Any small painting places left?

luvstocraftMarch 17, 2009

I was just thinking about a couple of the painting shops I used to go to in my area. Loved going in and seeing all the completed projects on display. They had classes, guest artists, patterns, supplies, etc. And the books--I could actually look through the book and see how many things I'd love to paint! Then the tough decision of which books to buy that day since I couldn't afford to buy them all! LOL

Do any of you still have any of these little shops in your area?

All I have here now is Michael's, Joanne's and Walmart. The demand must have really slowed down or something because even those stores don't carry much of a variety. And have you noticed a lessening selection even on Artist's Club? Perhaps there's not as many books being created as before. I know most things go in cycles, so I'm hoping for a strong comeback for painting soon. Those times were so much fun!


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Luvs...I have the same small craft shoppes anymore. And the big stores have a very limited supply and no books and even the Artists Club annual in store sale isn't worth the 65 mile drive. Three or so years ago it would take you hours to see it all, now half hour tops. In fact I haven't gotten notice of their sale in over a year....don't know if they still have them.

And not many online sites show pictures from the inside and I won't purchase them if I don't know the artist, unless I can see more than just the cover!

Is there some way a "trade" link/page could be added here? That would be nice. Who would we ask about it?


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 3:24PM
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Belle, that sounds like a good idea. I wouldn't want to buy a book either unless I knew there were at least two or three patterns I really liked in it. That's what's so great about Artist's Club. I didn't even know there was an actual store to visit them.

Have you ever bid on any of those lots of books on ebay? I haven't yet, not much of a computer shopper, but it is tempting sometimes. Michael's doesn't get new books in much, so haven't bought any there in ages. Mostly I watch for them at the TS. Seems like there should be more of the old painting books showing up now that many of the painters are getting older, doesn't it? Did you read about Anj's find of 20 or 30 books at the TS. That would be so fun, especially if you can get them for less than $1.00. I've found a couple at our library store, and once found a few at a TS. I always look--just in case. LOL

At the bottom of the page in the green line, there's a "contact us" link. Wouldn't hurt to ask about it. The administrator that usually helps us is Tamara and she has been just great. How do you think a trade would work if we can't show pictures of the projects in the books?


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 4:52PM
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Hi Luvs & Belle!

I've been a "lurker" for quite some time, but had to chime in on this post! I live in So. Cal. (Orange County), and we are so lucky to still have a real brick & mortar store - The Folk Artist in Huntington Beach! She carries patterns, books, wood and other surfaces, as well as painting supplies and brushes. She is celebrating her 25th year in the tole/decorative painting business this year! If you're in the area, take some time out to go visit her - I don't think you'll be disappointed!

We also have Catalina Cottage ( fairly close by (about a 45 minute drive), and I read in the new issue of Q & E Painting, that Shara Reiner is within driving distance, in the San Diego area.

I'm really fortunate that my DH can cut some of my wood, if I don't buy from The Folk Artist, but I've also purchased online from Bear With Us, Inc., and Cabin Crafters, as well as directly from my favorite artists. I think The Artists Club store in Vancouver, WA was closed either in 2007 or 2008.

I do agree that there aren't many (if any) books being published these days. I think that's because it costs so much money to publish (I think somewhere around $20,000 or more). That said, I know Renee Mullins (Plum Purdy) will be coming out with a new book soon, and Jamie Mills-Price (Between the Vines) will probably have a new Christmastime Between the Vines book out sometime later this year. Like you, I buy a book only if there are more than two items I would like to paint - but I think I may have to change that if I want to keep our artists in business and publishing books! I believe Cabin Crafters is showing the inside pages of the books they are selling now (good thing).

Hope I haven't hi-jacked your topic! I've peeked at the gallery and your paintings are wonderful!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 10:47PM
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Hi Sherlea, Welcome out of lurkdom! So glad you chimed in. I'm in So. Calif. too and we take our motorhome to Bolsa Chica beach a couple times each year so I'm really glad you told us about The Folk Artist. I'll look it up for sure the next time we go. I just love the atmosphere of the small shops, they really get the creative juices flowing!

Is Catalina Cottage in Corona? I think I've heard of it but never been there. I know Shara Reiner used to have a shop in Poway, not sure if it's still open. There used to be other cute shops there like Luv N Stuff.

Good to hear that Renee Mullins and Jamie Mills-Price will have new books out. And I'll go take a look at Cabin Crafter's to see what they carry. I didn't even know they sold books! Haven't heard of Bear with Us, Inc.--will have to take a look at their site too.

If you've been lurking for awhile, you'll know that we are a small but friendly group, and we'd love to have you post comments and join in anytime. ;o)


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 2:15AM
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Welcome can't go back into lurkdom now that you're out! ;) We don't bite. Come chat with us. =)

We have one it's called The Wood Connection. It's a small store, but they have bins and bins of wood cutouts and they have kits too with the finished project painted to look at. The customer service people sit behind the counter and paint and you can hear the saws going in the back. But they don't have a lot of books. Still fun to go browse thru. I haven't been there for a long time. Maybe I'll make a run over there tomorrow. Thanks for making me remember.

Our Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Roberts carry a few books, but not many. We used to have so many fun little stores here too. Macs used to have a big classroom that was always full of painters and they would display their projects all over the store. I find books here and there at the TS and I always get excited.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 11:44AM
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Sherlea...Welcome! And you could very well be correct about the Artist Club store in Vancouver being closed. I just check their online site and it says to call ahead to arrange a visit. Darn! Love shopping there at least once a year - but as I took last year off....didn't realize they had closed.

By the that you are here...where are your pictures of what you have done! Come on! Give! We all enjoy sharing! you have another painter close (?) to you and more places to shop.

Anj...would love to see The Wood Connection. While we were in Amish country on a trip we visited several working stores and they would let you walk through and it was awesome! And no one was just doing nothing...everyone was working at something, even the clerk.

I will request some help with adding a link for trading, I know that you can't post instruction from books but all of the sale sights and eBay post pictures of the books.....don't see why we couldn't. We'll see.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:11PM
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Wow! Thank you all for such a warm welcome!!

The Folk Artist is on Hamilton, just off of Brookhurst, just a few miles south of Bolsa Chica State Beach. Catalina Cottage is located in Walnut, off of the 57/60 freeway interchange (and Brea Canyon Blvd.), if that helps. I haven't looked into where Shara's shop is, but I do know several people who have taken classes with her there.

I don't know about photos - I'll have to take some first!! When I first started painting, I used to take photos of everything - but now I rarely take them. I'm currently finishing a Welcome Moose (you change his vest for the month/season, a Colleen Parry design) for my son and DIL, and a Bee memo holder (a Renee Mullins design). I'm not sure what I'm painting next - I certainly have enough to choose from ;o)!! I'm thinking I should paint a few Christmas ornaments in between other projects, to stay ahead and not have to hurry/worry at the last minute, but Christmas feels so far away! Then again, I have a couple of unfinished projects (you know the ones you put away because it wasn't going right) that I could finish up too!
Decisions, decisions!!

Hope you all have a great day and again, thanks for the warm welcome!!


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 2:21PM
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Hi Again!

Thought I'd pop in as I was having trouble falling asleep and more tole shops in So Cal popped into mind! Periwinkle Woods in Calimesa, and O'Flanary's in Redlands. I haven't been to Periwinkle Woods since it has reopened, but it used to be quite nice. O'Flanary's is a gift shop, but also has tole painting. The owner, Judy Coates, is a tole artist and offers classes with many of the well known "big brushes" (artists) throughout the year. I took a class with Renee Mullins (Plum Purdy) there several years ago and had a great time.

There used to be an unfinished furniture store in Lomita, on Pacific Coast Highway, that offered classes and had tole supplies as well. I'm not sure if they are still in business, but it might be worth looking into if you are in the area.

Now, if you're ever traveling on I5 through Oregon - stop in at Treasures of the Heart in Myrtle Creek (North of Medford and South of Eugene). Belinda is the owner of the shop - which is a gift and tole shop, and is just the cutest!! It was formerly owned by Jamie Mills-Price (Between the Vines), and has patterns/books/supplies/surfaces/etc.(pretty much all of Jamie's books/patterns, etc.). Belinda also carries patterns from local artists that are very nice and you won't see them otherwise.

I have heard there is a shop in Washington (outside of Seattle), called An Artful Touch. I've not been there, but it is on my list of places to see if I'm ever in the Seattle area.

Ok, that's it for me for now - otherwise I'm going to sound like a travel-advertisement! Hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend, and paints something pretty!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:51AM
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Sherlea....I check out their site "An Artful Touch" and I am putting it on my list to visit. The website didn't impress me but's a more than what we have here!

How our miss the Ben Franklin stores! They had everything and great prices. Are they still running anywhere?


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:09PM
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Sherlea~ sounds like some fun stops if I'm ever in any of those places.

Belle~ We have the Ben Franklin craft stores here in Utah, but none of them are anywhere near me. Bummer. You can go online and find out if there are any near you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ben Franklin store locator

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:47PM
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I live in WA and always wanted to visit the Artists Club store but yes, now Vancouver WA only holds their headquarters. They moved their distribution center to Columbus, Ohio.

I am still a painting book junkie and still find many bargains on-line and at Half-Price books. Michael's still has a decent selection but they will no longer let you use coupons to purchase them.

My favorite places for great reduced prices on painting books on-line are artistsclub,,,, and And every now and then I find a good deal at Most of the above show inside pages. The prices on books at some of the above can be anywhere from $1.99 to $6.00 and you have to check back regularly because the books change out often. I've gotten a lot of my books for $2 and $3 each.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Hi, all
You've given me another reason to wish I lived on the west coast! We have Michael's and JoAnne's in the same shopping center two miles from us and A.C Moore about five miles away. There is a decorative painting store in Fairfax called "The Apple Tree." It is about 12 miles away on the other side of the beltway (We are inside the beltway.)

You are exactly right, Luvs. The Apple Tree is half the size it used to be, and it is likely there was a decrease in demand. They used to have a large classroom.

A book trade is a great idea. I used to watch for them to go on sale at Michael's, but since I have so many different hobbies, I will never have the time to paint everything in the books that I have.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 11:55AM
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