Some of you may remember how last winter I ordered the new Pardo Clay which was only available through one US distributor, and all the trials and tribulations I had to go through to receive it. (Cool Clay things in the mail June 20,2009)
I was still so put off by the whole experience, yes I am sensitive that way, I don't like what some may call 'bad karma' attached to any purchase, either mine or someones from me, it just isn't good all around and can stifle creativity.
Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I wasn't right when I wrote that post, that maybe I shouldn't even try it in case I fell in love and then had no other source to get it from. Then I read recently that Pardo was now being sold in stores, well one Craft Store chain in the U.S., Hobby Lobby.
That was good news and bad for me. I was very pleased to find out that there was no longer a monopoly on this new eco-friendly clay, BUT the problem was, I didn't have a Hobby Lobby in my whole state, nor the closest state to me! What's a clayer to do? So I sulked, especially since I'd heard of the great sales that HL had frequently on clay in general and not only that, but they also sold Kato clay~! Something I haven't been able to get my hands on and try either. I got burned on ebay bidding on a whole lot of all the colors, paid for it and the seller ran off with my money, ebay closed them down before I could file a claim so I lost all around. I was afraid to mail order clay again.
But somehow a couple weeks ago I was reading something and it mentioned HobbyLobby and I figured I would go look again to see where the closest one was again and maybe plan a trip. I couldn't believe my eyes when I found one only less than a 1/2 hour from my home! I checked, and double checked and thought it was a internet fluke, but headed there anyway.
When I got there I have to tell you I was surprised and delighted to see the sign with big letters in red, Hobby Lobby! I was even more overwhelmed when I went inside. Now I have a Michaels, an A.C. Moore and Joanns Craft superstore, all within one mile from each other and about 15 minutes from me. This is where I do all my craft shopping and am at their mercy.
Michaels has given me trouble over coupons and I'm not too happy with them, also the jewelry department is so dark you need a miners helmet to find anything!
A.C. Moore has raised their prices on clay to over $3 a bar and they have some very rude employees there so I haven't shopped there that much recently either. And JoAnn's well they have improved and I've been there more than the others lately, but none of them have anything like Hobby Lobby!
That place is wonderful! I ended up staying until 5 minutes to closing. One thing I can say I enjoyed immensely was the music. It was soothing, peaceful and shopping inducing. I even noticed that the customers ( and this was Sat night, and there were plenty) acted nicer, kids didn't scream as much, people were polite, it was amazing! The other stores I mentioned play music that makes me either have to put in earplugs just so I can think about what I want to purchase, or if I don't have any with me, I grab what I can remember and run out of the store, never really getting all I wanted to. I applaud them for understanding that if you aren't being shouted at or having loud thumping music beating down on you, you can actually be thoughtful, and creative and look at the merchandise and start to work on projects right there, in your mind, and look for the components to make that idea, and buy them from that store, every body wins!
I didn't get to see every department but each one I was in was well lit, comfortable to move around in and see everything, and sales on lots of stuff! There were many items I've never seen in any of the other three stores and I got some really cool new things. I also found the clearance section and got some things there too! Hubby was even happy about shopping with me, even found something in the coin collecting section he's been wanting!
I found the clay isle and their clay was on sale, even the Kato! So I had to buy one bar of each color ( $1.27 can you beat that!!!!!) and I also found the Pardo! I couldn't remember which colors I had so I only got a few, but they had both jars and the small plastic packs.
I was thrilled! I also picked up some new jewelry components I haven't seen in other shops, and some neat Vintag components too! I had to tell hubby to get me to the check out before I emptied our bank account!
I walked out happy and now I have all kinds of things to work with. I am hoping this week to finally get to the Pardo clay as well as to experiment with the Kato Clay as well. I've heard the new formulation is really hard to condition but I have a Cuisinart and a sturdy wooden rolling pin already for any resistance!
Oh, so when I got to the check out ( and the lady was very nice too, even at the end of I'm sure a very busy day), I asked how long they had been there. She told me September, so it is pretty new, last I looked online for one was back in the Spring, so I am happy I looked again and if you have had the same experience, look again, you never know!