines, and altered art projects such as canvas kits or memory boxes. 'For stocking stuffers, we offer new or gently used rubber stamps which are brought in by my customers for resale at reasonable prices. These are good for cardmaking and school projects.' Arnosky's store is located in the Bell Plaza Mall at 301 E. Wackerly St.
Also in the Bell Plaza Mall is Design Within where owner Casey Pincumbe provides interior design services and carries a wide variety of interior decorating items and holiday decor. She also carries Simply Charmed custom handmade charms, jewelry, and coasters by Mary Williamson of Freeland.
'Mary makes them from her home using a stained glass process. She has even custom-made photos of customers' kids and dogs into charms for their necklaces and bracelets,' Pincumbe,who opened in November 2009, said. The necklaces and bracelets come with beads but can be further customized with the addition of charms which depict holidays, seasons, hobbies, and more.
Design Within is also just starting to carry handmade Sweets & Savories by Michelle Kirchman of Linwood. 'She makes artisan marshmallows and southern style pecan pralines and basil pesto,' Pincumbe said, 'and you can look forward to more yummy tastings in the store.'
At 121 E. Main Street, Peel 'n Pare is also promoting the 'gift an experience' concept as people buy seats in winter cooking classes for family members or friends. In January, there will be a pasta class and a separate pasta sauce class. February classes include Street Food, Decadent Desserts, and Cheese, Cheese, and More Cheese!, which will include the creation of fresh mozzarella cheese from kits available for sale in the store. Peel 'n Pare's chef-in-residence Peggy Finger said that she's having 'great fun researching and planning the international street food class, because it's so prevalent and important in so many cultures. One will be a beef dish from Korea. We'll have corn on the cob from Mexico. And we will have something from India and Brazil.' She researches online and from her personal collection of more than 100 cookbooks.
Another gifted experience for those interested in outdoor sports can be obtained from Bo Brines, owner of Little Forks Outfitters on Main Street. 'We have a fly tying class and a fly fishing class on the Au Sable River which includes food and
Another survey found that several stores have dropped restocking fees, but many also trimmed the number of days to return items. Retailers have different rules for different products.Electronic products are the principal target for shorter return periods, restocking fees or no returns at all, said Edgar Dworsky, Online return policies may also differ from in-store rules, he said.Here are some of the new twists found by Dworsky in return policies this year:Target reduced the time allowed to return some items but dropped its 15 percent restocking fee. Computer hardware, including netbooks, e-readers and tablets, as well as cameras and camcorders, must now be returned within 45 days instead of the previous 90 days. Open items may be denied a refund or exchange.
Best Buy, which last year dropped its restocking fee on regular stock, is now waiving its 25 percent restocking fee on special orders as well. And the holiday return policy includes computers for the first time.But Best Buy shortened its holiday return deadline by one week this year, to Jan. 24, although there is a longer return window for certain Reward Zone members.