Freesearch Friday: Local Businesses in the Business of Helping You Create!

I figured out how to get all of the things you may need, so you don’t have to! Welcome to Freesearch Friday: the weekly blog that does the research for you.

Here at the Lawrence Arts Center, we’ve been busy dreaming up tutorials and projects to undertake with very few supplies, or items that may already be in our homes. But, if your supplies are running low, what a great time to support our local businesses. Today I spent some time researching your pick-up options with the people that make Lawrence the place we love!

Art Supplies

Leave it to our friends at Wonder Fair, inventors of the “Sno-cano” and groundskeepers of the “Haunted Bathroom,” to bring us the Wonder Fair Home Shopping Network. If you are anything like me, you broke your last exacto blade and ran out of ink on day one of this mess.

If that’s the case, head on over to the Creative Materials section. Looking to make something, but can’t decide what? These kits are the ticket! 

As a printmaker, I was happy to find everything needed for linoleum block printing at my kitchen table, including brayers and water soluable ink for easy clean-up. Whatever your discipline, or age, Meredith and Paul are ready to help you out with free pick up and delivery or $3.00 shipping. Give your eyes a break from Zoom and watch the Wonder Fair Home Shopping Network live stream, every weekday from 12 PM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 5 PM. Hello, Dave!


Reading Material

I’ve always believed that art is research, and while we conduct quite a bit of research with our hands through making, where would we be without books? Books for imagination, books for instruction, books for escapism, books for cooking, books for us to dog-ear and write in and share. Books! If you’re living in Lawrence, or heck, even if you’re not living in Lawrence, the Raven Book Store is here for you. I like to envision all of the book stores in the world as books in a library. Stick with me on this, folks. Among these shelves and shelves of book stores-turned books, the Raven is sitting on the shelf at the perfect height, with a lovingly worn cover, a sturdy binding, and a content cat just the next shelf over. What are you waiting for? Pick that book up and start flipping through!
I flipped through the Raven’s website to find 52 pages of staff book recommendations in addition to the ability to browse and search their catalog. Too overwhelmed by the choices? The store also offers a book of the month subscription!

The Raven is currently offering $1.00 shipping anywhere in the USA, and has recently resumed free local delivery to those residing in Lawrence. Why are you still reading this blog when you could be reading anything from the Raven?

Fabric and Sewing Supply

As an anxiety prone, stay-at-home, loner type, my household blankets were growing thin far before mid-March. I’ve started a hand quilting tutorial to self-supply, and if you’d like to follow along you can grab all of your supplies at Sarah’s Fabrics. Sarah’s carries cloth from some of my all-time favorite textile designers, as well as all of the notions needed to create your own cocoon while listening to cozy mysteries (I bet you could find an audiobook over at the Raven). With contactless pick-up and quick turnaround USPS delivery, you can even grab some knit or flannel yardage to make new Pjs. Check out these packaged kits that come with everything needed, and for every style of homebody. Check out this spooky cat! 

Ceramic Supply

Bracker’s Good Earth Clay is our go-to for local ceramic supply, and is still open for your needs as well. Bracker’s has decribed their current availability as “open-ish, with limitations”, a phrase i’ve stolen, and am encouraging you to steal, to describe your inbox! Looking to outfit your new basement studio? Bracker’s is offering contactless curbside pickup. Your local Bracker’s buddy will load your pre-paid order into the trunk of your car, or bed of your truck, so you can speed away in your get-away car and get on  making a multitude of serving bowls to bring to the post-pandemic party!

Odds and Ends and Oddities

If you haven’t been to the hole-in-the-wall toystore 1313 Mockingbird Lane, I urge you to scope it out. In a fitting act of what has to be metaphysics, I swear the footprint inside doesn’t match the streetside view, and you can easily get lost in the racks of wall-to-wall fandom. Follow the shop’s very active Instagram for stock updates and live feed information for merch that is currently available to ship or to arrange for local pick-up. Last, but certainly not least, owners Terry and Liz are wonderful community members who both also work in healthcare.

I’m eyeballing a Shining board game to fill my next month of afternoons with its too-close-for-comfort theming. If you need (and I can confidently say you do) some monster inspiration for some upcoming Doodle of the Day prompts, this is your place. I highly recommend fellow horror fans snag a cool lunchbox for storing supplies. Sadly, you can’t have this great Dark Shadows one, I already claimed it.

What are some of your favorite local haunts?

Let us know!  Don’t forget to tune in next week for Freesearch Friday, featuring the curious nautical history of needlepoint!

Until then,

Anne Luben