Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In search of . . .

Child Two and I are on a quest for two things: (1) the perfect chocolate brownie recipe and (2) craft stores other than Michael’s.

I love baking—except for cakes, but that’s a trauma too hard to discuss. When I was in grad school, I was known for my baking (in our department, we took our potlucks seriously). In fact, a friend once received a marriage proposal from a complete stranger at a picnic based on the cookies she’d made from a recipe I gave her.

Despite this, though, I’ve never found a brownie recipe I really like. As we made another batch of just-okay brownies this weekend, Child Two and I decided to launch a search for the perfect chocolate brownie recipe. If you know any good ones, please share!

Now, as for Michael’s—I probably spend as much money there as the next crafter, but that’s mainly because it’s almost the only choice I have for most things. I miss the days when there were options, when the department stores had fabric departments and I could look for what I wanted in any one of several stores in my own town. Big stores like Michael’s certainly serve a purpose, but when what you want isn’t the same as what their buyers think will sell or is out of stock, you have a problem. I ran into that when buying the beads for this bracelet, which Child Two and I made together on the weekend—stock was low and the color choices were slim.

(The fact that the model is a little glass vase is due to the fact that Child Two and I are both suffering from Ugly Winter Hands Syndrome.)

Instead of whining about it (although I must admit I do a bit of that too), we’ve decided to seek out all the craft and art supply stores we can find in the Greater Vancouver area and make ourselves a little directory. Since Child One and Child Two are on spring break, we started today at Granville Island, a former industrial area that is now a tourist’s and artist’s haven. Besides exploring some of the shops, we went to the kids’ market (so LOUD) and to the public market, where we admired food and flowers:

We also went on an aquabus for short harbor tour.

We didn’t buy much today, just some tiny mandarins,

four handmade buttons from Nepal (I bought one for each of us and Child Two bought the heart one for me),

a catnip wool ball,

and some ice cream that didn’t make it home for pictures.

We’re also looking for good online craft supply stores of all kinds. Leave a comment if you have one to recommend!


Mallu said...

I've no idea of online craft supply stores, but I have to say that your photos are wonderful!
Best wishes,

scrappysue said...

have u tried jessica seinfeld's brownie recipe? www.deceptivelydelicious.com

KathyLikesPink said...

Love the photos!

There is another large craft chain called A.C. Moore - I find they have a bigger variety, and are cheaper, than Michael's.


Anonymous said...


I'm not sure about online craft stores but I do have a suggestion for beading supplies. Have you heard of Firemountain gems?


BY the way the Jessica Simpson Brownies are soooooo goooddd. :-)

Take Care,